Taras Shevchenko's poem "Testament" (Ukrainian-to-English translation by Vera Rich)


Taras Shevchenko

TESTAMENT

("Zapovit" / "Jak umru, to pokhovajte"
"Заповіт" / "Як умру, то поховайте")

When I die, then make my grave 
High on an ancient mound,
In my own beloved Ukraine,
In steppeland without bound :
Whence one may see wide-skirted wheatland, 
Dnipro’s steep-cliffed shore,
There whence one may hear the blustering 
River wildly roar.

Till from Ukraine to the blue sea  
It bears in fierce endeavour
The blood of foemen — then I’ll leave 
Wheatland and hills forever:
Leave all behind, soar up until 
Before the throne of God 
I’ll make my prayer. 
For till that hour 
I shall know naught of God.

Make my grave there — and arise,
Sundering your chains,
Bless your freedom with the blood 
Of foemen’s evil veins!
Then in that great family,
A family new and free,
Do not forget, with good intent 
Speak quietly of me.


Taras Shevchenko's poem
"Zapovit" / "Jak umru, to pokhovajte"
("Заповіт" / "Як умру, то поховайте")
1845, Pereyaslav, (Переяслав)

Translated by Vera Rich

Source of the original poem in Ukrainian:
Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. - Kyjiv, "Naukova dumka", 2003. Tom 1: Poeziia 1837 - 1847, stor. 371; stor. 750 - 752.

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. 85.

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


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