Stanzas to Tsar Nicholas I

In hopes of glory and good will
With fearless gaze I look ahead.
The star of Peter's dawn was ill
With many a rebel's severed head.

But he with truth engaged men's hearts,
With learning gentled uncouth ways,
And honored Dolgoruki's arts
Against the Musketeers' mad frays.

He bid with autocratic hand
Seeds of enlightenment grow free,
And did not spurn his native land,
Knowing full well its destiny.

Man of the sword, man of the scroll,
As shipmate and as shipwright known,
For with his all-embracing soul
He was a workman on the throne.

In kinship likeness, then, take pride;
By noble lineage stand defined.
Like him let staunchness be your guide.
Eschew, like him, a vengeful mind.


Line 1: Czar Nicholas had just let Pushkin out of exile upon his accession to the throne.

Line 3: i.e. Peter the Great

Line 7: Vasiliy Dolgoruki, sent abroad to be educated by Peter and later represented the Russian empire in several embassies in Western Europe. His later career was decidedly less lofty and decidedly unsuccessful in preventing his head from being liberated from the rest of his body.

Line 8: The Musketeers i.e. the Streltsy, units of guardsmen responsible mainly for border and municiple duties (including the protection of the Kremlin) who attempted to prevent Peter from coming to power 1682 and were subsequently disbanded.

Translated by A. Z. Foreman

A.S. Pushkin. Stanzas to Tsar Nicholas I (“In hopes of glory and good will...”). Translated by A. Z. Foreman // Alexander Pushkin. Collected Works: Parallel Russian Text and English Translation.
© Электронная публикация — РВБ, 2022—2024. Версия 2.1 от 30 ноября 2023 г.