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A Poem By Mihaly Vorosmarty: Solomon’s Curse

 

SOLOMON’S CURSE.

SOLOMON ÁTKA.
“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.

Mihaly Vorosmarty

Mihály Vörösmarty

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