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A Poem By Mihaly Vorosmarty: The Bitter Cup

 

THE BITTER CUP.

KESERŰ POHÁR.

Wine-Song from the drama Cilley and the Hunyadys.

If thou hast lost thy manly heart
Unto a woman fair,
And she has by her wanton art,
Thy happy life made bare;
If her false eyes now seem to smile,
Now shed a feigned tear.
With yearning filling thee one while,
Then causing wounds that sear:
Think over this and drink;
The world doth pass and sink;
A bubble bursts, but there
Abides the empty air.

If thou hast on thy friend relied,
As thine own soul he was,
Thy secrets did’st to him confide, –
Honor and country’s cause;
And he, with soft and murderous hand,
Hath stabbed thee to the heart,
Thy ruin skilfully hath planned
By treason’s baleful art:
Think over this and drink;
The world doth pass and sink;
A bubble bursts, but there
Abides the empty air.

If, for thy country, thou dost wield
With toil thy sacred thought,
Or, on the perilous battle field,
Thy life-blood sparest not;
And if, deluded, it should spurn
Thy efforts true and high,
Or, led by rulers base, should turn
And sacrifice decry:
Think over this and drink;
The world doth pass and sink;
A bubble bursts, but there
Abides the empty air.

If still, within thy aching heart,
Doth gnaw the worm of care,
And thou forsaken wholly art
By men and fortune fair;
If all thy pleasure, hope, delight
Are killed by poison’s bane,
And to expect new days more bright
Too late it is, in vain:
Think over this and drink;
The world doth pass and sink;
A bubble bursts, but there
Abides the empty air.

And if despondency and wine,
United in thy brain,
To thee the picture should define,
Of thy life’s barren plain.
Think of some brave and noble thing
And for it risk thy life;
He is not lost who still doth cling
To faith, and faces strife;
Think over this and drink:
The world doth pass and sink;
But while it still doth stand
Structures and wrecks are planned.

Mihaly Vorosmarty

Mihály Vörösmarty

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