Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX. 1876–79.



By James Thomson (1834–1882)

(From The Seasons: Winter)

NOT such the sons of Lapland: wisely they

Despise the insensate, barbarous trade of war;

They ask no more than simple Nature gives;

They love their mountains, and enjoy their storms;

No false desires, no pride-created wants,

Disturb the peaceful current of their time;

And through the restless, ever-tortured maze

Of pleasure or ambition, bid it rage.

Their reindeer form their riches. These their tents,

Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth

Supply, their wholesome fare and cheerful cups.

Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe

Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift

O’er hill and dale, heaped into one expanse

Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep

With a blue crust of ice unbounded glazed.

By dancing meteors then, that ceaseless shake

A waving blaze refracted o’er the heavens,

And vivid moons, and stars that keener play

With doubled lustre from the glossy waste,

E’en in the depth of polar night, they find

A wondrous day: enough to light the chase,

Or guide their daring steps to Finland fairs.

Wished spring returns; and from the hazy south,

While dim Aurora slowly moves before,

The welcome sun, just verging up at first

By small degrees extends the swelling curve!