Poem of Taras Shevchenko "Once I was walking in the night ". Ukrainian-to-English translation by Vera Rich


Taras Shevchenko

ONCE I WAS WALKING IN THE NIGHT

("Yakos'-to yduchy unochi" / "Якось-то йдучи уночі")


Once I was walking in the night 
Beside the Neva, and my wits 
Were pondering deeply as I walked :
"If it had been," I thought, "If it
Had been the slaves would not submit,
There would not stand on Neva’s banks 
These palaces as a living shame,
A brother, a sister would remain ;
But now... no, there is nothing now,— 
Not even God, nor demi-god :
And, with their brats, dog-trainers reign,
And we — the clever kennel-men —
Weep on, and breed their hounds for them!..." 
So, walking at night, I chanced to be 
Beside the Neva, and my wits
Formed such fine thoughts; I had not seen 
That over on the other bank 
A kitten, as if in a pit,
Blinked both his eyes : for there were lit 
Near the Apostle’s Gate — twin lamps.
Startled from my dreams, I crossed
Myself, and spat three times for sure,
Then once again in thought was lost,
The same deep thoughts I had before.


Poem of Taras Shevchenko
"Yakos'-to yduchy unochi"
("Якось-то йдучи уночі")
1860, St. Petersburg, (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. 367; 755-756. 

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. 112.

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


Recent comments for the page
«Poem of Taras Shevchenko "Once I was walking in the night ". Ukrainian-to-English translation by Vera Rich»:
Total amount of comments: 0    + Leave a comment