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🚧The beginning

Пятрусь Броўка
Пятрусь Броўка на
Ведах беларускіх

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Above our heads no toasts were cried, When on life’s threshold first we stood. But mothers at our cradles sighed, And wept, and sang as best they could.

With them to work we must be borne —

They had no choice, though hard we weighed — In sultry fields of rustling corn They laid us ‘neath the stooks for shade.

All day at work. But in night

There came no break, no hour of rest. «Sleep, little son, sleep, lassie, tight!» They rocked and lulled us at the breast.

Sometimes for us no milk they had — With endless cares were close at grips — And with a sugared pap of bread They stopped our hungry infant lips.

They had to leave us out of sight, Amid the heat of village toil, And only swaddled us so tight Lest we small babes should chance to fall.

But swaddling-bands we thrust aside, We found our feet soon as we could, And barefoot in our boyish pride, Upon the stubble stiff we stood.

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The whole wide world was quite unknown — At all, struck dumb, we stopped to look — We met, the first time round the home, The cat, the dog, the crowing cock.

Then thunder, summer lightning’s flash, The quiet of the country night, The forest’s sigh, the brooklet’s splash, The August moon, all huge and bright.

We grew… Day followed day’s swift train, And strong grew shoulders, hand and breast. And washed by liberal showers of rain, And dried by cleansing winds again, We ventured on our distant quest.

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Collections: Belarusan Lyric poetry