Speaking In Tongues
Guided by Voices

Mikhail Lermontov

Translated by Andrey Kneller

* * *

An angel has soared through the sky in the night
And softly he sang in his flight.
The moon and the stars altogether would throng
To hark to his numinous song

He sang of the bliss of immaculate ghosts
In gardens of heaven reposed;
He sang of all-powerful God; -- his acclaim
Was truly sincere and unfeigned.

He carried an innocent soul on his hand
The world of distress lied ahead
The sound of songs with the babe would survive
Lacking the words but alive!

For long, she would only just pine on the earth
Filled up with exceptional verve
The songs of the earth could not simply transpose
The heavenly tunes that she lost.


A lone white sail for an instant
Appears through haze of bluish foam,
What does it seek in lands so distant?
What did it leave behind at home?

The winds are raging and the mast
Bends, screeching in resentment
It seeks no happiness, -- alas --
Nor is it fleeing from contentment.

An azure stream runs by the sail...
A ray of light shines to appease,
And yet, this rebel seeks the gale --
As if in gales there is peace!