A room without books is like a body without a soul. - Cicero
THIS RUSSIAN SOIL
In all the world no people are so tearless,
So proud, so simple as are we.
In lockets for a charm we do not wear it,
In verse about its sorrows do not weep,
With Eden's blissful vales do not compare it,
Untroubled does it leave our bitter sleep.
To traffic in it is a thought that never,
Not even in our hearts, remote, takes root.
Before our eyes its image does not hover,
Though we be beggared, sick, despairing, mute.
It's the mud on our shoes, it is rubble,
It's the sand on our teeth, it is slush,
It's the pure, taintless dust that we crumble,
That we pound, that we mix, that we crush.
But it's ours, our own, and will open one day
To receive and embrace us and turn us to clay.