It has ever and ever been thus on this earth - Life fears snowstorms and frost. It has ever been so. Why are birds flying north, why are birds flying north, When it’s natural they should fly south? Glory, glamour or fame - they want none of this. Where there’s no ice below, they’ll alight. They will find their short-lived, birdlike happiness As reward for their daring flight. So why couldn’t we sleep in our warm beds at night? What high wave drove us forward, what fury and rage? We have not seen the famous divine - northern lights: They’re rare around here - quite expensive to stage! Silence. Seagulls like lightnings through emptiness, Pecking hungrily, flash all around. Our reward for the silence and trustiness Will be surely the long-dreamed-of sound. Even dreams in the north are in pale, bloodless white. All the colours are hidden deep under the snow; With this whiteness around, we have long lost our sight, With the first strip of black we’ll recover it, though. Then the silence of night will release our throat, And our weakness will melt in the light, And the long northern daylight will be our reward For the desperate hours of the night. Hope and freedom, and limitless space, and the snow - Clean while snow without mud, like a life without lies... From the sockets, our eyes won’t be pecked by the crows, For there aren’t any crows here to peck out our eyes. Those who did not believe in ill prophecies, Did not drop in the snow on the way - As reward for the long, utter loneliness, They are sure to meet someone - some day!
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990