To N. V. Hohol*
("Hoholiu" / "Za dumoiu duma roiem vylitaie...")
Thought follows thought, off in a swarm each flits:
One mauls the soul, one tears it all to bits,
A third weeps gently, softly, deep concealed:
Perhaps to God Himself it's not revealed.
To whom shall I unfold it?
By whom will it be heard —
This speech of mine, who will divine
The import of my Word?
In chains our people bend!...
You laugh full deep while
I must weep,
My great and mighty friend!
What harvest yields my weeping?
Weeds it perchance may be!
No cannon roar now in Ukraine
With voice of Liberty;
Nor will the father slay his son,
His own dear child, with pain,
For honour, glory, brotherhood,
The freedom of Ukraine.
He'll rather rear him up to sell
To Moscow's slaughterhouse...
This is our tribute to "the throne"
(Our honour though they dowse),
Our offering to "the fatherland,"
A gift that Germans reap...
So let it be, my friend, while we
Still fiercely laugh and weep.
*Russian, Nikolai Gogol (1809-52), a famous Russian-Ukrainian writer whose first stories, written in Russian, and in a humorous vein, dealt with the Ukrainian locale and the manners and customs of his countrymen.
"Hoholiu" / "Za dumoiu duma roiem vylitaie..."
("Гоголю" / "За думою дума роєм вилітає...")
1844, S.- Petersburg (С.- Петербург)
Translated by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell
Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 1: Poeziia 1837-1847. — S. 284; S. 710-712
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. 181-182.