Time has brought down the castle, and covered with grass. Where the walls stood, grow thistles and nettles. But the silence of granite will not always last, And one day these old, cold stones will talk of the past - Of old triumphs, campaigns and great battles. Itís not all been razed, under the thistle. If you rip away timeís upper crust, Or if you squeeze timeís gullet a little, It will part with its lore of the past. Scores of padlocks will fall, scores of chains will be shed, And a vast heap of ages will break out in sweat, Scores of legends will pour, in sonorous old verse, - About tournaments, sieges and brave francs-tireurs. These old times will to you be familiar enough, And to you, too, they will seem sublime. And the reason is, love will forever be love, Even in your remote future time. Armour split with a crunching sound, hit by the sword, And the bowstring smoked, hot with the strain. Death on halberds sat greedily yelling for blood, Shrilly begging for mercy, foes dropped in the mud - Their entreaties, though, would be in vain. But not all remained human who came Out on top, or escaped with their lives - Even if theyíd protected their name From a scoundrelís obvious lies. It feels fine to be rocked by the horseís smooth gait. When the hand wields the spearís reassuring weight; When you know where the arrow comes from - itís all right. Itís much worse when it pierces your back, in the night. Do you still slap your scoundrels silly? Thatís great! Youíre no longer afraid of vile witches? You still call evil evil, isnít that right? - Even there, in your nice, friendly future? Ages come, ages go, but at all times deceit, Treason, cowardice are loathed and despised. At all times war is war, and defeat is defeat, Dungeons ever are dark, freedom always is sweet - It is always above all things prized. Ages could not have razed these ideas. If one rips away timeís upper crust. Like hot, pulsing blood or burning tears Ageless feelings will sweep over us. Now and always, old-timer, and forevermore - Guilt is guilt, and the cost is the cost, war is war, And it always feels fine when your honour is safe And a friend shields your back from a treacherous knife. We seek pureness and sweetness in old legendsí hoard, Though they mix up what was with what wasnít. Good and evil remain, ever, evil and good - In the future, the past and the present!
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990