James Clarence Mangan, “Siberia”

In Siberia’s wastes
The Ice-wind’s breath
Woundeth like the toothèd steel;
Lost Siberia doth reveal
Only blight and, death.

Blight and death alone.
No Summer shines.
Night is interblent with Day.
In Siberia’s wastes alway
The blood blackens, the heart pines.

In Siberia’s wastes
No tears are shed,
For they freeze within the brain.
Nought is felt but dullest pain,
Pain acute, yet dead;

Pain as in a dream,
When years go by
Funeral-paced, yet fugitive,
When man lives, and doth not live,
Doth not live - nor die.

In Siberia’s wastes
Are sands and rocks
Nothing blooms of green or soft
But the snow-peaks rise aloft
And the gaunt ice-blocks.

And the exile there
Is one with those;
They are part, and he is part,
For the sands are in his heart,
And the killing snows.

Therefore, in those wastes
None curse the Czar.
Each man’s tongue is cloven by
The North Blast, that heweth nigh
With sharp scimitar.

And such doom each drees,
Till, hunger-gnawn,
And cold-slain, he at length sinks there,
Yet scarce more a corpse than ere
His last breadth was drawn.


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