Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. What I Hate.

A Song of the Old House.Translated by Akbar Muhammad, partly
inspired by Alex Sokolov’s translation.

There stood a house known to the citizens all round,
Which maybe was by the Little Corporal seen.
That ancient house was plotted to be torn down,
It was abandoned by its dwellers former,

But it was standing still.

It was cold in the deserted house...

For many months, was closed the heavy front door,
All windows were already smashed by boors,
And the old stucco was all over crumbled up,
But something still resided in this house doomed,

Somewhere on the third floor.

There were heard profound sighs in the house...

And children often lamented to their mothers,
They were afraid of something that was in.
Once, being by those unexplainable sounds puzzled,
And having armed themselves with spades and stump spuds,

Together entered in

Silently some yardmen, minding out.

They stand inside, look round and get not conscious,
Then hurry back so daunted and afraid —
What if there soars the spirit of the Corporal!
Or, maybe, what they’ve heard in this house was but

A sound hallucination?..

They went out to save themselves from harm.

About the house, at last the order was given —
Arrived a worker, and it was torn down.
With a great weight, he started striking blows it...
And later he narrated that he heard clear

As someone groaned and soughed

Sadly and distressfully in the house.

...At this time, children trouble not their mothers,
For there’s no more the old two centuries house.
And soon, along the plan of reconstructions,
A new fine house will draw its stories upwards —

Concrete, and metal, and glass...

This fine house will please the citizens’ eyes...


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