Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. The Heavenly Airfield.


I. The Song of the Fighter Pilot.Translated by Akbar Muhammad.

There are eight opponents, and I with my special friend,

It seems that we’re through with our stars.

Seryozha, hold on! it’s not our game at present,

So we should equate the trump cards.

They’ll never force me to abandon the sphere,

Their number doesn’t matter to me:

My friend and companion shields me from the rear,

And therefore the chances are even.

A “Messerschmitt” chased me, then started to smoke,

Its screws hacked the air with a bell.

They even need not crosses upon their long homes,

The ones on their wings will go well!

I’m “first”, be attentive! two “Heinkels” are o’er thee,

I’ve started to close their path!

Go into the clouds, beat the fire, I’ll preserve thee!

When fighting, don’t hope for marvels.

Sergey, thou’rt on fire! set thy hopes for now

Upon thy successful chuting, man.

Oh, damn it! a “Messerschmitt” storms me, and how!

God bless thee, I’m going to ram!..

I know that others will pay for our trouble...

But, having left down the clouds,

Just as two our planes that were flying in couple,

Our souls will advance up and up.

Saint Peter will say that our guerdon awaits us,

But as soon as he shuts the gate,

We’ll ask of the Father, “Do us a high favor:

Take us to a battle group of angels.”

And I’ll ask of Him, as a son of his father,

To give me His merciful sanction

To make my companion the one of all others

For shielding my rear in actions.

We’ll ask wings and bows of our Heavenly Father,

An ace sees himself but in heaven...

But if there’s no shortage of warrior brothers,

He’ll let us be guardians then.

To guard is a heavily honorable service,

We’ll carry good luck on our wings

To such ones as were I and my friend Seryozha,

When ’mongst living people were we.

To such ones as were I and my friend Seryozha,

When ’mongst living people were we.

II. The Song of the Fighter Plane.Translated by Akbar Muhammad, partly
adapted from George Tokarev’s translation.

To Yury Lyubimov.

I’m “Yak” the fighter. I fly with glee,

And heavens make me almighty.

But he, who’s sitting inside of me,

Reckons that he is a fighter.

Today I’ve brought down a “Messerschmitt”,

That deal was rather a bore!

But him, who’s sitting inside of me,

I cannot bear any more.

Last night mechanics were puzzled to see

A mass of gaps in my skin,

But he, who’s sitting inside of me,

Compels me to make a spin.

From out the bomber its load brings

Destruction to the airdrome,

But one can hear as the bomb’s fin sings,

“Peace be unto your home!”

Two “Heinkels” chase me. I want to flee —

So tired of wounds am I!

But he, who’s sitting inside of me,

Again is going to fight!

He must be crazy, we’ll certainly blow!

Thank heavens I’m still alive —

Having exceeded all limits known,

I’ve gone out of this death dive!

Here I’m the leader. But from the rear...

From now on I’ll be alone:

My wing man smokes and loudly sings,

“Peace be unto your home!”

So he who reckons that he can fight

Has found himself in the soup.

And he’s deceived me — compelled to dive,

When I had to loop the loop.

He jerks the stick, and the load doubles —

How rude is this so-called ace!

Again he brought me a pack of troubles,

And this was the final case.

Henceforth I won’t listen to what he talks,

I’d rather lie on the ground!

But doesn’t he hear as my motor knocks?

My fuel blood is almost up.

The plane’s indulgence has its extreme,

And mine is already passed.

And he, who’s sitting inside of me,

Has stuck his face in the glass.

He’s killed! At long last, I may fly free!

I spare no strength at all!

But what’s this? what? why it’s happed to me?

Why do to the ground I fall?

How I regret that so little I’ve done,

Let ye have luck in your roams.

Yet it turned out that I’ve also sung,

“Peace be unto your home!”
“Peace be unto your home!”


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