Горними тихо летела душа небесами
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
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!»

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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)

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Authorship

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:

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

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

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 83