The Flood had just returned to ocean quarters, The olive twigs were gotten by the dove, And off the foam of retreating waters Ashore crept something by the name of Love, And then for many centuries this squatter Dissolved and faded in the air above... Since then you always see a pair who has Inhaled into their hearts this toxic gas; Their lives continue in the usual rhythm - Anticipating nothing to occur They suddenly start breathing in accord With someone else’s hot, uneven breathing... Feeling’s born. It should not come and go, And we all must realize its gist - If you say “I love” - it means as though You would say “I breathe” or “I exist”. And there will be lots of far-off missions - The land of Love is an enormous land. The knights of Love are tested by partitions, ‘Cause Love and Parting go hand in hand; Love always brings the knights to full submission, Yet no repose, no rest these knights demand. But having lost their heads they go on, And even ready their lives to pawn, Appalled by nothing, be it dire or gruesome, They only want to save a magic thread, Which has begun invisibly to spread, To stretch and string between the loving twosome... Winds of Love inspired darlings so That they even from the dead retrieved - If you never loved then you should know That you never breathed nor ever lived! But in their love a lot of darlings choked, They went away and back they never came. With blood and tears their stories soaked, But gossip never spared their names, Though only love their deadly end provoked - Let’s kindle in their honor candle flames... Their souls roam through the grassy dales, Their voices merge into harmonic scales, They breathe in the eternity together... They meet each other on the narrow trails, On shaky bridges over misty vales, On crossroads of the Universe they gather... Leave the lovers in the fields alone, Wish they’d never finish their song... If I breathe - it means that I’m in love, I’m in love - it means that I’m alive!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton
© Michael Ohlsson. Performance, music, 2010