KAZAN HILL
Anon. (oral tradition)trans. Keith Bosley - from Komi
Va-dore-ke me lećća,
me vylyn zld'ej vyjym,
me vylyn zld'ej vyjym.
"Jedžyd juśej, mića, nylej,
myil'a te me vyle lgaśin?
A l'i mdte pondin l'ubitny?
Munam meked Kazań gra vyle gul'ajtny!"
Nylys i šujis: "Me pe sen aćym
bydmi das-vit ared'ź,
gul'ańka vyle peti,
zonjas śilem vyle."
Zonmys i šu:
"Kazań gra vylad
byden sakar-jurjas sulale,
gyryś šorias vizuvteny:
byden seni grd vina,
posńi šorjasys ke vizuvte,
byden seni sd'ź vina.
Va-doras ke pe leććam,
byden sen šlkvej turun.
Pol'e vylas ke munam,
byden dona-ćenaa izjas!"
Seki nylys i brd'd'źis:
"Zonmej, zonmej, molod'ećej,
myl'a te men jjjedlan?
Kazań gra vylad ved
abu sakar-jurjas,
a byden seni saldackej jurjas sulaleny!
Gyryś šorjasys ved vizuvteny -
-abu grd vina
a byden saldackej virjas!
Posńi šorjasys ved vizuvteny -
abu sd'ź vina
a byden saldackej śin-va!
Va-doras ved abu šlkvej turun
a byden saldackej jur-śi!
Pol'e vylas ved abu dona-ćenaa izjas
a byden saldackej jur-ly!
Seni menam musa drugej kujile!
Kyćće e me sećće muna!
Sećće-ke ved me mded'ća,
menam śinmej tupkyśas brdemśys!"
As I walked by the riverside
my soul would not be still.
My swan so white, my maid so fair
how have I done you ill?
Do you love someone else? Let us
stroll upon Kazan Hill!

The maiden answered: Ever since
I passed my fifteenth year
I have spent many evenings
with lads and songs and cheer.

Ah, said the lad, but Kazan Hill
with sugar-loaves is teeming:
there are great rivers of red wine
small brooks with white wine streaming.

Along the banks is silky grass
for us to rest upon
and where we walk across the field
is many a precious stone!

The maid burst into tears: Smart lad
why make a fool of me?
On Kazan Hill no sugar-loaves
but soldiers' heads I'll see.

Great rivers, yes, not of red wine
but loud with soldiers' blood:
small brooks, indeed, not of white wine
but soldiers' tears in flood.

Along the banks no silky grass
but fallen soldiers' hair
and on the field no precious stones
but skulls, skulls everywhere!

And that is where my lover lies:
why should I thither go?
For if I should, for sure my eyes
with tears would overflow.

From The Great Bear, an anthology of Finno-Ugrian oral poetry.
The Komi, aka Zyryans, live in NE European Russia, their capital Syktyvkar .

Trans. Copyright © Keith Bosley - with acknowledgements to the Finnish Literature Society


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