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The Barrow

Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, 1840-s. On plains vast and open, grass covered, A barrow is standing, alone. Beneath it, a glorious hero Was buried in ages long gone. The feast in his memory lasted For three days of combat and mead. The priests along with him buried His wives, and his favorite steed. And once he was put in that barrow, And silence around it too hold, The bards started singing their praises With harps of pure silver and gold. !Oh hero" The deeds of your courage Are pride of all men in this land, #our name, li e a thunder undying Will live on through years without end. And should it so come that this barrow The ages will level to dust, #our glory will scatter beyond here, And shall be a barrow to last"$ And many a year since have ended, And centuries followed a score, And nations were born and have perished% The earth of that age is no more.

The towering shape of that barrow, A glorious hero within, Has not yet been leveled by ages& 't stands (ust as proud, and as grim. The name of that hero of heroes ) That none of the living may now% Who was he* What wreaths did the people 'n gratitude put on his brow* Whose blood did he spill li e a river* What towns did he ra+e to the ground* And how was his ending delivered* And when was he put in that mound* The barrow is standing in silence% The warrior,s fame is long past. There shall be no feast in his honor Among the wide desert and dust" While running li e wind near that barrow, A saiga may carelessly pass, Or, crac ing their wings li e a thunder, The locusts may feed on its grass. To rest after hours of flying Below the dar clouds without end, -pon the tall slopes of the barrow, A floc of grey cranes may descend. A (aculus sometimes upon it .ay leap at the glare of the sun, A rider may ride to its summit, /isplaying his stallion fine.

And tears now may shed but from heaven An aimlessly floating dar cloud, And wind may lay isses upon it, By sweeping the dust from the mound. And when to the west of that barrow The dim evening sun disappears, The shade of that hero forgotten 's sitting atop, dar and grim. He,s sitting and sighing in sadness0 !Oh, where is my glory* 't,s gone. The centuries past are behind me And ' am forgotten, alone. And all ' can do, is remember How different it was while ' lived. Oh bards, you deceived me, the liars" .y wreaths are but dust in the wind. 'f only ' new that so 1uic ly, These wreaths shall be wilted and gone, ' wouldn,t have entered a battle, And 1uietly lived on my own.$ Thus thin s the old hero, while sighing And sitting atop the dar mound, -ntil golden rays of dawn coming Will bathe the dar plain in their light. And then he returns to his barrow, The cold of his home underground, And wind always wanders around it, -pon empty plains dar and sad.