All evening itís been raging, and While bubbly bandages of foam Cover the ruptured seams of sand, I look on from above, and see How the breakers smash their necks. For those thus perishing I feel A faint compassion - but from afar. I hear the death raffle and the moan, The rage of those who did not survive, They who gathered speed well in advance, Braced themselves to breast the barrier, Then smashed their heads against the goal. For thus perishing I feel A faint compassion - but from afar.
Oh, frothing, white breakers of fate. Growing more beautiful with death, At the summons of the warlike trumpet The waves rear up and whinnying, Fracture their extended necks. And for the dead ones we feel A faint compassion - from afar.
Again the wind combs the waves, Dishevelling the foaming crests. The wave fails to clear the barrier, Someone beneath it trips it up, And the frothing filly collapses. For her that fell, someone will feel A faint compassion - from afar. And very soon my turn will come, The wind will blow, push me to the edge. I have a feverish foreboding - That I too will crush my backbone, That I too will break my neck. For me, the doomed one, they will feel A faint compassion - from afar. Thus through the centuries have many Sat on the shores and watched Attentively and sharply how Others alongside of them Smash heads and spines against stones. For those who perished thus they feel A faint compassion - but from afar.
But in the sombre, seaside dusk, In the secret, whale-infested depths, A single, unbelievable wave is born. Toward the shore it storms and rushes And swallows up the onlookers.   For those who perished thus Iíll feel A faint compassion - from afar.
© de Cate + Navrozov. Translation, 1995