Alexander Pushkin


The Prophet

by Alexander Pushkin

Tormented by the thirst for the spirit
I was dragging myself in a sombre desert.
And a six-winged seraph appeared
Unto me on the parting of the roads.
With fingers as light as a dream
Mine eyes he touched:
And mine eyes opened wise
Like the eyes of a frightened eagle;
He touched mine ears,
And they filled with din and ringing.
And I heard the trembling of the heavens
And the flight of the angel's wings,
And the creeping of the polyps in the sea,
And the growth of the vine in the valley.
And he took hold of my lips,
And out he tore my sinful tongue
With its empty and false speech.
And the fang of the wise serpent
Between my terrified lips he placed
With bloody hand.
And ope he cut with sword my breast,
And out he took my trembling heart,
And a coal with flaming blaze
Into the opened breast he shoved.
Like a corpse I lay in the desert.
And the voice of God unto me called:
Arise, O prophet, and listen, and guide.
Be thou filled with my will,
And going over land and sea
Fire with the word the hearts of men!



Copyright 1888
Translator: Translated from the Russian, By Ivan Panin
Cupples And Hurd, 94 Boylston Street, Boston