The seconds, minutes are set forth, But hearts need verifying: It is a holiday on Earth - A day when no one’s dying! The heaven’s entrance is secured, The gates of hell are hastily bolted. No strings attached, it’s all promoted By higher powers, rest assured. Rejoice and cheer, all common folk! No man shall die today of stroke, No one succumbs to illness or to folly. All cancers are repelled today, The darkness will dissolve away, And for one day the soul won’t leave the body. So, if there’s fighting in the ranks, Must blunt each knife and cutlass! And if a firing squad, use blanks, And keep all battles bloodless. And in His name no man will run To take a bow to lead that whistles. And even for the lives of millions There shall be no demise of one! And even in the devil’s name, For any cause, it’s all the same: No man will draw the dagger from its scabbard. No one will take an endless rest, And for the triumph of what’s best No one will climb the ladder to the scaffold. A hundred bonfires shall be lit: To warm our backs, but not to lick them. Untold catastrophes will hit, But all without a single victim. And, finishing all food and booze, No one will burst from overeating. When gunshots come instead of greetings, One falls, but only for a ruse. Whoever vanished out of sight, Will be cold-bloodedly revived - They’ll ruffle, rub them, make them irritated. There is a special squad for this, Who’ll shake a dead man from his bliss, Unlucky accidents will be eliminated. You, murderers and thugs, take five! Forget your jealousy and hatred! You may attack, but don’t take life; When strangle, stop before they flatlined. Don’t try to fill the window frame. Come down before foreboding deepens, For we’ve eliminated reasons To leap from windows all the same. You, suicides of little use, We’ll take you all out of the noose, We’ll roll you in the dust unloosed, Still breathing, lukewarm, in your sleeping garments. And no one’s head shall fall to ground After the hangman’s axe goes down - There is no welcome day in Eden Gardens.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2024