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And like the sun his holy visage shone.
Ah, such a Tsar we never had before !
Such little unexampled woe befell!
We must have angered God, we must have sinned
To have for Tsar the slayer of the Tsar.
GRIGORI. I long have wished to ask, oh, holy father
About the death of Dmitri, the Tsarevitch ;
Thou wert, I know, at Uglitch at the time.
PIMEN. Oh, I remember well: God made me see
The cruel deed, the sanguinary crime.
At far-off Uglitch then I chanced to be,
Sent on some embassy. I came by night.
That morning, at the time of early mass,
I sudden heard the bell, loud rang th’alarm:
Cries, shouts. ... Men hurry to the palace gates;
I hasten thither. — All the city there
Had gathered, — and I saw the murdered boy:
The Tsarilsa, his mother, in a swoon
O'er him had fallen; his nurse was weeping loud
In sheer despair. The people, maddened, then
Destroyed the traitorous woman in their rage.
Then, suddenly amidst them, pale with wrath,
Appeared Iúda Vityagóvsky.
« There! there's the villain!” rang the general howl,
And in a twinkling he was torn in pieces.
The fleeing murderers fierce the mob pursued,
And seized the friends who fain had sheltered them;
Before them brought the Prince's corpse, still warm.
Oh, wonderful !- the corpse began to stir.
“ Confess!” the people cried in furious tones;
And in their terror at the hangman's axe
The criminals confessed, and named Borís.
GRIGORI. How old was then the murdered Tsarevitch ?
PIMEN. His years were seven; he would have been to-day (Ten years have passed away since then, - nay, more, Twelve years have passed) - he would have been thy age, And on the throne ! but God saw otherwise.
(From "Boris Godunof.”)
MARINA. Dimitri! Is it you ?
Sweet, witching voice!
Is 't thou at last? Behold I thee indeed
Alone with me in shade of gentle night?
How slowly dragged the hours of weary day!
How slowly paled the sunset's ruddy glow!
How long I waited for the gloom of night!
MARINA. The hours for me sped fast, the time was dear :
I made not this appointment with thee now
That I might hear the tender words of love :
Unnecessary all thy protests are,
For I believe thou lov'st me well. But list!
I am resolved to join my fate with thine,-
Though 'dubious it be and full of storms!
But one thing must I claim: I must demand
That thou disclose to me thy secret hopes,
Thy plans, and also — 't is my right - thy fears,
That boldly, leaning on thy arm, may I
Take hold of life, and not with childish blindness,
Not like a bondmaid to a man's desires,
A silent, uncomplaining concubine, -
But like a wife with equal powers to thine,
The helpmeet of the Tsar of Muscovy !
THE PRETENDER. Oh, let me for a single hour forget
The labors and the dangers of my fate!
Forget thou, also, that in me thou seest
The tsarévitch! Marina, see in me
The lover of thy choice, whom thou canst fill
With rapture by a single glance of love.
Oh, heed the supplication of my love,
And let me tell thee all that fills my heart !
MARINA. There is no time, prince! While thou loiterest here
Cool grows the zealous ardor of thy men,
Each hour the danger and the toil for thee
Grow into greater danger, greater toil.
Already doubtful rumors fly abroad;
Already change treads close on heel of change.
And Godunof hastes on the ripening plan.
THE PRETENDER. And who is Godunof? Has this Boris Within his grasp thy love, my only joy ? Nay, nay, now look I with indifference Upon his throne, upon his royal power. Thy love - without that what were life to me, The gleam of glory and the Russian realm ? Upon the lonely steppe, in poverty, Thou, thou wert worth to me the crown of Tsar! Thy love
MARINA. For shame! Let not thy soul forget The claims of thy high, holy destiny !
Thy rank must lift thee far above all joy,
Above all life's temptations. Thou canst not
In anything compare thyself to him.
Not to a youth, seething with mad desires,
Intoxicated by my loveliness,
Did I in solemn mood bestow my hand;
But to the heir of Moscow's splendid throne,
The Tsar's son, saved for us by destiny.
THE PRETENDER. Torture me not, Marina, loveliest!
Confess not that it was my rank, not me,
That thou didst choose. Marina, thou know'st not
What wounds upon my heart thy words inflict!
What! if – oh, terrible suspicion! Say, —
If blind fate had denied me royal birth,-
If I was not the son of the Ioánns,
The royal boy forgotten by the world, -
Then, then wouldst thou still love me? Answer me !
MARINA. Dimitri, thou couldst not be else than he !
I could not love another!
'T is enough!
I do not wish to share a dead man's love,
Who still is bound to him by sacred ties.
No! I have had enough of false pretence.
I now will tell the truth, so thou mayst know
That thy Dimitri is still stiff and stark,
And has not ever risen from the tomb!
And wouldst thou know who I am among men ?
'T is well. I will not hide it! A poor monk !
I, wearied of my dull monastic life,
Thought mighty thoughts beneath my capuchin!
I thought to give the world a mighty shock,
And so at last I fled my cell and came
Among the Ukrainians, in their canvas towns !
I learnt to curb the horse and wield the sword.
Dimitri then among you I appeared,
And easily deceived the fickle Poles !
To this, thou proud Marina, what say'st thou ?
With my avowal art thou satisfied ?
Why art thou silent?
Oh, the shame! the pain !
LIKE a madman I gaze on a raven-black shawl:
Remorse, fear, and anguish, - this heart knows them all.
When believing and fond, in the springtime of youth,
I loved a Greek maiden with tenderest truth.
That fair one caressed me — my life! oh, 't was bright;
But it set, that fair day, in a hurricane night.
One day I had bidden young guests, a gay crew,
When sudden there knocked at my gate a vile Jew.
“With guests thou art feasting,” he whisperingly said,
“ And she hath betrayed thee — thy young Grecian maid."
I cursed him and gave him good guerdon of gold,
And called me a slave that was trusty and bold.
“Ho! my charger — my charger !” – We mount, we depart,
And soft pity whispered in vain at my heart.
On the Greek maiden's threshold in frenzy I stood;
I was faint, and the sun seemed as darkened with blood.
By the maiden's low window I listen, and there
I beheld an Armenian caressing the fair.
The light darkened round me; then flashed my good blade -
The minion ne'er finished the kiss that betrayed.
On the corse of a minion in fury I danced,
Then silent and pale at the maiden I glanced.
I remember the prayers and the red-bursting stream -
Thus perished the maiden - thus perished my dream.
This raven-black shawl from her dead brow I tore -
On its fold from my dagger I wiped off the gore.
The mists of the evening arose, and my slave
Hurled the corpses of both in the Danube's dark wave.
Since then, I kiss never the maid's eyes of light,
Since then, I know never the soft joys of night.
Like a madman I gaze on the raven-black shawl:
Remorse, fear, and anguish — this heart knows them all.
CAUCASUS. BENEATA me the peaks of the Caucasus lie;
My gaze from the snow-bordered cliff I am bending;
From her sun-lighted eyrie the eagle ascending
Floats movelessly on in a line with mine eye.
I see the young torrent's first leaps toward the ocean,
And the cliff-cradled lawine essay its first motion,