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BUDRIS AND HIS SONS, by                    
First Line: "spring to your saddles, and spur your fleeting horses"
Last Line: We'll drain a full cup to the three polish brides


SPRING to your saddles, and spur your fleet horses;
Time for ye, children, to seek your life courses.
(Thus spake old Budris, the Lithuan brave.)
Never your father's sword rusted in leisure,
Never his hand failed to grasp the rich treasure;
But now my feeble frame sinks to the grave.


Three paths from Wilna to plunder will lead ye;
Ride forth, my sons -- each a path I aread ye --
Thus will your booty be varied and rare.
Olgard, go thou and despoil the proud Prussian;
Woiwod, Kiestut, be thy prey the Russian --
Vitald the lances of Poland may dare.


From Novgorod Veliki [the Great] come back to me never
Without the rich dust of the Tartar's gold river;
Bring the sables of Yakutsk, so costly and fine,
And the silver of Argun they dig from the mine,
The gems of Siberia and far Kolivan --
So saints speed the ride of the bold Lithuan!


In the cursed Prussian land there is wealth for the bold:
Ha, boy! never shrink from their ducats of gold;
Take their costly brocades, where the golden thread flashes,
The amber that lies where the Baltic wave dashes,
Be the prize but as rich as your forefathers won,
And the gods of old Litwa [Lithuania] will guard thee, my son.


No gold, my young Vitald, will fall to thy share,
Where the plains of the Polac lie level and bare;
But their lances are bright, and their sabres are keen,
And their maidens the loveliest ever were seen:
So speed forth, my son, and good luck to the ride
That brings a fair Polenese home for thy bride.


Not the azure of ocean, or stars of the sky,
Can rival the colour or light of her eye;
Like the lily in hue, when its first leaves unfold,
Is the bosom on which fall her tresses of gold;
Fine and slender her form as the pines of the grove,
And her cheek and her lips glow with beauty and love.


By three paths from Wilna, the young men are roaming,
Day after day Budris looks for their coming --
But day after day he watcheth in vain.
No steed from the high-road, no lance from the forest,
He watcheth and waiteth in anguish the sorest --
"Alas! for my brave sons, I fear they are slain!"


The snow in the valley falls heavy and fast --
Through the forest a horseman comes dashing at last,
With his mantle wrapped closely to guard from the cold:
"Ha, Olgard! hast brought me the ducats of gold?
Let's see -- is it amber thou'st won for thy ride?"
"Oh, father -- no, father -- a young Polish bride!"


The snow on the valley falls heavier still,
A horseman is seen rushing down from the hill;
Wrapped close in his mantle some rich treasure lies --
"How now, my brave son -- hast thou brought me a prize?
Is it silver of Argun thou'st won for thy ride?
Come show me!" "No, father -- a young Polish bride!"


Faster and thicker the snow-showers fall --
A horseman rides fiercely through snow-flakes and all;
Budris sees how his mantle is clasped to his breast --
"Ho, slaves! 'tis enough, bid our friends to the feast!
I'll ask no more questions, whatever betides,
We'll drain a full cup to the three Polish brides!"

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