Alexander Pushkin

The Elders

The elders-anchorites and ever-sinless maidens, To fly with their right heart to the precincts of Heavens, To make it strong enough in earthly storms and fight, Composed many prayers to recite. But not a single pray for me is so dear As one which from a priest we often blessed to hear In so mournful, so solemn days of Lent. This prayer very oft on lips of mine is set, And fallen me provides with strengths I’d never known: Oh, Lord of all my days! The ghost of idleness low And sensuality – this cunning snake and hard – And empty talk – don’t pass into my heart. But help me, Lord, to see my own sins’ procession, Let ne’er brother of mine receive my condemnation, And let the air of patience, meekness, love And blessed chastity in my heart turn alive. Translated by Yevgeny Bonver

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