Cutters dissected Guts of a whale with a whack... No oneís expected Shots from behind in his back... Batteries gunning, Leaving no shells in reserve... You should be running Fast on a curve! Mainsail! Itís torn and ruined! I repent and rue it! Craving a battle Often youíd find no foes... It doesnít matter If you got aching toes... Creaking door-hinges, Chanting to guests, would begin: ďWho are you, strangers? Donít you come in!Ē Mainsail! Itís torn and ruined! I repent and rue it! Praises and cheers To those who sleep and sing!.. Two hemispheres Soon in the sea may sink... Continents flaming Maiming your brain and spine, But I am claiming - It is not mine! Mainsail! Itís torn and ruined! I repent and rue it!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton