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A Poem By Mihaly Vorosmarty: To Francis Liszt

 

TO FRANCIS LISZT.

LISZT FERENCZHEZ.

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!

Mihaly Vorosmarty

Mihály Vörösmarty

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