Whatís this house here, itís submersed in haze, On the seven free and quickly-passing gusts, To a long, deep ravine with each window faced, With its entrance - to a highway pass?! Although I was tired, I unharnessed my steed "Come out and help - anyone here alive?!" Not a soul - in the hall just a shadow appeared And a carrion crow descended nearby. Walked inside and there - just a bar, no more, And the folks out there, - every thirdís a foe. Uninvited here, - thus theyíll grin at you. Corner icons hang, - even theyíre askew. And a chatter began, deceptive and brief. Someone slapped the guitar, singing in strife. And a sick epileptic - a fool and a thief - Under the table, - bluntly showed me a knife. "Answer me, whatís this place youíve got? In the dark, as though some pestiferous hut? Icon-lamps are dimmed, thereís no air to breathe, Have you all forgotten how the people live? The doors - opened wide, but the soul here is wronged! Whoís the host over here? - pour me some wine!.." They replied thus to me: "You have traveled too long, Youíve forgotten the folk - thus we lived all the time. We chew grass alone, - all day on sorrel, Live a simple life, - with our souls we fell, We had fun with wine, and among ourselves, Burglarized and fought even hung ourselves..." "Iíve worn out by steed, - fled from wolves on the way, Show me that place, where the icons are bright Show me that place, that Iíve sought every day, - Where the people have fun, far away from this blight!" "Of the places like that - we have never heard. For a very long tim - grew accustomed to dirt. From beginning we live - in whisper and sin Under icons in soot, all our lives we have been" From the stench, where icons are hanging awry, I would flee on a whim, with the lash I would heave, Anywhere with my horse, I shall follow my eye, To where people live - the way people live... How much passed since then! All was coarse and rough, Life would toss me hard, - but not far enough, Or perhaps Iíve sung with a flaw, in sloth - "Black mysterious eyes, white table-cloth..."
© Andrey Kneller. Translation, ?