(Перевод поэмы Симонова)
In Berlin, on a freezing stage,
A German man who fought in Spain
Sang long-forgotten rebel songs -
The ones that cost him so much pain
His friends had thought him dead five times
Gestapo nearly caught him more
He wore disguise or prison robes
All through the five long years of war
Man resurrected, pale as ghost,
He stood, disfigured by old scars,
A live Resistance document,
Like ones he read in evening bars,
He sang in ruins of Berlin
What he sang in exile in France
The song he had kept quarantined
Though all the years of silence
Those years took a heavy toll -
The face was scarred, the body injured,
But they did not destroy his soul,
And deep within, that song was still lingered
The song got hoarse through prison cold,
Through fever on those wooden beds
It nearly died in tiny cell
And became raspy in the camps.
Now it came back to this same stage,
Where it's been absent for so long.
Some recognized it, and some wept,
And many stared at the floor.
It flew above those who betrayed,
It rose for dead and living friends
And gently touched the shoulders of
Those who resolved to make amends
And everyone imagined them -
Interbrigade men from the front:
In leather jackets, with their guns
And telmankas marked with Rot Front.
And one who sang, he seemed to be,
Not singing - charging to the fight,
And movement his parched lips,
Was touching with forgotten light
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then I walked with him, as a brother,
Through silent city turned to graves
Not long ago - besieged, cursed
Today - just ash and concrete caves.
We grieved together, me and him,
That, thrown in prisons and defeated,
Way back in nineteen thirty-three,
The German could not save his city.
(translation isn't word-for-word. Oh well, feel free to improve. Here's the original: http://libverse.ru/simonov/nemec.html )