Testament by Taras Shevchenko

Taras Shevchenko was a Ukrainian artist and poet.  Testament is one my favourite poems, written by Shevchenko in the 1840s.  It reminds me of my heritage, and my beloved grandfather, whom I missed dearly, the first two lines especially…

When I am dead, bury me
In my beloved Ukraine,
My tomb upon a grave mound high
Amid the spreading plain,
So that the fields, the boundless steppes,
The Dnieper’s plunging shore
My eyes could see, my ears could hear
The mighty river roar.
When from Ukraine the Dnieper bears
Into the deep blue sea
The blood of foes … then will I leave
These hills and fertile fields —
I’ll leave them all and fly away
To the abode of God,
And then I’ll pray …. But until that day
I nothing know of God.
Oh bury me, then rise ye up
And break your heavy chains
And water with the tyrants’ blood
The freedom you have gained.
And in the great new family,
The family of the free,
With softly spoken, kindly word
Remember also me.

(Translation: John Weir, 1961)

About sammi witch

writer and witch...
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16 Responses to Testament by Taras Shevchenko

  1. byronycoffin says:

    Forever Witch I am so happy to be back on line again. I had two computers now. One is a Toshiba and one is a iMac with all kinds of stuff attached to it but the apps are so expensive that it is ridiculous I lost all of my photos and all of my other stuff but I’m going to do the best things in life are not free. I am going to do the best I can to reply to everyone’s emails and I think that were going to be closer if at all possible. I’ve got to do the best I can to make things good between everyone and myself and I truly love your poem it is beautiful. I hope to hear more like it from you. Brightest blessings. Kristen Coffin

    • sammiwitch says:

      It’s great to hear that you are back online again, Kristen. We’ve missed you! 🙂 Looking forward to reading your posts again. Brightest Blessings

      • byronycoffin says:

        Thank you Sammi. It feels good to be back and thanks for reading and responding to me. I hope to have some chats between you and I hopefully soon. Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again. Kristen)0(

      • sammiwitch says:

        Sounds good. I shall look forward to it. Take care of yourself. Brightest Blessings

  2. shreejacob says:

    Was this poem written during a war? It sounds as if it is. I do like it though! 🙂

  3. This is a very beautiful that evokes the scent of the earth and the fragrance of the wind…
    This holds the same longing and deep emotion as Russian poet, Irina Rataushinskaya’s..

  4. byronycoffin says:

    I love your poem girl and I hope to hear many more from you. Brightest blessings. Kristen

  5. I really like his famous painting of the gypsy women…they’re wearing kokoshniks! I think it may be time for another kokoshnik post! Cheers for the inspiration!

    • sammiwitch says:

      That is a lovely painting. I never realised they were wearing kokoshniks – but not surprised that you knew 🙂 You are the Queen of all such paraphenalia and knowledge;-) Brightest Blessings

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