To Gogol

Thoughts fly out, swarm by swarm,
One tightens the heart, another rends it,
yet another weeps quietly
inside it, so that even God wouldn't hear.

Whom shall I show it to?
And who would
greet it, who would guess
a word of Greatness?
All are deaf - bent down
in irons.... in indifference...
You are laughing, and I weep,
my great friend.
What shall sprout out of this lament?
Hemlock, brother.
Free cannons won't
roar in Ukraine again.
A father won't slaughter again
his son, his child,
for Honor, Glory, Brotherhood
or Liberty in our land.
He won't slaughter,
but shall rather raise him,
and sell him off, retail,
to the Muscovite. As if it were
a widow's lepton to the Throne,
a levy on staying mute.
So be it, Brother. And we
shall laugh, and weep.




Translation: Roman Turovsky-Savchuk 2/10/2008