—Oh, my comrades, my countrymen,
How I loved that girl…
Such nights black and drunken
We spent, heads awhirl…
…For the daredevil spark
In the eyes of that jade,
For the crimson birthmark
On her right shoulder blade,
In blind rage I killed her,
In blind rage I killed her…Oh!
Don't grind out tired old dirges, bastard,
What are you, an old baba, Petka?
It sounds as if you had decided
Because of her to shoot your soul.
…Pull yourself together!
…Regain self control!
This is not the proper era
To coddle you like some wet nurse!
Future burdens we must bear,
Comrade dear, will be much worse!
And Petrukha slows
His hurrying pace…
He tosses his head:
A more cheerful face…
No sin to raise a bit of hell!
Lock up your apartments tight—
Soon the plunder will begin!
Unlock your wine cellars tonight—
The ragged bums are coming in!
Oh, you bitter grief!
So, this tatter of time
I will pass, I will pass…
So, the top of my head
I will scratch, I will scratch…
So, sunflower seeds
I will crack, I will crack…
So, with my little blade
I will slash, I will slash…
Take off like a sparrow, bourgeois!
I will drink your blood
To my lady love
With dark eyebrows…
O Lord, may the soul of your handmaiden rest in peace…
What a bore!
Now quiet cloaks the Nevsky Tower.
Night has hushed the city's noise.
With no policemen on the prowl…
Though no booze, let's raise hell, boys!
A bourgeois stands there at the crossroads
And hides his nose deep in his fur,
While nearby with his tail down-curled
Crouches a mangy wire-haired cur.
The bourgeois like a mangy cur
Stands like a question, mute,
And like a mongrel, the old world
Behind him cringes, destitute.
A blizzard breaks out from its traces!
The blizzard whirls, the blizzard races!
We can't see each other's faces
From a distance of four paces!
The snow curls up in funnels,
The snow piles into pillars…
…What a snowstorm! O Lord, save us!
…Petka! You are babbling crap!
What has the gold iconostasis
Protected you from in the past?
You're quite naive…
Shape up and at last use your head!
Aren't your hands already bloodied
Because of Katka's love?
…Keep the revolutionary pace!
The relentless foe will show his face!
Forward, forward, forward,
They march far with lordly tread.
…Who goes there? You, come out quick!
Just the red flag up ahead…
The wind is playing us a trick…
Ahead, the snow piles like a hut.
…Come out, whoever's in those drifts!
That's just the wretched hungry mutt
Who hobbled there… The snowbank shifts…
…Run off, damn dog with mangy fur
Or you'll itch from my bayonet!
Stay back, old world, like that scabby cur—
I'll beat you so you won't forget!
…A hungry wolf, his cold lips curl,
He cringes but he still won't flee.
You freezing mutt, you mongrel cur…
—Hey! Halt! Who goes there? Answer me!
…Who waves that bright red flag ahead?
…Look closely now, damn night's so black!
…Who sneaks through there with stealthy tread,
Steals past dark houses, hides in back?
…Even so, my gun will get you!
Better give up live than dead!
…Halt, comrade, it will be worse for you—
Come out or you will taste my lead!
Trakh! Takh-takh! — The bullets' echo
Bounces from the houses' walls…
The blizzard pours across the snow
Only merry drawn-out peals…
Thus they march with lordly tread—
Behind them, still the hungry cur,
Before them — with the bloody flag,
And unseen in the blizzard
And unharmed by the lead,
Stepping calmly through the blizzard,
Flecked with pearls of snowy ice,
In a wreath of pure white roses—
Right ahead there — Jesus Christ.