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

Volga, the River


By From the Russian

Anonymous translation

AT Saratoff and Tzaritozine,

Where Wolga’s surges lave the shore,

The stream receives the Kamouchine,

And proudly wafts its added store.

And two fair barks in gayest pride,

All on the swelling current ply,

And o’er the rippling surface glide,

With many a streamer waving high.

And when the fields are clothed in green,

A sturdy train from Tanais’ shore,

Repair to Wolga’s busy scene,

And gayly tug the pliant oar.

And as they urge the gliding prow,

To every measured stroke they sing;

And Peter forms each ardent vow,

Great Peter, Russia’s lord and king!

At Mentchikoff, the poor man’s foe,

Deep murmurs speak their inward rage;

Dire author he of all their woe,—

The stripling’s bane, the bane of age.

“He shares the bread we earn,” they cry,

As they the doleful strain prolong;

“At his approach all pleasures fly,—

The merry dance, the joyous song.”