To the hungarians (I)
Oh you, once mighty Hungary, gone to seed,
can you not see the blood of Árpád go foul,
can you not see the mighty lashes
heaven has slapped on your dreary country?
Amidst the storms of eight hundred centuries
the battered towers of Buda still stand aloft,
although a thousand times, in anger,
you trod upon your own self, your own kin.
Your beastly morals scatter it all to dust
a brood of vipers, venomous, hideous,
lay waste the castle which beheld the
hundreds of sieges it used to smile at.
You stood defiant even against the wild
Xerxes-like hordes of Outer Mongolia;
you could resist world-conquering Turkey's
mighty assault on the East and yonder;
you did survive the murderous century
of Zápolya - the secret assassins' hands -
while you stood firm amidst the flames of
family blood-feuds in retribution,
for you were led by virtues of yesteryear
with Spartan arms you conquered throughout your wars;
wrestling you won, and Hercules-like
war-hammers shook in your steely fist-hold.
But now - you're gnawed by venomous, stealthy death.
Behold: the oak that proudly withstands the storm
that cannot break it from the North, but
vermin can chew up its mighty root-wor
and then it's felled by only a flimsy breeze!
That's why the firm foundation of every land
must be morality untarnished
which, if destroyed, Rome will fall and founder,
What are Hungarians now?! Sybaritic wrecks –
they've ripped their splendid native insignia off
while, from their homeland's ravaged bulwarks,
building a palace as lair of leisure –
they shed their ancient mantle of champions;
forget their tongue; they're aping the strangers' talk;
they stomp the nation's Guardian Soul, and
foolishly worship a childish idol.
How diff'rent rang the thunder of Hungary
amidst the blood-soaked battles of Attila,
who boldly faced half of the world in
punitive anger against the foul West!
Arpad, our Chief, the founder of Hungary,
had braver troops to fight the Danubian shores,
how diff'rent were the swords of Hungary
Hunyadi used to repel the Sultan!
But woe - this is how everything perishes.
We bear the yoke of fickle vicissitudes;
the fairy mood of Luck has tossed us
playfully upward and down, while smiling.
The iron fist of centuries finishes
but all that man has built: gone is noble Troy;
gone are the might and pride of Carthage,
Babylon, Rome - they have all gone under.