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Modern Russian Poetry/The Devil's Swings

THE DEVIL'S SWINGS

Below a pine's rough shadow,
Where loud the river sings,
The hairy-handed devil
Pushes his devilish swings.

He swings, and gives a crow,
To and fro
To and fro
The boards creak, bending low,
The taut rope rubbing slow
Against the heavy boughs.

The board sways back, and bracing,
With a long creak swings wide,
The devil, still grimacing,
Guffaws and holds his side.

I tremble to let go;
To and fro
To and fro
I sway and cling, but no,
My languid glances grow
Fast where the devil tows.

Above the looming pine
The blue fiend's sniggers sting:
"You found the swings so fine,
Well, devil take you, swing!"

Below the shaggy pine
They squeak and whirl and sling:
"You found the swings so fine?
Well, devil take you, swing!"

The fiend will not release
The board that hangs too steep
Till I am thrust toward peace
By the dark hand's dread sweep.

Until the hemp turns round
Too long, and is worn free,
Until the broad black ground
Comes flying up to me.

Above the pine I'll fling
And bore into the mire.
Then swing, devil, swing—
Higher, higher, higher!

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1927, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).