John Weir (Ivan Fedorovych Viv’yurskiy), a Canadian of the Ukrainian lineage, was a talented English-speaking translator of the second half of the 19ih century. During his life he translated 29 Shevchenko’s poetic works.
Don’t wed a wealthy woman, friend,
She’ll drive you from the house.
Don’t wed a poor one either, friend,
Dull care will be your spouse.
Get hitched to carefree Cossack life
And share a Cossack fate:
If it be rags, let it be rags —
What comes, that’s what you take.
Then you’ll have nobody to nag
Or try to cheer you up,
To fuss and fret and question you
What ails you and what’s up.
When two misfortune share, they say,
It’s easier to weep.
Not so: it’s easier to cry
When no-one’s there to see.
Taras Shevchenko, “Don’t Wed” – “Ne zhenysia na bahatii”
Translated by John Weir