Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Reward of the Good Man, The.

A Christmas Carol of the Lord's Justice.

LORD, O Lord,
In this house,
In this yard,
This place,
Two tall apple trees have grown,
Two trees tall and wonderful,
Their tops intertwined.
High above,
In their very tops,
Two candles are burning,
And from these two candles
Three drops are falling,
And from these three drops
Three rivers have grown—
One of wine,
One of balsam,
And one of pure water.
Who bathes in the river of wine?
God himself, the good God,
Bathes himself,
Cleanses himself in pure limpid water,
Changes his clothes,
And anoints himself with balsam.
Further down the river John—
St. John—
And old Christmas [1] bathe and wash,
And in limpid water cleanse themselves,
Change their raiment,
Anoint themselves with balsam.
And further down, along the river,
Other saints bathe and wash,
And rinse themselves in pure limpid water,
And put on white clothes.
Still much further down,
This good man bathes,
Rinses himself,
In clean water,
And puts on clean garments.
The good God said:
“To whom, O man, doest thou liken thyself?
To me?
To the saints?
To St. John?
Or to old Christmas?”
“No, O Lord.
I do not liken myself
Neither to Thee,
Nor to the Saints,
Nor to St. John,
Nor to old Christmas,
But to the good deeds which I have performed.
I married as a young man,
I have built a house
On the highroad,
I have kept a decked table
On the high road.
Whosoever passed
Sat down at my table.
All ate and drank at my table,
And all thanked me.
I have further built
Bridges in dangerous paths.
Whosoever passed
Thanked me.
I have further digged wells
In dry lands.
Whosoever drank of the water
Blessed me.”
The good God then replied:
“May thou therefore be blessed.
Thou hast done good deeds
In that world.
Blessing shalt thou find in this.
Enter Paradise without trial.
Sit at table not invited,
And drink the cup unasked.”
We wish health to this house,
To these beautiful courts,
To all of us a happy life
For many years.



[1] Christmas is here taken as a person.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Reward of the Good Man, The.
Tale Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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