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A Poem by Sandor Petofi: At The End of The Year

 

AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

AZ ÉV VÉGÉN.

 

Thou goest, thy course is run, old year!
Well go! But stay, pass not alone,
Dark is the next world, that one might
Be led astray; my song shall light
The road and thus thy way make known.

 

Again I grasp my good old lute,
Once more I touch its tuneful strings;
It has been mute, but I will try
If still it yields sweet melody,
If still it passionately sings?

 

If e’er thou sangest sweet, let now
The mellowest lay thy strings outpour;
A song as fair as ever came
From thee, and worthy of thy fame
Shall solemnize this parting hour.

 

Who knows, who knows? this may the last,
The last song be that I shall hear.
Laying aside the lute today,
Wake it again I never may,
To die may be my fate this year.

 

The army of the God of wars
I joined, and now go forth to fight.
A next year I may never see,
But if I sing, my poetry
With blood and sword-blade I shall write.

 

Sing, I beseech of thee, oh, sing
In accents silver-clear my lyre!
Let mild or thunderous be thy voice,
Let it be sad or else rejoice;
But sing with passion and with fire.

 

A tempest thou shalt be, which will
O’er hill and vale with fury sweep;
A zephyr be, which smilingly
Lulls with its mellow lullaby
The verdant meadows into sleep.

 

Or yet a mirror be, wherein
My youth, my love, shall meet my eye.
My youth which dies, but never wanes,
My love which ever green remains,
Eternal as the vault on High!

 

O! sing, sweet lute, thy sweetest tunes,
Give all the song that in thee is!
The setting sun sheds with delight
His rays from yonder flaming height
And spends the remnant that is his.

 

And if thy swan-song it may be,
Peal it forth mighty and sublime;
Not to be lost of men with ease,
But let it over centuries
Come echoing back from rocks of time.

 

Sándor Petőfi

Sandor Petofi

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