Boris Godunov

by Alexsander Pushkin

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The Virgin's Field


   1ST PERSON. To plead with the tsaritsa in her cell
   Now are they gone. Thither have gone Boris,
   The Patriarch, and a host of boyars.

   2ND PERSON.                        What news?

   3RD PERSON. Still is he obdurate; yet there is hope.

   PEASANT WOMAN. (With a child.)
   Drat you! Stop crying, or else the bogie-man
   Will carry you off. Drat you, drat you! Stop crying!

   1ST PERSON. Can't we slip through behind the fence?

   2ND PERSON.                         Impossible!
   No chance at all! Not only is the nunnery
   Crowded; the precincts too are crammed with people.
   Look what a sight! All Moscow has thronged here.
   See! Fences, roofs, and every single storey
   Of the Cathedral bell tower, the church-domes,
   The very crosses are studded thick with people.

   1ST PERSON. A goodly sight indeed!

   2ND PERSON.                     What is that noise?

   3RD PERSON. Listen! What noise is that?—The people groaned;
   See there! They fall like waves, row upon row—
   Again—again—Now, brother, 'tis our turn;
   Be quick, down on your knees!

   THE PEOPLE. (On their knees, groaning and wailing.)
                                     Have pity on us,
   Our father! O, rule over us! O, be
   Father to us, and tsar!

   1ST PERSON. (Sotto voce.) Why are they wailing?

   2ND PERSON. How can we know? The boyars know well enough.
   It's not our business.

   PEASANT WOMAN. (With child.)
                        Now, what's this? Just when
   It ought to cry, the child stops crying. I'll show you!
   Here comes the bogie-man! Cry, cry, you spoilt one!
   (Throws it on the ground; the child screams.)
   That's right, that's right!

   1ST PERSON.               As everyone is crying,
   We also, brother, will begin to cry.

   2ND PERSON. Brother, I try my best, but can't.

   1ST PERSON.                             Nor I.
   Have you not got an onion?

   2ND PERSON.              No; I'll wet
   My eyes with spittle. What's up there now?

   1ST PERSON.                      Who knows
   What's going on?

   THE PEOPLE.    The crown for him! He is tsar!
   He has yielded!—Boris!—Our tsar!—Long live Boris!


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