Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vladimir Vysotsky - Horses



Translated from the Russian

By the cliff, along the precipice, right over deadly ground,
With the whip, I strike my steeds; strike them hard to urge them forward.
I am getting short on air, gulp the haze, drink the wind, yet
With a fatal rapture, sensing: I am done for, I am done for!

Slow down a bit my horses, slow down, please!
Don't you listen to my stinging thong!
But the horses -- just my luck! -- are so hard to please!
Neither lived I so long, nor will I finish this song...
I will let horses drink, I'll complete this refrain,
Just a little bit more I will stay on the brink...

I will vanish from the Earth, swept by a storm like fluffy feather;
At a gallop, in the morning by the snow they'll drag me over
Can't you please prolong my journey to the end of my tether?
Can't you ease your dash, my horses, carry on a little slower?

Slow down a bit my horses, slow down, please!
Don't take orders from my whip and thong!
But the horses -- just my luck! -- are so hard to please!
Neither lived I so long, nor will I finish this song...
I will let horses drink, I'll complete this refrain,
Just a little bit more I will stay on the brink...

Just on time - one can't be late arriving at God's quarters!
Why do the angels over there sound like some nasty mortals?
Or, perhaps, it's just a sleigh-bell that's gone mad and burst out sobbing,
Or it's me shouting at my steeds to slow down my sled from dashing.

Slow down a bit my horses, slow down, please!
I am begging you, don't rush along!
But the horses -- just my luck! -- are so hard to please!
Since I haven't lived long, let me finish this song...
I will let horses drink, I'll complete this refrain,
Just a little bit more I will stay on the brink...


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