The River to the Blue Sea Flows…

Translated by C. H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell

The river to the blue sea flows
But flows not back again!
The Cossack seeks his fortune too,
But all his search is vain.
Wide in the world the Cossack goes,
And there the blue sea roars, —
The Cossack’s heart is boisterous too,
This question it explores:
“Where have you gone without farewell?
To whom has all been left —
Of father and old mother now
And of your maid bereft?
These alien folk have alien hearts;
It's hard with them to live;
No one is here to share one’s tears
Or gentle words to give.”
The Cossack haunts the farther coast, —
And still the blue seas roar.
He hoped to find his fortune there,
But met with sorrow sore.
And while the cranes in coveys seek
The ocean’s farther bournes,
The Cossack weeps — the beaten paths
Are overgrown with thorns.

                         1838, St. Petersburg