With scorning laughter at a fellow writer,
In a chorus the Russian scribes
With name of aristocrat me chide:
Just look, if please you … nonsense what!
Court Coachman not I, nor assessor,
Nor am I nobleman by cross;
No academician, nor professor,
I'm simply of Russia a citizen.
Well I know the times' corruption,
And, surely, not gainsay it shall I:
Our nobility but recent is:
The more recent it, the more noble 't is.
But of humbled races a chip,
And, God be thanked, not alone
Of ancient Lords am scion I;
Citizen I am, a citizen!
Not in cakes my grandsire traded,
Not a prince was newly-baked he;
Nor at church sang he in choir,
Nor polished he the boots of Tsar;