SANDOR PETOFI was inspired by the idea of world liberty, for which he died. His motto throughout life was:-

For me, there must be
Both love and liberty.
My life, I would gladly give
For love: Yet I would joyfully
Surrender love itself
For liberty!

In this poem he fore-saw his own death


One thought troubles me:
That in bed, I may lie
among pillows, as I die!
To wither slowly, like a flower
gnawed by a worm
in concealed power;
Extinguished with indignity,
like a waxen taper's guttering light,
in an empty room,
left out of sight.
Not such a death, dear God, for me,
not such a death of ignominy!
As a tree, ran through by lightning,
I should be. Or storm uprooted
by a frenzied gale:
Or, like a rock, be taken
From the cliff which overlooks the vale,
and by a world and heaven-shaken
thunder-clap, be hurled
into the dale...
When all people bound in slavery,
who walk around in apathy,
with dull and heavy paces,
shall with reddening faces
and red ensign,
adopt for it, this slogan, divine:
And this is echoed, loud and clear,
from the East unto the Western sphere,
in a war-cry against tyranny:
Then, killed in action, would I be.
There, upon, that battle-field
the last drop of my youth: I'll yield.
Let my last words in joy be found,
that my last breath was drawn around
the clash of steel the trumpet's sound
and cannon's peal.
My corpse would lie upon the ground,
through which the sounding chargers pound,
as they ride on to Victory,
stamping, crushing, trampling me. -
There, would they gather my scattered bones,
where solemn dirges would be playing,
and veiled banners shall be swaying
with the mourners black array.
A tomb among the heroes,
would they give to me,
and for those, who die for Thee,

PETOFI was indeed trampled into the earth, during battle. His body had vanished without trace. The victory he wrote of was short-lived. The revolt was crushed by the Tsarist armies lent to aid Austria. Hungary fell under the Hapsburg yoke. But eleven years later, from 1860, AUSTRIA was obliged to make terms with HUNGARY.

In this next poem, PETOFI again writes of his death in battle.


Many verses have I written
and not all may be in vain;
But that which is to gain
fame for me,
the most beautiful is yet to be.
Against the Viennese, one day
my country's vengeance, to repay,
I shall, with gleaming sword-point bright,
engrave one hundred lines of might
into my heart of fleeting breath,
when this I write:

The Apostle

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