Lermontov: The Angel (From Russian)

The Angel
By Mikhail Lermontov
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Russian

Across the dark sky came the angel in flight
Who sang a soft song through the night.
And stars and the moon and the clouds in their throng
Gave ear to that heavenly song.
He sang of immaculate spirits that move
In bliss in the Heavenly Grove,
He sang of the Lord of All Things, every phrase

Unfeigned in that purest of praise.
He bore in his arms a young soul toward its birth,
To sorrow and tears of this earth.
And in that young soul the great sound of his song
Remained without words now, but strong.
And long did it languish on earth in its time
Replete with a yearning sublime,

A soul that knew tones of the heavenly race
No dull tune of earth could replace.

The Original:

Михаил Лермонтов

По небу полуночи Ангел летел,
И тихую песню он пел.
И месяц, и звезды, и тучи толпой
Внимали той песне святой.
Он пел о блаженстве безгрешных духов
Под кущами райских садов,
О боге великом он пел, и хвала
Его непритворна была...
Он душу младую в объятиях нес
Для мира печали и слез,
И звук его песни в душе молодой
Остался, без слов, но живой...
И долго на свете томилась она,
Желанием чудным полна.
И звуков небес заменить не могли
Ей скучные песни земли...

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