Sonnets from the Crimea/Mountains from the Keslov Steppe

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Mountains from the Keslov Steppe  (1917) 
by Adam Mickiewicz, translated by Edna W. Underwood



What would Great Allah with the frozen sea?

Would he of icy clouds a throne carve bright,
Or would the demons of the deepest night
A bar build where the shining stars sweep free?
It gleams like pagan cities fired, kings flee.
When Day was anciently destroyed by Night
Did Allah amid chaos fix this light
To guide the star-worlds of eternity?


Up there I've journeyed where the winter reigns,

And seen the rivers bitten black like lines
On Tschatir Dagh, where the white cloud reclines,
Which not the wildest eagle's shadow stains,
Where cradled under me the thunders sleep
And Allah and the stars their watches keep.