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Sadko:Sadko, Volkhova, Morskoi, Morskoy, Psaltery, Lubava

The fable of Sadko was put beautifully into verse by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. In the tale, a man appearing to be a poor psaltery player has talents that are neglected by the merchants of the city of Novgorod. However, Sadko was indeed a very talented person. Sadko's music and songs charmed the beautiful Sea princess Volkhova, daughter of Tsar Morskoi the King of the Sea. Eventually, the princess Volkhova fell in love with the psaltery player. Princess Volkhova gave Sadko a chance to redeem himself when betting on the incidence of golden fish in Lake Ilmen. Sadko won his wager, which had been his life against the wealth of all merchant ships. He took the ships and asked the townspeople to take care of his wife, Lubava, and set sail. On his journey, Sadko visited Venice, Scandinavia, Egypt, India, and many other countries. But, as the ships sailed back to Russia, the wind ceased, and the ships could not move. It was that then Sadko realized that because the people had not made proper sacrifices to Tsar Morskoi, King of the Sea, the ships now stood still. In order to save the sailors, Sadko sacrificed himself and jumped into the water. Instantly a brisk breeze filled the sails of the ships and they sailed away towards home. Sadko fell to the bottom of the sea and found himself in the palace of Tsar Morskoi. The King and Queen of the Sea had heard about Sadko's musical talents and asked him to play and to sing for them. They were overjoyed and decided to make Sadko stay in Sea Tsardom and promised Volkhova to be his bride. But Sadko told Volkhova that he couldn't marry her, as he still loved his wife, Lubava. Upset, but still loving the psaltery player, she helped Sadko to sneak away with the help of a flock of sea horses, which took Sadko back to the shore of Lake Ilmen. Tired from the journey, Volkhova sings a lullaby to Sadko and he falls asleep. Volkhova kisses him quietly and disappears into the mist, thus becoming the river Volkhova which flows from Lake Ilmen to the sea. Sadko's wife, Lubava, who was waiting for her husband all that time, was overjoyed to see her beloved husband again. They lived happily aver after. Composed and translated by
Michael I. Marinchenko