Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

129

KOSSUTH'S FAREWELL TO HIS COUTNRY.

FAREWELL, my beloved country! Farewell, land of the Magyar! Farewell, thou land of sorrow! I shall never more behold the summit of thy mountains. I shall never again give the name of my country to that cherished soil where I drank from my mother's bosom the milks of justice and liberty. Pardon, oh! pardon him who is henceforth condemned to wander far from thee, because he combated for thy happiness. Pardon one who can only call free that spot of thy soil where he now kneels with a few of the faithful children of conquered Hungary! My last looks are fixed on my country, and I see thee overwhelmed with anguish. I look into the future ; but that future is overshadowed. Thy plains are covered with blood, the redness of which pitiless destruction will change to black, the emblem of mourning for the victories thy sons have gained over the sacrilegious enemies of thy sacred soil.

How many grateful hearts have sent their prayers to the throne of the Almighty! How many tears have gushed from their very depth to implore pity! How much blood has been shed to testify that the Magyar idolizes his country, and that he knows how to die for it! And yet, land of my love, thou art in slavery. From thy very bosom will be forged the chains to bind all that is sacred, and to aid all that is sacrilegious. Oh, Almighty Creator, if thou lovest thy people to whom thou didst give victory under our heroic ancestor, Arapad, I implore thee not to sink them in degradation. I speak to thee, my country, thus from the abyss of my despair, and whilst yet lingering on the threshold of thy soil. Pardon me that a great number of thy sons have shed their blood for thee on my account. I pleaded for thee—I hoped for thee, even in the dark moment when on thy brow was written the withering word “despair.” I lifted my voice in thy behalf when men said, “Be thou a slave.” I girt the sword about my loins, and I grasped the bloody plume, even when they said, “ Thou art no longer a nation on the soil of the Magyar."

Time has written thy destiny on the pages of thy story in yellow and black letters - death. The Colossus of the North has set his seal to the sentence. But the glowing iron of the East shall melt that seal.

For thee, my country, that has shed so much blood, there is no pity; for does not the tyrant eat his bread on the hills formed of the bones of thy children ?

The ingrate, whom thou hadst fattened with thy abundance, rose against thee; he rose against thee, the traitor to his mother, and destroyed thee utterly. Thou hast endured all; thou hast not curst thine existence, for in thy bosom, and far above all sorrow, hope has built her nest.

Magyars, turn not aside your looks from me, for at this moment mine eyes flow with tears for you, for the soil on which my tottering steps still wander is named Hungary.

My country, it is not the iron of the stranger that hath dug thy grave; it is not the thunder of fourteen nations, all arrayed against thee, that hath destroyed thee; and it is not the fifteenth nation, traversing the Carpathians, that has caused thee to drop thy arms. No I thou hast been betrayed—thou hast been sold, my country; thy death-sentence hath been written, beloved of my heart, by him whose love for thee I never dared to doubt. Yes! in the fervour of my boldest thoughts I should have almost as soon doubted of the existence of the Omnipotent, as have believed that he could ever be a traitor to his country. Thou hast been betrayed by him into whose hands I had but a little space before deposited the power of our country, which he swore to defend, even to the last drop of his heart's blood. He hath done treason to his mother; for the glitter of gold hath been for him more seductive than that of the blood shed to save his country. Base gain had more value in his eyes than his country, and his God has abandoned him, as he had abandoned his God for his allies of hell.

My principles have not been those of Washington; nor yet my acts those of Tell. I desired a free nation -free as man cannot be made but by God. And thou art fallen; faded as the lily, but which in another season puts forth its flower still more lovely than before. Thou art dead—for hath not thy winter come on ? but it will not endure so long as that of thy companion under the frozen sky of Siberia. No. Fifteen nations have dug thy tomb. But the hosts of the sixteenth will come to save thee. Be faithful, as thou hast been even to the present. Lift up thy heart in prayer for the departed; but do not raise thy own hymn until thou hearest the thunders of the liberating people echo along thy mountains, and bellow in the depth of thy valleys. Farewell, beloved companions! Farewell

, comrades, countrymen! May the thought of God, and may the angels of liberty for ever be with you! I will proclaim you to the civilized world as heroes; and the cause of an heroic people will be cherished by the freest nation of the earth-the freest of all free people!

Farewell, thou land dyed with the blood of the brave! Guard those red marks—they will one day bear testimony on thy behalf.

And thou, farewell, O youthful monarch of the Hungarians! Forget not that my nation is not destined for thee. Heaven inspires me with the confidence that the day will dawn when it shall be proved to thee even on the ruined walls of Buda.

May the Almighty bless thee, my beloved country! Believe, hope, and love !

[ocr errors]

thy behalf when men said, “Be thou a slave." I girt the sword about my loins, and I grasped the bloody plume, even when they said, “Thou art no longer a nation on the soil of the Magyar.”

Time has written thy destiny on the pages of thy story in yellow and black letters - death. The Colossus of the North has set his seal to the sentence. But the glowing iron of the East shall melt that seal.

For thee, my country, that has shed so much blood, there is no pity; for does not the tyrant eat his bread on the hills formed of the bones of thy children ?

The ingrate, whom thou hadst fattened with thy abundance, rose against thee; he rose against thee, the traitor to his mother, and destroyed thee utterly. Thou hast endured all; thou hast not curst thine existence, for in thy bosom, and far above all sorrow, hope has built her nest.

Magyars, turn not aside your looks from me, for at this moment mine eyes flow with tears for you, for the soil on which my tottering steps still wander is named Hungary

My country, it is not the iron of the stranger that hath dug thy grave; it is not the thunder of fourteen nations, all arrayed against thee, that hath destroyed thee; and it is not the fifteenth nation, traversing the Carpathians, that has caused thee to drop thy arms. No! thou hast been betrayed—thou hast been sold, my country; thy death-sentence hath been written, beloved of my heart, by him whose love for thee I never dared to doubt. Yes! in the fervour of my boldest thoughts I should have almost as soon doubted of the existence of the Omnipotent, as have believed that he could ever be a traitor to his country. Thou hast been betrayed by him into whose hands I had but a little space before deposited the power of our country, which he swore to defend, even to the last drop of his heart's blood. He hath done treason to his mother; for the glitter of gold hath been for him more seductive than that of the blood shed to save his country. Base gain had more value in his eyes than his country, and his God has abandoned him, as he had abandoned his God for his allies of hell.

My principles have not been those of Washington; nor yet my acts those of Tell. I desired a free nation -free as man cannot be made but by God. And thou art fallen; faded as the lily, but which in another season puts forth its flower still more lovely than before. Thou art dead-for hath not thy winter come on ? but it will not endure so long as that of thy companion under the frozen sky of Siberia. No. Fifteen nations have dug thy tomb. But the hosts of the sixteenth will come to save thee. Be faithful, as thou hast been even to the present. Lift up thy heart in

prayer

for the departed; but do not raise thy own hymn until thou hearest the thunders of the liberating people echo along thy mountains, and bellow in the depth of thy valleys.

Farewell, beloved companions! Farewell, comrades, countrymen! May the thought of God, and may the angels of liberty for ever be with you! I will proclaim you to the civilized world as heroes; and the cause of an heroic people will be cherished by the freest nation of the earth—the freest of all free people!

Farewell, thou land dyed with the blood of the brave! Guard those red marks—they will one day bear testimony on thy behalf.

And thou, farewell, O youthful monarch of the Hungarians! Forget not that my nation is not destined for thee. Heaven inspires me with the confidence that the day will dawn when it shall be proved to thee even on the ruined walls of Buda.

May the Almighty bless thee, my beloved country! Believe, hope, and love!

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »