Vladimir Vysotsky. The Criminal Code.

The Criminal Code.

Films don’t touch us, nor do it any prose,
We know just all and everything we’ve seen.
The only worthy book is, I suppose,
The Book of Code. Criminal, I mean.

When through a binge my head is to explode,
Or from impatience I go around the bend,
At any page I open the Code,
And keep on reading till the very end.

I’ve always left my friends a wide discretion,
But they prefer to rob, I know my men!
That’s what the Code says for this transgression:
At least three years, and no more than ten.

Just think about these lines, so plain and clear,
They tell us more than any author writes!
Behind these lines there is a world of fear,
Of cold barracks, cards and bloody fights...

With broken fates these simple lines are breathing,
And I’d so want to have with them no truck!
I’m very glad when articles are easy—
Some fellows will receive a piece of luck!

But on my one, I go out of my temper...
Like a scared bird, my heart throbs in my breast,
And my hot blood bangs madly in my temple,
Like the police when coming to arrest.

1964.

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