We Learn

By hoar-frost as by the thick chalk whitened, -
We warm the boulders with heat of our blood.
Oh, how we’ve appeared non-instructed
To the beginning of the warfare’s flood.

Not to attack, but to defend each step back –
And in the snows which belong to us.
With our heat to thaw in the ice tracks,
And to not sleep for many days and nights.

Until we arm ourselves and finish study,
Recall them all on their own land, -
Oh, how patient we must be, how hardy,
And how many – lie in fighting, dead.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, July, 2001