Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Oíche Chásca le hAnton Chekhov (aistriúchán Gaeilge)


Bhí mé i mo sheasamh ar bhruach Abhainn an Goltva, ag feitheamh le bád fartha ón mbruach thall. Go hiondúil abhainn umhal leathmhór an Gholtva, í ciúin agus machnamhach, a bhíonn ag glioscairt go bog taobh thiar de ghiolcach thiubh; ach anois shín loch, geall leis, os mo chomhair amach. Bhí uiscí an earraigh, iad imithe ar mórmhire, tar éis a dá bhruach a sceitheadh agus bhí dhá thaobh na habhann báite ar feadh achar fada gur thum garraithe glasraí, gorta féir agus talamh riascach faoi uisce, sa tslí is nár rud as an ngnách poibleoga agus sceacha a fheiceáil ag gobadh aníos as dromchla an uisce mar a bheadh creaga uaigneacha duaiseacha ann sa dorchacht.

Samhlaíodh dom gurbh aimsir thaibhseach a bhí ann. Bhí sí dorcha, ach bhí na crainn le feiceáil, an t-uisce agus na daoine leis…  Las na réaltaí an domhan, bhí an spéir ramhar leo, iad scaipthe ar a fuaid. Ní cuimhin liom an oiread sin réaltaí a fheiceáil ariamh roimhe sin. Ní raibh slí d’oiread is ladhraicín do láimhe eatarthu. Cuid acu bhíodar chomh mór le hubh ghroí ghé, cuid eile bhíodar chomh bídeach le síolta cnáibe… Bhíodar tar éis éirí do mhórshiúl na féile, gach mac máthair acu, beag agus mór, nite, athnuaite agus lúcháireach, agus bhí gach ceann acu agus a ngathanna ag bogdhrithliú leo. Ceapadh an spéir san uisce; bhí na réaltaí ar snámh go domhain dorcha ann agus bhíodar ar creathadach le crithloinnir na nguairneán uisce. Bhí an t-aer te gan chorraí… I bhfad as ar an mbruach thall, anseo is ansiúd, sa dorchacht dhothollta sin, bhí soilse geala dearga ag drithliú...

Cúpla truslóg uaim chonac an scáil tuathánach agus hata ard air, bata tiubh cnapánach ina láimh aige.

“Nach fada anois teacht an bháid fartha!” a dúras.

“Is tráth di a bheith anseo cheana,” a d’fhreagair an scáthchruth.

“Bhfuilir ag feitheamh leis an mbád fartha, leis? 

“Níl,” arsa an tuathánach de mhéanfach – “Táim ag feitheamh leis an soilsiú. Bhí de cheart agam dul, ach leis an bhfírinne a dhéanamh, níl na cúig chóipeic don bhád fartha agam.”

“Tabharfad dhuit na cúig chóipeic sin.”

“Ná déan; gabhaim buíochas leat go humhal… Leis na cúig chóipeic sin croch coinneal dom thall ansin sa mhainistir… Ba shuimiúla go mór sin, agus seasfad mar a bhfuil mé. Cad is ciall leis, bád fartha ar lár, amhail gur báitheadh é!”

Chuaigh an tuathánach go himeall an uisce, rug greim ar an téad, agus scread: “Ieronim! Ieron–im!”

Mar a bheadh a scread á fhreagairt, shnámhaigh cling mhall cloig mhóir trasna ón mbruach thall. Toll is íseal a bhí an nóta, amhail sin ón tsreang is tibhe ar an olldord; ba chosúil gurbh í an doircheacht féin a lig an nóta aisti go piachánach. Láithreach chualathas glór urchar gunna mhóir. D’imigh sé ag tormáil leis sa doircheacht agus chuaigh as éisteacht áit éigin i bhfad taobh thiar díom. Bhain an tuathánach a chaipín agus ghearr fíor na croise air féin.

“Tá Críost éirithe,” a dúirt sé.


Easter Eve Anton Chekhov

I was standing on the bank of the River Goltva, waiting for the ferry-boat from the other side. At ordinary times the Goltva is a humble stream of moderate size, silent and pensive, gently glimmering from behind thick reeds; but now a regular lake lay stretched out before me. The waters of spring, running riot, had overflowed both banks and flooded both sides of the river for a long distance, submerging vegetable gardens, hayfields and marshes, so that it was no unusual thing to meet poplars and bushes sticking out above the surface of the water and looking in the darkness like grim solitary crags.

The weather seemed to me magnificent. It was dark, yet I could see the trees, the water and the people. . . . The world was lighted by the stars, which were scattered thickly all over the sky. I don't remember ever seeing so many stars. Literally one could not have put a finger in between them. There were some as big as a goose's egg, others tiny as hempseed. . . . They had come out for the festival procession, every one of them, little and big, washed, renewed and joyful, and everyone of them was softly twinkling its beams. The sky was reflected in the water; the stars were bathing in its dark depths and trembling with the quivering eddies. The air was warm and still. . . . Here and there, far away on the further bank in the impenetrable darkness, several bright red lights were gleaming. . . .

A couple of paces from me I saw the dark silhouette of a peasant in a high hat, with a thick knotted stick in his hand.

"How long the ferry-boat is in coming!" I said.

"It is time it was here," the silhouette answered.

"You are waiting for the ferry-boat, too?"

"No I am not," yawned the peasant-- "I am waiting for the illumination. I should have gone, but to tell you the truth, I haven't the five kopecks for the ferry."

"I'll give you the five kopecks."

"No; I humbly thank you. . . . With that five kopecks put up a candle for me over there in the monastery. . . . That will be more interesting, and I will stand here. What can it mean, no ferry-boat, as though it had sunk in the water!"

The peasant went up to the water's edge, took the rope in his hands, and shouted; "Ieronim! Ieron--im!"

As though in answer to his shout, the slow peal of a great bell floated across from the further bank. The note was deep and low, as from the thickest string of a double bass; it seemed as though the darkness itself had hoarsely uttered it. At once there was the sound of a cannon shot. It rolled away in the darkness and ended somewhere in the far distance behind me. The peasant took off his hat and crossed himself.

'"Christ is risen," he said.


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