from "MOJE SERBSKO WUZNACE" from "MY SORBIAN CONFESSION"
Jakub Bart-Ćišinski trans. Robert Elsie (from Sorbian)
Přećelo, haj małka serbska zemja
je a małki serbski narod, jako
kupa mólčka wosrjedz wulkoh moria.

Štóz ja tola kruće wĕrju, zo
jeho mócne žolmy njepočĕrja
naše serbske hona, wsy a dwory.
Lud naš dźĕleny a roztorhany
zwonka, znutřka, na wjacore wašnje
je a w ničim njeje žadyn cyłk.
A w tych jednotliwych wotšćěpkach
telko zwady, ach, a šćěpjenja!
(Stary hrěch to slowjanskeje kreje.)
A ja tola kruće wěrju, zo
serbski lud mój nihdy njezahinje.
Wzmi mi tule wěru z wutroby,
a ja zdobom wot so ćisnu pjero
serbowske a porsta wjace njezhibnu
nic za lud, nic za kraj serbowski.
Ně, ně! Ja znajmjeńša kruće wěrju
do přichoda a do žiwjenja
ludu serbskeho a - z dobrym prawom.
Móc a wutrajnosć so w našim ludu
chowa železna, a strowa mysl
a duch jasny sydli w čerstwym ćěle.
Ow, njech Serba kóždoh wutroba
skała přećiwo tym cuzym žołmam,
kóžda ruka bróń a kóždy dych
lubosć k serbskej zemi je, a serbska
zemja serbska wěčnje zawostanje.
Duša naroda pak, z kotrejeż so
do tych stawow rozdrjebjenych dyrbi
žórlić ziwjenje a zjednoćeć je
k cyłkej mócnemu, niech horca lubosć
k serbskcj rěči je a k serbskei roli!
A tež ty wěr: Serbja wostanu!
Our land is small, my friend,
And our people too, like a tiny islet
In the midst of the great sea.


But I firmly believe that
The mighty waves will never overpower
Our Sorbian countryside, its villages and farms.
Our people are divided and split
From without and within; in many ways
There is no unity anywhere.
Alas, nothing but feuding and division
Within even the smallest faction
(the ancient transgression of Slavic blood).
This Sorbian people of mine will never die out.
Steal this belief from my heart
And I will throw down at once this Sorbian quill,
No more will I lift a finger
For this people, for this Sorbian land.
No, never! At least I firmly believe
In the future and in the life
Of the Sorbian people - and rightly so.
Vernal strength and perseverance are to be found
In our people; a healthy mind
And a shining spirit inhabit a robust body.
Oh, may every Sorbian heart be steadfast
As a rock against these alien waves,
May every arm be a shield and every breath
An expression of love for the Sorbian countryside,
A land which will remain eternally Sorbian.
The spirit of the people
Must swell with life
And bring together these scattered members
Into one mighty unit, with ardent love
For the Sorbian language and Sorbian soil.
May you, too, know this: we remain Sorbs!

Trans. Copyright © Robert Elsie 1990 - publ. Forest Books


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