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John Kollár.

 
JOHN KOLLÁR is a bohemian minister at Pesth, in Hungary. I have not scrupled to translate pretty largely from his works; and I am much mistaken if he will not be deemed worthy of praise and admiration. The meeting tenderness, the melancholy sweetness with which he dwells on the fate of his country, and the eager thusiasm with which he rears up the dreams of her future power and happiness, appear to me full of the finest materials of thought and expression. Like my original, I have hound myself to the sonnet's narrow limits—but Kollár has also written some epigrams and elegies. I cannot but deem such men as he the great conservators of their country's fame, and the sources of their country's hope. His words (Slawy Dcera, p. 73,) have been often referred to as topics of consolation:
 
Krásnegi se nikdo nehonosj

Smělým čelem, gako wlastenec

Genž w swém srdci celý národnosj[1]

 

In his Slawy Dcera, Kollár's affection for his country and for his Mina is exquisitely delineated, and towards the former no patriot ever poured forth more high-sounded breathings. He weeps "melodious tears" over the ruins of his father-land, and hurls his bitter and eloquent curses against her oppressors. When excited he "speaks daggers." Independently of his poetry he has rendered many services to slavonian philology.

Sonnet 9.

 

 

Nenj to zem, ani nebe zcela

 
Not earthly charms,—nor heavenly are alone,

In thine incomparable grace exprest;

'Tis holiness in human beauty drest,

Time's shade around immortal brightness thrown:

Now chain'd to fleeting love—and now upflown

From the faint passions of a time-bound breast,

To the unclouded sunshine of the blest;

From dust and darkness—to the lightning's throne.

There stars roll o'er thee,—from whose radiant light

Thou didst receive the rays thou scatter'st round,

While flashing like a vision on the sight;

Say wert thou moulded from the clayey ground,

That I may love thee?—if thou art divine—

An angel—I will worship at thy shrine.

 

Sonnet 10.

 

 

Těžko zrjti, wěřjm, když se w krásy.

 
O what! sublime conceptions fill the soul,

When o'er the dawn-clad Tatra[2] the rapt eye

Wanders;—all thought dissolv'd in sympathy,

And words unutter'd into silence roll!

How the heart heaves when thunder-storms eclipse

The sun, and century-rooted oaks uptear:

When Etna opens wide his fiery lips—

Turns pale the star-hair'd moon and shakes the sphere!

Yet this, and more than this, my soul can bear—

But not thine innocent look,—thy gentle smile—

What magic, might, and majesty, are there:

A trembling agitation shakes me, while

Confus'd amidst thy varied charms I see

The powers of earth and heaven all blent in thee.

 

Sonnet 12.

 

 

Malug obraz, genž se zářj hrawau.

 
Mould thee of brightest dreams an airy creature,

The loveliest soul in loveliest body dress;

Bid beauty overflow from every feature—

Bid mind uplift them from earth's narrowness.

Let the eye flash with light from heaven,—and love

Mingle the tenderness of earthly care;

And the tall forehead tower erect, above

Those smiling lips that breathe such odors fair.

Bind living garlands round the snowy brow,

With flowers from every stem and every sphere—

Flowers gay and various as the Iris-bow,

And let that form pour music on the ear,

And sweet slavonian song—thou hast array'd

In shadowy dreams a true slavonian maid.

 

Sonnet 15.

 

 

Přjroda se ze wšeck žiwlů wšudy.

 
Nature from all her elements hath made

A flower of fadeless beauty—she hath blent

All charms that earth hath held or heaven hath lent—

And in the light of suns and stars array'd

Her form:—from Pallas wisdom—Lada[3] grace,

Hath stol'n—instead of odors which decay:

Cupid and Milek[4] tore the leaves away,

And rounded every limb in three days space.

Then came the higher deities, and pour'd

The graces and the charities—a tongue

Of silver gave, and round the maiden hung

The sympathies of tenderness—who sees

The angel, cries—O born to be ador'd!

Who brought from Stella's groves such charms as these.

 

Sonnet 21.

 

 

Nikdý takým záře šarlatowá.

 
The morning beaming on the flowery beds,

Whose gems give back its beauty, light and grace,

Is far less lovely than thy lovely face—

Where Lada[5] all her rays of radiance spreads.

The chaste but glowing pencil of the spring,

Which paints the may-rose, has no tint to give

So fair as these thy sweet lips' colouring,

With ever-living smiles that round them live.

The bending of thy beauteous arms is fairer

Than the gold strings of the musician's bow,

So magical:—to what shall I compare her!

To fable's dreams? O no! for here a rarer

And a diviner model I can show—

A foot whose touch moves not the sands below.

 

Sonnet 23.

 

 

Sotwy že se smélšj opowážj.

 
The busy thoughts to narrow bounds confin'd,

Struggle for wider fields; and beat the wires

Of their poor cage:—impatience makes them blind

In gazing on the light of vain desires,

And they disperse—but hope broods o'er the mind,

And warms its dreams and fans its sleeping fires,

Till like that glorious bird that never tires,

It sits aloft in clouds and stars enshrin'd.

For me has virtue flower'd on love's sweet stem,

At Vesta's altar I have pour'd my vows:

I have tied wreaths of worship round the brows

Of Milek,[6] and I wear his diadem,—

To suffering he the stamp of joy has given,

And poor'd on earth the sunny light of heaven.

 

Sonnet 27.

 

 

Gešté spj! O ticho srdce hlasné.

 
She sleepeth! cease, thou noisy heart! to beat;

Let every step be silence—birds! be still;

Ye guardian spirits, on your pinions fleet,

Fly—hurry back the sun-light from the hill.

It were a sin to lose an hour so sweet:

Ungrateful not love's mandates to fulfil;—

Disturb her not—kiss gently, eager will,

Those lips—that brow—both love and beauty's seat.

But, as the trembling hand approach'd—afraid

To lift the silken veil that wrapt the maid,

She woke in beautiful emotioh,—threw

Three hundred flashes round her, each a ray

Of lightning—saw the youth—her eyes of blue

Melted—bent down—she whisper'd soft, "good day."

 

Sonnet 28.

 

 

Negen ona růžokvétná ljčka.

 
Cheeks which are colored from the dewy rose;

Lips, whence young smiles go forth and, where they rest:

A swan-like neck above a snowy breast,

Where many a golden curl light-waving flows.

A forehead bright as sunshine—hazel brows,

Pencil'd as if by art—their orbits drest

In living light of innocence,—repress'd

Each heaving sigh, and every breath that rose

Half-smother'd—thus it was that I was bound;

Love's thousand, thousand fetters me round:

What time he lull'd me with his sweet delusion,

Till I awoke, midst struggling, strife, and care;

Grief fought with hope, and fancy with despair,

And soul with sense—all conflict and confusion.

 

Sonnet 30.

 

 

Oči, oči modré milostrivé

 
Ye eyes with love o'erflowing—eyes of blue,

Ye white pearls peeping thro' unfolding buds,

Eyes where earth's azure, and heaven's azure too,

Shine as reflected on the mirrory floods.

From ye—from your own brightness, living schools!

I studied virtue—why did ye impart,

With your instructions, poison to my heart?

Why mingle mischief with your moral rules?

In your first glance the peace-destroyer shot

His mortal arrow thro' me—and it smote

My inmost heart—but yet I murmur not;

But dwell on thought more blessed, tho' remote:

As heaven is gilded by the torch's ray

That lights our funerals on their tomb-bound way.

 

Sonnet 33.

 

 

Wšecko, co gen koli nahromadil.

 
O my Slavonia! many are the blows

Which time and unkind destiny have laid

Upon thy helplessness—thy children, foes;

By sons—by strangers—by the world betray'd,

Tatars, and magyars, and that cruel nation,

Deceitful germans—who unpeopled thee;

Yet love, sweet love, hath found thee compensation,

And a rich recompence for injury—

Thy native tongue—and would they but have bann'd it,

The shame it had been ours e'en more than theirs:

It was no wonder that their cunning plann'd it,

Yet when pretence puts forth her foreign airs,

In silence, O Slavonia! understand it,

For idle noise no fruit of wisdom bears.

 

Sonnet 36.

 

 

W pstré lauky, a wy hustým njzká.

 
Ye flower-clad meadows, and ye silent vallies,

Encircled round with verdure-covered trees:

O welcome, welcome, beauty's nymph, who sallies—

Throwing bright glances o'er your luxuries;

Is the stream brighter—are the flowers more fair—

Is the high poplar taller—doth the bird

Of the green wood sing sweeter to the air,

And gayer is the reaper's music heard?

Ye winds, bring all your odors—nymphs, that hide

Youselves in grottos, join in dance and song:

Lift up your heads, ye hills, in joy and pride—

Here all is harmony—the maid—the scene—

Here beauty is and incense—here have been—

Such goddess to such temple doth belong.

 

Sonnet 37.

 

 

Negen že ge kinene slowanského.

 
'Tis not alone that of Slavonia's stem,

She is a simple and a smiling flower;

Tho' the obdurate frank and saxon's power

Have sought to rose the impress of the gem.

Oh! many erring sons of Slawa know

Too little of her glories—they conspire,

Her language—their sire's fame—to overthrow,

Nor heed the frownings of celestial ire.

A heart as pure as are the pearls of dew—

An english spirit in a child-like guise—

A magic on the lips and in the eyes,

And friendship's strength, and beauty's sparkling hue.

Ye fame-full tribes and tongues! since heaven has given

All this, what more would ye expect from heaven?

 

Sonnet 39.

 

 

Uzřew ondy mésjc plnoskwaucj.

 
When the moon o'er the mountain-branches rises;

With rays as rainbows brilliant, lo! it seems

As if thy smile upon its pale face beams

With more than lunar light: for love disguises

All objects, and in passionate fondness I

Pour'd out my heart, and wildly held dicourse

With that supernal queen, until the hoarse

Laugh of the mountains shook the starry sky.

Then to night's spectre-spirits did I cry

Impatient—and they tarried in their course,

And bid the gentle stars of heaven reply:

"We have sent forth a sister from on high,

Clad all in love and light and beauty—she,

Slawa! was sent to minister to thee."

 

Sonnet 43.

 

 

Na rtech těchto, srdce twého prahu.

 
Upon thy lips—thy swelling breast of snow,

Thy bright eyes, and thy building soul—I lay

My love's unshaken—its eternal vow—

Its oaths—its pledge—yes! Mina! hear me say:

"Time overrules the world—makes all its prey—

Time calls us where all time is buried now:

Yet I am thine for aye—record it so—

Thou glorious heaven—thou star-girt milky way!"

I bend me from the clouds—my name is fate;

On thee I look in pity—for tho' peace

Is in thy vow—yet war must be thy doom;

And I shall chase thee in thy restlessness—

Whither and when—I say not—soon or late—

Perchance a better—brighter day may come.

 

Sonnet 45.

 

 

Ode Babigory w tomto rauše stjnu.

 

(A spirit with a naked sword.)

 

"A shadowy form I omne from Babigōr;

Sent by thy country to her doubting son—

O! on love's triflings waste thy soul no more:

Mina, or country-choose, and choose but one."

 

(A spirit with a bent bow.)

"I visit thee from love's flower-scatter'd shore;

Three days my arrow Lada has possess'd

To sharpen—tell me, I implore—

Dost love thy country or thy Mina best?"

The midnight struck—I left the awful spot:

My eye still fix'd upon the misty shade—

The sword—the arrow—Mina—country—what

But doubt and silence—on my breast I laid

My hand—tore out and broke in twain my heart—

My country!—Mina!—each shall have a part.

 

Sonnet 50.

 

 

Geště čnj ten domek! poljbenj.

 
Yet, yet, I see thee thro' the distance peeping,

Mine own sweethome, and fling renew'd adieus—

Onward, my steps, O onward! lest my weeping

O'erpower me with the thoughts of what I lose.

I see thy golden doors—awake or sleeping,

Thou land of peace—like sunbeams midst the dews:

Vain dreams! for I thro' darksome woods am creeping—

I have no mansion, but the clouds' wild hues.

Turn not, O turn not back—shine, day-star, shine!

Ye birds of heaven pour out your loudest songs—

Lift, thou fierce storm, that awful voice of thine—

Shout mountains, shout! what pang to man belongs,

Man may bear bravely—I resolve—and yet

Turn back—and then I feel my eyes are wet.

 

Sonnet 54.

 

 

Lasko! lasko! ó ty sladký klame.

 
O love! thou sweet but sorrowful delusion—

Thou golden cup with treacheries o'erflowing:

Thou twixt two hearts—with tendrils strong up-growing

Dost bind them—'till they melt in common fusion.

Earth and heaven's blessedness seems theirs—enjoy

The fleeting moment, for the storm is waking—

It blackens—bursts—and heaven and earth are shaking:

That storm the boat and boatman may destroy.

Daughter of heaven; where art thou? Thou sweet guest,

Whom I have often welcom'd to my breast:

Thou child of flowers—thou fountain-head of care!

I launch'd my bark for thy bright pork—but heaven

Frown'd;—with a broken rose-stem was I driven

Upon the rocks—nought but briars were there.

 

Sonnet 56.

 

 

Ku barbarům rodu Awarského.

 
There came three minstrels in the days' of old,

To the Avaric savage—in their hands

Their own slavonian citharas they hold:

"And who are ye!" the haughty Khan demands;

Frowning from his barbaric throne, "and where—

Say where your warriors—where your sisters be."

"We are slavonians, monarch! and came here

From the far borders of the baltic sea:

We know no wars—no arms to us belong—

We cannot swell your ranks—'tis our employ

Alone to sing the dear domestic song"—

And then they touch'd their harps in doubtful joy.

"Slaves!" said the tyrant—"these to prison lead,

For they are precious hostages indeed."

 

Sonnet 68.

 

 

Garo wzniká, mlhy plašj slunce.

 
'Tis spring—the sun is putting forth his rays—

The gentle airs play lovingly together,

And on the green boughs, shaded from the weather;

The nightingales are singing rapturous lays:

The seeds are swelling for the harvest days—

The squirrels springing, and the bulls are prancing—

The butterflies along the pram dancing,

And the bees singing endless roundelays.

There's universal joy—or eloquent,

Or silent—yet 'tis joy—and love, and gladness;

While I—poor devotee of woe and sadness,

On spring and summer turn a hopeless eye:—

Dark is the sun to me—joy's a fountain dry,

Since from my soul, that soul's sweet life was rent.

 

Sonnet 70.

 

 

Čekeg tamto nad Šumawau málo.

 
Tarry thou golde sun; upon our hills,

Our own bohemian hills—above our woods;

O tarry: 'tis alone thine influence fills

With rays of light Bohemia's solitudes;

And as thy mission is of peace and joy,

Chace thou the evil dreams of darkness—pour

Bright greetings—and the shades of grief destroy,

And bless the love which calls thee to watch o'er

And witness its deep faithfulness—Awake

Some splendor in mine eyes, and bear to her,

Beneath whose influence; and for whose sweet sake

I would be gay—O golden monarch! bear

To her all beams of beauty and of bliss,

And let thy smile—cheeks, lips, and eyelids kiss.

 

Sonnet 72.

 

 

Sláwie! O Sláwie! ty gmeno.

 
Slavonia! glory-breathing name, surrounded

With mingling mists of pleasure and of pain:

Now torn by sorrow—now by treachery wounded—

Now, breaking into light and strength again.

From the Karpathian to the Ural brows,

From sandy wastes that wake the summer's heat;

To where its ray falls powerless on the snows—

Thou art enshrin'd in thy majestic seat!

Thou hast o'erliv'd misfortune—hast withstood

The idol worship of the nations round,

E'en thy own children's black ingratitude;

And thou hast rear'd thee, on the eternal ground,

A temple from the ruins of old time,

Whence thou pour'st forth thine energies sublime.

 

Sonnet 79.

 

 

Gestle sláwy rumy geště wstanaw.

 
When future generations of our sons,

From old Slavonia's ruins, shall re-build

Her temple—from the congregated stones

The bards shall speak; and be their songs fulfill'd!

Regenerate now your country—for its name

Is glory[7]—shield her from a stranger's grasp,

And O! let never selfish avarice clasp

Slavonia in her arms of sinful shame!

To many members she hath one sole head—

Her nervous limbs from one sole body grow—

From one sole source her mingled waters flow!

Why should her sons through tortuous pathways lead?

Divide?—'twere nobler far—a close link'd band,

To claim one glorious, father-land.

 

Sonnet 88.

 

 

Nechtěg zaupat, když se proti tobě.

 
No, brothers! no despairing—Envy's eye,

Sharp and malevolent, may pierce ye through—

Yet wound not truth by weakness, nor undo

Her victories by mistrust—nor faint—nor fly—

Since truth should stand erect, and lift on high

Her glorious standard; for she can subdue

Resistance into fealty—blasphemy

Into pure worship,—into reverence true.

Truth is a storme on Lebanon, that shaketh

The mighty cedars which resist her shock;

Oppos'd—far mightier is the stir she maketh—

Her tongue is as a word—her breath a rock—

Her heart is marble—pillars are her hands,

And trampling down her foes, with granite feet she stands.

 

Sonnet 95.

 

 

Oni rtowé, gegichž wůně plynná.

 
Those very lips with honey overflowing,

Which have pour'd out so much of peace and pleasure;

A stream of. light and sweetness, without measure:

To those—to those alone, my pangs are owing.

So to the pilgrim in Arabia's fields;

Perfumes and balsams come—but drawing nigh,

He feels the fierceness of a burning sky,

And faints amidst the odours which it yields.

Her lips are full of manna and of nectar—

Heaven's fragrant breezes play—as to protect her;

And yet she breathes sweet poison, for there sits

Perdition on those lips, in Love's own shape;

And thence he wings his fiery darts in fits,

And he has struck me—how should I escape?

 

Sonnet 102.

 

 

Hory, hory, slyšte hory skalné.

 
Ye towering mountains upon mountains pil'd,

Rocks upon rocks up to the cloudy sky,

Build me a temple on your summits high,

Whence I may reach that angel, far exil'd.

Ye towering mountains upon mountains pil'd!

Ye gathering streams that, thro' your beds beguil'd,

Roll thundering to the Ocean's majesty,

Singing loud anthems as ye hasten by—

Bear these, my tears, uncheck'd and undefil'd.

Ye gathering streams to ocean's depths that hie!

Ye winds, ye breezes, wherefore are ye still?

Freshen and bear my sighs to her high throne:

Take pity—hasten—and my prayers fulfil—

Ye winds, ye breezes, wherefore are ye still?

Waft me to her, seraphic messengers,

Or her to me—nor let me pine alone;

For what are clouds, or storms, or ghostly fears?

Waft me to her, seraphic messengers![8]

 

Sonnet 103.

 

 

Ani audol Tater těchto tichá.

 
O not our own Karpathia's quiet vales,

O'er which the green-brow'd mountains girt with stone

Raise up to heaven their adamantine walls,

Making midst stars and clouds a glorious throne.

Not Pison pouring to Euphrate's tide,

Its golden-water fountain—not the juice

Which medicine's marvellous craft did erst produce

When Vulcan fann'd the fire—these will not hide,

These will not heal, my sorrows—I can find

No freshening stream to cool my burning breast,

No ointment on the wounds of life to bind—

Without its nymphs sweet Tempe were unblest;

Without its maidens, what were Arcady?

Without its Eve, what's paradise to me?

 

Sonnet 106.

 

 

Rcete ženci, co tam se srpečky.

 
Tell me, ye reapers, tell me have ye found,

While binding up your sheaves of golden corn,

A little, laughing, lovely boy, around

Whose curly locks a harvest-wreath is bound?

Ye shepherds, who with dew-damp feet, at morn

Track your white lambs—say have ye seen forlorn

A gentle joyous child, that o'er the ground

Trips sportively? Ye forests, that adorn

The mountains—ye sweet birds—ye flowing rills—

Ye list'ning rocks—heard ye that voice's sound,

Whose strain of music thro' creation thrills?

If ye have seen not—heard not—pity me—

Help me to find the maid I love—and be

Milder than unrelenting destiny.

 

Sonnet 108.

 

 

Záře zlatá stkwj se nad wýchodem.

 
In its pale glory beams the early day,

The eagle on strong pinion mounts on high,

O'er the calm lake the swan glides peacefully,

The white lambs on the verdant meadow play,

The songster tells his mate, that day is nigh—

The flowers are mirrors, made by dewdrops' ray,

The bolts and bars of human dwellings fly,

And noise rolls o'er the lately silent way:

The darkness and the weariness are past

Of yesternight—and now the morning breaks

In light and beauty undisturb'd—a vast

And glorious renovation; but for me

No morn of hope—no day of brightness wakes—

'Tis an eternal night of misery.

 

Sonnet 110.

 

 

Dunagi, ty i wšech toků knjže.

 
Duna![9] thou queen of many rivers—thou

Of all Slavonia, venerable mother!

Why to a foreign ocean dost thou flow,

Why leave thy native home to seek another?

O! if thou love thy birth-place, if thou know

Pity for these thy sorrowing children—glide

Not to the Osmans, but these tears of woe

Bear to thy cradle on thy silver tide.

Dost thou seek wreaths of fame?—it is no fame

To bear a hundred ships upon thy face

While it is water'd by a single tear—

Yet this is glory—when Wletava[10] here

Joins to thy name its own fraternal name,

And thy bride Saale[10] speeds to thine embrace.

 

Sonnet 112.

 

 

O, wy drahé zbytky mého pádu.

 
Dear relic of the past! so sweetly fair,

O would that Pope, or of the Iliad, he

Could sing the tresses of thy golden hair,

In music, blessed maiden! worthy thee.

Had l the fleece of Argos—did l bear

A sultan's sceptre—dwell in palaces—

Rule half the world—thou, thou far more than these—

Thou, hundred times saluted prize, wert dear.

Thou, while it vibrates—thou my heart's own key!

Thou, who art beauty—who art all to me:

Thou—not disdainful—like a worldly maiden,

Say, when the wild wind with my dust is laden,

Wilt thou not take thy seat in heaven—a star

Where Berenice's tresses shine afar?

 

Sonnet 118.

 

 

Na tě mysljm, když tmy šeré hynau.

 
I think of thee when night's dark shadows fly,

And morning's ray spreads slowly o'er the hills;

When girt with stars and clouds, the morn on high

Smiles on the birchen grove and gilds the rills.

I hear thee in the gentle music, made

By streams that rush to other streams—by flowers

That whisper to the winds, or catch the showers—

Or green leaves rustling in the vernal glade.

Thee do I see—thee would I recognize—

A pilgrim hasting to a holy shrine;

When mists that seem all-sacred wrap the skies,

With thee I dwell, and I am ever thine;

Thus soul-united—there shall never be

Aught but my grosser nature far from thee.

 

Sonnet 125.

 

 

W jteg přišta z dálky lastowičko.

 
Now, welcome swallow! welcome! take thy rest—

The spring is melting every icy stream—

Build 'neath my roof thine unmolested nest;

Here be thy quiet home of peace—nor deem

The bard intrusive, if he bid thee tell

Of distant lands and distant beauties—say

If from yon plains, where all the graces dwell,

She gave thee no sweet message on thy way.

"Thither I flew, for I had often heard

Of charms that dazzled every flitting bird—

Thither I flew, to gaze upon the maid:

But I was so bewilder'd, when I saw,

That eloquent fame itself had failed to draw

Her form—I fled—in silence and afraid."

 

Sonnet 133.

 

 

Znáš li krag ten ony ráge wěcné.

 
Know'st thou the land of paradise above,

The home of beauty and the seat of mind—

Where virtue is the minister of love—

Love; beauty, virtue, intellect enshrin'd,

All-influential: where the breezes blow

Odorous and mild; and nightingales from bowers

Of myrtles sing unceasing—palm trees grow,

O'ershading to protect the sunny flowers.

Know’st thou the land where neither night not heat

Blacken or blast—no thorns the roses bear,

And pure desires their swift fruition meet:—

Time's stream rolls on untroubled at time's feet;

Wife—sister—each, as other, pure and dear—

O mine for lasting ages! Thou art there.

 

Sonnet 146.

 

 

Patři wůkol gako žlutnau hole.

 
See! for dark mists the mountain-tops are shading,

And town and village welcome wanderers home;

Where play'd the zephyr air—the north winds roam;

Where songs of joy were heard, is peace pervading—

Still is the stream—the storks are now parading

Our borders,—with the sun prepar'd to go:

The flowers that on the Danube's borders grow

Are borne away—the yellow vine leaf fading.

But sight and scene shall not be clouded long—

Earth shall throw off its mourning robes again,

And May shall come with extacy and song;

But not to me—ah not for me—in vain

The seasons change: no renovating spring

Shall to my autumn light and verdure bring.

 

The following sonnets have not, I believe, been published:

I have been favoured with them in M.S.

 

 

Nechci zlata, nápoge a gidla.

 
Not gold, nor precious drinks, nor costly food,

Nor titles—no; nor diadems—vain things!

I would not have such trifles if I could;

But glory! thou, my mother![11] give me wings,

Yes! give me wings, and I will fly and greet

Slavonia's scatter'd brothers—I will go

Where Chekians,[12] Servians, and Khrowatians[13] meet,

And whence the Visla and the Volga flow.

 

So, like a bee, from flower to flower I’ll fly

To all Slavonia's children 'neath the sky,

Dispensing music as I pass along

And sweet my task and great my bliss will be

To pour out smiles on every family,

And cheer each mother and each maid with song.

 

Sonnet.

 

 

Co ge wrtký mésje u oblohy.

 
Even as the changeful moon across the sky

Moves on inconstant—now in brightness shining—

Now clouded—now towards the hills declining—

Now lifts its face, and now its horn on high:

So falsely midst the treach'rously

Doth love deceive, and laugh at mortal men—

Now opens Eden to our ravish'd eye,

Then flings us back to wretchedness again.

As he whom sunlight guides upon his way,

But little heeds the moon's inferior ray,

So do I turn me from love's feeble name;

Since heaven, that makes great gifts the lesser follow,

Took Cupid to replace him by Apollo—

Beckon'd off Venus—and led forward Fame.[14]

 

Sonnet.

 

 

Gednem nemoc ukracuge léta.

 
Disease curtails the gathering years of some,

Some fall a rival's enmity beneath,

Sharp steel, or pinion'd-lead sends others home—

Poison and thunder fill the nets of death:

Some are o'erpower'd by wasting pestilence—

The murderer's bloody stroke is some men's doom,

The headsman summons others to the tomb,

But I—am called by love to speed me hence.

Bring back my song, thou listening earth and sea—

Love has for some sweet transports—but for me,

Nothing but sorrowing dreams and wailings drear:

Then pity me, thou outspread arch of heaven—

To some hath love its nuptial blessings given—

To me a grave—a dungeon, and a bier.

 

Sonnet.

 

 

Gaké barwy! gaké spanilosti.

 
What colors! what sweet fragrance ye are throwing,

What beauties scattering on that lovely shore;

Flowrets! so blue, so meek, so lowly growing—

Ye fair forget-me-nots—thus sprinkled o'er.

O! I have seen in other distant lands,

The self-same glances of your azure eyes—

Then still the tumult of my stormy sighs,

And strengthen all my heart with firmer bands.

Would that it were my lot, ye starry flowers!

To mingle with your buds, the banks along

Of Rakosh,[15] and the silver current strong

Of Saalē—I would tell the flowing hours

Your name, and bid them mark, that wintry fate

Destroy'd you, only to resuscitate.

 

Sonnet.

 

 

Pahorek gest, na nemž rozwaliny.

 
There is a hill where time's devouring teeth

Feed on the ruins of an ancient tower;

A little city lifts its head beneath,

And a small house which linden-trees embower.

Upon its heaven-regarding roof, the sun

Pours forth the very brightest of his rays:

It is the temple of a mighty one,

Whom fame hath visited with loud-voic'd praise.

For many a year, had fearful signs of weeping,

And frightful sounds of woe, that dwelling fill'd;

Now 'tis beneath the wings of silence sleeping:

Love hath the dreams, the wounds, the sorrows still'd

Which broke the rest of fame, and driven away

The bear, the lion, and the beasts of prey.[16]

 

Sonnet.

 

 

O půl noci, když zem celau skrýwá.

 
At midnight, when the robes of darkness, when

The belt of snow have girded all the earth,

I wander forth, in passion and in pain,

From her, who gave that pain and passion birth.

The damp-cold north wind lifts its voices loud—

Its many voices, Maker! unto thee;

And bursting thro' a broken silvery cloud,

The moon looks down with tenderness on me.

Pour forth thy light from thy o'erflowing chalice

Of radiant beams, and let them nightly flow

Over the crooked path I tread below:—

I am no thief, no minister of malice,

No runaway, no conscience-smitten—no!—

To love and Lada[17] all my grief I owe.

 

Sonnet.

 

 

Ač giž dnu mi smutne proplakanych.

 
O she has caus'd me many days of mourning—

Yes! many days mourning from morn to eve,

And fate my grief to grief more gloomy turning—-

Flung worlds between us; therefore do I grieve

With deeper pang, and therefore bear a chain,

Whom heavy weight no patience can endure,

And like a froward infant weep in vain

O'er wounds that nought can soothe and nought can cure.

So midst these torments roll my life-days o'er,

And hope is dissipated all in dreams—

In Nebosh[18] cells, and distant Dalibor;

Yet still I bear—unbending—fancy's schemes

Console me, and I kiss the chains she bound

My miserable helplessness around.

 

 
  1. O how illustrious is the patriot's part,
    Struggling for freedom with a constant heart.
  2. The highest of the Carpathian mountains.
  3. Venus
  4. Cupid.
  5. Venus.
  6. Cupid.
  7. Slawa—Glory
  8. This is the 102nd sonnet of Kollár's Slawa Dcera. It is one of those of which Joseph Wenzy has published translations.
  9. The Danube.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The slavonian rivers that flow into the Danube.
  11. Slawo, matko mila! this invocation loses its effect where the analogy is lost between Glory and Slavonia.
  12. Bohemians.
  13. Croatians.
  14. Slawa.
  15. Rakosh is a celebrated field near Pesth, through which a stream flows, and above which a mountain rises. In former times the hungarians held their assemblies and consultations there, whence came the name of Rokoš or Rakoš—the place of counsel.
  16. Appendix to Slawy Dcera.
  17. Venus.
  18. A fortress-prison in Belgrad. When the turks throw a criminal into its dungeons, they say Neboi sa, (fear not), whence its name.