The Queen's Court Manuscript with Other Ancient Bohemian Poems/A Song under the Vyssegrad

For other English-language translations of this work, see Song of Vyšehrad.


Hail, Vyssegrad lofty! our sun beaming bright!
How proud and how bold thou dost stand on the height,
And all foreigners strik’st from the rock with affright!

Beneath thee the river rolls rapid and strong,
Veltava her waves rolleth swiftly along.

By Veltava’s bright waves, that transparently fleet,
Thick shrubs a cool arbour afford from the heat.

There merrily soundeth the nightingale’s strain,
Or sadly he pipes, tiny songster, his pain,
As joy or as sorrow his heart doth contain.

O were I the nightingale in the green grove,
How speedily thither I’d fly, where my love
Late at even, at even, doth wander and rove!

And when love waketh all things, and all that’s alive
For love with deep longings doth struggle and strive;

I long and I pine, fairest maiden, for thee!—
Take pity, fair maiden, take pity on me!

  1. This poem exists on a piece of parchment in the possession of the Bohemian Museum, and the writing may be as old as the first half of the thirteenth century. The song itself appears to date from an earlier century, when the Vyssegrad was a more interesting object than Prague itself.