The river stretched. It flows, idly grieves,
And washes both banks.
In steppe, above light clay of cliffs
Rinks mourn in ranks.
O Russia! Dear wife! With clearness and pain
We see the lengthy way!
It sent an arrow of ancient Tartar reign –
In breast it lay.
The way through steppes and an incessant plight,
Through your, o Russia, lot!
And alien dark and dark of night
I fear not.
Let be the night. We’ll ride and light in gloom
The holy flag will flash in fume,
And Khan’s steel blade …
And endless battle! We only dream of peace
Through blood and dust …
The mare of steppes flies on and flees,
And tramples the grass …
There’s no end! The miles and cliffs flash past
Stop crazy flood!
The frightened clouds go fast,
Sun sets in blood!
Sun sets in blood! Blood streams from heart away!
O cry, my heart …
There’s no peace! Through steppe the bay
Prolongs the flight!
by Alexander Blok
Translated from Russian by Yevgeny Bonver