Page:A Book of Czech Verse.pdf/17

This page has been validated.

Introduction

ignored and neglected because of linguistic difficulties of approach, and because it represents the voice of a small people. It is hard to hear this voice amid the beating drums of bigger powers; but it is perhaps timely to remind ourselves that the abiding achievements of a people bear no relation to the extent of its population or territory, but rather to the intensity of its devotion to certain ideals and standards, both moral and intellectual. So may it be possible, even amid the din of today, to remember, in a quiet hour, the achievements of a people whose claims have always been modest—to live, to be free, to be able steadfastly to believe that the truth will prevail.

Adelaide, 1958.

9