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Wednesday
Nov282012

Lermontov, "Поэт"

A work ("The Poet") by this Russian man of letters.  You can read the original here.

When Raphael the last inspired blush,
Upon the saintly maiden's sacred face,
His fingers trembling less than his fine brush,
Enthrall'd by his own artistry, did place,

He fell, in ecstasy, before the sight! 
Yet soon this burst of wonder left his breast, 
So silent, young, and so bereft of rest, 
That he in shortest time forgot that white,

That heavenly white flame which he once caught. 
Such is the poet: should thought so sparkling shine, 
So shall his quill disgorge in sweetest rhyme, 
His soul in full.  Loud lyres in their assault

Enchant the earth; yet in his silence seems    
The poet, to all oblivious save you, 
You, idols of his soul! Utopian dream! 
And suddenly his cheeks grow cold and blue:

His heart's concerns will soon fall quiet, still – 
And there before his eyes a spectre flees!  
But so long shall his weary mind yet keep
Those very first impressions of his thrill. 

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