Alexander Pushkin: The Prophet

14 November 2018

Tormented by spiritual thirst
I dragged myself through a somber desert.
And a six-winged seraph
appeared to me at the crossing of the ways.
He touched my eyes
with fingers light as a dream:
and my prophetic eyes opened like those of a frightened eagle.
He touched my ears
and they were filled with noise and ringing:
and I heard the shuddering of the heavens,
and the flight of the angels in the heights,
and the movement of the beasts of the sea under the waters,
and the sound of the vine growing in the valley.
He bent down to my mouth
and tore out my tongue,
sinful, deceitful, and given to idle talk;
and with his right hand steeped in blood
he inserted the forked tongue of a wise serpent
into my benumbed mouth.
He clove my breast with a sword,
and plucked out my quivering heart,
and thrust a coal of live fire
into my gaping breast.
Like a corpse I lay in the desert.
And the voice of God called out to me:
"Arise, O prophet, see and hear,
be filled with My will,
go forth over land and sea,
and set the hearts of men on fire with your Word."

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