Modern Russian Poetry/Captive Knight

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Silent I sit by the prison's high window,
Where through the bars the blue heavens are breaking.
Flecks in the azure, the free birds are playing;
Watching them fly there, my shamed heart is aching.

But on my sinful lips never a prayer,
Never a song in the praise of my charmer;
All I recall are far fights and old battles,
My heavy sword and my old iron armor.

Now in stone armor I hopelessly languish,
And a stone helmet my hot head encases,
This shield is proof against arrows and sword-play,
And without whip, without spur, my horse races.

Time is my horse, the swift-galloping charger,
And for a visor this bleak prison grating,
Walls of my prison are heavy stone armor;
Shielded by cast-iron doors, I am waiting.

Hurry, oh fast-flying Time, fly more quickly!
In my new armor I faint, I am choking.
I shall alight, with Death holding my stirrup,
Then my cold face from this visor uncloaking.

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This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).