The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows,
The wind in anger howls and raves,
Down to the ground it bends the willows
And mountain-high lifts up the waves.
The pale-faced moon picked out this moment
To peek out from behind a cloud,
Like a canoe upon the ocean
It first tips up and then dips down.
The cocks have not proclaimed the morning,
There’s not a sound as yet of man,
The owls in glades call out their warnings,
And ash-trees creak and creak again.
Translated by John Weir
Dig my grave and raise my barrow
By the Dnieper-side
In Ukraine, my old land,
A fair land and wide.
I will lie and watch the cornfields,
Listen through the years
To the river voices roaring,
Roaring in my ears.
Bury me; be done with me,
Rise and break your chain,
Water your new liberty
With blood for rain.
Then in the mighty family
Of all men that are free,
May be, sometimes, very softly
You will speak of me?
Translated by E. L. Voinich
It Doesn’t Touch Me…
It does not touch me, not a whit
If I live in Ukraine or no,
If men recall me, or forget,
Lost as I am, in foreign snow, –
Touches me not the slightest whit.
Captive, to manhood I have grown
In strangers’ homes, and by my own
Unmourned, a weeping captive still,
I’ll die, all that is mine, I will
Bear off; let not a trace remain
In our glorious Ukraine.
Our own land – yet a stranger’s rather.
And speaking with his son, no father
Will recall, nor bid him: Pray,
Pray, son! Of old, for our Ukraine,
They tortured all his life away.
It does not touch me, not a whit,
Whether that son will pray, or no…
But it does touch me deep if knave,
Evil rogues lull our Ukraine
Asleep, and only in flames
Let her, all plundered, wake again…
That touches me with deepest pain.
Translated by Vera Rich