Dost thou see on the rampart’s height
That wreath of mist, in the light
Of the midnight moon? Oh, hist!
It is not a wreath of mist;
It is the Czar, the White Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!1

He has heard, among the dead,
The artillery roll o’erhead;
The drums, and the tramp of feet
Of his soldiery in the street;
He is awake! the White Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

He has heard in the grave the cries
Of his people: “Awake! arise!”
He has rent the gold brocade
Whereof his shroud was made;
He is risen! the White Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

From the Volga and the Don,
He has led his armies on,
Over river and morass,
Over desert and mountain pass;
The Czar, the Orthodox Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

He looks from the mountain chain
Toward the seas, that cleave in twain
The continents; his hand
Points southward o’er the land
Of Roomelee! O Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

And the words break from his lips:
“I am the builder of ships,
And my ships shall sail these seas
To the Pillars of Hercules!
I say it; the White Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

“The Bosphorus shall be free;
It shall make room for me;
And the gates of its water-streets
Be unbarred before my fleets.
I say it; the White Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!

“And the Christian shall no more
Be crushed, as heretofore,
Beneath thine iron rule,
O Sultan of Istamboul!
I swear it! I, the Czar,
Batyushka! Gosudar!”

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  1. The White Czar is Peter the Great. Batyushka, Father dear, and Gosudar, Sovereign, are titles the Russian people are fond of giving to the Czar in their popular songs.