Taras Shevchenko, "The Bondwoman's Dream" poem (Translated from Ukrainian by Alexander Jardine Hunter)


The Bondwoman's DreamTaras Shevchenko, The Bondwomans Dream poem Translated from Ukrainian by Alexander Jardine Hunter
("Son" / "Na panshchyni pshenytsiu zhala")

The slave with sickle
      reaped the wheat,
Then wearily limped
among the stooks;
But not to rest.
Her little son she sought
Who wakened crying in cool nest
among the sheaves,
His swaddled limbs unwrapped
she nourished him,
Then, dandling him a moment
fell asleep.
In dreams she saw
her little son,
Her Johnny, grown to man,
handsome and rich.
No lonely bachelor
but a married man
In freedom it seemed,
no longer the landlord's
but his own man.
And in their own joyous field
his wife and he
reaped  their  own   wheat,
Their children brought their food.
The poor thing laughed in her sleep,
Woke up —
a dream indeed it was,
She looked at Johnny,
picked him up and swaddled him,
And back to her allotted task;
Sixty stocks her stint
Perhaps the last of the sixty it was;
God grant it.
And God grant
this dream of thine
may be fulfilled.


Taras Shevchenko
"Son" / "Na panshchyni pshenytsiu zhala"
"Сон" / "На панщині пшеницю жала"
1858, S.- Petersburg (C.- Петербург)

Translated by Alexander Jardine Hunter

Source of the original poem in Ukrainian: Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 2: Poeziia 1847-1861. — S. 279; 703-704.            

Source of English translation of the poem:"The Kobzar of the Ukraine". Being select Poems of Taras Shevchenko. Done into English Verse with
Biographical Fragments by Alexander Jardine Hunter, p. 106 - 107.

Source of the illustrations - the same book


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