T. Shevchenko's poem "If only I could see" (tr. by Michael M. Naydan)

Four Poems

If only I could see

"Oi hlianu ia podyvlius"

If only I could see  
my fields and steppes again.
Won’t the good Lord let me,
in my old age,  
be free?
I’d go to Ukraine,
I’d go back home.
There they’d greet me—
glad to see the old man.
There I’d rest,
I’d pray to God,
There I’d—but why go on?
There will be nothing.
How am I to live in slavery
with no hope?
Do tell me,
lest I go crazy.

Taras Shevchenko,
"Oi hlianu ia podyvlius"
("Ой гляну я, подивлюся")
1848, Orska Forteca (Орська фортеця)

Translated by Alexander J. Motyl

Original publication:
Taras Shevchenko,
Untitled “(Oi hlianu ia
podyvlius'),” Zibrannia tvoriv u 6 tomakh, Кyiv: Naukova dumka, 2003, 2:77.

"Ukrainian Literature. A Journal of Translations" Volume 4.2014"
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, USA



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