"And take no thought of the inevitable battle
For the oppressed freedom of humankind."

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Issue 12: The Necessary Ear

Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

translated from the Russian by J. Kates

Will I disgrace the name of citizen
When the fateful time arrives,
And be like you, you pampered tribesmen
Of regenerated Slavs?

No, I do not have it in me to indulge my youth
In the shameful embrace of idle luxury
Or allow a boiling soul to do nothing at all
Under the heavy yoke of tyranny.

Let the young, not having guessed their fate,
refuse to comprehend the destiny of the age
And take no thought of the inevitable battle
For the oppressed freedom of humankind.

Let them in cold blood throw a cold look
On the calamity of the struggling fatherland
And fail to read their own future shame
Among the just reproaches of posterity.

Let them repent when the people, having risen,
Find them in the embrace of idle languor,
When the insurrection for the rights of man
Will find in them no Brutus or Riego.



J. Kates is a poet and literary translator who lives in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. His translations of the Romantic Russian poets will be forthcoming in an anthology of international Romantic poetry edited by Michael Ferber. An Anthology of European Romantic Poetry in Translation, Longman (US) 2004.