Vladimir Vysotsky. A Ballad of Fighting.

If ye’ve found yourself in a strange land...Adapted from Alec Vagapov’s translation by Akbar Muhammad.

If ye’ve found yourself in a strange land at night,

If ye sit on a barrel of powder —

Don’t hold back, don’t keep silent, call me with all might —

I will hear you, my dear, holler louder.

Perhaps, ye lie in a field with a ball in your chest —

Know, I’m running to you, treading lightly, and ye should have patience.
We’ll go back where the grass and the air are salubrious and gracious,

Only don’t pass away, hold ye on, do your best!

If ye’re riding a horse, ye’ll get home, spreading wings —

Your good stallion should bring you around.

He’ll take you to the places with life-giving springs,

And they’ll patch up your wounds, make you sound.

If ye’re dragging your feet, plodding, trudging all day,

Getting stuck in the mud, scrambling, treading on stones or in water,
Singed in flame, weather-beaten, lamentable, threadbare or wanted —

On all fours or on twos, but get home anyway!

Springing from the ice sheet, here so clean are the streams —

Splendid ones of the purest water.

Here the trees and the flowers are nobody’s things,

We’ll make them our own if we want to.

Now where are ye — have locked up or taken a long roam?

What conjunctions and what intersections of paths are ye facing?
Are ye tired, have gone off the track, do ye find it depressing?

Cannot ye really find the way back to your home?


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