The four long years our corsair vessel was at sea, But storms and battles failed to make our pennant shoddy. We learned the ropes of how to mend our brig, And how to plug the holes with fallen bodies. A squadron’s chasing us, it’s almost at our heels. The sea is calm, we can’t avoid this meeting. But our old man speaks calmly to his team: “It’s not yet written... It’s not yet written!” The flagship frigate turns, she’s ready to pass by. Her portside blazed and disappeared in smolder. We fire right back: our aiming’s done by eye. We see the death and fires. Our luck is stronger! We had bad days, but this just crossed a line: The wind has ceased, and our hold is leaking. But our old man sends us his usual sign: “It’s not yet written... It’s not yet written!" Binoculars, spyglasses aimed en masse at us. Enraged and gray from smoke we’re seen through lenses; But we will never give our foe a chance To see us chained to oars on galley’s benches! Unequal fight. Our vessel lists to port. Please save our souls and save our ship from sinking! But our old man commands: “Prepare to board! It’s not yet written... It’s not yet written! Who wants to live, who’s brave, who’s not a wimp? Prepare yourself for the upcoming skirmish! And rats, you better promptly leave my ship, In melee fights rats are of little service.” And rats did think and took our captain at his word, Then jumped in water to avoid the shrapnel pieces. And we engaged this flagship frigate board-to-board: “It’s not yet written... It’s not yet written!" Now face-to-face, and knife-to-knife, and eye-to-eye! So not to end as food for crabs and lobsters We left our sinking vessel and we cried: Our blades in hands and pistols out of holsters. But no! She will avoid the ocean floor! The sea will help, protecting her from sinking! Since we and oceans always come along, And our old man was right: “It’s not yet written!”
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2021