Gogol's view of the Ukrainian steppe in Taras Bulba

“All that was dim and 
drowsy in the Cossacks’ minds flew away in a twinkling: their hearts fluttered like birds.
 The farther they penetrated the steppe, the more
 beautiful it became... The air was 
filled with the notes of a thousand different birds.
 On high hovered the hawks, their wings outspread,
 and their eyes fixed intently on the grass. The cries 
of a flock of wild ducks, ascending from one side,
 were echoed from God knows what distant lake.
 From the grass arose, with measured sweep, a gull, 
and skimmed wantonly through blue waves of air.
 And now she has vanished on high, and appears
 only as a black dot: now she has turned her wings, 
and shines in the sunlight. Oh, steppes, how beautiful you are!”

— Taras Bulba, Nikolai Gogol