by ALEKSANDR PUSHKIN (1799-1837)
Not by old masters, rich on crowded walls,
My house I ever sought to ornament,
That gaping guests might marvel while they bent
To connoisseurs with condescending drawls.
Amidst slow labors, far from garish halls,
Before one picture I would fain have spent
Eternity: where the calm canvas thralls
As though the Virgin and our Saviour leant
From regnant clouds, the Glorious and the Wise,
The meek and hallowed, with unearthly eyes,
Beneath the palm of Zion, these alone. . . .
My wish is granted: God has shown thy face
To me; here, my Madonna, thou shall throne:
Most pure exemplar of the purest grace.
Pushkin is considered to be the greatest Russian poet, and the founder of modern Russian literature. In his short life, he produced works that continue to inspire musicians, artists and filmmakers. more