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



By Victor Hugo (1802–1885)

Translated by G. W. M. Reynolds

ALONE, beneath the tower whence issue forth

The mandates of the tyrant of the North,

Poland’s sad Genius sits, absorbed in tears,

Her bosom heaving with a thousand fears:—

Wearied, cast down, enfeebled by distress,

The tomb alone can end her wretchedness!

Alas! the crucifix is all that ’s left

To her, of freedom and her sons bereft;

And on her trailing robe the marks are seen

Where Russian armies’ scornful feet have been.

Anon she hears the sounds of clanking arms,—

The foemen come once more to spread alarms!

And while she weeps against that fortress’ wall,

And while fresh horrors every sense appall,

To France she slowly turns her glazing eyes,

And humbly seeks for succor ere she dies!