THE BALTICS: The Steel Curtain

Who is crying? What lamenting sounds

so sadly through the night?

They are orphan children crying, bowed

beneath their master's might.

Crying sadly, see them making little

fires against the cold.

By the river, see them bending, dipping

bread crusts hard and old. . . .

Sun so golden, will you tell me where

you wandered yesterday?

"I was warming shiv'ring orphans in

the mountains far away."

—Latvian Folk Song

This poetry of despair sprang from the depths of serfdom, in lands where the soil is hard, the sun is cold, and foreign masters have always been harder and colder than either. For...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!