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Page:Pushkin - Russian Romance (King, 1875).djvu/98

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action. Each boasted of his own doings, offered his opinion, and freely contradicted Pougatcheff. And it was at this extraordinary council of war, that it was decided to attack Orenburg—a bold move, which was very nearly being crowned by a fatal success! The march was fixed for the morrow.

"Well, boys!" said Pougatcheff, "let us sing before we retire for the night, my favourite song. Tchoumakoff, begin!"

My neighbour began the sorrowful song in a small shrill voice, the rest joining in the chorus—


"Do not murmur green wood, my mother!
Do not hinder me from thinking my thoughts.
To-morrow, I must hie me to judgment
Before a fierce judge, before the Tzar himself.

"The Lord Tzar will ask of me;
'Tell me, tell me, thou child, thou peasant's son,
With whom hast thou thieved, with whom hast thou robbed.
Hast thou many associates?'
'I shall tell thee, my hope, my Orthodox Tzar,
The whole truth shall I tell thee the whole verity,
That I have but four associates.
That my first associate, is the dark night,
That my second associate, the steel blade,
And my third associate, my good steed,
And my fourth associate, my mighty bow;
That my messengers are red hot arrows.'
What will my hope, the Orthodox Tzar say!
'Well done! thou child, thou peasant's son;
Thou hast known how to steal, thou hast known how to reply.
I shall make thee a gift, child,
Of a lofty palace in the midst of the field
A palace of two posts, and a cross beam.'"