O, ye forests, dark green forests,
Why in summer and in winter,
Are ye green and blooming?
O! I would not weep and cry,
Nor torment my heart.
But now tell me, good folks, tell me,
How should I not cry?
Ah! where is my dear good father?
Wo! he deep lies buried.
Where my mother? O good mother!
O’er her grows the grass!
Brothers have I not, nor sisters,
And my lad is gone!
O my fountain, so fresh and cool,
O my rose, so rosy red!
Why art thou blown out so early?
None have I to pluck thee for!
If I plucked thee for my mother,
Ah! poor girl, I have no mother;
If I plucked thee for my sister,
Gone is my sister with her husband;
If I plucked thee for my brother,
To the war my brother’s gone.
If I plucked thee for my lover,
Gone is my love so far away!
Far away o’er three green mountains,
Far away o’er three cool fountains!
PASSAGES FROM SEVERAL RUSSIAN BALLADS.
current at the present day.
Last evening I sat, a young maid,
I sat till deep in the night;
I sat and waited till day-break,
Till all my pine-torch was burnt out.
While all my companions slept,
I sat and waited for thee; love!
No good luck to me my dream forebodes;
For to me, to me, fair maid, it seemed,
On my right hand did my gold ring burst,
O’er the floor then rolled the precious stone.
The Bohemians preserved their nationality, and very probably with it their ancient popular songs, down to the seventeenth century. During the thirty years’ war, of which Bohemia was in part almost uninterruptedly the seat, a complete revolution in manners, institutions, and localities, took place. Whole villages emigrated, or were driven into the wide world, wandering about in scattered groups as fugitives and mendicants. Most of the ancient songs may have died at that time. The German influence increased rapidly during the remainder of the seventeenth century, mostly by force and reluctantly; still more during the eighteenth century by habit, intermarriages, education, etc. The Bohemians, the most musical nation in the world, are still a singing people; but many of their ditties are evidently borrowed from the German; in others, invented by themselves, they exhibit a spirit entirely different from that of their ancestors. These modern songs are mostly rhymed. The following specimen of songs still current among the peasantry of Bohemia, will show well the harmless, playful, roguish spirit that pervades them.
THE FORSAKEN MAIDEN.
Little star with gloomy shine,
If thou couldst but cry!
If thou hadst a heart, my star,
Sparks would from thee fly,
Just as tears fall from mine eye.