Gornimi tikho letela dusha nebesami
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Gornimi tikho letela dusha nebesami,
Grustnye dolu ona opuskala resnicy,
Sljozy v prostranstvo ot nikh upadaja zvezdami,
Svetloj i dlinnoj [za neju vilis']1 verenicej.
Vstrechnye tikho jejo voproshali svetila:
«[Otchego tak]2 grustna i o chjom `eti sljozy vo vzore?»
Im otvechala ona: «ja zemli ne zabyla.
Mnogo [ostavila ja tam]3 stradan'ja i gorja.
Zdes' ja lish' likam blazhenstva i radosti vnemlju,
Pravednykh dushi ne znajut ni skorbi, ni zloby.
O, otpusti menja snova, sozdatel', na zemlju,
Bylo-b o [kom]4 pozhalet' i uteshit' kogo-by!»

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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 Cui, Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky: "вилися за ней" ("vilisja za nej")
2 Cui: "Что ты"; Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky: "Что так" ("Chto tak")
3 Musorgsky: "отвечала там я" ("otvechala tam ja"); Cui, Tchaikovsky: "оставила там я" ("ostavila tam ja")
4 Cui: "чём"

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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, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by A. Aleksandrova ; 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