Vladimir Vysotsky. Serving the Elements.

IAdapted from George Tokarev’s translation by Akbar Muhammad.n the Mountains.

The mountains differ a lot from the plain
There avalanches thunder again and again,
And rockfalls roar and fill your soul with awe...
We might turn away from the steep in dismay,
But we single out an arduous way,
Which is as risky as the path of war.

The mountain crests offer you a strong test,
When jeopardies give you no moment to rest,
While downworld virtues aren’t considered here.
There on the champaign ye have no chance to meet
This magical beauty a tenth part of it!
Which going up ye get the luck to see.

They say with disdain that we all are insane,
And that our lot is to perish in vain,
But it’s much better than from chills or rum.
The others will come, having left ease and calm,
Afraid of no toil and no menace of harm,
To make it to the top if ye succumb.

Around the stone that will bring to you peace,
One will find no ribbons nor funeral wreaths,
And on its top he sees no cross nor star.
There in the blue high with the emerald light
Sparkles under the sun the far peak ye aspire,
The peak ye’ve failed to conquer so far.

On vertical ice ye may easy get stuck,
Watch out and never ye count on luck!
There are no cliffs nor crags to put your trust.
Rely on the help from your intimate friend,
And pray that the pitons your livings depend,
Inside the rock, were held up rather fast.

We’re chipping the steps there’s no way to retreat!
The heart’s running wild in a feverish beat,
It’s ready to mount the mountain, so to speak.
The world is beneath you ye’re silent and glad,
And only slightly ye envy the lad,
Who’s going the first time to make it himself to the peak.


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