Taras shevchenko — don't envy
Don't envy, friend, a wealthy man:
A rich man's life is spent
Without a friend or faithful love —
Those things he has to rent.
Don't envy, friend, a man of rank,
His power's based on force.
Don't envy, too, a famous man:
The man of note well knows
The crowd's acclaim is not for him,
But for that thorny fame
He wrought with labour and with tears
So they'd be entertained.
But then, when young folk gather 'round,
So fine they are and fair
You'd think it's heaven, — ah, but look:
See evil stirring there …
Don't envy anyone my friend,
For if you look you'll find
That there's no heaven on the earth,
No more than in the sky.
Mirhorod, October 4th, 1845.
Translated by John Weir, Toronto