Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

(1814 - 1841 / Russia)

Cradle Song Of The Cossack Mother


Slumber sweet, my fairest baby,
Slumber calmly, sleep—­
Peaceful moonbeams light thy chamber,
In thy cradle creep;
I will tell to thee a story,
Pure as dewdrop glow,
Close those two beloved eyelids—­
Lullaby, By-low!

List! The Terek o’er its pebbles
Blusters through the vale,
On its shores the little Khirgez
Whets his murdrous blade;
Yet thy father grey in battle—­
Guards thee, child of woe,
Safely rest thee in thy cradle,
Lullaby, By-low!

Grievous times will sure befall thee,
Danger, slaughterous fire—­
Thou shalt on a charger gallop,
Curbing at desire;
And a saddle girth all silken
Sadly I will sew,
Slumber now my wide-eyed darling,
Lullaby, By-low!

When I see thee, my own Being,
As a Cossack true,
Must I only convoy give thee—­
“Mother dear, adieu!”
Nightly in the empty chamber
Blinding tears will flow,
Sleep my angel, sweetest dear one,
Lullaby, By-low!

Thy return I’ll wait lamenting
As the days go by,
Ardent for thee praying,—­fearing
In the cards to spy.
I shall fancy thou wilt suffer,
As a stranger grow—­
Sleep while yet thou nought regrettest,
Lullaby, By-low!

I will send a holy image
’Gainst the foe with thee,
To it kneeling, dearest Being,
Pray with piety!
Think of me in bloody battle,
Dearest child of woe,
Slumber soft within thy cradle,
Lullaby, By-low!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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