«А кое-кто по костям моим пройти...» 1988
Translated by Tanya Wolfson ©

* * *

It seems that dancing on my grave
Is the dream of a certain knave,
God help his soul, God help his soul.
He wants my skull to crack beneath
His stomping feet; he wants no teeth,
No bones left whole.
And with this dream inside his head
He takes his meals and goes to bed,
And as he struts, he plots.
Meanwhile the fact that I am quite
A powerful mage in my own right
Escapes his thoughts.
And all of his clan and every friend
Demand that he cause my dismal end,
By grinding me into grout.
But if things really become that grim,
I have a much better chance at him,
Without a doubt.
And if it's to be or not to be,
Surely he won't escape from me,
My clever net, the traps I set!
I'll burn him alive, crush him in ice,
I'll find a way to cause his demise,
Trust me on that!
But carrying out this proud plan
Is tough because of my loud clan
(My very own, my kith and kin)
Insisting that honor won't be defiled,
Therefore I must use his own style
To do him in!
So to save my kin, that's twice fivescore,
From losing their haughty face before
Whoever's not my clan,
I have to act as honor declares,
And publicly stomp, to the sound of fanfares,
On his poor skeleton.
And thus he and I dog each other's heels,
Each wishes the other speedily keels
Over, crushed and gored.
And it won't take a rocket scientist
To see that we're ruled by the iron fist
Of the same lord.
The battle tradition is our lord,
The bloody way of bullet and sword,
Habitual old ritual,
And glory that taunts, beckons and begs,
By a mere possession of powerful legs
Made almost reachable.
But happiness isn't here, it's there,
Well maybe it's here, but it wouldn't be fair
For us to pine and whine.
And he who's not with us is against us,
So we stand ready this very instance
To kill the swine.
And again the glory of our Homes,
Will be announced by the crunch of bones,
And similar happenings.
And we will yet make the bastard scream
For having the gall to come here and dream
Of happiness.
But happiness isn't here, it's there,
Well maybe not there or anywhere,
For yours and for mine there's none to spare,
So where did it go, I want my share,
Why can't it be found?!...