Boris Godunov

by Alexsander Pushkin

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The Palace of the Kremlin


   BORIS. Thou, father Patriarch, all ye boyars!
   My soul lies bare before you; ye have seen
   With what humility and fear I took
   This mighty power upon me. Ah! How heavy
   My weight of obligation! I succeed
   The great Ivans; succeed the angel tsar!—
   O Righteous Father, King Of kings, look down
   From Heaven upon the tears of Thy true servants,
   And send on him whom Thou hast loved, whom Thou
   Exalted hast on earth so wondrously,
   Thy holy blessing. May I rule my people
   In glory, and like Thee be good and righteous!
   To you, boyars, I look for help. Serve me
   As ye served him, what time I shared your labours,
   Ere I was chosen by the people's will.

   BOYARS. We will not from our plighted oath depart.

   BORIS. Now let us go to kneel before the tombs
   Of Russia's great departed rulers. Then
   Bid summon all our people to a feast,
   All, from the noble to the poor blind beggar.
   To all free entrance, all most welcome guests.

   (Exit, the Boyars following.)

   PRINCE VOROTINSKY. (Stopping Shuisky.)
   You rightly guessed.

   SHUISKY.           Guessed what?

   VOROTINSKY.                Why, you remember—
   The other day, here on this very spot.

   SHUISKY. No, I remember nothing.

   VOROTINSKY.                    When the people
   Flocked to the Virgin's Field, thou said'st—

   SHUISKY.                           'Tis not
   The time for recollection. There are times
   When I should counsel you not to remember,
   But even to forget. And for the rest,
   I sought but by feigned calumny to prove thee,
   The truelier to discern thy secret thoughts.
   But see! The people hail the tsar—my absence
   May be remarked. I'll join them.

   VOROTINSKY.                    Wily courtier!


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