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Poems

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A PROPHET




Tormented by spiritual lack,
I plodded in a gloomy desert;
A six-winged seraph showed at last,
Before me, when the road dissevered.
And o'er my pupils did he skim
His fingers, airy as a dream, -
Prophetic pupils gaped and peered, like
Those of a frightened female eagle.
He ran the fingers o'er my ears, -
The ears got filled with noise and peals.
And I heard heaven's trepidation,
And angels' empyrean drive,
And sea-beasts' underwater life,
And valley willows' vegetation...
And, having nestl'd against my mouth,
He rooted erring tongue mine out,
The tongue both idle and deceiving,
And thrust a cunning serpent's sting
Inside my mouth, like frozen stiff,
With his right hand, stained by my bleeding...
He cleft my thorax with a blade,
Took out a quivering heart from it,
And then a blazing coal instead
Embedded in my my open thorax...
I lay like dead amid the wastes;
And, by the God's voice, was addressed:
"Arise, behold and hearken, prophet,
Be filled with my will hence and forth
And, travelling through lands and waters,
Sting hearts of people with the word!"


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Translation Variation

Parched with the spirit's thirst, I crossed
An endless desert sunk in gloom,
And a six-winged seraph came
Where the tracks met and I stood lost.
Fingers light as dream he laid
Upon my lids; I opened wide
My eagle eyes, and gazed around.
He laid his fingers on my ears
And they were filled with roaring sound:
I heard the music of the spheres,
The flight of angels through the skies,
The beasts that crept beneath the sea,
The heady uprush of the vine;
And, like a lover kissing me,
He rooted out this tongue of mine
Fluent in lies and vanity;
He tore my fainting lips apart
And, with his right hand steeped in blood,
He armed me with a serpent's dart;
With his bright sword he split my breast;
My heart leapt to him with a bound;
A glowing livid coal he pressed
Into the hollow of the wound.
There in the desert I lay dead,
And God called out to me and said:
'Rise, prophet, rise, and hear, and see,
And let my works be seen and heard
By all who turn aside from me,
And burn them with my fiery word.'

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FOOTNOTES:

Лицензия Creative Commons – Attribution
(разрешено повторное использование)
A. Pushkin, A Prophet \ А. Пушкин, Пророк (subs by V. Chetin)
Video recited by И.Смоктуновский Загружено