Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Russian Peasants
By Marya Zaturensky
 
THEY dance wildly today at the village of Czernoff—
The men and women and little children.
They dance wildly before the great lord’s castle,
Snapping their heels, cracking their fingers and sobbing
In hilarious passionate abandon.        5
 
Wilder and wilder shriek the cymbals and violins,
Wilder and wilder arise the cries of the dancers,
And wilder the songs and the mad laughter.
 
Their faces are aglow, their eyes are shining
Radiant with vision and joy and splendor.        10
Lithe are the bodies of the young women,
Marvelous the grace of the young men,
And strangely beautiful the wild chant of the old men and women.
 
They pass in a scarlet maze, singing, laughing, weeping:
Scarlet the embroidered bodices and petticoats,        15
Scarlet the blouses of the men,
And scarlet and riotous the exhilarating air.
 
Tomorrow we shall see them reaping,
Backs bowed, and eyes apathetic with labor.
They will speak to you sorrowfully, hopelessly:        20
“There is no joy in life,” they will say;
“Only with God is our great gladness—
His peace and his light be with you, brother.”
 
 
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