Still, there will be poems and math, Honors, debts, an uneven fight - But for now, tin soldiers Here, on the old map, stand in order. It would be better if he kept them in barracks, But war is war - The soldiers fall in both armies Equally on each side. Sure, there are gaps in upbringing A weak schooling, maybe - But neither side Can win the campaign. Those devilish pangs of conscience - How can you evade sinning to yourself? Tin soldiers, both here and there, - How do you decide who should win? What was that about a strategy, devil take it, And what tactics, may they burn in hell! Here you go, a neutral Norway surrendered To the hordes of tin Egyptians.
Skandinavia’s prestige Was taken away by the left hand, - But a determined right hand Recovered the status quo at once.
Where are you, light-minded geniuses, Or have you no time to come? Where are you, who lost their battles, Like it was nothing, without suffering? Or you, carrying the dawn in your crown Of battles, wins, triumphs and graves, - Where are you, who became like Caesar That came, saw, conquered?         The little general is worried, Burdened by the unbearable load He, who became the top guy, My six-year old Napoleon. To put an end to his troubles, Exactly half of those soldiers - I painted blue-the stroke of a genius - In the morning the blue ones lay. I am proud of such success, but A thought disturbs me now and then: How did he decide that the blue should die, And not vice versa?
© Nellie Tkach. Translation, 1998