Through the forest my Horses dragged me on, I was boozed and I Sang a silly song, That one girlís got eyes darker than the night And these darkest eyes never treat me right! We would trudge, we would rush, We would trot, we would race. Hooves were throwing slush Into my boozy face, Yet Iíd wipe off this muck, To my bottle Iíd cling, Turbid liquid Iíd suck And again I would sing That Iíve always thought Of these darkest eyes. But I soon ran short Of my booze supplies. Then I shook my head, Rubbed my cheeks and my breast, And I looked ahead - And it took my breath: Woods are frightfully dark, rising up to the skies My three horses pull back, grunt and shiver like sheep. Whereís a break? Whereís a pass? All is black in my eyes, Prickly needles from firs sting me - pain is so deep! Horses! Dear! Please! Donít you freeze! Rush on! Stop your trembling knees, Lest we might be gone! Rain is dripping, thick, Like some toxic pus Wolves appeared, quick, And encircled us. Iím a drunken old fool! Shame on me and disgrace! Iím not likely to stay in this turmoil alive! From my favorite deck someone stole an ace - And without this ace I canít flee and survive! At the wolves I cry, Hit them left and right, And my horses fly, Driven forth by fright. On their backs and thighs I am whipping hard, Yelling: "Dear eyes! Donít you break my heart!" Snoring, roaring and wails, Flashing fangs, trembling tails And a feverish song madly played by the bell. Horses! Save me from teeth that are steely like nails! Though I am the one whoís to blame for this hell... Well, somehow I Could avoid a kill, Throats bone dry, We have topped a hill. Axles deep in mud, Horses stopped to squirt, We coughed out blood And we spat off dirt. To my horses I bowed, And kissed them - all three, And the reins I unbound, And let them go free. Now Iíve learnt what remorse is! Damn this perilous drive! God will save you, my horses Since I am alive!                
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2008
Edited by Robert Titterton