Taras Shevchenko's poem "To N. Markevich" (Translated from Ukrainian by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell)

To N. Markevich (1)

("N. Markevychu" / "Banduryste, orle syzyi")

Bandurist, my blue-grey eagle,
Your fortunes can soar high!
For you have wings, and you have strength,
And time in which to fly.
They wait for you in our Ukraine —
There fly with vigour free!
I, too, would fly along with you,
But who would welcome me?
A lonely stranger in Ukraine,
Even as here, I'd stand;
An orphan am I there, dear friend,
As in this foreign land.
Why does my heart then flutter so?
There loneliness awaits me!...
What, loneliness? In my Ukraine
Whose mighty steppe elates me!
For there the boisterous wind will blow
And speak as to a brother;
There Freedom roams the boundless plain;
The blue sea, Freedom's mother,
In mighty accents praises God
And scatters grief away;
And there the burial mounds commune
With prairie winds that stray.
With them in sorrow they converse;
Their speech is filled with pain:
“Thus once it was, but all has gone
And will not come again!"
I, too, would fly to listen there
And weep with those that weep...
Alas! Harsh fate has clipped my wings.
With aliens I must creep.

(1) N. Markevich (1804-60), a Ukrainian who wrote Russian verses on Ukrainian themes. He was also the author of a five-volume History of Little Russia (Ukraine) which was published in Moscow in 1843, and which was as unbiased as Russian censorship allowed.

Taras Shevchenko
"N. Markevychu" / "Banduryste, orle syzyi"
("Н. Маркевичу"/ "Бандуристе, орле сизий")
1840, S.- Petersburg, (C. - Петербург)

Translated by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell

Original publication: Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 1: Poeziia 1837-1847. — S. 127; S. 634-635

Source: The Poetical Works of Taras Shevchenko. The Kobzar. Translated from the Ukrainian by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell. Published for the Ukrainian Canadian Committee by University of Toronto Press, 1964. Toronto and Buffalo. Printed in Canada, Reprinted 1977, p. 58

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