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


The Cossack

By From the Ukranian

Anonymous translation

FROM the Danube was I riding,

When she crossed my path to-day;

Straight my spur the war-horse chiding,

“Speed,” I cried, “away!”

“Ah!” she said, “your steed detaining,

Stay and hear your love’s complaining,

See how tears my cheeks are staining;

Dear Cossack, O stay!”

“Well thou knowest when last we parted,

Liskà, what distress was mine;

Almost was I broken-hearted,

Now the turn is thine!”

“Dear Cossack, forbear to grieve me,

Must I lose thee, canst thou leave me?

Grief will sure of life bereave me,

If I thee resign!”

“Break not thus your hands with wringing;

Hush the sob, and dry the tear!

Soon from battle laurels bringing,

Love, expect me here.”

“Laurels bought with blood alarm me,

Glory cannot tempt nor charm me,

Ah, there ’s naught on earth could harm me,

Wert thou safe, my dear!”

Vain were prayers, and vain was sorrow,

Swiftly from her sight I flew,

Crying, “If I live to-morrow,

I ’ll return to you.”

Then with folded arms and sighing,

Home she hastened, almost dying,

How to find her way for crying,

Scarce, poor girl, she knew.