by Teofil Lenartowicz (1822 - 1893)
Translation by Ivan Zakharovich Surikov (1841 - 1880)

Language: Russian (Русский)  after the Polish (Polski) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Idyot devochka – sirotka, 
	tyazhelo vzdy'xaet,
a nad neyu goremy'chnoj,
	lastochka letaet.

I letaet, i shhebechet,
	nad golovkoj v`yotsya,
v`yotsya, kroshka, i kry'lami
	v kosu chut` ne b`yotsya.

"Chto ty' v`yosh`sya nado mnoyu,
	nad sirotkoj, ptashka?
Ax, ostav` menya, – i tak mne
	zhit` na svete tyazhko!"

– Ne ostavlyu, ne ostavlyu! 
	Budu ya kruzhit`sya, –
shhebetat` tebe pro brata,
	chto v tyur`me tomitsya.

On prosil menya: “Sletaj-ka,	
	ptashka, v kraj rodimy'j,
poklonis` moej sestrice,
	goryacho lyubimoj.

Vse l` menya ona, golubka,
	dobrom vspominaet?
vse l` ona eshhyo o brate
	slyozy' prolivaet?”

Note (provided by Laura Prichard): Although this is an adaptation of Teofil Lenartowicz’s poem “Jaskółka” (Swallow), in the Russian version, Ivan Surikov transforms the girl from a carefree, pretty village girl to an abandoned orphan. Both Tchaikovsky and Taneyev referred to this song in their letters as “сиротка” (“orphan girl”). Surikov also chose to omit part of the brother’s (Polish) question: “Does she still wear a white rose in her hair?”– this image would not be consistent with the uses and colors of symbolic flowers in Russian folk peotry.

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Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Hans Schmidt (1854 - 1923) ENG FRE RUS ; composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The swallow", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'hirondelle", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 92