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🚧At the dawn of spring

Zmitrok Biadulia
Zmitrok Biadulia на
Ведах беларускіх

Translated by


IVIarch had adorned the valleys with a golden gleaming, The vastness, the expanse of heaven was clear as glass, Blue distance robed itself in tulle of silver weaving, And the dark forest shook its tree-top crests afar.

The ice cracked — quietly Jaryla* walked upon it, Printed his foot-steps where last snow-patches remained, A ray of light above him like fiery eagle hovered, Wading after him the attendant Elders came.

Their forms grew tall like trees of a wild thicket-coppice, And in their hands they carried an eternal Spring.

Light murmurs filled the air, there was worship in the forest, And a mysterious bell roused the earth from slumbering.

There upon every tree-stump a bright temple glittered, Ever lively fires hid it from all eyes, There under every tree-stump a bright freshet glinted, Over it there lay a slab of amber ice.

Negro-dark, the tree-boles circled round them, seeming Like a wild pursuit, a hunt of unknown beasts.

Lakes beneath the ice like crystal glittered, gleaming, Silence misted over the necks of waiting priests.

Rick-poles here and there on hillocks of the meadows, Like pikes, pop up, pop up, to dance a quiet round. On the ice among the bushes gleam the bright cranberries, As if on mirrors of pure water drops of blood were found.

In the autumn, under seep-net mist, girls were forbidden To win through to these berries by the marshes’ boggy fear, Like a treasure dread accursed, they lay close-hidden From human hands and eyes through the span of winter here.

The sun-god of Slav mythology.

Transparent was the ice, like net from cobweb woven, And in the quiet, beneath it, appeared the marshes’spread, Beneath the osiers’sinews, where water-flowers were floating, Rusalka in the depth of water hid on the swamp’s bed.

The snow-maidens, to punish her for something, thus afflict her, Beneath the ice till spring they ordered her to rest, Bilberries, wild strawberries, like corals, on her glistened Forcing her to keep a serpent on her breast.

Her parted lips were like a mushroom cut and folded, And on them colours blossomed, bright as poppy bloom, Like drops of milk her teeth flashed white to the beholder, And like a coal between them, a morsel of dark loam.

From under water-lilies, yellowed and a-quiver,

A drowsy whisper, a light breathing-sound was heard, From under golden scales, from under bubbles, shimmer, The outlines of fair limbs could faintly be discerned.

Rusalka soon will rend her sleep, break ice to shivers, And will go forth to sow bright scillas on the earth, And Spring will sing in rays of light above the river, And on the soft soil hold a feast of wondrous worth.


’•* »? drops of

МШК of tftaowfl

■Whcrystal gkte

they tyy **fl«throught

Translated by Vera Rich__.


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Collections: Belarusan Lyric poetry