Review of Hungary's Poetical Literature.


"Liberty and sweet Love,
These two I ever need;
Willingly I would yield
For Love my life's poor meed;
But even my love would yield
To Freedom's claim thereof."


29 BROAD ST., N. Y.







































In offering this volume to the notice of American readers the publisher and the translator have a twofold object in view, viz. - a desire for the honor and more general understanding and appreciation of their native land, and a heartfelt sense of affection and respect for the land of their adoption.

There are certain achievements in art which belong at once to the world, and need no medium of language to convey their special value and meaning. Such are those of Music, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

In these arts, especially in the two first-mentioned, Hungary has proved herself no sluggard, as Americans will be among the first to recognize. It is the aim of the present work to show, in an earnest, loving and reverent spirit, that the historic and storied land of the Magyar has had, and still has, poets - God-born sons of song - who have written in immortal verse of her sufferings and her hates, her triumphs and her loves.

In the literature of a country alone are its desires, sentiments and sympathies definitely and intelligibly expressed, and its esoteric kinship with the rest of the world made manifest.

If the issue of these translations contribute to this end the labor expended upon then will not be considered as in vain.


WM. N. LOEW,                          

NEW YORK, November 1881.


What worthier tribute could thy children pay,
Land of the Magyar, set on suffering's height,
Than bring thy hidden charms to all men's sight,
And to the world thy wealth of song display?
We know thy glorious record's long array,
Thy plains from heroes' graves with verdure bright
Thy clear, sweet streams, ensanguined oft by fight,
Thy peaks o'er which dawned freedom's militant day

But those who sang with mutable voices clear
Of war, of love, of freedom, of desire,
And tuned in turn the slack strings of thy lyre
We fain would know, and hold their music dear,
Echoing it back from this far hemisphere,
Where love and freedom fetterless respire!


NEW YORK, November 1881.



"Liberty and sweet Love,
These two I ever need;
Willingly I would yield
For Love my life's poor meed;
But even my love would yield
To Freedom's claim thereof."



The Hungarian revolution of the year 1848-9, has, during this century, in a more eminent degree than any other historical event directed the attention of the world to the home of Petőfi. Of the many distinguished men with whom in these momentous years the world became acquainted, there are few, perhaps, much more admired by Hungary herself, or that come recommended to the notice of an observing student with much more interest than Alexander Petőfi.

Whether considered as the brilliant genius, who, grasping the lute of the Hungarian people, imparted to it a more harmonious string and a sweeter tone than it probably ever had, or, considered as the young warrior - a chieftain of liberty throughout the world - who, with sword in hand struggling for freedom, fell a victim to his valor and heroism; or considered as a nation's great poet, who was equally great as a dutiful citizen; - his story is calculated to strike forcibly the attention and to touch the springs of admiration and of sympathy in no common sense. The character of the times in which he lived, the cause he served, his own adventures, his deep devotion to the muses during all his lifetime, his participation in a most glorious war, the amiable qualities and fine taste developed in his writings, above all the influence of his songs over the nation - all offer to the essayist a theme more fertile than usually falls to his lot in recording the lives of poets, and one upon which he would love to bestow the illustration it deserves.

Both language and versification present themselves more fully formed and more vigorous in the poetry written by Hungarians since the beginning of the last quarter of the last century; and this progress is a matter of no surprise if we attend to the multitude of circumstances which at that time concurred to favor poetical thought. Francis Toldy, beyond doubt the very foremost Hungarian literary historian, calls the period then beginning "the age of second prime" and defines the same to extend from the year 1772 to 1849, dividing it into three periods, to wit: a) the epoch of rejuvenation (1772-1807), commencing with the appearance of Bessenyei and extending to, and including Alexander Kisfaludy; b) the epoch of the purifying and beautifying of the national idiom (1807-1830) - a memorable period in the history of Hungarian literature, covering the labors of Francis Kazinczy, of Charles Kisfaludy and partly of Michael Vörösmarty; and finally c) the Széchenyi period (1830-1849), in which Hungarian language, poetry and science, as well as Hungarian national life and politics, developed themselves to a high degree, surpassed only in the eminence attained by the country during the last few years (1865-1881).

This division is not merely the dictum of one man. The nation adopted it and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the foremost scientific-literary body of the land, celebrated in 1872 the centennial birthday of rejuvenated Hungarian literature.

Hungarian patriots - says Toldy while speaking of those days - noticed with sadness that the traditional tongue was beginning to lose the hold it had upon the masses. The more educated classes ignored it almost entirely and the Magyar language was in danger of dying out and utterly perishing. The chosen few knew but too well, that, when once the language of a nation is sacrificed, the nation's fate is sealed; and with a hearty will they undertook to rescue the ancient race and tongue. George Bessenyei became the leader of the school which undertook to imbue with fresh life the degenerated race. He stood at the head of a noble army of literary warriors, who did their work well, so that when, but few years after Bessenyei's first appearance, Joseph II, the Austrian emperor (Hungarian king de facto only, but not de jure, inasmuch as he never took the oath of allegiance and was not crowned as such) ordained the adoption and use of the German language not only in the administrative, but partly also in the educational departments of Hungary, the nation was found wide awake. A healthy reaction had set in, producing the most beneficial results, and the first systematized attempt to Germanize the Magyar nation became an ignominious failure. Another attempt to wipe out and to crush Hungarian nationality, and one more dangerous than the first, perpetrated by Austrian emperors sixty odd years later, culminated in that heroic, bloody struggle in one of the encounters of which the hero of this literary essay and biographical sketch fell with an inspiring battle-hymn on his lips and a powerfully wielded sword in his hand.

During these more then seventy years of struggles (1772-1849) to place the Hungarian nation on a healthy, sound basis of national life, to restore the Magyar language, and to establish with its aid a Hungarian literature of merit and value, Hungary presents the striking and peculiar appearance of seeing its national life almost exclusively resting on the shoulders of its authors and its poets. Count Emil Dessewffy, a prominent Magyar national economist said the truth when he called the litterateurs of those days the "soldiers of the national cause." It is truly remarkable that, almost without any exception, every statesman and politician of that period to whose share it fell to battle against the despotic encroachments on the national constitution by Austria, or to battle for reform and advancement within, is a poet or an author. Exceptions are the stalwart sons of the vármegyék (comitatus=county) (vice-ishpans and notaries, etc. etc.) who did the actual fighting. Nowadays politicians, statesmen are entrusted with this sacred task, but, from the early days of this century up to the breaking out of the great revolution in 1848, Hungarian literary writers were the guardian angels of the nation's cause, protecting this by watching over the nation's language "and tending it with the same piety, with which the Vestal virgins kept up the sacred fire to which the destinies of their country were bound forever" (Francis Pulszky).

George Bessenyei (1742-1811) is the acknowledged founder of the present school of Hungarian literature, and his greatest merit, his foremost claim to the gratitude of his country, lies in the fact of having brought the conviction to the mind of his contemporaries that a nation can only be civilized with the aid of its own vernacular idiom. The period between Bessenyei and Petőfi covers the most interesting epoch in the history of Hungarian poetical literature. It is with a certain degree of self-denial that we abstain from giving its specific history here, but this would outrun the limits of the present task. We content ourselves therefore with a mere cursory review and leave the thirst for knowledge awakened by these lines to be satisfied by the perusal of works more broad and more comprehensive in their scope than are these brief explanatory remarks. What a glorious task one would have in fully describing the labors of Bessenyei and his disciples. Baron Lawrence Orczi, Abraham Barcsay, Alexander Baróczi, Paul Ányos, Count Joseph Teleki and Joseph Péczeli, the members of the so-called French school of Hungarian literature, which, although it did not lead the poetry of the nation into its higher spheres: the national establishment of a standard of the pure and of the beautiful, inasmuch as it contented itself with securing the recognition of reflection and harmony, has nevertheless, by enlarging the poetical horizon and wealth of thought, by correcting the technique of versification, and finally by establishing the refined prose fiction, done a great deal to lead the same into the pathways of advancement.

What a grateful task it would be to write of the "classical school" in the ranks of which Benedict Virágh (1752-1830) occupies a high place. Here we would meet with the names of Gabriel Dayka, Francis Verseghi, Francis Kazinczy, the poems of all of whom conclusively show that among all modern languages Hungarian can most successfully compete with the classic beauty and the majesty of expression and form of that of Rome. They introduced the hexameter of the epos and the various forms of the ode, etc. into Hungary's poetry, where since then they are nursed with loving care.

Continuing our labor we soon would meet with the name of Michael Vitéz Csokonai (1773-1805), whose charming songs must ever remain a highly valued treasure of the Hungarian people. After a brief introduction to John Kiss, to David Baróti Szabó and Andrew Dugonics, we would meet with that mighty genius and brilliant mind Alexander Kisfaludy, whom the Hungarians love to call their own Petrarch. It is Alexander Kisfaludy (1772-1844), who can be considered to have established an entirely new national poetry. The power of his language, the beauty of his lyrical genius, his refined taste, his rich creative fancy and his national, patriotic spirit marked an epoch in Hungarian Poetry.

"Himfy's Love", his foremost poetical work, is a lyrical novel, or rather a long series of pictures of a heart overflowing with the purest and holiest of loves. His "Tales from Hungary's past ages" are equally noble creations, which have the additional merit of being the most faithful pictures of the character, the virtue and the thoughts of the Magyar people.

Still engaged in our labor of love we would soon once more recur to Francis Kazinczy (1759-1831), whom we have mentioned already, one of the founders of the classic poetry of the Magyar, which he and his colleagues, Daniel Berzsenyi and Francis Kölcsey elevated to its highest perfection. We would commit a sin of omission did we neglect to record the fact that this inspired poet Kazinczy, was one of the great leaders of social and political reforms in Hungary, and that the purifying of the Magyar tongue and the beautifying of the language found in him the ablest and the most influential sponsor it ever had. The poetry of his day is almost entirely bare of all poetical significance; and love, friendship, the joys and the cares of life are its themes. Only here and there resounded an ode reminding the patriot of the glory and the greatness of the nation's former days, and especially Berzsenyi's odes have historical importance for the earnestness of zeal and devotion with which he calls on his country to learn the past, to understand the present and thus to be enabled intelligently to meet what fate the future may have in store for it. To this school of poetry belong Paul Szemere, Alois Szentmiklóssy, Michael Helmeczy, Gabriel Döbrentei, Andrew Fáy and a long list of others, such poets as every civilized nation possesses in large numbers, till at last we arrive at the triumvirate of lyrical poetry, Charles Kisfaludy (the brother of Alexander above named), Joseph Bajza and Michael Vörösmarty, three great lights in Hungary's literary firmament.

Charles Kisfaludy (1788-1830), one of the most prominent founders of Hungarian dramatic poetry, is a lyrical poet of great power. No Magyar poet has known how to draw from rural objects so many tender and melancholy sentiments. A turtle-dove, a hind, an oak thrown down, a fallen ivy-plant strike him, agitate him and excite his tenderness and enthusiasm.

He has another excellent quality, that of painting to the ear by means of imitative harmony, making the sounds bear analogy to the image. He breaks them, he suspends them, he drags them wearily along, he precipitates them into mildness - in short they some times roll fluently along, at others they pierce the ear with an abrupt and striking melody. After Kisfaludy's death (1830) Francis Toldy with ten friends, the foremost poets of the period, founded the Kisfaludy Society, originally with the intention of publishing his works, and from the proceeds erecting a statue to his memory. The works were published, the statue was erected, but the most noble statue to his honor is the Society itself, which, remaining in existence, became, and is to-day, a most influential and beneficial literary organisation of the land, the yearly publications of which are a rich literary treasure.

Joseph Bajza (1804-1858) is the grandmaster of Hungary's lyrical poetry. Melancholy and the most delicious sadness, a distillation of pains, griefs and martyrdoms, subdue all his thoughts, but knowing that by continuous repetition they must become burdensome, he adopted the method of personifying his various conceptions of sorrow and sadness and letting these creations of his fancy give expression to their feelings. Thus he gives us the heart-rending complaints of a bride whose bridegroom died, of a mother who lost her child, of an exile, of a widow, of a fallen soldier - etc., etc., poems which bring all our faculties of soul and mind into harmonious action. In his political and patriotic songs he rises to the commanding heights of the ode and displays a burning soul, strong and sublime in its love for the fatherland, strong and sublime in its hatred of the nation's enemies.

Michael Vörösmarty (1800-1855) is "the noblest Roman of them all"; the king among Hungarian poets. He not only gave new aims to the nation's poetry, he created an epoch! His poetry possesses many high qualities, noble thoughts, pure feelings, beauty of form and perfection in rhythm and rhyme, simplicity of expression, liveliness and tenderness of emotions, luxury and smiling amenity of fancy. He loves Nature, Spring, Mountain and Rill etc., but he loves most his Hungarian fatherland, the greatness, the glory, the welfare of which is dearest to his heart. His "Szózat" (Appeal), "Fóti dal" (The song from Fót); "Liszt Ferenczhez" (To Francis Liszt); "A vén czigány" (The hoary gipsy) - are masterpieces of poetical literature, bearing comparison with the most excellent productions of Longfellow and Tennyson. He is at home in every poetical form and his patriotic epos, "Zalán futása" (The flight of Zalán), gives a poetical history of the foundation of the country by Árpád, in a manner that thrills the reader. Equally great is he as a writer of romances and ballads, as a dramatic author and as a Shakespearian translator.

Having done justice to the immortal genius of Vörösmarty, we would then, continuing our review, restricting our attention only to the very best names, - to the labors of Gregory Czuczor, John Garay, Baron Joseph Eötvös, Alexander Vachott, Joseph Székács, Béla Tárkányi and Michael Tompa, - have arrived in the very midst of the period in which our hero, Alexander Petőfi, lived.


Poets of merit and of genius usually rise to the level of the events passing around them. The compositions of Virgil and Horace in Rome correspond with the dignity, majesty and greatness of the empire. Dante in his extraordinary poem shows himself inspired by all sentiments which the rancor of fiction, civil dissensions and the effervescence of men's minds stirred up. Schiller in his poems, especially in his dramatic poems rises, to a level with the elevation to which the human mind was rising at his period in Germany; Shelley and Byron were both exponents of the movements of their day, and Petőfi could be no exception to this rule.

We have already seen that, during the years heretofore covered by our review, a struggle of supreme importance was carried on in Hungary. No nation on the European continent carried on similar struggles with more fierceness and determination, with a more earnest devotion to the cause of freedom, nor were the same anywhere else surpassed in the importance of the issues involved. It was a desperate struggle for constitutional life and advanced culture, nay, a nation fought bravely for its historical existence, to be secured not only by victories attained through clashing and crossing of swords and the thunders of cannon, but by the gentle influences of the nation's culture and civilization, art and science, industry and commerce and in fine by a pure, beautiful and rich language spoken and appreciated by all inhabitants of the land. This awakening of the national spirit was the reply that the nation gave to Austria's bold attempt to bring Hungary, nowithstanding her ancient constitution - this mighty pillar of civil liberty - under her absolute control.

Francis Kazinczy, Baron Nicolas Wesselényi, Count Aurelius Dessewffy, Francis Kölcsey, Count Stephen Széchenyi, Count George Apponyi, Francis Deák, Louis Kossuth, Baron Joseph Eötvös, Gabriel Klauzál, Bartholomew Szemere, Edmond Beöthy, Ladislaus Szalay, Anton Csengery and others, too numerous to mention, had done noble work. A state, intellectually and politically a relic of past centuries, they changed into a modern state with culture civilization, and advanced political thought; into a state which developed rich economical resources, all of which caused the world to look with sympathizing amazement to the handful of Magyars on the banks of the Danube and the Tisza. It was the result of their labor that the spendthrift Hungarian magnates became industrious, dutiful citizens, freely relinquishing ancient priveleges and freely assuming burdens, having the welfare of the country at heart; that the serfs were made free; that universal suffrage, no, not universal but a liberal, general right of suffrage, was introduced; that the language of the country was by strong enactments secured; that the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Kisfaludy Society and other institutions of learning were incorporated; that a long series of internal improvements were begun and carried out; that newspapers were started, schools opened, home industry developed; that the very healthiest life was made to pulse in the veins of the nation.

In these momentous years of national agitation grew up Alexander Petőfi, being born at Little-Kőrös, in the county of Pest, during the small hours of the new-year's day of the year 1823. He was the older of the two sons of a respectable couple, named Petrovich. His parents, at the commencement of their conjugal union tolerably well off regarding worldly circumstances, found themselves after a while - owing partly to elemental inflictions, partly to the advantage taken of their good nature by some designing "friends" - so much reduced in their affluence that they had to quit their comfortable home in search for an improvement of their condition in various parts of the lowland (alföld) without ever finding any. Old Petrovich (Petőfi is the Hungarian translation of this name of Slavic origin, which our hero adopted in his later years), carried on the honest trade of a butcher and seems to have been a simple, goodhearted and goodnatured man of the people. The mother of Petőfi was evidently one of nature's noble ladies. Several of her son's poetical effusions, wherein he gives free vent to the most tender feelings of love and gratitude toward her, stamp her as such a one. Petőfi received his first elementary instruction at various primary schools, almost all of them evangelical parochial schools, they being by far superior to the other schools of the period. His education included lessons in music and drawing, and though he did not bring it to any perfection in either, they must have had a beneficial influence over his aesthetic feeling and taste.

In his fifteenth year we find him at the evangelical "Lyceum" at Selmecz (Schemnitz). He made here great proficiency in grammar and language which was of great use in unfolding his genius and character. He soon became remarkable for the fluency and correctness of his expression, and he read with much pleasure and improvement Hungarian historical works and Vörösmarty's poems. In these days he wrote his first poems, which were well received by his colleagues. The praises of his schoolmates and friends inspired him with a strong desire to excel in writing poetry and he fondly hoped to see one of his verses in print. He knew not however how to ingratiate himself with his teachers, and when once caught being a regular visitor to the theatrical performances of a German strolling-players' company then performing in Selmecz, and this in spite of a strong prohibitory rule of the school, he fell into sad disgrace in the eyes of his worthy teachers, and the report was sent home to his father, that Alexander is an irretrievable dunce and good-for-nothing fellow. His poor old father, believing himself to be disappointed in his most fondly cherished hopes, was almost stricken down with grief over his son's "fall" and sent him a sharp remonstrance, which made the latter so deeply hurt and so sick and sore at heart, that he decided upon abandoning his studies and leaving Selmecz. Years after this, remembering his days in this school, the poor grading he received at the examination, and prompted by some wanton, reckless humor, he wrote these lines:

Diligently I attended
    Years ago my classes, yet
My professors then expelled me,
    Being a most stupid set.

He soon carried out his intentions and one night he left Selmecz, wandering aimlessly about the country, till at last he reached Pest. Here he forthwith went to the theatre, believing he would find there all his ambitions soul longed for. But only a very subordinate position as "super" could he secure, and for some time he led the life of a vagrant, without however corrupting his morals and the noble purity of his soul. His father soon found out his whereabouts and came to Pest to take him home, but the proud, haughty son evaded him and went rather with an uncle to Asszonyfa, a little village in Vas county. Here he spent a few months, reading the ancient classics and writing poetry. The peaceful, quiet life, which had dawned upon him here, was of short duration. For some trifling cause he fell out with his uncle and, going to Soprony (Oedenburgh), he enlisted as a volunteer in one of the infantry regiments stationed at that town, expecting that his regiment would be sent to Italy and he be thus enabled to get acquainted with the classic soil upon which his favorite poet, Horace, trod. In this, however, he was sadly disappointed, for, instead of being sent to sunny Italy, his regiment was garrisoned in some out-of-the-way town of Tyrol and only after some years of hard service as a private, doing all the menial duties of such a one, suffering from exposure and want, and bearing all sorts of abuse from illiterate, vulgar, petty superiors, was he in 1841, through the aid of a humane regimental physician, who took great interest in his poetical effusions, which never ceased during this time, discharged from the onerous service, to which a rash step had subjugated him.

In May 1841, he once more trod upon his native soil, visited - constantly tramping - some friends at Pozsony (Pressburgh), Soprony and Pápa, and ventured to knock again at the parental door. He stayed home for a while, and there was only one thing which interfered with his pure enjoyment of domestic life, to wit, his father's earnest desire that he, the son, settle down to the honorable calling of a butcher, which insinuation poor Alexander, to the great distress of the old man, repudiated with intense horror.

We soon meet him in Pápa (county of Veszprim), industriously studying and still more industriously rhyming and versifying, even winning a prize for a lyrical poem, "Lehel", which was offered by a literary society, composed of the students of the college. Then follow years of struggle for histrionic fame, of appearing here and there as member of this or the other strolling company, and of enduring everywhere failures and disappointements.

In 1843 he again came to Pest, but with a name somewhat known, for the poems the newspapers had heretofore published under his name Petrovich, or the nom de plume "Pönögei Kis Pál", and finally under the adopted name "Petőfi", opened for him the doors to literary circles, which at his former visit to the capital had been securely closed against him. The first employment he found on coming to Pest was an engagement to translate foreign novels into the Magyar. Of these, he completed two, i. e."The aged Lady", a French novel by Charles Bernard, and the well known "Robin Hood" of George James. His insatiable desire to become an actor of fame led him again on the stage, but he again encountered failures, and after remaining, during the winter of 1843-1844, in Debreczen, suffering there almost for the want of daily necessities, he at last received a call to return to Pest, to fill the position of Ass't Editor of "Életképek", a literary journal, edited by Adolphus Frankenburg. Arriving in Pest, he soon succeeded, with the aid of Vörösmarty, in finding a publisher for his poems, the "National Club" (Nemzeti Kör), consenting to buy his Mss. Emerich Vahot engaged him then as Ass't-Editor of his "Divatlap"; but not before Petőfi had once more made an effort to secure recognition in the service of Thalia and Melpomene. He again appeared on the stage, and on no less a one at that than the "National Theater" at Pest; but his appearance was again abortive. This last failure cured him of his stage-fever and he finally abandoned all thought of becoming an actor. His poetical works followed now in rapid succession. Volume after volume of the most delicious poetical fiction was published by him. About this time he wrote his "János Vitéz" (John the hero), and his "A helység kalapácsa" (The village bell-ringer), and his only, but remarkable, novel "A hóhér kötele" (The hangman's rope). (Professor Rasmus Anderson of the University of Wisconsin translated this work of Petőfi into English.) It was also about this time that Petőfi wrote two dramatic poems, "Zöld Marczi" (Greenhorn Marc), and "Tigris és Hyaena" (Tiger and Hyaena), none of which however left anyvisible traces in the literature of the nation. It was at this period also that he devoted, much of his time to foreign literature, and translations from Beranger, Shelley and Byron followed in succession. His industrious and fertile genius planned the publication of a Magyar translation of the dramatic works of Shakespeare, and he associated himself for this purpose with Vörösmarty. Petőfi's first translation was "Coriolanus", while Vörösmarty's first effort was "King Lear". The coming revolution prevented these two great minds from completing the task begun, but, many years later, the "Kisfaludy Society" fathered the idea of Petőfi and Vörösmarty and, completing the translations, gave to Hungary a most excellent rendering of the greatest dramatic genius of the world.

In the month of September 1846, Petőfi married Julia Szendrey, a young lady of remarkable beauty, of noble mind and of the purest soul, which happy union had the most beneficial influence over his muse. He was then in the zenith of his fame; all the country read and admired his poems, while his popular songs (Népdalok) were being heard from "Kárpáth's mountains to Adria's shores". They were sung in the salons of the proudest aristocratic magnates and in the huts of the humblest peasant; they were the favorite songs in the concert saloons, and were the songs which the artisans accompanied with their labor; the farmer, the sturdy son of toil sang them while he industriously handled his scythe and sickle; the merry reveller in the public house, or the one sick at heart, who in wine wanted to drown his grief; the student full of joy and vigor; the maiden of hope and happiness; the mother sitting at the cradle of her beloved one - all, all sang his beautiful songs, which had become, and which yet remain, the treasures of the people, as no other popular songs of any poet or of any nation have, or probably ever will, become. As long as the human heart in Hungary pulsates for love and freedom, the two divine subjects of Petőfi's songs, they will be cherished with reverential affection by a grateful country, in whose heart he and his songs will live for ever. The distinctions crowded on him were numerous. One comitatus elected him as a "Táblabiró" (Honorary county judge); ancient cities granted him their freedom, and at almost every place he visited, the people honored him with torchlight processions and fetes.

And yet he had then fulfilled only a part of the mission, to fulfil which fate seems to have selected him, i. e. to inspire the nation with his songs to that great and glorious struggle on which it was about to enter.

The great struggle going on in Hungary during these years has been repeatedly mentioned heretofore. We have also stated that Petőfi could be no exception to the rule which makes poets of genius rise to the level of the events which pass around them. Petőfi's poems are pure mirrors, wherein one can plainly see the struggle of the times going on. They awakened a national spirit, which turned with feverish devotion to home affairs; the conviction that it is the duty of every "Magyar to be a Magyar", to love the fatherland and to watch with scrupulous care over the fatherland's language, industry and commerce, etc., and above all over its freedom - all this is plainly visible in all his poems. That boundless spirit of liberty which enlivened them all, stamped its mark even on the forms of his poetry, and they are truly "free, as the eagles of the air". Petőfi describes in a superbly beautiful poem "Dalaim", "My songs", the character of the various kinds of his songs. Let it be permitted to us to state here that the only great poet with whom Petőfi can be most successfully compared - "a Scottish Bard, proud of his name, and whose highest ambition is to sing in his country's service", Robert Burns, gives also in a poem of his own "The Bard's Epitaph", the best picture of his own mind. "Petőfi is the Burns of the European continent", writes to us valued friend, Professor Rasmus Anderson, a great admirer of the Magyar poet, and this is a strikingly true comparison, and yet though we are the most ardent and devoted admirer of the "Ayrshire Ploughman", we honestly believe Petőfi to be superior to the author of "Tam O'Shanter". All they had in common was their humor, their melancholy, their piety, their anger, their passion, their homely sagacity and sensitiveness; but Petőfi's splendid and perilous richness did not overflow, and never, never did he write a sentence which the most sensitive or prudish or childish nature could not safely read. Petőfi is always pure!

Had Petőfi lived longer his poems would not have been more deserving of contemporary praise or the perusal of posterity. His earliest flowers show us what the fruits of his genius would have been, and yet he is grand and sublime, although he never reached even the autumn of life. His style is unaffected, his thoughts ingenious, the language he uses, though often employed upon lowly subjects, never sinks into poverty or meanness; he is full of the lights, the shades, the colors, the ornaments, which the place and the subject require. His feelings and sentiments are not new, but are set forth in a manner of his own, which make them seem so. The flowers with which he strews his poetry seem to spring up there spontaneously, the lights he introduces to fall like unconscious sunshine to adorn the spot, where he has placed them. His versification, simple, clear and flowing, has purity and music. The pause of his verses is always full of beauty, the closing melody of the sentence gratifying the reader as he rests. If love is the subject of his songs, then they are full of fire and yet full of soft, mellow tenderness; if he makes family feelings the subjects of his songs, then they are full of dignified vivacity and inmost devotion. His delicious landscapes show harmony of hues and brilliant imagery, and are of the greatest value for the thoughts and the feelings they are apt to awaken. Some time he rebukes with scathing irony the faults and shortcomings of his fellowmen and, in his popular songs, he gives full vent to his less serious and more easy moods. His poetry is a picture of his own life. He makes the reader the confidential friend of his thoughts, hopes, desires, and tells him all about himself with an open, manly frankness which makes him soon the object of our love and esteem.

Then came the memorable year 1848. Many of Petőfi's poems heretofore written contain revolutionary sentiments, - they all breathe the air of freedom - but on the 15th day of March 1848, he opened on behalf of the poetical literature of Hungary the great struggle known as the "Revolution in Hungary". The song with which he did this, is the "Talpra Magyar" (Magyar, Arise), which became the very foremost war-song of Hungary. As a national hymn it is surpassed only by Vörösmarty's "Szózat" (Call), both of which songs are as dear to the Magyar's heart as the "Star-spangled banner" is to the true American. Then followed in quick succession a long array of inspiring war songs which steeled the arms of the nation. He became a member of the National Diet (Országgyűlés), the electors of the town of Félegyháza honoring him with an election. His parliamentary career, however, was cut short by the events following, and in September, 1848, he entered the Hungarian army and was assigned to Bern's army corps in Transylvania. The old Polish General became infatuated with the spirited brave young man and appointed him as his Secretary and aid-de-camp. His duty consisted chiefly in writing war songs, which were then read to the soldiers, and in composing the various "calls" and "manifestoes" the events necessitated. But in the actual fight he was also bravely at his post, and in many a battle did he distinguish himself by his valor and bravery. Excepting a few weeks' interval, during which time he enjoyed for the last time the blessings of his happy home, he was present during the entire of Bem's Transylvanian campaign. At the battle of Segesvár, on July 31st, 1849, he was last seen, and it is now settled beyond doubt that he fell there, and was buried in the great common grave, where, after the battle, all the heroic dead found their eternal rest.

Petőfi died as he hoped and prayed to die. In his "The thought torments me," he eloquently sang: -

When every nation wearing chains
Shall rise and seek the battle-plains,
With flushing face shall wave in fight
Their banners, blazoned in the light:
"For liberty!"
Their cry shall be;
Their cry from east to west,
Till tyrants be depressed.
There shall I gladly yield
My life upon the field;
There shall my heart's last blood flow out,
And I my latest cry shall shout.
May it be drowned in clash of steel,
In trumpet's and in cannon's peal;
And o'er my corse
Let tread the horse,
Which gallops home from victory's gain,
And leaves me trodden 'mid the slain.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For the better, for the best, characterization of Petőfi, we will now give two extracts from his prose writings, published many years after his death. The first is taken from the "Diary" he faithfully kept during the last year of his life at home; the second is taken from a letter written by him to John Arany, then his greatest rival, to-day the poet laureate of the nation:

"......I am a republican with body and soul" - he writes under the date of April 19th, 1848 - "I was so ever since I have learned to think and I shall remain one until I breathe my last. These strong convictions, wherein I never wavered, pressed the beggar's staff, I carried for so many years, into my hands: and these strong convictions place now in my hands the palm of selfrespect. During the time when souls were bought and paid for in good cash, when a devoutly bent body secured the future of a man, I shunned the market, bowed to no one, but stood erect and froze and suffered hunger. There may exist lyres and pens more magnificent and more grand than those I wield, but surely none exist which are more stainless than mine, for never, never did I hire out even a string of my lute or but a stroke of my pen, - I sang and I wrote that to which the God of my soul prompted me, but the God of my soul is liberty!

Posterity may say of me I was but a bad poet, - but at the same time it must also say of me that I was strongly moral i. e. - for it is one and the same thing - that I was a republican; for the motto of a true republican is not: 'Down with the Kings,' but 'Pure morality'. Not the crushed crown, no, the irreproachable character, the upright honesty, are the foundations of the republic...... without these you may storm the thrones as the Titans the Heavens and you will be repelled with lightnings; with these however, you shall fell the Monarchies to earth as David felled Goliath.

But I am a republican out of religious conviction. The men of Monarchies believe not in the development, the advancement of the world, or else they want to check them - and this is infidelity. On the other hand, it is my belief that the world developes itself; I see the way which it follows. It moves but slowly, it makes a step every hundred, ay, sometimes even only every thousand years. Why should it hurry? Is not Eternity its own?"......

To Arany he writes thus: "Thy letter came but to-day into my hands. God knows how many hands it had to go through before reaching me. But this is my own fault; for in my exultation I forgot to let you know my address. Yet, I am accused of having a prejudice against poets, that is, to be plain, that I recognize no one, outside of myself, as a poet. By God! this is a dastardly slander. It is true, men without talent, or with but limited talent who imprudently push themselves forward, I cannot bear; I crush them, if I can, beneath my heels, - but before the genuine talent I bow and I idolize it. Thy letter caused me great, very great joy and I read thy poem so often that I know it by heart. I copy it and send it to Tompa. What a good fellow he is! But then see Arany, Petőfi, Tompa..... upon my soul! a splendid Triumvirate and if our glory may not be as great as that of the Roman Triumvirate, yet our merit, I doubt not, is just as great, if not still greater, than theirs. And our pay? A village parish, a village notaryship and a Metropolitan 'what you may call it' - nothing... But it matters not. I am a man without any pretensions and I content myself with it, and even if I die of hunger, I shall live to the day of my death, and beyond that I care not for my fate. For the funeral expenses let somebody else care....... Truly, a sorry profession, this Magyar authorship! I could get some kind of office but I fret at the thought of it, and thus nothing else remains but 'eat, my boy, when you have it!'.... Ah, it really pains me if I think of it, what a Bedouin was lost in me, but from my inmost soul I believe, that in our country too, the time will come yet, when the pagans who worship liberty, and not merely the Christians devoutly bowed before the only true Lord, can succeed in making a living."......

No man ever loved his country more devoutly than Petőfi. His popular poetry was with him not a mere form of versification, but it was an indivisible part of his whole being. He loved all that is pure, noble, elevating, but his purest, noblest and highest aims he found in the grandeur of his nation. Be this grandeur visible in the healthy and pure morals of his people, or in the singleness of their aims, the honesty of their desires, the nobility of their labor, or in the Nation's purpose of freedom, - his tuneful lyre was always doing service for these divine, heavenly causes. "Herein - says Baron Joseph Eötvös of him - lies the great influence his works exercised and herein are to be found the greatest merits of his literary authority."

Many of the compositions of this preeminently Magyar national poet are, on account of their strong local coloring, scarcely translatable without losing their inherent value. Who would presume to transfer the poems of Robert Burns promiscuously to a foreign language? How, e. g., would his 'Ode to a haggis' sound in French? We do not say this for the purpose of offering a lame excuse for the poverty of our own translations. Before us lies an exceedingly severe, but a just and manly comment by a critic upon some German Petőfi translations:

"The translator has a double duty to perform: one ties him towards the original he translates from, which he shall in its fullest and noblest sense truly revive. The views of the poet, his style, the color of his poetry, the character of his being - all this the foreign reader must find again in the same. The second duty of the translator ties him to his own people: what he creates is a literary product and must, in language, style and form, stand on a level with the literary culture of his people and his times. Not only the masters, but also the tyros in the art of translation are aware of these their twofold duties and strive to do justice in this respect.

No one is compelled to translate Hungarian poetry. 'Who cannot sing' - says Platen correctly and appropriately - 'let him not touch the strings of the lute.' "

...........Petőfi's young widow - although quite disconsolate and apparently heartbroken after her husband's disappearance - soon got married again and died about ten years ago. His only son grew up to be a young man of twenty years, or thereabouts, and died a few years ago in one of the public hospitals in Budapest. The poet's younger brother - and only one - Stephen, died in the Spring of the year 1880.

As long as the Magyar Puszta shall be inhabited by one of the noble Magyar race, so long will Alexander Petőfi remain the nation's great genius who will, through his divine songs, for all time exercise a most wholesome influence over the Magyar nation's life and over the Magyar people's love for all that is pure and noble, for freedom and independence.






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

Instead of dreaming, better t'were
If for my future I should care.
If I should seek to care - but why?
Over me watches God most High.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are mayflies of my wanton soul.

But if a lovely maid I meet,
My thoughts to inner depths retreat;
I gaze into the maiden's eye
As views a lake a star on high.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are roses of my lovebound soul.

If she loves me, wine joy must crown,
If not, my grief in wine I drown.
And where the cups with wine abound,
There joy and roseate light are found.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are rainbows of my misty soul.

Yet, while I hold the glass in hand,
The yoke oppresses many a land.
As joyous as the glasses rang,
So sadly do slaves' fetters clang.
The songs which from my lips then roll
Are clouds that overcast my soul.

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


The thought torments me sore, lest I
Upon a pillowed couch should die, -
Should slowly fade like the fair flower
Whose heart the gnawing worms devour;
Or, like the light in some void room,
Should faintly flicker into gloom.
Let no such ending come to me,
Oh God! but rather let me be
A tree, through which the lightning shoots,
Or which the strenuous storm uproots;
Or like the rock from hill out-torn
And thundering to the valley borne!
When every nation wearing chains
Shall rise and seek the battle plains,
With flushing face shall wave in fight
Their banners blazoned in the light:
"For liberty!"
Their cry shall be -
Their cry from east to west,
Till tyrants be depressed.
There shall I gladly yield
My life upon the field.
There shall my heart's last blood flow out,
And I my latest cry shall shout.
May it be drowned in clash of steel
In trumpets' and in cannons' peal;
And o'er my corse
Let tread the horse,
Which gallops home from victory's gain
And leaves me trodden mid the slain.
My scattered bones shall be interred
When all the dead are sepulchred -
When, amid slow funereal strains,
Banners shall wave o'er the remains
Of heroes who have died for thee,
O world-delivering Liberty!


This landscape fills my heart with thrilling joy;
Here years ago I dwelt, a happy boy;
Here was I born, in this fair village-place;
I yet recall my dear old nurse's face;
Her simple cradle song sounds ever near,
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.

As a mere child I went abroad to roam,
Now, a grown man, again I seek my home.
Ah! twenty years since then have passed away,
'Mid joy and sorrow, yea, 'mid toil and play.
These twenty years it echoed in my ear:
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.

My early playmates all, where now are ye?
If one of you 't were mine again to see,
Most lovingly I'd clasp him to my breast,
The thought that I grow old would be suppressed.
Yet this is now my five-and-twentieth year,
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.

As fleet-winged birds flit round from bough to bough,
So do my restless thoughts flit backward now;
As sweets are gathered by the honey-bees,
So do my musings call glad memories.
My blithesome spirit roameth far and near,
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.

Again I am a child, a happy child,
Roaming through pastures green and forests wild.
I mount my hobby-horse, and in delight
I ride about the room, with heart so light.
Forgotten is all grief, all care, all fear,
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.

The sun has almost run his daily course,
Tired are the rider and his hobby-horse.
Gently the dear old nurse lulls me to sleep,
Kissing me lovingly; why does she weep?
Why are my eyes filled with the burning tear?
And "Mayfly, yellow Mayfly" still I hear.


Rise, Magyar! is the country's call:
The time has come, say one and all:
Shall we be slaves, shall we be free?
This is the question, now agree!
For by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!

Alas! till now we were but slaves;
Our fathers resting in their graves
Sleep not in freedom's soil. In vain
They fought and died free homes to gain.
But by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!

A miserable wretch is he
Who fears to die my land for thee!
His worthless life who thinks to be
More worth than thou, sweet liberty!
Now by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!

The sword is brighter than the chain,
Men cannot nobler gems attain;
And yet the chain we wore, O shame!
Unsheathe the sword of ancient fame!
For by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!

The Magyar's name will soon once more
Be honored as it was before!
The shame and dust of ages past
Our valor shall wipe out at last.
For by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!

And where our graves in verdure rise
Our children's children to the skies
Shall speak the grateful joy they feel,
And bless our names the while they kneel.
For by the Magyar's God above
      We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
      No more to bear!


The trumpets blare, drums beat a call;
Our boys go forth to fight or fall:
The bullets whistle, sabres clash,
This fills the Magyar with firm dash:

May freedom's flag wave on the height,
That all the world behold the sight:
Unfurl the flag! the world should see
The proud inscription, "Liberty!"

The world the Magyar's valor knows,
He bravely faces all his foes:
A virtue God the Magyar gave;
He made his nature truly brave:

Upon a gory ground I tread,
A comrade's blood has made it red:
A hero he! can I be less?
Boldly I onward wish to press:

If, even as cripples we be shot,
If even to die here be our lot:
For thee our lives we freely give,
Dear Fatherland, then thou must live!


      Toward the end of the year 1848.

The sun had hardly dawned, when, lo! it set.
I had but come, and now I must depart.
Scarce had I time to greet and kiss thee, dear,
When duty calls and we again must part.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife,
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

I carry now the sword and not the lute,
The minstrel as a soldier now must fight.
A golden star hath led me heretofore,
The blood-red sky is now my guiding light.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife,
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

'Tis not ambition which prompts me to leave;
No laurels rest where thou the roses red
Of happiness hast placed upon my brow,
Which I shall never take from off my head.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

'Tis not ambition which prompts me to leave,
Thou know'st ambition died within my soul.
'Tis for my fatherland I sacrifice
My life upon the field where cannons roll.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

If none my dearest country should defend,
Alone I would defend her with all might;
Now, when all rise to seek the battle plains,
Shall I remain at home afraid to fight?
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

I ask thee not to think of me when gone,
The while I fight for fatherland and thee,
My love to thee is pure, and well I know
One thought alone thou hast, and that for me.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife,
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!

Perchance a crippled wreck I shall come home,
But thou, my darling wife, wilt love me still;
For, by our God, when I return, the same
Pure love, as now, my heart shall ever thrill.
God's blessing on you, pretty little wife,
Goodbye, my heart, my love, my soul, my life!


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

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

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

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

The army of the God of wars
I joined, and now go forth to fight.
A next year I may never see,
But if I sing, my poetry
With blood and sword-blade I shall write.

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

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

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

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

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


A Magyar I! The splendor of my land
Naught can surpass. She is the loveliest
Upon the globe, and countless as the sand
The beauties are she bears upon her breast.
In mountains she is rich and from their height
One casts his glance beyond the distant sea;
Her fertile plains are wide, you think they might
Extend to where the world's end seems to be.

A Magyar I! By nature I am sad
As are the first tunes of my nation's lay.
And, though I often smile when I am glad,
I never laugh, however I be gay.
But when the utmost joy doth fill my breast,
In freely flowing tears breaks out my glee;
Yet joyous seems my face when most depressed,
For none I ever want to pity me.

A Magyar I! With pride I cast my eye
Over the sea of history past and see
Vast, mighty rocks that almost reach the sky;
They are my nation's deeds of bravery.
We, too, were acting once on Europe's stage,
And ours was not an empty, easy role!
When, at the play, our sword we drew in rage
All feared us, as the child the thunder's roll.

A Magyar I! But what is that to-day?
Ghost of a glorious past that restless stirs
At dark, but which the midnight spells must lay
In dreamless sleep down in his sepulchres.
How mute we are! Our neighbor nearest by
Scarce gains a sign that we are yet alive;
One brother will the other vilify,
Now in our land but wrong and falsehood thrive.

A Magyar I! But o! how I deplore
To be a Magyar now! It is a shame
That while the sun in brightness shines all o'er
No gleam of dawn to us as yet there came;
Still all the wealth on earth could not suffice
My love of thee, dear spot, e'er to efface
Dear native land, I still must idolize
And love thee still, in spite of thy disgrace!


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

If born a man, then be a man,
And boast not of the fact;
More clear-tongued then Demosthenes
Are valiant deed and act.
Build up, destroy, but silent be
When done; make no display;
Just as the storm that does its work
Lulls and subsides away.

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

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

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


I also could with rhythm and rhyme
My poems clothe and deck them out,
Just as a dandy it behooves
To dress for some gay ball or rout.

But then, these cherished thoughts of mine
Are not like fashion's idle toys,
Who find, beperfumed and begloved,
In fancy garb their chiefest joys.

The clash of swords, the cannons' roll
Have died in rust: a war begun
Is now without a musket waged,
But with ideas shall be won.

I, too, the gallant ranks have joined,
And with my age am sworn to fight,
Have in command a stalwart troop,
Each song of mine a valiant knight.

My men, 'tis true, are clad in rags,
But each of them is brave and bold,
We gauge the soldier not by dress
But by his deeds of valor told.

I never question if my songs,
Will live beyond me; 'tis but naught
To me; if they are doomed to die,
They fall at least where they have fought.

Even then the book shall hallowed be
Wherein my thoughts lie buried deep;
For 'tis the heroes' burial-place
Who for the sake of freedom sleep.


I am in raptures, happy, gay;
   Glorious scenes now greet this 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
May yet to reach new worlds 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 bondage break;
Let human slavery be no more!


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 goodbye 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 trow,
Wherethrough I plodded with perspiring brow;
Because my road was passing hard and rough:
And, from the start, I traversed wastes enough.

I know - and none knows better 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 rending it nigh 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!


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

Had I but from that home not gone, yet man
Is always moved by some ambitious plan,
And falcon-wings grew to my heart's desire;
I left my home, my mother dear and 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, careworn face.
Oh, had I then this world 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 labyrinth of mistake.

But why relate how hope's enticing ray,
Though cheering me, misled me on 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, by their mouth, shall I let mother know?
Call on her, countrymen, if you come near
The house wherein reside my parents dear.

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


I dream of dread and gory days,
Which come, this world to chaos casting,
While o'er its ruined works and ways,
The new world rises everlasting.

Could I but hear, could I but hear
The trumpet's blare, to carnage calling!
I scarce can wait till on my ear
The summons sounds, to some appalling.

Then to the saddle quick I spring,
My mettled steed with joy bestriding,
And haste to join the noble ring
Of heroes, who to fight are riding.

And should a spear-thrust pierce my breast,
There will be one - a fair thought this is -
By whom my wound will then be dressed,
My pain assuaged by balmy kisses.

If taken captive I should be,
This one, my dungeon's gloom adorning,
Will surely come to visit me
In radiance like the star of morning.

And should I die, and should I die
On scaffold, or mid cannons'rattle,
This one with tears will then be nigh
To wash away the blood of battle.


I dreamed of wars last night, the Magyar
Called to battle, as in times of old;
The heralds made loud proclamation
And the bloody sabre did uphold.

A sacred fire forthwith was kindled
At the gory emblem in true hearts;
The wreath of freedom is the guerdon,
And the hireling's pay no zest imparts.

We twain that day were wed together -
Thou, my dear little one, and I:
My nuptial joys I did surrender,
For the fatherland I went to die.

Say, is not this a fate most direful,
On the marriage-night, love, to leave you?
Still, if my country called to struggle,
As in dreams I did, so would I do.


If God Almighty thus would speak to me:
"My son, I grant permisson unto thee
To have thy death as thou thyself shalt say;"
Thus unto my Creator I would pray;

Let it be Autumn, when the zephyrs sway
The sere leaves wherewith mellow sunbeams play;
And let me hear once more the sad, sweet song
Of errant birds, that will be missed ere long.

And unperceived, as winter's chilling breath
Wafting o'er autumn, bearing subtle death,
Then let death come to me; he 'll welcome be
If I but notice him when close to me.

Like to the birds, again I will outpour
A mellower tune than e'er I sang before,
A song which moves the heart, makes dim the eyes
And mounts up swelling to the very skies.

And as my swan-song draweth to its end
My sweetheart fair and true, may o'er me bend;
Thus would I die, caressing her fair face,
Kissing the one on earth who holds most grace.

But if the Lord this boon should disallow,
With spring of war let him the land endow;
When the rose-blooms that color earth again
Are blood-red roses in the breast of men.

May nightingales of wars - the trumpets - thrill
Men's souls and with heroic passion fill;
I may be there, and where the bullets shower
O, let my heart put forth a deadly flower.

Falling beneath the horse's iron heel,
Here also may a kiss my pale lips seal;
Thus would I die while I thy kiss obtain,
Liberty, who 'mid heavenly hosts dost reign!


Upon the roof a dove,
   A star within the sky,
Upon my knees my love,
   For whom I live and die;
In raptures I embrace
   And swing her on my knees,
Just as the dewdrop sways
   Upon the leaf of trees.

But why, you'll surely ask,
   Kiss not her pretty face?
It is an easy task
   To kiss while we embrace!
Many a burning kiss
   I press upon her lip,
For such a heavenly bliss
   I cannot now let slip.

And thus we pass our day,
   I and my pretty wife,
Beyond all rare gem's ray
   Is our gay wedded life.
A friend, my sword, it seems,
   Does not like this at all,
He looks with angry gleams
   Upon me from the wall.

Don't look on me, good sword,
   With eyes so cross and cold,
There should be no discord
   Between us, friends of old.
To women leave such things,
   As green-eyed jealousy:
To men but shame it brings,
   And you a man must be!

But then, if you would pause
   To think who is my love,
You'd see you have no cause
   At all me to reprove.
She is the sweetest maid,
   She is so good and true;
Like her God only made,
   I know, but very few.

If thee, good sword, again
   Shall need our native land,
To seek the battle-plain
   Will be my wife's command.
She will insist that I
   Go forth, my sword, with thee,
To fight, if need to die,
   For precious liberty!


The garden flowers still blossom in the vale,
Before our house the poplars still are green;
But soon the mighty winter will prevail;
Snow is already in the mountains seen.
The summer sun's benign and warming ray
Still moves my youthful heart, now in its spring;
But lo! my hair shows signs of turning gray,
The wintry days thereto their color bring.

This life is short; too early fades the rose;
To sit here on my knee, my darling, come!
Wilt thou, who now dost on my breast repose,
Not kneel, perhaps, to morrow o'er my tomb?
O, tell me, if before thee I should die,
Wilt thou with broken heart weep o'er my bier?
Or will some youth efface my memory
And with his love dry up thy mournful tear?

If thou dost lay aside the widow's vail,
Pray hang it o'er my tomb. At midnight I
Shall rise, and, coming forth from death's dark vale,
Take it with me to where forgot I lie.
And wipe with it my ceaseless flowing tears,
Flowing for thee, who hast forgotten me;
And bind my bleeding heart which ever bears
Even then and there, the truest love for thee.


Who would believe that on this plain
A few weeks since two armies stood,
Engaged in fierce, destructive fight,
Drenching the country with their blood?

A direful day it was throughout,
Fighting foe here, charging foe there,
Death in the van, death in the rear:
Sabres were flashing in the air.

Then, like a troubled, careworn brow,
The sky was cloudy, dark and wild.
Now it looks pleasant, like the smile
Upon the bright face of a child.

The earth was like a hoary head;
Covered with snow was all the scene;
Now like the hopes of fiery youth
The earth is dressed in brightest green.

Then bullets whistled through the air,
We heard the mighty cannon's roll;
Above us now the nightingale
Pours out in song her lovebound soul.

Wherever then we cast our eyes
We only saw death's ghastly show;
But now the sweetest-scented flowers
In bounteous efflorescence grow.

Who would believe that on this plain
A few weeks since two armies stood,
Engaged in fierce, destructive fight,
Drenching the country with their blood?


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 show.
To tell the truth, I could not tell
   When winter came,
Did not a look into the street
   The fact proclaim.

I sit here 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 in bloom
   Would 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 Dobo 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 bear
   Into the sea.

Ah! withered is long, long ago
   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?

Let us drop this, but seldom I
   Enjoy a feast thus rare,
So let us not our pleasure mar
   By memories fraught with care:
And, after all, do sighs abate
   Sorrow and grief?
The minstrel 'tis alone who finds
   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,
And hear throughout my fatherland
   Joy's happy voice!


The streamlet's waves roll on in gleeful ways,
   Their merry splash is as her 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;
Unseen in it is now the heaven's bright gleam.

Fair sun, look not into the stream just now,
   Thou wilt not see in it thy shining face;
   The struggles of the storm the same 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 wild world cast its anchor into thee,
Thy blood, poor fish - my heart, here now is seen.


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

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

To trifle with his sorrow let us cease,
'Tis desecration to disturb his peace.

If of his liberty he is bereft,
Let the dear memory of it still be left.

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

See in his mien what majesty is found;
With how much grandeur do his looks abound!

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

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

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

That vast expanse of wilderness whereo'er
The wild simoom hath raced with him of yore.

O, glorious land, O happy days and sweet!
But hush! he hears his prison-keeper's feet.

And, lo! the world of fantasy hath fled,
Because the keeper smote him on the head.

A stick - and such a boy commands him now!
Oh, heavenly powers! thus he hath to bow.

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

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

How dare they breathe, for should he break his chain,
No soul of them for hell-fire would remain.


Far, very far away,
Whence, in the gentle spring,
To us the swallows come.
Far, very far away,
Where, in our wintry days,
The swallow has her home;

A holy grave doth rise,
Close to the green sea-waves
That wash the yellow shore;
A weeping willow's branch,
A wild shrub's crape-like vail
This lone grave shadeth o'er.

Besides this single shrub,
There comes no thing to mourn
The glorious dead's decease;
Who, for a century,
After a busy life,
Sleeps here in endless peace.

He was a hero bold,
The last-left valorous knight,
Who for fair freedom fought.
But how could fate protect
One, on whom his own land
Ingratitude had wrought?

He into exile went,
Lest his degenerate land
He should be forced to see,
And, seeing, he should curse;
While, from an alien shore,
He looks with charity.

And here, day after day,
He watched the clouds that came
From his own dearest home.
Was it the sunset glow,
Or yet his country's shame
That burned in heaven's dome?

He often sat to list
The murmurs of the waves
That move the rolling sea.
He almost dreamed he heard
His country, risen again,
Was happy, proud and free!

That he should hear once mo
His native land was free;
Was still his fond belief.
And for this freedom's news
He waited, until death
Brought kindliest relief.

At home, even now, his name
Is hardly known. But one
Remembers him, the bard.
Forgotten he would be
Sang not of him the bard,
Freedom's Eternal guard!


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

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

I almost freeze when I behold her head,
The winter hath thereon its white snow shed.
And like a stork's nest in the chimney there,
Looks on her hoary head her straggling hair.
Aunt Sarah, do you still the days recall,
When "Darling Sally" you were named by all?

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

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

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


Oh beauteous, boundless stretch of lowland plain,
My glad heart's pleasure ground dost still remain?
With hills and vales the broken highland seems
A volume that with countless 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, where he came,
Walls totter, crumbling, iron ev'n 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,
Till at the 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 duteous 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 travelers rested and enjoyed thy store,
My fantasy 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 cloak stands near,
There, with his long beard, is a peddling jew,
A tinker from Wallachia, with a few
Who drink; The smiling hostess, young and fair,
Flirts with a merry student who is there.
The wine has made his head a little light,
His heart far more the hostess sweet and 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, hath long found room:
All have returned, long years since, dust to dust;
The inn hath 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 doorway, or the window where.
The chimney yet stands pointing heavenward there,
It was the dead's last hope before it fell;
The cellar is a ruin; and 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"
[3], the puszta's fairy child,
Whose fond eyes gaze at him in yearmings wild.


Like an old king's hoary head
The desert seems to be;
One grows hair, the other grass,
But sparingly I see.

On this old royal head
An oak-tree is the crown.
It doubtless could the tale
Of many an age hand down.

Once it began to speak.
A cloud in search of rest,
Weary of roaming far,
Became the old King's guest.

"The story of your life, proud oak,
From you I wish to hear."
Thus spoke the cloud; the tree replied
In whispers silver clear.

                          *  *  *

"In foreign parts, far, far away from here
Did my ancestors live. My mother dear
Was the primeval woods' most stately queen.
For miles around no oak like her was seen.
In love with her once fell the tempest-gale,
But all his wooings were of no avail.
My mother loved him not, and he, O, shame!
Swore black revenge, and carried out the same.
On mother's breast I and my sisters fair
Had lived in bliss - how happy we were there!
But soon the gale, with hatred filled and spite,
Tore us with brutish force from her one night;
And onward drove me, till at last I found
A rest in this bleak desert's sterile ground.
I grew up here, and centuries have I
Seen slowly come and slowly pass me by.
My life is sad, and through these many years
I found my sole relief in burning tears.
In vain I look around, I cannot see
Even one that is of my dear family.
Once in a while I'm visited by men.
I serve them cheerfully, as well I can.
All those who come in summer's burning heat
Find my delightful shade a joyous treat.
And fire is kindled from my branches dry
For those who, in the winter days, pass by.
As gallows even, I end the misery
Of those who, in despair have come to me.
And this is all; with this I now have told
The story of my life; now being old,
I wish to die - to end my life and woe!
Once in a while the gale, my ancient foe,
Comes here, but harms me not. He does in vain
Shake me with all his might; I firm remain.
But what will bring about my fall at length,
I, who for ages stood in giant strength?
Alas, I know! grown rotten to the core,
The thankless worms which in my heart I bore
Will kill me soon. O, God! I thee implore
To have for me a nobler end in store."

                          *  *  *

It was a tale of woe the cloud
Thus heard the oak recite;
It was a tale which did his heart
To sympathy invite.

Full of compassion, then, he hurled
His lightning on the tree,
The flames devoured it, ending thus
A life of misery.


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

My room is neat, none ask me for my board to pay;
Ne'er have I been, as here, cared for so tenderly!
The meals are served in time though others be away,
But, if I should be late, they all will wait for me.
One thing I do not like, the master of the house
Quarrels once in a while with his good-hearted spouse.
But what of that? Soon kindness re-illumes his face,
Grant unto him, my God, blissful and happy days.

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

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

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


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

If I, my country's fate considering,
   Sad may become and almost moved to tears,
   My dear companion forthwith then appears,
Saying "cheer up, this is no manly thing".

"Be patient now", he whispers, rouse, dear friend,
   A better fate will come and, once again,
   To heaven's good graces and goodwill attain:
If yet will help our poor forsaken land.

If hopeless love has made me sore at heart
   And resignation holds me grieved and dumb,
   Then my friend tarries not, but soon doth come,
Saying: "Be of good cheer! a child thou art!

Lose not thy faith"; such is his soothing way -
   "Although it seems that, she on whom was spent
   Love's capital, is quite indifferent,
She will all this with interest repay".

This line of thought makes me to think, alas!
   That I so poor, so impecunious am;
   Again I hear the cheering epigram;
"This hopeless state of things thou wilt see pass".

"Be patient, friend, the time will soon arrive,
   When thou cold rooms shalt no more occupy,
   And when frost's crystal flowers shall beautify
Thy window-panes, and upon them shall thrive".

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

This friend, whom I am ever glad to meet,
   A haughty brother has, with laugh and sneer
   For my companion's way of giving cheer,
And him he shamefully with blows doth treat.

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

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


"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 history to tell:

A shepherd 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, and to sup made bold.

To this abode last night did softly hie
Two stealthy wanderers - a young man and I.

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

The dandy sneaked around; I could not sup
On mutton, so, instead, ate him up.


Why bother me? Away!
Be quickly off, I say!
Great work I have on hand just now
I twist a whip with sweating brow,
From rays of sun, with which I will
Scourge the world till its cries do fill
The air, and I will laugh as she
Laughed, mocking at my misery.
       Ha, ha, ha!
For such is life! We laugh and weep,
Till death brings its eternal sleep.
I, too, was dead; some years ago
To poison me were mean and low
Those of my friends who drank my wine,
What did they do? who can divine?
While I was lying in the shroud,
Embracing me, they cried aloud!
I felt that I could rise and bite
Their noses off, but just for spite
I though let them their nostrils keep:
          When I become a rotten heap,
And, decomposed, lie in their way,
From smelling me explode they may!
       Ha, ha, ha!
Where did they bury me?
In Afric's sandy sea,
This was most fortunate, for, lo!
Hyena dug me from below;
My only benefactor he,
I cheated him most skillfully;
My limbs he tried to chew and gnaw;
I flung my heart into his jaw,
So bitter was my heart, that he
Soon died of it in agony,
       Ha, ha, ha!
Alas! this always is the end
Of those who other folk befriend!
But what is man? Tell me who can.
Some say the root of flowers fair,
Which bloom above in heaven there!
Man is a flower, 'tis true, whose root
Down into deepest hell doth shoot;
I heard a sage these things discuss one day
Who, being a fool, of hunger died, they say;
Instead of cramming learning in his head,
Why did he not steal, rob and kill for bread?
       Ha, ha, ha!
Why laugh I like a fool here, why?
I should lament and loudly cry,
The world's so bad that even the sky
Will often weep that it gave birth
To such foul creatures as the earth.
But what becomes of heaven's tear?
Falling upon this earth down here,
Men tread upon it with their feet!
God's tear becomes - mud in the street.
       Ha, ha, ha!
A hoary veteran is the sky,
The sun and moon his medals signify,
The clouds, the threadbare cloak he wears,
And thus the brave old soldier fares,
A cross and rag pay for his cares,
       Ha, ha, ha!
What means the quail's call in man's tongue,
When chattering in the morning young?
He says of women to beware,
She'll draw you sure into a snare.
Woman is a splendid creature,
Beautiful though dangerous;
The lovelier in form and feature,
More of peril she brings us.
A deadly drink she serves in cups of gold,
Love's drink to quaff I often did make bold.
One drop of thee, O! what a heavenly treat!
A sea with honey filled is not so sweet!
Yet from one drop such gall can be distilled
As though the sea with poisonous drugs were filled!
Have you seen ocean depths the tempests plough?
They furrow it; deaths seeds are sown, I trow.
Have you seen tempest, this brown ugly churl,
His lighthing-flashes o'er the wide sea hurl?
       Ha, ha, ha!
The fruit when ripe falls from the tree;
Ripe earth, you must be plucked, I see.
Until to-morrow I shall wait
Then, hoary earth, you'll expiate
Your crimes! a great deep hole
I'll dig in thee, and, on parole,
I'll fill it up with powder dry,
And blow the earth up to the sky!
       Ha, ha, ha!


A single mother bore these two -
The poet and the angry fate, -
And thus this life they journeyed through,
Being friends and ever intimate.

Trees then, as now, grew all around
And many rested in their shade;
It served the minstrel too, he found
A branch, of which a staff he made.

These were the only friends he knew -
The beggar's staff, the angry fate.
All else were faithless and untrue,
But each of these was his true mate.

But what had of his lute become?
Do minstrels not possess a lyre?
Ay - ay - he had one too, not dumb
That gave forth strains to charm and fire.

Once of his lute he grasped the string,
Once in a stormy, thundering night.
And mute became the thunder's ring
To hear his song far up the height.

And when the angry, murky sky
Had listened to his song divine,
It looked with smiling, star-lit eye
Down on the bard in calm benign.

But lo! when hungry he became
He went the sons of men to greet,
Thinking the hardest hearts to tame
With strains so marvellously sweet.

That which had lulled the tempest's roar
And made the dark sky smile again,
In mighty chords he did outpour
With mellow and melodious strain.

But what the storm and sky obeyed
Utterly fails men to impress;
When tuneful songs he vainly played,
The shamed lute breaks in pained distress.

Such is the lyre's unhappy tale.
But of the bard's career who knows?
None can tell when misfortune's gale
Brought his long-suffering to a close.

Before a younger race he stood,
After the lapse of many years,
The locks ungrizzled 'neath his hood
Had been made scant by cares and fears.

"A few small pence for charity!"
His piteous, faint voice then demands,
While, like a dry twig, quiveringly
He stretches forth his trembling hands.

Then sympathic voices ask:
"Who art thou thus with grief bowed down,
Whom fate hath set so hard a task,
And on whom God doth seem to frown?"

He pleads again and tells his name;
"A few pence", when, O, strange to hear
The answer comes: "Stop, child of fame,
Thou dost not need to beg good cheer!"

"Thy name shines brightly as, at night,
The starry heaven glows in fire,
The songs men once despised delight,
The world which now applauds thy lyre"

"Hail to thee, great one, haste to change
Thy rags and be in velvets dressed,
A bounteous board we now arrange,
A laurel wreath on thee shall rest!"

"I thank you for this speech so fair,
"But hunger's pangs I feel no more,
"For velvet garb I have no care,
"But wear these rags which long I wore."

"A goodly thing it is to see
"The laurel wreath a proud youth crown;
"But sprouts and leaves can no more be,
"When sapless trunks are crumbling down.

"But a few pence I still require,
"And for them grateful I shall be;
"The coffin-maker waits his hire
"Who fits my final home for me!"


O, judge me not, fair maid, I pray;
Not from our first and sole salute;
Not always is my tongue, as then,
So ill-behaved, so dumb and mute.

Oft floweth from my lips a stream
Of cheerful speech, and often floats
Humor or jesting o'er its waves,
Like merry folks in pleasure-boats.

But when I first saw thee, I tried
Some word to say, and tried in vain;
Before a storm breaks out all round
A graveyard quietude will reign.

A storm came up here in my breast;
Speechless I stood, charmed by a spell:
The storm broke and 'mid thunderings
The lightnings of my wild love fell.

How the tornado rends, destroys!
But I shall suffer patiently.
For, when I once thy love shall gain,
The rainbow of my soul I'll see.


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

How deep and wide these cuts! 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.


Night's darkness o'er the forest creeps,
Of a safe guide I am bereft.
Which path leads from these lonely deeps,
Is it the one to right or left?

Over me, on the arch of sky,
Many a star doth brightly shine.
Taking their course, who knows if I
Might reach the goal for which I pine?

For, brighter than all stars above,
In lustre shone my darling's eye;
I trusted her, false was her love;
Deceived, still o'er my loss I sigh.


What is the use of ploughing earth,
Without the seed that springs 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;
Except thou sow with love, and fair,
Sweet scented roses will bloom there.


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

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

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

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

Strike, gipsy boy, strike up! I swear
I want to dance a livelier air -
My money all to you I roll;
Tonight I'll dance away my soul.

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

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

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

None answer her. The noise has ceased,
Their passion is subdued, appeased.
Mute has become the gipsy's play,
The boys in silence homeward stray.


The lowering clouds are dense on high,
Autumnal rain pours from the sky,
The sere leaves from the branches fall,
The nightingale still sings through all.

Late is the hour: the night has set,
Fair little brown maid, wak'st thou yet?
Say, hearest thou the nightingale,
Who sings her plaintive, sweet love-tale?

The rain in torrents poureth still,
Dost hear the nightingale's sad trill?
The hearts of all, who hear her song,
In yearning love do ever long.

If thou art not asleep, brown may,
Hearken to what the bird doth say,
For this sad bird is my fond love,
My soul, breathed forth, that floats above.


Through the village, all the way,
A gipsy band for me doth play,
A flask of wine I wave in glee,
I dance in maddest revelry.

O gipsy, play thy saddest airs,
That I may weep away my cares;
But when yon window we do reach,
Play joyous tunes I thee beseech.

The maid who lives there is my star,
The star, that shot from me afar;
She left me, strives from me to hide,
And blooms at other lovers' side.

This is her window. Gipsy, play
A tune which is beyond all gay!
Let not the false maid even see,
That I can feel her falsity.


God bless you boys! come take a drink,
Let us the merry glass fill high!
Pray let me not my country see
Forsaken and in misery;
Far rather drunk in dreams I'd lie.

When drunk, I dream that once again
At home the voice of cheer I hear.
It seems to me, that, with each round
Of joyous drink, I heal a wound
Thou sufferest from, my country dear.

If it could be while I lie drunk
My country truly happy were -
You never should, good friends, I say,
Even if I should live for aye,
Behold me sober more, I swear!


The rosebush shakes because
A bird on its twig flew,
My own soul shakes because
I think, my dear, of you!
I think, my dear, of you,
My darling, charming maid,
Thou art the richest gem
My God has ever made.

Swollen the Danube is
So that it may o'erflow,
My heart, with love replete,
Is now for thee even so.
Tell me, my fairest rose,
Art thou to me still true?
Not even thy parents dear
Can love thee as I do.

I know thy love was mine
In last year's summer weather;
But winter came since then
When we sojourned together.
And should'st thou love no more,
I pray God bless thee still, -
But, if thou lov'st me yet,
A thousandfold he will!


You cannot bid the flower not bloom; it thrives
When, on mild zephyrs' wings, the spring arrives,
A girl is spring, her love a scented flower,
Which buds and blooms 'neath balmy air and shower.

When first I saw thee, dear, I fell in love
With thy fair soul and tender charm thereof.
With that soul's beauty, which I ever see
Reflected in thine eyes bewitchingly.

The question rises sometimes in my heart -
Lovest thou me, or yet another's art?
These thoughts pursue each other in my mind,
As sunrays clouds, when blows the autumn wind.

Knew I another waited thy embrace,
Could kiss the milk and roses of thy face,
My broken heart I far away would bear,
Or end in death the depth of my despair.

Shine upon me, O star, so born to bless!
Lighten the dreary night of my distress!
O! my heart's pearl, if thou can'st love me, love
And blessing shall be thine from God above.


"Come shepherd boy, poor shepherd boy, give ear,
Behold this heavy purse with gold filled here;
Thy poverty I'll purchase now from thee,
If thou, with it, thy sweetheart wilt give me".

"If but an earnest were this glittering gold,
Thy proffer magnified an hundredfold,
Nay, if the world on top thou shouldest lay,
My pretty one thou could'st not take away!"


Into the kitchen door I strolled
To light my pipe I then made bold,
That is to say, 't would have been lit,
Had there not been full fire in it.

And, since my pipe was lit, I went
For something very different.
Simply because a maiden fair
By chance I had espied in there.

It was her task the fire to light
And sooth, she did the task aright;
But, O, my head! her lovely eyes
Were flaming in more brilliant wise.

As I stepped in, she looked at me,
Bewitchingly, bewilderingly;
My burning pipe went out, but, O!
My sleeping heart burned all aglow.


How vast this world in which we move,
And thou, how small thou art, my dove!
But if thou didst belong to me,
The world I would not take for thee.

Thou art the sun, but I the night,
Full of deep gloom, deprived of light.
But should our hearts together meet,
A glorious dawn my life would greet.

Ah! look not on me, close thine eyes,
My soul beneath thy glances dies;
Yet, since thou can'st not love me, dear,
Let my bereft soul perish here.


You often told me, father dear,
My trade and your's should be the same;
The butcher's trade you wished me take,
But, see, an author I became.

You hit the oxen with your sledge,
I men with pen and ink hit hard.
'Tis all the same, if but the names
Of those we hit we disregard.


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

I never work and never will,
The thought of labor makes me ill.
Peasant, 't is thou the earth must till.
              I am a Magyar noble.

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

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

One talent I possess complete,
Herein with me none can compete:
I excellently drink and eat.
              I am a Magyar noble.

I never pay my tax when due,
Wealth have I, but not much, 't is true.
How much owe I? Ask but the jew.
              I am a Magyar noble.

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

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



    The Magyar National Anthem.

Loyal and true for aye remain,
Magyar, to this thy home!
Here, where thy cradle stood, once more
Verdant shall rise thy tomb.

No other land than this exists
For thee beneath the sky;
The fates may bring thee bane or bliss,
Here thou must live and die!

Thy fathers' blood for this dear spot
Has often freely flowed;
Great names for the last thousand years
Have hallowed this abode.

Here fought, to found a native land,
Árpád against his foes;
Here broke the yokes of slavery
Hunyad with mighty blows.

Thy gory flag, O, freedom, oft
Has been unfurled here!
And in the bloody wars we lost
Our bravest and most dear!

In spite of 'scapes and dangers past,
In spite of sanguine strife;
Though bent, we are not broken yet -
Our nation still has life!

And mankind's country, the great world,
To thee we now appeal!
The wounds that bled a thousand years
Should kill us or should heal.

It cannot be, that all these hearts
Should here have died in vain;
That countless faithful breasts for naught
Have suffered deadly pain.

It cannot be, that all our minds,
Our sacred iron will,
That all our efforts, hopes and faith
A ghastly curse shall kill.

Yet it shall come, if it will come,
The blissful, brighter day,
For which a hundred thousand lips
Most reverently pray!

Or, if it come not, then let come
The day, when we shall die,
When o'er our tombs our country dear
Covered with gore shall lie.

The grave where we are sepulchred
Nations will then surround,
And men, in millions, will shed tears
Of sorrow most profound.

To this, thy native land, Magyar
Ever devoted be!
It nourisheth thee, and, when dead,
Its earth receiveth thee.

No other land than this exists
For thee beneath the sky!
The fates may bring thee bane or bliss;
Here thou must live and die!


Come, gipsy, play; thou had'st thy pay in drinks,
Let not the grass grow under thee, strike up!
On bread and water who would hear life's ills?
With glowing wine fill high the parting cup.
This mundane life remains for aye the same,
It freezeth now, then burneth as a flame;
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

Thy blood should, like a whirlpool's waters, boil,
Thought after thought thy active brain should throng,
Akin to brightest stars thy eyes should gleam,
More thunderous than the fierce storm be thy song
And wilder than the winds which bring the hail,
Which ruins harvests, so that men bewail.
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

Ay, from the fierce storm lessons take in song;
Hark to its sighs and groans, its shrieks and swells:
It killeth lives, ay, that of men and beasts,
Destroys the sailing ships and high oaks fells.
All o'er the world wars rage; in blood we trod,
And on our dear home rests the bane of God.
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

Whose howls and shrieks are heard above the storm?
Whose was this half-suppressed, heart-rending sigh?
What like a mill grinds audibly in hell?
Who doth with thunders smite the heaven on high?
A broken heart, minds which in darkness grope,
A routed army, or a forlorn hope?
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

As if again we should, throughout the land,
The cries of men in fevered frenzy hear;
Of murderous brothers see the daggers gleam;
On orphans' cheeks behold the flowing tear;
Should hear the falcon's pinions soar on high;
Endless Promethean agonies descry,
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

The stars above, this earth - all sorrows' home -
Leave them alone, their woes let them endure!
From sin and stain by rushing of wild streams
And tempests' fury they may yet grow pure.
And Noah's ark of old shall come again
And in its compass a new world contain.
Strike up! How long thou yet wilt play who knows?
Thy bow-strings soon will wear out, I suppose.
With wine and gloom are filled both cup and heart,
Come, gipsy, play, let all thy cares depart!

Strike up! But no - now leave the chords alone;
When once again the world may have a feast,
And silent have become the storm's deep groans,
And wars and strifes o'er all the earth have ceased,
Then play inspiringly! and, at the voice
Of thy sweet strings, the Gods may even rejoice!
Then take again in hand the songful bow,
Then may thy brow again with gladness glow,
And with the wine of joy fill up thy heart,
Come, gipsy, play! let all thy cares depart!


Renowned musician of the world,
Where'er thou art to us still kin!
Hast thou for this sad land a song
To thrill the core and brain within?
Hast thou a song to move the heart,
A song to make all grief depart?

The load, which, for a hundred years,
Weighed on us, was our sins and fate;
Thus bound, this wavering race hath lived,
Content to be inanimate:
Even if it rose it was in vain,
As moves a fever-stricken brain!

A better epoch comes; the dawn
Of morn, for which so long we prayed,
Has, amid sweet throes of relief,
Unto our hearts new hope conveyed;
The love for our old home revives;
Gladly for it we give our lives.

We feel each beating of its pulse;
Our hearts rejoice to hear its name;
Our country's wrong we all endure;
We blush to know its slightest shame.
O, may the throne forever stand
Joyous and steadfast o'er the land!

Great scholar from this home of storms,
Wherein a world's heart beats, and where
The sun, grown bold at last to dawn,
A blood-red semblance seems to wear,
Where fiends of hate are forced to hide
By generations' swelling tide.

Now in their place in snow-white robes
Walk industry and peace divine,
In the new era's temple-halls
Art comes to set its heavenly sign,
While countless brains think for the land
Ne'er rests the nation's giant hand.

O, Song's great master, sing for us!
And, when thou sing'st of days gone by,
Let thy lay be a storm, wherein
We hear the thunder's roll on high;
And, in this ode, wild, grave, profound,
May victory's pæan-song resound.

Sing such a lay as from their tombs
Even our forefathers shall awake.
So as, with their immortal souls,
The present race from sloth to shake -
A lay which brings to Hungary bliss,
And treachery damns to shame's abyss.

On recollection's manly arm
The pale-faced lady, grief, doth come
And Mohács's storm we see again;
A civil war lays waste our home,
Although the tear our vision blurs,
The balm of hope our heart yet stirs.

And thus thou wak'st that love for home,
Which ever patriot souls has thrilled,
Which to the memory of past truth
Clings and a future bright doth build.
Then may thy song be full of fire,
Our hearts and spirits to inspire.

And thus, to holy passions roused,
Our sons' love may to deeds mature;
Let them unite in sacred bond
For thee to labor and endure.
Like one man should the nation stand
To conquer with an iron hand.

And even the rocks, as if our bones
They were, with hallowed joy should shake;
The Danube's waves flow free, as when
Our blood we shed for home's dear sake;
And, where we knew days glad and dire,
Thy song should joyous hope inspire.

And dost thou hear how, at this song,
Our nation rises with one will;
A million lips repeat the lay,
Which fills all hearts, all souls doth thrill;
Come back to us! With thee we say:
Thank God, our race doth not decay!


"My curse upon thee light, O, Magyar land!
Curse thee, Magyar, rebellious, haughty, proud!
May the crown shake that on thy head doth stand!
Thy homes may darkness evermore enshroud!
Hard be thy fate, as is thy sword and heart!
And in thy ranks may discord still have part!

And thou, O, God, who hath anointed me,
That here, on earth, I thee should represent,
Having not looked on me protectingly,
To all thy grace I am indifferent.
To Solomon no resting place is given,
No peace on earth, and no desire for heaven."

Thus, like the outcast angel, curseth low
The King, to exile banished by his land.
His shield and helmet he away doth throw
And broken is the sword he hath in hand.
The patriots' blood has left thereon its trace;
Red as their blood glows his heroic face.

His body crushed, his spirit more so still,
A gruesome, deep-cut wound doth cause him pain,
And yet, this wound hath not for him such ill
As this, that he could not his crown maintain.
He flies, but, be his flight however swift,
The anguish from his soul he cannot lift.

The royal fugitive in haste retreats;
Hills, vales and streams he hath already passed.
Arriving at the borderland he greets
An old umbrageous forest's depth at last.
Here endeth now the path of our sad knight,
And over him is cast the gloom of night.

The years roll by; the trees, now richly crowned,
Their verdure lose and soon stripped bare are seen;
Time passeth by and then one hears the sound
Of sweet bird-songs within the forest green.
The antlers of the wild stag yearly grow;
How old his freedom is they proudly show.

A broken sword is there the exile's cross,
And God's free earth his sacred altar there;
Piously he doth kneel on the green moss,
Throughout the year he spendeth days in prayer.
A long, gray beard flows o'er his pain-filled breast:
Each hair is seemingly divinely blest.

What once have filled his soul - the passions strong -
Are now subdued; time brought him healing balm;
Long since he hath forgotten all his wrong,
His face is even now benign and calm.
One fervent hope his longing heart doth fill,
That blessing on the Magyar be God's will.

Long since hath died away the awful curse,
Forgot is what the haughty King hath dreamed;
His better self now nobler thoughts doth nurse,
The man his purer nature hath redeemed.
"Be happy, my dear Magyar fatherland,
And may thy virtues make thee strong and grand."

Thus prayeth he and, o'er his shattered frame,
Death gains at last his victory with ease.
He yields to death's most unrelenting claim,
'Neath autumn's yellow leaves he sleeps in peace.
Where in the woods the kingly exile died,
The howling beasts of prey now prowl and hide.


    Wine-Song from the drama Cilley and the Hunyadys.

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 to smile,
Now shed a feigned tear.
With yearning filling thee one while,
Then causing wounds that sear:
   Think over this and drink;
   The world doth pass and sink;
   A bubble bursts, but there
   Abides the empty air.

If thou hast on thy friend relied,
As thine own soul he 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 skilfully hath planned
By treason's baleful art:
   Think over this and drink;
   The world doth pass and sink;
   A bubble bursts, but there
   Abides the empty air.

If, for thy country, thou dost wield
With toil thy sacred thought,
Or, on the perilous battle field,
Thy life-blood sparest not;
And if, deluded, it should spurn
Thy efforts true and high,
Or, led by rulers base, should turn
And sacrifice decry:
   Think over this and drink;
   The world doth pass and sink;
   A bubble bursts, but there
   Abides the 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 to expect new days more bright
Too late it is, in vain:
   Think over this and drink;
   The world doth pass and sink;
   A bubble bursts, but there
   Abides the 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 faces strife;
   Think over this and drink:
   The world doth pass and sink;
   But while it still doth stand
   Structures and wrecks are planned.



The hunter sits in ambuscade
And, with bent bow, awaits his game,
While, high and hot, above the glade
The noonday sun does brightly flame;
     vain he waits in shady groves;
By cooling streams the wild herd roves.

Anxiously waits the hunter yet,
Trusting good fortune soon to gain,
When presently the sun will set,
And lo! he does not wait in vain -
But 'tis no game; a butterfly
Chased by a fair maid, passes by.

"Fair insect, golden butterfly,
O, let me catch you, on me rest,
Or lead me to what place you hie,
Where the sun sinks within the west."
She speaks, and, like a chamois light,
Graceful and charming is her flight.

Arising quick, the hunter cries,
"Now this is noble game, God wot",
And straight, forgetting all, he hies
After the fair maid, lagging not;
In sportive pastime thus they vie,
He follows her and she the fly.

"I have you!" says the girl with glee,
And, having caught her prize, doth stand;
"I have you!" gayly then says he,
And on her shoulder lays his hand.
The scared girl lets her captive go,
Thrilled by his eyes' admiring glow.


Does Péterdi's house stand to day?
Does he still live, the hoary knight?
The house still stands, but in decay;
O'er wine he sits with heart grown light.
The maiden's eyes, those of the guest
Love's ardor in their glow suggest.

The wine-cup has been quaffed in toast
To Hunyadi, the fallen brave;
For his gray chief, his country's boast,
Hot tears the hero's eyeballs lave;
Freely the burning tear-drop falls
As erst his blood at Belgrade's walls.

"Here's to my good old chief's young son!"
Says the old man, "Long live the king!"
The hunter of his wine tastes none,
His cheek the warm flush reddening;
"What is this, wherefore drink'st not thou?
Up, youth, thy father follow now!

For I could twice thy father be,
Worthy is he I pledge in wine;
From head to heel a noble he,
Nor will he shame his noble line!"
Rising, the youth his cup doth raise,
Moved by the old man's earnest praise.

"Long life then to the hero's son,
While for his country he doth stand;
But may his life that day be done
When he forgets his fatherland.
Better no king than one who reigns
In sloth and by oppressive pains!"

The merriment more loud doth grow,
In jovial speech the hours pass.
The maid doth on the guest bestow
Admiring looks, and thinks, alas;
"Who is he, and where does he dwell?"
Yet fears to beg him that he tell.

"Thee, too, fair flower of the wood,
Thee, too, I pledge in this last cup,
Thy huntsman waits thee, if God should,
With thy gray grandsire, bring thee up,
Where in proud Buda's mighty fort
I can be found in Mátyás' court!"

He speaks and, rising, says farewell;
Outside the huntsman's horn doth call;
He cannot with his hosts now dwell
In spite of their entreaties all.
"Do not forget us; come once more.
Should we not seek you out before."

Thus modestly fair Helen now
Speaks, on the threshold standing there,
And, kissing her upon the brow,
He goes and through the night doth fare;
Still is the night, but, ah, no rest
Visits her love-invaded breast.


Péterdi and his grandchild fair
Now go to visit Buda's fort;
The graybeard marvels everywhere
To witness sights of new import;
The yearning girl 'mid sighs is fain
To meet the huntsman once again,

Great is the crowd, the gala high;
From triumphs new returns the king:
From wrathful vengeance he draws nigh,
Which at Vienna he did wring.
A thousand eyes expectant wait;
Fair Helen's face grows not elate.

"Where is our charming stranger, say?
What fortune did he chance to meet?
Does he return, or, far away,
Hunts he again the chamois fleet?"
She asks her heart, the while, in turn,
Her cheek doth pale, anon doth burn.

'Mid victory's shouts Ujlaki comes,
He and the Gara, friends again;
The king majestic also comes,
All the land's magnates in his train.
Old Péterdi his guest doth see;
"Long life to him; the king, 'tis he!"

"Lustre and blessing on his life!"
The countless voices shout around,
An hundredfold, with echoes rife,
The hills and vales and ramparts sound.
Than any marble bust more white
Silent fair Helen views the sight.

"Shall we, dear child, to Mátyás' hall
To see the hunter now proceed?
I think for peace, 'tis best of all
Back to our home to go indeed!"
Thus speaks, with half-suspicious pain,
The graybeard; sad they turn again.

If thou hast seen a blossom fair
Die from some canker hid within, -
Thus beauteous Helen faded there,
Pained, shrinking from the loud world's din,
Passion, remembrance sore, hope dead,
Ever are her companions dread.

The brief but anguished life is done:
Fair Helen in the grave is laid,
Like lily-leaves that, one by one,
In purity and sadness fade. -
Once more, when endlessly they rest,
Stands in the house their kingly guest!


Upward rise within the cup
          Pearly beads;
Naught can stop it, as each globe
          Upward speeds.
Skyward let all that ascend
          Which is pure,
Leaving on the earth beneath
          All manure.

Strength and force our body gains
          When we dine,
But the soul gains nourishment
          From the wine.
Wine and spirit still were friends
          Good and true.
What fish, e'er in water spawned,
          Famous grew?

Brimming cups make love more sweet
          And more dear;
All the gall therein I drink
          Without fear.
Fairest rosebud, sweetest dove,
          Laugh not, pray:
If thou lov'st me, tri-une God
          Bless thee may.

For thee joyous gleams this glass
          Of bright wine,
Ardently for thee beats this
          Heart of mine.
Pretty maids and red wine are
          My delight,
And o'er my dark life can shed
          Pleasant light.

Friend and countryman, I ask,
          Art thou glad?
Art thou filled with doleful thoughts,
          Sombre, sad?
Take to wine; both health and youth
          'T will restore:
Heaven for us no other cure
          Hath in store.

Care and grief sleep like a child
          After wine:
For cycles was the Magyar's fate
          Sad, malign.
Now his time has come to rise
          Up again,
And his former glorious state
          To maintain.

Wine the Magyar always quaffs -
          Which is fair:
Wine will injure none who drink
          With due care.
Then his fatherland he toasts
O, that he would something do,
          Land, for thee!

Never mind, for all things yet
          Will come right;
Helping thee with word and deed,
          All will fight.
If 't is God's wish, as our own,
          We no more
Will disgrace thee; Hungary we
          Must restore!

Up, my friends, and let us take
          One good drink!
Care and trouble perish when
          Glasses clink.
For our sacred country now
          Raise a cheer!
But, when called, our lives we'll yield
          Without fear.

Our beloved King is first
          In the land:
All true patriots now by him
          Firmly stand.
May his land's success to him
          Pleasures bring!
Famed and happy be the rule
          Of our King!

Let each man be ever true,
          A Magyar,
Whom the earth bears, o'er whom shines
          Sun, moon, star!
Strong in love and calm in peace,
          Such a race
Need not fear and bravely can
          Perils face!

He's a traitor, who, my land,
          Loves thee not!
Shame or death of scoundrels all
          Be the lot!
Rear not, fairest land, such boors
          On thy breast,
Let them not within thy bounds
          Ever rest.

As the seven leaders brave
          Shed their blood,
When before the nation they,
          Swearing, stood:
So now flows this wine, and, by
          God above,
Let us swear that we our land
          Still will love!

Let each hope of ours a prayer
          Be for thee,
Country dear; and for thy great
To thy health we drink this glass
          Of glad wine;
No Magyar to drink this toast
          Can decline.

Peace, dear land, shall have a home
          On thy grounds;
And be healed for aye thy sore
          Bleeding wounds;
And thy face, from ancient grief
          Haggard now,
Soon may, after tempest's rage,
          Brightness show!

May thy children dwell in love
          And calm peace,
Here may wars and strifes, we pray,
          Ever cease!
May our land be mighty, rich,
          Ever free!
Truth and justice, laws divine
          Here decree!

When our lives, our fortunes, asks
          Our dear land,
With our heart's blood let us meet
          The demand;
Proudly claiming, peace or war,
          Whatso come.
"We repaid thee all we owed,
          Sacred home!"



The night is dark and close,
The south-wind fiercely blows;
O'er Buda's tower high
The weather-cock, doth cry
And sharply shriek aloud.

"Who's there, what's that? I see!"
"My Lord, my King, prithee,
Be calm and sleep in peace,
The tempest soon will cease
That stirs thy window-pane."

The clouds will burst, it seems,
And issue flames and streams;
And from the iron spout
In floods the rain pours out
From Buda's towers high.

"Why murmurs then this band?
Does it my oath demand?
The crowd, Lord, King, naught crave;
All's silent as the grave;
The thunder only rolls."

Hearken! The chain and ball
From off the captives fall!
And each one, like a cloud
Which Buda's walls did shroud,
Himself now lowers down.

"Hunyad's two sons espy!
Their fetters break and fly -"
"Fear not, my Lord, not so!
László is dead, you know
The boy a captive still."

Beneath the fort's high wall,
A silent crowd and small,
Steal quiet as the grave.
And so their lives do save
Kanizsa, Rozgonyi.

"Increase the guard before
Hunyadi Mátyás' door!"
"Mátyás was left behind;
No captives can we find
It seems they have escaped."

At last the rain has ceased,
The storm's rage is appeased,
Over the Danube's bright
And soft calm waves the light
Of myriad stars' array.

"Leave this land while we can,
Safer's Bohemian!"
"Why be possessed by fear?
All things are calm and clear,
Between the earth and sky."

While some in slumber bide,
The fugitives do hide.
If a leaf stirs they fear
That spies are very near,
Do Kanizsa, Rozgonyi!

"Say, is the frontier nigh?
Slowly the moments fly."
"Now we have crossed it o'er
My Lord, and with us bore
Safely, the captive boy."

While calm the sleeper sleeps
The fugitive upleaps.
No wind is - yet it blows,
No cloud - yet thunder rose
And lightning from afar!

"My true Bohemian, pray;
Give me to drink, I say."
"Here is the cooling cup
My Lord, King, drink it up;
It quiets.... as the grave."

Now vengeance stays its hand;
The boy's safe in this land.
And here, too, in this soil,
The King sleeps after toil...
The prisoner returns!


The garden of the queen
Blooms over night all green;
Here a white rose, there a red rose -
Brown maids and blonde are seen.

"Dame Queen, my sister dear,
'Fore heaven I pray thee, hear;
This loveliest red rose of thy maids
My heart I would hold near."

"Sick is my heart for her,
For her doth beat and stir;
If I should die, this fairest flower
Hath caused my sepulchre."

"Hear, Casimir, I say
I cannot give away
Her for a hundred. - I am wroth, -
Trouble I dread to day."

"Now I must wend my way
At early mass to pray.
If thou art sick, thy heavy head
Here on my cushion lay."

And the queen goeth straight
Unto the church in state.
The lovely flowers, her virgins fair,
Follow and on her wait.

Fain would she pray, but, lo
She cannot now do so.
Her rosary she hath forgot;
Who now for it will go?

"Go, bring it, Clara dear,
'Tis to my cushion near,
Or in the oratory which
My daily prayer doth hear."

Clara for it hath been
Gone a full hour I ween:
And in the church, while she doth search,
Vainly doth wait the queen.

She cometh back no more
Unto the virgin corps,
Rather would she among the dead
Lie cold and shrouded o'er.

Rather unto the tomb,
Into the black earth's gloom;
Than in her grayhaired father's hall
Would she her place resume.

"My child, my daughter, say,
What troubleth thee, I pray,
Come to my breast, and there confide,
And wipe thy tears away."

"Father it may not be;
Ah, what shall come to me!
Let me embrace thy feet, and then
Crush me out utterly."

The noonbell's strident peal
Calls to the royal meal:
Just as Felician goes to meet
His King, but not to kneel.

His King indeed to meet,
But not with him to eat.
A direful vengeance he hath vowed,
His sword gleams as with heat.

"O, Queen Elizabeth!
I come to seek thy death
For my child's wrong" - her fingers four
Fall, as the word he saith;

"For mine, thy children twain
Louis and Andrew, slain
Shall be!" Gyulafi stays
The sword from further stain.

"Quick to the rescue, men,
Cselényi come!" and then
Felician soon the minions round
Seize and disarm and pen.

"Thy fingers bleed I see,
For naught this shall not be!
What dost thou ask, most gracious queen,
For this hurt done to thee?"

"For my first finger there
I ask his daughter fair,
And for the next his knightly sons
Dread death shall be my care.

Then for the other two
His son-in-law shall rue
And daughter; in his race's blood
My hands I will imbrue."

The evil days draw nigh;
Ill stars gleam in the sky;
Protect our Magyar fatherland
From ill, O God, on high!


In Radwan's wood's most gloomy part
   Benjamin Barcz lay 'neath a tree,
A poniard pierced his youthful heart;
   Lo! before God, 'tis plain to me
   Foul traitor's force hath murdered thee.

Home to his own ancestral hall
   His father bears his son's cold clay;
Unwashed, uncovered with a pall:
   On the plain bier, day after day,
   The corpse in the cool palace lay.

As guards he calls four halberdiers.
   "Watch at this door with strictest care!
No one must enter! heed no tears
   Of mother or of sister fair;
   To brave my will let no one dare!"

The women, in their own dull halls
   Wander about, their grief suppressed -
While he unto the ordeal calls
   All he suspects, to view the test
   Which must the guilt make manifest.

The hall with black is shrouded o'er;
   The sun no radiance seems to send;
The crucifix is placed before
   The corpse, while priest and sheriff bend:
   The yellow tapers soft light lend.

"Let now the dead man's foes appear!"
   Calls out the father, but in vain:
Those whom he names approach the bier;
   The hands of none increase the stain;
   "He is not here who Barcz has slain!"

The father cries in accents stern,
   "Vengeance on him who dared to kill;
My grave suspicion yet must burn,
   My dearest may incur it still -
   Who breathes may fear my anger's will."

"Let now his youthful friends appear."
   Proudly steps forward many a knight.
With pain they view the hero's bier
   Who fell not in the open fight -
   Yet Barcz' son bleeds not in their sight.

"Let now my vassals, old and young,
   In order pass and touch the dead;
I will, must, know who did the wrong!"
   All pass, and burning tears they shed -
   Still at no touch the wound has bled.

"Mother and maiden sister fair,
   Go to the corpse," sounds the command.
With woeful shrieks is filled the air,
   The mother's grief is touching, grand -
   But the open wound will not expand.

At length there comes his darling bride,
   Fair Abigail, he loved so well;
She sees the dirk, her eyes glare wide,
   She stands as stricken by a spell -
   The flowing blood her guilt doth tell.

In tears or cries she does not bow;
   Her two hands only press her brain.
What sudden thought appals her now?
   It seems her heart would break in twain. -
   "Girl, thou this youth hast foully slain!"

Tis told her twice, but she is still,
   As if bewitched; then utters slow:
"Benjamin Barcz I did not kill.
   God and his angels hear me, though
   I gave the dirk that dealt the blow."

"My heart in truth he did possess;
   He should have known it; but, ah, woe!
He still besought another 'yes,'
   'Or unto death I'll freely go;'"
   "Here, take my dirk, and end it so!"

Wildly the dirk she snatches forth;
   She laughs and weeps, the steel gleams bright,
Her eyes to glowing fire give birth.
   Like a wild hawk she screams outright.
   None stay her in her speedy flight.

And through the village streets so long,
   Dancing she sings from house to house.
"There was a maid" - thus runs her song -
   "Who dealt in such way with her spouse,
   As the cat trifles with the mouse."


Bende, the hero, holds his nuptial feast.
The first day this; it lasts for weeks at least.
   The music plays, trumpet and bugle sound;
Dancers blithely move and fast,
Bende calls: "This cup's the last!
   My dry, parched lips shall soon have found
   Lips where moist sweets abound!"

The hero by the bridesmaids straight is led
Unto the chamber where these sweets are spread:
   Silence and gloom the castle-halls endow.
Lo! by the couch a steel-clad knight
Standeth, whom Bende knows by sight,
   While, from his vizor, o'er his brow
   Weird, blue light falleth now.

"Bende, I come to fight thee now once more,
I was the victor, and not thou, before.
   Let us begin anew; the bout was rough;
Ha, ha, again thy armor don,
And servile hirelings trust not on,
   This maid is surely prize enough,
   To make our struggles tough."

The knight doth rise - "What, ho! quick bring my sword
And harness!" "Whither goest thou, sweet Lord?"
   "To fight for thee!" Soon in the armory hall
The fight is heard, - the weapons' clash,
The sound as they in conflict dash,
   Cries, groans and curses that appal,
   And foemen's feet that fall.

The fair bride cannot even close her eyes;
Alarmed about her spouse, she doth arise,
   And with her trembling hands a lamp doth light,
Then goeth forth her lord to seek
And, by his side, till dawn doth shriek,
   Where, as though dead, in grievous plight,
   He lieth through the night.

Bende, the hero, holds his nuptial feast,
The second day of mirth has almost ceased,
   The music sounds, the wine cup passeth free,
Bende doth reckless seem and gay;
He dances, drinks, in a forced way;
   And the fair bride - what thinketh she? -
   "Shall this like yest'reen be?"

That night the hero drinks of wine too deep
And by his men is borne to heavy sleep;
   His pretty bride doth fear his couch to share,
But, lest her secret she disclose,
Straight to an extra couch she goes,
   And in her fear she breatheth there,
   Crossing herself, a prayer.

Bende awakes at midnight, sober, pale;
There in the door a knight stands, clad in mail.
   "Ha, Robogány!" - Reluctantly he cried,
"Come, thou destroyer of my love,
To fight, the hour now strikes above;
   Till thou hast conquered me, thy bride
   Lieth not by thy side."

Again that night is heard a fearful fight,
And Bende seemeth dead at morning light,
   Nor can he rise till noon-day waxeth late;
Till, when arrived hath every guest,
Of him his servants go in quest; -
   "Where art thou, lord? the people wait;
   Haste to the Banquet straight."

Bende, the hero, holds his nuptial feast,
But on this third day sadness hath increased;
   It seems as if the music mirth outran,
The dance drags wearily and slow,
Most of the guests make speed to go:
   Never a nuptial feast began
   In blood, without God's ban.

The kindred of the pair, a bishop one,
Ask what hath happened, what misdeed been done;
   Bende is silent, but his bride doth weep,
Shakes like a dewdrop in storm-stress,
Confesseth she dare not confess.
   Then, when all else are sunk in sleep,
   Biddeth the guard watch keep.

Unto the armory then, a strong guard haste;
And Bende laughs - "The honey I will taste."
   And hurries late unto his lady's bower,
Just as the barn-yard chanticleer
His second summons soundeth near,
   And when above, from the high tower,
   Tolleth the midnight hour.

"Knight Bende, come; this last bout now maintain,
To morrow sees thy nuptial bonds in twain:
   So once more come, and if my dying groan
Thou hearest not, then will I slay
Thee and thy soul most sure, I say.
   Let the false one her sins atone,
   And all her life bemoan."

Bende, the hero, with his eyes aglow
Hastily to the armory doth go,
   And there a fearful sight the guards descry;
Their Master raves; with naked blade
The air he pierces, smites a shade,
   He yells and curses; three men die,
   Who to control him try.

Chained in a dungeon, out of sight,
Bende doth still shriek, rave and fight;
   The fair bride wedded none shall ever see:
"The first I was not worthy of,
The next did not deserve my love:
   Lord Bishop, may it fall to me,
   One of Christ's brides to be."


The sun hath almost run his course;
Over hill and vale is shade -
Hero Bor bestrides his horse,
"Farewell, sweet and pretty maid."

Over hill and vale is shade,
Chilly winds the dry twigs sway;
"Farewell sweet and pretty maid,
Hero Bor is far away."

Chilly winds the dry twigs sway,
Lo! a singing lark is near.
Hero Bor is far away,
Freely flows the maiden's tear.

Lo! a singing lark is near.
Whither goes it, where has fled?
Freely flows the maiden's tear;
Saith the father: "Thou must wed."

Whither goes it, where has fled?
O'er the wood hath crept the night;
Saith the father: "Thou must wed!"
But the maiden flees troth-plight.

O'er the wood hath crept the night;
Ghastly looks each bush and tree;
But the maiden flees troth-plight,
Hero Bor said: "Come with me!"

Ghastly looks each bush and tree.
Life, it seems, the scene invades.
Hero Bor said: "Come with me,
Spirit knight from land of shades."

Life, it seems, the scene invades,
Spirit lips now chant a song.
"Spirit knight from land of shades,
My dear spouse, take me along."

Spirit lips now chant a song,
A long bridal train draws near.
"My dear spouse, take me along,
Thou mad'st oath to wed me, dear."

A long bridal train draws near
Now a ruined church they pass:
"Thou mad'st oath to wed me, dear;
All are meet for holy mass."

Now a ruined church they pass,
Brightly lit as e'er before;
All are meet for holy mass,
Festive robes the dead priest wore.

Brightly lit as e'er before,
Brightly gleam a thousand lights:
Festive robes the dead priest wore,
"Hand in hand," the vow unites.

Brightly gleam a thousand lights,
Darkness rests o'er hill and vale;
"Hand in hand," the vow unites,
The bride's face is deadly pale.

Darkness rests o'er hill and vale,
An owl shrieketh in dismay,
The bride's face is deadly pale -
In the ruins dead she lay.


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

Around the poet now arise
Ruins of many broken sighs,
   Plaintive and wing-clipped songs.
While, 'mid these ruins walks his soul,
His thoughts amid sad memories roll -
   One thought the other throngs.

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

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

The rising or the setting sun
That oft thy admiration won,
   Why does thy song not hail?
Has night got no more charm for thee?
Writest thou not an elegy
   On moon and nightingale?

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

"The spring comes and the flowers grow;
'Tis all from heroes' dust below
   That spring brings back to sight;
The thousand sighs from tops of trees,
The mournful splash of streams and seas
   To understand is light."

"The sun which dawns and sets again
Does it for us secure, attain
   Pleasures and hopes anew?
The night, its loneliness e'en lost,
Enlivened is with shade and ghost
   Which it with life imbue."

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

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

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

"Not in a timid age lived I,
I witnessed much, sublime and high,
   And understood it well:
The lofty songs the minstrels sang
Of deeds on which whole worlds' fates hang,
   Which history doth tell:

"Marathon's victory I saw won,
The deeds by Sparta's daughters done,
   Saw Xerxes' giant might;
Leonidas, the hero true,
The minstrel Tyrtseus I knew
   With song enflame to fight."

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

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

- He singeth not. In deep dismay
His voiceless lute be casts away;
   In agony he cries:
"Ye mighty bards great and sublime,
Ye demigods of former time,
   Whom nations idolize!

"To live in brilliant, glorious days -
Scenes to remember, hopes to raise
   Was your most happy share,
To share the heroes' laurel wreath
Or o'er their graves to boldly breathe
   Freedom's inspiring air;

"The wheels of time which roll so fast
Into the mist of the dark past,
   To clog with one sweet air;
The history of yesterday
And of to day, through mellow lay,
   To suffer perish ne'er:

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

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

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


Mistress Agnes in the streamlet
Washeth well her linen sheet;
Almost is the blood-stained cover
Borne off by the water's fleet.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"Mistress Agnes, what thing wash you?"
Boys now ask her from the street.
"Children go away, keep quiet;
Chicken's blood hath stained my sheet."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Neighboring women then come asking:
"Where's thy husband, Agnes, say?"
"Why, my dears, at home he sleepeth;
Don't go in and wake him, pray."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"Mistress Agnes," says the sheriff,
"Come to prison now with me."
"O, my dove, I cannot go till
From all stains this sheet is free."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Deep's the prison, one ray only
To the darkness bringeth light;
This one gleam its day illumines;
Ghosts and visions crowd the night.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

All day long poor Mistress Agnes
Opposite this one ray sits;
Looks and glares at it unceasing,
As before her eyes it flits.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

For, whene'er she looketh elsewhere,
Ghosts appear before her eyes;
Did this one ray not console her
Sure, she thinks, her reason flies.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

In the course of time her prison
Opened is, and she is led
To the court; before the judges
Stands she without fear or dread.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

She is dressed with such precision
One might even think her vain,
Even her hair is smoothed and plaited
Lest they think she is insane.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

In the hall around the table
Sit the judges in concern,
Full of pity they regard her;
None is angry, none too stern.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"Child, what hast thou done? Come, tell us.
Grave's the charge against thee pressed.
He, thy lover, who committed
This fell crime, hath now confessed."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"He will hang at noon to-morrow,
Since thy husband he hath killed;
And, for thy part, a life-prisoner
Thou shalt be; the court hath willed."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Mistress Agnes, seeking clearness,
Striveth to collect her mind;
Hears the voice and knows the sentence.
Clear of brain herself doth find.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

What they say about her husband
She cannot quite comprehend,
Only knoweth well that homeward
More her way she may not wend.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Forthwith she commences weeping,
Free her tears flow as a shower;
Like the wet from swans down rolling,
Dew-drops from a lilac flower.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"O, dear Sirs and Excellencies,
Look to God, I pray of you;
I cannot remain in prison,
I have work at home to do."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"For a stain is on my linen,
Blood that I must wash away -
God! if I should fail to do it,
Dread things to me happen may."
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Then, at this appeal, the judges
At each other look aghast,
Silent all and mute their voices,
By their eyes the die is cast.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

"Thou art free, go home, poor woman,
Go and wash thy linen sheet,
Wash it clean and may God strengthen,
And with mercy thee entreat!"
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

And poor Agnes in the streamlet
Washeth well her linen sheet;
Almost is her now clean cover
Borne off by the water's fleet.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Snow-white long time is her linen;
No trace in it of blood-stain;
Yet poor Agnes ever sees it,
Blood-red still she sees it plain.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

From the early dawn till evening
In the stream she laves her sheet,
Waves may sway her frail-grown figure,
Winds her gray, once black, locks greet.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Even in the night by moonlight
She is ever at her post,
At the streamlet's bank still washing -
There she stands, a river-ghost.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Thus, from year's end unto year's end,
Winter, summer brings no ease,
Now from burning heat she suffers,
Now the chill winds make her freeze.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

On her head has come the winter,
Gone her beauty is and grace,
Bent and broken; full of wrinkles
Now is her once beauteous face.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!

Mistress Agnes in the streamlet
Washeth well her ragged sheet,
Almost are her cover's remnants
Borne off by the water's fleet.
     Father of mercy, leave me not!


One phase of 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 yon,
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,
'Tis behind yon great tree;
Before the evening has set in
At heaven's gold gate I'll be.
O, God, how beautiful must be
Thy paradise within!
O, God, if only into heaven
A brief look I could win!"

So saying, he sets out to run,
And soon is far away;
His anxious mother calls to him;
He hears not, will not stay:
An 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 or 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 be encounters each:
Up to the rainbow still he looks,
That goal he fain would reach.

Travelers, peasants, passing, hail -
"Lo! stop thou little one;
Tell us what is thy urgent haste
Where dost thou quickly run?"
"O," he replies, but, 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 -
A crowd - 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.

Even 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 the boy's 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."

And the old sage did further teach
The little 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;
Always, 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 at times to cry.



Land of the brave; my country dear, farewell!
Goodbye to valleys deep, to mountains high!
Land of my hopes, and where my sorrows dwell,
I leave thee now - Farewell! Goodbye! Goodbye!
And if, my dear land, I return to thee,
May thy sons through thy bounds contented be.

Not like to Switzerland's high, snow-clad hills,
No, not like these, the mountain-peaks thou hast;
And fairer be Provencal plains and rills
Than are thy vales and cornfields rich and vast:
Summit or plain, what are they all to me?
My Fatherland, I long, I live for thee!

One treasure Heaven doth give to every land
And nations guard the same with jealous care.
France proudly names her Emperor the grand,
Rome boasts antiquities renowned and rare.
Of classic ruins is famed Hellas vain;
My country, thou hast but a hallowed pain.

Quiet now reigns upon the Rákos' plain,
Too long the Magyar silent is, alas!
The fathers' traces fade away and wane,
The winds spread over them fresh sand and grass;
Silent expands the field! Our trembling heart
And silent tear proclaim how great thou art.

And Buda must in sorrow now complain,
No more does she of fame and glory boast:
A graveyard of the land she must remain
Reminding us of all my country lost.
Long before time destroyed her ancient fort
Her crumbling stones heroic deeds report.

And ancient Mohács stands, and higher grows
The wheat upon her fields, the grass more green;
Their roots spring from the dust of dead heroes
Whose blood the irrigating dew has been.
No stone shows where the patriots were slain,
The silent field filleth our heart with pain.

So long as on the Danube's silver face
A Magyar's eye will gaze, upon her bank
Will live one of the sturdy Magyar race,
So long vibrate our hearts with sorrow's pang.
Pray tell me, Danube old, that floweth here,
Art thou a stream? Art thou my country's tear?

I love thee in thy hallowed, silent grief, -
Unbounded is my love, my land, for thee!
Thou art my heart's most cherished fond belief,
Though stricken down with woe and misery.
Cheer up! Thy hope 's the future most supreme
Soon to dawn o'er thee in a golden gleam.

And now, goodbye! Farewell, thou blessed spot,
Farewell, forever fare thee well! I go!
Whether again 't will be my blissful lot
To see thee happy - Well, who is to know?
And if, my dear land, I return to thee,
May thy sons through thy bounds contented be!


When I shall once have trod
My clod-filled path of life;
And in the tomb am laid,
Where is an end of strife.

Raise not a marble dome
To keep alive my name;
The triumph of my thoughts
Will then assure my fame.

And if you pass the spot,
Where in repose I lie,
Then sing above my grave
A chant most sweet and high.

A stirring Magyar song!
That fills the soul with fire.
Beneath my verdant grave
Its sound will me inspire.

Then drop a sentient tear,
After the song is through:
Give to the bard the song,
The tear the lover true.


'Tis late and cold; who totters there
Yet in the graveyard lone?
Mute is the earth and, long ago,
The sun to rest has gone.

An orphan child it is, whose heart
Sorrow and pain make sore,
For she who loved him dearly once,
Alas, will rise no more.

The child kneels at his mother's tomb,
His tears the grave bedew:
"O, my beloved mother, thou
Wast ever kind and true!"

"Since they entombed thee dead for aye
Are all my joy and bliss;
None in the village offers now
Thy child a loving kiss."

"And no one tells me now; 'my child;
To me how dear thou art!'
And cold and hunger give me pain:
I am so sick at heart!"

"O, that I could escape the storm,
Find rest beneath this grave!
The winter is so fierce to me,
To me, poor outcast waif."

The child in agony laments;
Fierce is the north's cold breeze,
While in the tempest die his moans,
His tears to crystals freeze.

And, shivering from the cold, he stares
Around with icy face.
Terror and fright come over him,
He feareth now the place.

For dread and quiet are the graves;
Horror glares in his eye,
The wind with force sways bough and twig,
And snow falls from the sky.

He tries to rise, but is too weak,
Falls back upon the grave
Of the beloved one who to him
Life and all pleasures gave.

But see! The child is happy now,
He feels both light and free,
For sleep has brought to him a friend
To banish misery.

His pale lips smile, his heart doth seem
To throb with gleeful joy;
For gone to his eternal rest
Is the poor orphan boy!



Thirty knights towards Buda march,
   Quite prepared to die are all,
And in front of them there strides
   Kont, the hero, strong and tall.

Heroes they and noble men,
   Patriots striving to be free;
Their conspiracy betrayed
   By the recreant Vajdafi.

Before Buda's angry King
   Calmly, proudly, there they stand;
In their eyes resentment glows
   And the power of sinews grand.

From his throne the haughty King
   Utters wrathful words like these -
"Bloody traitors, straightway fall
   Here before me on your knees!"

In revenge and ire he spoke;
   Each then scanned his comrade's face,
Till the thirty all to Kont
   Questioning glances did retrace.

And he cries: "Not so, O King!"
   As he shakes his hoary head,
Even as the tree-tops shake
   When o'er them the wind has sped.

"Nay, O King, by Heaven, nay:
   Thou the traitor art most great,
Since to this land thou hast brought
   Grievous curse and heavy weight.

Blood and life the land hath spent
   Freely for thee and thy throne,
And requited is with hate; -
   Why? is known to God alone.

Either we our ancient rights
   Will by strength of arm regain,
Or, dear comrades, we will fall
   Fighting for it might and main.

But, since thou hast wronged our land,
   None of these will bend the knee,
Nor will Kont of Hedervár
   Ever, tyrant, bow to thee."

Thus did Kont, the hero, speak,
   Filled with wrath and courage now:
Rather would he go to death
   Than before the tyrant bow.

Wrathfully the King replies -
   Great and fearful is his ire -
"Death be thine, as dire a death
   As thy treason hath been dire.

Death be thine who even here,
   Stubborn leader, dost incite!"
And behind the thirty knights
   Stands the headsman dark as night.

Pales the crowd; the hero stands,
   Likewise does his knightly ring.
While the stern eye scans them o'er
   Of Zsigmond the tyrant King.

Now the thirty nobles pass
   Singly to the place of doom,
Till the headsman has to pause
   Tired, and then his work resume.

With the calm, still air around
   From them not a murmur blends;
But from out the watching crowd
   Now a smothered groan ascends.

Who is this that now appears,
   Last of thirty, last of all?
He, the glorious one, is kept
   Till he sees his comrades fall.

As the pride of ancient woods
   Stands he like the giant oak;
And the very headsman quails,
   Fears to deal the fatal stroke.

Waits the oak the woodsman's blow:
   Thus the hero stands to wait,
Gazing in the headsman's eye -
   Kont, the powerful and great.

As a hero, as a man,
   Thus it is he fain would die,
Patriot he, not criminal,
   Standing on the scaffold high.

For a mean and paltry life
   Criminals their God deny:
To the hero death but comes
   Glory's wreaths to beautify.

"My death and the death of these
   Is a bloody martyrdom,
Whence the land will gain much good,
   But to Zsigmund curse will come!"

Thus the hero spoke; the day
   Darkens at the headsman's blow:
So with thirty nobles died
   Kont, the brave and mighty foe.

With the calm, still air around
   From them not a murmur blends;
But from out the watching crowd
   Now an ominous cry ascends.

And the tyrant Zsigmund's blood
   Freezes straightway in his heart:
"Since thy sentence is unjust
   Thou the people's prisoner art!"


Thou wert a Magyar Lady born;
Be proud of this thy fate;
Exalted is in all men's thought
A Magyar Lady's state.
O women, who your beauty's charm
And power supreme do know,
From Heaven a mission you have got;
Blessed are you here below.

God made thee beautiful because
A woman he designed;
The fragrant flower of life thou art
Most perfect of its kind.
A gem, a precious pearl thou art
Found in the heart's deep sea;
A star which shines within love's sky
Forever brilliantly.

Two missions most divine are thine,
Thou canst not fail to know -
To be a Lady and thy love
On thy dear land bestow.
To live, to love, and loved to be
Is not alone thy goal;
As Magyar wife, fate gives thee now
A nobler sphere of soul.

Thou art the daughter of this land
Too long in gloom o'ercast,
The mother of a rising race
Which now wakes up at last,
For thee it cannot be enough
O'er stagnant pools to shine,
Or even a beauteous flower to be,
Placed on a graveyard shrine.

Thy lot to duty 'tis to call
Thy father, and to lead
Thy husband to the patriot ranks
Who give their lives' poor meed
Willingly for their native land,
And thine the mother's call,
Which with the patriot's zeal inspires
And moves thy children all.

That unity may have a home
Where it had none before;
Let all thy sons' and daughters' hearts
With love of home brim o'er.
Let Árpád's race in one be linked,
One circling diadem,
And of this shining coronal
Be thou the central gem.

Thou wert a Magyar Lady born,
Be proud of this thy fate;
The genius of one's land to be -
That is a lot most great.
O Women, who your beauty's charm
And power supreme do know,
From Heaven a mission you have got;
Blessed are you here below.


He went into the holy land,
A friar, to atone;
Clad in a cowl, with ash bestrewn,
He wandered far alone.

He cast away his shoes that, while
He wanders in the heat,
The stones and thorns upon the road
May freely pierce his feet.

He mortified himself with fasts
And thirst's most burning pain;
To wrongs he bowed and yet he did
Others to wrong disdain.

Throughout his weary pilgrimage
Devoutly still he prayed,
Yet from his soul he could not lift
The weight of sin there laid.

From Palestine to Home he went,
His anguish naught can ease.
Before his Holiness the Pope
He fell upon his knees.

"O, Holy Father, tell me, pray" -
His tears did freely flow -
"Will Heaven on me for my dark crime
Forgiveness yet bestow?"

Then, tremblingly, he did confess
His crime. The Pope arose,
Stricken with awe, his kindly face
Did anger stern disclose.

His eyes which ever gleamed with grace
Then burned with wrath and fire,
And like the thunder of the sky
He spake in deepest ire:

"Almighty God alone forgives,
Mercy is in His hand!
But not even He hath pardon for
Treason to fatherland!"



O, my God, the Magyar bless
With thy plenty and good cheer!
With thine aid his just cause press,
Where his foes to fight appear;
Fate, who for so long didst frown,
Bring him happy times and ways:
Atoning sorrow hath weighed down
Sins of past and future days.

By thy help our fathers gained
Kárpáth's proud and sacred height,
Here by thee a home obtained
Heirs of Bendeguz, the knight.
Where'er Danube's waters flow
And the streams of Tisza swell,
Árpád's children, thou dost know,
Flourished and did prosper well.

For us let the golden grain
Grow upon the fields of Kún,
And let Nectar's golden rain
Ripen grapes of Tokay soon.
Thou our flag hast planted o'er
Forts where once wild Turks held sway;
Proud Vienna suffered sore
From King Mátyás' dark array.

But, alas, for our misdeed,
Anger rose within thy breast,
And thy lightnings thou didst speed
From thy thundering sky with zest.
Now the Mongol arrow flew
Over our devoted heads;
Or the Turkish yoke we knew,
Which a free-born nation dreads.

O, how often has the voice
Sounded of wild Ozman's hordes
When in songs they did rejoice
O'er our heroes' captured swords?
Yea, how often rose thy sons
My fair Land, upon thy sod,
And thou gavest to these sons
Tombs within the breast they trod!

Though in caves the chased one lie,
Even then he fears attacks.
Coming forth the land to spy
Even a home he finds he lacks.
Mountain, vale, go where he would,
Grief and sorrow all the same -
Underneath a flood of blood,
And above a sea of flame.

'Neath the fort, a ruin now,
Joy and pleasure erst were found,
Only groans and sighs, I trow,
In its limits now abound.
But no freedom's flowers return
From the spilt blood of the dead,
And the tears of slavery burn
Which the eyes of orphans shed.

Pity, God, the Magyar, then,
Long by waves of danger tossed.
Help him by thy strong hand when
On grief's sea he may be lost.
Fate, who, for so long, didst frown,
Bring him happy times and ways:
Atoning sorrow hath weighed down
Sins of past and future days.


Every flower of my days
Which the fates may bring to me,
Grief-sown, joy-sown, though it be,
Grown in glad or grievous ways,
     Love and friendship true
     I dedicate to you!

Every flower of my days
Twine I gayly in my hair;
Now the sky is dull, now fair;
Spring new roses still doth raise,
     Love and friendship true
     While dwell with me ye two!

Every flower of my days
At my grave in time shall fade;
Of my rest the hallowed shade,
Where no pain or sorrow preys,
     Love and friendship true
     I then shall find in you!



The wanderer looks back from the hill;
Below lies stretched his lovely home,
Before him smiles the charming plain;
But in the ear of him who goes
The sad fond words of parting swell;
His heart still bleeds, his heart feels pain:
"O, exile, wanderer, farewell!"

The hill is passed, in valleys deep
He only sees clouds from his home,
Vanished is now the charming plain,
But, ah, his sadness leaves him not.
His heart still bleeds, his heart feels pain,
He ever hears the echoes swell:
"O, exile, wanderer, farewell!"

Even hill and vale are also lost,
No clouds from home he more can see;
A vision is the charming plain,
His pains pursue him like the sky.
His heart still bleeds, his heart feels pain,
In deepest grief his wail does swell:
"O, beauteous fatherland, farewell!"

The years roll by, his hair is gray:
Forgotten long he is at home.
But ever will the charming plain
Before his soul in splendor stand.
His heart still bleeds, his heart feels pain,
I hear his dying accents swell:
"O, beauteous fatherland, farewell!"


Thy past is bare of joy;
Hopeless thy days indeed!
Decaying, beauteous home,
For thee my heart doth bleed.

For thee doth still complain
In accents sad my lay;
Beneath thy stormy clouds
My life is all dismay.

After such great attempts
From out a turbid stream
To gain at length the shore,
No guiding star doth gleam.

Thou who didst hearts create,
And taught'st them how to feel
For hearth and fatherland
With, love-enduring zeal:

Whose might prescribes all laws,
All futures doth forecast:
O, God of Nations, send
A ray of hope at last!



           Dedicated to Edouard Reményi.

Hear the violin's voice, O, hearken
How she weeps and speaks distress!
That in four chords so much sorrow
Is confined one scarce would guess.
Do you hear her plaintive sighing,
Like the nightingale love-lorn;
Like an orphan, hear her crying,
Who a mother's loss doth mourn!

Hear the violin's voice, O, hearken!
List the chant her strings indite,
Low at first, then loudly bursting
Into Rákoczy's wild fight.
Overwhelming and inspiring
Is her plaint; all grief and pain
Die before hope's noble future,
Buried with the past remain.
Curses breathes she; swords are clashing;
Like the curse resoundeth far
War's wild din, yet all these voices
By one weak bow summoned are.

Hear the chords once more, O, hearken!
To the people they speak plain,
And the nation's joy and sorrow
Find their echo in the strain.
Now a whoop and now a whistle
Sends the Csikos from his chest,
When, in Csárdás' dance, he presses
His brown sweetheart to his breast.

Then, afield, the maiden-reaper
Sings a light and merry lay,
That doth swell, then, fuller sounding,
In the distance dies away.
Now the sad song of the lover
To his maiden false doth sigh
Forth its plaint from out his casement
Nightly to the starlit sky.

Now the moan of our great sorrow
Which these hundred years doth pain -
And, at this most anguished grieving,
Like to break the chords now strain.
Hear the violin's voice, O, hearken!
Now in glee, now in distress:
That in four chords so much sorrow
Is confined one scarce would guess.


A small, brown nightingale sings there,
In coverts hidden - who knows where?
None listens save myself 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 away the tune doth waft,
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."


My native country's charming bounds,
Will I again behold thy grounds?
Where'er I stand, where'er I fare,
Mine eyes still turn towards thee there.

I ask it of the birds which come,
If still doth bloom my native home?
I ask it of the clouds on high,
Of zephyrs which around me sigh.

But none of these at all console,
But pass and leave me in my dole,
With sore heart I am left alone -
As grass-blade growing by a stone.

Delightful spot where I was born,
Far from thee I by fate am torn,
Far as a leaf caught from a tree
And borne by tempests to the sea.



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 you, surely, dears;
But if for aye are vanished quite
   Your former cheer, your song so gay,
A sad and wistful tune indite,
   O, children, sing to me, I pray.

A storm has been; 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 none 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,
Greet the time coming, when in flower
   These barren fields shall bloom again.
So, at your song, anew shall life
   O'er this dead plain with ease make way,
Sweetening to-day with sorrow rife:
   O, children, sing to me, I pray.

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



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

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

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

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

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



The chamois hunter hunts his game
O'er mountain peak and vale the same,
    O'er highlands, by the calm blue mere,
    Where browse the goats and dappled deer;
    And where the sheep-girl's song sounds near.

The hunted chamois speeds away,
In silence dies the maiden's lay,
    The lake reflects the heaven's light,
    Love in the eye is mirrored bright;
    "Dearest, be my sweetheart this night."

The eager youth says yearningly -
"My little maiden come with me;
    Be mistress of my humble cot
    Where in the woods I cast my lot;
    A paradise 't will be, I wot."

The playful maiden answers straight -
"To gain this hand the cost is great:
    Behold on yonder mountain's brow
    That ruby which doth glisten now,
    That ruby is the price, I vow."

Bright gleam the chamois hunter's eyes;
None, as a marksman with him vies;
    His arrow spans the bent bowstring,
    Then, like a lightning-flash, doth wing
    And quick the ruby down doth bring.

"I have it! nay, where hath it sped?"
The ripples of the lake show red!
    The water-fairy smiling cries -
    "Come for the stone, see, here it lies,
    Surely, the bride the gem will prize!"

Into the deep descends the youth,
No more to rise again, in sooth.
    The mermaid who doth own the place
    Loves him, and in her charmed embrace
    Holds him; the ripples leave no trace.

The bride doth wait and wait in vain,
Her bosom filled with anxious pain,
    With dread her broken heart is rent,
    Till, all its hope and treasure spent,
    To seek her youth she also went.



Pearling streamlet, tell to me,
Doth my sweetheart bathe in thee?
Do thy pearly dews delight
My fair dove to wash snow-white?

Velvet sward, O, say to me,
Doth my sweetheart rest on thee?
Doth her heaving, snowy breast
Breathe with fragrant roses' zest?

Gloomy forest, answer me,
Doth my sweetheart roam in thee?
Do the fierce southwinds that go,
Spare on her milky cheek to blow?

Birds that in the plain rejoice,
Do you hear my sweetheart's voice?
To her lips do blithely leap
Carols from her bosom's deep?

Nightingale that sad dost trill,
Ne'er thy note her ear should thrill;
Did she hear thee, she would vie
With thee and, heart-broken, die.



Here, in a field I stand
Heaven's peace doth now expand
My heart, and in my ear
I distant murmuring hear:

As when the people raise
In church the 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.



Her father was a county judge, and all
His property - a farm and homestead small -
He left to her; and, like her father, she
From courts of law is never wholly free.
Like him, in suits she takes supreme delight,
And has one claim for which she still must fight.

Strange is her claim, and such as of it hear
Involuntary smile or drop a tear.
To those who list she tells her piteous tale,
Expecting them her grievance to bewail;
And sympathetic say, "your wrong is great -
Heavy the cross imposed on you by fate!"

'Tis years since first, her sad complaint to lay
Before the councillors, she made her way:
"Below my garden is my murderous foe,
The wild stream, Körös, who has, long ago,
To rob me of my heritage begun,
And will not cease, I fear, till he has won."

To humor her the council, when they meet,
Resolve to send some delegates to greet
The angry stream, and ask it to forbear,
Since when they have of nicknames had their share;
Albeit their eloquence was spent in vain,
The stream was at its wild work soon again.

Then to the county chief judge she doth wend
With a petition, which her own hand penned;
Many quaint characters it doth contain,
She deems that thus importance it may gain;
And, lest the quill's unaided work prove vain,
To press her work in person she is fain.

Her ancient fur-trimmed cloak doth form her gear,
Before the judge she would not else appear;
A large gold chain adorns her withered neck,
Long elbow-gloves her hands and arms bedeck;
Old-fashioned courtesy marks her greeting now:
Her mother in such wise did doubtless bow.

"Your Excellency," - then her tears break out;
His Worship feels uneasy, shifts about,
Soothes her, and calls her kindly, "my dear child,"
He must make ending of her anguish wild;
The county her endangered place will buy,
Pay her, and all her loss indemnify.

Miss Agatha springs up - "Of no avail,
My ancient property is not for sale;
No wealth or prize for it could make amend;
This little garden is my only friend;
The quiet nursery of my memories dear
I can not, will not, part with; it is here.

"Each sod endeared to me is, in good sooth,
Reminds me of things precious, of my youth,
Of spring-time, such as since I have not seen,
And of the song which only once, I ween,
The nightingale within the heart doth shed: -
A living message from my love, long dead.

"By moonlight in my garden, wet with dew,
A rosebush once was planted by us two;
And then he went. At freedom's call he rose,
Where his grave is to-day God only knows.
Last at Kápolna's battle he was seen,
Alas! - and yet the rosebush still blooms green.

"I will defend the spot where now it stands:
Give my petition back into my hands.
Straight to the King himself I now will go,
Who will secure to me my right, I know.
He will command the county to protect
Me, a poor orphan, and my claims respect."

On autumn's yellowing leaves the dew-drops play;
Miss Agatha grows older every day;
Scarce in her locks can one dark hair be found,
Where formerly black tresses did abound.
Her once bright eyes to dimness she hath cried,
Her trembling hand the pen can scarcely guide.

Morose she hath become; she is not seen,
As formerly, oft in her garden green:
With pain alone the ruin she can view;
With fear the murderous Körös thrills her through.
Still flows the stream which washeth strife away,
Endangering the rose-bush day by day.

On one spring eve, beside her rosebush there,
Yearning, she dreameth of the past so fair;
Its scent brings thoughts of him who doth await
Their meeting; memory calls up straight
The song of nightingales heard sweet above,
And recollections of her fond true love.

By stealth her neighbors kind and true unite,
Dig up the rosebush by the roots at night;
And, yearly, prompted by sweet charity,
Plant it unto her dwelling-place more nigh:
Her many tears have made her blind, I wot;
Gone is the garden - but she sees it not.



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

"The time has come, I will not stay,
But straight will ravish, spoil and slay!"
The demon cries whose name is legion,
"Murder! nay, call it now religion!
O, o!" he cries' "destroy the nation,
Leave it no hope or consolation!
Say that it is thy faith's command!
Burn cities over all the land!
Destroy the race, it is but wild,
Kill first the mother, then her child;
A mountain of dead corpses shall
Proclaim thou hast destroyed them all!"

Ye Gods, is this a war where woman's tear
And children's wailing are the nations call -
"To arms!" But, sorry sight! no one is near
To bring about the brutal foeman's fall.

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

But see! An ally comes to help the land;
Irrefragable is his strength and might.
Without his aid the nations cannot stand;
Without his help it is in vain to fight!

And countless is his army, like the stars;
And never doth it fail to earn great fame:
His aid alone decides the fate of wars,
And "Victory" is his unfurled banner's name!

Kingdoms at his command are oft cast down,
Or are secured to everlasting fame!
He makes and unmakes nations, and doth crown;
And Patriotism is his mighty name.

Those whom he helps no other aid do need.
God, who protection grants, is with him still.
He feels no pain; the wounds are sweet that bleed,
And resurrection meaneth death's worst ill.
God's wonders are with him, and him before
A fiery pillar goes, to plunge again
In the red sea of Moses, as of yore,
Pharaoh's great army, now of victory fain!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *  

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



- - - "And as ye go, preach; ... freely ye have
received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver,
nor brass in your purses." - St. Matthew x, 7 - 9.

                             - - -

Dark and gloomy is the charnel cave:
    The rays avoid its foul and mouldy air;
    The ghosts of flying time alone dwell there,
And on the stones sad legends they engrave.
O'er the cathedral's proud and mighty porch
    A dreary silence reigns. The vaults of Death
Below, the saints of stone within the church,
    All, all are mute. No whisper, sound, or breath!

Lo! from the dusk a figure clad in white,
    A marble statue come to life, it seems,
Glides forth. His grave, sad face, in infinite
    Love and sublimity, with lustre beams;
As if devotion, hope, and faith more great
Than ever here in prayer most passionate
    Found utterance, God had with life imbued:
    Thus show His eyes divine beatitude.

Each vault a grave; above each grave a stone;
    Yet He their proud inscriptions readeth not:
    He goeth toward an ancient, sacred spot.
To Him, alas! it is but too well known
That oft is undeserved the flattering praise
    Which upon stones men often thus engrave.
Though now 'tis sad, soon brighter grows His face,
    Standing at the Apostle Peter's grave.

He gently lays upon the stone His hand;
    The church and porch receive a mighty shock;
    The granite columns of the tomb unlock.
The sleeping corpse beneath, at His command,
    Shakes off the dream of eighteen hundred years,
    And, stepping forth, trembling with hopes and fears,
He recognizes in the dawning light
His Master Great, Divine and Infinite.

He falls upon his knees and, bowing low
    His hoary head, he kisses on the feet
And hands the scars of wounds got long ago.
    Falls on the breast, which is with love replete.
"O, Saviour mine! Master of earth and sea!
Master of all!" .... He beckons: "Come with me.
    Come, let us find how men commemorate
    My Resurrection, falling on this date."

They leave the church. Without, the failing night
    Wageth fierce conflict with the rising sun;
    The dawn's white angel soon the fight hath won;
A seeming blood-stream marks a demon's flight;
    With victory flushed, bringing the breaking day,
    The sun, as tribute, sends down his first ray
On the Messiah, who, in rags arrayed,
Stands there like one who begs for alms and aid.

"Thou clad in rags!" saith Peter, in amaze.
    But He replies: "Wealth did I ever own?
Was I not poor, the poorest, all my days?
    Thou knowest that peace and love were mine alone.
With these, nigh on two thousand years ago,
    The world I did redeem. Come, thou shalt know
Whither the blood I sacrificed did flow
    And what fruit from this dew divine did grow!

Come, let me see the way our heirs now wend,
    Whence so much pain and grief rise from this sphere.
Each curse and shriek which to my heav'n ascend
    Here in its cradle thou shalt surely hear;
Let us see how is my behest obeyed:
'Be simple, plain, and with the poor be found;
Love thou each man for his own sake, and aid,
    Sharing his sufferings when they most abound.'

The bells ring out, proclaiming holiday,
    In regal splendor all the churches seem!
A golden cassock which bright gems array,
    A sparkling ring and chain where beauties gleam.
These, with a pastoral staff, where diamonds blaze,
    Mark one whom the obeisant crowd do raise
Upon their shoulders on a throne all red,
    While on each gem a ray of sun is shed.

Standing erect, the Master waits close by,
    To watch the passing of the Magnate's show.
"Down on your knees! Kneel down!" irate, they cry;
    A halberdier calls: "Ragmen, beggars, go!"
Pushing Him rudely with his coarse, base hand.
    That touch.... a drop of blood from out His side
Falls to the earth. "And who is this so grand?"
    "Know you not? 'Tis Christ's Vicar sanctified!"

"But Christ was poor!" "In wealth His Vicar rolls!"
    "Christ walked afoot!" "But borne aloft by men
Is he we saw, who Christendom controls!"
    "And Christ drove not away the beggars, when
They came to him. He still allayed their groans
    And cured and blessed them, filling them with hope;
Blessed even those who threw at him with stones."
    "Well, He was Christ; but this, this is the Pope."

"Come, Master, let us go. Around us all is gay;
    We are not wanted here." The twain then go their way.

Evening has come. The priests go home to dine;
    In all refectories bounteous boards are spread,
Laden with delicacies and fine wine,
    All the world's good things to their splendor add.
An appetizing fragrance forth doth flow,
    Inviting to their doors a hungry horde.
At one of these the Master knocketh low.
    "Give, and it shall be given thee," said the Lord.

"To hell! Go hence, ye lazy beggars all.
    Wait for the kitchen-scraps, were you not told?"
In golden letters graved is on the wall:
    "One shepherd there shall then be and one fold."

And, sick at heart, He goes away, and sees
    Upon the walls the works of masters old,
    Which many pictured deeds of saints unfold,
Martin, the Saint, who gave his cloak away;
    Elizabeth, who alms did never spare;
The loaves and fishes famous from His day;
    The fig-tree, cursed because it did not bear;
And then the Lord Christ, toiling 'neath the cross.
How beautiful all this! He, at a loss,
    Asks Peter: "What is this place? Tell me! Come!"
    And he replies: "This is the Jesuits' home!"

Without, upon the hot stones of the street,
    A mendicant and wretched crowd await;
Tarrying till, feasting o'er, they get their treat,
    Their thirst and hunger all the time are great.

One of the crowd, a most unhappy wretch,
    Standeth alone, while tears roll down his face.
Into this crowd, which man could hardly sketch,
    Stepped the Messiah, with bland, godlike grace.

"What ails thee?" asks He of this wretched one.
     "I for my children sinned. Denied to me
     Was absolution!" "Sure, 'tis known to thee
    That God forgives!" "Yea, but when feasting's done,
I shall to-day for this get naught to eat,
    Naught for myself or for my children sweet."

Now come the priests....
                                      The banqueting is o'er.....
"Then let us go," the beggar said; "for we
    Will sure be driven off." But Christ doth say:
"I have no home." "Then come along with me.
    No bread have I, but where thy head to lay,
That which I have I will divide with you."
The Master at these words most happy grew.

Therewith the mendicant conveyeth Him
    Through many a devious, dark, and lonely street.
    A hundred sounding bells their ears do greet,
Which celebrate Christ's rising. Eve grows dim,
    And in the distant east upon the sky
    Bright, gleaming stars shine forth to beautify,
Flags float above, from every quarter round
The hallelujahs (seeming satire) sound.

"This is my hut," the beggar now doth say.
    Within, four almost naked children cry.
The Master then his cloak doth cast away.
    Five bleeding wounds his person glorify,
His forehead bleeds, the thorns one may descry.
"Know me," He calmly saith, "Lo! it is I!"

"O Master, I believe! My hands I fold
    In revereut prayer! I love and I believe!
    For ours Thou art! From Thee we now receive
Aid in this wretched home, so bare and cold!
    But not for wealth or earthly joy crave I.
These are but vain and paltry. Grant me this:
    Before Thy bleeding, nail-scarred frame to die.
That were, indeed, to me the greatest bliss."

In grief profound the Master then doth speak.
    "Yea, he is right. His bliss, indeed, excels
Who on his soul's clean wings to Heaven is borne;
    Not his who on the earth uncertain dwells."
...."Come with me, then, and testimony bear
That precepts holy, for which wrong I bore,
    For which, two thousand years ago, I died,
To-day are scouted from the rich man's door;
That on this earth, redeemed by grace divine,
The hut and sepulchre alone are Mine!"



1 "MAYFLY, YELLOW MAYFLY" - Cserebogár, sárga cserebogár, is the opening line and the name of a most popular Hungarian song.

2 EGER - German Erlau, a town in the county of Hevesh, celebrated for its wine, one of the best in Hungary.

3 DÉLIBÁB - Fata Morgana.

4 SOLOMON - King of Hungary 1064-1074.

5 FÓT - A little village in the county of Pest, the country residence of the poet.

6 Among the proofs of guilt in superstitious ages was that of bleeding the corpse. If a person was murdered, it was believed that at the touch or approach of the murderer the blood would gush out of the body.

See Trials and Proofs of Guilt in Superstitious Ages, in I. D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature.

7 APOTHEOSIS - Written by the author on the occasion of a benefit performance given at the National Theatre at Budapest in aid of the Turkish wounded in 1877.