We stand enlightened but
yet we want to enlighten the others.
— T. Shevchenko
By nature our species is sagacious;
and we know all and are masters of all that we see.
And thus are watched with pride and jubilation
by our ancestor — the gentle chimpanzee.
He swings in trees directly from birth,
And bathes himself in tropic winds…
But we will go teach all the nations on earth
How to swim in the oceans of ink.
Among us everyone’s so learned
that limits on our paper must be kept.
Volcanoes of paper are constantly burning,
and spewing forth mountains of script.
And we know all: and everything is clear as day.
What of tomorrow? Ask us that!
Just as the fire is fed by hay —
so wisdom nurtures us and makes us fat.
And we will raise and rise and go.
And we will reach and breach the heights!!!
And so you’ll gape in simple awe,
when we reveal to you our endless fancy’s flights.
Why do you ramble round like drunken churls,
why do you search, when we’ve discovered all,
when from your fog to our sunny world
there leads a brilliant, sun-lit hall.
We haven’t heard of strife for quite a while here,
or other such absurdities or shame,
There’s but one problem that resounds:
oh, what if our wise paper mounds
were visited by one small spark of flame?
Перекладач: Andriy M. Freishyn-Chirovsky
Оригінал: Хор старійшин з поеми “Фікція” (пізніше увійшов у Казку про Дурила)