Tatyana Jitkova


And Death did shriek: "Succumb!
Cry out! Lament! Be damning!
You see, with torch of fire
The villain's on his way!"
But at that fateful hour,
The hour when Truths were trampled,
'Gainst judges he played dumb:
His silence won the day.
"You're more afraid, I heard,
In spouting condemnation,
Than I on hearing, still,
The sentence that you make!"
But they, of course, preferred
To yield to the temptation
To do the people's will:
"To the scaffold! To the stake!"
All in this earthly vale
Must meet a common ending,
And no one dared derail
The arrows' flight so straight.
And into a pit deep down,
Are seen dark souls descending,
Their crosses and their crowns
Abandoned at the gate...
A Nolan he is still -
His concepts go on living
In countless worlds about
With radiant beauty bright.
But ignorance has killed
So many other victims,
Attempting to snuff out
Such thought's own heavenly light!..
Translation from Russian to English by John Woodsworth