and after completing his academic studies he entered in
1828 as assistant in the treasury department in War-
saw. Here he wrote " The Mother of God, "and the
tragedy " Mindowe." Owing to the revolution of
1831, and adhering to the moderate party, he left for
Dresden, from whence he was made a member of the
diplomatic mission going to Paris. Then he went to
London, and after the taking of Warsaw, being for-
bidden to return to Poland, he went again to Paris and
lived in seclusion, but ardently engaged in the cause of
Polish emigration. In 1832 he left for Geneva, where
he took up his abode on the shores of Lake Geneva,
and wrote the poem "Lambro," "The Hour of
Thought," " Duma Waclaw Rzewuski," and " Paris."
He then went to Greece, the East, and Italy. At
Rome he met Sigisnumd Krasinski, returned to Greece
again, and in 1856 went to Egypt. From Cairo, on a
camel, he travels to Gaza, through the desert, and
reaches Jerusalem, and from there he visits Palestine,
Mount Lebanon, Damascus, and the ruins of Balbek.
At Beyrout he wrote the celebrated poem "The Father
of the Plague-Stricken," founded upon facts of sad
adventure, in which he, with his associates, took a
prominent part during two weeks' quarantine at
El-Arish. At Beyrout he went in a sail-vessel in 1837
to Livorno. In the following year he resided at
Florence, where he published his " Anhelli." In 1839
he returned to Paris, where he resided till his death;
and though amidst , many members of the Polish
emigration, he lived most of the time in seclusion. He
looked with somewhat envious eye upon Mickiewicz's
reputation, between whom and himself there was ap-
parent coolness, Mickiewicz in his lectures on Litera-
ture having his name mentioned but once, and that,
too, rather indiiferently. This year he published his
"Balladyna," and in the following year "Lillia
"Weneda " and " Mazeppa " were also brought out.
Under the influence of a morbid feeling he published
" Bieniowski," in 1841, where he bitterly complains of
the indifference of some people, Mickiewicz and the
critics receiving their share. In the same year he
joined Towianski's sect, and a happy reconciliation
took place between himself and Mickiewicz; but shortly
after the proud and independent feeling of Slowacki
caused him to leave the Towianski Union, and the poet
himself became the head of a separate sect, small in
number, but surpassing even Towianski in mysticism.
Under the deep impression of the doctrines of this sect
280 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
he wrote " Priest-Mark, " and also the drama "The
Silver Dream of Salomea."
The occurrences of 1848 reanimated him once more;
so much so that he left Paris for Posen, but did not
remain long. While returning through Breslau to
Paris, after the wandering of years, he saw and pressed
to his heart his beloved mother. Returning to Paris
he fell into a dangerous illness and never recovered
from it. Seeing that he was about to end his earthly
career he united himself with God, and expired the
3d of April, 1849.
His poems were published at different times and dif-
ferent places, but the most complete edition of his
works, in four volumes, was published in a library of the
Polish writers in 1861. In 1866-7 Professor Malecki
published at Lemberg,with an addition of a biographical
studium, several literary productions of Slowacki hith-
erto unknown. The following are the titles: "Wal-
lace," a tragedy; " Krakus," and "Beatrice di Cenci ";
"Wallenrod," a drama; "The Black Zawisza," a
drama; "John Casimir," a drama; "The Incorrigi-
bles," whilom entitled the "New Dezanira," a drama;
" The Golden Cup," a drama; "The Poet and the In-
spiration," a fragment liry co-dramatic; " Samuel Zbor-
owski," a fantastic poem; " Journey to the East," con-
tinuation of " Bieniowski"; "Conversations with
Mother Makryna," a poem; and " The Genesis of the
Spirit," a prayer in prose.
I AM SO SAD, GOD!
I am so sad, God ! Thou hast before me
Spread a bright rainbow in the western skies,
But hast quenched in darkness cold and stormy
The brighter stars that rise;
Clear grows the heaven 'neath thy transforming rod,
Still I am sad, God!
Like empty ears of grain with heads erected
Have I delighted stood amid the crowd,
My face the while to stranger eyes reflected
The calm of summer's cloud;
But Thou dost know the ways that I have trod,
And why I grieve, God!
I am like to a weary infant fretting
Whene'er its mother leaves it for a while,
And grieving watch the sun, whose light in setting
Throws back a parting smile;
Though it will bathe anew the morning sod,
Still I am sad, God!
To-day o'er the wide waste of ocean sweeping
Hundreds of miles away from shore or rock,
I saw the cranes fly on, together keeping
In one unbroken flock;
Their feet with soil from Poland's hills were shod,
And I was sad, God!
Often by strangers' tombs I've lingered weary,
Since grown a stranger to my native ways,
I walk a pilgrim through a desert dreary,
Lit but by lightning's blaze,
Knowing not where shall fall the burial clod
Upon my bier, God!
Sometime hereafter will my bones lie whitened,
Somewhere on strangers' soil, I know not where;
I envy those whose dying hours are lightened,
Fanned by their native air;
But flowers of some strange land will spring and nod
Above my grave, God!
282 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
When but a guileless child at home they bade me
To pray each day for home restored, I found
My bark was steering how the thought dismayed me
The whole wide world around!
Those prayers unanswered, wearily I plod
Through rugged ways, God!
Upon the rainbow, whose resplendent rafter
Thy angels rear above us in the sky,
Others will look a hundred years hereafter,
And pass away as I;
Exiled and hopeless 'neath thy chastening rod,
And sad as I, God!
EXTRACTS FROM SOWACKI'S TRAGEDY OF MIN-
DOWE,* OR LEGATE'S REVENGE.
Mindowe, King of Litwania, having embraced the Christian
religion, his mother, who is blind, together with his
nephew Troinace, conspire to effect his death. Mindowe
has banished <Lawski, the Prince of Nalzhaski, and es-
sayed to win the affections of his wife. awski, not being
heard of for some time, is supposed to be dead. The scene
opens just after the baptismal rites of the monarch.
SCENE II. The royal presence-chamber.
Enter CASIMIB and BASIL, from different sides.
Basil. Saw you the rites to-day, my Casimir?
Casimir. I saw what may I never see again,
The altars of our ancient faith torn down,
Our king a base apostate, groveling
* Pronounce Mincloveh.
Basil (interrupting him). Hold! knowest thou not
The ancient saw that "palace walls have ears! "
The priests throng round us like intruding flies,
And latitude of speech is fatal.
I should speak cautiously But hast seen
The Prince ?
Basil. Who? Troinace?
Casimir. The same.
Ha! here he comes, and with the queen-mother
It is not safe to parley in their presence. Hence
Along with me, I've secrets for thine ear.
\Exit CASIMIR and BASIL.
RONELVA enters, leaning upon the arm of TROINACE, and
engaged with him in conversation.
Troinace. Thou hast a son, Ronelva, crowned a king!
Ronelva. Is he alive? with sight my memoiy fails.
Once I beheld the world, but now 'tis dark
My soul is locked in sleep God! God!
My son! hast seen my royal son? The king,
Thy uncle, Troinace? How is he arrayed?
Troinace. In regal robes, and with a jeweled cross
Sparkling upon his breast.
Ronelva. A cross! what cross?
'Tis not a symbol of his sovereignty
Troinace. It is a gift made by his new ally,
Ronelva. The Pope ! The Pope ! I know none such !
Who is this Pope! Is't he who sends new gods
To old Litwania? Yes I've heard of him (A pause.)
Enter MINDOWE, crowned, and arrayed in purple, with a dia-
mond cross upon his breast, and accompanied by HEIDENRIC,
the Pope's Legate. HERMAN precedes them bearing a golden
cross. AWSKI, disguised as a Teutonic knight, with a rose,
upon his helmet and his visor down, bearing a casket.
LTJTUVER attending the king. AWSKI stands apart.
284 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
Ronelva. I feel that kindred blood is near, Mindowe!
Thy mother speaks ! approach ! [He approaches.
Hast thou returned
From some new expedition? Is thy brow
Covered with laurels, and thy stores
Replete with plunder? Do I hear the shouts,
TV applause of the Litwanians, hailing thee
As conqueror. Returnest thou from ZMUDZIE,
From Dwina's shores triumphant? Has the Russian Bear
Trembled before thy sword? Does Halicz fear
Thy angry frown? Speak! with a mother's tears
I'll hail thee conqueror.
Mindowe. My mother! why
These tones and words sarcastic? knowest thou not
That victory perches on another's helm?
I am at peace, and am a Christian king.
Ronelva. Foul shame on thee, blasphemer f
Hast thou fallen
As low as this? Where is thy bold ambitipn!
To what base use hast placed thy ancient fame?
Is't cast aside like to some foolish toy
No longer worth the hoarding? Shame upon
Thy craven spirit! Canst thou live without
That glorious food, which e'en a peasant craves,
Holding it worthless as thy mother's love.
And thy brave father's faith?
Mindowe. Nay, mother, nay!
Dismiss these foolish fancies from thy brain.
Behold! my jeweled brow is bent before thee.
Oh, bless thy son!
Ronelva. Thou vile apostate! Thou
Dare ask for approbation? Thou! I curse thee!
Sorrow and hate pursue thy faltering steps.
Still may thy foes prove victors; subjects false;
Thy drink be venom, and thy joy be woe.
Thy mind filled with remorse, still mayst thou live.
Seeking for death, but wooing it in vain;
A foul, detested, blasted renegade
I have bestowed to earth a viper, but
From thee shall vipers spring, who like their sire
Shall traitors be unto their native land,
And eager plunge them into ruin's stream !
Depart! and bear thy mother's curse!
Ronelva. Call me not mother, viper!
I do disclaim thee : thee, and all thy seed !
[Exit RONELVA, leaning on TROINACE.
Mindowe (speaking as though awe-stricken).
Heard ye that curse?
Heidenric. What are the frantic words
Of a revengeful woman? Empty air
Mindowe. A mother's curse ! It carries pestilence,
Blight, misery and sorrow in its train.
No matter! It is, as the Legate says,
But " empty air." (To HEIDENRIC.) What message do you bear?
Heidenric. Thus to the great Litwanian king, Pope Innocent
(Fourth of the name who've worn the papal crown)
Sends greeting: Thou whose power extends
From fartherest Baltic to the shores of Grim,
Go on, and prosper. Though unto thy creed
He thinks thy heart is true, still would he prove
(MINDOWE starts, and exclaims " Ha!")
Send thou to him as neighboring monarchs do
An annual tribute. So he'll bless thy arms
That ere another year elapses Russ' shall yield,
And Halicz fall before thy conquering sword.
Mindowe. Thanks to the Pope. I'll profit by his leave;
I'll throw my troops in Muscovy, and scourge
The hordes of Halicz, move in every place
Like an avenging brand, and say: The Pope
Hath giv'n me power. But, hark ye! Legate,
286 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
What needs so great a priest as he of Rome
With my red gold to buy him corn and oil?
Explain ! I do not understand the riddle.
Heidenric. He merely asks it as a pledge of friendship,
But nothing more. The proudest kings of Europe
Yield him such tribute.
Mindowe. Tribute! base priest!
Whene'er thy master asks for tribute, this
(Striking his sword.)
Is my reply. What hast thou there?
Heidenric. A gift
A precious relic of most potent virtue.
Thou'st heard of St. Sebastian? holy man!
He died a martyr. This which brought him death
Is sent unto thee by his holiness
(Presents a rusty spear-head.)
Mindowe. Fie on such relics ! I could give thy Pope
A thousand such ! This dagger by my side
Has hung from childhood. It has drank the blood
Of many a foe that vexed my wrath ; and oft
Among them there were men, and holy men,
As holy, sir, as e'er was St. Sebastian.
Heidenric. Peace, thou blasphemer!
Mindowe (angrily). How! dost wish thy head
To stand in safety on thy shoulders?
What means this insolence, sir Legate?
Think'st thou that I shall kneel, and bow, and fawn,
And put thy master's iron yoke upon me?
They act not freely whom the fetters bind,
And none shall forge such galling chains for me!
There's not one more Mindowe in the world,
Nor is your Pope a crowned Litwanian king.
Heidenric. I speak but as the representative
Of power, supreme o'er earthly monarchs
Mindowe. Thou doest well to shelter thus thyself
Under the shield of thy legation. Hast
Aught more to utter of thy master's words,
Aught more to give?
Heidenric. I have a gift to make
Unto thy queen.
Mindowe. The queen hath lain, sir prince,
In cold corruption for a twelvemonth back.
What means this mockery?
Heidenric. Pardon, my lord!
It was not known unto his holiness.
The forests of Litwania are so dark
They shut her doings from her neighbor's ken.
If then the queen be dead who shall receive
This goodly gift?
Mindowe. My mother
Heidenric. If I may judge
By what I heard e'en now, she'd not accept
Mindowe. Then give the gorgeous gaw
To i/awski's widow she who soon will be
My crowned queen. Summon her hither, page.
Attendants, take from hence these costly gifts,
And give them in the royal treasurer's care
[Exit Attendants, as ALDONA enters.
Here comes my spotless pearl, the fair Aldona,
The choicest flower of the Litwanian vales.
Address thy speech to her.
Heidenric. Beauteous maid,
Accept these golden flowers from Tiber's banks,
Where they have grown, nursed by the beams of faith.
Nor deem less in value that they are
By the bright luster of thine eyes eclipsed.
Aldona. These costly jewels and the glare of gold,
Albeit they suit not my mourning weeds
May serve as dying ornaments. As such
I will accept them.
288 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
Heidenric (aside). Ay! I warrant me.
Like to most women she accepts the gift.
No farther questions. Gold is always gold.
(Motions to ivAwsKi to approach ALDONA. He does so, trem-
Mindowe (to AWSKI). Thou tremblest, Teuton!
(&AWSKI raises his visor as he approaches ALDONA. She recog-
nizes his features, shrieks, and falls. Exit &AWSKI.)
Mindowe. Help here, she swoons.
Bear her hence. Pursue that knight.
[Exit Attendants with ALDONA.
(To HEIDENRIC.) What means this mystery?
Heidenric. I know not, sire.
He said that he had vowed whilst in our train
For certain time to keep his visor down.
He's taciturn. This with his saddened air,
Together with the rose upon his helm,
The emblem of the factious house of York,
Bespeak him English. To my thought, at least.
Mindowe. Think ye such poor devices can deceive?
He is a spy a base, deceitful spy.
Begone! for by my father's sepulcher
I see a dagger in my path. Begone!
[Exit HEIDENRIC and HERMAN.
Approach Lutuver. Didst thou see that knight
Who left so suddenly?
Lutuver. I did so, sire,
But 'f all the group I least suspected him
Of treasonable practices. He's silent,
For no one understands his language here;
He keeps aloof from men, because he's sad;
He's sad, because he's poor; so ends that knight.
Mindowe (not heeding him).
I tell thee that my very soul's pulse throbbed,
And my heart cast with quicker flow my blood,
When that young knight approached Aldona. (Muses.)
Now, by the gods, I do believe 'tis he
The banished i/awski, here to dog my steps
What thinkst thou, Lutuver?
Lutuver. Slay him, sire!
If it be he, he's taken from thy path,
If not to slay a Teuton is no crime.
Mindowe. Thou counselest zealously. But still,thy words
Fall not upon an ear which thinks them good.
I tell thee that this awski is my bane,
A living poison rankling 'fore mine eyes.
Men prate about the virtues of the man.
And if a timorous leaning to the right
From fear to follow where the wi-ong directs
Be virtue, then is he a paragon.
No wonder we are deadly foes. To me
The brightness which is shed o'er all his deeds
When placed in contact with my smothered hate
Seems as the splendor of the noonday sun
Glancing upon some idol's horrid form,
Making its rude appearance ruder still.
One word of mine, Lutuver, might destroy
This abject snail, who crawling near my hope
Hath scared it off. But I would have him live,
And when he meets his adorable wife,
When in th' excess of 'raptured happiness
Each fiber fills with plenitude of joy
And naught of bliss is left to hope for then
At fair Aldona's feet shall he expire,
And the full heart just beating 'gainst her own
Shall yield its living current for revenge.
And she his wife to whom I knelt in vain,
Who oft has said she courted my dislike,
And wished I'd hate her: she shall have her wish.
[Exeunt MINDOWE and LUTUVER, as the curtain falls.
290 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
STEPHEN GARCZYNSKI, the imitator and a great per-
sonal friend of Adam Mickiewicz, was gifted with
marked poetical abilities, but a long residence in for-
eign countries had a great influence over them. His
poetry when not considered from a national, artistic
standpoint, possesses unusual merits. His fantasy
being full of feeling, and his imagery of the richest
spirit, are the two greatest characteristics of his poet-
ical creations; but their German mysticism and other
outlines, tinged with foreign literature, are their weak
points. Mickiewicz, in his lectures on Slavonic Liter-
ature, places Garczynski in the front ranks of Polish
poets; but it is doubtful whether he could maintain the
place now, because he died too young to compete for
so high a place on the Polish Parnassus; and yet, as a
poet, he stands high. His beautiful poem "WacJaw's
History " is an extensive philosophical creation, but
founded upon ideas of which he drank deeply while in
Germany. It is a description of an individual life in
many phases and changes of all sorts, all of which
seem to exert a great influence upon his moral condi-
tion; this constitutes about the whole theme of the
poem. Here Garczynski reminds one of Byron's
heroes. It is an unhappy young man for whom the
world has no longer any charms, who amidst riches
and amusements, dying from grief, looks for relief and
diversion in learning. We see in him something akin
to "Faust" or "Manfred," but neither the unlimited
desire for knowledge nor passions consumes him. He
does not chase about the world as " Lara " or " Cor-
sair,"in search of prey, lust, or booty. He is unhappy
only because he is a Pole; he is unhappy because he
does not see any moral cause for the existence of his
country; because in philosophy only he could find the
apotheosis of the powers which destroyed his country.
Besides that, he wrote war sonnets and lyrics, most of
which are replete with a devoted love to his country.
Garczynski was born in 1806, in Great Poland, re-
ceived his first education at Trzemeszno, and at a
Lyceum at Warsaw; then he attended the University
at Berlin, where having imbibed the philosophical doc-
trines of Hegel he drowned in them the remnants of
the faith of his sires, which he carried away with him
on leaving the home of his youth. Traveling in Italy
in 1829 he met Mickiewicz, the poet, at Rome, and
here were formed between them ties of the closest and
most sincere friendship. Mickiewicz warmed up Gar-
czynski's faith, and awakened within him the great
inborn powers which up to this time were misdirected.
During the revolution of 1831 he took an active part
in national movements. He was aid-de-camp of Gen-
eral Uminski, fought in several battles, and received
a golden cross for bravery and meritorious conduct.
After the unfortunate result of the revolution he went
to Paris, France, and from there to- Rome, where he
again met his beloved friend Adam Mickiewicz. In
his company he went to Geneva, Switzerland. His
health beginning to fail he sought relief at Avignon,
where he was taken by Mickiewicz in person. Here,
after a month's illness, he died 1833, Mickiewicz
closing his eyes.
Garczynski's works were published in Paris by Mar-
tinet in 1860, in Posen by Mertzbach, and by Brock-
house in Leipsic; also in the " Library of the Polish
Authors " in 1860.
292 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
With signal of attack each separate line
Like two black clouds ere bursts the thunder peal
Advance, each moment closer yet they steal,
Thirsty for blood, the battle's crimson wine.
With manes outshaken at the second sign
The horses snort, glance proudly, bold with ire,
Strike with their hoofs, raise dust with sparks of fire,
As though the coming victory they divine.
March! march! the third sign giv'n; what billows rise!
The sea itself is not more tempest-tost
With horse and rider; earth in smoke is lost.
A clash of arms! friends mingle in the host
With foes. Who conquers? from the turmoil fled,
The vanquished leave the victors with the dead!
Come here my girl ; and then she ran to me.
Do you love me? Oh yes, indeed I do.
As mother? brother? far more fond and true;
To you a help I ever wish to be.
All that I have, or will have, fain would I
Divide with you and for you make all light.
Ah ! when I .hear the rustling trees at night,
And windows rattling as the breeze sweeps by,
'Tis dark, and I alone sad vigil keep;
I think you are not with me then I weep.
'Tis very wrong, my child, it is a sin.
Sin, did you say ? Ah ! that is never true,
For when at morn I do not mention you
In prayer, no heavenly joy do I win
At eve. I think of words you spoke to me,
And to myself give them a meaning strange.
I weep, but am so happy I would change
That moment time into eternity,
And weep forever with a blissful sense
Of happiness most pure and most intense.
'Tis wrong, my child ; your thoughts had better rest
On some one else more fitting it would seem
God so ordains. Ah ! no ; whene'er I dream
Of Heaven, you are there among the blest.
Once said I to myself that it was wrong,
But sweet and clear as chime of silver bell
Kind voices spoke to me: Love! love! 'Tis tvell.
Long as you have a heart Oh love so long;
And to my soul came joy unknown before,
And doubt can never cloud its sunshine more.
Then I was silent; sank the sun and fell
Calm ev'ning dim with shades of coming night.
My heart was timid, but a new delight,
With some strange change about it, wove a spell
When I repeated " it is wrong," I prest
With fervent kiss the maiden's lip and hand;
The rapture, none save lovers understand,
Kindl'd a warmth divine within my breast,
For as our lips in that warm pressure met
A star rose in my sky that ne'er can set.
JOSEPH BOHDAN ZALESKI, at first the worshiper and
a scholar of Brodzinski, and whom he also tried to
imitate, at least in the external construction of his
verse, became in the end an original poet in the true
sense of the word. Ukraine, the province of his na-
tivity, is almost the sole theme of his song. It is from
her heroic deeds that he takes all his subjects, and from
her natural wealth all the embellishments and charms
of his poetry. Naturalness, feeling, and grandeur of
imagery constitute the inborn music of his song. Za-
leski is one of the greatest lyric poets ; he possesses an
unusual gift of poetic vision of every thought and
every feeling, which he skilfully shapes, tunes, and
transforms at his will. The unrest of the soul, touch-
ing meditations, and the clothing of his thoughts with
peculiarly deep mystery, are the chief characteristics
of his creations. Occasionally he rises above the
bounds of the natural world and soars in the ideal;
then again he descends into the innate qualities of
nature, and surrounding himself with the light of
reality he seems to remain with himself only in
thoughtfulness and longing as if awakened from a
temporary illusion or a broken spell. His manner of
writing is solely his own, bearing the stamp of an
incomparable artist. Liveliness of imagery, sincerity
of feeling, and the outward form of expression, are
blended in him in delightful harmony, so that it is
difficult to determine whether he is a greater poet or a
greater musical artist.
Zaleski was born on the 14th of February, 1802, at
296 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
a place called Bohaterka, in Ukraine. His youth was
spent on the steppes (prairies) amidst the people of