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Not With Deserters

This song is by Iris DeMent and appears on the album The Trackless Woods (2015).

Not with deserters from the battle
That tears my land do I belong
To their coarse praise I do not listen
They shall not have from me one song

Poor exile, you are like a prisoner to me
Or one upon a bed of sickness
Dark your road, O wanderer
Of wormwood smacks your alien bread

Here into smoke and fires that blacken
Our lives, the last of youth, we throw
Who, in the years behind us, never
Sought to evade a single blow

Poor exile, you are like a prisoner to me
Or one upon a bed of sickness
Dark your road, O wanderer
Of wormwood smacks your alien bread

We know that in the final reckoning
No hour will need apology
No people in the world are prouder
More tearless, simpler, than are we

Poor exile, you are like a prisoner to me
Or one upon a bed of sickness
Dark your road, O wanderer
Of wormwood smacks your alien bread

Written by:

Anna Akhmatova; translated by Babette Deutsch

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