The Volga

Edna Dean Proctor

AND still we kept the Volga’s tide,

  The Volga rolling gray and wide;

While the gulls of the Caspian over it flew,

  A flash of silver and jet in the sun,

And, chill though the blast from the Oural blew,

  Circled and hovered till day was done.


Faint, in the lulls of the wind, from shore

  Came the lowing of herds that roved the plain;

And the bells rang over the water’s roar

  Calling the hamlet to holy fane.

And slowly the fishers of Astrakhan

  Stemmed the current with laden keel;

While the barges the Kama peasants man,

And the barks of the Oka past them ran,

  Heaped with iron and wheat and steel;

And as far as the wind could wander free,

  On either side was the grassy sea.