PURE MEN AND WOMEN
Pure men and
women too, all the world unspotted,
That they might fortify the heart against life's stress,
Composed such prayers as still comfort us and bless.
But none has stirred in me such deep emotions
As that the priest recites at Lententide devotions,
The words which mark for us that saddest season rise
Most often to my lips, and in that prayer lies
Support ineffable when I, a sinner, hear it:
"Thou Lord my life, avert Thou from my spirit
both idle melancholy and ambitious sting,
That hidden snake, and joy in foolish gossiping.
But let me see,O God, my sins, and make confession,
So that my brother be not dammed by my transgression,
And quicken Thou in me the breath and being of
Both fortitude and meekness, chastity and love".
(Yarmolinski, 1964, 87)
A. The Poems, Prose and Plays of Alexander Pushkin. New York: The