Translation by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi (1863 - 1943)

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) 
Soft singing at midnight through heaven's high blue
  A beautiful angel once flew;
The moon and the stars and the clouds in a throng
  Attended his wonderful song!

He sang of the bliss of those gardens and coasts
  Where live and exult the pure ghosts,
Their songs glad extolling Almighty's grace
  Repeated from race unto race.

In his arms he was bearing a young soul below,
  To leave in this world of our woe,
The strains of his singing within her soul beat -- 
  A wordless song, living and sweet!

Long languished her soul in its earthly abode,
  With a heavenly longing o'erflowed,
For ne'er were those holy, pure strains of her birth,
  Effaced by the songs of the earth.

Authorship:

Based on:

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

    [ None yet in the database ]


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2011-02-02
Line count: 16
Word count: 119