1933

Oleksa Veretenchenko

My paupered Ukrainian people
Ukraine, my Sich mother
Where are you coats of arms and heirlooms?
Where is your state mace?

Long has the steppe not heard
the cry of the eagle aloft.
The fame of Khmelnyts'kyi and Mazepa
is not sung about by grey kobzars.

Only the pounding of chains
can be heard in Solovky, in Siberia, in Kolyma.
The cossack country of hetmans
is dying in Russian slavery.

Where has the joyful smiling gone,
and the Kupalo fires of girls?
Where are the Ukrainian villages,
and the cherry orchards around the houses?

Everything has perished in the cold blazes:
mothers and children are dying of hunger,
and madmen in bazaars sell human flesh to people.

Everything has disappeared... and on all of the ruins
our drunken enemies dance.
Ukrainians die in Ukraine,
in Baikol, in the cold of the taiga...

No -- we will not rise like a cloud.
No -- we will not strike like a thunderbolt.
If a punishment is due for all crimes,
then what kind of punishment is due them?

 

 

Great Famine in Ukraine 1932-33, p129  (see bibliography)