TO A FRIEND
With your group you went. I noted sadly
How it dreary grew without you here.
Do you think you'll miss your friend so badly
When it comes my time to disappear?
We have so much undergone together,
To each other bound in front-line strife!
Would that we might nevermore be severed,
Would we might together go through life.
When the victory comes and we are going,
You and I, back to our native homes,
Will they care and kindness there be showing?
How shall we be met?… Ah, dreams, ah dreams!
We were oft within an ace of dying,
Doubtless we'll again be thither called.
Shall we recollect the old days' flying?
Or with shot-torn breast in battle fall?
If I'm, in the service of my country,
To a soldier's grave sent by the foe,
Will you grieve about your poet-comrade,
When through old Kazan you wandering go?
Blood and battle tied us to each other,
That is why our bonds waxed from the start!
Let us to the death back one another
If we're doomed one day to be apart.
To her soldiers is our country looking,
Sees how fire with fire returned will be,
And we, too, a warrior's vow have taken
That we'll home return victoriously.
Translated by Jessie Davies