There’s only one hour for the whole bombardment, There’s only one hour for infantry to rest, There’s only one hour for main affairs, rather. Who’s sentenced holding orders, who’s - to death. At this hour we’re not engaged in writing - Let’s pray to artillery men - the gods of war! Because of that we are not mere fighters, We are the soldiers of the penalty battalion. We shan’t write ever: "...I’m now a communist". And we drink vodka before battle - bad! We’ve drunken all our fate "in civil", So we don’t cry "Hurra!", we are silent. The penalized have only one law, one end - To kill, to pierce the fashist wanders on. If you’re lucky not to catch in breast the lead - Then you’ll hold medal there for your valour. Beat with your bayonet, or better - with your hand: It’s more reliable, and even quiet. If you’re able get alive from that - Then have a good time, with a rouble or higher! The enemy considers us as weak In morals - wood and towns after him are burned. But you should better cut wood for the coffins, For breach are going the penalty battalions. Now six o’clock - again the fire - So, God of war - shoot hard without end! It’s only one hour for main affairs: For someone - order, and for someone - death!
© Lyudmila Purgina. Translation, 2011