The Dry Weather Stifled The Sowings
The dry weather stifled the sowings, The rye withered, oats did not sprout. The girls with church banners were going To pray in the fields hit by drought. Parishioners met by the coppice, From grief like а fever they pined. The lean deacon prayed without stopping. "О Lord, save thy people!" he whined. The gilt Holy Gates were flung open. The deacon roared loud as an ox: "Once more let us pray, brothers, hoping That God may send rain for the crops!" Birds sang as the priest began sprinkling With his hand water God had blessed. Like matchmakers, magpies were chirruping, Begging showers to be their guest. The sunset seethed, grey clouds were passing Like raw linen filling the sky. Seen dimly through shrubs and dry grasses The river went murmuring by. The peasants were commenting sadly As cloth caps for prayer they doffed: "The corn didn't shape up so badly, But these dry days finished it off." On а black horse-cloud to а sleigh harnessed Strap-lightning flashed, shaking the sky. And boys through the meadows ran shouting: "Rain, rain! Come and rain on our rye!"