2676319Cheskian Anthology1832John Bowring

Joseph Jungmann.

Born 1773.

JOSEPH JUNGMANN was born on the 18th June, 1773, at Hudlice, an obscure village. He is professor of poetry and oratory in the Academical Gymnasium of Prague. His prose writings are highly esteemed, and his enthusiasm for his mother tongue has won him the special affection of his countrymen. It is to him that Kollar addresses his 66th sonnet:—

Znám sie mnohau ušlechtilan hlawa.

Full many a noble-minded man I know,

(As numerous here as in remoter lands),

Our pride, our praise, near whom old glory stands,

Binding past—future laurels round their brow—

To whom shall I direct the garland now?

I may not choose among those generous bands:—

Yet one there is whom Slava's hearts and hands

Would crown—and with one knee of homage bow.

Favorite of all her races, and their priest!

Thine, quiet genius! thine the crown shall be,

Slavonia's glory shall encompass thee!

Thy name be heard—thy praise shall be confest,

Long as Vletava's waters seek the sea,

Jungmann! on thee shall grateful Slava rest.

His translations are numerous. His version of Paradise Lost is, without controversy, one of the most remarkable and most perfect that have hitherto appeared. His Slowesnost(Chrestomathia) is a very useful introductory book for the bohemian student. Many of his compositions have appeared in the literary journals of Bohemia.


Žiwol můg gest garo tkwaucy.

My life is like a flowery spring

Of calmness, liberty, and peace;

I mount not high on passion's wing,

I sink not deep in recklessness.

And noisy joys, where'er they be,

Have no attractive charms for me.

The marble busts—the statues tall

Of bronze, I envy not—be mine

A simple home, whose snowy wall

The smiling graces may enshrine.

Tho' gold may deck the rich man's roof,

It is not time nor sorrow-proof.

Pomona dwells my cottage near,

And leads sweet Flora in her hand;

My trees the richest offerings bear—

Uncoveted their treasures stand,

And in their falling leaves I see

True lessons for humanity.

The elms—as if obedient, bend

Over my roof—their shadows deep,

A canopy of verdure lend,

To curtain me in tranquil sleep;

And visions floating in the air,

Are better than the dreams of care.

And to the forest solitudes,

I fly to shield my quiet head,

And the wild masters of the woods,

Behold in me no tyrant;

To me, the fierce and foolish chase,

Is wearying discord and disgrace.

A cheerful guest of nature, I

Want nor satiety have known,

Mine is a blest sufficiency

And freedom:—what is mine to own,

And to enjoy—enough—no more,

Meat—drink—and life glides calmly o'er.

When hours flow dully on in life,

I bid some cheerful neighbor come,

And than mine own bohemian wife

Gives him sweet welcome to our home;

The smiles that on her visage shine

Are all reflected back from mine.

The morning of a summer day,

Breaks forth in sweet serenity:

And fair as roses are, and gay,

The lovely world appears to me.

'Tis by men's eye that world is clad

In cheerful light, or darkness sad.

I love mankind—I love them well—

Wise—foolish—weeds—flowers—gloom and mirth,

Earth is to me—nor heaven nor hell—

It is—what is it? simply—earth;

Poor thoughtless wretch, by folly driven,

Who calls his earth—or hell, or heaven.

A group of children round me lead

In dance and song the happy hours:

As fair as flowers upon the mead,

But sweeter far and lovelier flowers;

One flower—to him who knows its worth,

Is a dropp'd star of heaven on earth.

And so unanxious, undismay'd,

I wait for death—and waiting chant

My songs—and feel upon my head

The sunshine of sweet peace—I want

No joy—but, hope—as nature's guest,

To die—and say—"Enough—I’m blest."

Puchmayer, V. 65.