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Bulat Okudjava

Bulat Okudjava

BULAT OKUDJAVA: The Little Joyful Drummer

The Little Joyful Drummer

1957
Get up early, get up early in the summer,
When a dvornik’s looming up before your gates,
You will see then, you will see then, that the little joyful drummer
Takes the easy maple drum-sticks with his hands.

It’ll be noon, that’s full of common bustle and humming,
Rings of trams and people’s flood of awful speed, 
But just hark, and you will hear, that the little joyful drummer
Goes with his drum along the town’s street.

It’ll be eve, which is the plotter and sly charmer,
And the dark will fall on stones by your feet,
But just look, and you will see then, that the little joyful drummer
Goes with his drum along the town’s street.

The drum-sticks tell tales without stop and stammer
Through a middle of night, and smoke, and bedlam…
Do you, really, not hear that the little joyful drummer
Does convey along the streets his timeless drum?


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, May, 2001


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