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Anonym (XV c.)
Anonym - LISTEN, DEAR BROTHERS...
LISTEN, DEAR BROTHERS...
This anonymous poem (
Posłuchajcie, bracia miła...
) from the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross at Łysa Góra (Bald Mountain) was written in the latter part of the fifteenth century. It is also called
Laments of the Mother of God under the Cross
The Holy Cross Lament
. It is a powerful and dramatic expression of personal sorrow, a lament of a helpless mother witnessing the agony of her son and seeking consolation from other people in touching, simple words.
Listen, dear brothers,
I want to complain of a cruel murder
Hear about the sorrow
That befell me on Good Friday.
Have pity on me, you old and young,
Because a painful feast day came for me:
I had only one Son
And I mourn for him.
Deep sorrow came over me, a miserable woman,
Seeing my dear son covered with blood.
Dreadful is this moment and frightful this hour,
When I see an infidel Jew
As he beats, tortures my dear Son.
My little Son, dear and loved,
Share your wounds with your mother;
I have always carried you, little Son, in my heart,
And I have also served you faithfully.
Speak to your mother, so that I can be consoled,
Because you are going away from me, my dear hope.
My dear Son, if I had had you down here,
I could have helped you somewhat:
Your little head hangs to one side; I would support it;
Blood is flowing over you; I would wipe it off;
You cry for water; I would give you drink;
But I may not reach your holy body.
O, angel Gabriel,
Where is this great joy of yours,
Of which you promised me so much,
Saying: "Virgin, you are full of grace!"?
And I am full of sorrow and grief.
My flesh and all my bones have rotted away.
Implore God, all you dear and loving mothers,
So you do not see such a sight with your children,
As I, a miserable woman, saw today
With my own, my dear, beautiful Son,
Who suffered such torments, though perfectly innocent.
I do not have nor will I have another one,
Only you, my Son, stretched upon the cross.
Translated by Michael J. Mikoś
in the Polish original meant to produce the corpse in court as evidence of crime. The Mother of God points to the head of her Son, covered with blood, in order to reveal the crime.