Page:Modern Czech Poetry, 1920.djvu/21

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PETR BEZRUC.

1. KIJOV.

Ho, ye youthful swains, topbooted and lithe,
Ho, ye damsels in scarlet wear.
In Kijov town ye ever were blithe,
And blithe shall ye ever be there.

E'en as from fragrant vines it had gushed,
E'en as ye seethe, my lays;
The blood of the Slovaks is fierily flushed,
Lips burn and eyes are ablaze.

Who shall smite us, who shall afflict us with ill?
Of a master naught we know;
And as blithe as we live and drink our fill,
As blithe to our end we shall go.

“Silesian Songs” (1909).

2. THE PITMAN.

I dig, under the earth I dig;
Boulders glittering like the scales of a serpent I dig;
Beneath Polská Ostrava I dig.

My lamp is quenched, upon my brow hass fallen
My hair, matted and clammy with sweat;
My eyes are shot with bitterness and gall;
My veins and my skull are clouded with vapour;
From beneath my nails gushes forth crimson blood;
Beneath Polská Ostrava I dig.

The broad hammer I smite upon the pit;
At Salmovec I dig,
At Rychvald I dig, and at Petřvald I dig.