The skies are gloomy over Peking. Here in Tambov we take a coffee break, And from our Tambov factory we write To you who risks so willingly would take. Because you didnít sign the treaty. The world must suffer-nations one and all1. Distorting facts, you proved quite clearly Youíve cast your lot with General de Gaulle. We fully treasure every passing day. But if antiquity one must recall, It was you who gave the world gunpowder And also built the ancient Chinese Wall. We understand you have the people now To survive three hundred million lost in strife2; But we are sure that even Comrade Mao, By God, would surely rather cling to life! In the days when you on rice and water fed, You manifested internationalism. We doubt that while you munched on Russian bread You uttered words about revisionism! Do you fear the revanchists there in Bonn? That Washington threatens to overwhelm? But didnít someone slate at the UN That we are always set to give them hell? You have no need for missiles or for bombs. Donít fan the flames of war. Weíll have you know That, if the need arises, we are poised To inflict on them a thermonuclear blow. If itís for fruitful action that you itch, There is plenty right at home for you to do. Kill your flies; exterminate your sparrows; And do something about your birthrate too! As for our way of life, we here know better. May we suggest you let such matters be. As stated in the CCís special letter3, With the line of which we all here quite agree.
1 Presumably the reference in to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, from which the Chinese Peopleís Republic and France both abstained.
2 This alludes to Maoís boast that the CPR could lose 300 million persons and still be a great power.
3 It is not clear what Central Committee document is here, but it obviously was a Soviet rebuttal to Chinese criticism.

 
© Misha Allen. Translation, 1970