Farewell to the Volga

Edna Dean Proctor

FAREWELL, O River of the Plain,

  O River of the Sea!

Fain would I follow to the main

  Thy current strong and free;

And find, beyond thy reedy islands,

The sullen Caspian’s ocean silence.


The Kalmuck girls with braided hair,

  And cap of scarlet crown,

Beside their tents, in evening fair,

  Will watch thy tide go down;

And songs of the steppe and its rovers sing,

Their swarthy lovers listening.


And Kirghis, dark with desert suns,

  Will halt beside thy brink,

While the steed, the brackish spring that shuns,

  Stoops low, thy wave to drink;

Then, fresh and fleet as at dawn of day,

Over the plain they ’ll haste away.


Farewell. I feel the west-wind blow;

  The Asian dream is o’er;

And Europe ’s in the sunset glow,

  That gilds thy sandy shore.

I go where other streams will shine,

But none so lone, so grand as thine.