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Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov

(1821 - 1897 / Moscow, Russia)

O Mountains Of My Native Country!


'O mountains of my native country! O valleys of my home!
On you gleam Winter's snowflakes white and twinkle lambs of Summer-
On you the rosy sunlight glows, you know no deathly shudder!'

So, 'neath the earth did wistful yearn three homesick youths in Hades,
Who fain from out that under world to worlds above would hasten.
The first declared 'We'll go in Spring!' The second 'No, in Summer!'
'No,' cried the third, 'at harvesting, in time the grapes to gather!'
A listening maiden fair, o'erheard with heart resistless throbbing;
Upon her breast her arms she crossed and begged of them imploring-
'O take me to the upper world!' Alone the youths made answer,
'That cannot be, you fairest maid, that you with us be taken!
Your heels would clatter as you speed, your dress would rustle silken,
Your rattling ornaments warn death to hear us all escaping.'

'My rustling dress I will unlace,- my ornaments forsaking,
Barefooted up the stairway steep will mute and cautious follow!
Ah, but too gladly would I gaze again on earthly living!
I fain my mother would console, sad for her daughter grieving-
would my brothers twain behold, who for their sister sorrow!'
'O do not yearn, thou wretched child, for those thou lovest, ever!
Thy brothers in the village street now joyful lead the wrestling-
And with the neighbors on the street thy mother gossips zestful!'

Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Edited: Monday, July 21, 2014

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