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Bulat Okudjava

Bulat Okudjava

BULAT OKUDJAVA: The Old Soldiers' Song

The Old Soldiers' Song

1973
There’s no more a sound of our battle song,
Nor a ring of hoofs of our horses,
Bullets made the holes the mess-kit along, 
The young sulteress’s, too, midst our losses.

We are left not many – we and our sore – 
Few our solders and few ones of foes,
We’re alive till now – baggers of the war,
Killed, we’ll go by the Eden’s roads.   

Our hands lay on gun’s locks, in a pine – our heads,
And our souls as if fled to heavens,
Why to write the farewell with our blood on sands?
Nature has not needs in our letters.

Sleep forever, brothers, - all will come again:
Will be born the new set of commanders,
And the new young solders – with their own pain – 
Will receive official apartments.

Sleep forever brothers, – all will come again,
All will be repeated as the recent:
Love and words and bullets, blood and deathly pain…
But a time to make a truce, sufficient.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, September, 2002


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