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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Count Henry’s Monologue

By Zygmunt Krasiński (1812–1859)

From ‘The Undivine Comedy’: Translation of Martha Walker Cook

MIDNIGHT! It was at this same solemn hour,

Surrounded by like perils and like thoughts,

The latest Brutus met his Evil Genius;

And such an apparition I await!

A man who has no name, no ancestors,

Who has no guardian angel, faith, nor God,

Whose mission is destruction to the past,

Will yet—unless I’m strong enough to hurl

Him back into his primal nothingness—

Destroy society, its laws and faith;

Found a new era in the fate of man!

Such is the modern Cæsar I await!…

Eagle of glory, hear! Souls of my sires,

Inspire me with that fiery force which made

You rulers of the world. Oh, give to me

The lion heart which throbbed within your breasts!

Your austere majesty gird round my brow!

Rekindle in my soul your burning, blind,

Unconquerable faith in Christ, his Church,

The inspiration of your deeds on earth,

Your hopes in heaven! Light it again in me,

And I will scathe our foes with fire and sword;

Will conquer and destroy all who oppose me,

The myriads of the children of the dust.

I, the last son of hundred generations,

Sole heir of all your virtues, thoughts, and faults!