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Songs

Songs

Polkovodec ('Field marshal') (1877)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Songs and Dances of Death ('Pesni i pljaski smerti')


Polkovodec ('Field marshal')

Grokhochet bitva, bleshut broni,
Orud'ja zhadnye revut,
Begut polki, nesutsja koni
I reki krasnye tekut.
Pylajet polden', ljudi b'jutsja;
Sklonilos' solnce, boj sil'nej;
Zakat blednejet, no derutsja
Vragi vse jarostnej i zlej.
I pala noch' na pole brani.
Druzhiny v mrake razoshlis'...
Vsjo stikhlo, i v nochnom tumane
Stenan'ja k nebu podnjalis'.
Togda, ozarena lunoju,
Na bojevom svojom kone,
Kostej sverkaja beliznoju,
Javilas' smert'; i v tishine,
Vnimaja vopli i molitvy,
Dovol'stva gordogo polna,
Kak polkovodec mesto bitvy
Krugom ob"ekhala ona.
Na kholm podnjavshis', ogljanulas',
Ostanovilas', ulybnulas'...
I nad ravninoj bojevoj
Razdalsja golos rokovoj:
,,Konchena bitva! ja vsekh pobedila!
Vse predo mnoj vy smirilis', bojcy!
Zhizn' vas possorila, ja pomirila!
Druzhno vstavajte na smotr, mertvecy!
Marshem torzhestvennym mimo projdite,
Vojsko mojo ja khochu soschitat';
V zemlju potom svoi kosti slozhite,
Sladko ot zhizni v zemle otdykhat'!
Gody nezrimo projdut za godami,
V ljudjakh ischeznet i pamjat' o vas.
Ja ne zabudu i gromko nad vami
Pir budu pravit' v polunochnyj chas!
Pljaskoj tjazhjoloju zemlju syruju
Ja pritopchu, chtoby sen' grobovuju
Kosti pokinut' vovek ne mogli,
Chtob nikogda vam ne vstat' iz zemli!’’

Field marshal

The battle rages, the armour flashes,
Bronze canons roar,
Regiments charge, horses gallop by
And red rivers flow.
Midday burns and men still fight;
The sun sinks low, yet the battle rages ever more;
Twilight fades, yet enemies are locked
More violently, more fiercely in conflict.
Night falls on the field of battle.
Legions disperse in the darkness…
All is calm, and in the darkness of night
Groans rise up to the sky.
And then, in the moonlight,
On her warhorse,
Her white bones shining brightly,
Death appears; and in the silence,
Listening to the groans and prayers
With pride and pleasure,
She bestrides the field of battle
Like a field marshal.
From atop of a mound she looks around,
Stops and smiles…
And across the war-torn plain
Rings the sound of her fateful voice:
‘The battle is over! I have vanquished you all!
You have all surrendered before me, ye warriors!
Life set you at odds, but I have reconciled you!
Stand to attention for review, ye dead!
March by in solemn procession,
I wish to account for my troops;
Then lay down your bones in the earth,
And rest sweetly rest, life’s labours down!
The years will pass by imperceptibly,
And you will slip from the memory of the living.
Yet I will not forget you and will host
A banquet at midnight over your bones!
The heavy tread of my dance will trample down
The moist earth, so that your bones may never more
Escape the fastness of the grave,
So that you may never more rise from the grave!’

Composer

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (21 March 1839 – 28 March 1881) was a Russian composer. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music. Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other national themes.

Information from Wikipedia. Read more here.


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Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)