To Likera (In Memory of August 5, 1860)
Translated by Irina Zheleznova
Beloved mine! My sweet, my friend!
Without a cross they won't believe us,
Without a priest they will not leave us
In peace, those grovelling slaves that spend
Their lives asleep in serfdom's puddle
And there like hogs together huddle.
Beloved mine! On them your prayers
And vows waste not, do not lay bare
Your soul to them—whatever mantle
They wear, they lie, and the Byzantine
Sabaoth dupes the pure of heart...
God, God alone will fool us not.
He'll neither punish nor forgive us—
We're not his slaves, we're human beings!...
Come, dear one, smile and give me your
Free hand and heart, and spirit saintly,
And this will help us cross untainted
That smelly puddle and to bear
The woes and griefs that may await us;
Nay, more! —'twill help us hide from care
And evil and our hearts' disquiet
In some small cottage, small and quiet.