The Associated Press has published a moving series of photographs from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s funeral here.
By Alexander Solzhenitsyn
When, oh when did I scatter so madly
All the goodness, the God-given grains?
Was my youth not spent with those who gladly
Sang to You in the glow of Your shrines?
Bookish wisdom, though, sparkled and beckoned,
And it rushed through my arrogant mind,
The world’s mysteries seemed within reckon,
My life’s lot like warm wax in the hand.
My blood seethed, and it spilled and it trickled,
Gleamed ahead with a multihued trace,
Without clamor there quietly crumbled
In my breast the great building of faith.
Then I passed betwixt being and dying,
I fell off and now cling to the edge,
And I gaze back with gratitude, trembling,
On the meaningless life I have led.
Not my reason, nor will, nor desire
Blazed the twists and the turns of its road,
It was purpose-from-High’s steady fire
Not made plain to me till afterward.
Now regaining the measure that’s true,
Having drawn with it water of being,
Oh great God! I believe now anew!
Though denied, You were always with me …
From The Solzhenitsyn Reader. New and Essential Writings 1947-2005 (ISI Books, 2006)