Someone spotted a fruit, still unripe,
Shook the branch and it fell with some noise…
There’s one who did not sing a line,
And was left unaware of his voice.
Perhaps, he had conflicts with fate,
And by chance, his plans went amiss,
But the guitar string had already been laid
And its flaw was unknowingly missed.
He started humbly with a “do”,
But never finished that one note…
His first accord fell much too flat
And left nobody mesmerized…
A dog was barking, and a cat
Was chasing mice…
It’s funny! He was all entwined!
He left his joke half-way complete,
He did not fully taste his wine,
He did not fully take a sip.
He started quarreling and yet,
He was timid and slow to begin,
And his soul, in large droplets of sweat,
Still perspired from under his skin.
He was only just starting his duel,
He walked slowly onto the floor.
He was not yet aware of the rules,
And the ref hadn’t opened the score.
He yearned to know so much at once,
And yet, he never quite advanced…
And no conclusion could be drawn,
He never traveled deep enough,
And her, the one who’s still alone,
He lacked a chance to fully love!
It’s funny! He was on a roll,
He hurried, ran, but all in vain.
And riddles that he hadn’t solved
What I’m telling you now aren’t lies -
He was pure to the style he held,
On the snow, he was writing her rhymes, -
But of course, every snow has to melt.
But it was snowing that day, and at least,
He was free to write on the snow.
On the run, he would catch with his lips
Crystal flakes in their brilliant glow.
But to her, in a silver-gilt surrey,
He never made it all the way…
He had no time to sprint nor fly,
He never ran, the runaway,
His star-sign - Taurus - from up high,
Just lapped the ice-cold Milky Way.
It’s very funny, don’t you think?
Not having seconds, time was tight, -
And from a single missing link -
Unfinished flight, unfinished flight.
Seemed funny, didn’t it? Of course,
To you and I, it surely did.
A flying bird, a racing horse, -
Whose fault is it? Whose fault is it?
By Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation by Andrey Kneller