Seize The Land In Triumph

Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1856)

Now my soul is incarnate in my country. My body has swallowed her soul, And I and my country are one. My name is million, for I love and suffer for millions.

Adam Mickiewicz 

The Testament

by Taras Shevchenko
Translated by E. L. Voynich, London, 1911

Dig my grave and raise my barrow
By the Dnieper-side
In Ukraina, my own land,
A fair land and wide.
I will lie and watch the cornfields,
Listen through the years
To the river voices roaring,
Roaring in my ears.

When I hear the call
Of the racing flood,
Loud with hated blood,
I will leave them all,
Fields and hills; and force my way
Right up to the Throne
Where God sits alone;
Clasp His feet and pray…
But till that day
What is God to me?

Bury me, be done with me,
Rise and break your chain,
Water your new liberty
With blood for rain.
Then, in the mighty family
Of all men that are free,
May be sometimes, very softly
You will speak of me?


by Adam Mickiewicz 

I like to watch leaning on Ajudah’s face
How foaming billows pressed in black ranks grow
Or at other times like silvery snow
Whirl in millions of rainbows with splendid grace.
They strike against the shoal, break into wave sprays,
Like an army of whales the shore overflow,
Seize the land in triumph, in retreat they go,
Toss shells, pearls, corals behind in their grace.
So it is, o young Poet, in your heart!
Passion often gives threatening storms a start,
But when you raise your lute, it leaves you unscarred,
In the oblivion of deep waters will drown
And the immortal songs will scatter down
From which on your brow ages will weave the crown.



by Adam Mickiewicz 

Lubię poglądać wsparty na Judahu skale,
Jak spienione bałwany to w czarne szeregi
Ścisnąwszy się buchają, to jak srebrne śniegi
W milijonowych tęczach kołują wspaniale.
Trącą się o mieliznę, rozbiją na fale,
Jak wojsko wielorybów zalegając brzegi,
Zdobędą ląd w tryumfie i, na powrót zbiegi,
Miecą za sobą muszle, perły i korale.
Podobnie na twe serce, o poeto młody!
Namiętność często groźne wzburza niepogody;
Lecz gdy podniesiesz bardon, ona bez twej szkody
Ucieka w zapomnienia pogrążyć się toni
I nieśmiertelne pieśni za sobą uroni,
Z których wieki uplotą ozdobę twych skroni

Published by

A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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