Babushka

THOU whose sunny heart outglows
Arctic snows;
Russia's hearth-fire, cherishing
Courage almost perishing;
Torch that beacons oversea
Till a world is at thy knee;
Babushka the Belovèd,
What Czar can exile thee?
Sweet, serene, unswerving soul,
To thy goal
Pressing on such mighty pinions
Tyrants quake for their dominions
And devise yet heavier key,
Deeper cell to prison thee,
Babushka the Belovèd,
Thyself art Liberty.
Though thy martyr body, old,
Chains may hold,
Clearer still thy voice goes ringing
Over steppe and mountain, bringing,
Holy mother of the free,
Millions more thy sons to be.
Babushka the Belovèd,
What death can silence thee?

by Katharine Lee Bates

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