Taras Shevchenko was a Ukrainian poet, artist and humanist. His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language.  Shevchenko also left many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator.

He wrote this poem about Easter as seen through the eyes of a poor orphan.  Orphaned himself at a young age, Shevchenko may possibly be writing about his own experiences here.

На Великдень, на соломі
Против сонця, діти
Грались собі крашанками
Та й стали хвалитись
Обновами. Тому к святкам
З лиштвою пошили
Сорочечку. А тій стьожку,
Тій стрічку купили.
Кому шапочку смушеву,
Чобітки шкапові,
Кому свитку. Одна тілько
Сидить без обнови
Сиріточка, рученята
Сховавши в рукава.
— Мені мати куповала.
— Мені батько справив.
— А мені хрещена мати
Лиштву вишивала.
— А я в попа обідала,—
Сирітка сказала.

[Перша половина 1849, Косарал]


On Easter Sunday among the straw
Out in the sun the children played
With Easter eggs in colors braw
And each of them loud boasting made
Of gifts received. One, for the feast,
Was given a shirt with sleeves of white;
One with a ribbon had been pleased,
One with a garment, laced and tight;
This boy was given a lambskin cap,
That one a pair of horsehide boots,
And one a jacket to unwrap.
Only one child among their bruits,
An orphan, had no gift of bliss;
Her hands are hidden in her sleeves.
She hears: "My mother bought me this,
My father got me that." (She grieves.)
"My good godmother made a blouse
Embroidered gay with dainty thread."
"The priest has fed me at his house,"
At last the little orphan said.

[Kos Aral, 1849, in exile]

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