The Sign

by Vladimir Solovyov

English version by David Matual
Original Language Russian

One, forever one! Though in the sleeping temple
There is a hellish glow in the darkness, and thunder in the midst of the stillness,--
Though everything round about has fallen, one banner will not waver,
And the shield will not move from the crumbled wall.
In sleepy horror we came running to the sanctuary,
And our temple was all full of stifling fumes,
Chunks of silver lay scattered about,
And black smoke clung to the tattered carpets.
And only the one sign of the imperishable covenant
Stood as before between heaven and earth,
And from heaven the same light illuminated both the Virgin of Nazareth
And the vain poison of the serpent before her.

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The Sign