Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Old Folk-songs of Ukraina
By Florence Randal Livesay, trans.

WAS I not once the red cranberry
  By the river flowing?
My father’s only child was I
  In his house growing.
      But they plucked the boughs of the Kalina,        5
        They made great bunches.
      Such is my fortune—oh, unhappy fortune!
And on a day they married me.
  As I was bidden
I married—and, my blinded eyes,        10
  Forever hidden,
      The world grew dark upon that morning.
      Such is my fortune—oh, unhappy fortune!
Is there no river that I may drown in?
  Was there none other        15
Than he, the youth to whom they wed me,
  Father and mother?
Rivers a-plenty can be found here,
  But dry the bed now.
And youths—brave, gallant youths—are countless;        20
  But they are dead now!

A bride of Bukovina speaks:
      Dear my mother, weep not—
        I shall not take all;
      See, the cows and oxen
        Leave I in the stall.        25
      I take just black eyebrows,
        Only eyes of blue;
      And upon your table
        Tears I leave for you;
      And the little pathway        30
        Where my footsteps fell
      While I brought you water
        Daily from the well.
Her mother speaks:
      Pathway, little garden—
        (Ah, she must depart!)        35
      While I gaze upon you
        Faints my breaking heart.

“In the fields grows the rye, rye that is green, is green!
Tell me, my lover, how livest thou, when never my face is seen?”
“Out in the fields, down-beaten, rye lies upon its face—        40
So do I live without thee, the good Lord giving his grace.”

Fragment of a very old song

  O my field, my field!
Ploughed with bones,
Harrowed with my breast,
Watered with blood        45
From the heart, from the bosom—
Tell me, my field,
When will better days be?
  My field, O my field
By my grandfather won,        50
Why dost thou not give
Me the means of life?
Bitter toil! with my own blood stained—
My heart’s blood is there!
How bitter for me, my field,        55
To look on thee!

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