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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI. 1876–79.

Austria: Matra, the Mountain, Hungary

Song of the Shepherd of Matra

By Hungarian Popular Song

Translated by John Bowring

I OFTEN laugh contentedly

On the world’s evil and its good;

Far dearer than the world to me

Is this, my mountain solitude.

I eat and drink,—my spirit-ease

No legal squabbles drive away;

I lay me down at eve in peace,

And joy awakes me when ’t is day.

And every cottage is my home,

And every shepherd is my friend!

Their wealth is mine, mine theirs,—they come

In common bliss our bliss to blend.

Sweet songs I know are sometimes heard,

But none so sweet, so dear as these,

When the gray thrush, ecstatic bird!

O’er Matra pours its ecstasies.

The robber’s plots, the murderer’s hands,

Intrude not on our mountain glen;

Our robbers are the Wolfine bands,

But not the fiercer bands of men.

No sorrows make my visage white,

Or from my cheeks their smiles convey;

My pipe I kindle with delight,

While round its smoky volumes play.

The noonday sun shines hot above,

Then with my herds I hasten home,

Milk the white ewes to please my love,

And know a sweet reward will come.

Again we seek the hills,—I seize

My furyla, and wake its song;

And, scattering music on the breeze,

I walk my listening sheep among.

Then to the linden-trees I go,—

Each linden seems to welcome me;

My body on the turf I throw,

Where spread the shadows of the tree.

But who is there? My rose, my rose!

My heart is buried in her breast,

As in a shrine. O, see! she goes

Clad in her short and modest vest.

Sweet Pere! ay! thou art as sweet

As is forgiveness; on thy face

I saw two smiling angels meet,

Two little loves thy cheeks did grace.

Where art thou wandering, Pere! mine!

My flocks are scattered widely now;

For thee I look, for thee I pine;

Sweet maiden! tell me where art thou!