« Back Forth » па-беларуску


Пятрусь Броўка
Пятрусь Броўка на
Ведах беларускіх

Translated by


(__in the reduction of))

My native nook, Dear land that bred me! Jakub Kolas


My land, BielaruS! Pinewood and oak-spinneys, The lifegiving ryefields, the silk of the hay, The rowan rays that in the evening west shimmer, The clacking of storks, streamlets’chatter, the ribbons Of roads that through rustling groves make their way.

My land, Bielarus! With lake eyes aquiver Thou dost gaze at the zenith, transparent and blue, in the night, thick as apples, come stars falling ever, To vanish in dark meres, be lost in the rivers Or on the grass, sprinkled with droplets of dew.

Lays of past ages, bequest of past times there, Like boats that are drenched with the sun, ever glide, Over the green land, expanse unconfined there, From Nioman to Soz, from the Buh to the Hajna, On waves of Dniapro, on the Dzvina’s broad tide.

And, on their banks, lays of our fathers’ past glory, The pine-woods, those tellers of tales, ever tell, Potack and its towers ever speak of their story, My own native Minsk with its battlements hoary, Turau’s walls, Bielavieza with leaf-rustling dells.


My land, Bielarus! In the flame of the fighting, Striving in the stern conflict of nationhood’s war, hast risen, once more thou hast armed thyself mighty,

Thy sons, steadfast in battle, with foes’blood requiting, Gave drink to their swords, quenched their thirsts and yet more

Their strength is the strength of the oaks of Palessia, a^l In stature, broad-shouldered, as numerous to coun

As there are in the woods pine-trees, fragrant with resin, Asstars, scattering the sky with the moon’s luminiscence, As grass in the meads that spread wide without bound.

For freedom and honour — a cause true and holy — The mighty innumerable host makes its way.

‘Death to the dread monsterl’This cry echoes solely, Through Hrodna and Minsk, Brest and Pinsk it is rolling, Through all Bielarus it is thundering today.

Inexorable vengeance the highways is pounding, From late night until the dawn’s early glow. And, as evil winds cannot scatter tall mountains, Nor flames of hate parch up the rivers and fountains, So the might of the nation shall not be brought low.


Our grandsires of old fought the Prussians rapacious, No long time in fetters were they doomed to spend; At Grunwald they fought, on the ice of Lake Peipus, With Ukrainian brothers, with Russians, tenacious They fought on, their own Bielarus to defend.

Against onslaught of divers foes ever they strove on, Through the plains of Smalensk and Poltava did ride, As Cossacks they went, through the steppes Zaporozhian, And firmly believed: no man might overthrow them, For in truth eternal their land did abide!

Go, ask any pine, any birch, do not doubt it, They’ll tell you true: in the great days of yore, Vascyla, Chviesko, Kalinouski came proudly They led their detachments to deeds bold and doughty, High over the earth, like the sun, their fame soars.

Foes never were able to crush, overthrow them, They found refuge and fortress among forest pines;

Dawnlight shone on their brows from over the Nioman, To their steely breasts well-springs gave draughts, swiftly-flowing, To mark out their path did a million stars shine.


In days of yore, even, when wood-torches glinted, The fame of the city of Polack was heard, Thence came the great printer, Hieorhij Skaryna, Whoever his native land scattered, by printing, The radiance of learning in crystalline words.

And from his well-spring drank many a nation And took from his wisdom an eternal flame, In his first letters found strength, inspiration…

Glorious thou art, that for all generations Thou didst give birth to a son of such fame.

On thy breast, like a treasurehouse of living power, From out of the ancient mists prows gently glide, Where the grey mansions of Hrodna town glower, Walls of Novahrudek, or Sofia’s towers, The castles of Zaslau with steep rampart-sides.

The murmuring flax-plants tell of the folk’s glory, And the thoughts of the nation are hidden away By lakes, like pure pearls, and by well-springs outpouring, And the sky sparkles with bright rainbows for them, To light out their path in the thick of the fray.


Folk of my Bielarus! As heroes we knew you Long enough you in want and in slavery pined — You have washed your face now in a water-spring flowing, Wiped it dry with a silken dawn, easterly glowing, Boldly looked to the future with glance unconfined.

You have straightened your shoulders, tall-statured and mighty, Among native vales, tall as a giant you have loomed.

Like a pine forest lifted your head to clouds, highly Above spaces where ryefields spread rustling and widely, And your lips have, like fires of cranberries, bloomed.

Your brethren have from your misfortune unlocked you, Brushing the dark clouds away from your gaze;

Like the strong waves in a stormy flood flocking, Like stormy winds that set the waves rocking Ina free land you have the broad ploughlands embraced.

Like the voice of a well-spring, or water-brook ringing, Like the splash of blue lakes that stretch boundless, afar, Like the sound in the oakgroves of leaves in the spring-time, Thus your free words go forth, chiming and singing Borne on a wave to the sun and the stars.


My land, Bielarus! Motherland of true heroes, Today boundless spaces are caught in the strife, Thou will bring down the foe, for there stand ever near you The Soviet peoples, united and fearless.

Thou shalt fed joyous peace and a happier life.

But while on thy peaceful fields in war come crowding, Together the criminal gang of thy foes, Beneath the Red flag, standing tally and proudly Rending the chains of captivity boldly,

Through the days of war thou shalt, a partisan, go.

My land, Bielarus! Through fields and woods passing, All through thy expanse liberation shall roll.

Through the storm-whirlwind, through snowdrifts advancing, Troop upon troop come the Guards, swiftly marching They shall be met by some million souls.

They come, and the sun rises high, flashes ever From village to village, from township to town, Through all Bielarus, every child, every mother, This day from sincere heart says, all the land over: To Nation and Party all praise and renown!’

Translated by Vera Rich.

ЖШШ 112

« Back Forth » па-беларуску

Collections: Belarusan Lyric poetry