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An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry/Who will take my place?

< An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry

WHO WILL TAKE MY PLACE?

 

So scant is my blood, and now from my mouth
It flows.
When there grows
Above me the grass, when my body decays,
Who in my stead,
Who will my scutcheon upraise?

Night gazed from my eyes, and the flame from my nostrils trailed;
I stood, in the smoke of the Witkowitz furnaces veiled,
And whether the sun was aglow or the evening was falling fast,
I with a frown on my brow my gaze on the murderers cast;
They were the wealthy Jews and the counts of a high-born line,
A gloomy-faced miner was I, as I sprang from below in the mine.
And though on their temples a diadem scattered its rays,
Each of them flinched as he met my gaze,
My clenched list, and my stubborn scorn,
The wrath of the miner who up on the Beskyds was born.
So scant is my blood, and now from my mouth
It flows.
When there grows
Above me the grass, when my body decays,
Who will relieve me on guard?
Who will my scutcheon upraise?

 

"Songs of Silesia" (1911).