Though we have parted, on my breast
your likeness as of old I wear.
It brings my spirit joy and rest,
pale phantom of a happier year.
To other passions now I thrill,
yet cannot leave this love of mine.
A cast-down idol – god-like still,
a shrine abandoned, yet a shrine.
by Михаил Юрьевич Лермонтов (Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov)
translated by Avril Pyman
It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God was there made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In movement of the wind over grass.
There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart’s passions – that was praise
Enough; and the mind’s cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.
by R. S Thomas
from Pietà (1966)