Nikola Vaptsarov

(7 December 1909 - 23 July 1942 / Bulgaria)

The Comrade's Song


You want come back Fernandez, -
today machine-guns raked your lines.
And ceaselessly in the wilderness
like a tiresome dog the wind still whines.

A bugle-call. Once more it grows
so soundless, so strangely quiet...
In the trench a bluish darkness flows
while in your breast a storm runs riot.

A scratching sound by fingers made,
then laughter in hysteric pain...
Someone has grabbed his hand-grenade
and pulled the pin, then stopped again.

You were the first to charge ahead.
Quite close we heard machine-guns crack.
You staggered...then your forehead bled...
No, Fernandez, you'll not come back.

We took that slope today, yes, we.
We broke their lines, put them to rout.
Why, Fernandez, how glad you'd be
if only you... could look about.

Submitted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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