Joseph Lévay.

A white dove soars above me high,
My sweetheart goes away, good-bye!
Who knows how far shall fly the dove,
God knows when I shall see my love.

A bright thread to its wing is tied.
My life’s good cheer it signified:
As if my soul it took away
To unknown fields of foul decay.

I look, I look, but see no more
The bird above me high to soar:
Or is it that I can’t see dear
Because my eyes suffused with tear?



Joseph Lévay.

An old church ’s in the graveyard nigh.
Its spire no longer towers high;
Still, to my soul, methinks, it showed, —
Beyond the grave. — the heav’nly road.

The spire looks on the graveyard stone.
The gravestone sees the tow’r lie prone:
One seems the other’s guard to be.
Two milestones to eternity.

They speak to each other. I trow,
Their secrets, whispering, avow:
However, if man passes by,
Their speech upon their lips doth die.

They, sometimes, even speak to thee,
When in thy thoughts with them may’st be;
But what they say in whispers low,
Thou knowest not, nor e’er wilt know.

And hast thou left them all alone:
On goes that language of their own:
Of which howe’er none hears a word,
Expect who in the grave interred.




It is this which at night I dreamed:
From heaven above, to me it seemed,
    The stars rolled down, star after star,
    And rolled, and rolled, and rolled afar....
When in the morn I woke, I saw
My garden flowers adorned with thaw,
    In every flower ’t seemed to me
    A radiant, shining star to be.

I nightly see two stars on high,
Within the blue and cloudless sky.
    Behold them through the ether glide
    Ever constant, side by side.
Why, faithfully, the two adhere
While coursing in the heaven’s sphere?
    I’d like to know. Lo! from above
    It seems comes the reply: “true love!”

Springtides’ buds with sweet scent break,
Gleefully the songbirds wake.
    Green the forest, gay the brook,
    Earth and heaven asmiling look.
Grass is waving, breezes blow,
Golden lines the cloudlets show.
    All the day with passion gleams,
    Night alone brings sweetest dreams;
Bliss and life to all they bring! — — —
Nothing heals my suffering!



Andrew Tóth.

The forest’s mystery shall give reply,
The sunset, which bequeaths a darkened sky,
The songbird, which within the crown of trees
Sings to the mate, sweet, longing melodies:
        They shall reveal
        What I do feel.

Let you be told by irate, pleading rill
Which flows, ’t wixt rock and bush, down from the hill
To stony deep, where it, forsaken, played
As if it were a wandering fairy maid:
        When you ask, why
        I, — heartsore, — cry.

Let whisper it to you the wind that blows
And o’er the prairy sweeps, what do disclose
To them the broken twigs, in moonlit nights,
When of their woes to speak, the wind invites:
        They’ll tell you why
        In mourning I.

And may tell it to you the fragrant rose, —
A thoughtless hand had plucked, — without repose
On zephyr’s wing is borne the grieving leaf,
Into the vale, — to woodland, — or to reef,
        Why suffer I
        And moan and sigh!

And if you find such rose leaves on your way,
Lovingly pick them up and save them, they
Will tell you of what sweet enchantement I
Became the sacrifice: will tell you why
        My tuneful lute
        Is henceforth mute.



John Arany.

    I love the morn,
When o’er the summits of the poplars tall
    The rays, new born,
Of the golden sunlight fall.
    When clear the distant lea,
When colours, sounds and air with perfume rife
    Are wafted up to me,
Mine is the day, and mine is life.

    And ah! the eve returns!
Aweary body and brain!
    For its home now yearns
The soul in bitter pain.
The leafy shadows lengthen, — I fear... I fear,
    O errant wind, what bring’st to day.
That on the morrow my heart can cheer?
“Rejoice, once to look back upon this day!”



Charles Szász.


The winter comes, cold days we feel,
    The wind is bleak, the snowflakes fall,
Frost-flowers upon the panes conceal
    A fair day-dream to paint for all.
Untouched by wind or frost am I;
My heart, my room are warm and dry.

A good fire burns upon the hearth,
    A cheerful light upon the board:
Of kiss or word I know no dearth;
    My knee supports my love adored;
I sing her songs and in return
My soul with passion she makes burn.

Our hearts, our rooms, now let us close,
    Because the world without is chill;
And if its ice-breath on us blows
    Our very hearts the cold may fill.
Till on thy lips fond words will freeze,
And on my lips the jocund glees.

Without the warmth of sun and mirth
    This world, indeed, were good for naught;
The darkening sky enshrouds the earth;
    Night’s gloom o’er all will soon be wrought,
No other lamp have I for night
Than my heart’s ever ardent light.


Art cold, my little one? Stay; on the fire
    Fresh logs of wood I speedily shall throw;
Watch how the flames pursue each other higher;
    Hark how they roar! Like waving tongues they go.

Now lay your little hands in mine, my dear;
    How cold your fingers; how benumbed they feel!
Deep in my breast, now let us place them here,
    And soon the warmth its ardor will reveal.

Thy forehead droops and bows continually,
    Fair like a lily swaying its pure crest;
Sleep surely now is overpowering thee;
    My angel, say that thou a space wilt rest.

Why should’st thou now exert thyself to wake,
    When heavy grows thy weary little head?
A pillow of my shoulder let it make;
    No one can see thee, therefore have no dread!

Thus calmly, gently, here my jewel sleep;
    My soul’s sublime, now peaceful, resting star;
How like to a pearl beneath the sea so deep,
    A gem by mother-pearl inclosed afar.

And while thou steepest I shall try to solve
    The riddle which I think of, viewing thee:
Can’st thou about whom fairy worlds revolve,
    Bear love so warm, so truly deep for me?



Emil Ábrányi.

Lo, how the little garden is laid waste;
    How still and sombre seem all things around;
Each plant is withered or to rankness grown,
    White deadly light doth batten on the ground.

Like flowing tears the petals of the rose
    Continue still to fall from off the tree,
As if a soft entombment to prepare,
    Where soon its head must surely come to be.

The pointed spirals of the lily’s stem
    Lie bent and sadly broken everywhere;
The lovely tulip’s cup now empty droops,
    Missing its need of daily skill and care.

A burial place for all its beauteous blooms
    This pleasant garden has become at last;
And o’er the tombs as stones the bare trees stand
    In mourning for the glory that is past.

One tree alone in all its green array,
    The verdant laurel, still uprears its head;
In vain decay makes slow but sure advance,
    The laurel is not numbered with the dead.

Undaunted by the hand of age or time,
    It lives, majestic, earnest and secure,
While all around it every other growth
    Is either dead or doomed not to endure.

Thus ever stands the poet’s deathless fame,
    While every side the world’s delights decay,
And like neglected flowers, wither there
    And one by one in silence fade away.

Glory and wealth and pomp and name pass by;
    All soon are dust and are entombed in night;
Only the poet’s name for aye endures
    And grows, forever green, forever bright.



John Arany.

A lonely captive stork doth stand,
With courtyard walls on every hand;
    Fain would he wing his flight afar;
Across the sea
His way would be,
    But pinions clipped his soaring bar.

He stands upon one foot to dream;
Then shifts it; weary he doth seem.
    Thus changing he the time doth spend —
Naught else to do
The whole day through,
    Save shift and change without an end.

His head beneath his wing he lays;
Into the distance would oft gaze;
    In vain; four walls are round about.
Four walls of brick,
So high and thick,
    ’Tis vain to strive to pierce without.

True, he could look up to the sky,
But no desire directs his eye;
    Free storks above fly far away,
Fair lands to see,
While vainly he
    Doth long to end his doomed stay.

He waits, waits ever, longs in vain,
That his maimed wings may grow again,
    That he once more to heaven may soar;
There, where his way
No limits stay,
    Free homelands he can travel o’er.

The country glows with autumn sheen,
But no more storks at all are seen,
    Save one poor loiterer, who doth dwell —
A captive left,
Of freedom reft,
    Immured within a narrow cell.

The cranes have not yet made their start,
But even they will soon depart.
    He sees them not; he only hears
Too well above
The notes thereof —
    The birds of passage in his ears.

Once and again he oven tries
Upon his crippled wings to rise;
    Ah! they would raise him up on high,
Nor hold him low,
Were it not so
    That they were clipped so cruelly.

Poor orphan stork, poor stork, ’tis vain;
Thy pinions ne’er will grow again,
    E’en though the winter should be o’er;
For if they grew.
False men anew
    Would clip them even as before.



Alexander Petőfi.

Tell me, old stream, how oft thy bosom strong
Is cleft by storms and ships that glide along?

How deep and wide these rifts! On heart of man
Inflict such wounds no grief or passion can.

Yet, when the ship is gone the storm is o’er,
The stream rolls smoothly, showing rifts no more,

But when the human heart is cleft, no calm
Can heal the wound or bring it aught of balm.



Michael Tompa.

In pastoral bliss, all undisturbed,
    Fair nature on thy breast I live;
Each moment comes will added joy,
    Like laden bees that honey give.

Together with the lark I rise:
    I walk the field and plain, so sweet;
I feel the morning zephyrs cool
    In narrow pathways through the wheat.

I see the wood-dove, hear the finch,
    By pleasant streams in leafy glades;
Now on the hillside bleak I rove,
    Now turn to seek the forest shades.

Then to my flowers with pleasure new
    I turn: how perfect they will be!
This one I water, that I prune,
    And tend my garden lovingly.

I loiter o’er my trivial tasks
    Until the heat drives me indoors:
Labor and wisdom are my friends
    And every hour fresh joy outpours.

With sages old do I converse.
    Who all their lore from nature drew;
As on their lives and thoughts I muse,
    The golden age dawns on my view.

Or to my favorite bards I turn —
    Poets with whom my soul claims kin,
I seek the portals of their minds,
    I open wide and enter in.

I turn the page and close the eye;
    Into my chamber steals a breeze,
And o’er me slumber softly falls,
    Lulled by the zephyr and the bees.

Bridelike, her lover to surprise,
    A rose-spray through the casement blows;
My dreaming soul her beauty sees,
    And straightway fairy visions knows.

Awaking, I my playmate call,
    Bright fancy, who with me doth fly
Hither and thither, till the chimes
    Tell us calm eventide is nigh.

The flocks from pastures wander home;
    The young fowls early seek their rest;
’Tis evening, and the lute is heard.
    Sweet to the joyous and distressed.

Vague pictures of the past revive;
    The open vista old scenes brings:
Wanting remembrance, what were you,
    Oh, heart. A harp without its strings!

With pious thoughts my bosom swells;
    My soul more tender grows at eve:
Those who have wronged me, I forgive;
    Forgiveness I would fain receive.

O’er me thus dreaming, calm doth steal,
    Till, like a child, by sleep oppressed
Ere half way through his nightly prayer.
    I quietly subside to rest.



Francis Kölcsey.

Gently the evening steals
    Over my garden close.
The sighing zephyr soft
    Over my flowers blows;
And while it softly sighs
    Over the flowers fair,
The tear-dew from mine eyes
    Falleth upon thorn there.

Dost thou not see, my pet,
    The shades that lure to rest?
Come, walk therein and pluck
    My flowers to deck thy breast;
So that mine eyes’ tear-dew
    From off the petals fall,
And trickling to thy heart
    Its chrystal source recall.

Gently the streamlet flows;
    The nightingale sings near;
And o’er my head, love’s star
    In heaven shines bright and clear.
What see’st them, that thine eye,
    Sparkling, now smiles on me?
Ah, take me to thy heart,
    And thus my soul set free!

My sacred secret lies
    Deep hidden in my breast;
Hence bleeds my heart beneath.
    And heaves with such unrest?
In shadow round about
    Cool quietude doth reign;
Altho’ a burning flame
    Doth penetrate with pain?

Thy flame, in truth, I feel
    Within my bosom now;
Hail to thee! hail for aye!
    To golden love I bow;
Happy is he who dreams
    Above thy waves fair,
And to thy shores secure
    A bosom true doth bear!



Coloman Tóth.

These are the autumn days. The sunrise is less bright:
Far from their nests the birds have taken flight;
Happy is he who flies with friends held dear;
But sorrowful am I left lonely here —
        All lonely here!

Restless, my room I traverse to and fro;
The silence hears my footsteps as I go,
Now dies the fire whose fagots once flamed free,
I watch it: ah, how it resembles me —
        Resembles me!

My youth, alas, no longer doth remain;
I look around for solace — but in vain!
All ties that heretofore availed to bless
Are burst asunder all bonds of happiness —
        Of happiness!

From out my casement gray, dull sky I see;
I ask of it, shall I yet happy be?
Cheerless and quiet falls the autumn rain,
And each drop seems to answer. “Not again —
        Ne’er again!”



Edmund Jakab.

A bush, that near a roadway grew,
Asked once the wind that fiercely blew:

“Since spring, O wind, I have not seen
You; tell me, now, where you have been.”

“I’ve traveled to.” the wind replied,
“Where aught of earth doth yet abide.”

“And when I choose to rend the air
I, I alone was master there.”

“I caught the ancient forest’s crown,
And kings of forests tumbled down.”

“I swept the mighty ocean’s waves
And mighty ships sank to their graves.”

“O’er Afric’s sandy sea I rode,
Reft caravans bestrewed the road.”

“Yet naught more freely I enjoyed
Than seeing towns by fire destroyed.”

“I’ve told you of my glorious run: —
Now, tell me, bush, what you have done?”

“Tis naught indeed, that I have done;
I lived. I bloomed, enjoyed the sun.”

“A cosy nest I gave a bird,
And in return his carols heard.”

“The wanderer I welcome made
And offered him my cooling shade;”

“And when he had enjoyed his rest
He gratefully my branches blessed.”

“And this is all. Believe me, though,
To change with you I would forego.”



Paul Gyulai.

I oft will gaze up to the high;
I love to gaze on clouds in sky;
    How they overspread the heaven!
        Their forms so strange,
        They ever change,
    And by the winds are ever driven.

Gathering darkly o’er the hill,
The sun-rays whiten thorn and fill
    The sky with transcendental gray —
        The little lambs roam
        On heaven’s dome —
    The white-fleeced lambs that rove and play.

The wind will oft, poor cloud, molest
You just when you would like to rest;
    Flying, like a wind-tossed fleet,
        A dragon then,
        One ever can
    You in unnumbered guises greet.

But whereto now? Going to war?
The lightning shoots, the storm winds roar,
    The tempest blows, but soon relief
        Will come; we’ll sight
        A rainbow bright,
    And blended are sweet joy and grief.

How beauteous is the sky when fair,
One or two cloudlets all its care;
    They soon assume a roseate hue;
        Like memory sweet,
        They smile and greet,
    And hearts with pleasant thoughts imbue.

The morning dawn and eve’s dark shroud
Are both quite friendly to the cloud.
    With crimson hue ’tis overspread;
        The dawn is fair;
        Her golden hair
    Throughout all nature lustre sheds.

And when the evening sets, my cloud
Appears a fairy palace, proud;
    A mighty tower, it rears its head;
        And from its door
        Gold glories pour —
    The beck’ning spirits of the dead.

I oft will gaze up to the high;
I love to gaze on clouds in sky;
    For hours and hours I view them oft.
        And, like a child,
        I’ll dream so wild,
    While musingly I gaze aloft.



John Erdélyi.

Here in a field I stand:
Heaven’s peace doth now expand
My heart, and in my car
Low murmuring I hear.

As when the people raise
In church their voice of praise
Even thus now moved am I
To holy thoughts and high.

In springtide’s field I stand;
Above sigh zephyrs bland;
I feel as though I trod
The very House of God.



Alexander Petőfi.

Snow on the earth, clouds in the sky!
    Who cares? Let it be so.
None need to marvel, for this is
    The winter’s daily snow.
And by my faith, I could not tell
    When winter came,
Did not a glance into the street
    The fact proclaim.

I sit there in this cheerful room
    With faithful friends around.
Who fill my bowl with “egri” wine,
    Such as but here is found.
The friends are true, the wines are good;
    Who would have more?
I now enjoy such happy days
    As ne’er before.

If my contentment had but seeds.
    I’d sow them o’er the snow;
A rosy bower then would bloom
    And in the winter grow.
And if to heaven I then might cast
    My joyous heart,
To all the world it, like the sun,
    Warmth would impart.

From here the mountain I can see,
    Where Dobó once his name
Inscribed with sword and Turkish blood
    Upon the page of fame.
Ah! until such a man as he
    Again we see,
Much water will the Danube hear
    Into the sea.

Ah! long is withered now and dead
    The Magyar’s blooming spring,
And apathy inglorious
    Doth to the nation cling.
Will ever spring again return
    Into our land?
And will once more our plains and fields
    In growth expand?

Tis joyless thought; but seldom I
    Enjoy a feast so rare.
So let us not our pleasure mar
    By memories fraught with care;
And, after all, do sighs abate
    Or temper grief?
The minstrel ’tis alone who find,
    In song relief.

Let us our country’s cares not heed
    For this one day alone,
And each sad thought of her let us
    Now, while we drink, postpone.
Fill up once more! Another glass
    Of glowing wine;
And still one more to follow that
    None should decline.

Well, well! What do I notice now?
    A cycle means each glass;
My mind now in the future roams,
    While I the present pass.
And in this future I once more
    Again rejoice,
For now throughout my fatherland
    Rings freedom’s voice.

* Eger, a city in the comitatus (county)
of Heves, famous for its wine.



Joseph Bajza.

Mists arise, the crane soars high,
    Shrieking through the air,
Longs for far-off warmer home
    In the Southland fair,
Where no winter on the hills
    Whitens everywhere.

See the flowering branches turn
    And the tree-tops fade;
What thou see’st on every side
    Change has always made;
While the earth-bound soul desires
    Home’s more blissful shade.

Heart, sick heart, the autumn now
    Deprives thee of hope’s leaves
Nevermore will bloom on earth
    That which it bereaves.
Be not sad, for happier hour
    Soon the soul relieves.



Paul Gyulai.

I have tired of the noise of Pesth,
Where vanity doth all infest
    My soul can’t bear it any more.
Hide me, ye vale, ye forest’s trees,
Cheer me, ye grass, scent, flowers, breeze,
    And bird, thy cheeriest song outpour!

Upon the greensward let me lie
For one day to forget I’ll try
    My pain, my sorrow, and my woes,
The rank and pelf of haughty man
Politeness’ toll and fashion’s clan,
    The maudlin sweethearts and their beaux.

Let me not see the crowd’s blank face,
The ancient sin, the new grimace,
    The forced smile, the deceitful tear,
Malicious tongue, whose slanders pain,
The selfish heart, the crazy brain,
    Let me forget them all while here.

Let me not see hands that applaud
The artist, who is but a fraud;
    From poets, statesmen, all, I fly;
Let me be rid of party strife,
And leaders who each other knife,
    And venal newspapers, that lie.

Hide me, therefore, vale and forest;
Gentle breeze, rock me to rest;
    And when the evening star shall gleam
In unsullied sky, when nature sleeps,
The nightingale all doleful weeps,
    Then bring to me bright, golden dreams.

Let me rest from my many cares,
Forget the world and its affairs,
    The past which long has dormant laid
But let me, pray, life’s brighter side
Sweet memories that e’er abide
    With me, in my dreams see again.



Alexander Petőfi.

Beautiful home, upon thy wide-spread plain
Expands a waving field of golden grain,
Whereon the mirage plays, O, country dear,
Knowest thou still thy son. now pining here?

’Tis long ago since welcome rest I found
Beneath the poplar trees I yet see round,
While, through the autumn sky high overhead,
Migrating cranes in V-shape southward sped.

When on the threshold of our house, with tears,
Heartsore, I bade good-by to all my dears,
And when dear mother’s last and parting sigh
On gentle zephyrs’ wings away did fly;

Ah, many a line of years, since then begun,
Their course completed, to their death have run,
While on revolving wheels of fate I passed
Through various scenes in which my lot was cast.

The great world is the school of life, I trod
Through which I plodded with perspiring brow,
Because the road I trod was hard and rough,
And, from the start, I traversed wastes enough.

I know — and none knows better than I well think —
To whom experience held her hemlock drink,
That rather I would drain the cup of death
Than the black chalice which she proffereth.

But now despair and grief and bitter pain
Which swelled my heart nigh rending it in twain,
Are gone; their memory e’en is washed away
By holy tears of joy I shed to-day.

For here, where once I lay on mother’s breast,
Drank in her honeyed love — to me the best —
The sun shines smilingly from heaven’s dome
Again on thy true son, O fair, loved home!



Michael Vörösmarty.

Is there a savage breast
    That loves not each fair flower?
A fair flower is my world,
    And fills with joy each hour,
Its line shows innocence,
    Its petals are snow white,
And virgin love’s abode,
    Its heart so roseate bright.
Hope is the glow serene
Of fragile bough and green,
Thus blooming, it doth seem,
My all, my life, my dream.

Joyously flits a bee
    Around a flower there;
Blithely it hums above,
    Dwells on its bosom fair,
Rests on a leaf at eve,
    Wrapt in a happy dream.
Drinks of its honeyed dew
    At the moon’s rising beam,
Noon sends a gentle breeze,
Its midday heat to ease,
And when the storm draws nigh,
Its shelter leaves supply.

Friends of my daily life,
    Feel not reproachful ire,
If now my heart is mute,
    Conceiving no desire.
The one it had has fled
    Into the blooming mead.
I call, but ’twill not come;
    The flower enchains its need
Turns my desire, the bee,
Blonde maid, my flower, to thee;
Could e’en a beast of prey
Love to this flower gainsay?



Michael Vörösmarty.

Thus saith the lark in upward flight
While circling to the heavenly height;
“I greet thee, breeze, that sweeps the lawn;
I greet the beauteous golden dawn;
The wintry snows are at an end,
Bright is the sky, glad fields extend:
The grass grows green, and I will there
My little nest soon build with care.
Soon will the new-born earth appear; —
A well decked table set with cheer.
        O, joy and pleasure,
        Joy and pleasure,
The meadow lands are ours for pleasure.”

Then comes the sparrow, hungry, spry,
With busy chirp around doth fly;
        “Chirrup, cheep,
        Chirrup, cheep,
Leave the fragments of your store;
If ’tis plenty, then no more.
For I’m a marauder free,
Hungry everlastingly;
Ploughing, reaping, none for me.
Yet as much, in faith, have I
As the bees that toil and ply;
Let the others work; I’ll eat,
Stealing where I can my meat.
        Chirrup, cheep,
        Chirrup, cheep,
Little in my life I need
But the peasants’ stray-sown seed.”

Then the choristers appear; —
The robin and the blackbird, the linnet gay,
The bobolink, with note so clear;
And wheresoever spring prevails,
In mountains, meadows and in vales,
Their songs, so glad and fair,
Fill the sweetly scented air.

Yea, all are joyous through long days;
Until at length the warm days end
Their happy and their blithesome lays
From quivering lofty tree-tops blend.
But one chief chorister —
The gentle nightingale,
Close by the rivulet
Singeth a mournful tale.
So great the pain,
Her heart doth cry;
A tithe such grief
Would make men die.
        “Where are my nights,
        My days, O, where
        My love’s delights,
        My joys so rare?
Alas, in lands far, far away.

My sorrows and my joys are bound
To one who faithless roams around,
And on a light love’s wing doth stray.
        Who now can hear
        My plaints so drear?
        This spot so calm
        Brings my heart balm.
The rocky cliff re-echoes every tone
But I receive no answer to my moan.
Were I an eagle free
When my heart such passion bore
Soon on strong wings I’d be,
Approaching heaven’s door.
And from the sun I would gain fire to burn
The callous leaves that coldly from me turn.
        I can but voice
        My dolorous cry;
        Alas, poor bird,
        Can only die.
O, break, my heart and cease as doth my song;
What art thou but my song so sadly strong?”

The nightingale, the forest’s very heart,
Thus to the world her sorrow did impart;
And when the wood thus speaks the world is still
And listens how her heart with woe doth thrill.



Coloman Tóth

O, that evening would have come,
    And all the stars shone out above;
More than all things else on earth
    The darkling eventide I love;
But ’tis not simply for the stars
    That makes this season one I prize;
’Tis that I now rejoice to know
    Another bitter day thus dies. —
        I would that I were dead.

Enough, indeed, I now have seen,
    At last in peace mine eyes can close,
These eyes are like a constant stream,
    Heavy with tear that constant flows.
And this is what the storms of earth
    Bring to our eyes; felt by one man,
Unfelt by one; which is the fool?
    Answer this question if you can. —
        I would that I were dead.

Virtue and honor’s motto still,
    Are weakly holden here and there,
Even the poet’s sacred song
    Is born of vanity and air.
Greatness and littleness are one;
    By different names but one part play;
The dross of earth is erst called dew,
    And dew is then called dross next day. —
        I would that I were dead.

All sentient circumstance is one;
    Sorrow and joy are but the same,
As is the moisture of the eye,
    From whatsoever source tears came.
Both things are other than they seem
    And underneath, we may believe,
That like the stream that hides the rock,
    So all our deeds do us deceive. —
        I would that I were dead.

O, ’twill be otherwise I think
    Above, with you, there on the height,
Ye heavenly garden’s beauteous buds —
    Ye stars so passing fair and bright.
How in your brightness he believes
    And hopes who constantly doth gaze;
Who, while on earth, in bitter tears
    And suffering passed weary days. —
        I would that I were dead.



Alexander Petőfi.

Of what avail to plough the earth
Without the seed that brings to birth?
Neglecting this but weeds will grow,
And all your work for naught will go.

Believe me, fairest, sweetest rose,
Beneath thy glance my poor heart glows;
And as the plough the ground upheaves
Thy glance my heart in furrows leaves.

Thy glance in vain cuts deep my heart
But sorrow from its depths will start;
But if thou sow with love, then fair,
Sweet-scented roses blossom there.



Alexander Petőfi.


How fierce the tempest blows —
    The winter’s cruel twin:
The chill and freezing snows
    To reign outside begin.

What heed we who enjoy
    The kitchen corner snug?
Where masters kind supply
    Straw and a cosy rug.

For food we have no care;
    When masters gorge their meat,
The remnants are our share.
    Which we may freely eat.

Full oft we feel the log
    That hurts, but then, we own
That nothing harms a dog —
    A fact too widely known!

When master’s wrath is o’er,
    And he has ceased to beat,
Grateful we crawl before
    And lick his gracious feet.


How fierce the tempest blows —
    The winter’s cruel twin:
Chill rain and freezing snows
    To reign outside begin.

Empty the country is,
    Our home this barren space;
Not e’en a bush affords
    To us a hiding place.

Without ’tis bitter cold,
    And hunger fierce within;
Relentlessly pursue
    These foes of ours, born twin.

Besides those foes, a third —
    The loaded gun — we dread,
When the milk-white snow
    Is stained with bloody red.

We freeze, we starve, we feel
    The shot wounds in our breast;
Hard is our lot, but yet
    With freedom we are blest!



Charles Szász.

A small, brown nightingale sings there,
In coverts hidden — Who knows where?
Here no one listens save I alone,
And my heart throbs at every tone.

Upon the velvet grass I lie;
Beneath a shady tree, close by,
The bird doth still her lay prolong;
I listen to the charming song.

The breeze now bears the tune aloft,
But in my heart ’tis echoed soft; —
Yea, it is echoed in my soul
As sad as lovely in its dole.

And thus the little bird doth sing —
“Life but one summer hath to bring,
And when this summer fair doth wane,
Sere leaves and sapless twigs remain.”



Alexander Petőfi.

Just as the heart its primal secret holds,
    A cottage small the circling hills conceal;
If raging tempests bear it down the vale,
    The frail and straw-thatched roof no harm doth

’Neath foliage dense of whispering forests cool,
    This straw-thatched roof doth nestle in the shade,
While on the trees the piping bullfinch swings
    The wild dove coos and sighs throughout the glade.

And as hunted chamois, swift doth run
    A little brook down from the hills above;
Like maidens coy, who in smooth water gaze,
    Fair flowers bloom on either side thereof.

Unto these flower-maidens gallants come;
    With ardent passion do the wild bees haste,
Enjoy — yet in the stream how many fall,
    Intoxicated with the love they taste!

The sun and zephyr pity as they see;
    The kind breeze bears a loose leaf from on high,
And when the lover-bee has gained his raft,
    The sun with gracious ray his wings doth dry.

The she-goat, over on the mountain’s brow,
    With udder full and sportive kids goes round;
From her and from the wild bees’ golden store
    All that the cottage table needs is found.

The piping bulfinch and the plaintive dove,
    They fear no traps by any dweller there;
Those who inhabit scenes like this, know well
    How sweet and glad is Liberty’s pure air.

No serfdom here; no tyranny there is
    To give command with harsh and thunderous word;
Only, at times, the heaven’s artillery loud,
    Reminding people to fear God, is heard.

And God is good; He is not wroth for long;
    Since, when the ominous clouds their ire have spent,
He smiles forth in forgiveness once again
    In the arched rainbow where all hues are blent.



Stephen Rónay.

All nature seemeth into mourning thrown,
As if some deathly grief had caused its moan.

The hill and vale are clad in bright array,
Yet ne’er the birds have trilled so sad a lay.

A restless storm doth linger in the air,
To join with shrieks and wails all earth’s despair.

The sweetest blossoming rose bends low its head,
As one who knows what fates the gods have said.

Upon each leaf there hangs a dewy tear;
They mourn one loved upon her bier.

Great is the grief by nature to be borne,
That daily, nigthly she must moan and mourn.

The stars themselves do omens ill betray,
And tremble from their erstwhile lustrous ray.

Sighs fill the air; the earth itself doth thrill; —
Or can it be that but my heart is ill?



Alexander Petőfi.

Oh, beauteous, boundless strength of lowland plain,
My glad heart’s pleasure ground dost still remain,
With hills and vales, the broken highland seems
A volume that with pictured pages teems;
But thou, where hill succeeds not hill, my plain,
Art like an open page, whereof I gain
The knowledge at a glance, and over thee
The loftiest thoughts are written legibly.
’Tis sad; I cannot pass by happy chance
My life upon the puszta’s wide expanse.
Here would I dwell amid these valleylands,
As the free Bedouin on Arabian sands.
Puszta, thou art the type of liberty;

And, liberty, thou art as God to me!
For thee, my Deity, alone I live,
That once for thee my life-blood I may give;
And, by my grave, when I for thee have died,
My cursed life shall then be sanctified.
But what is this, — grave, death, what do I write?
But marvel not, for ruins meet my sight;
Not ruins of a fort, but of an inn;
Time asks not to what end the house hath been;
A fortress, or a tavern, ’tis the same;
He treads o’er both alike, and when he came,
Walls tottered, crumbling, iron e’en as stone,
And nothing, high or low, he leaves alone.

Of stone how came they this old inn to rear,
When all the lowland shows no quarry near?
A town or hamlet, nestled here at first,
Long ere the Turkish rule our land had cursed.
Poor Hungary, my wretched land; ah me;
How many yokes have been endured by thee!
This ancient town was sacked by Osman’s hordes,
Who razed each house therein, except the Lord’s.
The church remained, a ruin, it is true,
Still of our loss a mourner left to view.
For centuries it stood thus; stood to mourn;
Until at last, by sorrow overborne,
It fell, and, lest its stones should scattered be,
They built the wayside inn which here you see. —
From God’s house build an inn! and wherefore nay?
One serves the body, one the soul, I say!
Each in our being has an equal share;

On each we must attend with dutious care,
From God’s house build an inn, and wherefore nay?
Our life can please our God in either way,
And purer hearts within an inn I’ve known,
Than some who daily kneel before God’s throne.
Inn, fallen inn, when yet within thy door
The travellers rested and enjoyed thy store,
My phantasy builds up thy wall anew,
And one by one thy transient guests I view;
The wandering journeyman with staff is here;
The puszta’s son in greasy cloack stands near,
There, with his long beard, is a peddling Jew,
The roving Slovak tinker, with a few
Who drink; the smiling hostess, young and fair,
Flirts with a merry student debonair;
The wine has made his head a little light,
His heart more loving to the hostess bright.
The aged host! in rage why starts he not?
He calmly sleeps beside the stack, I wot!
Then, ’neath the haystack’s shade, now, in the tomb,
Where, too, his fair young wife had long found room
All have returned, long years since, dust to dust;
The inn bath fallen a prey to age’s rust.
The wind the covering from its head did tear;
The roof, whereof dismantled, it stands bare,
As though its master, time, it stood before,
And prayed for better usage than of yore.
In vain the suppliant prays, day after day;
Crumbling, it falls, until one cannot say
Where was the doreway, or the window where;
It was the dead’s last hope before it fell;
The cellar is ruin; there is the well,
Whose hoist, one day, some passing vagrant stole,
Leaving behind the crossbeam and the pole,
On which a royal eagle came to light,
Because the puszta yields no loftier height;
Behold his look and mien, so full of pride;
His memories seem with ages gone to bide.
The sun, that heavenly lover, flames above;
He burns, because his heart is filled with love
For “Délibáb”* the puszta’s fairy child,
Whose fond eyes gaze at him in yearnings wild.

* Fata Morgana.



Alexander Petőfi.

The streamlet’s waves roll on in gleeful ways;
    Their merry splash is as a silvery voice,
    In such a tuneful current did rejoice
The mellow accents of my youthful days.

My soul was then a streamlet, pure and clear,
    A mirror of the laughing sky above;
    Sun, moon and star in this sky was my love;
The lively fish, my joyous heart, leaped here.

The streamlet has become a swollen stream
    Its whispers, silver clear, are heard no more;
    And o’er the storm is heard its mighty roar;
And overcast is now the heaven’s bright gleam.

Bright sun, look not upon the stream just now;
    Thou wilt not see in it thy shining face;
    The struggels of the storm its waves displace;
Upheave its waters from the depths below.

What do the stains upon the waters mean —
    The bloody stain, shown by the angry sea?
    The wide world cast its anchor into thee;
My blood — blood of my heart — is now here seen!



Alexander Petőfi.

’Tis night, the night of peace and rest,
    While moon and stars light up thy sky,
    My fair-haired child, with sky-blue eye,
My pearl, what do thy thoughts suggest?

Around me hover sweetest dreams,
    Though sleep did not me overwhelm;
    Each dream of mine a splendid realm,
The crown of which thou art, it seems.

Could I but steal — a thief to be,
    Though wrong — I’d glady go to steal
    My dreamland’s each and every weal,
Enriching poor reality



Michael Tompa.

How long, ye birds, on this sere bough
    Will ye sit mute, as though in tears?
Not quite forgotten yet are now
    The songs I taught ye, surely, dears;
But if for aye are vanished quite
    Your former cheer, your song so gay,
A sad and wistful time recite —
    Oh, children, sing to me, I pray!

A storm has raged; our rocks apart
    Are rent; glad shade you cannot find;
And are ye mute, about to start
    And leave your mother sad behind?
In other climes new songs are heard
    Where unite would understand your lay,
Though empty is your home and bared
    Yet, children, sing to me, I pray!

In memory of this hallowed bower,
    Shady and green, call forth a strain,
And greet the time when soon in flower
    These barren fields shall bloom again;
So, at your song, anew shall life
    Wend quickly o’er this plain, its way,
Sweetening the day with sorrow rife —
    Oh, children, sing to me, I pray!

Here in the tree is the old nest
    Where you were cherished lovingly;
Return to it, and therein rest,
    Albeit among the clouds you fly;
New that the storm has laid it bare,
    Would you the traits of men display?
Leaving this place, your home transfer?
    Oh, children, sing to me, I pray!



John Arany.

One-half heaven in grievance wept;
    The other laughed in glee;
A double rainbow spanned the land
    As if from sea to sea.
Its gleam against the cloudy sky
    Was noticed by a child,
A dreamy, winsome, blonde-haired boy,
    With wistful eyes and mild.

“O, what a splendid bridge is that:
    A heavenly bridge!” he thought.
“Methinks the angels tread it now,
    Whom I so long have sought!
Yes, I will run and see them there,”
    He cried, the rainbow’s charm
Moving him. ”Angels surely can
    Do little boys no harm!

”It cannot be so far away;
    It is behind yon tree;
Before the evening has set in
    At heaven’s gate I’ll be.
O, God, how beautiful must be
    The paradise within!
O, God, if only into heaven
    A brief look I could win!”

So saying, ho sets out to run,
    And soon is far away;
His anxious mother calls to him;
    He hears not nor will stay:
And hundred flowers call to him,
    “Sit down, thou little boy.”
The birds say. “We will sing to thee,”
    He hears not their decoy.

So slippery is the path, he falls,
    But soon doth rise again;
Thorns tear his dress and fain would try
    To hold him back in vain.
And then another barrier comes
    Before him; ’tis the creek;
This, too, he crosses; on he runs;
    He is not tired nor weak.

He from the creek does not recoil;
    Heeds not the slippery way;
He stops not at the wild, rude thorns;
    On, on, without delay!
Pleasure or danger stop him not,
    Though he encounters each:
Up to the rainbow still he looks;
    That goal he fain would reach.

Travelers and peasants, passing, hail —
    “Lo! stop thou little one;
Tell us what is thy urgent haste;
    Where dost thou quickly run?”
“O,” he replies, still, hurrying on,
    Regards not those who ask,
“To reach that bridge and to return
    Ere evening is my task.”

“O, foolish child! where is that bridge?
    Thy race had better cease;
A rainbow ’tis, the ends of which
    Arch over distant seas.
The empty clouds it fills anew
    With water, bringing rain;
But, if you disbelieve us now.
    Run on; ’twill all be vain.”

“Be it a rainbow or a bridge,
    Reach it I must ere night!”
Thus said the boy, and on he runs,
    Viewing the lovely sight.
And now a bushy by-path leads
    Into the forest glade,
Where it would seem that, for to-day,
    Nature her rest hath made.

A rustle here, a whisper there,
    Mystery all around;
Something e’en snatches off his cap;
    Magic doth here abound!
Gray, heavy boughs fall in his way,
    But tireless on goes he;
He sees the charming rainbow shine
    Bright above bush and tree.

And pilgrims meet him, who inquire
    His quest; he answers fair.
“O, little fool, ’tis useless quite;
    None ever may get there.
Many and divers tales are told
    Of heaven’s prismatic bow,
But what it is none of us all —
    Not one — can say ’I know.”

But still the boy is not content;
    “I want to know,” he cries;
Leaving the wood behind he gains
    The hill, and on he flies.
He falls, he wounds his little feet,
    But nothing stops him now,
Until, exhausted quite, he falls,
    Reaching the mountain’s brow.

E’en when exhausted, lying there,
    With pains and aches that tire,
He casts a glance at heaven’s arch,
    Yearning and full of fire.
The rainbow now begins to lose
    The splendor of its ray;
Slowly more dim and vague it grows,
    Turns gray and dies away.

“O, golden bridge or splendid arch!”
    Sounds his piteous cry;
“I love thee, whatsoe’er thou art;
    Leave me not; do not fly!
If I may not, like angels, walk
    O’er you to heaven’s dome,
Let me your glory see until
    I reach my final home.”

By an old hermit this is heard,
    With age and care weighed down;
A long, gray beard flows o’er his chest,
    White locks adorn his crown.
“What ails thy mind, what ails thy heart,
    What ails thee, little waif?
Why dost thou wish, being so young,
    So soon to reach thy grave?”

“Thy heart’s desire and earnest wish
    Lies in a realm unknown;
Naught but an empty shape it is,
    A fairy dream alone;
A ray ’tis of the sun’s bright eye,
    Which doth victorious fall,
Breaking through clouds and showing us
    God’s glory; that is all.”

The sage with grave concern went on
    To teach the boy his lore;
Taught him the wisdom which unlocks
    Nature’s most secret door.
Full of compassion, then he took
    The lad into his care,
And to his parents safe returned
    Their boy with golden hair.

And afterward the boy would view
    Full oft the golden bow;
And then, beholding it, his heart
    Would melt in tears and glow,
That it was but a picture void,
    No bridge into the sky,
That it was but a fairy dream,
    Caused him to wail and cry.



Michael Vörösmarty.

If thou hast lost thy manly heart
    Unto a woman fair,
And she has by her wanton art
    Thy happy life made bare;
If her false eyes now seem in smile,
    Now shed a feigned tear,
With yearning filling thee a while
    Then causing wounds that sear;
Then while you quaff the bowl.
Think still the world doth roll;
That bubbles burst, though fair,
And leave but empty air.

If thou hast on thy friend relied,
    Who as thine own soul was,
Thy secrets did’st to him confide, —
    Honor and country’s cause;
And he, with soft and murderous hand,
    Hath stabbed thee to the heart,
Thy ruin skillfully hath planned
    By treason’s baleful art;
Then while you quaff the bowl,
Think still the world doth roll;
That bubbles burst, though fair,
And leave but empty air.

If for thy country thou dost yield
    With toil thy sacred thought,
Or on the perilous battlefield
    With blood her fame hast bought
And if, deluded, it should spurn
    Thy efforts true and high,
Or, led by rulers base, should turn
    And sacrifice decry;
Then while you quaff the bowl,
Think still the world doth roll;
That bubbles burst, though fair,
And leave but empty air.

If still within thy aching heart
    Doth gnaw the worm of care,
And thou forsaken wholly art
    By men and fortune fair:
If all thy pleasure, hope, delight,
    Are killed by poison’s bane,
And hope for future days more bright
    Is all too late and vain;
Then while you quaff the bowl,
Think still the world doth roll;
Thai bubbles burst, though fair,
And leave but empty air.

And if despondency and wine,
    United in thy brain,
To thee the picture should define
    Of thy life’s barren plain,
Think of some brave and noble thing
    And for it risk thy life.
He is not lost who still doth cling
    To faith, and braves the strife;
Then while you quaff the bowl,
Think still the world doth roll;
And while it yet doth stand
Structures and wrecks are planned.



Géza Zichy.

“And here, last night, you say, a woman died,”
    The careless stranger mutters and doth pass.
The neighbours sigh, “A woman good and tried,
    But the hand of death finds all; alas, alas!”

“A true and faithful soul,” the priest declares;
    “An interesting case,” the doctor drones.
Her husband on the coffin-lid but stares;
    “My all, my all is gone,” he moans, he groans.



Alexander Petőfi.

A house stands by the Danube far away,
To me so fair, I think of it all day;
The fond remembrance of that spot so dear,
Will ever make my heart swell with a tear.

Ah, had I never thence set forth; but man
Is always moved by some ambitious plan,
And falcon-wings grew to my heart’s desire
I left my home, my mother, and my sire.

How great my mother’s grief I cannot tell;
When bidding me, ’mid sobs and sighs, farewell,
The pearly dew, that showered from her eyes,
To quench her burning pains, did not suffice.

Still do I feel her trembling arms’ embrace;
Still do I see her haggard, care-worn face.
Oh, had I then my fate at all foreseen,
Her dear entreaties vain had never been.

Seen in the rays of hope’s bright morning star,
Our future days enchanted gardens are;
Only to our delusion do we wake,
When in the devious pathway of mistake.

But why relate how hope’s enticing ray,
Though cheering me, misled me from my way?
How, wandering o’er the bleak world’s barren sod,
My faltering feet on myriad thorn-spikes trod.

Some friends have started toward my home to go;
What of the truth shall I let mother know?
Go to her, countrymen, if you come near
The house wherein reside my parents dear.

Pray, tell my blessed mother not to fret;
Say that her son is now fair fortune’s pet.
For should the loving soul the plain truth hear,
Her tender heart, alas, would break, I fear!



John Arany.

    Do not thus darkly look on me,
Companion of my life, so dear;
It is as though the valley here
    Obscured by autumn lights could be;
Look gently, smiling, as you can;
Life’s cares devolve upon the man.

    If faithless he who once was true,
And no light word be on his tongue,
If hard fate’s rising storm has flung
    The gloom thou see’st his face imbue;
Thy heart shall not regard this ban;
Life’s cares devolve upon the man.

    The heavy rainstorm rears and blows;
The scarred cliff casts an awful shade;
But gentle is the plain’s fair glade;
    The valley’s streamlet sweetly flows,
Which through green pastures ever ran;
Life’s cares devolve upon the man.

    Look not thus darkly then on me,
Although the storm may rage outside,
Our pleasant cottage shall abide,
    Untouched shall stand for me and thee;
My heart its burden carry can,
Life’s cares devolve upon the man.



Alexander Szabó.

When aimless I through forests rove,
    I am pursued by one sad song;
The tree-tops whisper it above,
    “Thy pall we will provide ere long.”

Sweet flowers in the field aglow
    Regard me with a fearful eye;
They bend to me and whisper low,
    “A wreath we’ll make when thou wilt die.”

The earth, on which I suffered pain
    And woe, which tore and racked my breast,
My steps re-echo, saying plain,
    “Within my bosom thou wilt rest.”



Victor Dalmady.

It is not then that thou art worn,
    When with toil’s sweat thy brow is wet,
When heavy burdens thou dost bear,
    And hindrance in thy path is set;
But when thy soul has lost is peace,
    And cannot call it back again,
Tought, wear and woe o’ermaster thee,
    And, resting, thou dost muse on pain.

It is not then that thou dost rest
    When thou can’st freely breathe once more;
When thou can’st wipe thy brow at ease
    And feel content, thy labor o’er;
But when in grief profound thou art,
    And wandering in an evil plight,
Some sympathetic soul divides
    Thy care, and makes thy heart’s weight light.



Alexander Petőfi.

The sun is like a withered rose,
    Which, drooping, bends her weary head,
Her leaves, just like his pallid rays,
    With sad smiles o’er the landscape spread.

Mute and calm the world around me
    I hear the distant curfew bell;
From heaven or dreamland come the sweet
    And distant sound? I cannot tell.

Attentively I list; I love
    Sweet reveries’ adagios;
God knows what I feel and feel not —
    And where my mind, God only knows.



John Kiss.

Somewhere — long, long ago, somewhere far hence,
A grave was opened near the churchyard fence;
The tombstone fell; neglected, it doth lie;
Who rests beneath none knows save only I;
                Save only I.

Though never there, yet blindly I could fly;
And though unseen, I could the place espy,
Some secret instinct planted in my breast
Would lead me thither; tell me where to rest;
                Ay, where to rest.

Thou sleepest there, my mother, dear and good
In dreamless sleep the long night’s interlude;
And when I ponder o’er my fate and years,
Relief I can obtain but in my tears;
                But in my tears.



Alexander Petőfi.

“Thou’st eaten, comrade; bloody are thy fangs,
While we around here suffer hunger’s pangs.”

“The howling tempest blows, while far and near,
The land lies waste; the winter is severe.”

“No trace can we espy of man or beast;
Come! tell us quickly, now; where was the feast?”

A pack of hungry wolves thus seek to learn,
Where one — their fellow — did his prey discern.

Without delay, the wolf that hath fared well
Proceeds the following narrative to tell.

“A shedherd and his wife a hut maintain,
Which I sought out, down there in yonder plain.”

“Behind their hut, I knew there was a fold;
Hearing the sheep bleat, I to sup made bold.”

“To this abode last night did softly hie
Two stealthy wanderers — one young man and I.”

“He had a sweet tooth for the shepherd’s wife.
I, for the sheep, was bound to risk my life.”

“The lover sneaked around; I could not sup
On mutton, so, instead, I ate him up!”



Gustave Lauka.

Most doleful loll the vesper hulls,
“Your evening prayers say!” it tells.
    That those, who went before us might
    Find grace divine, peace infinite.

Ah! many suffered long and keen,
Most unhappy on earth have been.
    Let us to God on High then trust,
    He’ll bless with peace their earthly dust.

And when their souls, freed of their frame,
Before Him come: Praised be His name!
    His grace their poor souls overwhelm,
    Receive them in His blissful realm.



Michael Tompa.

The dog-wood, alder and cypress
    Whom secret hope t’another zone
Allured, had left their garden home
    Of old, of which they tired had grown.

While wandering, to parting ways
    They came, three roads before them see,
Which shall we take? they ask themselves;
    These are the musings of the three:

I long, thus runs the dog-wood’s speech,
    To reach the hills and mountains high,
To live on pathless rugged hills
    Where freedom reigns, nigh to the sky.

There greens the pine-tree, it is there
    Where all the mighty oaks upshoot,
Whom raving storms and angry winds
    Do try, but never can uproot.

The alder-tree continues thus:
    I seek a home on river’s shore,
And in the water’s mirror face
    I can my own picture adore.

In cooling waves I lave my feet
    Beneath the poplar tree, which there
His beautiful crowned head of green
    Lifts proudly in the cloudy air.

The cypress said: with vanity
    Is filled of both of you the soul;
To live upon a river’s shore
    Or mountain high, is not my goal.

I left the garden where so sweet
    Scent flowers fair and blooms the tree,
Because within the garden walls
    A cypress can not happy be.

Why shall I chose a blissful spot?
    On mountain high or near the sea?
The pine-tree is forever green,
    The poplar always laughs in glee.

Pleasures and joys I never knew.
    My relatives are woo and gloom;
The place most fit for me is near
    The graveyard ’round a lonely tomb.

And if there be some poor dead’s grave
    O’er whom no loving soul sheds tears:
My drooping foliage at least
    Shall prove my sympathies sincere.



Michael Szabolcska.

My own good God! for one thing I do pray:
Let me on such an evening pass away
    As is to-day, a beauteous autumn eve,
    The setting sun the cloudless sky to leave
        My last breath when I heave.

And when his last rays last time see depart,
Let their impression rest within my heart.
    I take it with me into that great night,
    That nightly I be overspread with light.
        In new sunrise delight,

The autumn leaves that silent fall, then may
To me a last, great dream-picture convey:
    The vision of a spring which lasts fore’er,
    Forever live the light, the flowers fair,
        Hope turns not to despair.



Edmund Jakab.

Far, far away, a little house is found,
Acacia trees the cosy spot surround,
    In summer’s days upon its snow-white walls
    The shade of ivy thereto clinging falls.

’Tis there where you have been a girl at play,
And you and I were constant playmates gay.
    Upon each tree that round that house doth grow
    Almighty God His blessing may bestow!

Upon its roof the storks shall build their nest,
Beneath its rafters swallows shall find rest,
    When angry winds it to onslaughts subject,
    May near-by crown of trees the house protect.

Whoever moves into that house, O may
He happy be unto his dying day;
    And should his heart be void, may God above
    Fill it with sentiments of blissful love.

If mournful days follow his days of mirth,
Let all the bitterness of his on earth
    Be but as much as I left in that house
    From whence I took you to become your spouse.



Louis Bartók.

While roaming in the shady wood,
    That painful thoughts you might forget,
Avoid the roads and lanes and paths
    Where you and your love ever met.

With heart all cold and void, your love
    Forever to forget you aim;
One spark, and lo! sweet memories
    Arise, once more your heart’s aflame.

What once you breathed in with her,
    With flowers of the spring to tarry seems,
The flower’s scent she had loved best,
    And poisoned is your kindled breast.

A zephyr soft might play with you,
    A sigh might in the tree-top stir,
And all your wounds are ope again,
    For all your heart’s thoughts are with her.

Here is the flower she plucked with glee.
    With joyous song twined in her hair,
This brook her mirror was, the thirst
    Of your soul it can’t quench howe’er.

And here she sat, — you turn your face
    As were she e’en now at your side,
To her sweet lips, in one mute kiss,
    Your own heart’s secret to confide.

But hind the trees the sun hath set,...
    You are alone, left all alone
To gloomy clouds of dismal night,
    Your mournful sorrows to make known.



Julius Szávay.

The autumn’s ill hath to the forest come,
And one by one the rustling leaves succumb;
The gentle whisper of the falling leaves
’S a lullaby to my poor soul that grieves.

My soul thus rocked is into golden dreams,
With flowers of the spring to tarry seems,
With blooming roses in the garden set,
With gleaming of the blue-eyed violet.

Sweet Violet! the flow’ry queen who art,
A venom now, then balm to human heart.
Within my sweetheart’s eyes your color burned
When to your pearly dew her eyes she turned.

But woe! since then my mind is not at ease,
My soul clings but to things that fade and freeze.
I’m partial to the bare, cold wintry days,
Myself am like a tree leaf which decays.



Louis Bartók.

    Thou vale, where warmer is the sun,
        And sooner melts the snow,
    Where winter makes a faster run,
        But summer’s flight is slow,
To where the laughing brook flows from above:
’Tis thou, oh vale, who taught me what is love.

    Thou rock, precipitous and high,
        Who see’st the tempest’s ire,
    And wrathful lightnings in the sky
        To fill the air with fire,
Forsaken, barren though, but thou art free!
Majestic rock! thou thunder’s! “Liberty!”



Anthony Radó.

When one a sweetheart has in dear old Rome,
The Sundays he with her joyously spends
In old Campagna’s fields, they greet as friends
The ruins they behold, while thus they roam

About. I, too, with my sweet Marian,
One sunlit, wintry morn had joined the throng,
Upon her lips there rose a tuneful song,
In soft, melodious Italian.

To reach a lonely inn was our design.
By noontime one can reach its friendly gate,
Few hours to spend there in sweet tete-a-tete,
Contentedly then sip Chianti wine.

When to the via Appia we came, —
Where in long rows the sarcophags lay ’round, —
On wings of wind there came a flute’s sweet sound.
We could not, though, make out whence rose the same.

We heard a zuffolo’s saturnine tone,
A tiny shepherd-flute it was, we thought,
The sort roving Italians had brought
To us and played to join their bagpipes’ moan.

It seemed a poor song and monotonous,
Yet we were touched, we felt ourselves oppressed,
The melody so quaint and it possessed
The force to move the heart of both of us.

We went our way. Above, no leaflet stirred.
All quiet all around, this only song
Resounds, now no more faint but somewhat strong,
The dreamy, solemn melody we heard.

Whence came the song? To know we still at loss,
When entering a narrow, shady way,
We saw a man upon a flute to play,
While on his bended knees before a cross.

Age bent his patriarchal, snow-white head,
He wore a ragged cloak, had broken shoes.
To all else lost the crucifix he views.
And piety and pride his face o’ersproad.

The poor fellow so ravishingly played.
As if an artist great he were, around
Whom lists the crowd with bated breath profound,
Whose hearts and souls he with his song had swayed.

He gave us not a glance of his big eyes....
As if beneath Saint Peter’s dome, my soul!
Was thrilled by list’ning to the organ’s roll,
I seemed to feel the incense odors rise.

The picture on the cross — crude work of art,
Receives, it seems, with grace divine the hymn,
And saintly Mary smiles benign on him,
As does the Infant held close to her heart.

To me the Christ’s no Son of God, but I
Was by the scene wrought up to that decree
Of piety, that I fell on my knee,
And prayed devout to my own God on High.

And both of us felt an ecstatic bliss!
The beauty of the world we saw revealed,
And splendid e’en the grass on which we kneeled,
The sky, it seemed, a-smiling sent a kiss.

Emotions lofty held my soul, — in truth, —
Enraptured by delight beyond compare.
With eager keenness breathed I the air
Which you exhaled: Love, Poetry and Youth!

When after pray’r we left that hallowed place,
We felt our blood to throb fast in our vein,
From all around I thought to hear it plain:
“Blessed be, beloved ones; with love and grace!”

When one a sweetheart has in dear old Rome,
The Sundays he with her joyously spends
In old Campagna’s fields, they greet as friends
The ruins they behold, while thus they roam

About. I, too, with my sweet Marian,
One sunlit, wintry morn had joined the throng;
Upon her lips there rose a tuneful song
In soft, melodious Italian!



Alexander Petőfi.

The daylight wanes,
And quiet reigns.
’Mid breezes driven,
Cloudlets riven,
The moonlight plays
In varied rays,
As ruins o’er
Might fancy soar.
The city wight
Has no delight,
Seek in the field
What pleasures yield
The eves. — All gay
Two lovers stray,
Sing on their way.
Their song is heard
By many a bird.
From forest’s shade
To lad and maid
Comes the mournful tale
Of the nightingale,...
From the garden borne
The sound of horn,
Where the herdsman tends
His fire! It extends
Far, far around,
And then the sound
Of the horn’s sad note,
In the air doth float.
While all around
O’er the dewy ground
And rich, green grass
His herd doth pass.
Then soft the gate
Is opened, elate
The herdsman heeds
The sound, and speeds.
Kiss follows kiss
And all is bliss!
Who went there, who?
The lover true!
How blessed ye two!
All joyous be!
But why of ye
I cannot be?



Michael Vörösmarty.

I am the night, thou art a star
    Which shines with lustrous glow,
And dark and dreary is my life,
    Unbearable my woe.

Thou causest it, that I am wrapped
    Into this doleful gloom;
Above this gloom, howe’er, I see
    Thy face divine to loom.

I slumber not, thou gleaming star,
    Because of thy fair beams;
And yet, amidst my painful woe,
    To thee ascend my dreams.

I’d fain to carry up to thee
    The sacred secrets sweet
Of love, which cause earth’s children’s heart
    Tumultuously to beat,

To carry up the vows, which lips
    Have not dared to reveal,
The thoughts, which night and grief insist
    Forever to conceal.

To thee my mournful, doleful face
    I’d bear, that thy bright beam
Athwart my sombre, ghastly face
    Might all the brighter gleam.

And as more doleful, mournful, I
    Most willingly would be,
Thou couldst be dazzling in the high
    The more resplendently.

I long my own brightness to lose,
    If thou but shinest bright!
If once, yea only once, for this
    Thy flames to feel I might.



Charles Szász.

It’s cold and hazy, all alone
I sit at home, a weary grown.
    Upon the hearth
        The embers die,
    I look intent
        And ghosts espy.

Into the past musingly gaze,
Before me lies its every phase:
    All I have felt,
        Hope, joy and pain,
    Beloved ones dead
        I see again.

And one by one they all arise,
Each one though long in his grave lies,
    Each one, who still
        Alive, appears,
    An echo of
        The vanished years.

And now, no more alone am I,
For when the last flames flick’ring die:
    From out the hearth
        Shades, ghastly, drear,
    Seem coming forth
        To meet me here.

Though old acquaintances they be,
Still they are fright’ning, chilling me.
    Around me flit
        In spectral flight,
    Hear ghastly sighs
        Pass into night.

Without, the street lamp burneth bright,
It sheds into my room its light;
    And spectre like
        Awaits the morn,
    By dim lamplight
        The shades are torn.

The wind against my window blows,
And on the panes the hoarfrost glows.
    Flowers of ice,
        Dread winter nights
    Are of my past
        The shades and sprites.



Louis Palagyi.

O, forest, forest; what are thy retreats,
If thy fair charms no dreamer ever greets?
For vainly blossom all thy charms concealed,
If to a poet’s heart they can not be revealed.

In vain the wind will through thy foliage blow,
If there be none the murmuring tones who know;
Here chirps the bird, its mate doth answer send,
But none the harmony can comprehend.

Although the near-by vale is men’s fair home,
None there, abide who care to thee to come;
All in their lowly huts remain concealed,
And each one ploughs his narrow little field.

They’ve built up petty huts down at the base,
But there are none who long to see thy face,
From youth to hoary age near thee they dwell,
But none come e’er beneath thy magic spell.

Thy verdure dark, fadeth from year to year,
Thy open shrine awaits the pilgrims here.
New songs, unceasing, swell and onward roll,
But thou await’st a poet’s kindred soul.

And in the wind’s voice, to the vale below
Th’ inviting flute an hundred time doth blow;
They feel the wrath which in thy tempest rolls,
No meaning though it bears to their dull souls.

In loneliness, thou forest, here wilt stand,
Till once a poet comes from some far land:
In spirit converse you each other greet,
Two lonely ones akin, as comrades meet.



Alexander Petőfi.

To-day a soft, mild, whispering breeze am I,
    As gently o’er the greening fields I rove,
Breathe kisses on the faces of the buds,
    My sweet, warm kiss, the pledge of my true love.
“Bloom, bloom! fair daughters of the balmy spring!”
    Soft whispering in their ears “bloom! bloom!” I say.
Then, as their coverings thy shyly ope,
    In bliss upon their breasts I faint away.

To-morrow though I am the shrill-voiced wind,
    The bush in fear shall tremble in my path,
Beholding in my hands the whetted knife,
    It knows I shall deprive it of its green.
“Ye foolish, trusty maidens fade away!”
    I hiss unto the flow’rs and withered, sere
They fade away upon the autumn’s breast,
    While cold and scornful I but laugh and jeer.

To-day a meek breeze I, as o’or smooth streams
    I peacefully and calm float through the air.
Observed but by the little, weary bee,
    Who, flying homewards from the meads, doth bear
Her burden at her side, — the gathered sweets
    For honey-making, — culled from flowers bright.
The tiny creature on my palm I bear
    And thus assist her in her weary flight.

To-morrow, once again, the tempest mad!
    O’er angry seas on my wild steed I’ll ride.
Cause in my wrath their dark-green locks to shake,
    The lord like, who by stubborn child’s defied.
I’ll sweep the sea. and if a ship I meet,
    Her wings, the flutt’ring sails I’ll wrest.
And with her mast write on the waves her fate:
    “No more wilt thou in any harbor rest!”



John Arany.

Forth to the fields; do not resist the might
    Of these most beauteous days full balmy air.
The truant spring regrets — it seems — her flight,
        Again is there.

Invigorating sun, with vernal ray
    Clothes all the blue of heaven in rich array,
And white-robed clouds on high their tribute pay
        What fine display!

In boundless azure, we can hear the voice
    Of the migrating birds; “farewell” they sing.
We have — without their caprice — all the joys
        Of summer and of spring.

No fitful days, like sick men have, who weep
    O’er fleeting joys; we have no sultry air,
No clap of distant thunders, rolling deep,
        Have not the lightning’s glare.

In dewy meads, where laughing brooklets flow
    The green grass fadeth not by foul decay;
The field and wood with lustrous hue aglow,
        Are young again and gay.



John Arany.

What to the home the heartstones thought to be,
And what the flower is to busy bee;
What is the morning dew to thirsty ground,
To painful wound the balm love will compound;
What lighted lamp is in the night’s dark hour,
Or what in torrid noon’s a shady bower,
What all, for which no word, no thought may be:
All that, O poesy, thou art to me.

If rugged is to be my path of life,
Is to be fraught with grief, with woe and strife
If all around me chilly winds shall beat,
And I be covered by cold winter’s sleet:
Ah! here and there fair flowers still in bloom!
This throweth light into the darkest gloom;
For, in these sweetly scenting flowers, thee,
Joy of the Woods! I must embodied see.

And if my ardent heart at times shall long
For fellowship and seek the human throng,
Soon, sick and weary unto death, it yearns
For its own solitude; anon returns,
A pillow soft thou hast for me, and my
Nocturnal rest sweet dreams will beautify;
While with the thorns of truth I must forbear
Thou causest bloom for me the roses fair.

Thou makest all my joys be felt more deep,
And kindly lullest all my woes to sleep;
So great the joy which now for me in store,
That now the burning wounds I feel no more.
In tears, which from my eyes, like pearly dews
Roll down, thou playest in bright rainbow hues;
E’en my complaint, is it in sour confessed,
Is evermore more noble and more blessed.



Ladislaus Torkos.

The West, the West! migrate out west!
    Oh! there I longed to be!
Sweet recollections lured me on,
    A-calling tenderly.

To eat and drink I did not care.
    Nor for nocturnal rest.
“The devil take me,” — then I thought, —
    And now I’m in the west.

Ah! ’tis the west, but not repose,
    For I am roving still, —
From mountain summits to the vale,
    From valley to the hill.

And like a Turk, with folded arms,
    Eastward I turn my eyes;
Unconsciously on my lips
    Rise most heartbreaking sighs.

And if soon all this doth not cease,
    My fancy’s constant flight, —
I think I even might become
    A Turkish Islamite.

I feel as if I had to list
    To the great Prophet’s lore,
And to his Eastern shrine I’ll fly,
    As in the days of yore!



John Arany.

Who planted me here in this desert land,
    An everlasting plague to roving wind?
Who buried deep my roots in burning sand,
    My lonely life to bloomless night consigned?
        Ah! may accursed be
The cruel hand, that here hath planted me.

’Neath verdant hills, on tender brooklet’s bank,
    Joyous my youth was passed. The crystal dew, —
While shielded from the wind and sun, — I drank,
    Breathing the air of heaven and mountain blue,
        And on each blessed morn
Saw gleaming pearly beads my boughs adorn.

With smiles had greeted me the rising sun.
    As he beheld me in the morning breeze;
He said farewell to me each eve, when run
    His daily course. At noon, he would, to please,
        Behind clouds hide his face,
That I might not faint in his hot embrace.

Beneath me, soft and thick, the turf of green
    And bright and beauteous meadows spread
Gay insects swarmed on my leave’s silver sheen,
    And in my drooping boughs bird songs resound,
        Sad Philomel to me,
Flew nightly, not to near-by proud oak-tree.

Whenever in the burning, whitish glare,
    My branches would the water’s mirror meet:
All swiftly, — just to wet my tresses fair, —
    A million wavelets lave and bathe my feet,
        And tiny whirlpools pressed
The floating flowers up, towards my breast.

That in these waves she lave, there came a maid.
    In shame, her beauty white grew red and warm.
Then thoughtful over her my arms I laid,
    Into my leaves I wrapped her slender form.
        I shielded her with care,
That none might view her beauty fair and rare.

Then came the youthful shepherd, — sad and slow.
    The reed from my own branch, of which he made
A lute, I didn’t regret, for of his woe
    He then in plaintive, mournful accents played.
        Ah! sad indeed his lay!
But some of his great grief it bore away.

Alone now on the dreary waste I stand,
    The hoarse-voiced locust is my only friend, —
In sultry heat, gaze o’er the mirage land,
    Whose airy streams to my thirst tortures lend.
        Would but a spring be here!
But not one drop my burning thirst to cheer!

My scattered foliage is sere and brown;
    The fainting wanderer a place of rest
Doth seek, but finds it not. He raineth down
His curses o’er my leaves. “Nevermore blest
        With green again thou be!”
A fruitless curse! Since new springtides I see.

Near by, one sees an old, abandoned dike;
    None cross it now; the bridge is gone; who cares
To cross it when the stream and deep, alike
    Are gone, and no dividing way is there?
        Ah! e’en the clouds on high
Bring no relief, but slowly onward fly.



Paul Gyulai.

Is this a vintage or a wake?
Silent with wine our thirst we slake.
Like autumn gales that ’bout us beat
We now and then must heave a sigh.
’Tis well that here we took our seat,
Where dry-dead leaves about us fly.

It was not thus long, long ago,
And every one will tell you so.
For then, the hearts beat high with life,
The mount was full of joy. Now sore
Our hearts, the mounts no longer rife
With bliss, e’en swords we have no more.

With earnest mien the ancient host
Doth sit, his happiness all lost.
The old cloak o’er his shoulder falls,
And on his lips a curse doth rest;
For good cheer reigns not in the halls,
Nor on his lips, nor smile, nor jest.

The gypsies still their music play,
But no one leads to dance to-day.
So they pass on, and as they go
Their song re-echoes from afar.
Where are they gone? Ah! who doth know
Where youthful spirit, ardor are?

On yonder hillside, ’neath a tree,
There sits a maiden, musingly,
Her tears are rolling from her eyes.
A promised bride she long had been,
But none know where the bridegroom lies,
And none his grave have ever seen.

Monotony doth us unite,
We sit together where glows bright
The flame; we talk of days gone by.
Our speech by sighs ’s oft broke in twain
While o’er our souls old memories fly,
And we but stir the fire again.

Night on the hills, mist in the vale,
Our half-spent fire is growing frail,
Amidst the clouds high overhead
Are shadows dark, the moon grows pale.
Perchance at midnight walk the dead,
For countless graves lie in the vale.



Julius Rudnyánszky.

Time flies, its current carries far away
    All happiness and also all the woe,
All that has been surcharged with lustrous ray
    Of pomp, to everlasting death must go.
The boy doth soon strong manhood’s age attain,
    To lines of care then change the smiles he bore;
The future’s days my eyes seek all in vain.
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more.

Oh! how delicious were my dreams! Each dream
    Was full of bliss; and light my heart has been.
As good and true I held in high esteem
    The world, myself was good and true and clean!
If an enchanted scene had seized my eye
    And all unnoticed onward moved the shore,
I thought it followed me, would never fly,...
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more!

The wicked’s fall, and virtue’s victory
    Devoutly I believed and preached. Bestow
Thy help ’gainst secret risks protectingly,
    Good Lord! I’ll brave myself the open foe!
When in a lonely wood I had to rest,
    More soft had been my couch, — the stony floor, —
Then now on silks I toss about depressed...
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more!

While boundless have been all my proud desires,
    To joy enflamed I’ve been by smallest share.
The heart which is content is which inspires;
    In atoms of the world to be aware!
And where are friendship, glory, fame and power,
    Our early path of life’s springtide of yore?
I weep because to seed is gone the flower . . .
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more!

The woodworm furrows slowly in the oak,
    The lightning, though, shoots down with sudden
    Rash, thoughtless deeds but thought and care
Too heavy is the crown of thorns I wear.
    Long winter chaseth short summer’s delight.
    The storm undid the laurel wreath I wore;
Impatient I become and nigh despair. . .
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more!

’Tis true! The worth of youth we only then
    Appreciate, when youth ’s no longer ours;
At each day’s setting of the sun, I can
    Note how another hope’s none with the hours.
And although with my ancient zeal I strive,
    The precious pollen of my soul’s no more!
A cherub doth me from my Eden drive. . .
    And twenty years of age I’ll be no more!



Fruzina Szalay.

The flowers fade, the flowers pale,
The trees’ leaves fall by frost-king kissed.
Come autumn, spread o’er hill and vale
Thy hazy mist.

Throughout the noisy, busy day,
Men ceaseless worked, had weary grown.
Come night, and o’er the whole world may
Thy veil be thrown.

The day is o’er, yet many wake,
With burning tear filled many eye.
Come dream, and kindly undertake
Their tears to dry!



Ágost Greguss.

The magpies come, the swallows go,
The eve is short, the dawn is slow.
Beneath, more leaves than on the tree,
The autumn’s here, ’sis plain to see.

Life’s autumn came also to thee,
Thy hair is turning gray, I see;
And what is living in thy soul?
Sweet memories, not hope control.

And thy poor heart is full of fear...
Too soon the winter will be here.
Ah wait! Again the spring will ope,
Will bring new leaves, and bring new hope.



Victor Dalmady.

The summer’s eves will come and go,
But none so sweet as one, — below
    I spent, beneath acacia trees.
    Recalled by sweetest memories,
My sweetheart’s joyous face I still
Behold, and feel a blissful thrill —
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

She was all good, that darling maid,
Her presence sweetest bliss conveyed.
    She would with kindness smooth my brow,
    I feel the ease it gave e’en now.
And as she softly touched my hair
She drove away all woe, all care.
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

At first my forehead she would kiss,
And then my lips enjoyed the bliss.
    The happy minstrel’s was the first,
    The second quenched the lover’s thirst.
Twice every single kiss I felt,
As doubled joy her kisses dealt:
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

The silent nights which mute had grown,
Us two, to be awake had known.
    Yet those, who dreamed through all night’s hours
    Dreamed not of happiness as ours.
We dreamed of happiness sublime
Which ours will be, some day, some time.
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

It was here that she said to me,
That happy in a hut she’d be.
    It was here that she said her love
    ’S eternal as the stars above!
And here it was where tears she shed,
When I to her good-bye had said:
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

Of blossoms full were then the trees,
They spread their perfume in the breeze.
    I plucked two small twigs from the tree,
    The one for her, and one for me.
Forever’s gone that sweetest eve,
The blossom’s left with me to grieve.
    Acacias at the garden gale:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!

Such summer eve will come no more,
Be summer henceforth evermore.
    Whene’er of that one eve I dream,
    My anguished soul to calm doth seem.
Acacia trees, which could the soul
With sweet remembrances console:
    Acacias at the garden gate:
    To bloom twice be your happy state!



John Vajda.

In the centre of the forest yon,
Where shrub and tree keep out the sun,
There, in the vale, far off the road,
A cosy, shady, sweet abode.

How good it were could I live there,
Forever breathe that balmy air;
Live in that cosy, homely nest,
Do nothing else but peaceful rest!

Of thousand cares of fate’s decree,
Of all the worldly cares be free!
And, undisturbed, but give my thought,
That soon will come what I had sought.

On mountain side, in balmy air,
In sunny spring’s sweet morn, to stare
Upon the clouds that fly on high,
O’er past and future cast the eye...

At last, to feel the time has come
All unconsciously to succumb
To that great end that endeth all!
And from the dry life-tree to fall!

And then forever sleep! — to die,
Then in an unmarked grave to lie;
There to enjoy, what’s sweetest, best,
Eternal rest! eternal rest!



Alexander Petőfi.

Rugged Carpathians, what is to me
The wild romance of thy pine forests old?
With admiration I can view thee e’er,
But without love; nor does my fancy stray
Aloft to thy fair mountain vales. But there
    Below, in alföld’s sea-like region, there
Is my own world, my home! My eagle soul
Springs from its prison bonds, when I behold
The bound’ry of the plain. And so, in thought,
Upward to thee I fly, amid thy clouds,
When smiles upon me then, the image fair
Of that dear plain, from Danube’s waters spread
Unto the Tisza’s distant shore. Tinkle
Beneath the sky of the mirage, the bells
Of Kis-Kúnság’s hundred fat herds, at noon;
While by the well with the long windlass, waits
The double trough, and galloping, the steed
Snorts in the wind and stamps the ground. The colts’
Low whining, too. is heard, and of the lash
The cruel sound. There waveth in the field,
Unto the gentle breeze the green, sweet corn,
Adorning with the emerald’s glowing tint,
So glorious, the place. The wild ducks come
In the ev’ning’s twilight, from the neighboring cane,
Soaring affright, to an aerial path,
It but a zephyr sway the reeds. Then there
Far in the centre of the plain, lonely
An inn is standing, with its chimney, old
And crumbling, where the thirsty peasants come
For goats’ milk, as they journey to the fair.
Near the inn is the dwarfed poplar wood,
Yellow is the sand with melons rich;
There where the screaming hawk her nest doth build,
Where, undisturbed by children, she may rest.
There grows the sad, sad “orphan’s hair” and blossoms
Blue, of buckthorn, ’bout whose cooling stems
The parti-colored lizards wind themselves
To rest themselves in noonday heat. Beyond,
Far, far away, where earth and heaven meet
The summits blue of fruit trees dimly rise,
And farther still, like a misty column pale,
The spire of some distant village church is seen.
O, Alföld! fair, at least to me; for here
Was rocked my cradle; here, too, I was born.
May here the dark pall wrap my slumbering form;
In this dear land, I fain would find a grave.



Andrew Pap.

The happy one’s afraid to die,
    His moments to prolong he’d fain.
The years that still before me lie
    I’d just as lief let fate retain.

The thought of death to me is sweet.
    Why not? Do I not full well know:
Enough of woe on earth we meet,
    We’ve rest but in the earth below.

To whom I lost my doleful heart
    And youth, — the maiden I loved best, —
Will find, when I this life depart,
    The verdant grave ’neath which I rest.

The flow’rs which on my grave will grow, —
    Their roots within my heart, — she will
Wear on her breast, when then, I know,
    With loving thoughts her soul will thrill.

Pluck all! pluck all! it’s mockery
    That o’er my grave fair flow’r should bloom.
With all my life it doth agree:
    Bare as it was, bare be my tomb!



Michael Tompa.

The scene betrays the autumn’s reign,
Now autumn sun, now autumn rain.
The picture bright, — the dying plain
Arouse in me a hallowed pain.

The sere leaves fall, mute are the songs;
The thought of spring my mem’ry throngs,
And at the thought, I see more clear
How ill this season of the year.

Is it this field that was so fair?
So beautiful beyond compare?
This country with the hill and vale...
Where now the graveyard’s awes prevail?

The sun will soon have gone to rest...
Saint land of dissolution blest!
With sweet and burning passion strong
My yearning soul for thee doth long.

The charm these signs of death unfold
Upon my soul take strongest hold.
E’en if myself had now to die,
I’d love thee still with love’s strong tie.

The scene is mute and pale its face,
The smiling sun lights up the place.
Attractive, beautiful this death,
Where smiles adorn the dying breath.

Sweet dream, I feel upon my eyes
Thy burden sweet, a treasured prize;
That soon I, too, my head bend low.
The falling dry leaves whisper slow.

The tree-leaves gently, slowly die, —
They fall without pain’s woe or sigh.
No sign of strife ’s encountereth!
Who knows of a more beauteous death?



John Vajda.

O, loved line still alive, my sweetheart dear,
Restful I sleep in this spot, free of fear;
Thou canst not know what quiet reigneth here.

One thing I’ll tell — why ’tis I cannot say —
I dream of thee, and but our dream alway;
One beauteous dream doth ever with me stay.

These fields are quiet; I hear the breeze
Above, and with the flowers speak at ease;
The swaying grass, too, murmurs lullabies.

O, thou, my love, my life that knows no end,
To thee one message only I can send —
Naught ails me here, naught can hurt extend.

Nor head nor heart ache any more with pain;
But O, my dove, depart not yet; remain!
To place beneath me some support now deign.

The blood, which from my heart did freely flow,
When first it felt my dagger’s self-aimed blow,
Is cold in the wound and makes me shudder so.

Ah, but that blood forever saith to me,
That thou wert faithless; and if true it be —
God knows — Come let it be wiped clean by thee.

Enjoy thyself, roam in the sunlight clear,
Me faithless — but a span it is; so near
The time draws on when thou, too, shalt lie here.

And then, ah, then indeed, thou shalt be mine;
That thou wilt love me here I well divine;
When burial shroud’s cool covering will be thine.

O, come, let dancing up there soon be o’er;
Of goodliest dreams, my dear, the grave holds store,
From which we twain shall waken nevermore.



Alexander Endrődi.


We roam about in springtime’s flow’ry days,
    Rest ’neath the richly leafy trees;
Upon, around us leaves and blossoms sweet
    Fall, shaken by the mildest breeze.

Yes, lot this shower from branch and twig and spray,
    ’Tis glorious, — upon us rain,
To-day sweet life, sweet scent are ours.
    To-morrow snowflakes clothe the plain.


The pomp of glorious dawn surroundeth thee,
    The magic charm of new-born earth.
Dost see the trembling leaflets of the trees?
    Dost hear the songbird’s voice of mirth?

All nature is aflame, in sunrays bright
    To live, love and to hope’s her call.
In our dreams fairy forest all alone
    The tree tops sough, the tree leaves fall.


Once in a while I wish they would come back:
    The tempests wild of days gone by,
The angry clouds, the waves a-rolling high,
    The storming shades which in our dreams hie.

Once in a while I wish they would come back:
    Life, aimless, passive and submiss,
Love with its train of worry and of woe,
    And then — then the forbidden kiss.



Paul Gyulai.

God bless thee, little tree,
    The beauteous rose that bore.
For years shall Mary see
    Thee blossom as before!
At day’s dawn and at eve
    We met beneath thy bow’r;
To God’s own care I leave
    The rose-tree’s beauteous flow’r.

God bless thee little room,
    Thou cosy, white-walled spot.
Good angels shall resume
    To guard the dear old hut.
Within thy walls, care free,
    We had our friendly chat:
God’s blessing be on thee,
    Dear room, wherein we sat.

God bless thee, little bird,
    Which chirps in cage of gold;
Thou would’st have much preferred
    “Thou art free!” to be told.
Thou sang’st while I caressed,
    Our kiss for kiss thou heard:
Saw’st lip to lip be pressed:
    God bless thee, little bird.



Alexander Endrődi.

“Be happy, and God bless you, dear!”
Your cheering words ring in my ear.
But God has long my life deserted,
God has left me broken-hearted.

The tree-tops sigh, the forest darkens,
To winter’s call, all nature hearkens;
As summer dies its blossoms fall
And autumn’s chill blows over all.

And I, I go my ways, alone,
Dream of your sweet self I had known
In bygone days! Ah! then I long
To weep, or end my grief in song.



Alexander Petőfi.

I am in raptures, happy, gay;
    Glorious scenes now greet my eye.
    Only the birds ere now could fly,
But men can also fly to-day.

Fleet-winged thought or venturous mind,
    We’ll in the race with you compete.
    Spur on your horse! A splendid heat!
We shall, withal, leave you behind.

Hills and vales, seas, men and trees,
    What else I pass God only knows;
    My wonder, my amazement grows,
Viewing these misty sceneries.

The sun runs with us, as in dread
    Of quick pursuit — a madman’s thought —
    By devils who, if him they caught,
Into small fragments then would shred.

He ran and ran and onward fled,
    But all in vain! He had to stop,
    Tired, on a western mountain top:
Blushing with shame, his face is red.

But in our ride we still proceed;
    We weary not, feel no fatigue;
    And, rolling up league after league,
To reach new worlds shall yet succeed.

A thousand railroads men shall build
    Throughout the earth, till endless chains
    Of iron lines, like human veins,
The world with healthy life have filled.

The railroads are the veins of earth;
    Culture and progress prosper where
    They cause pulsations in the air;
To nations’ greatness they give birth.

Build railroads, more than heretofore;
    You ask whence you shall iron take?
    The chains and yokes of slavery break;
Let human slavery be no more!



Otto Herepei.

The fairest flowers of the spring —
    The roses — sweetly bloom,
The songbirds joyous paeans sing,
    Conjured by their perfume.

The azure sky smiles on the scene,
    To which the sun its gold has lent;
And now the gentle breezes glean —
    To spread around, — the song and scent.

When to my casement comes the breeze
    It finds me sad and suffering.
My longing soul’s grave reveries
    Sigh for the lyrics of the spring.



Paul Dömötör.

’Tis winter. Frost king wears his icy crown;
Though in my heart an ardent summer reigns.
From house tops silv’ry icicles hang down, —
Within, a maid’s soft arms hold me in chains.

The winter rules, — frost flowers everywhere,
While here, within, a beauteous rose doth bloom.
The wind blows through acacias sad and bare,
While kiss for kiss we give within this room.

The winter’s cold, all life is dreary, though
To my heart summers still their glories lend.
By nature ’tis ordained that love’s bright glow
Shall not upon the season’s change depend.



Michael Tompa.

In winter time, in summer time, my house is on the plain,
A chance to see my sweetheart, I only on Sunday gain.
My home is in the valley of the Hortobágy below,
To church, to say my prayers, I ne’er have the time to go.

Plain is the lowland; here I see no hill, and see no wood;
See but the high church spire which in my dear old village stood.
Though far away, that church spire I nevertheless perceive,
I hear the church bells ringing on the white Whitsuntide eve.

I wish I could my prayers say, but I do not know how;
I never went to school, I must all humbly here avow.
My parents could not teach me, I know prayers not, no song —
The dear old folks sleep in their graves. Ah, me! ever so long!

Thou, my own sweetheart, thou must pray for me for both,
And then to come to kiss me, thou by no means must be Ioth.
And when thou hast given to me thy ruby lips to kiss:
As if to church had been, I will be blessed by heavenly bliss.



Alexander Petőfi.

Sometimes ill dreams will haunt my sleep.
    Like those which came to me last night;
For hardly one had time to pass
    Before another did affright.

Sin’s heroes I in purple saw;
    On virtue crushed their feet did tread; —
A ghastly footstool, red and white.
    Whose eyes sited tears, whose heart-veins bled.

I saw gaunt faces, worn and serene,
    And yellow as the moon at night;
Each phantom face so ghastly seemed,
    Like In a wraithly weird moonlight.

Around them joyous faces were,
    On which the sun of comfort shone;
And yellow as each starveling face
    The golden spurs their heels had on.

A man I saw upon his bier,
    A deep wound just above his heart!
His own son killed him! And his wife —
    Does she now play the mourner’s part?

His wife! Ah, nay; she does not weep;
    While he lies near in dreamlessness,
She, in a close, adjoining room,
    Receives her lover’s fond caress!

Then, as he lies within his tomb,
    His relatives — a hungry crowd —
Come, and his grave-vault open break-
    And rob him of his funeral shroud!

I saw forsaken, desert lands,
    Where public virtue seemed as dead;
Where night did reign, where dawn was near,
    On herdsmen’s swords a sanguine red.

I looked on fallen states enslaved,
    Where bondsmen’s shrieks one could not hear;
Because their plaints and groans were killed
    By tyrants’ laughter in the ear.

Such dreams, indeed, are nightly mine; —
    Small marvel that it should be so!
For what in visions I divine
    The world doth, and the world will know!

How long will this dread world endure?
    Why is that heavenly force so slow —
Thou comet long ordained — this earth
    From its set axis to o’erthrow?



Andrew Kozma.

What shall the bird sing
Bereft of field and wing?
    Whose prison small cuts off the world
And no hopes bring.

Forest, bush and field
No nest to him now yield,
    The cage these pleasures has from him
Forever scaled.

No longer to the sky
Joyful can he fly;
    The lay he carolled in the heavens
Is now a sigh.

But early hopes die hard;
And so the feathered bard
    In the prisoncage still sings his song
By sorrow marred.

But in the dead of night
In dreams his soul takes flight
    To scenes that made his freedom fair
And his lay light.

Again his heart is free.
Again his mate doth see;
    He spreads his wings and soars away
O’er earth and sea.

He flies ’mid life above,
Once a part thereof; —
    His dream is o’er; and yet he sings
Of hope and love.



Julius Rudnyánszky.

    Midst din and noise stirs all day long,
    Upon the street, a busy throng.
    To one who tarries, hundreds speed.
    No “early” and no “late” they heed;
    No peaceful rest is e’er their part,
    They trod o’er thought, merit and heart.
Life’s short and death doth all efface. — — —
Thou foolish man, where dost thou race?

    The workman in the misty dawn, —
    The dew still moistens lane and lawn, —
    Runs onward, almost out of breath;
    His child at home is fighting death,
His eyes his drowsiness betray,
    A crust devours while on his way,
The yoke assumes, — his work ’s begun.
Poor man, poor man! Where dost thou run?

    The pleasure hunter onward presses, —
    His blood aboiling — to excesses,
    What is the game? He does not care,
    Be but the wine good, maiden fair,
    The dice a-rolling or cards to play,
    The night e’en he must turn to day.
The moments pleasures must be won,
Thou wretched man! Where dost thou run?

    The proud man blindly speeds ahead,
    And, like the stream flown o’er its bed
    Sweeps into mire all things, his pride
    Thus over all, — hearths, graves, — doth ride
    He throws, his swiftness to increase
    As ballast, o’er, sweet memories.
Will he succeed? Who knows it? None!
Conceited man! Where dost thou run?

    A million ends are intertwined,
    When one, exhausted, drops behind:
    The earth had not yet drank his sweat,
    An hundred push his place to get.
    The fight is cruel, void the peace,
    Enslave the force, cause faith to cease — — —
Life’s short and death doth all efface,
What fools are men! Where do they race?

    But while ’round him a surging crowd
    Jolts, jogs and trusts, ’midst noises loud
    And fights with unseen foes: with eyes
    Closed stands the dreamer, and he tries
    A rhyme to find, — his only care!
    Around him fear, greed and despair!
He tries a sweet song to compose,
Is glad when scenting one sweet rose!



Coloman Tóth.

Some time ago a mass meeting was held
    By all the animals; — (That is to say
This might have been the case) — they were impelled
    To do something to save their mind’s decay.
The forest’s beasts, too numerous to name,
Likewise the birds, all to the meeting came.

And they discussed what is there to be done
    To raise the standard of their intellect. —
Besides our food, is there under the sun
    Naught else worth while to live for, they reflect.
And having argued it from every side,
They finally most solemnly decide:

A poet be the nightingale.
His flight may be o’er hill or vale,
    To fill with tuneful song the air
    He’ll never fail; e’en be he bare
Of means to find his daily food,
You’ll hear him singing in the wood;
    In fact then is most sweet his wail,
    A poet be the nightingale.

The roe-buck, light-footed, fits well
For a reporter, he shall tell
    What he has heard, what he has seen,
    Where he has been or — could have been.
He’s neat and smooth, most fit to go
To ball, to fair or other show,
    Then tell us what we want to know.
    Reporter, — yes, — must be the roe.

We’ll make the stork our editor;
In fact there’s no competitor.
He struts around with earnest mien
    Along the shore or pasture green.
Fish, frog and snake his constant quest,
To bring home to his cosy nest,
    He looks as were he full of lore!
    We’ll make the stork our editor.

The bear, we all with case can see,
He must our politician be.
    When from his cave to crawl he knows.
    And he can feel the wind how blows.
Thick-skinned — immune — he’s from abuse,
When constantly he changes views;
    A better one we’ll find nowhere,
    The politician be our bear.

’And they decide: the sterlings must
Be correspondents, and ’tis just,
    Because these bold flails of the field
    And vineyard ever have revealed
A tendency to chat, they can, —
Their tongues split — even sing, and then,
    When put into a cage, be thought
    Some other bird — not starlings — caught,
Like correspondents, who we know:
To novel-writers, poets, grow.

    The peacocks are our men of letters,
    Not that they of us the betters.
Then can pretend and they can sham,
Each claims to be the great “I am!”
    And strut and stalk as when savants
    To L.L.D.’s — D.D.’s — advance.
Among the things they then decide
Is, that the owl shall lead and guide
    Their dramatists, whose souls delight,
    Owl-like, to grope in darkest night.
As publisher, — in well set speech, —
They name, and then elect the leech.

The donkey occupied a chair
’Way up in front, assumed an air
    Of great importance. Ne’ertheless
    Was overlooked. I even guess
It was intentionally done.
All were aware, that ’neath the sun
    There is but one beast like the ass,
    Who could not fit in any class.

Not so the donkey thought! And lo!
“I ask the floor!” he brayed, to know
    Why were we overlooked? ’Tis true.
    The ass knows great deal less than you,
But who will dare to say, that brain
Must in literature obtain?
    “Can we not write? Of course we can!”
    Just as to break up it began.
The meeting then resolves: That he,
The donkey, shall the critic be!



Michael Szabolcska.

My Hortobágy, fair Hortobágy,
    How beauteous is thy stretch of land,
    If seven realms the eye has scanned,
    It finds none that with thee compare,
        Thou art so fair.

I love with all my heart and soul
    Thy level, rolling, boundless plain,
    Th’ eternal silence which doth reign
    O’er thy expanse, thy dignified
        Self-conscious pride.

It might well be, that God above, —
    All separate created thee,
    And, like a silken ’kerchief, He
    Spread thee here out, so that He might
        In thee delight.

He hemmed it and embroidered it
    With gently flowing Tisza’s shore,
    The banks of which He did adore
    With ribbons rich, — bright flowers in bloom
        And rich perfume.

That greater still His pleasure be,
    He trimmed it with a mirage fair,
    Which magic like wafts in the air,
    By sun rays out of cloudlets hewn
        In summer’s noon.

The mirage is the midday’s gem.
    When evening comes, ah! in the night,
    He beautifies it with some bright
    And silv’ry stars. The sky displays
        Bonfires ablaze.

The shepherd lad beheld the stars,
    And lo! his thoughts were soon with her
    Who makes his heart’s young blood to stir;
    The beauteous star of his own life,
        His sweetheart wife.

With anguish, yet with keen delight,
    He thought of her, the nut brown maid,
    With azure eyes, what then he prayed
    And dreamed, — the beauteous song — appears
        Since thousand years.



Emil Ábrányi.

Poor butterfly! He felt his death was nigh,
Alighted on a rose-tree where to die.
With mocking sympathy the insects come
Their last farewells into his ear to hum.

“See,” said the ant, “I told you days ago
What will the end be if you do not grow
A wiser man! The spring is hardly o’er
And death already is your conqueror.”

“You were so vain, looked on us with disdain.
Yet we are hale! Our livelihood to gain
We worked! Had you, like us. been working hard,
Life of nil hundred years be your reward!”

A thin-legged cricket said: “I feel for thee!
Thy bliss thou could’st not hear; look at me, see,
I, too, can love: in fact forever pine
For love’s delights, but other ways are mine:

“Of love’s sweet woe and of my sorry plight, —
Though unseen I — I sing all day and night.
My chirpings my sad heart’s sorrows recite,
But that does not affect my appetite.”

“You fool,” said one, who burrows in the dung,
“What have you now? Must die so very young.
To flit, to flirt, caress, — that’s all you knew,
The rapture o’er — an early end your due!”

“A faded face, and withered, curled up wings,
A fever causes your limbs sufferings!...
Why did you not keep to the filth like I,
Vain pleasure-hunter! Now wouldn’t have to die!”

A fourth one then hums thus: “Oh, my poor friend,
Your beauty causes you this mournful end.
Your golden wings you should have clipped and thus
Might have escaped a fate most treacherous.”

Thus spake the insects, but our butterfly
Opens his wings, with faint voice makes reply:
“Don’t pity me! and don’t worry and fret,
I leave this beauteous world without regret.”

“Where’er I flew, o’er hill and dale and field,
The flowers to me their splendors had revealed.
All of them loved and kissed me. I feel still
The bliss of this their love, e’en now the thrill.

Is keen. Don’t pity me; rather bewail
Your own sad fate. For what you now assail, —
The moment’s bliss which had been my sweet prize, —
You gladly would your own lives sacrifice.”

“You pity me? Mean boredom’s children, you!
You weep for me? I have nothing to rue!
Ye wretches, hear! No century is worth
The moment’s bliss I have enjoyed on earth!”

“Hot sunrays, azure sky and flowers hid
From me life’s serious side, and ere I did
Become aware of its realities
I gladly die, cheered by love’s memories!”

This uttered his faint voice. . . . He heaved a sigh,
With happiness sublime ’s lit up his eye;
Then where he sat, upon a beauteous rose,
His short but happy life came to a close.