"Hard is a captive’s lot..." - T. Shevchenko's poem (English translation: Irina Zheleznova)

Hard is a captive’s lot...
"V nevoli tiazhko khocha y voli")

Hard is a captive’s lot - aye, even
For one who never freedom knew.
A stranger's field I ploughed, this true,
Yet that's a field, and now I’m driven
To such straits that as though there Heaven,
So thirst I to embrace anew
That poor and wretched life.... A curse on
This foolish head of mine! No person
Of sense would let fools make a fool
Of him, and in a dirty pool
His freedom drown.... O thought most hated!
What if to live my life out fated
Am I far from my native sod -
To live.... and love both men and God!

Taras Shevchenko
"V nevoli tiazhko khocha y voli"
("В неволі тяжко хоча й волі")
1847, S.- Petersburg (С.- Петербург)

Translated by Irina Zheleznova

Original publication:
Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannja tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 2: Poezija 1847-1861. — S. 11-20; 549-570

Source: Taras Shevchenko. Selected poetry. Kiev, Dnipro, 1977, p.207

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