NOT FOR PEOPLE AND THEIR GLORY
("Ne dlia liudej, tijeji slavy" / "Не для людей, тієї слави")
Not for people and their glory,
Verses bright-embroidered, curly,
Am I writing — for no others
Than myself, I sing, my brothers!
It is easier in slavery
For me, when I write them:
As from beyond the distant Dnipro
Words come winging, flying,
Taking up their stand on paper,
Weeping there and smiling
Like children, gladdening the soul,
Cheering and beguiling
The lonely, luckless soul. And happy,
I am happy with them,
Like a rich and prosperous father
With his little children.
I am glad and joyful then,
Entreat the Lord of heaven
That in this distant land my babes
Fall not asleep forever,
Let my aery children fly
To that dear land, their home,
Let them tell how hard it was
In the world for them!
And in that joyful family
They’ll welcome quietly
My children, with grey head the father
Will nod solemnly.
"Better if children such as these
Were never bom!" the mother
Will say, but the young girl will think:
"I have grown to love them!"
Poem of Taras Shevchenko
"Ne dlia liudej, tijeji slavy"
("Не для людей, тієї слави")
1848, Kos-Aral - 1858, S.- Petersburg,
(Косарал - C.-Петербург)
Translated by Vera Rich
Source of the original poem in Ukrainian: Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannja tvoriv: U 6 t. — Kyjiv, "Naukova dumka", 2003. Том 2: Поезія 1847 - 1861, stor. 121; 621 - 622.
Source of English translation of the poem: Taras Shevchenko."Song out of Darkness". Selected poems translated from the Ukrainian by Vera Rich. London, 1961, p. 91 - 92.
Here you can find Ukrainian text of the Taras Shevchenko's poem:
Original poem in Ukrainian