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Page:Modern Russian Poetry.djvu/44

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18
Mikhail Lermontov

THE ANGEL

Through the heavens of midnight an angel was sped
Who lifted his chant as he fled.
The moon and the clouds and the stars leaned to hear
The song rising holy and clear.

He sang of the spirits, the sinless, the blest,
Who softly in Paradise rest.
Of the gardens of God, and of God was his song,
Ringing true as a heavenly gong.

He bore a young soul to the dark gates of birth,
Toward the travailing, sorrowful earth.
And flying, he sang, and the eager soul heard
The deathless, the unuttered Word.

And the years in the world could but sadden and tire
The soul filled with wondrous desire.
And vainly the dull songs of earth would have stilled
The song wherewith heaven had thrilled.