Janka Kupała

The Belarusian

Behold, there passes by some shadow wasted,

From his lean shoulders a frieze coat hangs downward,

His grizzled head in rags of sheepskin drowning,

His crippled feet in bast sandals are cased.

 

Like furrowed field his face is lined and frowning,

Where gloom of mortal nature cast its traces,

His eyes lack life, tears' floods he oft has tasted,

And from his breast a rasping sigh is sounding.

 

A Belarusian this - he loves and suffers.

A Belarusian - into need's swamp, past saving,

He was brought down by darkness, that stepmother.

 

Tumbledown shack is all the wealth fate gave him,

Hatchet and ploughshare his life's aims - no other.

His respite from suffering - the inn, the graveyard.

 

1906

 




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

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