“What than the bird is fleeter far?
What warmer than the south sun’s car.
What sanctifies the very heart,
Consoles and bids its grief depart?
        The song! The song! The song!”

John Erdélyi.



Alexander Vachott.

A youth, in musing reveries,
    Silently clasps his lyre;
A passing blue-eyed maid he sees,
    Who sets his heart afire.
Aroused are youth and lyre and soul;
From lip and lute sweet love songs roll.

He casts his glance o’er field and vale,
    Sees all in splendor glow;
The spring and midsummer exhale
    Sweet scents of flowers that grow.
His heart grows warm and from his soul
Paeans of summer and flowers roll.

Shrouded in clouds on mountains high,
    A ruin may behold;
His memory o’er the past doth fly,
    He thinks of heroes bold.
His heart aglow and stirred his soul,
From lip and lute stout war hymns roll.

The flight of time brings life’s decay;
    Life’s spring-well soon runs dry;
While strong, he boldly walked his way;
    He now feels death is nigh.
Once more aroused, from lyre and soul,
Inspiring lays, sweet swan songs roll.



Alexander Petőfi.

Oft am I sunk in deepest thought,
Although my musings bring me naught,
My thoughts o’er all the country fly,
Flit o’er the earth, soar to the sky,
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are moon-rays of my dreamy soul.

Instead of dreaming, better ’twere
If for my future I should care;
And yet I ask, what care have I,
Since God doth guard me from on high,
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are mayflies of my care-freed soul.

But if a lovely maid I meet,
My thoughts to inner depths retreat;
And then into her eyes I gaze,
As on the lake fall starry rays.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are roses of my love-bond soul.

If mine her love, my joy wine crowns,
If not, then wine my grief well drowns,
And where wine in abundance flows,
There gayety right swiftly grows.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are rainbows of my misty soul.

Yet, while I hold the glass in hand,
The yoke oppresses many a land;
And joyous as the glasses ring,
As sadly bondsmen’s fetters cling;
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are clouds that overcast my soul.

Why do men dwell in slavery’s night?
Why burst they not their chains in fight?
Or do they wait till God some day
Shall let rust gnaw their chains away?
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are lightning-flashes from my soul.



Charles Szász.

As if upon the pure, white snow
The color of the rose did glow —
Thus pale and cold — her earthly clay
Upon a snow-white pall did lay
    Sweet Ellen, beauteous, on her bier!

And as a flower in a glass
Bears still its odor, though, alas!
It slowly fades and slowly dies,
Yet holds some beauty for the eyes,
    Lies Ellen, beauteous, on her bier!

Her tiny hands crossed on her breast,
Sweet rosemary therein do rest,
Upon her forehead, clear and fair,
A wreath, made of her golden hair —
    Lies Ellen, beauteous, on her bier!

Her eyes, once bright, are shaded now,
Nor glance beneath her marble brow,
Her lips are silent, still, and closed,
And seem for kisses to be posed —
    Sweet Ellen, beauteous, on her bier!

We weepingly behold her form,
Killed, ah, too soon, by life’s fell storm.
We feel the past, the future she.
Heartbroken, bend we to the knee,
    So beauteous is she on her bier!



John Arany.

Here do I sit, the dreary hours telling,
    A dimly-burning lamp my only mate;
And no one earthly passing by my dwelling
    Comes in to say, “Good evening,” where I wait.

Is it that I no friend have ever cherished?
    Wretched, indeed, is he who has not one!
My friends I knew, and not through change they perished,
    As did my happiness, which now is gone.

Narrow my home, with scanty cheer to offer,
    And as for the kitchen doth the master feel;
Yet, for a friend or two I’ve room to proffer;
    My heart’s warmth will the larder’s dearth conceal.

Why come they not with words of friendly greeting,
    That I with them may share my scanty store?
My heart, at least, would gladden at the meeting; —
    Ah! from the silent grave they rise no more!

Where is the hill whose wooden cross stands holy,
    To sanctify this corner of the earth,
Which covers now their ashes lying lowly
    Till resurrection gives their spirit — birth?

Was there a hand which, when their last breath over,
    Lovingly closed the eyes whose fire burned low?
Was there a sigh which, when the clods did cover,
    In silent prayer for rest did upward go?

Or, perchance, came the rage of storm and ocean; —
    Men without sympathy and hard of heart —
Their bones unburied, scattered by emotion,
    Their bodies rent, are sundered and apart.

What say I? ’Tis a festal day of gladness!
    Festal? Ay; but no joy is near.
My birthday — lonely here, and closed in sadness —
    To you I dedicate, my dead friends dear.

My soul is like a churchyard, void, neglected;
    I see but ghosts in its eternal night;
So in this gloom, to each I have elected
    A taper of remembrance now to light!

Pride of the age, let light to thee be given;
    Genius, who comest and who goest — where?
Our generation sees thee now in heaven,
    Then, comet-like, thou leav’st but empty air!

Oh, after cycles, if again appearing,
    Thou comest in another semblance clad,
Forsaking heaven thyself to them endearing,
    Abide with them that they may still be glad!



Augustin Greguss.

There’s naught on earth below as love so sweet;
Alas! But even love is oft replete
With base ingratitude. We seldom do
To those whose love to us is best, stay true.

A youth went bravely into war and fell;
His friends bade him a tearful last farewell;
They mourned him for a week, a month his wife,
A year his sister, his mother through life.

Another youth from gory war returns:
He first with some carousing friends sojourns.
Of course, then to his loving sweetheart goes:
A visit to his sister he bestows—
He’ll call upon his mother, I suppose!



John Vajda.

Most freely men of their own sorrows speak;
To add to woe and care will ever seek,
And each would wish that all the world might know,
That in the world his is the greatest woe.

And listening mutely to all this complaint,
I felt the more my own heart’s firm restraint
I sought the solitude, for ’tis but there
I dare betray my soul’s dread cross of care.

Where thickest is the wood, the silence deep,
The wind upon the tree-tops falls asleep,
And Nature seems to meet the realms of Nod,
I fall upon my knees and pray to God!

Hast Thou made nothing perfect here below?
How, then, as perfect can Thy creatures grow?
If finite things are ever incomplete,
May not infinity the same repeat?

And Thou, who rulest from Thy throne so grand,
Who giveth life or taketh at command,
The while Thy creatures at Thy feet must crawl,
Canst Thou alone contended be with all?

And lo! a shadow seems to shroud the sky,
A gathering of darkest clouds on high,
And deadly silent is the very air,
And heaven and earth are mute beyond compare.

And then God spake to me. With trembling fear
A sigh, deep and soul stirring, now I hear:
“In all the world like me there’s none to find!
I am alone! one heart, one soul, one mind!”



Nicklas Markus.

My soul would fly were not its pinions clipped;
    My yearning heart I scarce can bear along;
Soon through the hour-glass will the sands have slipped.

It was my dream that in thy fond embrace
    A very heaven on earth should live for me.
As soon the star-course might I seek to trace.

That I, so young, so wretched, hence must go
    Bestirs no grief or ache within my breast;
Well have I learned no fear of death to know.

But most it grieves that all which stirs in me,
    Living, inspiring heart and thirstful soul,
Deep buried in the tomb fore’er will be.

It vexes me to know, when dead I am,
    That I no more can raise my arm in strife;
Alas! there is no bliss e’en in this calm.

To die so, when ’tis passing fair to live,
    To die so, when my heart can love so well,
For one brief span Eternity I’d give.



Michael Vörösmarty.

Thy little play is played out to the end;
Dear child, too quickly did its joyance pass
Thy face hath smiled its last, and death has culled
The fair, fresh rose-blooms that abounded there.
Not solitary did’st thou go; with thee
Went all thy parents’ joy, the blossoms rare
Of their most fond and beautiful desire.

Who now will tell thee when the morning dawns?
Ah! who will wake you each succeeding day?
Thy weeping parents cry, “Arise, dear child;
Arise, my love, my pet, my pretty dear!”
All, all in vain! Thou hearest not their voice;
Thou sleepest now, alas, the dreamless sleep,
And morning nevermore shall dawn for thee!

But pain can no more touch thy senseless dust;
Thy death was gentle and thy soul went forth
As the sun’s rays returneth unto heaven.
By joy and sorrow we are bound to earth;
We long for, yet we shun and shrink from death;
Thy pathway surely lies beyond all doubt.

O, when on nights most calm and beautiful,
The lustrous stars shall graciously shine forth,
Wilt thou not come to bless thy loving ones,
Each night to visit them in tender dreams,
And shed around the very peace of heaven?

O, come and let thy spirit kiss each face
Of little brother and of sister here!
Thus shalt thou to thy parents dear return
The bright days lost to them from out this life;
They shall renew thy interrupted days,
And while thy grave with loving flowers may strew
Be thou their guardian angel to protect!



Alexander Petőfi.

Give me a coffin and a grave,
    And let the grave be deep and low;
And bury with me all I feel,
    All passions strong, all thoughts of woe.

O, mind and heart, twice cursed, e’er have
    You been the bane of my whole life!
Why torture me with burning scourge?
    Why should not end now all this strife?

Why should this feverish brain inspire
    To rise above the stars on high?
When angry Fate hath it ordained
    That crawl upon the earth should I.

Why have I not fair heavenly wings,
    If my aims soar to heaven’s dome?
To carry me into heights where
    Immortality is at home!

And if to me this world is void
    Of joy, why have I, then, a breast?
Created that of human joys
    It be the home, the shelt’ring nest!

Or if there be a heart which flames
    And burns in passion’s deep abyss,
Why, then, this icy look on me,
    Thou God of happiness and bliss?

Give me a coffin and a grave,
    And let the grave be deep and low;
And bury with me all I feel,
    All passions strong, all thoughts of woe.



John Arany.

Thank God, the eve has come again;
The day decreased our earthly pain;
One candle only lights our room;
Without the darkness reigns and gloom.
Why sleep you not, sweet child? ’Tis late;
A soft, warm bed for you doth wait.
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.

A poet I; I am but poor;
No wealth can I for you secure.
All that I have, a spotless name,
And, with the crowd, some worthless fame,
That well with strifes of life you cope,
I teach you to believe, to hope;
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.

Faith is a treasure to the poor;
Gives strength to hope and to endure;
So he endures in firm belief
Until his death does bring relief
I crave the fame I had before,
Which often consolation bore —
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.

When you are called to work from play —
Who knows how soon this happen may? —
If you should come to meet with one
Whose love, poor child, you have not won,
Your faith should then bring balm to you;
Wipe from your eye the silent dew.
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.

When you will once the burden see
And feel, which weighs on honesty;
When you will see virtue crushed out,
While sin, with pride, doth stalk about;
When ignorance counts more than brain;
Let faith your comfort still maintain!
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.

When with the years convictions come
That no more is this land our home;
The space ’twixt life and death that lies
Is but the line of centuries;
Then think the Scriptures say, my dear,
"We are but strangers, pilgrims here!"
Now fold your tiny hands and say
The prayer I taught you how to pray.



Paul Dömötör.

Whatever’s beautiful is poetry:
The starry sky, the flower upon the lea,
The sun’s bright ray, the gentle, loving eye,
The smiling babe, the cloudlets floating high.

Whatever’s beautiful is poetry:
Enchanting words and dainty melody,
The kiss, that lover’s star on love’s rough way,
The budlike lips of babes that speech essay.

Whatever’s beautiful is poetry:
To honor friends while with us they may be,
To do the work that is our heart’s delight.
To hear the baby lisp to us, “Good night.”



Alexander Petőfi.

Accursed the earth where once
    Grew into strength the tree,
Of which the timber gave
    A cradle for poor me!
Accursed be, too, the hand
    Which planted it, I say;
Accursed also the nursing
    Dewdrops, the rain and ray.

But blessed be the earth where grows
    The tree in woodland shade,
Of which my coffin will,
    In course of time, be made.
And blessed be, too, the hand
    Which planted it; and blessed
Also the rain and ray
    Which it with life invest.



Charles Szász.

I often think I see you yet —
    A tiny baby, with brown hair;
A picture I cannot forget; —
    Father and mother both were there.
She languid lay; their hope and prayer
    Fulfilled, at first a son and heir,
And now a girl babe, sweet and fair;
    ’Tis fifty years since, I declare!

Year follows year; the time doth fly;
    From day to day you grew more sweet,
Just as the rosebud we espy
    When we the dawning springtide greet.
The child now casts her dolls away;
    She goes to school; and even there
The pet of all, without gainsay,
    ’Tis forty years since, I declare!

The summer day comes to my mind,
    When you and I the first time met,
You were quite proud, yet gentle, kind,
    The fairest maid I ever set
My eyes upon. Your love was mine;
    To kiss you then I did not dare;
Enough you were in my heart’s shrine!
    ’Tis thirty years since, I declare!

Our narrow home, a home of bliss;
    Indeed, we have no other care.
And when our darling girls we kiss,
    We happy were, beyond compare.
And yet, — do you remember still? —
    A thought came flashing here and there —
A boy, — he came by God’s good will;
    ’Tis twenty years since, I declare!

The midday of our life is gone;
    We’ve had our joys; our sorrows, too,
Weeping we trod the churchyard’s lawn,
    Where we our children’s tombstone view;
But time is good; our wounds are healed,
    As sunrays in sweet autumn air,
Our new-born babe our love had sealed:
    ’Tis just ten years since, I declare!

The evening of our life has come;
    Upon our heads the winter’s snow,
Around us our grandchildren chum
    With us. Our bliss doth overflow.
O, happy eve! on bended knee
    We pray the Lord our lives to spare,
Till them in life we settled see,
    The rolling years we bravely bear.



Joseph Lévay.

Bright, tremulous drop,
    Say, what are you?
On violet leaf,
    Diamond, or dew?
Or yet heaven’s gem,
    Fallen down to earth.
Which from the dross
    Brings flowers to birth?

Not here thy place,
    If diamond thou;
On garden-plots,
    If dew, fall now.
If daily rain,
    Shed from the sky,
The fields around
    Then fructify.

“No diamond I;
    Than gems more dear;
Not dew my name;
    I am more clear;
I was not born
    In heights above;
Lowly the state
    From which I move.

Angels love me,
    And greet me so;
Bathe their bright wings
    In my drops’ glow.
What am I here?
    A little tear.
Secret I roll,
    Within shines clear
A world — the soul!”



Alexander Petőfi.

Sweet joy, I oft have drank of thee;
What of the glass became, tell me?
It broke, the goblet which I drained,
And broken glass alone remained.

And, bitter grief, I drank of thee;
What of the goblet came to be?
It cracked, the tumbler which I drained,
And broken glass alone remained.

The radiant sun the heart enjoys;
The darkling storm-cloud but annoys;
Grief is the heart’s dark cloud, I say,
Which rising winds bear far away.

I like a shadow am; as though
About a graveyard I do go,
O, days departed, days gone by,
Ye are the graveyard where I sigh!

And through this graveyard in the night
A firefly is my guiding light;
And o’er the graves of my dead days
My memory like a firefly plays.

The air with motion now is fraught;
A cool, faint breeze is o’er me brought;
And whisperingly it asks of me,
Is it not better not to be?



Alexander Petőfi.

Why bother me? Away!
Be quickly off, I say!
Great work I have on hand just now,
I twist a whip with sweating brow.
From rays of sun, with which I will
Scourge the world till its anguish fill
The air, and I will laugh as she
Laughed, mocking at my misery.
        Ha, ha, ha!

For such is life! We laugh and weep
Till death brings its eternal sleep.
I, too, was dead; some years ago
To poison me were mean and low;
Those of my friends who drank my wine,
What did they do? Who can divine?
While I was lying in the shroud,
Embracing me, they cried aloud!
I felt that I could rise and bite
Their noses off, but just for spite
I thought let them their nostrils keep;
When I become a rotten heap
And, decomposed, lie in their way,
From smelling me explode they may!
        Ha, ha, ha!

Where did they bury me?
In Afric’s sandy sea,
This was most fortunate, for, lo!
Hyena dug me from below;
My only benefactor he,
I cheated him most skilfully;
My limbs he tried to chew and gnaw;
I flung my heart into his jaw,
So bitter was my heart that he
Soon died of it in agony.
        Ha, ha, ha!

Alas! this always is the end
Of those who other folk befriend!
But what is man? Tell me, who can.
Some say the root of flowers fair,
Which bloom above in heaven there!
Man is a flower, ’tis true, whose root
Down into deepest hell doth shoot;
I heard a sage discuss these things one day
Who, being a fool, of hunger died, they say;
Instead of cramming learning in his head
Why did he not steal, rob and kill for bread?
        Ha, ha, ha!

Why laugh I like a fool here, why?
I should lament and loudly cry,
The world’s so bad that even the sky
Will often weep that it gave birth
To such foul creatures as the earth.
But what becomes of heaven’s tear?
Falling upon this earth down here,
Men tread upon it with their feet!
— God’s tear becomes — mud in the street!
        Ha, ha, ha!

A hoary veteran is the sky,
The sun and moon his medals signify,
The clouds, the threadbare cloak he wears,
And thus the brave old soldier fares,
A cross and rag pay for his cares,
        Ha, ha, ha!

What means the quail’s call in man’s tongue,
When chattering in the morning young?
He says of women to beware,
She’ll draw you sure into a snare.
Woman is a splendid creature,
Beautiful, though dangerous;
The lovelier in form and feature,
The more of peril she brings us.
A deadly drink she serves in cups of gold,
Love’s drink to quaff I often did make bold.
One drop of thee, O! what a heavenly treat!
Yet from one drop such gall can be distilled
As though the sea with poisonous drugs were filled!
Have you seen ocean depths the tempests plough?
They furrow it; death seeds are sown, I trow.
Have you seen tempest, this brown ugly churl,
His lightning flashes o’er the wide sea hurl?
        Ha, ha, ha!

The fruit when ripe falls from the tree;
Ripe earth, you must be plucked, I see.
Until to-morrow I shall wait
Then, hoary earth, you’ll expiate
Your crimes! a great deep hole
I’ll dig in thee, and, on parole,
I’ll fill it up with powder dry
And blow the earth up to the sky!
        Ha, ha, ha!



Charles Szász.

My dainty song, fly in the night;
Where in the poplars’ shade you sight
A cozy home, quick hie thee there.
It is my darling children’s nest;
But make no noise, do not molest
Their sleep, but gently sing the air —
They should but feel the tuneful guest.

My dainty song, fly in the night;
As fast as is the arrow’s flight,
As is the swallow on his wing.
Where, at the close of day, my friends
Enjoy themselves, there make amends
That I not there, my lay then sing,
It is a gift a true friend sends.

My dainty song, fly in the night;
Go make a weary, sad heart light,
Find those who on the sick-bed lie;
While restless on their couch they roll,
And sufferings oppress their soul,
Sing then your sweetest lullaby,
’Tis sweet the weary to console!

My dainty song, fly in the night;
Go where the sun saw gory fight;
Where on the bloody battlefield
The heroes lie, borne down and slain;
Thy song shall be a glorious strain;
Their lives who did for freedom yield
Shall e’er be blessed in sweet refrain.

My dainty song, fly in the night;
Come back then for my own delight;
Report what you have seen and heard.
Bring me the sleeping children’s smile,
The greetings of the friends erstwhile;
Then from the sick a grateful word,
The heroes’ latest sigh reveal.



Daniel Berzsenyi.

O, God, whom no wise man in thought can reach,
    Thou whom his yearning hope can barely trace;
Thy being, like the sun, pervades all life.
    But human eyes can never see Thy face.

The highest heaven and ether’s Uranus
    Around Thee in revolving order course;
The very worms unseen beneath the sod
    Proclaim Thy wondrous wisdom and Thy force.

The myriad orbs from nothing Thou hast called,
    Thy glance brings worlds to life or sends to death,
And measures the swift-flowing tides of time,
    Whose ocean-waves are even as Thy breath.

Zenith and Nadir glorify Thy name,
    Strong tempests breeding strife o’er sea and land.
Thunder and lightning, dews and flowering boughs,
    Alike proclaim them creatures of Thy hand.

In pious guise I kneel before Thy grace;
    When once my soul from its abode doth part,
And near approaches Thee, O, then, I know
    I shall attain the yearning of my heart.

Till then I dry my tears and simply tread
    The pathway of my life ordained by Thee —
The pathway of all good and noble souls,
    Until my soul, like theirs, gains strength to flee.

Though awful, yet I view the grave’s dark night,
    Which cannot all be evil, now in trust,
Because, e’en dead, Thy creatures still are Thine,
    Whose gracious hands protect even bones and dust.



William Győri.

A dainty lullaby; so plain
“The little birds have come again.”
    The saddest lay we now can hear,
Yet to our lips ’twill ever rise,
A picture sweet bring to our eyes
    Of our first baby boy so dear.

Our love awaited it with love;
At last the bird came from above,
    “A little bird” we called our child;
His cradle was his nice soft nest;
How blissfully and sweet he’d rest
    In it, as angel-like he smiled.

His tiny arms if he but swings,
It seems a birdy flaps its wings;
    His baby voice, so soft and clear,
Sweet music, though yet not a song,
Parental heart, howe’er, don’t long
    More heavenly tune to hear.

When beauteous spring came filled with song,
The little birds that come along,
    Our babe, it seems, were first to see.
The bird awaits its loving mates,
Longingly longs, waitingly waits,
    Pining for it, greets it with glee.

We taught our babe the birds to call;
He fed the birds ere he could crawl,
    He loved and seemed to know them all;
Within the branches of the tree
Methinks I now can the birds see
    As I saw them that fatal fall.

His tiny hands he clapped in glee,
And called the birds from near-by tree;
    “Come, pretty birds, come here, come here;”
They seemed to understand and came
Ate from his hand, all seemed so tame,
    They neither knew nor thought of fear.

Then autumn with its stormy wind
Emptied the nest, the branches thinned —
    All parents shall hereafter know
To call their children “birds” no more —
They fly away, leave you heart-sore
    When in the autumn storm-winds blow.

Away has flown our baby, too.
A tree nigh to our window grew;
    And as our darling’s end was nigh
The birds all to that one tree flew,
As if to bid the babe adieu,
    As if to bid him their good-by.

New springtime, came, all’s balmy, mild,
All lives anew except our child;
    The blade o’ grass, the flowers, the trees,
All blossom out; the birds return —
When first to fly to us they learn
    Their little playmate nowhere is.

Green is the grave on yonder hill,
Fly there, dear birds, and there you trill
    Above his grave your sweetest lay.
We never cease for him to weep,
Green will his memory ever keep,
    And love him till our dying day.



Alexander Petőfi.

Here, in the lowland, where you travel far away,
    Before you reach the hills; here, on the Alföld’s plain,
Contented now I dwell, my heart is glad and gay,
    Because, while roaming round, I joy and pleasures gain.
My home is in the quiet village public-house;
But seldom sounds therein the noise of wild carouse.
A hearty, good old man is landlord of the place.
Grant unto him, my God, the bliss of happy days.

My room is neat and clean, therefor I do not play:
    Ne’er have I been as here, cared for so tenderly!
My meals are timely served though others be away,
    But, if I should be late, they all will wait for me.
One thing I do not like, the master of the house
Quarels once in a while with his good-hearted spouse.
But what of that? Soon kindness reillumes his face.
Grant unto him, my God, the bliss of happy days.

Sometimes, to pass the time, we former days recall,
    Which were for him, by far, the happest and the best.
He owned his house and farm, had plentiful of all,
    He knew not e’en how many cattle he possessed.
Knaves borrowed all his gold and fraudulenty kept;
The Danube’s stormy floods once o’er his homestead swept,
And thus they grew so poor, the landlord and his race.
Grant unto him, my God, the bliss of happy days.

For him the sun of life is now about to set,
    And aged men may wish to have at last some rest.
Alas, misfortune has, I notice with regret,
    Left him oppressed with care, with sorrow filled his breast;
All day he works, the Sunday e’en is not his own;
Late he retires to bed, and rises with the dawn.
Filled with compassion, him I tenderly embrace.
Grant unto him, my God, the bliss of happy days.

I often beg of him to be of better cheer,
    Say better times will come, ending his misery;
“Ay, ay, it will be so,” he says “my end is near,
    And, when the grave receives me, I shall happy be.”
This answer fills my heart with sorrow and with grief;
Falling upon his breast, I find in tears relief.
My dear old father is the landlord of this place.
Grant unto him, my God, the bliss of happy days.



Louis Pósa.


The pulpit filled by hoary priest,
    Like an apostole he
Of the “Prodigal Son” of old,
    He preaches feelingly.
Devoutly the believers list
    The holy man’s advice —
Only a beggar woman moans
    And heart-rendingly cries.


The pulpit filled by youthful priest,
    A bride about to bless,
God knows His servant’s suffering —
    The young priest’s great distress.
With trembling voice his sacred word
    Fastens the nuptial ties;
The fair young bride alone knows why
    Heart-rendingly she cries.



Emil Ábrányi.

I am but matter that decays;
    The time will deal its fatal thrust;
And when my course is run, I will
    A handful be of earthly dust.

But while a spark of life I have,
    While thought my being agitates,
I live for what is beautiful,
    I live for that which elevates.

I live for what immortal is,
    As is the heaven’s dome above,
Or as the glories of the past, —
    Faith, freedom, genius, life and love.

My body I consign to earth,
    Of other lives to be the meat;
But on the threshold-stone of death,
    Eternal progress, thee I greet!



Joseph Komócsy.

Death, I have seen thee in an hundred forms;
The foam of waves set frothing by wild storms.
The fragrance of a beauteous, tiny flower,
The revels of a lust-filled midnight hour;
Hid in the folds of veils that shroud a grief,
Or in a lover’s kiss however brief.
    And yet I did not fear thy might.

Death, I have seen thee in the stormy night,
The thundrous voice of God from on the height.
When with his mighty sword of fire and flame
He smote the house erected in His name,
And wrathful, when the smoking ruins lay,
Might one not shudder at the dreadful day?
    And yet I laughed but at thy might.

Death, I have seen thee on the battlefield,
Where I the blood of my own heart would yield,
And where the onward pressing battle horse
Would tread upon the soldier’s mangled corpse,
And all thy awful sacrifices I
Have never heeded and would yet defy,
    And daringly but mocked thy might.

O, Death, upon my forehead I have felt
Thy very breath which wild destruction dealt;
And in the depths of thy dark, ghastly eye
My own annihilation did espy.
The awful force of thy strong arms of steel
I oft upon my own weak breast did feel,
    And yet in scorn I held thy might.

But now, bent low before this hallowed bier,
I lift the shroud in trembling and in fear.
Alas! I shudder now as here I stand
And see the rose plucked by thy chilly hand.
My strength is gone, I fall upon my knees
In agony, I feel my heart throbs cease,
    I bow before thy dreadful might.



Alexander Petőfi.

Upon the threshold sits, by age bent down,
Aunt Sarah, bowing low her silver crown;
An eyeglass rides upon her bony nose,
I fancy her own funeral shroud she sews.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Sally” you were named by all?

What heretofore she did in dresses wear —
The folds and creases — now her face doth bear;
Clad now in faded rags, her dress I trow
Must have been new some twenty years ago.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Sally” you were named by all?

I almost freeze when I behold her head,
Life’s winter hath whereon its while snow shed;
And like a stork’s nest in the chimney there,
Looks on her hoary head her straggling hair.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Sally” you were named by all?

Her eyes, once bright, have left their native place,
Sunk in, and beautify no more her face.
They faintly flicker in a ghastly gloom,
As tapers left to burn in some death room.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Salty” you were named by all?

A barren plain, it seems, is now her breast,
As if beneath not e’en a heart did rest.
Her heart, not wholly dead, still pulsates there,
And sometimes does its old emotions share.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Sally” you were named by all?

Youth is a spendthrift, who will freely spend
His wealth and charms, and does not apprehend
The miser father — Age — who will some day
Gather the treasures spent, take them away.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When “Darling Salty” you were named by all?



Coloman Tóth.

Oh, no! That is not death which death we call,
When on our coffin clods of earth do fall;
That is not death, when o’er us shadows creep,
And, mouldering, we are laid in endless sleep;
Nor call that death when for us others shed
Tears, true or false, over our narrow bed.
Ah! that is death and that is death alone,
When we our own existence do bemoan.

I recollect — I knew a happy boy,
Bright, playful, winsome, ever full of joy.
Now, for wild honey, he the trees would climb,
His mother he would tease another time;
O boundless mother-love! his greatest bliss
He found in her embrace and tender kiss.
That boy, so happy once, is dead — alas!
I was that boy myself, but let this pass.

And then I knew a youth; no human soul
So passionately loved! His highest goal
Was love; despising every other thing,
To him naught else save love could pleasure bring.
Oh, how he loved! and then this poor youth died;
For him, alas! most bitterly I cried.
Oh, could some spring wake him to life again!
I was this youth; my hopes are all in vain.

There was a man, honest and true, no vice
He knew. Truth, honor, faith and sacrifice
Made up his life. Gratitude lives, he thought,
And that all deeds of men with good are fraught.
But even this man was poisoned; soon he found
Base selfishness on all sides to abound.
Why was his faith so strong? Why did he trust?
He might be living now, not turned to dust.

Ay, ay! we often die, more often than
The swift brook-bubbles o’er the pebbles can;
They burst and, changing form, come forth again;
Death in the graveyard does not solely reign.
Even here, in life, to die we oft are fain;
Feel we have long been dead, yet hand and brain
Work still and move. This is not life, we know;
’Twill but removal be when hence we go.



Cornelius Ábrányi.

Of nameless heroes sings the minstrel’s lay,
Of nameless heroes, wild have fought their way
On gory field to death, whose ghastly face
No sign doth bear of death’s immortal grace,
And men of courage fill an unmarked grave.
Yet this is not the worst, for many brave,
Returning home, of hearth and limb bereft,
Find but a beggar’s staff to them is left.
And for these nameless heroes songs of praise
We often hear; but who did ever raise
Paeans for journalists? Or find him crave
For praise, yet he is, too, a hero brave.
The corps in which he serves a power great,
Led by a spirit which will never wait,
Doth onward, forward press, will never cease,
And constantly achieves new victories.
His is the second word, “let there be light” —
To chaos new commands, and all grows bright;
Without him nothing new can well succeed,
Of all that groweth in him lies the seed;
Life-giving sun, air-purifying storm,
The farmer’s plough, what artisans perform,
The world’s great granary — all this is he!
Of three great marvels of this century
He is the third, one of the trinity
Of progress that the earth hath come to bless:
Steam! Electricity! the Press.

The Saviour, that mankind He redeem,
Took all upon Himself wild love supreme.
The journalist, that mankind shall be free,
Himself forever lives in slavery,
That he may on the world a feast bestow;
Himself all feasts forever doth forego
That he may others give the place they choose,
His own indentity, the scribe must lose.
The torch of intellect he carries high.
He will maintain the law, you may rely.
The truth he’ll seek and justice must be done,
He will condemn the wrong and like him none
Can rouse the conscience of all mankind thus.
His only shield, it seems incredulous.
A sheet of paper is — no coat of mail
Protects so thoroughly from all assail.
When a colossus shall be brought to fall
He takes as weapon one small pen withal;
To which compared King David’s sling is great,
And all Goliaths may annihilate.

For knowledge is the world’s great pleasure
And learning mankind’s richest treasure,
What’s more alluring than whatever’s new;
What’s sweeter than to feel and know that you
Are not forsaken, and who does console
More lovingly than that dear, friendly soul
Who daily comes to you with words of cheer,
Who is outspoken, frank, severe sincere;
Who tells you all his secrets, all he knows,
What o’er the world has happened doth disclose?
This friend, the press, doth labor day and night
For thee, to bring to heart and mind delight.
He ever tries to be a welcome guest;
Works day and night and never takes a rest.
That we may read in comfort and in ease
The journalist to toil doth never cease.

We work and work to reach that one desire:
To earn our rest; no journalists retire
From their laborious work, but onward go
Their mission to fulfill, for they must know
Everything and all, e’en be aware
That they, so powerful beyond compare,
Must modest be, nobody be known.
Though read in hut and read upon the throne.
Though migthy, powerful their sword — their pen,
With other tools more’s earned by other men,
And a diploma, by some youth secured,
A more safe place on paths of life procured;
Yet high the torch of intellect, the men
Upon newspapers raise and in the van
March, hold aloft, the world to illumine.
Brave journalist, this is thy work divine.
Of nameless heroes sings the ministrel’s lay
Of journalists to sing none do essay.
Yet each newspaper man’s a hero brave:
To whom the glory due none ever gave.



Alexander Petőfi.

A comrade I possess of sterling worth,
    Honest and true he is from head to heel.
    When sorrow’s chill and windy blasts I feel
He will around me fold the cloak of mirth.

If I, my country’s fate considering,
    Am sad, depressed and almost moved to tears,
    My dear companion forthwith then appears.
Saying, “Cheer up, this is no manly thing!”

“Be patient now,” he whispers, “rouse, dear friend,
    A better fate will come, and, once again,
    Will heaven’s good graces and good will attain
It yet will help our poor forsaken land.”

If hopeless love has made me sore at heart
    And resignation holds me grieved and dumb,
    My friend then tarries not, but soon doth come
Saying: “Be of good cheer; a child thou art.”

“Loose not thy faith;” such is his soothing way —
    “Although it seems that she, on whom was spent
    Love’s capital, is quite indifferent,
She will all this with interest repay.”

This train of thought leads me to think, alas!
    That I so poor, so impecunious am;
    Again I hear the cheering epigram:
“This hopeless state of things thou wilt see pass.”

“Be patient, friend; the time will soon arrive:
    When thou cold rooms no more will occupy;
    And when frost’s crystal flowers shall beautify
Thy window-panes, and there on them shall thrive.”

Thus flows my dear companion’s cheering speech
    Till I forget my sorrow and my care;
    And all around me groweth bright and fair;
My soul hath landed on a happy beach;

This friend, whom I am ever glad to meet,
    A haughty brother has, with laugh and sneer
    For my companion’s way of giving cheer,
Whom he delights most shamefully to beat.

This brother is a stern and churlish man;
    He drives my friend away and smites his face.
    Yet can no usage ill his love efface;
He will return again whene’er he can.

And must I tell you who this friend may be,
    Whom to possess is now my happy lot?
    “Hope” is his name. Who knows and loves him not?
His sterner brother is “Reality.”



John Arany.

A minstrel mused one gloomy night
Over his sorrows infinite,
    In his dark room alone;
Mute as a coffin lies his lyre;
His heart is sad and, filled with ire,
    He sees his lute lie prone.

Around the poet now arise
The breath of many melodies,
    Wing-clipped, half-uttered songs.
While ’mid these ruins walks his soul,
His thoughts sad memories unroll —
    One thought on thought still throngs.

Say, son of song, why art thou mute,
Why touchest not thy charming lute?
    Thou wert not so before.
Why is thy heart with sadness filled?
The charms of life thy soul once thrilled,
    Bard, lovest thou no more?

Dost thou not loftily rejoice
When loud resounds the silvery voice
    Of nature in the spring?
When tree-tops in the zephyrs sigh,
When streamlets’ waves flow gently by,
    Dost thou know what they bring?

The rising and the setting sun
That oft thy admiration won,
    Why dost thy song not hail?
Has night lost all its charm for thee?
Wilt write no more an elegy
    On moon and nightingale?

“Leave me to yearnings silently;
Ah! that my soul were ever free
    Of love, and void of song;
But as the bush of Moses burned,
The bard’s heart must be ever turned
    To love and passion strong.”

“The spring comes and the flowers grow;
’Tis all from heroes dust below
    That spring brings back to sight;
The thousand sighs from tops of trees,
The mournful splash of streams and seas
    Burden the winds of night!”

“The sun which dawns and sets again
Does it for us secure, attain
    Pleasures and hopes anew?
When e’en night’s loneliness is lost,
The darkness lives with shade and ghost —
    Which these with life imbue.”

Say, Minstrel, if thy heart is filled
With grief, which pain has almost chilled,
    Why dost thou keep so mute?
Where sorrow and where sadness dwell,
The sweetest songs did ever swell;
    Sad hearts are like a lute.

“How shall the lyre then tuneful sing
If gruesome agonies touch the string,
Instead of grief profound?
If thou with brutish force wilt knock
Thy lute against a mountain rock
    No harmonies resound.”

Art thou the child of coward time,
Is thy soul filled with thoughts sublime
    But lacking themes withal?
The minstrel’s noblest mission is
To rouse and wake our energies,
    Mankind to duty call!

“Not in a timid age lived I,
But witnessed much, sublime and high,
    And understood it well;
The lofty songs the minstrel sang
Of deeds on which whole world’s fates hang,
    Which history doth tell;

“Marathon’s victory I saw won,
The deeds by Sparta’s daughters done,
    Saw Xerxes’s giant might;
Leonidas, the hero true,
The minstrel Tyrtaeus I knew
    Whose song inspired to fight.”

What marvel! yet thy sweet lute-strings
Speak not of higher, nobler things
    At Victory’s great feast?
When past the battle’s rage and zest,
When heroes on soft myrtles rest,
    Sweet songs have still increased!

The battle o’er; no joyous feast
Exists which minstrels praise the least
    With song and cup, I wot,
In Cyprian mist the heroes throng
Hear not his gratifying song;
    They understand him not.

He sings no more. In deep dismay
His voiceless lute he casts away;
    In agony he cries:
“Ye mighty bards, great and sublime,
Ye demigods of former time,
    Whom nations idolize,

“To live in brilliant, glorious days —
Scenes to remember, hopes to raise
    Was your most happy share;
To share the hero’s laurel wreath
Or boldly o’er his tombstone breathe
    Freedom’s inspiring air;

“The wheels of time which roll so fast
Into the dark mist of the past.
    Are clogged with one sweet air;
The history of bygone days
Recorded in your mellow lays
    Will live, to perish ne’er;

“All this was yours; upon a weak
Faint lute of grand, strong themes to speak —
    This all was given to you.
The braves who were in battle slain
With gods to raise to one high plane,
    Bring them to life anew;

“And yours it was, that o’er the grave
Of those who died, new life you gave
    Unto a stronger race.
And, like the old bard Amphion,
Your songs brought life to tree and stone
    And moved a populace.

“But I, alas! an epoch’s days
Behold which constantly decays,
    Is void of passions strong.
’Tis late to hope once more to see,
Bloom once again the fallen tree
Or cheer it with a song!”



Maurus Jókai.

O’er Osman’s land dread night doth brood;
All round is gloomy quietude;
The owl doth hoot, the bat doth cry —
“The land is sick, the land must die!”
Bloodthirsty beasts appear ahead
To claim the body, ere ’tis dead;
The vampire and the owl alight,
Over the nation’s soul to fight.
Before the hour of midnight dies,
A ghastly crowd of ghosts will rise.
The diggers did their duty well,
The grave is dug, now sounds the knell.

“The time has come, I will not stay,
But straight will ravish, spoil and slay!”
The demon cries whose name is legion,
“Murder! nay, call it now religion!
O, O!” he cries, “destroy the nation,
Leave it no hope or consolation!
Say that it is my faith’s command!
Burn cities over all the land!
Destroy the race, it is but wild,
Kill first the mother, then her child;
A mountain-heap of corpses shall
Proclaim thou hast destroyed them all!”
Ye gods, is this a war where woman’s tear
And children’s wailing are the nation’s call
“To arms!” But, sorry sight! no one is near
To bring about the brutal foeman’s fall.

Yet, from his dreams the sick at length awakes
And calls for aid. Who heeds his call? Alas,
Who knows with what emotion his breast shakes?
Who knows what pain and anguish o’er him pass?
Sympathy’s only offerings are tears.
An unkept promise doth a debt remain.
The fever-stricken man each one still fears;
Why not? Infection may bring deadly bane.

But see! An ally comes to help the land;
Unconquerable are his strength, his might.
Without his aid the nations cannot stand;
Without his help it is in vain to fight!
And countless is his army, like the stars;
And never doth it fail to earn great fame;
His aid alone decides the fate of wars,
And “Victory” is his unfurled banner’s name!

Kingdoms at his command are oft cast down,
Or are secured to everlasting fame!
He makes and unmakes nations, kings doth crown;
And Patriotism is his mighty name.
Those whom he helps no other aid do need
God, who protection grants, is with him still.
He feels no pain; the wounds are sweet that bleed.
And resurrection meaneth death’s worst ill.
God’s wonders are with him, and him before
A fiery pillar goes, to plunge again
In the red sea of Moses, as of yore.
Pharaoh’s great army, now of victory fain!

On the horizon morning nears
And bright in splendor now appears.
“Ye brutes and beasts, away, away!
The night is gone; here comes a ray
Of sun. Into your dens! Do not
Forget the lesson you have got;
There is a God above us all,
Who is our trust and hope withal.
This God is One where earth extends;
From Karpath’s hills to ocean’s ends
He reigns supreme. This God above —
We know him all — is Patriot’s Love!”



Julius Sárosy.

When first my mother bore me on her breast,
    Her bosom with a thousand hopes was filled,
As, thinking on the fruitage she had borne,
    Her swelling heart with joyous pride was thrilled.
The fruit of painful sorrow thus was born,
    But, ah, what in the end came it to be?
Poor mother, if my sorrow she had known —
    She would have rued that ever she bore me.

Frost-bound it was when first I saw the world,
    Yet did it not congeal my infant breath,
Since my good mother’s warmly sheltering love
    Kept me from freezing unto silent death.
The tear that often trembleth in mine eye
    Came into being when I came to be.
Poor mother, if my sorrow she had known —
    She would have rued that ever she bore me.

No sunshine and no light at first I saw
    Within the world when I had entered here;
If darker thing than darkness can exist,
    A churchyard vault it surely will appear.
In such a place, my father lying dead.
    My soul unconscious, yet my eyes did see.
Poor mother, if my sorrow she had known —
    She would have rued that ever she bore me.

Soon had the heedless days of youth passed by
    With all their dreams forever unfulfilled.
These dreams developed into anxious cares
    Within the man whose soul for action thrilled.
Then came the tempest, and it bore away
    My burning soul like as a whirlwind free.
Poor mother, if my sorrow she had known —
    She would have rued that ever she bore me.

Although my dungeon door was strait and low,
    Never with sadness did I step therein;
Conscious at heart that even to be there
    Naught from my laurels could detract or win.
A firm reliance on the future’s store
    Engendered in my heart a rosemary.
Poor mother, if my sorrow she had known —
    She would have rued that ever she bore me.

My mother glorified, could’st thou behold
    How faith has made me a believer wise!
My mother glorified, could’st thou but feel
    How in its dreams my soaring soul doth rise!
Could’st thou but know how faithfully and well
    My duty as a man I filled on earth
Thou would’st forget that it might bring thee pain,
    Though once again thou need’st to give me birth.



Paul Gyulai.

If one thou lovest, or one who holds thee dear,
Offends, and causes thee to shed a tear,
    Be kind; do not from him forever part.
When thou hast eased thy heart with tears, just let
All rancour die, and try to forget;
    Belive me, love’s the best balm for the heart.

Each other we, too oft, misunderstand,
And those we love we often do offend,
    Altough at heart we never meant it so.
The wound we cause gives us the greatest pain;
How glady we would undo and explain.
    But in our pride we dare no weakness show.

Be thou not proud: rather, be thou sincere;
Thee will thy friend then all the more revere;
    Suspicion melts, ill feelings dissipate.
Think! For at any time we may expire.
And if we part with friends in wrathful ire,
    Beside the grave forgiveness comes too late!



Joseph Lévay.

“Who is knocking.
What is knocking?
It is a raven black.”
            — Arany.

The eve has come, my home grows dark and still.
Who’s knocking there upon my window sill?
No rain doth fall, the wind does not e’en stir,
And all is silent as a sepulchre.
Again a knock, mysterious grows the thing.
Who’s there? What’s there? My window open swing.
When lo! — its like none ever heard —
There flies into my room a jet-black bird,
        Pity, pity; croaking bird.

Black raven, then I say, you must get out,
Here, bird, get out; I chase him and I shout.
I don’t succeed, the bird but flits around,
As if to mock emits a croaking sound.
And as I chase the bird, over my soul
An awful feeling comes I can’t control.
I stop. The moment I the chase deterred
The bird stopped, too, and then amazed, I heard:
        “Pity, pity,” said the bird.

“I beg of you. let me rest here awhile.
Poor raven I; do not me, too, exile,
Ah, do not be to me so merciless,
In misery we are comrade souls, I guess,
In the cold world without but hatred’s mine.
The reason of this I cannot opine —
All turn me from their doors, disgusted by
My harsh voice and my mourning livery!
        Pity, pity!” said the bird.

“Prosperity and friendship I knew not,
Nor in the courts of rich, nor at the hut
Of humble poor, where’er I’d settle down,
Be it on farms, in forest, field or town,
Hatred and woe and misery and care,
Deceitful lying I found everywhere.
And then, was I not right, that I preferred
To seek a place where peace was, I inferred?
        Pity, pity!” wept the bird.

“Toward the homes of peasants poor I flew
From straw-thatched, leaking roofs I took a view
Around; and what I saw was woe within,
And misery without; the deathly grin
Of hunger in the face of man, the heart
Without a hope, wounded by sorrow’s dart.
That was no place for me, the poor death-bird —
I felt in going there I greatly erred.
        Pity, pity!” croaked the bird.

“I flew upon the tower of the church,
The earth’s woes did not reach my holy perch,
A mighty crowd I saw to church to go
To ease their hearts from sorrow, care and woe.
Found they relief? Returning home was more
Acute their woe than ever theretofore,
Like the swift dart that flies I also stirred,
To be away from there, I much preferred.
        Pity, pity!” quoth the bird.

“The forest dark and peaceful vale I sought,
A brighter side of life I’ll find, I thought.
Alas, in vain! The gently flowing stream
Is filled with human tears; and heroes dream
Upon its shores in graves where buried lie
The brave; the grass above them e’en doth sigh.
Frightened I left the place where sepulchred
The dead lay; ghastly were the moans I heard;
        Pity, pity!” cried the bird.

“And now I am thy guest. Ah, shall I see
That even thou to abject misery
Art sacrificed? With fear and with despair —
Thy throbbing heart of earthly joys all bare —
Thou look’st into the day. Each thought of thine
I read; I am unwelcome, I divine,
I dare not ask to have a boon conferred,
I haven’t for thee e’en one consoling word.
        Pity, pity!” said the bird.

The window still was open; and with a shrill
Scream he, like lightning flew into the still
Dark night, and I was left alone. When I
Looked out, I saw him rising to the sky,
As were he driven by earth’s miseries
And tried to find in heaven eternal ease.
Up in the clouds a tiny spot but stirred,
Methinks, I still these croaking accents heard:
        “Pity, pity!” from the bird.



Emil Ábrányi.

The darkest gloom hangs o’er the church,
    The bells on high have ceased to ring;
But from the weeping organ ’t seems
    Super-terrestrial voices sing:
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

The people come, quiet and mute,
    Trembling with fear and filled with pain,
At the Redeemer’s grave will they
    Comfort or deep new sorrow gain?
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

A lady, veiled, steps from her coach
    Into the church, already thronged;
Sadder than all, and trembling more;
    Hath she more than the others wronged?
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

She kneels devoutly at the cross,
    While freely flow her burning tears;
Her face is flushed with fever’s heat;
    O, great must be the sin she fears!
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

And as she weeps and as she prays,
    With dying and with rising hopes,
His eyes doth the Redeemer cast
    On her who here in darkness gropes.
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

He tells her now in whispers low,
    “Vain are thy tears and vain thy sigh.”
The crime that burdeneth thy soul
    Doth follow thee, e’en here on high!"
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

She rises quick and out she hastes
    Her proud and gilded coach to gain;
A beggar woman, clad in rags.
    Kneels at the door and writhes in pain.
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!

To beg for alms her bony hand
    She reaches out in manner shy;
One glance the lady casts at her
    And, frightened, utters wild a cry:
        Stabat Mater Dolorosa!



Alexander Petőfi.

    Thou goest; thy course is run, old year!
Well, go! But stay, pass not alone;
    Dark is the next world, so one might
    Be led astray; my song shall light
The road, and thus thy way be known.

    Again I grasp my good old lute,
Once more I touch its tuneful strings;
    It has been mute, but I will try
    To conjure its old melody,
If still it passionately sings.

    If e’er thou sangest sweet, let now
The mellowest lay thy strings outpour;
    A song as fair as ever came
    From thee, and worthy of thy fame
Shall solemnize this parting hour.

    Who looks, who knows? This may the last,
The last song be that I shall hear.
    Laying aside the lute to-day,
    Wake it again I never may;
To die may be my fate this year.

    The army of the God of Wars
I joined, and now go forth to fight.
    A next year I may never see:
    But yet I hope my poetry
With blood dipped battle-blade to write.

    Sing, I beseech of thee; O, sing
In accents silver-clear, my lyre!
    Let mild or thunderous be thy voice,
    Let it be sad, let it rejoice;
But sing with passion and with fire.

    A tempest thou shalt be, which will
O’er hill and vale with fury sweep;
    A zephyr be, which smilingly
    Lulls with its mellow lullaby
The verdant meadows into sleep.

    Or yet a mirror be, wherein
My youth, my love, shall meet my eye,
    My youth which dies, but never wanes,
    My love which ever green remains,
Eternal as the vault on high!

    O sing, sweet lute, thy sweetest tunes.
Give all the song that in thee is!
    The setting sun sheds with delight
    His rays from yonder flaming height
And spends the remnant that is his.

    And if thy swan song it may be,
Peal it forth mighty and sublime;
    Not to be lost of men with ease,
    But let it over centuries
Come echoing from the rocks of time.



Alexander Petőfi.

Outside the hamlet, on the sands
Of Szamosh’s banks, an inn there stands,
Which in the stream were mirrored clear,
Did eventide not draw so near.

The night draws nigh, the daylight wanes,
And quiet o’er the landscape reigns;
The swinging bridge is safely bound,
And darkness girds it all around.

But, in the tavern, hark the noise,
The laugh and shout of village boys.
The sound of cymbals cleaves the air;
The gypsy-player tarries there.

“Come, pretty hostess, darling mine,
Pray give us some of your best wine;
Let it possess my grandsire’s years
With fervor such as is my dear’s."

“Strike, gypsy boy, strike up! I swear
I want to dance a livelier air —
My money all to you I roll;
To-night I’ll dance away my soul.”

But some one knocks. “My master says
Too great the noise is that you raise;
Unless in bounds your mirth you keep,
He swears he cannot go to sleep!”

“Bad luck to you! — your master tell
That both of you can go to hell!
Play, gypsy boy, for spite now play,
Even if my shirt the piper pay.”

Again a knock comes. “For God’s sake,
Pray do not such a turmoil make!
I beg of you now to be still,
My mother lies near very ill.”

The boys in silence homeward stray.
Mute has become the gypsy’s play,
None answer her. The noise has ceased,
Their passion quickly is appeased.



Alexander Petőfi.

The sword which once my fathers bore,
Hangs on the wall and gleams no more,
Rust covers it instead of gore.
        I am a Magyar noble.

I never work and never will,
The thought of labor makes me ill;
Peasant, ’tis thou the earth must till.
        I am a Magyar noble.

Peasant, make good the road, I say,
Thy horse doth draw the load that way,
But go afoot I never may.
        I am a Magyar noble.

Wherefore should I for science care?
The sages always paupers were.
I never read or write — I swear! —
        I am a Magyar noble.

One talent I possess complete,
Wherein none can with me compete:
That I right well can drink and eat.
        I am a Magyar noble.

I never pay my tax when due;
Wealth have I, but not much, ’tis true.
What do I owe? Go ask the Jew.
        I am a Magyar noble.

The country’s cares are naught to me;
I heed not all its misery.
Soon they will pass by fate’s decree.
        I am a Magyar noble.

My ancient rights and home decay,
And when I’ve smoked my life away,
Angels shall bear me up some day
        I am a Magyar noble.



Michael Vörösmarty.

When I am full of care,
    Because I’m penniless
    And shabby is my dress.
My boots show wear and tear;
    I only thee adore,
And nothing ails me more,
        Thou migthy world,
        And glorious world!

How splendid are thy fields,
    The mountain and the vale!
    What wealth does here prevail!
Rich grain and wine it yields.
    These riches great and fine
    Are verily not mine,
        Thou splendid world,
        And wealthy world!

I may go east or west,
    Why shall I not? My way
    Leads me to cities gay
Where I can make my rest;
    Although to God ’tis known
    I never raised a stone,
        Thou beauteous world,
        Magnificent world!

If angry floods arise,
    Cyclones and fires prevail
    And men their loss bewail,
All danger I despise;
    The heaven’s dome will not fall,
    Safe is the earthly ball;
        Thou strong world,
        Thou secure world!

Oft hungry, thirsty I —
    Well, others to be sure,
    Live like an epicure.
This makes me to defy
    All pain. I, too, I say,
    Will have enough some day;
        Thou good world,
        And happy world!

The radiant sun shines bright
    All year around for me,
    Can’t I the fair moon see
When sleepless I at night?
    And when they brightly shine
    Methinks they are both mine,
        Thou golden world,
        Thou silver world!

When weary I of all,
    I know well what to do;
    I turn a patriot true!
I heed my country’s call;
    In speech and in debate
    I make Magyarland great!
        Thou glorious world.
        Thou Magyar world!

And when at last I’ve won
    Great fame and great renown.
    Am honored by the crown,
With marvel looked upon;
    None will then think, I vow,
    “’Tis he who’s hungry now!”
        Thou beauteous world.
        And glorious world!



Alexander Petőfi.

The boundless desert is his home no more,
Within an iron cage he now must roar.

He, so debased, the desert’s royal king,
To stand thus fettered by an iron ring!

To trifle with his sorrow let us cease;
’Tis desecration to disturb his peace.

If of his liberty he is bereft,
Its memory still be to his heart’s ease left.

If to the tree his near approach be stayed,
Let him at least enjoy a little shade.

See in his mien what majesty is found,
And with what grandeur do his looks abound!

Although from him his liberty they took,
They could not take his proud, heroic look.

Even as the pyramid he seemeth grand,
Which towered above him in his own loved land.

His memory fondly leads him back again;
Once more is he upon his native plain,

That vast expanse of wilderness where o’er
The wild simoom hath raced with him of yore.

O glorious land! O happy days and sweet!
But hush! He hears the prison-keeper’s feet.

And lo! the world of fantasy hath fled
When cruel keeper smites him on the head.

A slick — and such a boy commands him now!
O heavenly powers! to this he has to bow.

Hath he become so pitiful and poor,
This deepest degradation to endure?

Behold the stupid herd, the gaping crowd
At his humiliation laugh aloud.

How dare they breathe! For should he break his chain
No soul of them from hell-fire would remain!



Alexander Petőfi.

If born a man, then be a man
    And not a wretched grub
That pusillanimously bears
    Fate’s every knock and rub!
Fate is a cur that only barks.
    But fears a manly blow;
A man must over ready be
    To bravely meet his foe!

If born a man, then be a man,
    And boast not of the fact:
More clear tongued than Demosthenes
    Are valiant thought and act.
Build up, destroy, but silent be
    When finished; spare display
Just as the storm that does its work
    Subsides and dies away.

If born a man, then be a man,
    Hold honor, faith, thy own;
Express them even if thy blood
    Should for thy creed atone.
Forfeit thy life an hundred times
Ere thou thy word dost break;
    Let all be lost, ’tis not too much
To pay for honor’s sake.

If born a man, then be a man,
    And bargain not away
Thy independence e’en for all
    The great world’s rich array
Despise the knave who sells himself,
    The man who has his price!
“A beggar’s staff and liberty”
    Be ever thy device!

If born a man, then be a man,
    Strong, brave and true as steel!
Then trust that neither man nor fate
    Can crush thee ’neath their heel.
An oak be, which the hurricane
    May shake and break and rend;
But ne’er possess the power its frame
    Or giant force to bend!



Coloman Tóth.

How pale and sallow you have grown.
    From rosy faced, hale, hearty maid!
Your smiles have changed into a sigh,
    You seem to be a spectral shade.
You changed, but in your beauteous eyes
    Still heaven’s glories seem to dwell,
Tough even in them I perceive
    To burn fell agonies of hell.

Your husband is so kind, so good,
    He is the rock, a flower you,
You’re in the vale and he prevents
    That stormy winds shall mischief do.
But lo! he keeps off zephyrs mild,
And warming sunrays from above. — — —
The woman’s heart longs not for rest,
    The woman’s heart craveth for love.

Mute and alone you spend your days
    In quiet rooms, in calm repose,
At most you hear the beatings loud
    Of your heart tortured by its woes.
Once in a while there comes to you
    My voice, — you tremble like a leaf, — — —
I loved you once, now pity you,
    Poor woman, gives you this relief?

You can now count the moments slow
    Of your dull days with sorrows weighed,
Each of those moments is a sigh
    And far off is to morrow’s aid!
Is it your death which you await?
    Hope to be freed ’s a likelihood?
What? Being freed? But wherefore, why?
    Is not your husband kind and good?

An awful curse rests on your head.
    A curse yourself had brought on you.
Yourself has made you what you are,
Your vain heart now receives its due.
I too became unfortunate,
    But I at least, can loud complain,
While you in secret bear your cross,
    False maid, your womanhood lies slain.



Alexander Petőfi.

My wife I loved is dead,
    Satis tarde quidem,
All my hopes have fled,
    Debuisset pridem.
As housewife she was fine
    Cuncta dissipavit,
She hated beer and wine
    But semper potavit.
I wish she would return,
    Quod Deus avertat.
I’d fast, my meals I’d spurn,
    Ut ibi maneat.
I’d hold her in esteem,
    Crinium tractibus,
To kiss her, my one dream
    Per dorsum fustibus.
Oh! thou most cruel death.
    Cur sero venisti?
Where’s my Elizabeth!
    Quam bene fecisti!
To church I wend my way,
    Adibo popinam!
And for her soul I’ll pray,
    Moerorem deponam!
What am I now to do?
    Ducam pulchriorem,
I’ll say to the world adieu,
    Quaeram meliorem!



Francis Kölcsey.

Here is the writ to ponder o’er,
    With ripened and with sober brain!
You find therein the sagest lore
    Of Solomon: “Ay, all is vain!”
All wretched, miserable all
Who live upon this earthly ball,
    The seasons and the dew, snow, rain:
    In life, on earth, all, all is vain.

A tiny ant’s-nest is the earth,
    A vision brought forth in a trice.
And thunder, — lightning, — have the worth
    Of some will o’the wisp device.
Time and history that fly:
Are but vibrations of a sigh;
    And all the splendors rich and rare
    Are bubbles bursting in the air.

Great Alexander’s famed career:
    Is rabbit hunt, — cross — country run.
Attilla’s wildest hordes are mere
    Hurts by the rats and wasp-stings done.
Matthias’s victories sublime,
Napoleon’s conquest and crime,
    The great battle at Waterloo:
    Are fights one can in barnyard view.

And virtue, honor, — all the rest, —
    Are vapors rising from the mud:
The sentiments in noblest breast,
    But signs of overheated blood.
The cause for which Socrates died,
What Zrinyi’s death so glorified;
    The heroes all in battle slain:
    In life, in death, all, all is vain.

What have you, thinkers great, achieved?
    What ’s great and good brought you about?
Naught what Artistotle believed,
    Or Plato taught, cleared up a doubt.
Philosophy is ignorance,
A card house built up in a trance,
    To system set with great pretense
    Still hollow nonsense is science.

The thund’rings of Demosthenes
    Are scoldings of the billingsgate,
And Xenophon’s persuasive pleas,
    Midst spinning wheels to be told, wait.
Old Pindar’s flight divine is but
In feverish fancy uttered rut.
    And what of Phidias is known:
    He wasted time in hewing stone.

What is of life the forceful fire?
    A dying ember’s spark the thing.
The tempest of our keen desire?
    Wind, raised by butterfly’s soft wing.
Beginning, — ending, alternate.
Life’s only guides compassionate —
    Are faith and hope and even they
    Are beauteous rainbow’s luring ray.

Our bliss is like the moonbeam bright,
    And driven smoke like is our fate;
Our world is but a candlelight:
    One breath! — and our lives terminate.
Fame, name and immortality
You ’re yearning for! fatality!
    They are the scent of flowers fair,
    The flowers die, — — — and void the air.

Then care naught for this world, believe
    Most happy who abhoreth life.
Faith, virtue, fame and greatness leave,
    Naught here below is worth the strife.
Be like a huge and mighty rock,
A calm and heartless stony block;
    Be sad or rise your spirits high:
    To good or evil close your eye.

For let me tell you: let this world
    Be bright to you or void of hope,
In starry height your flag unfurled
    Or may you in foul darkness grope:
Let fickle fortune come to you
In any shape, in any hue,
    On good or bad look with disdain
    'Tis all the same, for all is vain!



Ladislaus Inczédy.

Why could not, by the grace of providence,
    In the medieval age live, thou and I?
A proud Miss of the castle thou could’st be.
    A careless, dreamy wand’ring minstrel I.

Thy father be a haughty, growling count,
    Of forest and of old fort he the lord.
While I would be but poor, have nothing else
    Save my guitar and my dear, good, old sword.

Of course it is needless to say, that I
    Would love thee best, with passion keen and strong.
Of thee alone I’d sing, to thee alone
    I’d send, each day, a love inspired song.

Though far apart, we would kisses exchange,
    To mild breezes entrust our loving sighs;
I do not know our sorrow or our bliss
    Be greatest, in our fancy’s paradise.

When lo! “To arms!” resounds throughout the land.
    Unsheathed all the swords, all sharp and bright!
I too must go! Good bye, my love, good bye!
    For king and fatherland I go to fight!

I’d fight, as it behooves a heroe brave,
    Who dangers knoweth not, braves fate’s decree
Until a fateful lance shall pierce my breast,
    Wherein a loving heart but beats for thee!

There would I die upon the battlefield,
    Thy sweet name whisper with my latest breath.
I know, beloved angel mine, thou would’st
    Sincerely mourn for me after my death.

Thy mourning gown would dark be as the night
    And freely flow for me thy burning tears.
As in the autumn fades away the rose,
    Thus failest, palest thou in coming years.

And then, at some bright, moonlit night, at twelve,
    I’d break my prison tomb and fly away;
And underneath thy window I would sing, —
    Just as in days of yore, — a doleful lay.

“Oh! drooping flower of my faithful love.
    Life has but woes; is cheerless, full of gloom.
If mine on earth thou could’st not have become,
    Be henceforth mine! Come with me to my tomb!”

And thou wouldst rise and follow at my call
    Where darkness of the night blindens the eye!
A proud Miss of the Castle why not art.
    Why not a dreamy, wand’ring Minstrel I?



Julius Vértesy.

Nigh to crib a woman stands,
    How sad, how pale the poor, dear soul,
A broken toy-horse in her hands, —
    Hot, burning tears from her eyes roll.

My heart is moved, — unconsciously
    My mind to my good mother ’s drawn.
— Why could not death, too, come to me
    In my own chidhood’s early dawn?

With brutal hands I would have not
    Her fondest hopes wrecked and she might
Have o’er an angel on his cot
    Then wept when my soul took his flight.

And disillusions, cruel, mean,
    Poor mother’s life then not destroy. — — —
My memory would have kept green
    One or the other broken toy.



Ladislaus Buday.

A fleeting song is a little thing,
    Forgotten soon, dissolved in air;
None know for whom the song you sing,
    To understand it e’en none care,
A fleeting song is a little thing.

A fleeting song ’s a thing most grave,
    Begotten by a hallowed pain,
For which, part of your heart you gave.
        And leaves it wounded, bleeding, slain!
A fleeting song ’s a thing most grave.



Anthony Radó.

Aboo, the saint, — an ancient legend says, —
When in the sandy desert roamed, always
“Allah il Allah” sang, though none were near
His pious song, which never ceased, to hear.

A man once mockingly of him would ask:
Art not a fool for this thy head-strong task,
The Sahara to cross all year around
And sing, while none can hear thy sing-song’s sound.

’Tis true, Aboo replied, that on my way
I rarely meet one list’ning to my lay,
But who can tell, far, far away, might not
I still be heard by one, who weary, hot,

Exhausted, lost on way, nigh to despair
Lies in the burning sand, beneath the glare
Of boiling sun? Who knows, might not the song, —
— A human voice he had not heard so long, —

When reaching him, inspire him all anew?
With hope and faith him then and there imbue,
Build up his strength, his sinews steel, impart
New forces to his almost sunken heart?

Courageously again he onward goes,
To the oasis comes where palm-tree grows,
Where in a faithful Arab’s friendly tent,
Forgets the misery he underwent.

If each three years I save one single soul
With songs, which from my lips constantly roll:
Then glory be to Allah’s holy name,
The song is richly paid fulfilled its aim.

Thou, poet, who had grown disconsolate,
Because thy songs responsive chords await
In vain, and fearing thou can’st none inspire:
Do not, despairingly, discard the lyre.

Who knows if somewhere there may not be one
Who when he hears thy carol’s tuneful run,
Feels not his heart, — of sorrow full and woe, —
With love and hope divine to overflow?

And if of thousand songs e’en one alone
Brings balm to one such heart and lifts its stone,
Then do not think thy thousand songs are lost.
That one, for all the thousand paid the cost.



Emil Ábrányi.

The bells ring out. The joyous chimes
    Proclaim: to day the king doth wed.
Old, hoary earth, that royal feet
    Tread not thy soil, fine rugs are spread.
In jeweled coach of state, with lords
    And dames in train, the bridal pair
Like earthly Gods pass. Sight sublime!
    The splendor which the mobs’ eyes met,
Makes them their own rags to forget.

How beautiful the bride! The gems
    And jewels how rich, — a perfect queen!
Deserves more than the throne, — indeed,
    That truly happy she be seen!
What’s worth the bargained love of thrones?
    ’Tis wormwood in a golden bowl
Paid for so dear! The sacred bliss,
    When heart to heart and soul to soul
True loves to each other reveal,
The royal bridal pair can’t feel.

Press forward! Push! No circus has
    Such grandly gorgeous, brilliant show. — —
I, though, must leave. Out in the field,
    Across the wood, I gladly go.
For each sweet flower I have a smile
    I greet the birds and from the spring
With hollowed hands I quench my thirst,
    All, all I see does pleasure bring.
And then I reach the blessed spot,
My own dear sweetheart’s modest hut.

I, too, had seen a bridal pair. — — —
    To lonely church, across the field
The path, the mirthful bride a wreath
    Of flowers bore, each one a yield
Of her own garden fair; her gown
    A rag, the tresses of her hair
Display no gem; her breast, her neck
    Of jeweled ornaments all bare;
But in her beauteous eyes of blue
Of purest pearly drops a few.

No showy retinue in train,
    Two white-winged doves flew overhead,
No costly rugs but God-made soft,
    Green, mossy grass on which they tread.
Upon their path sweet roses smile,
    Like incense sweet their scent ascends,
A laughing sky, it even seems
    To them its loving greeting sends.
While every lark upon their way
Their nuptials greets with gladsome lay.

A country priest their union blessed,
    With brave, true hearts their vows they made.
Returning, each other embrace, —
    From fairy tale the prince, the maid
They felt, — beyond all earthly care.
    Their couch is but of humble straw,
But as their lips in burning kiss
    Had met, the open heaven they saw!
Poor king, poor queen, they never were
    As happy as this beggar pair.



Andrew Kozma.

She may be beautiful beyond compare,
    The woman cold exerts no spell, and she
Deserveth not that you give her your care,
    Your shoulders shrug, pass on, and let her be.

Has she no dreams, and grasps she not the song,
    Amidst small children ’s not in paradise:
To spend a heart on her’s a sinful wrong.
    A fool alone strews flowers o’er the ice.

If her divine forehead does not betray
    That she with high ideals is inspired,
She’s but a gem, a jewelers fine display,
    She has her price, — by husband bought — or hired.

She can not love and meaningless her kiss,
    Her arms’ embrace is like a weighty chain;
She brings to you no thought of heavenly bliss,
    Her very loyalty is not a gain.

If e’er so beautiful, no loving sigh
    Shall rise for her who knoweth no amour;
No lyre shall sing, and may to her deny
    His songs, all glorious, the troubadour.

Let rather he, when meeting on the way
    A girl who fell, because she loved, his voice
Attune to one melodious sweet lay,
    That in the song that poor maid might rejoice.



Eugene Heltai.

When I shall have become a man of fame
    And somewhere they erect my monument,
Freed of the ills of my weak earthly frame.
    That statue, virtue’s triumph shall have meant:

The stones brought from each corner of the land,
    And built by contributions of the mass,
The guards and nursemaids’ fore it o’erawed stand,
    While wanton boys climb o’er my from of brass.

And when some eve the moon ray’s silver light
    Falls o’er the shady tree tops on the road
Where my own statue stands erect, I might
    Be witnessing a charming episode,

Between a loving pair who near me pass:
    A lad a lassie holds in sweet embrace — — —
I then forget, that I am made of brass,
    Discreetly smile and turn away my face.



Edward Pap.

Yes, once upon a time, a poet lived somewhere,
His lute, to tell the truth, was but a mean affair,
None listened to his jingle, albeit he persevered,
And when, at last, was heard, the people jibed and jeered.
He did not care, but jingled and tinkled day and night,
His fondest hopes, his passions soared high in fancy’s flight.
Ambitiously he aimed bright glory’s paths to gain,
But woe to thee poor minstrel for ’tis all in vain!

And when, at last, he found his songs always to fail,
Upon his bloodless lips arose this bitter wail:
Fell, cruel fairy fay, deceitful Muse, oh say,
Shall thy immortal wreath my brow not crown some day?
Why did’st into my heart the flame of longings plant,
But fail’st to give me wings, I want to fly — but can’t,
To lights and heights I aim, back to the earth am thrust
I sob into the night, I writhe here in the dust.

From somewhere in the shade, no, somewhere in the night,
No, no, not e’en the night, but from the starry height
Stepped forth ’fore him, his eyes to trust he did not dare,
A gloriously radiant nut brown maiden fair,
An artless, virgin child, a graceful, coy, sweet dove,
With lustrous eyes full of sweet sympathy and love.
With graceful sweep she boweth low to the poor lad,
And then this gentle speech his trembling heart made glad.

Deceitful glory thou hast vainly chased, it fled,
The flames consumed thy heart, its best blood thou hast shed;
Thy wounds of heart and soul to heal be my care now
Instead thy muse, ’tis I who’ll kiss thy heated brow,
Suffice, — instead of wreath, — the blossoms of my heart?
Of ringing fame, my whispers low that mine thou art?
Great minstrel’s fame, — what do we care, — ’tis but a whim,
Our lives united make to be a glorious hymn.

A splendid song, a magic dream, blissful, serene.
A more inspiring one the world shall ne’er have seen.
Bright as the morning dawn, sweet as the scent of thyme.
Full dulcet harmony and ripple of laughing rhyme.
The rhythm of it to be the throbbings of our hearts,
And its refrain the kiss which lip to lip imparts,
Let us this song of love exultingly prolong,
Come thou, forsaken bard, and let us live this song.

The poor poet then fell upon the maiden’s breast.
His longings for great fame and glory were at rest
One only aim had he, shone brigtly ’fore his eyes:
To love, to be beloved! His heart’s most precious prize
To make thenceforth their lives a nightingale’s sweet lay,
A beauteous hymn of love, a love that lives for aye!
Then tears of joy walled from his eyes, — all happy he!
This was the lonely bard’s delightful tragedy!



Michael Vörösmarty.

    Why hesitate, little girl of mine
        To fall upon my breast?
    Thy burning love, with love’s tribute, —
        A loving kiss, — attest?
Why, foolish maid, wilt thou be obstinate,
Thy charms to hide, and hide thy heart’s true state?

    O, let me glance into thine eyes,
        Thy rosy, sunlit face;
    Inebriate with love’s delight
        Hold thee in warm embrace.
O, let me have a taste of Eden’s bliss,
Thy ruby lips divine, to freely kiss.

    Don’t fear what distant time may bring,
        The morrow must not heed;
    To wait for bliss of comming years
        Our life’s short indeed!
The hours roll swiftly on, the day that’s gone
Is gone for aye! and nevermore will dawn!
    The rose, when once it fades and fading dies, —
    Not e’en the bee to it for honey flies.



John Arany.

Oh Dear! Never mind it
    Sweet, beloved friend!
Dear me! ev’ry men lives
    Just until his end!
Yesterday, to day, to morrow
    We always had, we’ll have our due!
Darling wife, why trouble borrow?
    Somehow, we’ll pull through!

True, our water even
    Has been running short,
Let no heart’s grief come from
    Anything that sort!
We had misery and sorrow
    Sickness, cold, and hunger too, — — —
Darling wife, why trouble borrow?
    Somehow we’ll pull through.

Oh Dear! Never mind it,
    Sweet, beloved friend
Dear me, all men suffer
    Just until their end.
Look! the moon e’en changes; waning, —
    Growing old and growing new, — —
Darling wife, why then complaining
    Somehow, we’ll pull through.



Alexander Vachott.

What hast been dreaming darling, tell me dear?
    Thou wak’st this moon with smiles soo sweet,
Hast seen in pasture green the browsing deer?
    Did playful lambs and yews you meet?

Oh, mother dear, in heaven I have been,
    Bright angels took me up, o there
The rose is fairer than I ’ve ever seen,
    The stream more pure, more sweet the air.

Then I came back, O mother dear, to thee,
    An angel brought me on its wing.
All o’er the field wert thou looking for me,
    And joyously to thee I spring.

Oh, let me sleep, yes, just a little more,
    It is indeed too soon to rise.
The angels may, just as they did before,
    Take me into the beauteous skies!

What hast been dreaming, tell me, darling pet,
    Thou’rt waking now with tear filled eyes?
No angels in thy dream hast this time met
    To take thee into paradise?

Oh yes, again in heaven I have been
    Bright angels took me up, O, there
The rose is fairer than I ’ve ever seen,
    The stream more pure, more sweet the air.

But when I longed, thee, mother dear, to see,
    To come back as I did before
The angels said: No, no! it can not be!
    I sobbed — and then awoke heartsore!



Coloman Tóth.

    Not ’fore an altar made of stone,
At which self interest, deceit and lie
    Have sworn oft in dulcet tone:
Not there I my confession sanctify.

    I swear here in the large, free air
Where ev’ry tiny blade — o’grass doth feel:
    That all my heart-throbs, thought and care
Shall be forever thine, for woe or weal!

    I swear it by the rose, which here
Like thou, all wrapped in blushing smiles, doth grow:
    That henceforth and fore’er, my dear,
No other bliss, than thy sweet smile, I’ll know.

    I swear it by this brook, which o’er
This pasture runs in graceful lines, that I
    Just thus entwine for evermore
Thy life with loving care, until I die!

    I swear it by this shady bow’r
Made by the foliage of the twig of trees,
    That all through life, with all my pow’r
To guard over thy life I’ll never cease.

    I swear it by the birds who sing
One only song, the self-same song alway;
    My songs too shall have but one ring:
“I love but thee!” shall be my only lay.

    I swear it by great Heaven above
By the eternal rays of sun I swear:
    That true and faithful be my love,
That thou art mine and I am thine fore’er!



Paul Bozzay.

It’s not the years that make the time
    Man groweth old in summer’s glow:
The heart still warm, the soul on fire,
He ages with the winds that blow.

Why count the slowly ebbing hours,
    And why the seconds running fast?
Thy heart’s each throb is but a chasm
    Between the present and the past.

And from this chasm, thou canst behold
    Thy gloomy fate at thee to stare. — — —
The dawn and sunset of thy life,—
    Whilst at thy songs. — are gone fore’er!



Paul Dömötör.

Poetical is what to mind and heart is fair:
    The flow’ry hill, the starlit sky, the balmy air;
The sunray’s glowing warmth, the eyes’ betraying love;
The prattling babyhood, the lamb-like clouds above.

Poetical is what to mind and heart is fair:
    Enchanting harmony, sweet speech, a tuneful air,
The lover’s kiss, the songbird’s voice, the babbling creek,
The rosy lip of childhood which begins to speak.

Poetical is what to mind and heart is fair:
To love, honor, esteem the friend, his faults forbear,
To share his joys and woes; to freely give your mite,
And when your own sweet baby whispers you: “good night!”



Emil Makai.

    I cry my very soul into this lay
        As one who sobs o’er dreams lost in his sleep,
Of saddest memories my mind the prey,
        And I could weep as do the children weep.
She, for whom I had lived my life’s each day,
Removes herself from me, away, astray!
    The pure, the saint, whom in my heart I bore:
    My first love shall return to me no more.

    I always feared, it might not be the truth,
        Thy tresses’ silk, upon thy face the rose,
    The fiery glances of thy eye, forsooth,
        The cruel wakening will bring me woes.
I treasured glances from thy beauteous eye
Like stolen gems, the owner might espy.
    Behind me always lurked an awful shade:
    Our love’s but fancy’s dream, I was afraid.

    And yet, — and yet, now that the hour is here.
        My heart is sore as I must say good bye. —
    My eyes are filled with burning, bitter tear
        I stifled feel, to suffocation nigh.
The dream of dreams dissolveth in the air,
Our hands meet as if we but strangers were;
    To claim, — to hope, — I nevermore shall dare,
    And parted are our days fore’er and e’er!

    Thy life’s the light, the pomp and all that’s blessed,
        My own’s, the daily cares which never cease;
    Thy life’s bark long since reached a port of rest,
        My heart weaves still of thee its reveries.
Poor heart! though wounded, hundred times subdued
And smitten in the everlasting feud:
    None can this treasure ever take from you,
    Dream heart of mine, your dreams of golden hue!



Nicklas Szemere.

I am so happy here below,
    Have no desire to reach the height;
The clouds, the mountain’s peak of snow,
    The eagles might thereon alight.
The greensward home of nightingale,
The brooklet running through the vale,
    Are what my soul with pleasure fill.
    The eagle follow he who will.

I too, at one time, tried to gain
    The icy summit, and I found
The alpine rose, which tried in vain
    To live upon the snow-clad ground.
I saw but cliff, abyss and rock,
No trees to which the birds could flock;
    Beneath which one could longing lie,
    While round him flits the butterfly.

Fly not, my soul, beyond the vale,
    Rise not to higher loftiness,
Than where the violets exhale
    Their sweet perfume which all men bless,
Than where the honeyladen bee
Is heard to hum, and where you see
    The brooklet’s course. No, do not fly
    Past where you hear the maiden’s sigh.



Zoltán Balogh.

My verses do not claim
    To be a mighty wood,
Which fiercest orkan’s force
    Confronted and withstood.

My verses do not claim
    To be the stormswept deep,
Which life and death will spread
    To ships, that o’er it sweep.

My rhytmic rhyme is but
    A chaste “forget-me-not;”
To live, thou must to it
    A kiss or tear allot.



Otto Herepei.

To hope! What means it, do you know?
To kiss the hand that struck the blow,
Conceal your cares, woes, sorrows all,
Await till down the fetters fall;
To long, to pine, in darkness grope,
That is to hope, in vain to hope.

To see the sky o’ercast with cloud;
By woes, that burden life, be cowed;
To lie a smile despite our tears,
To bless him who but coldly sneers
At all your aims, your best work’s scope:
That is to hope, in vain to hope.

If one the sea to sweep back tried,
An untamed lion had tried to ride,
Consol’st thou him with star on high.
    Or giv’st thou him a twig that’s nigh?
The star, the twig! with these to cope!
This is to hope, in vain to hope.



Aladár Benedek.

To live here, ah! and then forsaken die, —
Sad, mute, alone, — What mass of horrors hie
Beneath this thought. Our soul doth quake with fear,
Within our brains dark shadows domineer.
And yet, how many with such sad thoughts cope,
How many die, or live without a hope!
    Shall we, who of bliss knew naught here below,
    In the hereafter life some rapture know?

How many love whose true love’s purest flame
Is thought to be a false and selfish aim. — — —
How many love and pine through weary days,
And no one: “come, I understand you!” says.
How many roam about on searching bent,
To find none worthy of pure sentiment.
    Shall we, who of bliss knew naught here below,
    In the hereafter life some rapture know?

To love with purest heart the maid, the friend,
The home and nature’s beauties comprehend.
To trod where million traitors walk and where
The hearts and heads of all ideals bare;
Health to regain expect where foul the air,
To fear then that the truth is but a snare...
    Shall we, who of bliss knew naught here below,
    In the hereafter life some rapture know?

Unkind is life, stepmotherly the world,
Who comes, into a robbers-nest is hurled;
The wealth which is his own becomes a curse,
And is he poor, he seeks to share the purse...
And life is sad, no place ’neath heaven’s dome,
On which a pure, true heart can build a home.
    Shall we, who of bliss knew naught here below,
    In the hereafter life some rapture know?



Joseph Lévay.

When I am dead I’d be a-breath of air
    That swayeth o’er the moonlit plain;
Men’s painful sighs of sorrow and of care
    Which e’en the tomb could not enchain.

I’d fly and fly on quiet summers’ eve
    O’er stony fields, o’er cross and grave; — —
Fly o’er the tombs which you I can perceive,
    Beneath which sleep our heroes brave.

I’d fly, I’d fly, to homeless wanderers fly
    Who on the ocean sail away;
And from their lips I’d steal their sorrow’s sigh,
    To loved ones, left behind, convey!

I’d fly into a village home, enticed
    By maiden’s kiss, by sweetheart’s tears.
I too on altar’s love have sacrificed;
    My soul still shows its awful sears.

I’d fly, I’d fly, — all quiet, — I some day
    Would seek the court-yard I know best,
Would gently with a window-pane then play,...
    Within had been my ancient nest.

I’d fly, I’d fly, myself I know not where!
    Peace, Rest! will they be mine again?
Men’s painful sighs of sorrow and of care
    Which e’en the tomb could not enchain— — —



Emil Ábrányi.

She always smiled, though melancholy all the while,
And joy and tears were softly blending in her smile.

I knew it well how heartrending her woe had been,
A smile more charming though, I never yet had seen.

What ails you? I would ask,—most earnestly implore;
But she remaineth mute and smiles just as before.

She ’d cast a glance at me, her eyes suffused with tear,
And smilingly she ’d say: “No, no”, naught ails me, dear."

Errant angel like she through this sad world would roam,
And I could see her, smiling glance at heaven’s dome.

It seemed to me that she, with gently smiling eye,
Sent greetings of her love to friends up in the high.

When last I saw her, ’round her bier men wept heartsore,
She only seemed to smile, was mute for evermore!



Charles Szomory.

A good old song, a famous song rings in my ear,
A hoary, far-famed gipsy played it all the year;
The boys, the maidens used to sing it all the day.
And I never can forget that tuneful lay.

That good old song, that famous song is no more heard,
The hoary gipsy long ago has been interred.
No one plays it, no one sings it, new songs came.
All the world has changed, — this world is not the same.



Anthony Radó.

“I am the boundless ardor, lust untamed,
I am voluptious extasy aflamed,
    Take up thy lute, thy best song let me know!”

“I am the wasted life, I am despair;
I’ve risen from the grave’s polluted air,
    Sing: all on earth is foul and all is woe!”

“I am the quiet, patriarchal peace.
The haven of pure hearts, where sorrows cease.
    A loving heart, to you dear muse I bring!”
            “I sing!”



John Földváry.

Do not worry because I
Sad and troubled am and sigh,
    Heavy weigh life’s cares and woes:
    This my clouded forehead shows.

If perchance you see me weep,
You may still your good cheer keep.
    Tried into the sun to gaze,
    Tears the price my weak eye pays.

When in time I shall be dead,
Let for me no tears be shed,
    Blissful I, in death’s long sleep,
    Have no cares, will no more weep.



Emil Makai.

The burning tears that freely flow
    Cause no such grief we can’t control;
The very tears we shed, we know,
    But purify the anguished soul.

But painful is the hidden tear,
    Which burns the eye and chokes the throat;
But which, — an inner voice we hear, —
    We must not shed, and none must note.



Andrew Tóth.

    Not the flower it hurts
        When from the twig it falls,
    The spray which it deserts
        Is which for pity calls.
The flowers still with zephyrs play,
God bless thee youthful, pretty May.

    ’Tis not the brook that dies
        When once its banks it leaves.
    It is the shore that sighs
        And which heartbroken grieves.
The brook finds rose-trees on its way,
God bless thee youthful, pretty May.

    ’Tis not the birds that weep
        When bird-brood leaves the nest,
    The nest alone feels deep
        To shield no mother’s breast.
The bird on wing is ever gay!
God bless thee youthful, pretty May.

    No ray is lost that pales,
        When in the west the sun.
    It is our fight that fails
        When our clay’s work is done.
New worlds are lit up by that ray:
God bless thee youthful, pretty May,

    My flow’r dropped from its spray,
        My brook has found its way;
    My bird is flown away,
        And gone my sun’s bright ray.
Keep still poor heart! I only say:
God bless thee youthful, pretty May!



John Vajda.

The hour has come, the clock has struck,
The anchor ’s raised, and on the dock
    All ready are! Farewell! Good-bye.

My last kiss! Oh! I never knew
How deep it was, my love for you,
    I feel it now in tear, in sigh.

Your lips- so eloquent, though mute,
Are sweeter than most luscious fruit,
They are so sweet, — — but still give pain.

I go away, yet well I know:
My thoughts come back where’er I go,
    Like a melodious refrain.

Upon the steamer ’s my light load,
My heart is weighty cares’ abode;
    And o’er the heaven dark clouds roll.

This is the last call of the bell;
Like judgement-day’s great call it fell
    Upon my poor, woestricken soul.



Joseph Komócsy.

When once the grave’s night hideth me,
    Ye roses bloom! What do I care?
Their splendor I no more shall see.

In crown of trees, ’neath which I lie,
    Sing bobolink! What do I care?
I can not hear your tuneful cry.

My kiss will no more kiss you, dear.
    Kiss whom you want! What do I care?
The grave has dried up every tear.

Mute heart utters no loving plea!
    Live as you will, what do I care,
When once the grave’s night hideth me.



Joseph Prém.

Beautiful maid, now that the strife
Dealt mighty blows upon my life,
My longings draw my heart to thee
For solace in my misery.
Thy circle ’s free of that fell bane
Which weightily on me had lain,
’Tis thou with whom I might find rest.
With whom with peace I might be blessed.

Within thy circle goodness reigns,
Enchanting tenderness obtains,
Our live’s inebriate designs
To shield, thy peaceful home declines,
Who roamed throughout the world like dead
Doth rise, anew by faith is led;
’Tis thou with whom I might find rest,
With whom with pence I might be blessed.

Ask not what caused my misery,
What brought about this tragedy?...
I too possessed a foolish heart
The sun’s rays though made my eyes smart...
The will’ o’ wisp now lures in vain
Thy glance holds me in safe restrain.
’Tis thou with whom I might find rest,
With whom with peace I might be blessed.

Life, with its gilded surface, smooth,
Can not entice me, for in truth
I have abandoned joys which tease;
More safe, dear maid, thy realm of peace.
What spite and malice had undone.
Through thee, — my faith, — again I won.
’Tis thou with whom I might find rest.
With whom with peace I might be blessed.

And who the world’s reproach had felt.
In abject misery had dwelt:
Thy soul’s bright rays have brought him case,
He learns to purely love; he sees
That happiness immaculate
’S found but on paths that runneth straight!
’Tis thou with whom I might find rest,
With whom with peace I might be blessed!



Andrew Kozma.

A youth whose heart ambition filled,
    Went roaming through the world,
And as he went all nature thrilled
    With love for him and hurled
Its gorgeous glories at his feet.
Camelias and roses sweet,
Blue violets and lilies white.
“Remain with us”, with smiles invite.
The flowers vainly intercede.
Their friendly call he does not heed.

And beauties culled from every kind.
    Of forest and of field,
And fair ones fashioned for every mind
    To him their splendors yield.
The youth tho’ sings a roundelay
As he proceeds upon his way.
“Ah! hinder not, ye glorious flowers,
Whose nods ’s a pledge of well spent hours!
To my keen longings I must cleave,
The laurel wreath I must achieve!”

And as the youth thus onward sped,
    Bent to subdue the world.
His path him to a flower led
    And saw her grace unfurled.
A Marygold! What did he care?
To him the fairest of the fair.
Forgotten is the laurel tree.
He sings another melody:
“Sweet Marygold I love but you.
Unto my death I will he true!”



Alexander Endrődi.

Deep in thought I sometimes wonder
    If my life has any goal,
Whither I, an aimless pilot,
    Might direct my drifting soul.

How cold the earth, — how dull the sky —
    Oh! if only I could rest.
And like the gushing mountain storm
    My tears could flow and ease my breast.

And then my soul all unburdened
    Could rise again and soar on high;
In the splendor of the sun and stars
    Its pinious freed would flaunt and fly.

But bird bereft of wings, on earth
    To wend your way ’tis doomed;
And twigs once crushed and broken flowers
    You have already bloomed!



Alexander Endrődi.

O, would that I had met thee, then
    When still at early dawn thy day.
Had met on beauteous morning, when
    Thou lingered still at youthful play.
Thou wouldst not be now so bereft,
Nor I would be thus lonely left.
    Perhaps we both would now be free,
    And truly happy we could be.

We then together could have dreamed
    Again thy chidhood’s fairy-tales,
All those sweet hours that cloudless beamed
    But now the dark nights’ shadow veils.
I could have watched, — tried to avert, —
    Thy hands — frail wings — e’er to be hurt;
And guarding thee, with loyal heart,
    Would laugh at ills life’s storms impart.

Or if I could with thee have been
    At spring-time, when at eventide —
’Round thee the moon’s pale silv’ry sheen
    The lengthening shadows did divide; —
With longings pure thy eyes then gleamed,
Inspired by fancy dream thou dreamed
    A dream thou never grasped, but which
    With faith and hope had made thee rich.

We met not in thy beauteous morn,
    Nor in thy spring-time’s balmy eve,
We met in autumn, weary, worn,
    When for spring’s splendors gone we grieve.
The flowers fade, no more is heard
In rustling twigs the song of bird,
    Thou weepest for the past that’s gone,
    My own life’s bleak spring I bemoan.

Ah, well! but with our great desires
    We proudly bear up and endure.
Deceiving fate false hope inspires,
    And with that hope us doth allure.
Our true hearts, — while through life we pass, —
Dream but one dream, although, alas!
    Of whom we dream we never meet,
    Or, at the best, but too late greet.



Fruzina Szalay.

Yes, list to my confession bold,
    I am not faithful, am not true.
May-time with its magic allures,
    But stars on high enchant me too.

Hear you the nightingale’s sweet song,
    That trills and subs and trills anew;
And you fear not the nightingale,
    While e’en a sparrow frightens you.

That song my soul impresses deep,
    I feel my heart to throb and beat,
When nightingales’ songs do resound
    Within the forest’s dark retreat.

I hear with certain dread the songs
    With which the forest is replete;
How can it be, you are not moved
    By the whispered converse sweet!

I would remind you of the dove,
    Which we as suffering captives hold,
Until we e’en forgotten have
    That birds have wings they can unfold.

Perchance he too forgotten has
    The sweetness, that to fly he knew,
Until some balmy eve in May
When songbirds song and breezes blew

And almost breathing in new life,
    The longings old were roused once more,
With spreading wings he took his flight
    And flew away to some far shore.

Karlin, beware! That it come not,
    — Like to the dove. — to me some day
That suddenly I spread my wings,
    Rise high in air and fly away.

What are you laughing? Pray, beware!
    Do you not all these splendors view?
The magic of the May allures,
    But stars on high enchant me too!



Daniel Berzsenyi.

I landed on the shore; my sails I furled:
A dreadful tempest bravely I withstood;
Through Scylla and Charybdis dangers dread,
        My brow did sweat.

Peace is my portion, I have moored my boat;
No fairy dream shall lure me to cast loose;
Place of retirement, to thy breast receive
        The aspiring youth.

Altough my meadows be not fertile as
The famed Tarentum or Larisso fair,
Not through my lonely hills does any stream
        Like Tiber flow.

I yet have vineyards and far-reaching fields
Of golden grain: while love and liberty
Dwell in my house: and from my gracious God
        Shall I ask more?

Wherever fate shall cast my lot in life,
If I am free from penury and care,
Always and everywhere in calm content
        To heaven I look.

Gentle Camena! be thou still with me;
That there thy hands shed gifts my life to bless
So that the deserts change to smiling glades.
        Charmed by the song.

Place me ’mid Greenland’s everlasting snow,
Or in the desert’s burning sand to dwell —
There, O, Camena, thy warm breast protects.
        Here thy cool breath.




Songful spring which newly dawns,
Verdant forests, fields and lawns,
Blade o’ grass and tiny leaf.
Bird nest built upon the reef:
        Teach me to hope.

Pale-faced moon with silver ray,
Mirage I amazed survey,
Shadows darkling o’er the plain,
Flock of the migrating crane,
        Teach me to dream.

Beauteous velvet leaf of rose,
Which of love’s confections knows,
Tree-tops sparkling with the flew,
Doves which in the forest coo;
        Teach me to love.

Shining, bright star in the sky,
Near the throne of God on High,
Lightning-bug, whose tiny light
Never ceases to be bright;
        Teach me to pray.

Mowed-down grass, whose sweetest scent
To our souls sweet thoughts had sent,
Low-bent head of violet,
Lingering smile of sun now set:
        Teach me to remember.

Sere leaves which in autumn fall,
Raging organs which appal,
Falling stars, extinguished fires,
Thunder crash which awe inspires,
        Teach me to die!



Julius Rudnyánszky.

Come death! I long to live at last. How vain
To wander here where woes and sorrows reign.
Though tears be flowing or the sweat of brow
Cold hearted men will tramp it into slough.
For moment’s life the millions expiate,
And from the fierce onslaughts of cruel fate
The slavish mob bends to the yoke the knee;
Come death! Oh, how I long I could be free.

Bliss, happiness, — what ever one may know, —
To-morrow disappears as melted snow.
Coarse cloth or silk, they turn to rag withal,
The heroes corpse the prey of worms that crawl.
Love, honor, gratitude, are they not lies?
The good and true are fools, the idle ’s wise.
Where is it, where, for which tis worth to cry?
Come death! For life eternal would I die!

O! truly happy he whose earthly clay,
Death rocks to dreamless sleep an early day,
His faults and vices us no longer teen.
’Tis not oblivion that the tomb doth mean.
It speaks the triumph of the soul, its flight
Into a glorious, eternal light
Which sheds its rays over the moss grown grave.
Come death! That life beyond I seek, I crave!

There is in me some learning and some worth,
But hazy ’s all upon this barren earth.
When on my dreaming soul, by grace divine
The light eternal of the sun shall shine:
Of what ’s mundane of me I shall be freed,
My soul, all purified, receive its meed;
Ne’er more by doubt shall it be overcast,
Come death! O, how I long to live at last!



Julius Varsányi.

I roam about the humid might,
    Deserted is the street,
Despite my tortures must move on
    Though weary are my feet.
The rain and tears my face have drenched.
    And chilly is the air,
My heart is almost breaking — — — but
    Why should any one care?

In yonder curtained casement, I
    Perceive a burning light.
Its rays my heart pierce like a dirk
    Yet, as a magnet might
It draws it on. Within that room
    Awaited me a fair
Young maid, — — The old, old story — — — but
    Why should any one care?

In truth, the window ’s dark. The light
    My fancy only sees;
Oh! faithless love, heartbroken, I
    Endure keen agonies.
Where are you now? in whose embrace
    Hide you your golden hair,
Exchanging kiss for kiss — — — but then,
    Why should any one care?

Like thorns within a wound, the thought
    Of you my heart keeps sore.
Had I not loved you, I would not
    My very life abhor.
Convulsively I hold in hand
    A weapon, my despair
Will in a moment end — — — but then,
    Why should any one care?