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A Poem by Sandor Petofi: FROM AFAR




A house stands by the Danube far away,
To me so dear, I think of it all day;
The fond remembrance of that spot so dear,
Will ever make my heart well with the tear.

Had I but from that home not gone, yet man
Is always moved by some ambitious plan,
And falcon-wings grew to my heart’s desire;
I left my home, my mother dear and sire.

How great my mother’s grief I cannot tell;
When bidding me ‘mid sobs and sighs farewell
The pearly dew that showered from her eyes
To quench her burning pains did not suffice.

Still do I feel her trembling arms’ embrace,
Still do I see her haggard, careworn face.
Oh, had I then this world at all foreseen,
Her dear entreaties vain had never been.

Seen in the rays of hope’s bright morning-star
Our future days enchanted gardens are:
Only to our delusion do we wake
When in the devious labyrinth of mistake.

But why relate how hope’s enticing ray,
Though cheering me, misled me on my way;
How, wandering o’er the bleak world’s barren sod,
My faltering feet on myriad thorn-spikes trod.

Some friends have started toward my home to go;
What, by their mouth, shall I let mother know?
Call on her, countrymen, if you come near
The house wherein reside my parents dear.

Pray, tell my darling mother not to fret,
Say that her son is now fair fortune’s pet.
Ah! should the loving soul the plain truth hear,
Her tender heart, alas, would break I fear!


Sándor Petőfi

Sandor Petofi

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