Is Moscow then the Third Rome?
I know not, of a truth
Yet, O Poland!
Thou art our second great Jerusalem!
Of the perilousness of our longing
In the shadow of her peers
Always surrounded by hostile enemies
Often on the backfoot
A vagabond of sorrows
A wandering widow
With whom grief is well acquainted
Both chosen and accursed of God
God’s own country, the Devil’s Prey
Neither of Earth nor Heaven
But ever on a pilgrimage
A dreadful, fearful covenant she cannot understand
‘Lord, send me!’
The shoulders quiver
‘Here I am!’
The cheeks run down with frozen tears
Ye have been sent,
Lonely forerunner and barefoot pioneer
O Poland! Poland! Poland!
Catastrophe and wonder of our continent!
Ye have ever sore been buffeted
What princeling tongue cannot tell
And pedant heart never once could feel
Come! I will meet thee bravely!
For thou has broken forth the way
Let us then run together
And seek the dawning day
O happy error!
O beloved prodigal one!
Let me take my voyage
And we shall seek the rising sun
They have trampled thee
They shall learn shame and dismay!
Forgive us, Poland.
Let us soar together
For some of us have not forgotten
Our freedom, alone, hath been commended
To the rising of thy day
O thou great Oriental Star of truth
Then let us not be sundered!
Let us drink, and kneel, and pray
What care we for the storm and thunder?
In our darkest hour
Thou art are ever by our side.
Let me be thine armoured comrade, aye!
Thine ever-faithful bride
You have given what no other land bestows
Embrace me, tender husband, bride, and friend
For treachery’s eternal
But this fierce love shall never end.
Your courage is the refreshment of my soul
Come, O beloved one, and warm me.
It is thee alone whose courage makes me whole.