Poem "Destiny" - Taras Shevchenko (translated by Michael M. Naydan)


“Dolia" (Ty ne lukavyla zo mnoiu)"

You were not devious with me,
You became a friend, a brother and
A sister for a poor wretch. You took me,
A little boy, by the hand
And led me off to school
To a tipsy deacon’s lessons.
Study hard, my darling, and someday
We’ll be somebody, you said.
And I listened and studied,
And learned the lessons. But you lied.
We’re not the somebodies you promised?…
But never mind!
We were not devious with you,
We walked straight; there’s not
A grain of falsity in our breasts,
So let’s go on then, my destiny!
My wretched, undeceiving friend!
Go on further. Further there’ll be fame,
And fame is my testament.

Taras Shevchenko.
“Dolia" / "Ty ne lukavyla zo mnoiu"
("Доля" / "Ти не лукавила зі мною")
1858, Nizhny Novgorod (Нижній Новгород)

Translated by Michael M. Naydan

"Ukrainian Literature. A Journal of Translations" Volume 1.2004"
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, USA

Here you can find Ukrainian text of Taras Shevchenko's poem:
Original poem in Ukrainian


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