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To Rulers and Judges

Gavril Romanovich Derzhavin 1743 (Kazan Governorate) – 1816 (Zvanka manor, Novgorod Governorate)



He's risen - Highest God - to do the judgment, fair,
Of the earthly ones in their whole band;
How long - he sad - how long will you else spare
The unjust and wicked people in your land.

Your sacred duty is to make support for laws,
To make no favor to the strongest ones,
To leave the widows and orphans in your borders
Without help and safety not once.

To save the innocent from all that harm and wrong is,
To give good shelter to unhappy folks,
To shield the weak from evil of the strongest,
To drew the poor from their heavy bonds.

They don't hear the words! They see and they don't know
Their eyes are covered with a veil of bribes and wealth,
The black injustice shakes the havens' dome,
And wicked deeds convulse the whole earth.

I thought, kings, you are strong as strong the gods of heavens,
And nobody else can judge you on the earth,
But you, like I, live in the yoke of passions,
And, just like I'm , are serfs of the Lord Death.

And you shall fall like leafs fall, that are withered,
From wet and bare trees by the autumnal sky!
And you will die, the great and wealthy caesar,
Just like your poorest slave will die!

Arise, at last, O God! God of the just and purest!
Hark to the prayers they recall with for your grace:
Come, judge, chastise the wicked worldly rulers,
And be the only king on Haven and the earth.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:18 min read
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Gavril Romanovich Derzhavin

Gavriil (Gavrila) Romanovich Derzhavin (Russian: Гаврии́л (Гаври́ла) Рома́нович Держа́вин) was one of the most highly esteemed Russian poets before Alexander Pushkin, as well as a statesman. Although his works are traditionally considered literary classicism, his best verse is rich with antitheses and conflicting sounds in a way reminiscent of John Donne and other metaphysical poets. more…

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