bamberg, july 24 1628
my dear, o dearest margaret,
how i wish to hold you in my arms!
but, i shall never again,
as i’m rotting in a cold cell,
condemned for odious crimes i’ve never commit.
please, pardon my awful writing,
i can barely hold a feather
since my torturers have crushed my finger.
as you can see, i’m still bleeding while writing this letter…
i was accused of sorcery and as you know,
at the church court, you’re guilty even when you’re not.
in the obscure atmosphere of a dirty dungeon,
i was stripped naked and whipped
by merciless, masked persecutors.
your pain is their gain, so you’d yell in vain.
tied to the rack and quartered,
every fibre of my frame ached,
o the ripping suffering i endured…
but i’ll spare you the most gruesome details.
unable to bear further torture,
i had to make up some sins,
and denounce my accomplices…
what a pathetic masquerade!
tomorrow, i’ll be burned on the pyre.
i just can’t sleep at night,
-ssailed by haunting visions…
i did nothing wrong, my conscience is pure,
in my mind i’ll be innocent until the end.
they can attack my weak flesh,
but my soul remains unstained!
my judges will be judged
for their twisted caricature of justice.
feeble slaves, clung to their bible,
dedicating a cult to abomination.
when ignorance is sovereign,
superst-tions kill and faith rhymes with crimes.
one of my jailers
whose heart still knows human feelings
promised me to give you this missive.
as soon as you receive it,
run away from this land of madness.
the sun goes down,. a mournful organ
seems to groan a theme for my requiem.
farewell, beloved daughter,
your father shall embrace you nevermore…