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324 FOLK-SONGS OF ROUMANIA.
remorse that follows the crime, and with a touch of the prevailing mysticism in the reproach of natural objects. The water refuses to quench the thirst of the murderer, and the trees to give him shelter, and he wanders on an endless way haunted by the voice of his crime. The poem entitled The Outcast expresses this feeling of mysterious remorse and unending and unavailing expiation.
Go not over the little bridge.
It is too old. The trees that have been felled to the earth And the birds that still would perch upon their boughs, Must fly very close to earth.
Why do they ask me, " Is it thou ? "
Nay, nay, I know of nothing;
No one has told me aught, yet all are afraid of me,
The stones upon the road shrink from my footsteps,
But I am wearier far than if I had trodden them,
I am always left alone, and yet I hear voices always ;
My sleep is never disturbed, and yet I feel
As though I had never slept.
Know ye why I am weary, so very weary,
That if the grave should say to me, " Lie down
Here in my lap and rest" I would bless the grave ?
It is this : I carry one upon my shoulders,
I carry him onward ever, and feel his hands
About my throat, his breath upon my neck.
It is he that makes my step so heavy,