An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry/Thou and I
THOU AND I
Get thee hence from my way:
Black are my hands and damp is the raiment I wear,
I am but a miner and thou art my master to-day;
Thine is the palace, a hovel of wood is my lair,
My Phrygian cap o’er my forehead a shadow doth throw.
But not unto me do the pleading orphans lament,
They are robbed by thy ravening hares of the fruits of the soil,
Thou art heartless and shameless—by lightning mayst thou be rent.
From the Beskyds am I, and a son of serfdom and woe,
I toil in thy forges and down in thy mine I toil;
Gall seethes in my veins and yet I toil for thee still,
I seize on thy wood by the side of the foaming rill.
I am black, I am poor, and the sweat on my forehead appears,
But no children because of my deeds in the Beskyds shed tears;
I oppressed no widows nor seized on their land with might,
So I am a beggar, and thou art my master to-day.
Hast thou come to the mountains? O get thee gone from my sight;
I wear a Phrygian cap—get thee hence from my way.
"Songs of Silesia" (1911).