Goblins Of The Steppes

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin 1799 (Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin Moscow) – 1837 (Saint Petersburg)



Stormy clouds delirious straying,
Showers of whirling snowflakes white,
And the pallid moonbeams waning--
Sad the heavens, sad the night!
Further speeds the sledge, and further,
Loud the sleighbell's melody,
Grewsome, frightful 'tis becoming,
'Mid these snow fields now to be!

Hasten! 'That is useless, Master,
Heavier for my team their load,
And my eyes with snow o'er plastered
Can no longer see the road!
Lost all trace of our direction,
Sir, what now? The goblins draw
Us already round in circles,
Pull the sledge with evil claw!

See! One hops with frantic gesture,
In my face to grin and hiss,
See! It goads the frenzied horses
Onward to the black abyss!
In the darkness, like a paling
One stands forth,--and now I see
Him like walking-fire sparkling--
Then the blackness,--woe is me!'

Stormy clouds delirious straying,
Showers of snowflakes whirling white,
And the pallid moonbeams waning--
Sad the heavens, sad the night!
Sudden halt the weary horses,
Silent too the sleighbells whirr--
Look! What crouches on the ground there?
'Wolf,--or shrub,--I know not, Sir.'

How the wind's brood rage and whimper!
Scenting, blow the triple team;
See! One hops here! Forward Driver!
How his eyes with evil gleam!
Scarce controllable the horses,
How the harness bells resound!
Look! With what a sneering grimace
Now the spirit band surround!

In an endless long procession,
Formless, countless of their kind
Circle us in flying coveys
Like the leaves in Autumn wind.
Now in ghastly silence deathly,
Now with shrilling elfin cry--
Is it some mad dance of bridal,
Or a death march passing by?

Stormy clouds delirious straying
Showers of snowflakes whirling white,
And the pallid moonbeams waning--
Sad the heavens, sad the night!
Cloudward course the evil spirits
In unceasing phantom bands,
And their moaning and bewailing
Grip my heart with icy hands!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 30, 2023

1:33 min read
241

Quick analysis:

Scheme AbABcdad cexefghg cijiadad ABABjcxc ckckjlxl fmhmdnxn ABABxoao
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,798
Words 311
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His father, Sergey Lvovich Pushkin, belonged to Pushkin noble families. His maternal great-grandfather was African-born general Abram Petrovich Gannibal. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Upon graduation from the Lycee, Pushkin recited his controversial poem "Ode to Liberty", one of several that led to his exile by Tsar Alexander I of Russia. While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832. Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his brother-in-law, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, also known as Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, who attempted to seduce the poet's wife, Natalia Pushkina.  more…

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