We’re not a nation
by Petko Slaveikov translated by Christopher Buxton
We’re not a nation, not a nation, but carrion,
people who refuse occupation.
Everything’s heavy, everything hurts us
“I don’t know! I can’t do it!” sung in one voice.
We don’t know and we can’t and we’ll not
work for ourselves in time’s allotment.
We only know and we can and we will
Eat each other to our spiteful fill.
Amongst ourselves we’re bad, rude, irascible
With others we’re docile, quiet, pliable.
They still walk over us, whoever comes
Because we’re inept, all fingers and thumbs.
Everyone shouts “Curses on our plight!”
And every ambition is squashed flat.
We’re not a nation, not a nation, but carrion
Again I say it, and end my oration.