Of all the earthly gifts
Sleep is the most desired
For the one who’s tired,
For the one who works much.
People in Silbi too
Subside into sleep today.
The dark forest sleeps; sometimes
It wakes up due to the wind.
Two carts appeared from the forest.
Now they are harnessed with two horses
And are turning their steps
Towards the village in the darkness.
A terrible cry was shrilled
Which immediately pierced the soul,
Someone heard it and on the spot
Rushed headlong to the cry.
But the carts turned around quickly
With a loud rumble
And approached the dark thicket
Where they escaped again.
* * *
Noise and uproar stirred around
Everybody took alarm at night.
“Mikheter has been robbed”,
Somebody was heard crying.
Crowds of people, panting
Are running to Turikas.
- What’s the matter? What has happened?
They are asking each other.
“Mikheter has been robbed,
Everything has been taken from his house!
They were not afraid of even God
Let the thieves collapse!
Mikheter and his wife
Have both been murdered!
Their seven farm-hands have been
Given much venomous vodka.
Setner had time to come
To the woman’s cry,
But the damned thief stabbed
The axe into his skull!”
* * *
Mikheter has been murdered.
All his riches are taken away,
The thieves were not afraid of God,
Let the earth swallow them!
Setner has also died, poor thing,
Through the scoundrel’s axe.
Nobody has witnessed
Anything like this in Silbi.
Mikheter’s daughter can not cry,
She is not shedding tears.
In the empty parents’ house
She is standing motionless.
But in her heart there is
A heavy millstone made of flint.
Under it there is a deathly-still heart
Being painfully torn…
As soon as the pain burst through
Narspi crashed down;
And only later, regaining consciousness,
She burst into tears saying the words:
* * *
“Oh, my father and mother,
Why have you given birth to me?
I was shown the world
And I see only suffering in this world.
Oh, my God, my kind pulekh,
Why have you given me the soul,
And deprived me of happy fate?
Oh, my poor young soul!
My soul, poor young soul,
What for are you sentenced to death?
You turned out to be the only unwanted
In the whole world.”
Thus, grieving and crying,
She went through the gates to the field,
She left the village
And strolled pensively to the hemp valley.
The people who met her
Showed sadness in their eyes.
And they gossiped till dark
About the events of the day.
* * *
The next morning corn-growers
Did not go to the field:
Remembering Friday the Chuvash
Used to spend the day idly.
However, the girls didn’t dare
Sing and play as they used to.
The guys didn’t dare dance
At leisure either.
The old men gathered in the lane:
They want to sell Mikheter’s house
And they are conspiring secretly.
But Narspi is somewhere away
The riders have been sent to look for her.
The rest went to see off those killed,
To bury Mikheter and his wife.
There’s a freshly made mound
Over the spacious grave.
And Setner lies in the oak coffin,
In deep and everlasting sleep.
* * *
In the afternoon people started
Spreading their hands in amazement:
Narspi was found dead
And nobody knows what to do.
Having ridden the horses to death
All the riders returned with one news:
She was found hung on the white willow
In the hemp valley.
She was buried at the same place
Under the willow.
And her grave was surrounded
By a nut-tree fence.
The sun went down and the night came.
The Chuvashes are sleeping;
The east has reddened and the people
Again arise to start working.
The night for our poor Narspi
Will last forever.
And only in her dark coffin
She can overcome her sorrow.
* * *
This is how her destiny turned out.
This is how Narspi died
In the prime of life
Having become the victim of severe morals.
The generous pulekh has opened for her
The world without boundaries and ends.
She’s become the comely girl
Grown up in her parents’ kindness.
Through the mercy of the pulekh
She has become clever and kind;
And her parents’ will
Has become the noose for her.
She was put into a narrow coffin,
Having left her honest fame.
She has made sad songs,
All the village people remember them.
And even today Silbi settlers pour
The spring water on the turf
Over her in dry wind,
Remembering the poor girl.