There: the Eucharist, a gold sun,
hung in the air — an instant of splendour.
Here nothing should be heard but the Greek syllables —
the whole world held in the hands like a plain apple.
The solemn height of the holy office; the light
of July in the rotunda under the cupola;
so that we may sigh from full hearts, outside time,
for that little meadow where time does not flow.
And the Eucharist spreads like an eternal noon;
all partake of it, everyone plays and sings,
and in each one’s eyes the sacred vessel
brims over with inexhaustible joy.
Osip Mandelstam. Untitled poem from Tristia (1922), translated from the Russian by Clarence Brown and W S Merwin, in Selected Poems (1973)