What message or news do you bring me from there?
Perhaps it so happened you rested a spell,
And built 'neath the eaves of my cottage your nest,
Near by where the waters of Pilica fell;
Where groves are sweet and vales full of rest
There where my good mother each day sheddeth tears,
And fondles the thought of my speedy return
With hopes rising high chased away oft by fears.
What news from my mother so dear can I learn?
Perhaps, too, you rested on Vistula's shore,
Where my lonely heart ever calls me to fly;
Where happiest bliss I first gathered in store,
And heaven I beheld in a sweet angel's eye.
Ah ! does my beloved one think of me ever,
When the winds gently from the Easter-land come?
Does she send me her longing sighs! Alas! never!
What news do you bring me from my beloved one?
And my comrades, alas! who with me did go
To fight for our freedom in same rank and file
At the bayonet's point do they press to the foe ?
And I here, alas! lying idle the while.
Are they living? or who of my friends was it said
Are folded away in the cold, cruel tomb?
It may be, perchance, all are perished and dead.
What news can you bring me of friends from my home?
Perhaps 'midst my household with voice of command
The cruel foe rules my dear kindred to-night,
While fond mother's weeping and prayers they withstand,
For savage hearts now not a feeling of right.
Here I change me to joy from joy back to pain,
When stories so varied, uncertain I hear.
0, swallow! pray tell of my country again.
What news do you bring me of Poland so dear?
A refugee within a stranger land,
I marked, while mingling with the proud and grand,
The rare profusion in their homes displayed;
I saw the riches which surrounded them,
But envied not this wealth of gold and gem
It was far other wealth for which I prayed.
I have known those who with a thrilling word
Could sway the thousand answering hearts that stirred.
Crowds knelt before them, moved to joy or bliss,
Though such may be a mighty power to wield,
My mind aspired not to so wide a field.
I did not crave the glory like to this.
I knew two lovers once whose pulses beat
To one harmonious tone of love complete;
Whose blended lives a flower-like fragrance wrought.
Yet though I lived and moved through crowds alone,
I envied not the joy they made their own.
It was another type of love I sought.
Once o'er the sea a sailor boy returned
From a long voyage, while his bosom yearned
For kindred welcome, and his eyes grew dim ;
When 'mid the throng appeared his mother's face,
And tears were mingled in a fond embrace.
Ah! then it was I felt I envied him!
334 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
THE subject of this short biographical sketch was
the son of a very distinguished dramatic writer of that
name, and was born in 1805. As a writer he possesses
great talent in the delineation of comedy, and it places
him in the foremost ranks of dramatic authors. He
served in the Polish army, and since 1833 has become
a successful dramatic artist.
His comedies were published in three volumes at
Warsaw in 1854, entitled ''Original Comedies." Among
the most noted of these are "My Relations," "Craco-
vians and Mountaineers," "The Lioness of Warsaw,"
and "She Hates Him." All these comedies were re-
ceived with great applause. We give one of his lyrics.
SHE ONLY LAUGHED.
Once a little girl and a little boy
Played gaily together on the same lawn,
They sang the same song in their childish joy,
John with Halina, Halina with John.
Johnny plucked tryony red, to entwine
Mid her bright golden hair with boyish craft,
And when back from the well they saw it shine,
She and Johnny laughed, she and Johnny laughed.
In harvest time, so encouraged was he,
Like flashes of lightning his sickle fell,
When he was with her it was plain to see,
Though the sweat ran down, he could work right well.
To the church together they used to go
On each Sunday and every holiday;
Halina looked merrily to and fro,
But Johnny looked into her eyes alway.
When service was done and on coming out,
The boys and girls and the people would say:
"A very nice pair they will make, no doubt."
Halina, of course, laughed such thoughts away.
Johnny grew to a lad as years rolled by,
True hearted and handsome, with active brain;
The maidens looked after him with a sigh,
But 'twas all in vain, it was all in vain.
For Halina rivaled a rose's grace,
With cheeks red and blooming and almost daft;
Johnny, half trembling, looked into her face,
But she only laughed, but she only laughed.
No longer he sang at night and at morn,
Nor decked her with flowers as when they played;
He was sad at his work, he felt forlorn,
For he loved the maid, for he loved the maid.
Once he said for her sake, without a fear,
He would plunge in the fire if she willed so;
His language was heartfelt and most sincere,
But she laughed at his words, laughed at his woe.
Then the poor boy covered his face from sight,
And bitterly wept in his wretchedness;
His eye became dim, and his face grew white,
So deep was his suffering and distress.
He faded as withers the grass in fall,
As flowers, when touched by the frost, decay;
He bade an eternal farewell to all,
And passed from sorrow and grief away.
On Johnny's coffin, when three days had passed,
A handful of earth Halina spread;
In the evening her tears of grief fell fast,
But she laughed again when the night had fled.
336 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
THEOPHILUS LENARTOWICZ was the first who followed
the footsteps of Julius Slowacki. In him we see the
songs and the feelings of the Polish people majestic-
ally raised heavenward; and when he proclaimed that
love, prayer and labor were the three shining stars
guiding the Christian and national life, his honest voice
was heard, and its beautiful and truthful sounds were
received with unanimous acknowledgment by the whole
Polish nation. Lenartowicz has in him something so
rural and home-like that it makes it a pleasant task to
read, his writings. Most of his poetry has so much
music and harmony in it that he could be compared
with Bohdan Zaleski, the great favorite of the Poles.
Lenartowicz resembles in his song the whole peo-
ple, he is simple, quiet, and deep. In his humble
cottage is contained his whole heaven and his earth.
He knows nothing of the artificial bounds of societary
intercourse, which often attract the learned and re-
fined. With him God is everywhere; hence his heaven
is everywhere. Heaven to him is as dear as the earth
on which he sojourns, only it is higher and more per-
fect. To him the earth without heaven would be an
unintelligible problem; he could not understand heaven
without the earth. His heaven is earthly, and he con-
siders the earth as a living image, a probationary place,
and an ante-chamber of heaven. Among all the Po-
lish poets Lenartowicz is the poet of the future. He
is the lover of the new era just exactly as are the peo-
ple for whom he sings. The kingdom of God which
according to the prediction of seers and bards is yet
to come which Krasinski contemplates with a reflex
glass and Pol expects to reach by the sword, while
Slowacki endeavors to dream it out by the process of
imagination, Lenartowicz sees with his own naked eye
The Polish nation, prostrated by fearful vicissitudes
of fortune, their energies benumbed by so many
bloody catastrophes, were glad to listen to his quiet
muse, and if occasionally it lulled them to sleep, it
was all the more welcome on that account. These
beautiful fugitive verses, appearing now and then in
newspapers and periodicals of the day, were like the
gentle breezes wafting their fragrance and cooling the
feverish brow of the people. There is much feeling
in them, much -purity and originality. This originality
some may think monotonous, but it is like the flowers
of the prairie, growing separate and apart and scat-
tered over a great expanse, when made into a single
bunch apparently lose their brightness; but although
the theme is changed, whether the strings are tuned
higher or lower they always emit the same pleasant
Lenartowicz was born in 1822 in Warsaw. After
finishing his education he entered a law office as a
student. In 1837 he became a pleader in the highest
courts, and three years after was named a chancellor.
In 1848 he was offered the office of referee in the Na-
tional Commission of Justice, but would not accept it,
and in consequence of the events which then transpired
left Poland for foreign countries. During several years
following he alternately resided at Cracow, Breslau,
and Posen. Having in 1851 obtained a passport he
went to Paris, and from there to Fontainebleau, and
still later to Rome. Here his health seemed to fail,
338 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
hence lie removed to Florence, where he married the
celebrated artiste of painting, Sophie Szymanowska,
and where he probably resides at the present time.
Among the chief literary productions of Lenarto-
wicz are "The Polish Land in Portraitures," published
in Cracow, 1848, and in Posen, 1850; "The Enchant-
ment" and "The Blessed," Posen, 1855; "New Little
Lyre," Warsaw, 1859; " Saint Sophia," Posen, 1857;
"Poems," iu two volumes, Posen, 1863.
EVER THE SAME.
With the snow disappearing the ice melts away,
And the rivers their flowing begin unaware,
And the swallows that sing in the sun's cheery ray
Rise flock after flock in the air.
They whirl on their pinions, rise high, and dive low
O'er a stream, crystal clear, where the pebbles gleam white,
Then around and around in a circle they go,
More swiftly each time in their flight.
On the green of the grass overspreading the shore
Graze the cows and the sheep, clad in snowy white fleece;
On his fife plays the shepherd; the sun rays explore
Earth's bosom and give her increase.
The gentle winds murmur and sweep through the grass,
Sway the boughs of the trees in their frolicsome play,
Grow stiller as on to the forest they pass,
And then in its depths die away.
The little birds pause in their hymns for awhile,
Then the church bell begins its slow toll solemnly
For the prayer whose faint murmur is heard in the aisle.
Then ceases the bell, and the bee
Begins its low hum ori the blossoming green,
To and fro 'mid the flowers on its golden wing boi'ne,
While the little girl's song rises trembling between.
ray God! in the spring's fresh morn
How graciously all things Thy hand doth adorn!
In the shade of an old linden tree I recline,
That is scarcely beginning to burgeon and shoot;
I list, as he flits through the boughs of the pine,
How the cuckoo is cooing his suit.
cuckoo! cuckoo! Of years that remain
How many are there you shall number for me?
When, bird! my dear bird of the prophet-like strain,
Will the end of this counting be?
It is twelve already, if rightly I heard;
You have counted too many for me, my bird! *
Low each bough of the apple and pear tree drops;
All too heavily laden with fruit are they;
And over the meadow the girls bring the props
To grandpa, who whittles away.
1 watch as he gives them a welcoming smile;
'Tis a picture to treasure on memory's page.
How happy I feel, though the tears start the while;
God! give me such happy old age!
O'er the fields hung with mist see the shadows increase;
The day's labor ends as the sun westers low;
No sound greets the ear save the cackling of geese,
No sight save the white fences show.
Now and then the slow wheel of a wagon is heard;
From some creature estrayed comes a sound now and then,
Or a creak from the well when the old crane is stirred,
And then falls the silence again.
* There is a remarkable superstition in some parts of Poland in
regard to this bird, and it has its influence with almost every rank
in society; namely, when it makes its appearance in the Spring,
each one listens, the first time they hear it, with rapt attention, be-
lieving that the number of times it utters the word "cuckoo" indi-
cates the number of years they are to live.
340 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
In the garden-patch brother is hoeing around,
Grandpa whittles and whittles, his back to a tree;
Two sisters are spreading the flax on the ground,
And chanticleer crows cheerily.
When 'tis cloudy without we are happy within;
Our roof is secure when the tempest makes strife;
And sweet is the bread that through labor we win
For father, for children, and wife.
There's pleasure in all things surrounding me here;
My country, my people, are precious to me.
In the home of the farmer dwells sunshine and cheer,
And a bird that sings constantly.
Where a wife spins and sings to the wheel's drowsy tune,
Where the rich soil yields us a bountiful crop,
Where the star bathes its ray in the well, and the moon
Rises up o'er the forest top.
Is there pleasanter looks than our neighbors can give?
Water purer than that which wells freshly from earth?
Aught more sweet than in memory of kindred to live,
More dear than the land of our birth?
And what better gift than a mind of content?
A heart open, honest ; all else is above.
What more sad than the days of our youth, lost and spent?
What more holy than labor and love?
This world is made up of the good and the ill,
Of all sorts of people, with natures diverse,
And they each go their ways, and they each work their will
As maybe, for better or worse.
I spend the spare time with my children and song,
With father and grandsire, a life free from blame;
And the days they pass smoothly, if slowly, along,
Pass brightly, though ever the same.
HEDWIGE EUSZCZEWSKA (Deotyma) is known in the
Polish literature as a lady of extraordinary poetic
talent; she is in reality a wonderfully gifted improvvi-
satrice and rhapsodist / hence she must be considered
as an uncommon phenomenon of our age. She is so
gifted that she can apparently, with scarcely an effort,
incarnate an idea into a living being, not a being that
throbs, quivers, and palpitates, but she can embellish
it with such an illusive language that it seems so. Her
lyrism is not of a slender and nauseous kind, but a
quiet and yet sublime comprehension of the subject,
united with bright imagery and loftiness. The lyric
art of our poetess consists not only of the characteris-
tics of epic poetry, but also possesses a finished dramatic
turn. The most admired improvisations of Deotyma
are "Spring," "Sculpture," "Stones," "Birds,"
"Painting," and "Flowers"; perhaps the best of all
is "The Highest Love." Deotyma feels, perhaps,
involuntarily an inclination to the dramatic Muse, as
is plainly shown in her fantastic creations: "The Mys-
tery of Fruits," "Tamira," and "Stanislas Lubom-
irski," of which it can be remarked that aside from
some forms and turns resembling the monologues of
Goethe's " Faust," there is not much of dramatic art,
and there is an uncertainty whether Deotyma' s genius
is thus adapted. From these dramatic specimens she
went into epopee as " Poland in Song," and " Poetry."
* Pronounce Heclvig tioosh-tchev-skah.
344 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
Deotyma's improvisations are written mostly under the
influences of occurring circumstances; but the multi-
tude of images introduced in them makes one feel
restive under the pressure, and at other times one gets
weary of the frequent introduction of philosophical
views, which oftentimes are but cloudy mysticisms.
Some of her allegorical compositions are wrought up
in a highly poetic and finished style; such are " The
Mysteries of Fruits," "Pilgrim," " May Visions,"
"Storm in the Desert," "Wreaths," "A Dream,"
" The Power of Song," " The Inspiration," and others;
perhaps the finest and the most finished of all is "The
Prayer." The chief idea of Deotyma's composition is
of a religious cast, an anticipation that society can be
regenerated only by faith.
Deotyma always surrounds herself with phantasm;
it is her strongest forte, and yet the weakest. Her
notions of society, her ideas of history, and the
unfolding of human spirit in form and action, are
always rosy, well meant, and possess unaffected sim-
plicity. They are like the smiles of a child, unsuit-
able to well-wrought ideas, and not consonant with
the life of reality; but after all one cannot but admire
her many precious gems of genius, which shed a great
luster upon the national literature.
Deotyma was born before 1840, at Warsaw. She
is the daughter of Wachrvv Luszczewski, counsellor of
state, and the director of the commercial and industrial
department. Her first education was under the super-
vision of Dominick Schultz, and Anton Waga, the
celebrated Polish naturalist. She traveled in Ger-
many and other countries, and made an excursion into
the Carpathian Mountains. Descriptions of her trav-
els were published in "The Warsaw Gazette," and
"The Illustrated Weekly. " In 1865 she returned with
her father from the far-off regions of Russia to her
Her poetry was published in Warsaw in 1854, 1856,
1859 and 1860.
SYMPHONY OF LIFE.
A LYRIC SCENE.
WRITTEN BY DEOTYMA ON THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF
Performed at Warsaw on the 17th day of December, 1870.*
Allegro con brio.
* The following poem was written on the one hundredth anni-
versary of Beethoven's birth, which was celebrated with great solem-
nity in the city of Warsaw on the 17th of December, 1870. In this
beautiful lyric scene Krolikowski played Beethoven, and Madam
Palinska represented the genius of Music. The newspapers of those
days .write about the event as follows: "We will not even attempt
to give a correct account of the charms of the Polish verse, sublim-
ity of ideas and unassumed inspiration. Our opinion is, however,
that the performance was the most creditable representation of hom-
age to the memory of Beethoven ever given in our city.
From Beethoven's dialogue his desire is plainly shown to write
a Symphony of Life. While he sits down to the composition of his
work an unseen orchestra plays the first part of the symphony.
After that is finished another dialogue takes place before "Adagio,"
and a third one before " Scherzo," with a finale. In this way the
idea of the composer, represented by scenery and poetical elucida-
tion, exerted a magic influence on the audience. No one remem-
346 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
A portico. Back in the distance a grove. Toward one side
a column, on which stands Beethoven's bust. In the
middle a small table, having on one side the column, and
on the other a chair. On the chair sits Beethoven, lean-
ing on the table, with his face covered by his hands. On
the table before him there is inkstand and pen and musical
note-paper. From the column side Music, in a classic
dress, with a laurel branch in her hands, approaches
Beethoven, and lays her hand on his shoulder.
Beethoven, awake! I would address thy soul.
I am not sleeping.
Not sleeping? Commonly
Life seems one half a dream to be
Until Inspiration with a high control
Awakens the soul to real life, pure and free.
BEETHOVEN (raising his head),
Under the fondling of that heavenly hand
I feel . . . my spirit wakes from mists of sleep
Oh, my dream 'mid people fearful was and deep!
I thank thee, Music, for thy influence bland;
It has awakened me. seraph, stay!
Come, my own beloved, and my soul possess,
I will follow thee even into endlessness.
I am forever thine!
bers such perfect stillness and such emotion during any concert
One of the reportorial corps questioned the poetess why the
genius of Music did not crown Beethoven himself, but only his bust?
The poetess replied, in the words of Naruszewicz, the poet:
" True greatness is never crowned with glory during this life,
The crown is put on after they are gone upon their monuments."
All words that thou dost say
Music hears and changes into melodies
As genius loves genius with spontaneous glow
Thus I love thee ! I take thy soul and show
To thee Creation's marvelous mysteries
For thee I came down from regions of the sun
Into this darkness.
Come with thy beloved into infinity.
What is it thy heart would solve to day? tell me,
For Music no secrets hath from thee not one !
All to me is happiness when thou art near
But amid the people tones discordant sound,
The stars revolve harmoniously around,
But a chaos still does human life appear.
Hearts are sobbing, and desolate spirits 'moan.
The songs of the world are fully known to me,
And thus sadly ask I why should Harmony
Ev'ry where exist, save in man's life alone?
Ah, thou'rt wrong! There's harmony thou must hear,
Voices of more worlds than one to comprehend
Life is a symphony loud that rises clear
Where voices of earth, of hell and heaven blend.
BEETHOVEN (unfolding a roll of paper).
Stay. I would write thy utterances that when
I shall return to the world half-dreaming still
I may show thy revelations unto men
Awakening those whose souls thy words can thrill.
(A moment's silence.)
348 POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
Hark! some one comes thro' darkness and silence drear . .
It pauses now, say you what hear you?
Three strokes . . . deep are they and very ominous;
The bravest must tremble . . . when that sound is heard.
Even the spirits with sudden dread are stirred,
Destiny knocks at the gates to Heaven thus.
What does it wish?
With all earth's voice, in solemn tone
It calls: " Young soul! it is thy turn, come thou away.'
At that sound (to none save the happy known)
The heavens are disturbed with subtle sway.
The powers of Paradise as guests regret
The interruption of the feast whisp'ring low
" Who will then open to him ?" but none will go,
Although Destiny knocks loud and louder yet.
But here look! a radiant young soul alone
By the firm voice of its own destiny led
Suddenly rises aglow with fire of dread
And runs to the door. . . .
The portals wide are thrown!
The guest goes in. " 'Neath that mysterious cloak
What bearest thou perdition's or glory's key?"
'Twas thus the soul in trembling accents spoke.
He answered: "What wouldst thou choose oh, come
On a journey toward Fame's beckoning light;
To a rehearsal on the planet come to-night."
With feeling of regret the heavenly choir yearn,
Spirits at the portal hold her and repeat
"Oh, as thou leavest us say wilt thou return
Wilt ever return?"
Amid the voices sweet
I distinguish one . . . 'tis innocent as yet
Pure young soul, with sad complaint I hear it dwell
With weeping on the farewell strophes her farewell
To Heaven as though she and death had met!
Because he who is born for one world, ever dies
For another, with tears and sighs.
Oh, winged sweetheart! perchance that soul no more
Was young? Perchance from Eternity's dim spheres
Too many times that road she had traveled o'er,
Or it may be sad forebodings caused those fears?
Such forebodings like sad memories seem to be.
Perhaps you guess aright.
But list! life does not wait:
The soul still with fond complaint against its fate
Sinks in the embraces of its Destiny.
He grasps and covers it with its mantle fold,
POETS AND POETRY OF POLAND.
Bears it 'mid praise and worship from Paradise
Behold! even worlds now from their thrones arise
By admiration and respect controlled!
Yes! let them rise, and thou, Destiny, stern guide,
Be humble. The soul going where trials wait
Is greater than the sun than cherubims more great.
Spectators these the soul strives in arena wild.
The soul through misty abysses falls to earth from the skies,
Drowned by night and the silence far and nigh;
Then she slowly forgets by whose desire she downward flies
From whence she came, whither she goes, and why.
Awake, soul! thy world is near; 'tis rock high and steep,
Thrown out upon a lake that has no strand,
And at Life's portals angel guards their faithful vigils keep,
And they take her from Destiny's stern hand.
Two exiles from heaven, two beloved of angels are they;
Tis hard to choose between them: one so fair,
The sunny love, and the other eternal pain . . . Alvvay
When they go they go together ev'rywhere.