Having gotten the promise from Land to abide Our coming, no matter what time is to pass, Weíll set out again on high tide, Like a mom rocks a child by her side, Mother Sea will start teetering us. Waves will toil in their stubborn industrious style, Flogging our starboard and port. And at once Very patiently engines will start to compile Of the volatile seconds long months. Velvet water is stretched, so soothed, so smoothed, And for hundreds of miles desert ocean spreads... After pitching and rolling itís hard to get used To the comfort of home and cozy beds. No vacation at sea - deep in labor we sink, Restless days, sleepless nights, troubled weeks we begin. Of the sweethearts we rarely think - Love retreats when you are on the brink... Hope, darlings forgive us this sin! No, itís wrong! Each one whispers the dearest name, Seamen hate to reveal their love, as a rule. Here we chase neither fortune, nor women, nor fame - We are after a big herring school! Velvet water is stretched, so soothed, so smoothed, No walls for a trawler wherever she heads... Coming back sailors find it too hard to get used To the comfort of home and cozy beds. We are making big bucks - that is what people say. Yet no penny for nothing a sailor will get! Itís in search of the sea that we sail And in search of a singular day, Which weíll later on never forget! When we come from a foreign, unusual spring And we near the Motherlandís wonderful shores, Then all gates will the country wide open swing To embrace every seaman of hers! Velvet water is stretched, so soothed, so smoothed, To the outer world there arenít any threads... Coming back sailors find it too hard to get used To the comfort of home and cozy beds. Weíll return as we have been engaged to the earth, (Which is our bride, true and faithful, indeed!), Though the sea that has given us birth, Rocks a sailor who sleeps in his berth, Like a mother whoís rocking her kid! Gasp! The beaconís gone nuts, no longer it aids, But it stares at us, stunned and staggered, instead! It has seen how the shipís reared up on her blades, Having kicked in the diesels like mad! At the pier we moor, amused and enthused, Gentle rocking is fun, to our pleasure it adds... We are used to again and again getting used To the comfort of home and cozy beds.
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2002
Edited by Robert Titterton