Vladimir vysotsky — a song about a friend

A song about a friend

If you see — Your friend seems to be
Neither friend, nor foe — So-so…
If you never have understood
Whether he’s bad or good…
Take to mountains high This guy,
Don’t you leave him at once — Give a chance,
Let him be in one link with you —
There you’ll see who is who.

If the climb makes him feel Quite ill,
If he only fails And wails,
Having stepped on the ice He cries,
Having stumbled he dies…
It’s a cur who is near — It’s clear,
Waste no words on this foe — Let go!
Such guys shouldn’t be brought along —
They deserve no song!

If the guy didn’t howl Or growl,
And went on being tough And rough,
And held on With a groan
If You had flown From a cliff.
If he’s broken through With you
To the peak which is shining blue —
Then you know that upon this guy
You may fully rely!

© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton

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