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Mednyi Vsadnik. The Bronze Horsemen. | by Peer.Gynt
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Mednyi Vsadnik. The Bronze Horsemen.

One of the best and famous sculptures dedicated to Peter I in Saint-Petersburg. It's mystical spirit was reflected in Alexander Pushkin's poem "Mednyi Vsadnik" (The Bronze Horsemen). In a such way this nickname started to be peoples and very popular.


St-Petersburg, Russia. March 2008

==============THE BRONZE HORSEMEN==========================




Upon the brink of the wild stream

He stood, and dreamt a mighty dream.

He gazed far off. Near him the spreading

River poured by; with flood abeam,

Alone, a flimsy skiff was treading.

Scattered along those shores of bog

And moss were huts of blackened log,

The wretched fisher's squalid dwelling;

Forests, impervious in the fog

To hidden suns, all round were telling

Their whispered tale.

And so thought He:

"From here, proud Sweden will get warning;

just here is where a city'll be

Founded to stop our foes from scorning;

Here Nature destines us to throw

Out over Europe a window;

To stand steadfast beside the waters;

Across waves unknown to the West,

All Rags will come, to be our guest

And we shall feast in spacious quarters."


A century went by - a young

City, of Northern lands the glory

And pride, from marsh and overhung

Forest arose, storey on storey:

Where, earlier, Finland's fisher sank -

Of Nature's brood the most downhearted -

Alone on the low-lying bank,

His ropy net in the unicharted

Current, today, on brinks that hum,

With life and movement, there have come

Enormous mansions that are justling

With graceful towers; and vessels here

From earths extremities will steer

Until the rich quayside is bustling.

Neva now sports a granite face;

Bridges are strung across her waters;

In darkly verdant garden-quarters

Her isles have vanished without trace;

Old Moscow's paled before this other

Metropolis; it's just the same

As when a widowed Empress-Mother

Bows to a young Tsaritsa's claim.


I love you, Peter's own creation,

I love your stern, your stately air,

Neva's majestical pulsation,

The granite that her quaysides wear,

Your railings with their iron shimmer,

Your pensive nights in the half-gloom,

Translucent twilight, moonless glimmer,

When, sitting lampless in my room

1 write and read; when faintly shining,

The streets in their immense outlining

Are empty, given up to dreams;

When Admiralty's needle gleams;

When not admitting shades infernal

Into the golden sky, one glow

Succeeds another, and nocturnal

Tenure has one half-hour to go;

I love your brutal winter, freezing

The air to so much windless space;

By broad Neva the sledges breezing;

Brighter than roses each girl's face;

The ball, its brilliance, din, and malice;

Bachelor banquets and the due

Hiss of the overflowing chalice,

And punch's radiance burning blue.

I love it when some warlike duty

Livens the Field of Mars, and horse

And foot impose on that concourse

Their monolithic brand of beauty;

Above the smooth-swaying vanguard

Victorious, tattered flags are streaming,

On brazen helmets light is gleaming,

Helmets that war has pierced and scarred.

I love the martial detonation,

The citadel in smoke and roar,

When the North's Empress to the nation

Has given a son for empire, or

When there's some new triumph in war

Victorious Russia's celebrating;

Or when Neva breaks the blue ice,

Sweeps it to seaward, slice on slice,

And smells that days of spring are waiting.


Metropolis of Peter, stand

Steadfast as Russia, stand in splendour!

Even the elements by your hand

Have been subdued and made surrender;

Let Finland's waves forget the band

Of hate and bondage down the ages,

Nor, trouble with their fruitless rages

Peter the Great's eternal sleep!


A fearful time there was: I keep

Its memory fresh in retrospection ...

My friends, let me turn up for you

The dossiers of recollection,

Grievous the tale will be, it's true ...


Narrative verse


Translated by

Sir Charles Johnston

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Taken on March 30, 2007