Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX. 1876–79.



By Karl Theodor Körner (1791–1813)

Translated by W. B. Chorley

HOW thy church domes swell yonder, amply rounded!

How sun-gleams o’er each golden palace hover!

The eye, delighted, can no rest discover;

On every side midst varied pomps confounded,—

Sudden, o’er all, by flame the sight is bounded,—

With their own hands thy citizens do cover

All their own roofs with blazing firebrands over;

A crackling ring of fires hath thee surrounded!

Let none but fools condemn, this ruin knowing:

Churches, be crushed! ye palaces, melt glowing!

The Russian Phœnix life i’ th’ flames is throwing!

Yet, with bright glories from his fire-crown taken,

In the free youth’s proud glance shall he awaken;

And conquering St. George his lance hath shaken!