A Promise to Oneself

Don’t wait for orders! Don’t delay
With reference to rest!
Forge forth! Through wind and piercing rain
And blizzard’s howling wail!

Abandon comfort’s cozy quilt —
You’re young, the way is yours!
You’ll have the time to rest your soul
When they lament your death!

Be brave, be fair, don’t heed the tongues
That ridicule and sneer.
And as a leader, take the brunt
Of duty on yourself!

If you have never been at fault,
Your life’s a wasted bloom —
You’ve shied away from picking up
The burdens of this world!

Whatever brings your lot to you —
Success or failure’s wrath,
Remember this – your measure’s worth
Will only judge our Lord!

Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, 1991

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