from The Scythians

Alexander Blok

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….Come to us ~ from your battlefield nightmares
into our peaceful arms! While there’s
still time, hammer your swords into ploughshares,
friends, comrades! We shall be brothers!

If you do not, we have nothing to lose.
Our faith, too, can be broken.
You will be cursed for centuries, centuries,
by your descendants’ sickly children!

We shall take to the wilds and the mountain
woods, letting beautiful Europe through,
and as we move into the wings shall turn
an Asiatic mask to you.

March all together, march to the Urals!
We clear the ground for when the armoured
juggernauts with murder in their sights
meet the charge of the mongol horde.

We shall ourselves no longer be your shield,
no longer launch our battlecries;
but study the convulsive battlefield
from far off through our narrow eyes!

We shall not stir when the murderous Huns
pillage the dead, turn towns to ash,
in country churches stable their squadrons,
and foul the air with roasting flesh.

Now, for the last time, see the light, old world!
To peace and brotherhood and labor ~
our bright feast ~ for the last time you are called
by the strings of a Scythian lyre!

30 Jan 1918

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