Vladimir Vysotsky. A Ballad of Love.

A Ballad of Love.

When waters of the Great Flood reacquired
Their calm outside the limits of the land,
Out of the foaming trace, unseen and quiet,
Came Love and made her way upon the sand
To vanish in the air she was required
Until the day she’d be in great demand...

Even presently, such oddballs still appear,
Who breathe in this rich mixture with no fear,

Awaiting neither prize nor castigation,

And thinking not for anything sublime,
But suddenly they begin to breathe in time

With just the same uneven respiration.

Verdant meadows, boundless skies above
Such a gift to lovers would I give!..
If I breathe, this fact means that I love!
If I love, this fact means that I live!

And there’ll be lots of travels, barriers, stops
Love is the greatest land ’mongst all the lands.
Her knights will undergo severe probes,
And some of them will make their final stands,
Or stick in swamps of errors and vain hopes,
While each one neither rest nor sleep demands...

These knights of Love cannot be turned around,
To pay high charges they’re already bound,

And any cost, even life, will be accepted

Just to preserve, just not to let untie
The magic thread invisible to eye,

With which they’re so fatefully connected.

Verdant meadows, boundless skies above
Such a gift to lovers would I give!..
If I breathe, this fact means that I love!
If I love, this fact means that I live!

How many of the knights of Love have choked
On love, and don’t hear calls, even very loud!
They figure in malicious idle talk,
While what they did is written down with blood,
And we’ll light candles for the hearts that broke,
That loved not wisely, and were too well loved...

Their souls wander ’midst fine flowers, their song
Fly up to Heaven in heavenly unison,

They breathe eternity in every inhalation,

And with a sigh for bygone golden dreams,
They meet on bridges over timeless streams,

On narrow crossroads of the Lord’s creation.

The fresh wind cheered them like heady mead,
Knocked them down, and raised from the deceased.
None but Love can make existence complete,
He, who’s never loved, hasn’t lived and breathed!

1975.

Main Page.