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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From Eastern Sources. The Siege of Kazan

BLACK are the moors before Kazan,

And their stagnant waters smell of blood:

I said in my heart, with horse and man,

I will swim across this shallow flood.

Under the feet of Argamack,

Like new moons were the shoes he bare,

Silken trappings hung on his back,

In a talisman on his neck, a prayer.

My warriors, thought I, are following me;

But when I looked behind, alas!

Not one of all the band could I see,

All had sunk in the black morass!

Where are our shallow fords? and where

The power of Kazan with its fourfold gates?

From the prison windows our maidens fair

Talk of us still through the iron grates.

We cannot hear them; for horse and man

Lie buried deep in the dark abyss!

Ah! the black day hath come down on Kazan!

Ah! was ever a grief like this?