I am sure I will die, for we all of us die - thatís been proven, But Iíd rather be knifed than die peacefully in my own bed. Murdered men are indulged, and provided with passes to heaven: We may care for the living, but take better care of the dead. I will drop in the mud in good cinema style when it happens, And my soul will drive two stolen horses, two lame jades uphill. In the Garden of Eden Iíll want to pick rosy-cheeked apples... But the gardens are guarded, and guardsí orders are, "Shoot to kill." Whoa, horses! Whatís this? Was it worth all the living and dying? Just a vast barren nothing, no gardens, no flowers, no trees. In the middle of nothing rose bleak-looking gates of cast-iron, And a party of convicts, some five thousand, stood on their knees1. How my wild thill-horse shied! But I patted him, and cleaned his fetlocks. And I plaited his mane, and explained it was no use to neigh. The grey-haired gateman wrestled suspiciously long with the gate lock - He kept grunting and grumbling, and gave up, and stumbled away. And the grey worn-out crowd, it did not give a groan or a murmur, Only shifted a little on knees grown dead numb in the frost. "Hear the ringing of bells? What a life, brother", sighed a newcomer. It had all come full circle, again someone moaned on the cross.         Now I know this old man by the tears that he sheds as he grumbles: Thatís St Peter, he can let me pass through the gate, if he will. Hereís the Garden of Eden, with millions of frozen apples, But the gardens are guarded, and theyíve started shooting to kill. I do not want too much - though you mustnít say that I am hapless - Just my friends and my wife, let her fall on the coffin and wail. In the Garden of Eden Iíll pick them some rosy-cheeked apples, Though the gardens are guarded, and guardsí orders are, "Shoot to kill."        
       
So I gallop away, from the cold wretched hell-hole I hasten. Though the horses are tired, I canít stop, Iím running amuck. I am bringing you apples, I lash at the jades, I am racing - From the Garden of Eden youíre waiting for me to come back.
1 This is a familiar picture from the times of Stalinís terror: a transport of prisoners would be made to go down on their knees and crawl, to prevent escape attempts, as during en- and detrainment.
 
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990