Harvest on the Don

Harvest on the Don

Harvest on the Don

Harvest on the Don

Excerpt

After the rain the earth was swollen with moisture, and when the wind scattered the clouds, it languished in the dazzling sunlight and steamed with a dove-grey haze. Of a morning, a mist arose from the stream and the swampy, muddy leas. It billowed over Gremyachy Log, hastened towards the steppe uplands, and there melted, dissolving imperceptibly into a delicate turquoise haze. As late as noonday a leaden-heavy, copious dew lay like shot scattered over the leaves of the trees, over the reed-thatched roofs of the houses and sheds, and pressed down the grasses.

Over the steppe the quitch-grass rose above the knee. Beyond the pasture lands the melilot was in blossom. In the late afternoon its honeyed scent spread all through the village, filling the girls' hearts with a fretting languor. The winter wheat extended right to the horizon in a solid dark-green wall; the spring grain rejoiced the eye with its unusually close-sprouting shoots; on the slopes of the hillocks and the dry hollows the more recently sown millet was pricking through the ground. The sandier patches were thickly brushed with the spikes of young maize.

Towards the middle of June a spell of settled weather began . . .

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