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

Austria: Tokay, Hungary

The Hungarian Exile

By From the German

Translated by C. T. Brooks

WAYWORN and sad, a stranger-guest

Came to a hall, with gay ones crowded:

“Wine! wine! good host, thy very best!”

He murmured low, with eyes o’erclouded.

And down his jaded limbs he flung;

When suddenly his face flashed fire:

“But, good mine host!” his voice now rung,

“Hungarian wine! the true Tokayer!”

The vine’s red blood purls in the bowl;

Inviting smiles the generous liquor;

But he, in bitterness of soul,

Looks down upon the sparkling beaker.

He stares into the golden flood,

As if his joy therein, were sunken,

And, boiling, glows his heated blood,

Ere yet a drop of wine is drunken.

For there he sees the pillaged town,

Where many a home, at midnight, blazes;

On blood-red fields looks wildly down,

On ghastly Golgothas he gazes.

O’er desperate battles fought in vain,

His eyes with bitter tears are filling;

With wail of widows o’er the slain,

With orphans’ cries his heart is thrilling.

He sees full many a sword swung high,

And hears the distant armor ringing,

And heroes, sworn to do or die,

With warrior’s joy to saddle springing;

And then—and then dark treachery,

And midnight’s gloomy hush descending,

And his dear Hungary, just free,

Her neck to Russian fetters bending.

Then wildly throbs his woe-sick heart,

And all his limbs convulsive quiver,

He feels a sudden, piercing smart,

And tears pour down, a briny river.

He quaffs the brimming cup, and cries:

“Let all thy foes, just cause! take warning:

Thou from thy grave one day shalt rise!

Hope! hope! there comes a judgment morning!”

Poor, harassed, hunted exile! thou

Mayst well thy wine with tears be drinking;

But should I once, as thou dost now,

See, in strange lands, mine own wine blinking,

Say, could I e’er, in gladsome mood,

Taste mine own Rhineland’s generous liquor?

Would not a tear-drop, mid the flood,

Still glisten in the bubbling beaker?