Page:Modern Czech Poetry, 1920.djvu/39

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J. S. MACHAR.

21

And she would laugh, as she has laughed of old —
But 'mid her wrinkles laughter numbly fled
And from them only pity, pity cries…

Divining, this perchance she can surmise:
Each morn a hundred tears her garb enfold,
That in her sleepless, anguished night are shed.

“Four books of sonnets” (1890—1892).


3. AVAR INROAD.

Villages rearward burn. Smoke-black the sky.
Torrents of flame pour onward from afar
Over the ripened corn and meadow-grass.
And from these places rolls a rumbling cloud
Of Avar soldiery. The slant-eyed horsemen
Sway buoyantly upon their horses, for
There is no peril. And they are content,
Laden with goblets and with crucifixes,
With reliquiaries, candalabra, cruses,
With vestments, mantles, flagons and apparel.
Lowing of cows and bleat of goats and sheep
Which are borne on amid the warriors,
Ring out like sweetest music in their ears.
And each one drags along, having entwined
Tresses like ropes around his bony hand,
Three or four women, naked utterly
And with their blood bedabbled, for their breasts
With a sheer wound are all pierced through and through.

“The Barbarians” (1911).