Translation © by Dmitri Smirnov

По небу полуночи ангел летел
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
По небу полуночи ангел летел,
  И тихую песню он пел;
И месяц, и звёзды, и тучи толпой
  Внимали той песне святой.

Он пел о блаженстве безгрешных духов
  Под кущами райских садов;
О боге великом он пел, и хвала 
  Его непритворна была.

Он душу младую в объятиях нёс
  Для мира печали и слёз;
И звук его песни в душе молодой
  Остался -- без слов, но живой.

И долго на свете томилась она,
  Желанием чудным полна,
И [звуков]1 небес заменить не могли
  Ей скучные песни земли.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with М. Ю. Лермонтов, Сочинения Том 1; Москва Издательство "Правда", 1988 (M. Yu. Lermontov: Works, Volume 1; Moscow; "Truth" Publishers)

See also Tolstoy's poem Горними тихо летела душа небесами.

1 Gretchaninov: "pesen"

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Note on Transliterations

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 G. Jorissenne ; composed by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Catulle Mendès (1841 - 1909) , "L'ange et l'âme", appears in Petits poèmes russes, in 5. Lermontov, Paris, G. Charpentier et E. Fasquelle, first published 1893 ; composed by Camille Erlanger.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), [adaptation] ; composed by Paul Frommer, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein.
  • Also set in Spanish (Español), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Manuel M. Ponce.

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

  • ENG English (Dmitri Smirnov) , "The angel", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi) , "The angel", appears in Russian Lyrics, first published 1916
  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "L'ange"
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt) , "Der Engel"


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 83

The angel
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
The angel was flying through the sky of midnight
  And he sang a song quietly;
And the moon and the stars, and the crowd of clouds
  Hearkened to that holy song.

He sang on the bliss of the sinless spirits
  In the pastures of the gardens of heaven;
He sang on the great God, and his praise
  Of Him was genuine.

He carried a young soul in his arms
  To the world of grief and tears;
And the sound of his song in the young soul
  Remained - wordless but alive.

And it languished in the world for a long time,
  Filled with a tremendous desire,
And the sounds of heaven could not be replaced
  With the dull songs of the earth.

Authorship:

  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2009 by Dmitri Smirnov, (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:

 

This text was added to the website: 2009-11-02
Line count: 16
Word count: 122