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Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy

Russia, O My Russia, Hail!

Russia, O my Russia, hail!
Steeds as tempests flying,
Howling of the distant wolves,
Eagles high, shrill crying!
Hail, my Russia, hail! Hail high!
Hail thy green forests proud,
Hail thy silvery nightingales,
Hail Steppes and wind and cloud!

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Do Not Believe

Do not believe, my dearest, when I say
That I no longer love you.
When the tide ebbs do not believe the sea -
It will return anew.

Already I long for you, and passion fills me,
I yield my freedom thus to you once more.
Already the waves return with shouts and glee
To fill again that same belov├Ęd shore.

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Love's Ebb And Flow

Believe me not, dear, when in hours of anguish
I say my love for thee exists no more.
At ebb of tide, think not the sea is faithless;
It will return with love unto the shore.

E'en now I pine for thee with old-time passion,
And place my freedom in thy hands once more.
Already, with loud noise, the waves are hasting
Back from afar to the beloved shore.

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In Hours Of Ebbing Tide

In hours of ebbing tide, oh trust not to the Sea!
It will come back to shore with redness of the morrow;
O don't believe in me when in the trance of sorrow
I swear I am no longer true to thee!

The waves will roll again in dazzling ecstasy,
From far away, with joy, to the beloved shore;
And I with breast aflame, beneath thy charm once more,
Shall haste to bring my liberty to thee!

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Autumn

Autumn 'tis! Our garden stands
Flowerless and bare,
Dizzy whirling yellow leaves
Fill the wind swept air.
Yet the distant mountain ash
In the vale below,
With our favorite berries red
Now begins to glow.
While with rapture and with pain
Throbbing in my breast,
Pressing hot thy hands in mine,
Silent, unexpressed--
Fondly gazing in thine eyes,
Through my tears I see--
That I can never tell thee
How dear thou art to me!

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I Bless You, Forests

I bless you, forests, valleys, fields, mountains, waters,
I bless freedom and blue skies.

I bless my staff and my humble rags.
And the steppe from beginning to end,
And the sun's light, and night's darkness,

And the path I walk, pauper that I am,
And, in the field every blade of grass,
and every star in the sky!

O! if only I could encompass all life,
And join my soul with yours.
O! if only I could embrace you all,
Enemies, friends and brothers, and all nature,
And enfold all nature in my arms!

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Burnt Out Is Now My Misery

Burnt out is now my misery--
love's yearning
No more unspeakably torments my heart,
Yet bearable alone through thee, my being--
All thou art not is idle, stale and dying,
Colourless, withered, dead,--save where thou art!

If I no more through false suspicion trouble
Thy happiness,--nor more my blood inflames my veins,
It is not turned to ice 'neath snowy cover,
But free from jealousy, to thee thy lover
Always with soul of ardour true remains.

So in their rapid fury mountain torrents
That hurl them off their moss-grown altars steep,
Seeking the flood with tossing, foaming riot--
Here in the vale are bound in the old currents,
To stream in future calm and clear and deep!

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Don Juan's Serenade

Darkness descends
on Alpujara's golden land.
My guitar invites you,
come out my dear!

Whoever says that there are others
who can be compared to you,
whoever burns for your love,
I challenge them all to a duel!

Now the moon
has set the sky alight,
come out, Nisetta, oh come out, Nisetta,
on to your balcony, quickly!

From Seville to Granada
in the silence of the nights,
one can hear the sound of serenades
and the clashing of swords.

[...] Read more

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If Only I Had Known

If only I had known, had realised,
I would not have looked out of the window
as the dashing young man
rode along our street,
his hat worn cockily,
riding a frisky bay horse,
hooves clattering, mane flying,
rearing up before our windows!

If I had only known, had realised,
I would not have dressed up for him,
or woven a scarlet ribbon
into my hair;
or risen so early, before dawn,
or rush to the edge of the village,
or got my feet soaked in dew,
or watched the road
to see if he would come along,
falcon on his wrist.

[...] Read more

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The Wolves

When the church-village slumbers
And the last songs are sung,
When the grey mist arising,
Is o'er the marshes hung,
'Tis then the woods forsaking,
Their way cross country taking,
Nine howling wolves come hungering for food.

Behind the first,--the grey one,--
Trot seven more of black,
Close on their hoary leader;
As rearguard of the pack
The red wolf limps, all bloody,
His paws with gore still ruddy
As after his companions grim he pants.

When through the village lurking
Nought gives them check or fright,
No watch dog dares to bellow,
The peasant ghastly white,

[...] Read more

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