Twelve sleeping virgins
The mysterious narrative is preceded by an appeal to the Dream, the “air companion of young days”, whose presence promises a sweet recollection.
The first ballad. Thunderbolt.
In time immemorial over frothy Dnieper sat, twisting, Gromoboy. He curses his sad lot, a beggarly and homeless life, with which he is ready to settle the scores. But in the image of a harsh old man he is Asmodeus, promises wealth, merriment, friendship of princes and friendliness of the virgins. In return, it requires a soul. He convinces Gromoboy that hell is not terrible (“Our hell is not worse than paradise”), and he is waiting for Gromoboy in any case – sooner or later. After thinking, he signs the contract, receives a purse with gold untranslated
In the dead of the night, when all nature seemed to threaten Thunderbolt, is the demon and, no matter how the unfortunate begs for a respite, intends, by destroying his soul, to cast her to hell. the horrors of which now to hide to anything. But the sight of sleeping babies ignites a devilish idea, and he offers Gromoboy to buy daughter-in-law for another ten years of life. Frightened by the abyss that have opened up to him, Gromoboy awakens the child, writes them with his hands –
But time is running, and a terrible time is coming. Slouched with an ailment, Gromoboy is not able to attend the temple, and only looks up to heaven, filled with meekness and entreaty. And now a terrible day has come, and the suffering sinner meets him with a groan and tears, surrounded by praying daughters who do not know their share. With the coming of the night, “pre-empted” nature ceases. And suddenly a soft breeze is blowing, a God’s temple is being opened, and surrounded by radiance, the wonderful old man approaches the Thunderbolt and the virgins. He touches their hollow clothes, and the maidens sink into sleep. Grimble, embarrassed by horror, meets his gaze, full of reproach, asks who he is and what to expect, and the elder answers that his face was honored in the temple, and Thunderbolt should be hoped and dreaded. Together with a thunderstorm, midnight comes, and in flames and cracks is a demon. However, the appearance of the old man embarrasses him,
With the onset of the morning find sleeping girls and deceased Gromoboy. And when after the burial mourners are sent to the “house of sorrow”, before them suddenly stand the granite walls covered with wood, the gates of the gates fall with a gnash, and, frightened, they flee. Soon, the surrounding places come to desolation, they are abandoned by people and animals. And every night a shadow comes out of a solitary grave and hands out in a pleading to the impenetrable walls, and one of the sleepers rises and walks around the high wall, gazing into the distance full of anguish and expectation (“Nadeet, Neydet Savior!”). And with the new moon is replaced by a virgin. And so the centuries flow, and the period of redemption is unknown.
The second ballad. Vadim.
A beautiful youth Vadim, captivating Novgorod with beauty and courage, spends his time in hunting, not intimidated by either wild beast or bad weather. One day he sees a dream whose meaning is not clear to him: a wonderful husband, clothed in light robes, with a cross shining on his chest, walks without touching the ground, holding a silver bell in his hand. He foreshadows Vadim “the desired far away” and is called his escort. At the same instant, Vadim sees a virgin, whose features are hidden by a veil, and a fragrant wreath lies on her forehead. She beckons him to him. And the awakened Vadim still hears the ringing of the bell. Around the usual picture: rolling Volkhov, a wide meadow, hills, – and in the height something rings – and stops. Three times in a row he sees the same dream and, unable to resist the aspiration, says goodbye to his parents and sits on his horse. At the crossroads he gives the horse a free will, and he jumps straight to the south,
Days are running after days, Vadim is always welcome; When it is necessary to spend the night in the field or in the forest, neither wild beast nor snake is troubled by it. Vadim reaches the broad Dnieper and, with the start of a thunderstorm, rushes into a dense forest. He has to fight his way through the sword, he moves farther and farther into the cup. Suddenly he hears cries – plaintive, praying and ferocious, wild. He rushes ahead and, reaching the clearing, sees a mighty giant with a beauty on his hands. Waving his sword, he cuts off his hand with a terrible club, raised on him. The defeated enemy dies, and Vadim hurries to the captive. She turns out to be the daughter of a Kiev prince, to whom the Lithuanian prince (the “Enemy of the Orthodox Church”) was flushed with passion and sent a messenger to kidnap her. He for a long time hid in the wilds, waiting, and now, when the princess and her friends gathered flowers, he grabbed her and dragged her into the forest. Vadim, planting the girl behind him on a horse, from the clearing enters the jungle, and here an unprecedented storm breaks, trees crumble, the wind howls, and Vadim sees no place to hide anywhere. But here at a light inflamed by a lightning fir he marks a mossy cave and goes to it. There, burning the fire, folding the mail, he squeezes the moisture out of the golden curls of the princess and warms her trembling persians with his breath.
The beautiful princess kindles feelings in Vadim, and he already captures on the lips of her hot kiss, when suddenly he hears a familiar ringing in the distance. And it seems to him someone’s invisible flight, someone’s sad sigh. Princess falls asleep on his hands and wakes up in the morning, and they are sent to Kiev. There on the porch there is a grief-stricken prince who, in pursuit of a foe, equipped his squad and promised a throne and a daughter’s hand to the rescuer. But here Vadim is with the princess, and the rejoicing prince rewards him.
When, in the evening, everyone is having a good time at the prince’s feast, Vadim, worried by the incessant ringing, goes to the Dnieper, sees a canoe with a wind, with a rowing oar, but empty (“Vadim to him […] To Vadim he…”). The boat carries it faster, silence around, cliffs approach, black forest reflects in the waves, the moon fades – and the boat sticks to the shore. Vadim comes out and, driven by an obscure force, climbs up the steep cliffs. Before him, a decayed, moss-overgrown forest (“And, it seems, life in that country / There never was an age”); when the moon comes out, he sees an ancient temple on a hill, collapsed fences, fallen pillars, gaping vaults and – a gravestone with a sagging cross. From him flies awakened crows, and from the grave a ghost rises, goes to the temple, knocks. But the door does not open. And the ghost goes further between the wreckage. Vadim follows him, embarrassed by fear, and sees behind the jagged fence a silent castle. A vague expectation fills the knight. From the moon flies fog, silver burr, from the east a breeze blows, and suddenly from behind the wall there is a familiar ringing. Vadim sees a maid walking along a wall hidden by a misty cover, another comes towards them, they approach each other, hand each other, and one descends to the castle, and the other continues on its way, gazing into the distance, full of expectation. And suddenly, in the light of the rising sun, she sees a knight – and the veil flies off her chela, and the gates dissolve. They are striving for each other. “They agreed… O veshy, true dream!” From the house there are awakened virgins. The evangel is heard, the temple is opened, there is heard a prayer. Vadim with the virgin at the royal gates, suddenly the wedding hymn sounds, and in their hands the candles, their heads under the crowns. A quiet voice calls them gently, and here they are in front of the grave, it’s bright, at. flowers, and the cross is wrapped around her with a lily. And after the lapse of centuries, when both the castle and the monastery – everything disappeared, in place of that green lush forest and the sweet whisper of the wind. There, where the ashes of nuns are hidden, waiting for death at the tomb of his father, in the morning light hour “There are mysteries of miracles”: a choir of hermits is heard, a cross is shining, and the wedding virgins appear with wedding stars.