Hayyim Nahman Bialik

(9 January 1873 – 4 July 1934 / Radi, Volhynia)

On The Slaughter


Heaven, beg mercy for me!  If there is
a God in you, a pathway through
you to this God - which I have not
discovered - then pray for me!  For my
heart is dead, no longer is there prayer
on my lips; all strength is gone, and
hope is no more.  Until when, how
much longer, until when?

You, executioner!  Here's my neck - go
to it, slaughter me!  Behead me like a
dog, yours is the almighty arm and the
axe, and the whole earth is my scaffold
- and we, we are the few! My blood is
fair game - strike the skull, and
murder's blood, the blood of nurslings
and old men, will spurt onto your
clothes and will never, never be wiped
off.

And if there is justice - let it show
itself at once!  But if justice show itself
after I have been blotted out from
beneath the skies - let its throne be
hurled down forever!  Let heaven rot
with eternal evil!  And you, the arrogant,
go in this violence of yours, live by
your bloodshed and be cleansed by it.

And cursed be the man who says:
Avenge!  No such revenge - revenge for
the blood of a little child - has yet been
devised by Satan.  Let the blood pierce
through the abyss!  Let the blood seep
down into the depths of darkness, and
eat away there, in the dark, and breach
all the rotting foundations of the earth.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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