Simeon Polotski on the Birth of Peter I

[excerpted from Anthology of Russian Literature From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Leo Wiener, ed. and Tr. Pt. 1 (New York, 1902), pp. 150-151]

A great gladness the month of May has brought us, for the Tsarevich Peter was born in it. But yesterday the famous Constantinople was captured by the Turks; -- to-day the most glorious salvation has appeared. The conqueror has come, and he will avenge the insult, and will free the -ruling city. 0 Constantine's city, mightily rejoice! And you, holy church of Sophia, rejoice! An orthodox Tsarevich was born to us to-day, a Grand Prince of Moscow, Peter Aleksyeevich: he will endeavour to adorn you in honour, and to subdue the Moslem abomination. And you, ruling city of Moscow, rejoice! For a great joy has taken up its abode within you. He strengthened your stone-walls that surround you, porphyrogenite, God-sent son of the Tsar! Peter is his name, -- a firm rock,' and being born to strengthen the gates he will be brave and terrible to the enemy that opposes him. By a wondrous name a rock of faith, an adornment and joy to the Tsar is born, and an eternal glory to his parents.

The younger Joseph was beloved by his father, and thus I That is, deriving Peter from Greek petra, rock is the -younger Tsarevich beloved by his father. The youngest Benjamin was loved by his brothers; even thus the youngest Peter is beloved by his two brothers. Peter is a rock of fortune and a precious stone, endowed by God for the confirmation of the Church. You, planet Ares and Zeus, rejoice, for the Tsarevich was born under your lustre! The Tsarevich was born in the quadrant aspect, and he has come to rule in his house. He announces the four-cornered token, as if to rule the four corners of the earth. From God this being was given to this planet, for this planet was found to be the best for his achievements: bravery, wealth and glory reside upon it, to place a wreath upon the head of the Tsar.

Rejoice to-day, orthodox Tsar! A glorious son has been born to you! May your years and the years of the Tsaritsa be many, and may you and your children prosper, and the new-born Tsarevich ' Peter Aleksyeevich, even now glorious! May you vanquish all foreign mights, and unite all lands and kingdoms under your ule! May God grant you to see the third and fourth generation, and your throne for ever unshaken!