In the darkest corner of Evil lands, out in the sticks, Once a fine brave fellow roved, Getting all the thorns and kicks. In offence he walked knee-deep, yeah, knee-deep. Hurt by handfuls swallowed. Add his endless, cruel grief Tasted worse than wormwood. Drink the poison, if youíre thirsty. In the end, itíll cost you cheap. Itís no use, turning and twisting - It will all end with the whip. Through the wide world grim fate drives Hapless ones to beg their bread. Life slips between fingers - life, Like a gossamer thin thread. And the other ones who went - those who went - Hunting luck on highways, They were driven by ill winds Straight into the dark gaols. Here, there is no hope of mercy - Bear it all, though your teeth gnash! Itís no use, turning and twisting - It will all end with the lash. No, you evil, evil land. You leave folks no hope. You are best at scaffolds, and Long and well-soaped ropes. And the hanged menís heels, their bare heels in his hole Stupid Satanís licking. Ah, how funny - bless my soul! People call this living! Laugh! It is no use, this whining - They will not forgive the tears. Itís no use twisting and turning - Fate is ready with the shears. In the night, the thoughts are dreary, And the carpenters look sour: No time for their morning prayer - Hangmen keep such early hours. Donít be angry about this, about that: Why wait, if youíre ready? There is not a single knot On your long rope, laddie. Better lie awhile - get rested For the hanging, take a snooze. Any way the rope is twisted, It will coil into a noose.
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990