Janka Kupała

Among the graves

Among the graves I stand, my cross upon my shoulder,

An envoy from the graves, words of dead prophets bearing,

And I reach to the distance, as far as eye is faring,

And everywhere that my free thought can venture boldly.

 

And I send forth a cry, from mound to mound unfolding,

Like whirlwinds' flight through the broad spaces tearing,

A cry, a battle-slogan from oath of age-old swearing,

That only dreams in harps, where songs enchanted hold it.

 

With a dying slave's last agonised death-rattle,

With the dark prayer of a mother-murdering sinner,

I seek the sun, the sun without end or beginning.

 

Let my soul be burned like tree-trunk felled and shattered,

Let my eyes wilt like frail lily-flower - no matter -

Only let my cross blaze forth with fire unstinted.

 

1915

 




Source: Janka Kupała. Sonnets. Mastackaja litaratura, 2002.
Translation: Вера Рыч

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