The Prophet

My spirit was athirst for grace.
I wandered in a darkling land
And at a crossing of the ways
Beheld a six-wing'd Seraph stand.
With fingers light as dream at night
He brushed my eyes and they grew bright
Opening unto prophecies
Wild as a startled eagle's eyes.
He touched my ears, and noise and sound
Poured into me from all around:
I heard the shudders of the sky,
The sweep of angel hosts on high,
The creep of beasts below in the seas,
The seep of sap in valley trees.
And leaning to my lips he wrung
Thereout my sinful slithered tongue
Of guile and idle caviling;
And with his bloody fingertips
He set between my wasting lips
A Serpent's wise and forkиd sting.
And with his sword he cleft my chest
And ripped my quaking heart out whole,
And in my sundered breast he cast
A blazing shard of living coal.
There in the desert I lay dead
Until the voice from heaven said:
«Arise O Prophet! Work My will,
Thou that hast now perceived and heard.
On land and sea thy charge fulfill
And burn Man's heart with this My Word.»

Translated by A. Z. Foreman

A.S. Pushkin. The Prophet (“My spirit was athirst for grace...”). Translated by A. Z. Foreman // Alexander Pushkin. Collected Works: Parallel Russian Text and English Translation.
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