The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Jay Leyda et al. | Go to book overview

VII
Last Songs 1876-1879

A Poem by Alexei Apukhtin1


A MINSTREL IN THE CAMP OF RUSSIAN MUSICIANS

[extract]

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Hail, O offspring of the new age,
Bards of your native land,
For wisely making minuets
A means of propaganda!
Whom do I see? Is that really
The great Stasov who has
Fully grasped the style Byzantine,
Expert on iconstasis?
You--a general of music,
Man of words and councils,
You don't plan to compose yourself . . . ?
O, hail to thee for that!

And Korsakov, so says the press,
You're a famous maestro,
You're a real Sadko: in each bowl
Leading marine orchestras!
You, Musorgsky, by means of notes
Can show us anything:
To sew a seam and grow mushrooms,
How children laugh and cry.
You've killed off Boris Godunov--
Serves him right, the villain!
Did he have to murder the child!
I can't really blame you.

____________________
1
Apukhtin, a minor poet and friend of Tchaikovsky, writes a parody on Zhukovsky's famous Minstrel in the Russian Camp.

-325-

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