* * *
Now what have we soldiers been guilty of, That our cannons were not covered up?! As long as the enemies donít throw away their truncheons, Is no avoiding without fights and wars. I would cannons and mortars Never load, I should not even be able in a shooting range - Childrenís Christmas trees I decorated. But only just now Came an order To go to a suppression, And I sing, As always, That grief is no disaster, - But hard in the training, And in the battle as well. The shoulder begins to itch, if ours are defeated! The shot down, the wounded - drag away! I am calm before the battle, but in the attack merciless, Now and after the battle - gentle!
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018