Vladimir Vysotsky. The Criminal Code.

An Appeal.Adapted from George Tokarev’s translation by Akbar Muhammad.

There’s no fakir on Earth who could be my companion,

Before myself, the best of them shouldn’t sit;

Please, send me on a business trip to Monte Carlo,

I’ll show them what really means to cheat!

The o’erseas liberties or beauties aren’t my goals,

Blackjack and keno — that’s my job and fun.

Casino dealers, licking diligently my soles,

Will cry for mercy — but I’ll hit and run!

My bets on red, my bets on black will all be winners —

It’s sleight of hand, don’t ever call it “theft”;

And in the end in every one of their casinos

But greatly praised green tables will be left.

There I’ll enjoy the beach, so colorful and sunny,

I’ll drink good wine — they know what to serve.

I will return with the suitcase jammed with their money,

And hand it to our national reserve.

It’s not a joke, it’s a real proposition,

To death I’m sentenced, but please change my fate:

Replace my verdict with this foreign expedition —

I will be useful to our dear State!

1964.

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