Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
Dnieper, the River
The Dnieper
From the Russian of Jaroslatez
Anonymous translation

WHEN the tired sun turneth sleeper,
      But ere the moon hath yet awoken,
            I love, O, how I love, to roam
By the grand resounding Dnieper,
      Where’er its billows may have broken        5
            Into the hoarest foam.
As on Jordan’s banks the leper
      Oft left of old his ghastly ailment,
            So I, on thy tempestuous shore,
O thou grand resounding Dnieper,        10
      Feel nightly as though no assailment
            Of woe could wound me more!
Up those cliffs which ever steeper
      Through twilight loom I often clamber,
            To see thy black waves rush and roll,        15
O mine own, my glorious Dnieper,
      And feel the sunset’s gold and amber
            Deep-dye my thoughts and soul!
Scale these heights, thou poor weak weeper,
      Thou who, alas! art wont to diet        20
            Upon thy bitter heart for food,
And gaze down upon the Dnieper!
      The sight will change to dreamy quiet
            Thy dark and troubled mood!
Come, too, thou who seekest deeper        25
      Emotions from the scenery round thee;
            And, though thy wanderings rivalled Cain’s,
Thou shalt feel, anigh the Dnieper,
      As though some spell-word had unbound thee
            From Time’s ten thousand chains!        30
Thou hast more than wert thou reaper
      Of all the gems and golden treasure
            Sown and long-buried in the deeps
Even of this vast cryptful Dnieper.
      Wealth for thy soul beyond all measure        35
            Its boiling surface keeps!
Richer joys there be—yet cheaper—
      Than those which slay in palaced city.
            Take all thou wilt, great world, for thine,—
Give me freedom and the Dnieper,        40
      And Pride may wreak its wrath or pity
            On other heads than mine!

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