Bandura Player, Eagle Grey

Translated by Helen Lubach Piznak

To N. Markevych

Bandura-player, eagle grey!
You are lucky, brother:
You have wings, you have power,
You have time to fly!
Now then, fly to Ukraine—
They are on the watch for you.
I would fly after you,
But who would welcome me?
Here I am alone, a stranger,
And in Ukraina
I am an orphan, my dear one,
Just as in a strange land.
Why does my heart pound, throb?
I am lonely there!
Lonely... And Ukraine;
And her wide steppes!
There where the breeze whispers,
Speaks to you like a brother;
There in the wide field is freedom;
There the blue sea
Plays, praises the Lord,
Chases away sorrows.
There the mounds with the strong wind
On the steppe are conversing.
They converse, sorrowfully —
These are their words:
        "There was once—but it has passed,
        "Will never return again..."
There I would fly, I would listen,
I would cry with them...
But alas! My fate overwhelmed me
Amidst a strange people.

                1840, St. Petersburg