„I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.“

Upravil Martin Svoboda, Hana77. Poslední aktualizace 14. prosince 2021. Historie
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Fernando Pessoa foto
Fernando Pessoa23
portugalský básník, spisovatel, literární kritik, překladat… 1888 - 1935

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„I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.“

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Kontext: Cornstalk was often seen with his warriors. Brave without being rash, he avoided exposure without shrinking; cautious without timidity in the hottest of the battle, he escaped without a wound. As one of the warriors near him showed some signs of timidity, the enraged chief, — with one blow of his tomahawk, cleft his skull. In one of the assaults, Colonel Fields, performing his duty bravely, was shot dead. … The faltering of the ranks encouraged the savages. "Be strong! Be strong!" echoed through the woods over the savage lines in the tones of Cornstalk; and as Captain after Captain, and files of men after files of men, fell, the yells of the Indians were more terrific and their assaults more furious.

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Kontext: General, the battle draws to a close and I make my report. This is where and how I fought. I fell wounded, lost heart, but did not desert. Though my teeth clattered from fear, I bound my forehead tightly with a red handkerchief to hide the blood, and ran to the assault.
Before you shall pluck out the precious feathers of my jackdaw soul, one by one, until it remains a tiny clod of earth kneaded with blood, sweat, and tears. I shall relate my struggle to you — in order to unburden myself. I shall cast off virtue, shame, and truth — in order to unburden myself. My soul resembles your creation "Toledo in the Storm"; girded by yellow thunderbolts and oppressive black clouds, fighting a desperate, unbending battle against both light and darkness. You will see my soul, will weigh it between your lanceolate eyebrows, and will judge. Do you remember the grave Cretan saying, "Return where you have failed, leave where you have succeeded"? If I failed, I shall return to the assault though but a single hour of life remains to me. If I succeeded, I shall open the earth so that I may come and recline at your side.
Listen, therefore, to my report, general, and judge. Listen to my life, grandfather, and if I fought with you, if I fell wounded and allowed no one to learn of my suffering, if I never turned my back to the enemy: Give me your blessing!

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