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Translation:Floor-cleaners' song

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Floor-cleaners' Song  (1924) 
by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated from Russian by Wikisource
Floor-cleaners' Song

Ever-scrubbing, ever-rubbing,
Ever-grubbing, ever-grumbling
Red flaxen shirt
Fringe-frilly girt

‘All alike – no Bart from Barry –
I can’t tell you, folks, apart!’
‘We will diddle the unwary
We will have of you the start.’

Do you grudge us here?
Only waxers, we’re.
Treading flooren cloths
We will zap the moths

Red-featheréd cock,
Go dance on woodblock!

Ever-banging, ever-bagging,
Not a room has room enough
Miss a choker of your granny?
It’s the cleaners lifting stuff

We rub red-hot
As like as not …
Light-fingered spree!

Parquet-scrubber easy does it:
Roll it over and across!
Reeling, glide at you, we dance it:
‘Tip us nicely for the gloss!’

It’s no putty that we daubs
On your ashen-wooden floors
It’s the bloody sweat we daubs
Over all your pretty floors

We polish it hard!
No furniture’s barred!

Low as cinder, soft as cotton …
If you sign us on a job,
Weep for goddess! Nose is broken!
But I only brushed a jot!

What a marble femme all over …
Dress her up from Lamanova!
We don’t heed what’s marble on ’er
Lump her up, ’n’ that we’re gonna!

Naked feet
Feel the heat!

Cleaner-upper’s sickly fellow:
Sweat all over, while you prance!
Hence the visage – drab and sallow:
It’s the limb as ruddy runs

We trace with feet
We toil at speed;
The lordly ones
Get dance from us

Stumpy toes are five to tally
Just like any lordly foot!
Not to worry! In your dwelling
We will shortly down it put!

On you toil, even
Till your heart is sore!
Sixéd-toed peon
Is for all in store!

Have a ball – that’s how we like it!
Are the doors all safely locked?
… Why the shirts are red? Well, strike it –
Red on red will mark no blot!

By the Lard! Whose that blood?
Don’t you know it? Shut and stow it!

Just as lord will go besmear it,
Booting over all the sheen
Our business is to clear it,
Mopping, waxing, polishing

Let the dust fly!
Let the wax dry!

Keen and wary, grim and scary
Dick and Harry – proletarry
Flared pants
Shuffle intense

It’s no bugs we treat
As the vermin breed
When the wax is floored
We will get the lord!

Hell, shame and shock
Set on woodblock!
Here’s to
Red Guard’s fighting cock!

* * *

Detectives run quick and deft
A merchant’s been stabbed and left

You face all the aftermath:
A merchant’s been scrubbed to death