Saturday, 12 October 2013

Gondolatok a könyvtárban [HU: Reflections In The Library]

There has been very little translation and very little Hungarian in this blog recently. But, when stumbling into a poem about a library, I just had to give a go at it.

Gondolatok a könyvtárban was written by Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty. It’s a long poem and can be found in its entirety here. Here’s the translation for the first lines.

Hová lépsz most, gondold meg, oh tudós,
Az emberiségnek elhányt rongyain
Komor betűkkel, mint a téli éj,
Leírva áll a rettentő tanulság:
"Hogy míg nyomorra milliók születnek,
Néhány ezernek jutna üdv a földön,
Ha istenésszel, angyal érzelemmel
Használni tudnák éltök napjait."


Where are you heading now, think, oh scientist,

To humankind they throw rags

In gloomy letters, like a  winter night,

Written down the scary lesson stands:

“While millions are born into poverty,

A few thousand could be welcomed to the world,

If they knew how to apply God’s wisdom, the angel’s emotion

to their lived days.”

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