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Anthology of Modern Slavonic Literature in Prose and Verse/Songs of the First May-Tide

< Anthology of Modern Slavonic Literature in Prose and Verse
For other English-language translations of this work, see Songs of the First May-Tide.

6. SONGS OF THE FIRST MAY-TIDE.

 

(v.)

 

The son of motion,
The son of radiance and airy spaces,
From his youth in the eddies of life,
He, whose heart was bleeding
With tenderness and with manly strength,
When in the night he stood musing
Over the town that has perished,
He heard this funeral chant:
O miserere, O miserere,
Woe worth the land that has perished. . .

Over the silenced homesteads
It sang in a graveyard-stillness:
O miserere, O miserere. . .
The weary, unventuresome and humble
Have withdrawn them from life. . .
Here in over-eloquent muteness
Is the desert of Europe with artless beauty. . .
The grass withers, that her bondsmen
May be bedded the softer
In days and in nights of hunger. . .
How rich here the waxing of pine-woods:
There is need of coffins for all the people. . .
Upon the pigmy acres
Is reared only the tillage
Of a time of faintness and death. . .

O miserere, O miserere,
O miserere. . .
Yet twain in this place have splendour:
The burials and the sunset. . .

 

(vi.)

 

The son of motion, thus hearing,
The son of radiance pondered with sorrow:
Wherefore doth Europe passionately embrace
Only the soothly alive,
Only the venturesome, strong and self-certain
Peering into the most sequestered corners,
Those, scouring the oceans,
Those, cruising on tracks of the globe,
Those, blithely trafficking with settlements,
Those, mustering courage, unshipping wallets of gold
Yonder in regions, where the armourers sing
Amid passionate roaring of blow-pipes,
Where newly-moulded cannon are upreared,
Where in havens of war dusky vessels tower aloft?. . .

O, long since was the son of motion witness:
That Europe doth paasionate embrace
Only those, who in sooth are alive.

Those victorious after dreadful combats,
Those, loving fruits of the centuries' lore,
Those, who in contest have won them a place,

Yea, if need be, with dagger in hand,
Ere the fateful scenes are in action
Behind a suddenly-lifted curtain. . .

"Three Chants of To-day and To-morrow" (1905)

 
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1928, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1970, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.