My Country by Marie Queen of Rumania

  1  Very different are the mountain villages from those of the plain. The cottages are less miserable.
  2  The thatched roofs are replaced by roofs of shingle that shine like silver in the sun.
  3  Richer and more varied are the peasants' costumes.
  4  Many a hearty welcome has been given me in these little villages.
  5  It is especially in the Dobrudja that these different nationalities jostle together.
  6  Square, high buildings with an open gallery round the top.
  7  With an open gallery round the top formed by stout short columns.
  8  Primitive strongholds, half tower, half peasant-house.
  9  It had kept the delightful appearance of having been modelled by a potter's thumb.
10  A convent... white and lonely, hidden away in wooded regions greener and sweeter than any other in the land.
11  An indescribable harmony makes its lines beautiful.
12  Composed of a double colonnade... Behind these colonnades are the nuns' small cells: tiny domes, little chambers.
13  This porch is decorated all over with frescoes.
14  Strange old monks inhabited it.
15  Silent recluses, buried away from the world.
16  Some were so old, so bent, that they could no more raise their heads to look up at the sky above.
17  Tall and upright, with the pale, ascetic face of a saint.
18  There lies a tiny wee church.
19  Guarded by a few hoary old monks.
20  Creatures so old and decrepit that they seem to have gathered moss like stones lying forever in the same place.
21  A lonely little cemetery, filled with crosses of wood.
22  Strange old crosses that on all roads I have come upon.
23  These strange old crosses they stand by the wayside.
24  Sometimes they are of quaintly carved stone.
25  Mostly they stand beside wells.
26  Quaint of shape, they attract the eye from far.
27  When found in such numbers they are mostly hewn out of wood.
28  Their forms and sizes are varied.
29  On lonely mountain-sides.
39  None of the greater buildings attract me so strongly as those little village churches.
40  But with some the belfry stands by itself.
41  The altar is shut off from the rest of the building by a carved and painted screen.
42  Varied indeed are the shapes of these peasant churches.
43  Their principal feature being the stout columns that support the porch in front.
44  The columns have beautiful carved capitals of rarest design... whitewashed like the rest of the church.
45  Quaint indeed are the buildings that some simple-hearted artist has painted.
46  The roofs are always of shingle.
47  Silent watchers leaning on their staffs.
48  These lonely mountain-dwellers.
49  These shaggy garments give them a wild appearance.
50  Even tiny boys wear these extraordinary coats.
51  Their only refuges are dug-outs.
52  Here, in company with their dogs, they spend the long summer months.
53  On juicy pastures near clear-flowing stream.
54  On the burning plains of the Dobrudja where for miles around no tree is to be seen
55  Stifled by the overwhelming temperature, they had massed themselves together.
56  Wherever I have met them, be it on the mountains or in the plains,... these silent shepherds have seemed to me the
      very personification of solitude.
57  Mothers and children, and old grannies.
58  Inconceivably picturesque.
59  These are the respected members of the tribes.
60  Small bronze statues with curly, tousled heads.
61  Occasionally a torn shirt barely covers them.
62  Most beautiful of all are the young girls.
63  I have often met old couples wandering together.
64  A bare field where the soldiers exercised.