Oleska Dovbush

One of the most famous brigands of all time.





From: On the High Uplands
Sagas, Songs, Tales and Legends of the Carpathians
by Stanislaw Vincenz

Dobosz and St Elias
pg 76
When they roade out on to the nearest upland they heard a deep thunder in the mountains, coming from the Wallachian side. As the old rhyme says of the thunder:
The white horse waded in the deep Danube,
When he neighed al the world re-echoed.

It was the horse of St. Elias neighing beyond the hills, neighing from its thunder breast. And then a terrible avalanche overtook them. Black, crimson, and greay clouds streaked with brilliant bands floated over from Palenyca towards Hungary. Twilight dscended upon the earth. lightning flashed, lighting up the robbers’ road, and the unferttered thunds played mightily, more proud and more magnificent than any music of this world. The bearded saint and prophet Elias urged on his horses, carvingt he road with lightning, driving away the evil spirits and preparing to shatter the noblemans abode. The robbers crossed themselves devoutly. But Dobosz, gazing joyfully at the hordes of clouds preceding the robber band exclaimed:
“Look, brothers! See how the fighting, white-bearded saint is leading us! To the perdition of the gentry! To the victory of our faith! To the good fortune for the poor! He is our patron, the true father of daring youth! There is no greater saint than he. And none finer!”
The bearded prophet Elias, the thunder emporer’s victor, finely attired in cloudy cloak and head dress, driving along on the resounding masses of clouds, confirmed Dobosz’s words with a fiery sign and a word of thunder. The robbers cast grateful looks t the flying clouds.

Dobosz answers the door
pg 83
Dobosz picked up his axe, went to the door, and threw it wide open. He asked the lackey sharply: “What do you want?”

Dobosz arms himself
pg 84
……Dobosz stuck an old-fashioned, heavy axe in his belt, and in addition belted a sturdy rapier to his side

Dobosz dances
pg 88
…..He could dance well, and he was fond of dancing. And who on earth should be able to dance, if not a mountain chief? He made his axe whistle……..

pg 89
He swund the girl round, and her blue dress swished, she was like a butterfly in a storm. As he bent down to the floor and stamped his feet the castle walls shook, the floors quivered; and as he flung his thunder-axe into the air it wailed so fearfully, high up under the lofty ceiling, the the lackeys fled from the hall and the nobles huddled against the walls. And as he caught the heavy axe in it;s fall he himself stooped for a moment.

Death of Dobosz
pg 93
The young men of the band carried Dobosz on their axes; tending his wounds, weeping over him they carried him to Kiedrowaty. For that is what he himself had commanded them to do before his death, as the song testifies:

Lift me on your axes of glory,
Carry me to Czornohora