In a strange house, in a far-away land,
her portrait hangs on the wall;
she herself is dying like a beggar woman,
lying on straw, in agony that can’t be told.

But here she looks as she always did look—
she is young, rich, and draped
in the luxurious green cloak
in which she was always portrayed.

I gaze at your countenance as if at an icon…
‘Blessed be your name, slaughtered Rus!’
I quietly touch your cloak with one hand;
and with that same hand make the sign of the cross.


–translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler