DROWSY WAVES, SKY UNWASHED AND DIRTY
("I nebo nevmyte, i zaspani khvyli" / "І небо невмите, і заспані хвилі")
Drowsy waves, sky unwashed and dirty,
And on the bank there out beyond,
The rushes sway without a wind
As they were drunken... God of mercy!
Is it still long I must endure,
Here, in this prison that holds sure
Though lockless, by this worthless sea,
This weary life? It does not speak.
The yellowed grass, but silent, sways
As if alive, across the plain.
To speak the truth is not its task...
And there is no one else to ask.
Poem of Taras Shevchenko
"I nebo nevmyte, i zaspani khvyli"
("І небо невмите, і заспані хвилі")
1848, Kos-Aral, (Косарал)
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. 117; 619 - 620.
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. 91.
Here you can find Ukrainian text of the Taras Shevchenko's poem:
Original poem in Ukrainian