The Tzar has burned the countryside,
For the French, Bonaparte finds his way;
The sun is down, and winter’s around -
I’ve neither fire, food, or hay.
My mother died when I was born,
My father died for Mother Russia -
Since my birth, I’ve been forlorn,
But for my wife and son, I lived.
But now my fields are ablaze,
My son’s been starving for three days,
My wife, in front of me, was razed
I stand, and at the ruins - I gaze.
I gaze at the star-struck velvet sky,
Dazed by the rope hung up so high -
Now I plead to you as I sigh
While around my neck the rope I tie.
O distant reader in the future far away!
Let my last letters not languish in vain,
For they’ll be as true tomorrow as they are today -
When the slaughter is over, and there is peace,
The innocent’s cries will still weigh down the breeze
Till the last shot is fired and the last tears are shed
Misery, grief and sorrow will follow the dead.