When the Floodís waters started to abate And waves ceased over all the earth to roam, Love crawled ashore, bedraggled and sedate, Out of the muddy whirlpools and the foam, And vanished into thin air to await Its time - though who could say when it would come? There are some people - very funny creatures - Who will breathe deeply of this heady mixture. Expecting no reward, nor bent on grieving, Without a thought for anything sublime, They suddenly begin to breathe in time With someone elseís quick, uneven breathing. Iíll make loversí beds of fields and groves, Let them sing, awake and in their sleep!.. I am breathing, that means Iím in love! Iím in love, and that means Iím alive! There will be years of wandering through hills And valleys, for the Land of Love is vast. Itíll put its knights through rigorous ordeals To test their love, to see how it will last. Itíll call for distances and silences, it will Deprive them of their sleep and quiet and rest... You cannot drive the madmen back - they say, Just name the price, and we will promptly pay. Theyíll pay the highest price - theyíll risk their lives To keep the thread from breaking, to prevent The magic golden thread from being rent - The flimsiest and the strongest of all ties. Iíll make loversí beds of fields and groves, Let them sing, awake and in their sleep!.. I am breathing, that means Iím in love! Iím in love, and that means Iím alive! But oh, how many lovers must have choked On love, and hear no calls, however loud! They figure in malicious idle talk. Their names, though, should be written down in blood, And weíll light candles for the hearts that broke, That loved not wisely, and were too well loved... Their souls will wander among flowers, their song Will fly to heaven in heavenly unison, Theyíll breathe eternity, as if reciting verse, And with a sigh for hapless golden dreams, Theyíll meet on bridges across timeless streams, On narrow crossroads of the universe. Fresh winds cheered the chosen like strong mead, Raised them from the dead, and turned their head; If you have not loved - you have not lived, If you have not loved - you have been dead!
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990