Mar 09 2025

Born 9 March 1814
Ivan Pidkova


(A Fragment)

At one time in Ukraina
Cannons roared like thunder;
At one time the Zaporozhtsy
Knew the path to power.
So they ruled and they acquired
Glory, yes, and freedom;
That is past - they've left behind them
Tombs upon the meadows.
And those tombs are high and lofty,
Where they laid to slumber
The white body of a Kozak
Wrapped in cloth of crimson.
And those tombs are high and lofty,
Black as gloomy mountains.
In the field they speak of freedom
Softly to the breezes.
And they speak to passing breezes
Of the past and serfdom.
And the grandson reaps the harvest
Singing songs they fashioned.
At one time in Ukraina
Evil there was dancing.
Sorrow vanished with the drinking
In the jolly circle.
At one time in Ukraina
Life was good and merry.
Let's recall it! Our hearts, maybe,
Can thus find some solace.
by Taras Shevchenko
St. Petersburg, 1839
[Translated by Clarence A. Manning]
The late famous Ukrainian actor Bohdan Stupka recites what is perhaps Shevchenko's most famous poem... his "Testament"....

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