The Sail

A lone white sail shows for an instant,
Where gleams the sea, an azure streak.
What left it in its homeland distant?
In alien parts what does it seek?

The billow play, the mast bends creaking,
The wind, impatient, moans and sighs...
It is not joy that it is seeking,
Nor is it happiness it flies.

The blue wave dance, they dance and tremble,
The sun's bright ray caress the seas.
And yet for storm it begs, the rebel,
As if in storm lurked calm and peace!
Mikhail Lermontov
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The Angel

The angel was flying through sky in midnight,
And softly he sang in his flight;
And clouds, and stars, and the moon in a throng
Hearkened to that holy song.
He sang of the garden of God's paradise,
Of innocent ghosts in its shade;
He sang of the God, and his vivacious praise
Was glories and unfeigned.
The juvenile soul he carried in arms
For worlds of distress and alarms;
The tune of his charming and heavenly song
Was left in the soul for long.
It roamed on earth many long nights and days,
Filled with a wonderful thirst,
And earth's boring songs could not ever replace
The sounds of heaven it lost.
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
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