The world of seamen differs in the root, Let us begin with words that make the difference: “To lay” with us will never mean “to put” And with “a yard” we never measure distance. No omen matters, no superstition, When roars the boatswain: “All hands man the rails!” The muscled wind delights us with its mission - It strains the linen skin of our sails! Bright constellations through all storms and fogs With Father Neptune judge all those sailing, A pair of Canes, scary, hungry dogs, Are chasing us around, madly wailing. We are the ghost of a mythic clipper, We balance on the cups of starry Scales, The wind, once friendly, turned into a ripper, It now rips the linen skin of sails! On course we spot a ship, that’s drifting loose, We guess, it is a legendary boat. Look! Dangling from a yardarm is a noose, It longs for hugging tight somebody’s throat! Her time by Providence was halted in the air, The sea is stiff, there are no whiffs, no gales... The fair wind’s turned out so unfair - It fails to find the linen skin of sails! We’re now getting enigmatic calls, Strong flavor of the past times they are having... It’s not the thirst for epic fame on scrolls, That throws us on cliffs when seas are heavy! Enjoy a new miraculous emotion, Inhaling this blue space with no end! The one, who sees just water in the ocean, Will never notice mountains on land! Sing, hurricane, your stormy songs of ire! Grip our brains with your ferocious hand! The tunes of tempests only inspire Eternal love of sea and love of land!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2002
Edited by Robert Titterton