Speaking in Tongues
Guided by Voices

Alexander Pushkin

Translated by Daniel Levchin

* * *

Prize not popular love. Exultant praises, triumph,
This momentary noise is with the moment gone.
The judgement of a fool you'll hear, the laughing crowd,
But poet, you remain unmoved; as grim, as calm.

King, you must live alone. Along the open highway
Be led where unrestricted minds have led the few.
Attend you to the fruit of your beloved musings,
Unmindful if the gentle labor wins the prize.

It is within yourself. Yourself your highest court;
A verdict most precise the judge himself awards.
Exacting artificer, does your work content you?

Then let the mocking crowd your hand-picked words profane,
And spit into the fire that on your altar flames,
And in a child's revelry tip your tripod gently.