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A Poem by Sandor Petofi: In My Native Land


In My Native Land .


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.

Sándor Petőfi

Sandor Petofi

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