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Berzsenyi Dániel: Napoleonhoz

Portre of Berzsenyi Dániel

Napoleonhoz (Hungarian)

Nem te valál győző, hanem a kor lelke: szabadság,
Melynek zászlóit hordta dicső sereged.
A népek fényes csalatásba merülve imádtak,
S a szent emberiség sorsa kezedbe került.
Ámde te azt tündér kényednek alája vetetted,
S isteni pálmádat váltja töviskoszorú.
Amely kéz felemelt, az ver most porba viszontag;
Benned az emberiség űgye boszulva vagyon.

To Napoleon (English)

Victor alone you were not - 'twas the Age's Soul, that of Freedom,
she, whose banners streamed over your glorious troops.
Nations worshipped you, having fallen to shiny delusions,
Holy Humanity's cause into your hands did evolve.
But you abased your good fortune with the throw of a gambler:
haughty Olympian wreaths yield to the Crown of Thorns.
God’s hand, raised you aloft and the same will cast you to hell now,
in you, Humanity's fate had to be truly avenged.

Source of the quotation1996, In Quest of the ‘Miracle Stag’: The Poetry of Hungary, Corvina, Budapest