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Spirits of the Russian Revolution Category: Texts The Religion of Communism

Scythians
Alexander Blok

‘Panmongolism – fierce the word may seem, yet how I love its sound’
Vladimir Solovyev

You are millions. We are hordes and hordes and hordes.

Try and take us on!

Yes, we are Scythians! Yes, we are Asians -

With slanted and greedy eyes!


For you, the ages, for us a single hour.

We, like obedient slaves,

Held up a shield between two enemy races -

The Tatars and Europe!


For ages and ages your old furnace raged

And drowned out the roar of avalanches,

And Lisbon and Messina's fall

To you was but a monstrous fairy tale!


For hundreds of years you gazed at the East,

Storing up and melting down our jewels,

And, jeering, you merely counted the days

Until your cannons you could point at us!


The time is come. Trouble beats its wings -

And every day our grudges grow,

And the day will come when every trace

Of your Paestums may vanish!


O, old world! While you still survive,

While you still suffer your sweet torture,

Come to a halt, sage as Oedipus,

Before the ancient riddle of the Sphinx!..


Russia is a Sphinx. Rejoicing, grieving,

And drenched in black blood,

It gazes, gazes, gazes at you,

With hatred and with love!..


It has been ages since you've loved

As our blood still loves!

You have forgotten that there is a love

That can destroy and burn!


We love all- the heat of cold numbers,

The gift of divine visions,

We understand all- sharp Gallic sense

And gloomy Teutonic genius...


We remember all- the hell of Parisian streets,

And Venetian chills,

The distant aroma of lemon groves

And the smoky towers of Cologne...


We love the flesh - its flavor and its color,

And the stifling, mortal scent of flesh...

Is it our fault if your skeleton cracks

In our heavy, tender paws?


When pulling back on the reins

Of playful, high-spirited horses,

It is our custom to break their heavy backs

And tame the stubborn slave girls...


Come to us! Leave the horrors of war,

And come to our peaceful embrace!

Before it's too late - sheathe your old sword,

Comrades! We shall be brothers!


But if not - we have nothing to lose,

And we are not above treachery!

For ages and ages you will be cursed

By your sickly, belated offspring!


Throughout the woods and thickets

In front of pretty Europe

We will spread out! We'll turn to you

With our Asian muzzles.


Come everyone, come to the Urals!

We're clearing a battlefield there

Between steel machines breathing integrals

And the wild Tatar Horde!


But we are no longer your shield,

Henceforth we'll not do battle!

As mortal battles rages we'll watch

With our narrow eyes!


We will not lift a finger when the cruel Huns Rummage the pockets of corpses,

Burn cities, drive cattle into churches,

And roast the meat of our white brothers!..


Come to your senses for the last time, old world!

Our barbaric lyre is calling you

One final time, to a joyous brotherly feast

To a brotherly feast of labor and of peace!


30 January 1918

Alexander Blok
Scythians

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