Taras Shevchenko's poem "A Reflection" (English translation by John Weir)


Taras Shevchenko

A Reflection

("Думка" / "Тече вода в синє море"
"Dumka" / "Teche voda v synie more")

Translated by John Weir

The river empties to the sea,
But out it never flows;
The Cossack lad his fortune seeks,
But never fortune knows.
The Cossack lad has left his home,
He's left his kith and kind;
The blue sea's waters splash and foam,
Sad thoughts disturb his mind:

"Why, heedless, did you go away?
For what did you forsake
Your father old, your mother grey,
Your sweetheart, to their fate?
In foreign lands live foreign folks,
Their ways are not your way:
There will be none to share your woes
Or pass the time of day."

Across the sea, the Cossack rests --
The choppy sea's distraught.
He thought with fortune to be blessed --
Misfortune is his lot.
In vee-formation, 'cross the waves
The cranes are off for home.
The Cossack weeps - his beaten paths
With weeds are overgrown...



Taras Shevchenko

("Думка" / "Тече вода в синє море"
"Dumka" / "Teche voda v synie more")
1838, S.- Petersburg (С.- Петербург)

Translated by John Weir

Original publication:
Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 1:
Poeziia 1837-1847. — S. 79; 598-599

Тарас Шевченко. Вірш "Думка" ("Тече вода в синє море")





More poems of Taras Shevchenko translated into English by John Weir:

"A Reflection" ("Думка" / "Тече вода в синє море")

"Calamity Again" ("Мій Боже милий, знову лихо!")

"Don't Envy" ("Не завидуй багатому")

"Don't Wed" ("Не женися на багатій")

"Dream" ("Сон" / "У всякого своя доля")

"Fate" ("Доля" / "Ти не лукавила зо мною")

"Haidamaki" ("Гайдамаки" / "Все йде, все минає — і краю немає")

"I Was Thirteen" ("Мені тринадцятий минало")

"I’m not unwell, it’s just that I ..." ("Я не нездужаю, нівроку")

"Isaiah. Chapter 35. An imitation" ("Ісаія. Глава 35. Подражаніе" / "Радуйся, ниво неполитая!")

"It’s not that I’m of God complaining" ("Не нарікаю я на бога")

"Lights Are Blazing" ("Огні горять, музи́ка грає")

"My Testament" "Заповіт" / "Як умру, то поховайте")

"My Thoughts" ("Думи мої, думи мої, лихо мені з вами!")

"Silver Poplar" (Maiden's song from "Topolya") ("Тополя" / "По діброві вітер виє")

"The half-wit" ("Юродивий")

"The Lily" ("Лілея / За що мене, як росла я...")

"The Mighty Dnieper" ("Причинна" / "Реве та стогне Дніпр широкий")

"Young masters, if you only knew" ("Якби ви знали, паничі")

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