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A Poem By Mihaly Vorosmarty: The Hoary Gipsy

 

THE HOARY GIPSY.

A VÉN CZIGÁNY.

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!

Mihaly Vorosmarty

Mihály Vörösmarty

About Violet Alex

Violet Alex
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