Poem by Irma Petroff

In the Petroff memoirs, Chapter 24, p4 and 5

It was written in German in Moscow in early 1920 and has been kindly translated by Ken Jones.

Broken the strings
On which I have played most
Dispersed the enthusiasm
Which I have felt so deeply
Now I am left with a wounded
Increasingly questioning heart,
Nerve wracking doubt
Disappointment and grief.

My harp laments feebly
In (my) trembling hand
For the dream of our fighters
Which in the hour of triumph, vanished.

We stand on the ruins
Of the enemies power
Victory is achieved
But nevertheless night prevails.

The whore sells herself
The beggar pleads for bread
The spirit is trampled underfoot
In Prison and in need

No Joyful creativity
In any sphere
Draws the lowing cattle
To the Soviet manger
I dare not to name you
Goddess of light
If freedom offends your name
Then my heart breaks
I feel the misery
The shame of these times
And can see no way out
For the strings are broken