God, bestow on us your salvation, God, your blessing bestow on us, When we, dirty, begin the lavation, Washing spirit and flesh in the bath! Mother-waterís renascent, reviving, Healing ugliness, sickness and sores. Here you feel how nature is thriving, Here you feel that the birthright restores! Sins and faults, in your soul embedded, Any nuisance which grinds you or bores, By hot steam thatís been lavishly added, Are knocked out of you through your pores! All your torments are evaporated And dissolve in the sky to your mirth; Being freed from your vices and hatred, You can start a new life on the earth! Itís not washing - itís purification! Donít you rush outside, take your time! Give your soul some hard perspiration, Steam away all its mire and slime! Naked bodies - defects are not hidden. Never mind! Youíll be cleansed and renewed! In the bath-house just like in Eden: Only those can stay, who are nude! Rid of pride when the pants you are stripping, Rid of vanity, being undressed, Since a besom is equally whipping Any legs, any back, any breast! How one is exactly like others In a sauna you can esteem; All are free in the bath, all are brothers And the parity rules in the steam! Through the bath-house pass generations, Through the water, thatís holy and prized, Through affection, through mercy and patience We, barbarians, must be baptized! God, bestow on us your salvation, God, your blessing bestow on us, When we, dirty, begin the lavation, Washing spirit and flesh in the bath!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2003
Edited by Robert Titterton