Anhelli - Chapter 2

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The Shaman, when he had searched in the hearts of that multitude of exiles,
said to himself: "Verily, I have not found here what I sought;
lo, their hearts are weak and they give themselves over to be conquered by grief.

"In happiness they would have become a good people,
but misery will transform them into men evil and mischievous.
What hast Thou done, O God ?

"Dost Thou not grant to every flower to come to bloom there where
it hath the soil and the means of living proper to it?
Why are these people to perish?

"I will choose, then, one among them and will love him as a son,
and dying I will give to him my burden, and a greater burden than others are able to bear,
so that in him there may be redemption.

"And I will show him all the sorrows of this earth,
and then will I leave him alone in great darkness
with the load of thoughts and yearnings in his heart."

Having spoken thus, he called to him a youth by the name of Anhelli,
and having laid his hands upon him, he breathed into him
heartfelt love for men, and compassion.

And turning to the crowd, he said :
"I will go away with this youth to show him many grievous things, and ye shall '
remain alone to learn how to endure hunger, wretchedness, and sorrow.

"But be full of hope;
for hope shall pass from you to future generations and make them alive;
Io but if it dieth in you, then the future generations will be of dead men.

"And that thin of which ye shall think shall be fulfilled,
and there shall be great joy on earth on that day of resurrection.

"But ye shall be in your graves,
and the shrouds shall be mouldered upon you ;
nevertheless your graves shall be holy,
and God shall even turn the worms from your bodies and
shall clothe you in the proud dignity of the dead.
Ye shall be beautiful,

"Just as are your fathers who are in their graves ;
for look upon each one of their skulls ;
it doth not gnash its teeth nor suffer,
but is calm and seemeth to say : `I have done well.'

"Keep watch over yourselves, for ye are like
"And did there not come forth from the northern lights
an angel when I summoned him from the flames?
Ask my people.

"At my word this snow became blood and this sun grew black as coal ;
for in me there is much of God.

"But tempt me not, asking for miracles ;
for ye are an old people, and to restore you is a miracle.
For that beseech God.

"That He may restore you, I say, and raise io you from the tomb and make of you a nation
which a second time is laid in the cradle and ' wrapped in swaddling clothes,
that it may grow up straight and not crooked in body."

Thus spake the Shaman,
and the exiles dared ; not answer him ;
but they promised to keep the covenant with the people of Siberia.

© Juliusz Slowacki