Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Switzerland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI.  1876–79.
 
Austria: Rákos, Hungary
The Tiszian
Hungarian Popular Song
 
Translated by John Bowring

FROM the smiling fields of Rakosh, on the market-day of Pest,
Lo! an Over-Tiszian Chikosh in his snowy bunda drest;
            Bunda wearing, bagpipes bearing,
And be seeks the “Three Cups’” Tavern, where they sell of wine the best.
 
There they joked the sheep-clad Chikosh,—asked him if in Tiszian land        5
People spoke the Magyar language, and could Magyar understand?
            Or if Tiszians spoke like Grecians?
So when they had ceased their laughing, thus he answered out of hand:
 
“Our Hungarians out of pitchers drink the overflowing wine;
Spice their food with rich paprika, and from ancient platters dine;        10
            Your Hungarians are Barbarians,
And the manners of our fathers, scouted by such sons, decline.
 
“Your Danubians, not Hungarians, out of tinkling glasses drink,
Eat their roast from latten dishes, pleased to hear their glasses chink;
            Silly traitors!—while their betters        15
Think they are but bastard Magyars, though they say not all they think.
 
“We have not a Tiszian hostess,—none! but speaks our Magyar;
Here they prattle out their German,—pretty patriots they are!
            But if German they prefer, man,
Soon would each wine-drinking Magyar fly from their infected bar.        20
 
“Priests and preachers midst our Tiszians speak our Magyar tongue alone;
E’en our Rusniakian papas make the Magyar tongue their own;
            Here, Teutonic, or Ratzonic:
Any, any thing but Magyar,—and of Magyar nothing known.”
 
 
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