Holy Russia






CROUCHED in the terrible land,
The circle of pitiless ice,
With frozen bloody feet
And her pestilential summer's
Fever-throb in her brow,
Look, in her deep slow eyes
The mists of her sleep of faith
Stir, and a gleam of light,
The ray of a blood-red sun,
Beams out into the dusk.
From far away, from the west,
From the east, from the south, there come
Faint sweet breaths of the breeze
Of plenteous warmth and light.
And she moves, and around her neck
She feels the iron-scaled Snake
Whose fangs suck at the heart
Hid by her tattered dress,
By her lean and hanging teat.
Russia, O land of Faith,
O realm of the ageless Slav,
O oppressed one of eternity,
This darkest hour is the hour,
The hour of the coming dawn!
Europe, the rank, the corrupt,
Lies stretched out at your feet.
Turkey, India, lo all,
East and south, it is yours!
Years, years ago a Nation,
Oppressed as you are oppressed,
Burst her bonds and leaped out,
A volcanic sea-wave of fire,
Quenched at last but in blood,
Though not before the red spray
Dashed the Pyramids, the Escurial,
Rome, and your own grey Kremlin.
That was the great sea-wave
Of a nation that disbelieved,
Of a nation that had not faith!
What shall the sea-wave be,
Of this race of eternal belief,
This nation of passionate faith!

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