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


A Reflection. Poem of Taras Shevchenko. Painting by K. Shtanko.



       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, "A Reflection"

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

Translated by John Weir


Source: http://www.infolikes.com/


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



    Тарас Шевченко


Тече вода в синє море,
Та не витікає,
Шука козак свою долю,
А долі немає.
Пішов козак світ за очі;
Грає синє море,
Грає серце козацькеє,
А думка говорить:
«Куди ти йдеш, не спитавшись?
На кого покинув
Батька, неньку старенькую,
Молоду дівчину?
На чужині не ті люде —
Тяжко з ними жити!
Ні з ким буде поплакати,
Ні поговорити».
Сидить козак на тім боці,
Грає синє море.
Думав, доля зустрінеться —
Спіткалося горе.
А журавлі летять собі
Додому ключами.
Плаче козак — шляхи биті
Заросли тернами.


За матеріалами:

Тарас Шевченко, збірка віршів "Мені тринадцятий минало", Київ, "Веселка", 1994. 



More Taras Shevchenko's poems translated from Ukrainian into English by John Weir:

Title page of Taras Shevchenko. Selected poetry, 1977John Weir (Ivan Fedorovych Viv'yurskiy), a Canadian of the Ukrainian lineage, was a talented English-speaking translator of the second half of the 19ih century. During his life he translated 29 Shevchenko's poetic works, a prosaic foreword to the poem of «The Haidamaky», the narrative «The Artist», the poet’s autobiographic letter and some excerpts from his diary. John Weir, being a translator with the Ukrainian root, felt melodiousness of Shevchenko’s lines, understood a social foundation of the poet's artistic images. 


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