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The Twelve

 III 
Our sons have gone 
to serve the Reds 
to serve the Reds 
to risk their heads! 

O bitter,bitter pain, 
Sweet living! 
A torn overcoat 
an Austrian gun! 

-To get the bourgeosie 
We'll start a fire 
a worldwide fire, and drench it 
in blood- 
The good Lord bless us! 


-O you bitter bitterness, 
boring boredom, 
deadly boredom.
This is how I will spend my time.
This is how I will scratch my head, munch on seeds, some sunflower seeds, play with my knife play with my knife.
You bourgeosie, fly as a sparrow! I'll drink your blood, your warm blood, for love, for dark-eyed love.
God, let this soul, your servant, rest in peace.
Such boredom! XII .
.
.
On they march with sovereign tread.
.
.
‘Who else goes there? Come out! I said come out!’ It is the wind and the red flag plunging gaily at their head.
The frozen snow-drift looms in front.
‘Who’s in the drift! Come out! Come here!’ There’s only the homeless mongrel runt limping wretchedly in the rear .
.
.
‘You mangy beast, out of the way before you taste my bayonet.
Old mongrel world, clear off I say! I’ll have your hide to sole my boot! The shivering cur, the mongrel cur bares his teeth like a hungry wolf, droops his tail, but does not stir .
.
.
‘Hey answer, you there, show yourself.
’ ‘Who’s that waving the red flag?’ ‘Try and see! It’s as dark as the tomb!’ ‘Who’s that moving at a jog trot, keeping to the back-street gloom?’ ‘Don’t you worry ~ I’ll catch you yet; better surrender to me alive!’ ‘Come out, comrade, or you’ll regret it ~ we’ll fire when I’ve counted five!’ Crack ~ crack ~ crack! But only the echo answers from among the eaves .
.
.
The blizzard splits his seams, the snow laughs wildly up the wirlwind’s sleeve .
.
.
Crack ~ crack ~ crack! Crack ~ crack ~ crack! .
.
.
So they march with sovereign tread .
.
.
Behind them limps the hungry dog, and wrapped in wild snow at their head carrying a blood-red flag ~ soft-footed where the blizzard swirls, invulnerable where bullets crossed ~ crowned with a crown of snowflake pearls, a flowery diadem of frost, ahead of them goes Jesus Christ.

by Aleksandr Blok
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