Vladimir Vysotsky. A Ballad of Time.

Commentary to “A Ballad of Time”.

One of the poems, which can be added to this section, is Alexander Pushkin’s “The Cart of Life”, another — Rudyard Kipling’s “Cities and Thrones and Pow­ers...”:

Cities and Thrones and Powers

Stand in Time’s eye,

Almost as long as flowers,

Which daily die:

But, as new buds put forth

To glad new men,

Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth,

The Cities rise again.

This season’s Daffodil,

She never hears

What change, what chance, what chill,

Cut down last year’s;

But with bold countenance,

And knowledge small,

Esteems her seven days’ continuance

To be perpetual.

So Time that is o’er-kind

To all that be,

Ordains us e’en as blind,

As bold as she:

That in our very death,

And burial sure,

Shadow to shadow, well persuaded, saith,

“See how our works endure!”

Here can also be added Robert Louis Stevenson’s quatrain “Hail, guest, and enter freely!” (this text is a version):

Hail, guest, and enter freely! All you see
Is, for your momentary visit, yours; and we,
Accosting you, are but the same guests here,
Who know not too when God calls them to Him.

The ballad was written for the film “The Arrows of Robin Hood” (1975).

Vladimir Vysotsky wrote for this film six ballads, they were included in the final “director” version, but refused due to the recommendation by the State Committee for Cinematography. In 1982, four of these ballads — “A Ballad of Time”, “A Ballad of the Children of Books” (“A Ballad of Fighting”), “A Ballad of the Free Archers” and “A Bal­lad of Love” — were used in the film “The Ballad of the Valiant Knight Ivanhoe”. In 1997, the film “The Arrows of Robin Hood” was shown, and then put on the market in the “di­rec­tor” version.

The presented text is adapted from Oleg Roderik, Sergey Roy, Pavlo Shostak and Alec Vagapov’s translations.

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