I lived splendidly the first third,
For the twenty years I was in the world -
according to learning,
I lived unthinkingly, but I was busy,
Swam, where my eyes looked, -
with the stream.
I thought - there is it, the reward, -
However I neither use oars,
Mosquitos, horse-flies and wasps
but didnít harass me.
At the beginning I heard from the riverbank
shouts to help,
They have waited, poor devils, -
I lay, mad with home-made beer,
If shaken at the turning,
Wrapped up in the maelstrom -
I take my shoes off, put them on,
I indulge seeing myself in the water -
it pleases me very much.
The banks fluctuate past the boat,
And now I spoil my throat
After a superfluous gulp
Look - I am swimming not alone, -
but with an old woman.
And while I am astonished,
The mist comes down
I appeared at the hopeless place, -
And the enormous old woman
Guffawed right into my ear
the evil beast.
I shout, - I donít hear the scream,
I canít say a word with fear,
I donít see well,
The wind rocks me...
- Who is there? I hear - the answer:
- I am, the Evil One!
Stop making the signs of the cross and lamenting, -
You wonít be saved by the holy
Those, that throw away rudder and paddle,
Are driven away by the Evil One -
as it is usual! -
In the darkness I am looking for the way,
A little gulp of mead -
Only a hundred gramme each time, -
And she doesnít fall asleep,
She strides in front of me
with a heavy gait.
There, she stumbles over the roots,
Because of such an obesity
is badly groaning.
Now she has even shortness of breath,
And wears out however - thither,
the bad creature.
Suddenly meeting us is a living,
A limping, crooked one,
the mug cunning.
And shouts: - You are standing over the abyss,
But I shall save you, my dear one,
your tears I shall wipe away! -
I asked: Who are you? -
And she to me - I am the Crooked One, -
Well, she says, I shall bring you out, -
- And though I am lopsided,
Twisted, squinting, -
I shall bring you out.
I exclaimed, pouring out:
- Get me out, Crooked One!
I am dependent!
I shall supply you with a jug,
Improving your crookedness -
Only bring me out!
And you mummy, daughter of a bitch,
Now come on drink a little gulp -
your are nervours.
You forget me for some time,
You are thick - in the harem
you will be the first one. -
And the two old women fell
Beside a big bottle of mead
They succumbed to dipsomania and hysterics.
I am hiding behind the hummocks,
I move slowly backwards
straight to the banks.
Quickly I rowed to the torrential current
And with two strokes to the middle -
oh, I am a scoundrel!
You shall kick the bucket, boozed up,
Two of my fates -
Crooked One and Evil One!
Probably after a malicious calculation
And under the secret care
I am a blockhead and was unlucky,
And dragged along by troublemakers,
in the course of the current.
It appeared to me, life is a delight,
Well, neither oars are needed, oh not needed -
oh, I am a scoundrel!
...they moved howling away,
My two fates -
Crooked One and Evil One.