Sonntag, 16. April 2017

Harry Graham (25)

Ein historisches Gedicht aus »Baby's Baedeker« (1902):
Harry Graham: Russia
The Russian Empire, as you see, 
    Is governed by an Autocrat,  
A sort of human target he  
   For anarchists to practise at;  
And much relieved most people are  
Not to be lodging with the Czar.
The Russian lets his whiskers grow,  
   Smokes cigarettes at meal-times, and  
Imbibes more ›vodki‹ than ›il faut‹; 
   A habit which (I understand)  
Enables him with ease to tell  
His name, which nobody could spell.
The climate here is cold, with snow,  
   And you go driving in a sleigh,  
With bells and all the rest, you know,  
   Just like a Henry Irving play;  
While, all around you, glare the eyes 
Of secret officers and spies!
The Russian prisons have no drains,  
   No windows or such things as that;  
You have no playthings there but chains, 
   And no companion but a rat;  
When once behind the dungeon door,  
Your friends don't see you any more.
I further could enlarge, 'tis true,  
   But fear my trembling pen confines; 
I have no wish to travel to  
   Siberia and work the mines. 
(In Russia you must write with care, 
Or the police will take you there.)
If you hold morbid views about
   A monarch's premature decease,  
You only need a — Hi! Look out!  
   Here comes an agent of police!
      *        *       *       *                      
(In future my address will be
Siberia, Cell 63.‹)

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen