The Russian Review/Volume 1/May 1916/To Future Generations
To Future Generations.
By G. Viatkin.
Rendered into English Verse by Alice Stone Blackwell.
No place for murmurs now, no place for sad reproaches,
In presence of this War, which is perhaps the last!
'Twas for the whole world's sake that we took up the challenge;
We for the sake of lives to come rushed into battle vast.
And in our mighty ranks we now are moving onward,
Beneath a hail of balls, yet full of courage high,
That o'er your quiet fields, future generations!
No more may war's mad laughter ring out below the sky.
Trenches, and bursting mines, and weapons blown to fragments,
Huge fires, and mounds of dead who perished in the strife—
All this that as your heritage, dear future generations,
You may enjoy in happiness a bright and peaceful life.
Our grandsons, horror-stricken, alas! will not believe us!
So many tears are all around, such insults and such shame,
At times it seems this torment our souls can bear no longer;
Our brains cannot contain it, the woe of war's red game.
And shall we count our wounds while still the battle rages?
Or, in the time to come, will history count them all,—
Our saving sacrifice with gratitude remember,
And fame award, and glory, to us who bleed and fall?
And you, so far away, with hearts all free from anger,
Nourished by blessed ages, will you in tranquil hours
Recall our wrath and pain and fear, while maids with lily fingers
Upon our dust hereafter lay wreaths of shining flowers?