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Bulat Okudjava

Bulat Okudjava

BULAT OKUDJAVA: "The Eighteenth Age..."

"The Eighteenth Age..."

The Eighteenth Age, from the antic reality,
to enlighten us, brought to our sight 
the love’s cult, charms of slim personality,
and the lessons of earthly delights.

And the different sorts of loft attitude,
and the parade of white wigs and lace…
One can easy dissolve self in gratitude
to the airy naiad’s broad face!

But wherever all this disappeared, once,
under coarse a palm of a slave…
The unhappy play card was received for us
by our time and a fate that we have.

And at once at a face – some hard, raging thing, 
like a rib of a palm – at a throat,   
in the sadness and cursing and badgering
all those goods, we right now need not.

Swards are lifted, the bare and vengeful,    
every one kills the brothers his own…
But the eyes of the merciful angel?... 
But his helpless appeals and moans?...

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, September, 2002

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