Translation © by Lyle Neff

Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
В дверях Эдема ангел нежный
Главой поникшею сиял,
А демон мрачный и мятежный
Над адской бездною летал.

Дух отрицанья, дух сомненья
На духа чистого взирал
И жар невольный умиленья
Впервые смутно познавал.

«Прости,» он рёк, «тебя я видел,
И ты недаром мне сиял:
Не всё я в [небе]1 ненавидел,
Не всё я в мире презирал.»

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1 Cui: "мире" (mire)

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Note on Transliterations


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, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • ENG English (Lyle Neff) , "The angel", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ange", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2015-08-24 13:24:02
Line count: 12
Word count: 55

The angel
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
In the doorway of Eden a gentle angel,
with head adroop, was shining.
but a dark and rebellious demon
was flying over the abyss of hell.

The spirit of denial, the spirit of doubt
gazed at the spirit pure,
and an involuntary heat of tenderness
he dimly experienced for the first time.

"Pardon," he said, "You I saw,
And not for nothing were you shining for me:
not everything in [heaven]1 have I hated.
not everything in the world have I despised."

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Cui: "the world"


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2015 by Lyle Neff, (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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Text added to the website: 2015-08-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-08-24 13:24:49
Line count: 12
Word count: 82