We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.”
I’ve raised a monument not made by human hands.
The public path to it cannot be overgrown.
With insubmissive head far loftier it stands
Than Alexander’s columned stone.
No, I shall not all die. My soul in hallowed berth
Of art shall brave decay and from my dust take wing,
And I shall be renowned whilst on this mortal earth
Even one poet lives to sing.
Tidings of me shall spread through all the realm of Rus
And every tribe in Her shall name me as they speak:
The haughty western Pole, the east’s untamed Tungus,
North Finns and the south steppe’s Kalmyk.
And long shall I a man dear to the people be
For how my kindling lyre bid kindly feelings grow.
For in my tyrant age I sang of liberty,
And mercy to the men laid low.
To God and his commands pay Thou good heed, O Muse.
To praise and slander both be nonchalant and cool.
Demand no laureate’s wreath, think nothing of abuse,
And never argue with a fool.