Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

(1814 - 1841 / Russia)

Testament - Poem by Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

I feel I'd like to be alone
with you, friend, if you'll stay:
my time on earth is nearly gone;
at least that's what they say.
And you'll be going home on leave:
mind you… what odds? I do believe,
to tel the truth, not many
will give a brass halfpenny.

If anyone should ask of you…
well, anyone at all…
you tell them where that bullet flew
right through the chest, one ball:
'He died with honour for the Tsar'
- and say how bad our surgeons are -
'and to his habitation
he sent his salutation.'

You'll likely find that my old dad
and mother both are dead…
I wouldn't want to make them sad
or send them tears to shed;
but if you find that they're all right,
just say I haven't time to write,
the regiment's campaigning
and there's no use complaining.

They've got a woman neighbour there?
God knows how long ago
we parted!… She will hardly care
to ask you.. Let it go,
tell her the truth, leave out no part,
no need to spare an empty heart;
she'll shed a tear or two there…
but it means nothing to her!

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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