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The voice of the land

Якуб Колас
Якуб Колас на
Ведах беларускіх

Translated by Vera Rich

I hear voice that naught can silence —
My own land calling me away;
It cuts wounds on my heart, beguiling
It chimes like scythe-bell in the hay.

The sigh of oakgroves, forests’ moaning,
Sobbing of rivers, well-springs’tears,
And muddy thickets dumbly looming,
They bear me news of strangers here.

I see before me Teuton figures,
The faces cold, the eyes of beasts,
They feel no law, they feel no pity,
And steel-forged hoofs have they for feet.

Ah, had I but the arms, land, for it,
I’d embrace thee with all my might,
I’d silence all your woe and torment,
And give my strength into the fight.

0 my dear land, O my dear country,
I hear your bell, its calling lure,
Accept a son’s words, offered humbly,
Not long shall slavery endure,

Thy forests are astir with anger,
Thy woods with vengeance are ashake,
Thy day the cloudy dusk will scatter,
Thou still hast warriors awake.

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Collections: Belarusan Lyric poetry