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Konstanin Vanshenkin

KONSTANTIN VANSHENKIN: The Rifle

The Rifle

1949
In the morn, when rest was close now,
Near the unknown village’s place
Kissed a bullet our lad’s high brow,
Burned a bullet lad’s eyebrows, else.

Were battalions striding on soft snow,
Forming their array self-propelled guns.   
Swayed our lad, as dazzled with a glow,
And dropped to the thawed patch at once.

And his rifle, as if animated,
Too stopped shortly in its previous run,
And fell down, touching twigs lamenting,
Copying on the snow the dead one.

By Danube the lad’s grave is settled,
He is far from our native land,
But it stands – his rifle of a battle – 
By the others in our regiment.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, September, 2002


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