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Makferson pered kazn'ju, 'Macpherson's Farewell' (1942) Op. 62

Part of a series or song cycle:

Six Romances on Verses by English Poets (Op. 62)

Makferson pered kazn'ju, 'Macpherson's Farewell'

Kak veselo, otchajanno
Shjol k viselice on,
V poslednij chas, v poslednij pljas
Pustilsja Makferson.
Privet vam, tjur'my korolja,
Gde zhizn' vlachat raby!
Menja segodnja zhdjot petlja
I gladkije stolby.
V poljakh vojny, sredi mechej,
Vstrechal ja smert' ne raz,
No ne drozhal ja pered nej, -
Ne drognu i sejchas!
Razbejte stal' moikh okov,
Vernite moj dospekh,
Pust' vydut desjat' smel'chakov,
Ja odoleju vsekh!
Ja zhizn' svoju provjol v boju,
Umru ne ot mecha.
Izmennik predal zhizn' moju
Verjovke palacha.
I pered smert'ju ob odnom
Dusha moja grustit,
Chto za menja v kraju rodnom
Nikto ne otomstit.
Prosti, moj kraj! Ves' mir, proshchaj!
Menja pojmali v set'.
No zhalok tot, kto smerti zhdjot,
Ne smeja umeret'!
Tak veselo, otchajanno
Shjol k viselice on.
V poslednij chas, v poslednij pljas
Pustilsja Makferson.

Macpherson's Farewell

Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
sae dauntingly gaed he;
he played a spring and danced it round,
below the gallows tree.
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch’s destinie:
Macpherson’s time will not be long
on yonder gallows tree.
Oh, what is death but parting breath?
On mony a bloody plain
I’ve dared his face, and in this place
I scorn him yet again!
Untie these bands from off my hands,
and bring to me my sword,
and there’s no a man in all Scotland,
but I’ll brave him at a word.
I’ve lived a life of sturt and strife;
I die by treacherie :
It burns my heart I must depart
and not avenged be.
Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!

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Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He achieved fame in the Soviet Union, although later developed a more complex and difficult relationship with the government. As a composer, he combined a variety of different musical techniques into his works, and his music is characterised by sharp contrast, grotesque elements, and ambivalent tonality. 


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Robert Burns , also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include "A Red, Red Rose", "A Man's a Man for A' That", "To a Louse", "To a Mouse", "The Battle of Sherramuir", "Tam o' Shanter" and "Ae Fond Kiss".

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