IV

Never let it be said that Iím a beggar
everyone knows how Iíve supported myself
in the 20 years that Iíve kept my vow
on foot from the north to the south of this country
and also in the neighboring countries
preaching my wholesome and wise cogitations
for the good of Mankind
being labeled a looney by sensible folks
yet Iíve held hundreds of lectures in jails and hospitals in rest homes
at meetings of Mutual Aid Societies
I wasnít born to glorify myself
I was born to help my fellowman
especially those souls in distress
showing no distinction of social class
even in cases of terminal illness
or people who had almost nowhere to turn
Iíve never taken a dime for what Iíve done
if I told it all itíd be an endless story
mockery humiliation and horselaughter
seeing me dressed in this humble sackcloth
there were weeks months years leap years
when I couldnít find a place to lay my head
nobody offered me so much as a bed for the night
but I was earning enough to live on
from the publication of my modest writings
(right now it comes to about 18 books)
I made enough to pay for the hotel
and even then theyíd always turn me away
for some pretext or other
even though I offered double or triple rates
if it hadnít been for the Chilean Police
I donít know what would have become of me.

en: Sermons and homilies of the Christ of Elqui . English translation by Sandra Reyes ; with a foreword by Miller Williams. Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 1984. 105 p

 

SISIB - Facultad de FilosofŪa y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile