Daniel Sihastru

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Daniel Sihastru
by Dimitrie Bolintineanu, translated by Wikisource

Beneath a barren bank, on a foaming river,
Where a hesychast fled the world,
As evening came a stranger arrived.
— "Stephen of Moldavia has come to speak to you!"
— "Stephen of Moldavia, Daniel tells him,
To wait outside! I am at prayer."
— "Good father! I am wounded and defeated,
My own mother herself rejected me today!
I have come to seek counsel if it would not be better
For Moldavia henceforth to bow to the Turks?"
Daniel Sihastru said to the prince
— "Does my hearing deceive me or am I dreaming?
The falchion does not cut off the bowed head,
But the chain bends him humiliatingly!
What then is life, if lived in serfdom?
A holiday on which no one smiled?
Life and serfdom cannot coexist,
Peace and a tempest do not happen together.
Prince! you have the right to turn into graves
For freedom, mean and lands;
But you cannot humble them!
You can break them; but not enslave them!
If the hand your sceptre presses on is weak,
Cede your place to a more willing man!
For better to be conquered and praised,
Than a vassal prince in shame!"

After these words, Stephen gathered his troops
And defeating the pagans raised a monastery.