Bohemian legends and other poems/Bohemia

BOHEMIAN LEGENDS.


“BOHEMIA.”

 

Bohemia! land of far renown,
Well known in the days of old,
From out thy villages and towns
Came forth thy stalwart sons and bold,
To fight for freedom, and for God,
Not caring if they bled or died,
If they won liberty to laud
God on their native mountain side.

Bohemia! that so many years
Sent out the learned of the earth;
Bohemia, that with many tears
Passed through the Scripture’s second birth;
Thy children, now in history’s page,
Read thy loved name, with beating heart.
In vain thy enemies they rage,
They cannot dim thy glorious part.

Bohemia! from thy mountains wild,
God called His martyrs for the truth,
Fiery Jerome and Huss the mild,
Here wandered in their days of youth.
Here Žižka, with undaunted face,
Though old and blind, thy warrior son,
Left traces one cannot efface
Until with history one is done.

Bohemia! there is not an art
In which thy sons have not excelled;
Thy wares were sold in every mart,
And praise from enemies compelled.

Now Brožík, with a painter’s skill,
From history has awaked the dead.
Bohemia, that has great men still.
Nor are thy days of glory fled.

Thy poets, too, have sung thy praise,
In verses that shall never die.
In many lands one hears the lays
From Dvořák, like a homeward sigh.
Palacký, with a lover’s zeal,
Has writ thy history great in fame.
Tomek has made us know and feel,
Though changed, that Prague is still the same.

Brave land, so crushed that still can live
And teach thy sons the way to fame;
Strong land that still has strength to give
Men that no enemy can tame.
Thy sons have wandered far and wide;
One finds them scattered in all lands—
In forests where the black bear hide,
And amidst Africa’s burning sands.

Bohemia! thou hast been my home,
And I will sing thy praises still.
Wherever ’tis my fate to roam
No other land thy place shall fill.
Memory shall wander back at will
Amidst thy forests and thy fields,
And I shall see each well-known hill,
And listen to the echo’s peals.

Bohemia! be thou blest of God—
May He uphold thee in His strength;
May all thy children learn to laud
Their father’s God, throughout thy length.
Forget not how your fathers fought—
For what they lived—for what they died;
Remember what your fathers taught,
And hold to it whate’er betide.