The wise prince Oleg ‘s now assembling his force, To some gates some shields to nail down. But suddenly a man comes running up to his horse, A weird guy who wears a cap and gown, Without reason or rhyme, he begins to repeat, "Thou wilt meet your death, prince, because of your steed!" Prince comes against ye! And he was just about To venge on Khazars or Mongols, But the grey-haired Magus starts hoarsely to shout, Herewith reeking of alcohol, Stubbornly predicts, no better nor worse, "You will get your death, prince, from this steed of yours." "Who are you old fellow?!" the prince darkly said, While guards kept their hands on their whips. "If you are that drunk, take a drop for bad head, And save for yourself all these tips. Without a reason or rhyme, will he say That ‘cause of my good steed I shall pass away!" To shorten the story, he dearly has paid. (To jest about princes, who dares?!) And for a long time, guards attentively thread Him down with the hoofs of their mares. "Just look, he derived it, right out of a clear sky, That cause of his steed our prince has to die." And wise prince Oleg, he has sticked to his guns So much so that all had to fear them. He only recalled the poor sorcerer once, And said caustically "Hem, Without rhyme or reason, how dared he to say That cause of my steed, I’ll have to pass away?!" And here is the steed, long ago has gone. This Magus just fooled me around. Prince looked at the scull, quietly put his foot on, And suddenly fell on the ground. From an evil viper he got fatal bite And right on the spot momentarily died. The princes are punishing Magi all times, And this we will never approve, Since frequently they have all reasons and rhymes, Although sometimes no proof, Deriving conclusions just out of a clear sky. And yet, you admit, through his steed prince did die!
© Vladimir Gurvich. Translation, 2013