Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Return of Drebenucha
By Florence Randal Livesay, trans.
 
From “Old Folk Songs of Ukraina”

OI, to war rode Drebenucha, with the nobles to battle.
In the castle left he Katerina, its whole charge in her keeping.
 
Then rose up his old mother, tore her hair, wrote a letter:
“Thy great palace of brick is all ruined, all ruined thy stables!
 
“Thy bay horses are loose and they wander, thy goats they are scattered;        5
Thy wine cellars lie now all open, thy proud household’s in riot.”
 
Then the youthful Drebenucha tore his hair in his trouble;
Saddled he his bay horse quickly, and homeward he galloped.
 
Oi! came then Drebenucha to his strong, lordly castle.
Came to meet him Katerina, fair, lovely as ever.        10
 
But the young man, Drebenucha, paid no heed to her beauty:
Swift he drew out his sharp broadsword—her fair head fell, riven.
 
His walled castle was not ruined—’twas as stately as ever;
His brick stables were not fallen—they were better, were stronger.
 
In the stables his horses, his goats in the courtyard!        15
His proud household was still haughty, no disgrace had befallen.
 
And his old mother, seated, was holding his youngest,
Drebenitko, his baby—in her arms he was lying.
 
“If I feared not, my mother, God’s wrath from His heaven,
I would draw my sharp broadsword, thy head should be severed.”        20
 
Oi! then rode Drebenucha all up a steep mountain,
And he slew first his good steed, then fell on his broadsword.
 
“O thou, flinty mountain, thou hast taken my father!
Katerina is dead—take the young Drebenucha!”
 
 
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