PORTUGUÊS

A velha mãezinha

ENGLISH

The aged mother


Numa grande cidade, vivia uma pobre velhinha. Certa noite, estava ela muito só, sentada no quarto, pensando em como, primeiro, perdera o marido; depois os dois filhos, um atrás do outro e, sucessivamente, todos os parentes; nesse mesmo dia acabava de perder o seu único amigo, ficando completamente só e abandonada.
Com o coração dilacerado pela angústia, oprimia-a, sobretudo, a perda dos dois filhos e se revoltava contra o destino, chegando até a acusar Deus por lhos ter roubado.
Nisso, enquanto estava mergulhada nos tristes pensamentos, pareceu-lhe ouvir tocar os sinos para a missa matinal. Admirou-se muito de ter passado à noite toda nessa sua angústia; acendeu a lanterna e dirigiu-se à igreja.
À chegada, notou que a igreja estava toda iluminada, mas não por círios, como de costume, mas por uma estranha luz crepuscular. E já estava repleta de gente, todos os lugares estavam ocupados; e quando a pobre velha procurou o lugar habitual no banco para sentar-se, encontrou-o também todo ocupado. Ao fitar aqueles que o ocupavam, reconheceu os seus falecidos parentes aí reunidos, vestidos à moda antiga e de rostos lívidos.
Não falavam, nem cantavam, mas pela igreja perpassavam leves sopros e sussurros. Eis que uma velha parenta se levantou, aproximou-se dela e disse-lhe:
- Olha para o lado do altar e lá verás teus filhos.
A pobre mãe olhou ansiosamente e viu os dois. Um pendia de uma forca e o outro estava atado a uma roda.
Então a tia acrescentou:
- Vês o que lhes teria sucedido, se Deus os tivesse deixado no mundo e os não tivesse chamado a si quando ainda crianças inocentes?
A desolada mãe voltou para casa tremendo e, ajoelhando-se no quarto, agradeceu profundamente a Deus a mercê que lhe fizera e que ela, na cegueira do seu amor, não pudera compreender.
Ao fim de três dias, caiu de cama e morreu.
In a large town there was an old woman who sat in the evening alone in her room thinking how she had lost first her husband, then both her children, then one by one all her relations, and at length, that very day, her last friend, and now she was quite alone and desolate. She was very sad at heart, and heaviest of all her losses to her was that of her sons; and in her pain she blamed God for it. She was still sitting lost in thought, when all at once she heard the bells ringing for early prayer. She was surprised that she had thus in her sorrow watched through the whole night, and lighted her lantern and went to church. It was already lighted up when she arrived, but not as it usually was with wax candles, but with a dim light. It was also crowded already with people, and all the seats were filled; and when the old woman got to her usual place it also was not empty, but the whole bench was entirely full. And when she looked at the people, they were none other than her dead relations who were sitting there in their old-fashioned garments, but with pale faces. They neither spoke nor sang; but a soft humming and whispering was heard all over the church. Then an aunt of hers stood up, stepped forward, and said to the poor old woman, "Look there beside the altar, and thou wilt see thy sons." The old woman looked there, and saw her two children, one hanging on the gallows, the other bound to the wheel. Then said the aunt, "Behold, so would it have been with them if they had lived, and if the good God had not taken them to himself when they were innocent children." The old woman went trembling home, and on her knees thanked God for having dealt with her more kindly than she had been able to understand, and on the third day she lay down and died.




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