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A Poem by Sandor Petofi: Farewell

 

FAREWELL.

BÚCSU.

 
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!

 

Sándor Petőfi

Sandor Petofi

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