Taras shevchenko — my thoughts

My Thoughts

My thorny thoughts, my thorny thoughts,
You bring me only woe!
Why do you on the paper stand
So sadly row on row? …
Why did the winds not scatter you
Like dust across the steppes?
Why did ill-luck not cradle you
To sleep upon its breast? …

My thoughts, my melancholy thoughts,
My children, tender shoots!
I nursed you, brought you up — and now
What shall I do with you? …
Go to Ukraine, my homeless waifs!
Your way make to Ukraine
Along back roads like vagabonds,
But I'm doomed here to stay.

There you will find a heart that's true
And words of welcome kind,
There honesty, unvarnished truth
And, maybe, fame you'll find …
So welcome them, my Motherland,
Ukraine, into your home!
Accept my guileless, simple brood
And take them for your own!

Taras Shevchenko
St. Petersburg, 1839.
Translated by John Weir Toronto