"In the Fortress" ("It does not touch me, not a whit") poem of Taras Shevchenko (Ukrainian-to-English translation by Vera Rich)


Taras Shevchenko

IN THE FORTRESS

("Meni odnakovo, chy budu" / "Мені однаково, чи буду")

ІІІ

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 own 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 knaves,
Evil rogues lull our Ukraine 
Asleep, and only in the flames 
Let her, all plundered, wake again...
That touches me with deepest pain.

 

Poem of Taras Shevchenko
Tsykl "V kazemati":
 "Meni odnakovo, chy budu"
(Цикл "В казематі": "Мені однаково, чи буду")
1847, St. Petersburg, In the Fortress 
(С. - Петербург)

Translated by Vera Rich

Source of the original poem in Ukrainian:
Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannja tvoriv: U 6 t. — Kyjiv, "Naukova dumka", 2003. Том 2: Поезія 1847 - 1861, 
stor. 11 - 20; stor. 549 - 570.

Source of English translation of the poem:  Taras Shevchenko."Song out of Darkness". Selected poems translated from the Ukrainian by Vera Rich. London, 1961, p. 86.

Here you can find Ukrainian text of the Taras Shevchenko's poem:
Original poem in Ukrainian


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