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Горними тихо летела душа небесами

Language: Russian (Русский)

Горними тихо летела душа небесами,
Грустные долу она опускала ресницы,
Слёзы в пространство от них упадая звездами,
Светлой и длинной [за нею вились]1 вереницей.
Встречные тихо её вопрошали светила:
«[Отчего]2 так грустна и о чём эти слёзы во взоре?»
Им отвечала она: «я земли не забыла.
Много [оставила я там]3 страданья и горя.
Здесь я лишь ликам блаженства и радости внемлю,
Праведных души не знают ни скорби, ни злобы.
О, отпусти меня снова, создатель, на землю,
Было-б о ком пожалеть и утешить кого-бы!»

Translation(s): ENG FRE FRE

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Note on the text (provided by Laura Prichard): Tolstoy wrote this poem to honor Lermonotov’s famous poem "Angel" (1831), which is about an innocent soul encountering earthly sorrow for the first time. Tolstoy’s poem, in a similar meter, gives experience’s answer to innocence, since in this case, the soul longs to return to earth to comfort those who sorrow.

Note on the music (provided by Laura Prichard): Tchaikovsky’s main melody was inspired by, and modelled on, a duet for Christ and Mary Magdalen from Massenet’s oratorio Marie-Magdalen (1873), which he played through in 1880.

1 Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky: "вилися за ней" (vilisja za nej)
2 Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky: "Что" (Chto)
3 Musorgsky: "отвечала там я" (otvechala tam ja); Tchaikovsky: "оставила там я" (ostavila tam ja)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages or adaptations:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by A. Aleksandrova ENG by Konstantin Afanas'evich Antipov.

Other available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "A soul flew quietly to the heavens", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Doucement l'esprit s'envola vers le ciel", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2017-10-11 12:39:24
Line count: 12
Word count: 83

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Doucement l'esprit s'envola vers le ciel

Language: French (Français) after the Russian (Русский)

Doucement l'esprit s'envola vers le ciel,
Et baissa ses paupières chargées de chagrin,
Des larmes en tombèrent dans l'espace comme des étoiles,
Enroulée derrière elle en une chaîne brillante et longue.

Ceux qui la croisent l'interrogent doucement sur ces lumières :
« Pourquoi être si triste et tant de larmes dans les yeux ? »
Elle leur répondit : « Je n'ai pas oublié la terre.
Car j'ai laissé là beaucoup de chagrin et de souffrance.

Ici je n'entends que des cris de bonheur et de joie,
Les âmes des justes ne connaissent ni tristesse ni colère.
Oh, laissez-moi retourner, mon Créateur, sur terre,
Que je leur apporte consolation et réconfort ! »

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  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in Russian (Русский) by Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count (1817 - 1875) ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Anton Stepanovich Arensky, Modest Petrovich Musorgsky, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-10-24.
Last modified: 2015-10-24 22:16:20
Line count: 12
Word count: 113