Vladimir Vysotsky. A Ballad of Fighting.

A Ballad of the Free Archers.

If it’s happed that ye’re sold out,
And the noose is what ye’d get,
Ye can get rid of the gallows
In the wood—ye won’t regret.
It’s the safest, no doubt,
Place for you without haws,
Where’ll forever be bummed out
Greedy lords with their laws!

Yeomen, running from oppression,
Who despise all risks and threats,
And poor servants whose possessions
Are but their o’erdue debts,
Also vagabonds and rascals
Run and hide inside this wood,
Where the master is a handsome
Good old fellow—Robin Hood!

They’ll trust you without vow,
Though rows hap, of course,
And they never throw out
Outcasts and outlaws.
Even knights hide out sometime
In this wood of pine and oak—
Men above fault and disquiet
At all times are going broke!

All deer trails to them are known
As the lines of their palms.
They’re archers all, although
In the past were slaves and bums.
Serfs and losers by these archers
Will be saved and understood.
No one is fair as much as
He who walks with Robin Hood!

Merry men, they live and cope
In the face of all taboos,
Never losing heart and hope,
These free archers in the woods.
They often sleep on moss or feather,
Use for blankets starry skies;
No matter what the weather—
Still alive, and that is nice!

Feeling homesick and low?
Cheer up, man, it’ll all be right!
Don’t forget to fit your bow—
Must be perfect in a fight!
There are no their peers,
No shooters are so good...
Where’ll they have the next appearance
With the fellow Robin Hood?

1975.

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