Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
 
Pultowa (Poltava)
The Battle of Pultowa
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
    ON Vorska’s glittering waves
    The morning sunbeams play;
    Pultowa’s walls are thronged
    With eager multitudes;
    Athwart the dusty vale        5
    They strain their aching eyes,
    Where to the fight moves on
The conqueror Charles, the iron-hearted Swede.
 
    Him famine hath not tamed,—
    The tamer of the brave.        10
    Him winter hath not quelled;
When man by man his veteran troops sunk down,
    Frozen to their endless sleep,
    He held undaunted on.
    Him pain hath not subdued;        15
    What though he mounts not now
    The fiery steed of war,
Borne on a litter to the field he goes.
 
    Go, iron-hearted king!
    Full of thy former fame;        20
    Think how the humbled Dane
    Crouched underneath thy sword;
    Think how the wretched Pole
    Resigned his conquered crown:
    Go, iron-hearted king!        25
Let Narva’s glory swell thy haughty breast;
The death-day of thy glory, Charles, hath dawned!
    Proud Swede! the sun hath risen
    That on thy shame shall set!
 
Now, Patkul, may thine injured spirit rest!        30
  For over that relentless Swede
Ruin hath raised his unrelenting arm;
    For ere the night descends,
    His veteran host destroyed,
His laurels blasted to revive no more,        35
  He flies before the Muscovite.
 
Impatiently that haughty heart must bear
    Long years of hope deceived;
    Long years of idleness
    That sleepless soul must brook.        40
Now, Patkul, may thy injured spirit rest!
To him who suffers in an honest cause
No death is ignominious; not to thee,
But upon Charles, the cruel, the unjust,—
    Not upon thee, on him        45
The ineffaceable reproach is fixed,
    The infamy abides.
Now, Patkul, may thine injured spirit rest!
 
 
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