The Fate of Arcelia

When the round of life is broken
with the breaking of the year;
When the orphan and the widow
weep in darkness and in fear;

When the kin of Vale have weakened
till they cannot bear the load;
When the heartless masters beat them
to their knees under the goad;

When the people are divided
from each other and the land;
When their holdings are abandoned
into few and grasping hands;

When the land cannot lie fallow,
but is stripped of all it bears;
When the dead cannot lie easy
in the land that once was theirs;

When the poor man’s debts shall drive him
into thralldom for his bread;
And the people shall fall silent
in the shadow of their dread;
Ilia Efimovich Repin (1844-1930) - Volga Boatmen (1870-1873)
Then, in hunger, crops shall dwindle
under flood and slip and frost;
To a foreigner’s dominion
shall the land at last be lost.

from Restoration Day by Deborah Makarios