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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Edna Dean Proctor (1829–1923)

[A Russian Journey. 1872.]


ACROSS the steppe we journeyed,

The brown, fir-darkened plain

That rolls to east and rolls to west,

Broad as the billowy main,

When lo! a sudden splendor

Came shimmering through the air,

As if the clouds should melt and leave

The heights of heaven bare,—

A maze of rainbow domes and spires

Full glorious on the sky,

With wafted chimes from many a tower

As the south wind went by.

And a thousand crosses lightly hung

That shone like morning stars—

’Twas the Kremlin wall! ’twas Moscow,

The jewel of the Czars!


ABOVE each gate a blessed Saint

Asks favor of the skies,

And the hosts of the foe do fail and faint

At the gleam of their watchful eyes;

And Pole, and Tartar, and haughty Gaul,

Flee, dismayed, from the Kremlin wall.

Here lie our ancient Czars, asleep,—

Ivan and Feodor,—

While loving angels round them keep

Sweet peace forevermore!

Only when Easter bells ring loud,

They sign the cross beneath the shroud.

O Troitsa’s altar is divine,—

St. Sergius! hear our prayers!

And Kiëff, Olga’s lofty shrine,

The name of “The Holy” bears;

But Moscow blends all rays in one—

They are the stars, and she the sun!