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Early Indo-European Texts


Virginija Vasiliauskiene and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Lithuanian with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Baltic Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Lithuanian language and its speakers' culture.

In the Shadow of the Altars, by Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas

Pirmsis galimmas bvo visi msti t pozija ir viss ts svajons. Tai butu tinkamiusias ir paprasciusias klusimo sprendmas. Bt Vasris njaute, kd js varg ar pajegs issizadeti tu vilciu, kuris s dalies ji i seminrija tvede. Seminrijos gyvenimas, ties, gerkai js apgrive, taciau tuo paci met jisai vs delto pamte turis tlenta. Ir dabar vsko issizadeti? N, tai neglimas diktas.

Antrsis galimmas siule jm suderinti kurba s knigisku gyvenimu. Bt kaip? Lig sil jm tai nepavyko. Js zinjo ir tikejo, kd Dievas yr viskios tobulbes, grzio ir kilniusios pozijos saltnis. Bt kodel vis relginiai, dorviniai, amzinsios tiess, gerio ir grzio motyvai ji palkdavo slta kaip leda, kurbinis lyrinis susijudinimas vsdavo i gyvenimo zabngas ir pavojs?

trecisis galimmas tu met jm bvo dr tk pradejes aisketi. J paties prktika rde jm, kd "kunigvimas" ir "poetvimas" yr d visi skirtngi, jigu n presingi, pasaukmai. Td km jus butinai jngti? "Kaip knigas, s n potas, kaip potas, s n knigas." Stai frmule, kuri Lidas Vasris sav apgaudinejo lga laika. Sto psicholginio sofzmo, ivairioms atmainoms gyvenime gan daznai sutinkamo, jisai nusitvere kaip skestas siaudelio. Sit ilizija lgus mets laike ji pavirsiuj, js "kunigvo" ir "poetvo", tu trpu knigas ir potas vre jam zutbutne tarpsavio kva. Jisai uzfiksvo daugeli sis kovs momentu ir mne, kd kria pozija. Tu trpu js rse svo zuvmo krnika, vienur kitur pamrginta tikr kurbos zedu - liudn j tlento lidininku.


The first possibility was to completely abandon poetry and all those dreams. That would be the most appropriate and simplest solution to the problem. But Vasaris felt that he could hardly have the strength to give up those hopes, which to some degree had brought him to the seminary. Seminary life, indeed, had practically destroyed them, but at the same time he saw that he had talent nevertheless. And now to give up everything? No, that is an impossible thing.
The second possibility offered him (the chance) to reconcile creativity with the priestly life. But how? Up to this time he had not succeeded. He knew and believed that God is the source of all perfection, beauty and the noblest poetry. But why did all the religious and moral motifs of eternal truth, goodness and beauty leave him as cold as ice, whereas creative lyric emotion led to the traps and dangers of life?
But at that moment the third possibility just began to become clear. His own practice had shown him that being a priest and poeticizing are two completely different, if not opposing vocations. Then why is it necessary to unite them? 'As a priest I am not a poet, and as a poet I am not a priest.' This is the formula with which Liudas Vasaris deceived himself for a long time. Like a drowning man (grasping) for a straw, he grasped for this psychological sophism, rather frequently encountered in various guises in life. For long years this illusion kept him afloat; he acted as a priest and acted as a poet, and at the same time the priest and poet in him were engaged in a desperate struggle. He wrote down many of the moments of this struggle and thought that he was creating poetry. At the same time he was writing the chronicle of his ruin, here and there marked by a true spark of creativity, the sad witness of his talent.