Page:Sonnetsfromcrime00mick.djvu/25

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ADAM MICKIEWICZ

yet his mind cherished no hatred and no longing for revenge. Generous, kind of heart, noble-minded, he joined our evening circles, and we loved him. We exchanged our dreams, our plans—our poems. God gave him genius and inspiration. He stood always on the heights and looked down on life. We talked of history and of nations. He declared a time would come when races would forget all evil things—like war, rebellion—and dwell together peaceably in one great family. We listened to him eagerly for he had the gift of speech. After a while he went away and we gave our blessing to him. Then we learned our guest—spurred on by his revengeful race—had become our enemy. To please that bitter race of his he filled his songs with hatred. Of our beloved friend there came to us only revenge and angry thoughts. God grant that peace may come again to his embittered heart!"

Puschkin himself wrote eloquently of these same Crimean scenes that Mickiewicz shows us. He, too, was inspired by the old capital city of the Tartar rulers. We recall his "Fountain of Baktschi Serai." And he, too, brings before our eyes again that gigantic mountain world of southern Russia in "The Prisoner of the Caucasus."

The fame of The Crimean Sonnets was so great that

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