The subject of the analysis of this study is the semantics of history in Lermontov's poetry. The relevance of understanding history for the poet is determined by the events that he witnessed and participated in – the Caucasian War, the echoes of the Patriotic War of 1812. In the course of the analysis, it was revealed that the meaning of past tenses in Lermontov's linguistic picture of the world is expressed through specific units of language: abstract nominatives antiquity, belief, tradition, history, giving general ideas about the historical process and having a wide emotional spectrum. Another feature of the linguistic picture are words that acquire an evaluative character in the context of his works are ancient, past, long ago, as well as phrases with a constructively conditioned meaning in the legends of glory, former years, former days, former years, in recent years, long ago, giving the text a touch of folklore stylization. The folklore-stylized constructions characteristic of Lermontov's idiostyle bring the features of a conversational style into the poetic narrative and set an illusion of fabulousness with the semantics of looking into the past. The article reveals that lexical richness of the concept ‘history’ and its semantic fullness are associated with a keen sense of Lermontov's personal involvement in the value-semantic coordinates of traditional culture. Lermontov's memory of history is a measure of a person's spiritual and moral worthiness. The poet considers personal existence as an organic part and an analogue of history in its traditional sense as the movement of time and its value content.