Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BATUSCHKA, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BATUSCHKA, by             Poem Explanation     Poet's Biography
First Line: From yonder gilded minaret
Last Line: God save the tsar!
Subject(s): Russia; Soviet Union; Russians

FROM yonder gilded minaret
Beside the steel-blue Neva set,
I faintly catch, from time to time,
The sweet, aerial midnight chime --
"God save the Tsar!"

Above the ravelins and the moats
Of the white citadel it floats;
And men in dungeons far beneath
Listen, and pray, and gnash their teeth --
"God save the Tsar!"

The soft reiterations sweep
Across the horror of their sleep,
As if some demon in his glee
Were mocking at their misery --
"God save the Tsar!"

In his Red Palace over there,
Wakeful, he needs must hear the prayer.
How can it drown the broken cries
Wrung from his children's agonies? --
"God save the Tsar!"

Father they called him from of old --
Batuschka! . . . How his heart is cold!
Wait till a million scourged men
Rise in their awful might, and then --
God save the Tsar!

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