Nikolay Alekseyevich Nekrasov

(1821 - 1878 / Russia)

On The Day Of Gogol's Death


How blessed's the good-natured poet,
With little bile and much emotion:
All lovers of the gentle arts
Send him sincerest greetings;

The admiration of the crowd
Sounds in his ear like rippling waves;
He is a stranger to self-doubt-
That torture of creative souls;

Lover of comfort and tranquility,
Shunning audacious satire,
He firmly dominates the crowd
With his peace-loving lyre.

He is not cursed nor driven out
But worshipped for his splendid mind,
While all his countrymen prepare
A monument to him in life.

But fate will show no mercy
To one whose noble genius
Has led him to unmask the crowd,
Expose its passions and mistakes.

His heart abrim with hate
His lips all clad in satire,
He wanders down a thorny path
His wrathful lyre in hand.

He is reviled at every step:
He catches sounds of admiration
Not in sweet murmurings of praise
But in wild cries of enmity.
With disbelief and new belief
In his high calling's dream,
He preaches love to all
Through venomous denial.

His speech's every syllable
Engenders for him cruel foes,
And all men, whether smart or dull,
Are quick to vilify him.

They curse at him from every side,
And only when they see his corpse
They'll understand how much he did,
And that in hate, he was yet full of love!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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