Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Cornelius Ujejski

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 15
Cornelius Ujejski

by Stanislaus Tarnowski


Polish poet, born at Beremiany, Galicia, 1823; died at Cholojewie, 1897. His father was a prosperous landowner, member of an ancient noble family. Cornelius completed his studies at Lemberg, and while still a student at the university there wrote "Maraton" (1843), a patriotic lyric poem of excellent form. In 1846, at the instigation of the Austrian Government, the Galician peasants massacred several thousand of the nobility. Ujejski then gave utterance to the universal feeling of indignation in his powerful poem "Choral", which has become the national hymn of Poland. At Paris, 1847, he published a volume of poems entitled "Skargi Jeremiego" (Lamentations of Jeremias). He made the acquaintance of the most distinguished men in the Polish colony at Paris, among them Mickiewicz, and devoted himself with youthful ardor to the poet Julius Slowacki. In 1848 he returned home, and won great popularity. He was regarded and beloved by the people as their national poet. Ujejski wrote a number of other poems of fine sentiment and perfect poetical form, among them "Kwiaty bez woni" (Flowers without perfume), 1848, and "Zwiedle liscie" (Faded leaves) in 1849. In 1852 he published a second volume of poems entitled "Melodye Biblijne" (Biblical Melodies). Ujejski never achieved anything finer than his youthful works, though his later poems are distinguished by strong patriotic feeling, elegance of form, and fine poetic taste.

S. Tarnowski.