The Peasants and the Oak
(From Marmande who came to Bordeaux for the ceremony)
To Mr. Allan Kardec
“The abuse has occult champions, more dangerous than the openly
declared ones and the proof of that is the difficulty to uproot them.”
Allan Kardec (What is Spiritism)
One day some honest peasants
Proudly standing before a huge oak tree
Measured it with their eyes, large front
- In vain we provide, said one, our seed;
Along those harrowed and well smoked furrows
Fertilizers and sap are consumed; nothing grows
On the many branches and the thick foliage;
All this is such waste
Allowing this tree to impoverish the terrain;
Absorbing our sweat, sterilizing the grain.
Brothers, if you believe me,
Our field will be free
From the unwanted host… and that… on the spot!
Hands on, they shouted in excitement.
They were all strong, ardent.
A rope is tied to the tree, from the top
And there we have a chain;
The forming rings set the strain;
The trembling foliage rustles,
But that is all… they agitate and struggle,
Pulling the robust and tortuous dome,
But the trunk remains strong.
A wise man of the region,
A good old man tells them in-passing: - My children,
Your harvest is gone,
Destroy it… it is okay…
You are on!
But knock it down easily you can’t;
The big oak tree will not faint
Before your arms’ little strength;
Age stiffens the body, inflexible at length.
Deliver the terrible assault more quietly
To the vigorous giant, respectfully.
Centuries have passed by this gnarled bark
Days are needed to undermine its park.
Shine Sunlight onto the root, unveiled
And death will come to the massive frail
When abuse cannot be suppressed in one blow
It is in the foundations that ruin will grow!
The Hedgehog, the
Rabbit and the Magpie
To the members of the Spiritist Society of Bordeaux
Charity, my friends, can be done in many ways. You
can do it through your thoughts and your works…
Guardian spirit of the Spiritist Society of Lyon
The Spiritist Review, October 1861
A poor hedgehog driven from his shelter
Wondered in the fields through and deadly thorns,
Under the blows from a child brandishing his clogs
Abandoned it bleeding, bruised and shaken.
He folds his trembling thorny armor.
He extends his eyes around
And since the danger has past, he whispers
A weak and mournful tone:
Where can I hide?
Where shall I flee? ..back to my home
Is beyond my will
A thousand dangers that
I cannot predict
Threaten me here…
Will I then die?
I need shelter and some rest
To heal my abrasions.
But, where can I find such nest?
Who will take pity on my pain?
A rabbit living among the debris of a rock,
For whom charity is not just
A vain word, sees the friend’s pain in shock
And approaching says:
My friend, accept you must
Share with me my asylum.
I am well protected in this shelter;
You will be safe.
They can hardly track
You down here.
Rest assured that together
Any care you need you shall not lack.
Before such graceful offer
The hedgehog started his slow movement
When an unrecognized magpie, waving
To the rabbit said: - wait a moment,
I beg you… a word… a quick warning;
And turning to the hedgehog: - it is a little private!
Forgive my delay!
Then the good rabbit asks his mate
To keep her voice down, when saying:
How can you bring such people within your fence?
You went too far helping those under!
I would never do such nonsense.
But aren’t you afraid to regret later?
When he is healed and has recovered his strength
You will be the first, perhaps, to suffer the nightmare
Of his bad heart and his thorny health.
How then will you get him out of there?
The rabbit answer: - No worries
Should make us turn away from our generous impulses;
We’d rather be exposed to ingratitude
Than stay away from misfortune!