Kassander About Poem on Cassandra

Stupid translation
I’ve come across Vladimir Vysotsky‘s song A Song about Clairvoyant Cassandra which I found on The Saker‘s blog.

I must admit I do not like “overgrown artistic” translations of original lyrics. One has to know authors’ language to fully cherish such lyrics and taste their meaning through reader’s soul.

See for yourself (hlink above) how English pseudo artistic translation was inflated, as if the “translator” was paid by number of words or had ambition to be placed in the Pantheon of Translators of All Times.

In the mean time I did translation using Yandex service and it appeared it was really good!

Here it is, with my few corrections, but the original Russian version, simple and to the point is the best, of course:

Troy long in siege situation
Remained impenetrable fortress,
But Trojans did not believe Cassandra, –
Troy perhaps would be standing until now.

Nonstop the mad maiden
Shouted: “I see clearly Troy’ll crumble to the dust!”
But clairvoyants – however, like witnesses –
For all ages people were burned at the stake.

And in the night from womb of horse at Troy
Death came, as expected, winged,
Over beaten mindless crowd
Suddenly someone shouted: “that witch is to blame!”

Nonstop the mad maiden
Shouted: “I see clearly Troy’ll crumble to the dust!”
But clairvoyants – however, like witnesses –
For all ages people were burned at the stake.

And in that night, in that blood, in that distress
As if fulfill all predictions for glory,
The crowd has come in due moment,
To inflict its usual carnage.

Nonstop the mad maiden
Shouted: “I see clearly Troy’ll crumble to the dust!”
But clairvoyants – however, like witnesses –
For all ages people were burned at the stake.

And in the end – though not tragic, but deplorable:
A Greek found Cassander’s abode, –
And started use her not as Cassandra’s man,
But as simple and insatiable winner.

Without weary mad maiden
Shouted: “I see clearly Troy’ll crumble to the dust!”
But clairvoyants – however, like witnesses –
For all ages people were burned at the stake.

Долго Троя в положении осадном
Оставалась неприступною твердыней,
Но троянцы не поверили Кассандре, –
Троя, может быть, стояла б и поныне.

Без умолку безумная девица
Кричала: «Ясно вижу Трою павшей в прах!»
Но ясновидцев – впрочем, как и очевидцев –
Во все века сжигали люди на кострах.

И в ночь, когда из чрева лошади на Трою
Спустилась смерть, как и положено, крылата,
Над избиваемой безумною толпою
Вдруг кто-то крикнул: «Это ведьма виновата!»

Без умолку безумная девица
Кричала: «Ясно вижу Трою павшей в прах!»
Но ясновидцев – впрочем, как и очевидцев –
Во все века сжигали люди на кострах.

И в эту ночь, и в эту кровь, и в эту смуту
Когда сбылись все предсказания на славу,
Толпа нашла бы подходящую минуту,
Чтоб учинить свою привычную расправу.

Без умолку безумная девица
Кричала: «Ясно вижу Трою павшей в прах!»
Но ясновидцев – впрочем, как и очевидцев –
Во все века сжигали люди на кострах.

А вот конец – хоть не трагичный, но досадный:
Какой-то грек нашел Кассандрину обитель, –
И начал пользоваться ей не как Кассандрой,
А как простой и ненасытный победитель.

Без устали безумная девица
Кричала: «Ясно вижу Трою павшей в прах!»
Но ясновидцев – впрочем, как и очевидцев –
Во все века сжигали люди на кострах.

Song about the clairvoyant Cassandra
From: The Saker


(Click to enlarge) Ajax and Cassandra by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1806

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