Adam Mickiewicz

(24 December 1798 – 26 November 1855 / Zavosse, Nowogródek)

The Castle Ruins At Balaklava - Poem by Adam Mickiewicz

Play Poem Video

These castles, whose remains are strewn in heaps for miles,
Once graced and guarded you, Crimea the ungrateful!
Today they sit upon the hills, each like a great skull
In which reptiles reside or men worse than reptiles.
 
Let’s climb a tower, search for crests upon worn tiles,
For an inscription or a hero’s name, the fateful
Bane of armies now forgotten by the faithful,
A wizened beetle wrapped in vines below the aisles.
 
Here Greeks wrought Attic ornaments upon the walls,
From which Italians would cast Mongols into chains,
And where the Mecca-bound once stopped to pray and beg.
 
Today above the tombs the shadow of night falls,
The black-winged buzzards fly like pennants over plains,
As if towards a city ever touched by plague.




— translated from the Polish by Leo Yankevich
first appeared in the Sarmatian Review


Comments about The Castle Ruins At Balaklava by Adam Mickiewicz

  • Rookie Rikki Vede. (1/4/2010 5:34:00 AM)

    Great poetry! ! ! Adam Mickiewicz rules! ! ! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Rikki Vede. (1/4/2010 5:32:00 AM)

    Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest Poet from Poland! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poem Edited: Friday, December 23, 2011


[Hata Bildir]