Janka Kupała

Bees

My orchard's girt with tree-stump hives of honey-bees

That sing like music-makers with unending humming,

Their bell-song bellies out from summer unto summer.

To near and distant villages it flies forth constantly.

 

I tend the hives, smoke them, bless them as it should be,

In autumn-time I leave a mighty store of honey,

I watch in winter lest some parasite may come in,

In springtime, top and base I cleanse devotedly.

 

But when the time of swarming comes around - that day

The bees decline to settle where I built their arbour,

Off where another's blossoms bloom they swiftly stray,

 

And when I go for honey to the vat, my labour

Is all in vain... More trouble!...By my kinsman-neighbour

Just like the swarm, the honey has been whisked away!

 

1918

 




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

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