Vladimir Vysotsky. Selected Songs (translated by Ilya Shambat)

  ---------------------------------------------------------------
  © Copyright Vladimir Vysotsky
  © Copyright Ilya Shambat(ibshambat2004@hotmail.com), english translation
  WWW: 	ibshambat2004@hotmail.com
  http://www.geocities.com/ilya_shambat2000
  Date: 18 Nov 2004
  ---------------------------------------------------------------


      White Waltz
      Mountain Echo
      Unfinished Flight
      Capricious Horses
      Microphone
      Ballad about Love
      Cupolas
      Cranes
      Ships (Vysotsky's last song)





     O what a ball! Intensity of movement, nerves and sound!
     The hearts were beating in three beats and not in twain.
     And ladies were inviting gentlemen
     To a traditional white waltz - and took the breath away.

     And you, that dance with sorrow together,
     Decided to invite that one girl long ago -
     But you must always leave to go somewhere -
     To help somebody or to ready for a war.

     And all, still closer, the more real it becomes,
     She, one with whom you had intended to come in,
     She comes in order to invite you to the waltz -
     And in your temple blood was pounding.

     Externally calm in a ball full of noise,
     You're given away by the shadow of yours -
     She tore, and broke, and trembled in blurry light, as you spun.
     Held gently by the hand, and whirling her like mad,
     And you could have put her across a knife's blade
     So why do you stand, crossing arms, not your own and no one's?

     It was white waltz - the end to doubts of unbelievers
     And end of childhood consolations, dreams and games -
     Today the ladies did invite the cavaliers
     And not because the latter weren't brave.

     The ladies are called forth in time of ball
     And waltz spins heads around, like long before.
     But we must always answer someone's call -
     To help somebody or get ready for a war.

     Whiter than snow is the white waltz, spin now, strive!
     That snow does not get interrupted as it falls!
     She came in order to invite you to a life -
     And you were white - whiter than walls, whiter than waltz!

     Wherever you were - in the lyceum, in the tavern -
     In palace halls, in school - whatever luck despite -
     In Russia ladies did invite the gentlemen
     In every age to the white waltz, and all was white.

     Dulling the sight, not looking to each side,
     Through the despair, silence, quiet, resignation,
     The women hurried to come to our aid -
     Their hall - the size of the entire nation.

     Where you will go, wherever you will fly
     Recall the waltz - how you were white - and smile, you'll learn:
     They'll wait forever - and from sea and from the sky -
     They will invite you to white waltz when you return.





     In the quiet valley where rocks do not stand in the way of the windstorm
     In such places that no one got there or will get again
     There joyfully lived a happy mountain echo
     It answered the cry of mankind - yes it answered the cry of the man.

     When loneliness comes up to throat as if with a stone
     And moan once suppressed falls into the crevasse in the land
     The echo would take up this cry that comes out of the throat
     Augment manifold and then gently lift up in its hand.

     Perhaps it was people, made drunk on a horrible potion
     In order that no one would hear their stomping and shouts
     Came over to kill, to make soundless the mountain valley
     And they tied the echo and they placed a gag in its mouth.

     All night they continued the bloody and cruel amusement
     And nobody heard but a sound as on it people walked
     In morning they shot in the face the quiescent mountain echo
     And stones just like tears did burst from the wounded rock.





     Someone saw the fruit, that could not get ripe
     They shook the trunk - it fell, just so...
     Here's the song of him who did not finish his song
     And that he had a voice - he did not know.

     Perhaps he was not on good terms with fate,
     And on bad terms with circumstance.
     And the tight string lay on a fret
     That was broken in single place.

     He started shyly with note C
     But did not finish it, you see..
     His music was incomplete
     Did not make anyone's soul rise..
     The dog did bark, and the cat
     Was hunting mice.

     It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is.
     But he made jokes - they had no grace,
     He did not finish tasting wine
     Did not even touch it to his face.

     While he started the argument
     Unhurried and uncertain
     Just like, on forehead, drops of sweat
     The soul did shimmer through the skin.

     He began the duel on the rug,
     Barely, barely he began.
     The judge did not open the score.
     And little he saw of the game.

     He sought to know all of it,
     But did not reach, did not...
     Not till the riddle, not the root,
     He did not dig until the deep,
     And her, that is still by herself,
     He did not finish loving!

     It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is.
     And he did hurry - all for none.
     And all that he did not resolve
     Was not resolved by anyone.

     Not with single word do I lie -
     He served the pure word, poetry.
     And he wrote poems on the snow -
     But snows do melt beneath the trees.

     But the snow was falling then
     And the freedom to write on the snow.
     And the big snowflakes and hail
     He touched with his lips as he ran, so.

     But her, the one in silver necklace
     He did not reach, not at his pace...
     Did not reach goal, the runner he,
     Not finished flight, it was in vain,
     And sign beneath which he was born
     Licked the cold Milky Way.

     It's funny! Funny, yes it is! It is
     When seconds do not reach the light -
     The sound that does not reach the end -
     Unfinished flight, unfinished flight.

     It's funny? Funny, well, it's so -
     Funny to you, even to me.
     The horse that jumps and bird that flies -
     And whose fault could it be?





     By the edge, near the precipice, at the very limit,
     I am beating at my horses with my arm, a whiplash in it.
     I'm not getting enough air - drinking wind, the fog imbibing,
     And I scent with deadly rapture: I am dying, I am dying!

     Just a little slower, horses, little slower now!
     Do not listen to the taut whip, it is wrong!
     But the horses that I got are capricious ones
     I can't live to the end, I can't finish my song.

     I will let horses drink - the couplet I will sing
     For a little bit more I will stand on the brink...

     I will vanish - like a feather by the wind I will blown,
     In the morning they will drag me in the sleigh through the snow,
     O my horses, walk some slower, show a bit of moderation
     Just a little bit, prolong my way to final destination!

     Just a little slower, horses, little slower now!
     Do not listen to the taut whip, it is wrong!
     But the horses that I got are capricious ones
     I can't live to the end, I can't finish my song.

     I will let horses drink - the couplet I will sing
     For a little bit more I will stand on the brink...

     We've arrived: nobody comes late here to greet the Lord of Heaven -
     Then, why do the angels sing with voices so angry and heavy?
     Or the bell does shake from weeping, weeping gently, weeping deeply,
     Or I'm shouting to the horses that they do not run so quickly?

     Just a little slower, horses, little slower now!
     I pray to you don't gallop along!
     But the horses that I got are capricious ones
     I can't live to the end, I can't finish my song.

     I will let horses drink - the couplet I will sing
     For a little bit more I will stand on the brink...





     I'm in the light, open to every eye -
     I do as I do often; like an icon
     I come up to a microphone; today
     It's more like I'm approaching a cannon.

     And I will not rub against the microphone
     Yes, my voice is loathsome to any
     Yes, I know, if a lie comes on
     It will augment it surely without pity.

     Rays beneath the lamp on ribs assail me
     Lamps shimmer into the face unkindly
     And projectors scream from every side
     And the heat! The heat! Is blind!

     Today I rant again without control,
     But in the tone I don't risk making change -
     For if I make a turn inside the soul
     It will correct the curve with rage.

     It's thinner than a blade of knife, this beast,
     The flawless hearing, it hears lies till the iota -
     It does not care I don't fit in the beat
     But that I more completely sing the notes!

     Rays beneath the lamp on ribs assail me
     Lamps shimmer into the face unkindly
     And projectors scream from every side
     And the heat! The heat! Is blind!

     Upon the supple neck this microphone
     Is rolling with its snake head;
     If I get silent - it will sting
     I have to sing - till stupor, till the end.

     Don't move, don't touch, don't dare!
     I saw the sting - you are a snake, I know!
     And I am like a charmer of a snake
     Not singing, putting spell upon a cobra!

     Rays beneath the lamp on ribs assail me
     Lamps shimmer into the face unkindly
     And projectors scream from every side
     And the heat! The heat! Is blind!

     It wants to eat, and with a birdling's greed
     It takes the sounds out of the mouth,
     In forehead it will put nine grams of lead
     I won't raise the hands - the guitar binds them!

     Again it will not reach the end!
     What is this microphone - who will respond!
     Today it is like lamp against the face,
     But I'm not holy, and there's no light from the microphone.

     My melodies are simpler than the scales
     But barely beating from a sure tone -
     I am sickly beaten on the face
     By an immobile shade of microphone

     Rays beneath the lamp on ribs assail me
     Lamps shimmer into the face unkindly
     And projectors scream from every side
     And the heat! The heat! Is blind!





     When waters of a flood that swept the planet
     Returned once more into the ocean bed
     >From foam of a departing ocean current
     Love climbed so quietly upon the land
     And disappeared in air before its time -
     And for it there are sixteen hundred times.

     And some strange people - there are some such yet -
     Inhale this mix with full chest that is heaving
     Reward and punishment they don't await
     And thinking that they are only but breathing
     They do appear to breathe, or so it's seeming,
     Unevenly, unevenly, at that.

     Only sense, just like a river boat,
     For so long, so long remains afloat,
     For before I know that "I love" -
     That is, that I breathe, or that I live!

     And there will be enough wanderings and travels
     Land of love - such a great land it is!
     And it will be asking for ordeals
     >From its knights, before they can have bliss.
     It will ask departures and despair
     And deprive of calm, of sleep and peace...

     But you cannot drive off the insane
     >From this land, they do agree to pay
     Any price - their life if that is called -
     Just so not to cut, to keep instead
     The magical invisible thread
     That is woven in between their souls....

     The fresh air intoxicated them,
     Knocked them from their feet, raised up again,
     For if I had never ever loved -
     I'd have never breathed, have never lived!

     But the many that are choking on their love -
     You won't reach, however you may shout...
     Counted by prayer and empty word.
     But this count has been mixed in blood.
     And we will place candles at the head
     Of ones dead from the unknown love.

     Their voices have to morph in single one
     Their souls must wander in between the flowers
     To breathe with the eternity at one
     To meet each other sighing in some hour
     Upon the fragile bridges and roads
     Upon the narrow crossroads of the world...

     I will lay the fields for those in love,
     Sleeping or awake, just let them sing!
     I am breathing - therefore, I love!
     I'm in love - and therefore, I live!




     How I'll see it now, how I'll breathe it in?
     Air is tight before the lightning, tight and choking.
     How I'll hear it all today, oh how I will sing.
     >From the fairy tales the prophet birds are singing.

     The bird Sirin is happily grinning,
     Having fun, calling from nests.
     And against him is now despairing,
     Wounds the soul the strange Alkonost.

     Just like seven promised strings
     Ring again then stop -
     This is the bird Gamayun
     Imparting hope!

     In the blue sky, bleeding with belltowers,
     Copper bell, copper bell,
     Will be joyful or will be sore.
     Russian cupolas are covered in pure gold
     That the good Lord will notice them more.

     I stand, like before a timeless mystery,
     Before great and fairy-tale country.
     Before salty bitter sweet and sour land
     Blue, spring-water, and full of rye.

     Squelching dirt fat till the rust,
     Horses go down till stirrup,
     But they pull me with sleepy great power
     That has soured and bloated from sleep.

     And the seven wealthy moons
     Interfere with my step.
     It is the bird Gamayun
     Imparting hope!

     The soul, beaten with losses and sorrows,
     The soul, tattered with horror,
     If till blood the cloth has been worn,
     I will gild with the golden glitter
     That the good Lord will notice it more.





     It is clear and blue, sky today
     But now metal does clang, clang away,
     And there's humming all over our land
     And they trees are in soot - they are sad.
     Just like crosses the smoke and ash stand,
     On the rooftops the cranes don't make nests.

     Amber-colored chaff, will it stand?
     No! We sowed it all, all in vain.
     With what amber light is field filled?
     This is wildfire that runs through the field.
     Everyone came apart from the pain.
     There are no singing birds - only ravens.

     And the trees are in dust - in this fall
     And those who could still sing - stopped it all.
     And love is not for us. Don't you know?
     What do we need the most? Hatred. So,
     Just like crosses the smoke and ash stand,
     On the rooftops the cranes don't make nests.

     Canopies now make sound in the forest,
     But through water and land run the moans.
     But there are no miracles - the trees
     Are screaming with double screams.
     They have gone to the east from the pain,
     There are no singing birds, there are no cranes.

     The air can hold many sounds,
     But now in it the metal resounds.
     There is sound of the hoofs - tiredly,
     If somebody would shout - quietly.
     They have gone to the east from the pain,
     And above the rooftops there are no cranes.





     Ships will dock for a while and set out on high seas,
     Ships will dock for a while - and through storms and through fear
     They will lay once again on the course without cease
     To return once again in half year.

     All return but the best and most loyal of friends,
     All return but the ladies of most devotion,
     All return but the ones on whom heart most depends
     To set out once again through the ocean.

     But I'd like to believe that this is not the end,
     That someday we'll no longer burn ships in despair.
     I of course will return - full of dreams full of friends
     I of course will return - it won't be half a year.


Популярность: 14, Last-modified: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 22:20:44 GMT