Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
Sir Sava and the Lesches
From the Russian
Anonymous translation
  “The Lesches are a kind of Satyrs; covered, like them, with hair, and of a peculiarly malicious nature. They steal children and women; and their approach operating to benumb the senses is always fatal. In the present instance, however, we may conjecture that ‘the brandy, the wine, and the mead’ had some preparatory influence.”—Translator’s Note.

WITH the Lord at Nemirov
Sir Sava dined so gladly;
Nor thought he that his life
Would end so soon and sadly.
Sir Sava he rode home        5
To his own court with speed;
And plenty of good oats
He bids to give his steed.
Sir Sava behind his table
To write with care begun,        10
His young wife she is rocking
In the cradle her infant son.
“Holloa! my lad, brisk butler,
Bring now the brandy to me;
My well-beloved lady,        15
This glass I drink to thee.
“Holloa! my lad, brisk butler,
Now bring me the clear wine;
This glass and this, I drink it
To this dear son of mine.        20
“Holloa! my lad, brisk butler,
Now bring me the mead so fast;
My head aches sore; I fear
I ’ve rode and drunk my last!”
Who knocks? who storms so fiercely?        25
Sir Sava looks up to know;
The Lesches stand before him,
And quick accost him so:
“We bow to thee, Sir Sava,
How far’st thou, tell us now?        30
To thy guests from the Ukraina,
What welcome biddest thou?”
“What could I bid you brethren,
To-day in welcome’s stead?
Well know I ye are come        35
To take my poor sick head.”
“And tell us first, Sir Sava,
Where are thy daughters fair?”—
“They are stolen by the Lesches,
And wash their linen there.”        40
“Now to the fight be ready!
Sir Sava, meet thy lot!
Thy head is lost! one moment,
Death meets thee on the spot.”
The sabre whizzes through the air,        45
Like wild bees in the wood;
The young wife of Sir Sava
By him a widow stood.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.