Itís my fate - to the finishing line, to the cross, To continue debating and shout myself hoarse, To asseverate and prove till I froth at the mouth, That all things there are wrong - silly words, crooked paths, That the shopkeepers slander about Christís mistakes, That the wailing still echoes at numerous wakes! Princes quarreled with each other for many long years, And in poorness and suffering folks were to exist. But Ivan Kalita1 started founding a state, And the Horde of Zaleses2 collected itís strength. Then there were Peterís3 evil deeds and riots in vain, Yemelyan Pugachevís4 war, and poorness again. Let ye canít understand what I tell you at once, Iíll reiterate even if I have to play an evil clown, That yeíll find no solution till the subject is changed, That the vanities of all the epochs are same. But I verily canít drain the cup on the run, Even if I spill a part, it canít either be done, And I canít throw the cup in an enemyís face - Iím not lying or bragging, I simply confess! On the slippery disk, swiftly turning, I reel, And for keeping my balance, I writhe like an eel! Should I smash into pieces the cup? But I canít! For a worthier man Iíll unweariedly hunt: Iíll hand over the cup and go out from the disk, Iíll be free from solicitude when Iím released! Iíll hide out in the darkness, the fog and the snow, Maybe heíll drain the cup, only Iíll never know. Now I graze in the meadow amongst my old chums, I hint not at the cup left undrained - I keep mum, Nor I murmur about ístead of saving my breath, If I donít, it may happen that theyíll trample me to death. I, in every way possible, trouble over you, pals! Maybe, some of you later will light for me candles - For the naked nervesí sting as I descant and choke, And the jovial way as I wisecrack and joke. If it happens that Iím threatened with all kinds of woe, If it happens that Iím promised rewards, Iíll say no! I shanít give any sound if my nerves turn out loose, If itís so, Iíll at once tighten the requisite screws! And Iíll rather carouse, romp, raise all hell and fight, And Iíll rather tear up all what I scrawled at nights, And I rather shanít descant till I pass away, Than I act like the dust sliding on the sunray! If it turn out that I drain the cup after all, If it turn out that right are my sometimes harsh songs, If I prove - even with froth at the mouth, I shall say, ďAll isnít vanity!Ē - after my passing away.
1 Ivan Kalita (also known as Ivan I of Moscow) was the Prince of Moscow from 1325 and the Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1328, he reigned to 1340.
2 The Horde of Zaleses was a common name of Rusí in the time of the Golden Horde and later the Great Horde, the word ďZalesesĒ means those who live beyond the forest.
3 Peter means the Rossian Czar Peter I, he ruled Rossia from 1682 to 1725.
4 Yemelyan Pugachev was a pretender to the Rossian throne, he led the great Cossack insurrection of 1773 - 1774.
© Akbar Muhammad. Translation, 2015
[Adapted from Sergey Royís ďItís My Fate, to Fight on to the End...Ē.]