Treasure Island

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

(6 June 1799 – 10 February 1837 / Moscow)

The Prophet


Longing for spiritual springs,
I dragged myself through desert sands ...
An angel with three pairs of wings
Arrived to me at cross of lands;
With fingers so light and slim
He touched my eyes as in a dream:
And opened my prophetic eyes
Like eyes of eagle in surprise.
He touched my ears in movement, single,
And they were filled with noise and jingle:
I heard a shuddering of heavens,
And angels' flight on azure heights
And creatures' crawl in long sea nights,
And rustle of vines in distant valleys.
And he bent down to my chin,
And he tore off my tongue of sin,
In cheat and idle talks aroused,
And with his hand in bloody specks
He put the sting of wizard snakes
Into my deadly stoned mouth.
With his sharp sword he cleaved my breast,
And plucked my quivering heart out,
And coals flamed with God's behest,
Into my gaping breast were ground.
Like dead I lay on desert sands,
And listened to the God's commands:
'Arise, O prophet, hark and see,
Be filled with utter My demands,
And, going over Land and Sea,
Burn with your Word the humane hearts.'

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Danuta Glendenning (5/24/2007 5:23:00 PM)

    It is very difficult to convey adequately the lyric and dramatic voice of Russians. Sadly, in English it doesn't burn through your heart as it would in his mother tongue.But many a sage has told of the same experiences as Pushkin tries to impart. (Report) Reply

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