Among melting candles and evening prayers, Among war tropheys and peaceful fires Lived the book children, who knew no battles, And they were aching from their trivial catastrophes. Children are always vexed By their age and their everyday And we fought to scratches, To mortal resentments. But our mothers Patched our clothes in time Whereas we swallowed books, Getting drunks on the words. Hair sticked to our sweaty foreheads, The phrases brought out a sweet sinking feeling in our stomachs And out heads spun with the smell of strife Which was rubbing off on us from the yellowing pages. And we, Who knew no wars, Who took a howl For a battle cry, Tried to comprehend the mystery of the word "command" Of the drawing of borders, The meaning of attack And the clang of war chariots. And thereís so much food for our small brains Inside the boiling pots of wars and commotions of old, In our childrenís games we assigned enemies To the roles of traitors, cowards and judasí And we wouldnít let The the villainís trail go cold, And we swore love To the fairest of ladies. Reassuring our friends And loving our close ones, We put ourselves In the roles of heroes. Except you canít escape into daydreams for good, Fun doesnít last long, so much pain is around us. Try to pry open the hands of the fallen And accept the weapon from work-weary hands. Put it to the test, Taking posession of a still warm sword, And putting on the armour - Whatís it worth? whatís it worth? Settle whether youíre a coward Or one chosen by fate And get a taste Of real strife. And when a wounded friend will fall beside you And you will howl in sorrow at the first loss, And when suddenly youíll find yourself without your skin Because he was the one who got killed and not you. Then you will understand That by the snarl of visors You recognized, discerned, discovered - It is the snarl of death, Lies and evil, Look how crude are their faces, And crows and coffins Always follow them. If you made use Of the salty tears Cutting the way With your fatherís sword If in the heat of battle You found out what things are worth Means as a child You read the right books. If you havenít eaten one piece of meat off of a knife, If youíve idly watched from above, And if you havenít entered the struggle against the scoundrel, the lyncher Means that in life you were irrelevant, irrelevant.
© ?. Translation, 2016