Page:A Book of Czech Verse.pdf/27

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Jan Kollár (1793–1852)


As when towards some scented shore
A swimmer strikes out joyfully,
Where Indus blossoms beauty wear—
A bride in all her finery:

So sweetly ran a shooting thrill
Of joy my trembling heart along,
When eagerly again I heard
The accents of my native tongue.

Threefold, its sons, your blessedness,
In this, your oldest heritage
Of music, strength, and loveliness.

How sad the threat, how fierce the smart,
That, in this loveliest of lands,
The tongue is sweeter than the heart!