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To Kasbek
(1814 - 1841 / Russia)

To Kasbek

Poem By Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

With winged footsteps now I hasten
Unto the far cold North away,
Kasbek,--thou watchman of the East,
To thee, my farewell greetings say!

Since all eternity, a turban
Snow white, thy glorious brow has veiled,
The peace sublime about thy glacier
The strife of man has ne'er assailed.

Accept my humble supplication,
Hear thy submissive faithful son,
To starry heights lift his entreaty
To Allah's everlasting throne.

I do implore--spice breathing coolness
Through sultry sun-glow in the vale,
A stone for rest unto the pilgrim
In whirling dust of desert gale.

Turn, I implore, the storm's hot hatred,
The deadly thunderous lightning's course--
In Dariel's wild pass protect me
And my distracted, trembling horse.

Yet one prayer more my heart audacious,
Weeping, lifts up in bodeful stress,
What if my native land forget me
In my sad exile's loneliness?

Will, greeting me by name familiar,
My friend then open wide his arms?
Will e'en my brothers recognise me,
So changed by many griefs and harms?

Perchance my foot will fall profaning
Dust of those loved in youth's far day,
The pure and noble, deeply trusted--
Withered as Autumn leaves in May.

O Kasbek, then with earth o'erwhelm me!
Snow o'er thy weary wanderer back,
And blow away my dust and scatter
Along thy rock-ridged clefts lone track!

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