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A Poem by Sandor Petofi: At Home


At Home.


Beautiful home, upon thy wide-spread plain
Expands a waving field of golden grain,
Whereon the mirage plays, O country dear,
Knowest thou still, thy son, now pining here?

‘Tis long ago since welcome rest I found
Beneath the poplar trees I yet see round,
While, through the autumn-sky high overhead,
Migrating cranes in V shape southward sped.

When on the threshold of our house, with tears,
Heartsore I bade goodbye to all my dears,
And when, dear mother’s last and parting sigh
On gentle zephyrs’wings away did fly;

Ah, many a line of years, since then begun,
Their course completed, to their death have run,
While, on revolving wheels of fate, I passed
Through various scenes in which my lot was cast.

The great world is the school of life, I trow,
Wherethrough I plodded with perspiring brow;
Because my road was passing hard and rough:
And, from the start, I traversed wastes enough.

I know – and none knows better I well think –
To whom experience held her hemlock drink,
That rather I would drain the cup of death
Than the black chalice which she proffereth.

But now despair and grief and bitter pain,
Which swelled my heart rending it nigh in twain
Are gone; their memory e’en is washed away
By holy tears of joy I shed to-day.

For here, where once I lay on mother’s breast,
Drank in her honeyed love, – to me the best –
The sun shines smilingly from heaven’s dome
Again on thy true son, O fair, loved home!

Sándor Petőfi

Sandor Petofi

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