An Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry/From "New Gypsy Melodies"

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Adolf Heyduk (b. 1835).

 

FROM "NEW GYPSY MELODIES"
(1897)

 

Hostess, a cup of wine, I pray,
From Debreczin I took my way;
By distant foot-paths I did fare,—
Lo, these fetters that I bear!

Our masters gave to me these bands,
They lettered last my feet and hands;
That, when gleamed the star of morn,
I to the gallows might be borne.

Weakly were the fetters wrought,
By my strength asunder brought;
Why should such fetters be my plight,
For scanty bread and scanty right?

The gypsy from these bonds shall raise
A sharp defence; there come the days,
That we ourselves with spurs shall clank,
Like the man of lofty rank.

 

—————

 

I struggled, by a savage love laid low,
Burn me, destroy me with thine eyes' bright glow,
Let on me prey a swarm of sighs like fire,
And pierce my bosom with its own desire.

Thy breath ls wafted like a breeze in spring,
Thy breath is fragrant, and doth rapture bring;
My love, which thy laments would lain allay,
Like to young wine doth surge in pearly spray.

Like to a goblet filled with foamy longing,
Within my bosom gleaming waves are thronging;
'Twine round me thy pale tresses in a flood,
Thou still'st the fervour of my flaming blood.

A bounding desert-steed, my passion, cries:
O that thy breath would like the samum rise;
O that thine arms might bring me to my end,
E'en as the hurricanes the oak-trees rend.