Forging yesterday was ended. Iíve wrought the twofold plan. Into "foreign trip" Iíve landed, Which they gave me from the plant. Under douche soot was extracted. Then cold eel was on a tray, Afterwards I was instructed, What I might there and what nay. Their life is better still, than here we have. And in order I would properly behave, He began to read instructions book for me, That there I shouldnít even think to live as here. Speaking as with brer, he told Of the trip to wily west, Of the democratic Poles In the town, Budapest. "They have special way of life there, Hard to grasp it at a hit. Brother, really do endeavour, To respect them though a bit." "If discussion of the vodka will begin, Answer then: "No, thanks, democrats. Only tea". From their presents you must sternly turn away, Because at home in abundance such goods lay." He said: "Living in the snugness, Spare, but donít be in fool mood. Donít play a trick as dense as Killing yourself by dry food." "In that Czech town, Budapest, now Times are not as in the past. May be they will give you feast there, But it may be you will fast." Into market I in Hungary will wend To behold Romanian German women there. Democratic women, pals assured me, Donít take from Soviet comrades any fee. "But there the bourgeois infection Wanders, treading on heels nigh. You, beware of love connections More than of the evil eye." "There spies-women have good fitness. Show them door - theyíll get through pane. Say to all, that with this business Long ago weíve done away." "But they can act and operate not in straight way: One slips into carriage and pretends a male; But she has explosive stuff under her dress. You, verify what kind of sex your neighbour is." I began to pump him: "Puzzle May occur. I fear mess. How to check? They punch the muzzle For intruding under dress." But, instructor knew his business. No one can cut these old hands. And, again there went on dullness About wily foreign lands. I explain for those, who learnt without zest: I am leaving for Bulgarian Budapest. "If there will be incomprehension, donít be rude. Donít fight. Explain. They will have understood." But even simple sentence or word In their language I canít say. Give me sledge, and I will have wrought Any man into right way. But Iím not an agitator. Iím the blacksmith from of old. To Poles into Ulan Bator Iím not going at all. At the night I lie with wife, but can not sleep: Dousya, may be I shall do without this trip; I am out of their concoction; I from there will run away; Neither baa, no boo in their tongue I can say. Dousya, after fixing curlers, Now is napping like a tot. Sleepy answer reaches my ears: "Listen, Kolya! Donít talk rot. "Youíve become too humble and shy. I will go away from you. Thirty years I, being your wife, Hear only: "Dousya, Dous!"" Just recall and say Your promises afresh: You vowed to convey Oilskin from Bangladesh. Spare several rupees there. Donít be fool. At the least, you, bring me devil From Istanbul. I had slept, embracing wife, My dear Dousya, mild and fond. And I dreamt, that for myself I forged the mail, the shield and sword. Their measures are so strange. They will eat you if you are wrong. In dream I saw Magyar wenches, All with beards and with gun. In dream I saw Dousyaís oilskins, Dyed by beige, And impertinent spies-girls in Bangladesh. With Rumanians I will live as God bids me. They are, too, from Volga River, Just like we. Here are the ways of women! She sang, when seeing me off. She had ironed all my linen With such ardour and such love! So, goodbye blacksmithís department, Dear, native till the nail, Counter-plan over-fulfilment, In which I have never failed. We were drinking, Gulping spirits through aortas. I was hiccoughing All way to airport. When to ladder I passed, From behind was cry: "For whom now have you left us? Nikolay!"
© Eugeny Koshelev. Translation, 2008