The passage at the bottom of this blog by one of the greatest of all Hungarian poets, Endre Ady (1877-1919) - more here. Ady's poems are so melodic and allusive they are very difficult to translate. Most translations fail to catch any significant part of the voice. I have tried a few but am only (partially) pleased with this one.
Autumn appeared in Paris
Autumn appeared in Paris yesterday,
Silent down St Michel its swift advance,
In stifling heat under unmoving branches
We met as if by chance.
Ambling in the direction of the Seine
My soul was brent with tiny shreds of song:
Gypsy airs, oddments, squibs, laments, which whispered
That death would not be long.
Autumn caught up and mumbled in my ear,
The entire boulevard trembled to the eaves,
Ts, ts... along the street as if half jesting
Flew bright-eyed civic leaves.
A moment; Summer hardly had drawn breath
But Autumn was on its cackling way and now
Was gone and I the only living witness
Under the creaking bough.
But that's by way of introduction. A quotation from Ady, dating to 1902, has been passing round the more liberal section of the population (it's much quoted in Google) and a friend passed it on to me. I translate it as below:
The civilised nations observe us. They see how we never move forward, how we behave like rottweilers, how we gesture and bluster in the middle of Europe like something left behind by the middle ages; they see how empty and inconsequential we are; how, whenever we want to do great things we start by beating up Jews; how, once we sober up a little, we rush to take a nostalgic draught of the glories of our millennium; how feeble and useless we are; how that great bastion of the people, parliament, is only fit for our abuse. And what will all this lead to, my dear fellow patriots? Because I myself am Hungarian through and through, not a low, cheating Jew, which is what you call anyone better than you. The result will be that they politely kick us out as if we had never existed.
The reference to the millennium concerns the 1896 celebrations of one thousand years of the settlement of the territory and the establishment of the Hungarian state. The 'they' at the end is Europe. The rest is, surely, coincidence.