John Weir (Ivan Fedorovych Viv'yurskiy), a Canadian of the Ukrainian lineage, was a talented English-speaking translator of the second half of the 19th century. During his life he translated 29 Shevchenko's poetic works.
The river empties to the sea,
But out it never flows;
The Cossack lad his fortune seeks,
But never fortune knows.
The Cossack lad has left his home,
He's left his kith and kind;
The blue sea's waters splash and foam,
Sad thoughts disturb his mind:
"Why, heedless, did you go away?
For what did you forsake
Your father old, your mother grey,
Your sweetheart, to their fate?
In foreign lands live foreign folks,
Their ways are not your way:
There will be none to share your woes
Or pass the time of day."
Across the sea, the Cossack rests —
The choppy sea's distraught.
He thought with fortune to be blessed —
Misfortune is his lot.
In vee-formation, 'cross the waves
The cranes are off for home.
The Cossack weeps — his beaten paths
With weeds are overgrown...
("Dumka" / "Teche voda v synie more")
1838, S.- Petersburg
Translated by John Weir