Taras Shevchenko's poem "My Testament" (English translation: Michael M. Naydan)


My Testament

“Zapovit" / "Jak umru, to pokhovaite”

When I die, bury me
On a grave mound
Amid the wide-wide steppe
In my beloved Ukraine,
In a place from where the wide-tilled fields
And the Dnipro and its steep banks
Can be seen and
Its roaring rapids heard.
When it carries off
The enemy’s blood from Ukraine
To the deep blue sea… I’ll leave
The tilled fields and mountains -
I’ll leave everything behind and ascend
To pray to God
Himself… but till then
I don’t know God.
Bury me and arise, break your chains
And sprinkle your freedom
With the enemy’s evil blood.
And don’t forget to remember me
In the great family,
In a family new and free,
With a kind and quiet word.

Taras Shevchenko
“Zapovit" / "Jak umru, to pokhovaite”
("Заповіт" / "Як умру, то поховайте"
)
1845, Pereiaslav (Переяслав)

Translated by Michael M. Naydan

Original publication:
Taras Shevchenko, Tvory v 6 t. [Works in 6 v.], Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1968


Source:
"Ukrainian Literature. A Journal of Translations" Volume 1.2004"
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, USA
http://www.shevchenko.org/Ukr_Lit/Vol01/01-04.html

 


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