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Amid Siberian wastes and trackless ways,
The Cossack, Markoff, pass'd his happy days:
No rapturous hope or rankling care he knew,
His means were simple, as his wants were few.
When Summer cloth'd the hill and deck'd the plain,
He wisely thought of Winter's cheerless reign;
And when the wintry snows the scene o'ercast,
Look'd on to Summer and endured the blast.
Thus life roll'd on, and thus he sooth'd his breast,
Freedom his guide, and Cheerfulness his guest;
Till restless thoughts and vain desires arose
To break his calm and long-enjoy'd repose.

*Though the Cossacks reside about the Neiper and the Don, bordering on the Black Sea, yet tribes of them have spread over many parts of Siberia. A body of Cossacks dwell at the Mouth of the Jana in latitude 71. It is well known that Siberia became subject to Russia in the last Century through the means of Yermac, a Cossack Warrior.

Beside his Hut the musing Cossack stood

And listen'd to the sound of neighbouring wood
Whose slow and solemn murmurs fill'd his ear
Through all the changeful seasons of the year.
The dark Uralian Hills* before him rose,

The wind of Autumn now impetuous blows:
Dreary the view! the frost o'erspreads the ground,
And the loud Brook with fetters now is bound.
He mark'd the clouds from Arctic mountains roll'd,
He call'd to mind the tale of Traveller bold;
He thought of distant scenes, of realms unknown
Where through all ages, tempests held their throne
Sounding their ceaseless wrath, whose awful reign
No mortal foot had ever dared profane.

The desperate resolve is made! He cried,

"These feet shall dare yon wilds, whate'er betide; "These eyes explore the extent yon regions spread "Where the young north-wind dwells, the storm is bred. ❝I, who in caves of ice have oft reclined,

"And braced my sinews in the fiercest wind; "May smile at danger! dangers but invite,

"And storms and tempests were my first delight.

* The loftiest in Siberia.

"But if no bound appear,

and as I go,

"Wild rocks increase, and mountains hid in snow,
"On all sides round more gloomy wastes prevail,
"And as I journey bleaker winds assail;
"Still, shall I learn to brave the polar storm,

"And gaze on Nature in her rudest form."

Through the thick mists no cheering sun-beams shone;
His sledge prepared, his winter coat put on,
Heedless, he cried " Adieu!" and urged his Deer ;-
The Mother and her Children dropt the tear!

Now the bold Cossack many a hill had past,
Tho' each appear'd more threat'ning than the last;
Whilst all before, far as his eye could strain,
Seem'd Ruin's ancient unexplored domain.

With heart too proud to temporize with fear,
The hardy MARKOFF pass'd the mountains drear;
He cross'd each long continuous waste of plain,
He reach'd each distant summit, but, in vain ;
Beyond him still, bounding his utmost sight,
Hills rise o'er hills clad in eternal white.

And now he came where not a guide was nigh,
Save (mid the valley bare or crag on high

From certain death the wanderer's step to warn)
Some solitary *Pine by tempests shorn.
He stood, and mark'd the desolation wide;
His "mute companions" tremble by his side!
And whilst he strives the chilling blast to bear,
And hears the whirlwind thund'ring through the air;
Fear shakes his frame, he dreads his coming fate,
He knows his error, but, alas, too late!
With resolution warring with dismay,
Back he returns to trace his devious way;
But, now the scene seems wilder than before,
The Smoke-frosts rise, the cracking +Iceburgs roar !

*The chief forests in Siberia consist of the Norway and Silver Firs. It is understood by the northern travellers, that men may venture wherever forests are, without much danger from the cold; but in the higher latitudes forests wholly disappear, and single trees only are found of stinted growth. Here the cold is often too intense for animal life: whilst in the most northerly regions, vegetation never appears. The only trees that grow in Spitzbergen, and some parts bordering on the Icy-Sea, are the Dwarf Willows, from two to four inches only in height.

In the most northern parts, the hills are always covered with snow, and the valleys filled with ice, which are called

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Weary, the patient Deer their path pursue,
Where never man abode, or herbage grew.
The prospect round appear'd one yawning grave,
And mid each pause the fitful tempest gave,
No howl from starving wolf invades his ear,
To soothe him with the thought that-life is near.

Now thicker darkness gather'd o'er his head;
Now anguish rose, till hope itself was fled;
Despair's impenetrable mists arise!

Frozen in death, each beast beside him lies.
From succour far, chain'd to the icy ground
The wilder'd Cossack sorrowing looks around;
Longs on the clouds that southward take their flight
To seek again his dwelling of delight;

Iceburgs. When the atmosphere becomes warmer or colder, in any considerable degree, than at the point when the conge lation took place, the ice either expands or contracts, which 'occasions it to crack, with a noise, which some travellers have compared to the roaring of cannon. Through these fissures in the ice, a white smoke is often observed to arise, which is called Smoke-frost, of great opacity, and so intensely cold as to peal the skin of any person who comes in contact with it.

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