She who has not died (1914)

Edward Słoński

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links On

1

My brother, we are divided
by ill-fate and a guard:
behind two hostile ramparts
our death is our reward.

In groaning trenches we listen
to the thunder of guns:
I, your enemy, you, my enemy,
we face each other once.

The forest weeps, the earth weeps,
the whole world trembles on high.
Behind two hostile ramparts
we stand, you and I.

 

2

As soon as the guns begin
to roar in the dawn,
through the whistling bullets of death
your sign has always shone.

You throw at our low ramparts
your whole artillery
and you call and you speak to me:
“Brother, it is I.”

The forest weeps, the earth weeps,
the whole world trembles on high,
and all the time you say to me
“Brother, it is I.”

 

3

Don’t think of me, my brother,
as I march to my death:
in the fire of my bullets stand bravely
and take a deep breath.

And when you see me from afar
fire at me instead:
into a Polish heart
aim Russian lead.

For I dream of her by day
and see her in my dreams:
She who has not died
will rise where our blood screams.

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

hostile  rampart