Endre Ady

I am the Son of King Gog of Magog

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I am the Son of King Gog of Magog(1)
I'm banging doors and walls to no avail -
yet I must ask this question as prologue:
may I weep in the grim Carpathian vale?
I came along Verecke's(2) famous path,
old Magyar tunes still tear into my chest -
will it arouse your Lordships' righteous wrath
as I burst in with new songs from the West?(3)
Pour in my ears your molten liquid lead,
let me become the new Vazul(4) of songs -
let me not hear the new songs you have bred:
Come, tread me down in furious, evil throngs!
But to the end, tortured, expecting nothing,
the song keeps soaring on its new-found wings:
even if cursed by hundred Founding Fathers -
triumphant, new, Magyar, and true it rings.

(1) In the Book of Ezekiel, an obscure prophecy foretells that King Gog of the Magog people will start a devastating campaign against Israel, but God , by defeating Gog, will prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of the Messias. Gog's name later became a symbol against Divine power. A Hungarian tradition strated by 'Anonymus', the chronicler fo King Béla III, considered the Hungarians the descendants of Gog.
(2) The name of the mountain pass in the Carpathians through which the conquering Magyars, led by Árpád, entered today's Hungary in 896, A.D.
(3) Ady uses the place name 'Dévény', where the Danube enters Hungary from theWest (Nyugat =' West', the very name of the radical quarterly of Ady's time) The poem is Ady's Manifesto of the 'new' conquering the 'old', because the 'new' is, paradoxically, even more ancient in its roots.
(4) Reference to the cousin of St. Stephen, Vazul (or Vászoly), who led a pagan rebellion against Stephen's Christianizing efforts. He was punished by having molten lead poured into his ears.

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Endre Ady