Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

The Palm Branch Of Palestine

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837 and the greatest figure in Russian Romanticism.






Palm branch of Palestine, oh tell me,
In that far distant home-land fair,
Wast rooted in the mountain gravel
Or sprung from some vale garden rare?

Once o'er the Jordan's silver billows
Fond kissed with thee the Eastern sun?
Have the grim gales 'neath starry heavens
Swept over thee from Lebanon?

And was a trembling prayer soft whispered,
A father's song sung over thee--
When from the parent stem dis-severed
By some poor aborigine?

And is the palm tree ever standing,
Amid the fierce glare beating down,
The pilgrim in the desert luring
To shelter 'neath her shadow crown?

Perhaps the leaves ancestral shiver
In unappeased parting pain,
The branch conceals a homesick longing
For desert wilderness again?

Was it a pilgrim who first brought thee
To the cold North, with pious hand?
Who mused upon his home in sadness,
And dost thou bear his tear's hot brand?

Was it Jehovah's favored warrior,
His gleaming head transfigured bright,
For God and man true-sworn, devoted
Unto the victory of light?

Before the wonder-working image
Thou stand'st as heaven's defence divine,
O branch from out that holy country,
The sanctuary's shield and sign!

It darkens, golden lamp light splendors
Enveil the cross, the sacred shrine--
The peace of God is wafted o'er us
From thee, oh branch of Palestine!

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