Reigning over his nation, Lived a king for quite a while. Treason, fraud and degradation Were the kernel of his style. Royal troops had no wars, no drills Since the king was but greasing his gills, With the queen he made a row, Kicked his daughter’s bridegrooms out, While his son got pick-pocketing skills. As it goes in the fable (And the fable’s always true!) Lived another king, the neighbor, In his kingdom number two. All his subjects were humble and meek, Since the king always had too much cheek. Full of ardor and ambition, He hanged all his opposition And he wished to do something unique! Next to these two kings of honor, Always ready for a brawl, There lived another monarch, Inflammation in his gall. He was brutal, that son of a gun, He insulted his neighbors for fun. He would send them dirty letters, Interfere with their matters, He loved scandals and was asking for one! Craving land this brute decided For this gain the war to wage. His aggression was one-sided And his neighbors were enraged. They got ready to go to war, But the first king had no arms in store! And the marshals of the second Made the kingdom’s soil too fecund, As the vassals were faithful no more!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2002
Edited by Robert Titterton