On trial

Category: Poetry
The Khan of Cherchet
Our execution’s soon ‒ we’ve out been taken,
And lined up in a solitary spot...
In order not to see a deed so shameful,
The sun behind the hill has promptly dropped.
Those are not dewdrops sprinkled on the verdure,
But tears of sorrow that the earth has shed,
And, so as not to see such ruthless murder,
The woods inside a swirling mist have hid.
How cold it is! Yet round my feet comes stealing
A breath of earth upsurging from below;
Earth, like mother, for my safety feeling,
Her own familiar warmth on me bestows.
Be not afraid, o earth: my heart is peaceful.
My footsoles feel your warmth as here I stand.
And here I’ll perish, your dear name repeating,
Like a warrior for my native land.
Around me stand the Cherchet khanate henchmen,
And with the smell of blood their nostrils itch.
They don’t believe their reign will soon be ended,
That we shall them, and not they us, impeach.
So let the executioners, bloodthirsty,
Their axes brandish for the present time,
That truth is in our side we know for certain:
The enemy will rage just for a time.
The day will come for freedom’s domination,
And punished they will be by righteous swords.
Then harsh will be the people’s condemnation,
And I’ll to it add, too, my final word.