Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
 
Asiatic Russia: Siberia
Siberia
James Clarence Mangan (1803–1849)
 
IN Siberia’s wastes
      The ice-wind’s breath
Woundeth like the toothéd steel;
Lost Siberia doth reveal
      Only blight and death.        5
 
Blight and death alone.
      No summer shines.
Night is interblent with Day.
In Siberia’s wastes alway
      The blood blackens, the heart pines.        10
 
In Siberia’s wastes
      No tears are shed,
For they freeze within the brain.
Naught is felt but dullest pain,
      Pain acute, yet dead;        15
 
Pain as in a dream,
      When years go by
Funeral-paced, yet fugitive,
When man lives, and doth not live,
      Doth not live—nor die.        20
 
In Siberia’s wastes
      Are sands and rocks.
Nothing blooms of green or soft,
But the snowpeaks rise aloft
      And the gaunt ice-blocks.        25
 
And the exile there
      Is one with those;
They are part, and he is part,
For the sands are in his heart,
      And the killing snows.        30
 
Therefore, in those wastes
      None curse the Czar.
Each man’s tongue is cloven by
The North Blast, who heweth nigh
      With sharp scymitar.        35
 
And such doom each drees,
      Till, hunger-gnawn,
And cold-slain, he at length sinks there,
Yet scarce more a corpse than ere
      His last breath was drawn.        40
 
 
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