Johannes Messenius (1579-1636)
Swedish historian. Sentenced in 1616 on suspicion of treachery against the Crown
and conspiring with Catholic Poland. While in prison in Kajaneborg, Finland,
he wrote Scondia illustrata, the history of Sweden.
My cell here at Kajaneborg Castle
is a death sentence commuted to loneliness.
The crime was my Catholic faith.
Out there, starvation –
I hear of dead people lining the roadside
with horse dung and straw in their mouths.
They tell me the birch despite everything is in leaf
and that the swallow is up in the sky once more
after its winter on the bed of the river.
Here inside, our country’s history grows
under my zealous pen.