Author: Dr. Frantisek Zavrel, 1906, Prague, Austrian Empire
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, BORN IN AJACCIO ON THE ISLAND OF CORSICA ON 15 AUGUST 1769, PUT AN END TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND FOUGHT ENGLAND PRIOR TO ENGAGING RUSSIA FOR VIOLATING EMBARGO AGAINST ENGLAND.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, KNOWN AS THE NAPOLEON I, WAS THE FIRST CONSUL PRIOR TO BECOMING FRENCH EMPEROR. HE GAINED POWER THROUGH HIS CONCEPT OF MERITOCRACY AND THE NAPOLEONIC CODEX THAT GRANTED FRENCH CITIZENS EQUAL STANDARDS AND PROPERTY RIGHTS. HE IS CREDITED WITH THE CREATION OF THE LOUVRE AND THE BANK OF FRANCE. HE IMPOSED THE METRIC SYSTEM AND OVERSAW THE REBUILDING OF PARIS.
OF STRONG CHARACTER AND A MILITARY GENIUS, HE BECAME FAMOUS FOR HIS BATTLES OF THE PYRAMIDS IN EGYPT, IN ITALY (MARENGO), AUSTRIA (AUSTERLITZ), JENA, DRESDEN, AND WAGRAM.
AFTER BRIEF EXILE TO ELBA, HE RETURNED AND FOUGHT THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. ONE OF HIS MAXIMS BECAME FAMOUS: "THE BRITISH WILL REGRET THEY WON AT WATERLOO."
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE DIED IN EXILE ON THE St. HELENE ISLAND ON 05 MAY 1821.
HIS BODY WAS BROUGHT TO PARIS IN 1840 FOR FINAL BURIAL AT THE "LES INVALIDES" COMPLEX.
The then-almighty revolution francaise,
Eradicated embedded thrones and pillars of lies,
Many souls aflame and bodies alit,
Chose you to deliver the loathing song.
You responded: "Then, be it!"
An epic force of defiance,
Beauty, resistance, and damnation,
Before, actual rosebud procreation,
That appeared quite dormant,
Has emanated from your chest,
And turned into a burning blossom!
Old lineages and all the bygone era,
The scepters, thrones, and crucifixes!
Only you could have told the truth
How they all lied for ages.
You saw the royal crowns
And their false glitter.
Before the man's law
The sinister force in the shadows screamed.
The heroes know how to fight,
And the scowling architect of guilt,
Now is sick, without a cure or script.
Is it all gone by?
Was that once a reality? Did it ever exist?
No, it was a mere revenge,
Acting up like a reveling lion,
There was a defiance and eternal desire,
And the time for joyful punishment.
There was a ridiculed encounter face to face,
There was a victory against resistance.
There was a sweet welcome of tomorrow,
And the era for healing,
Although the Healer himself was attending,
He succumbed to the disease himself.
Because after years of terse desire,
There is a randezvous of eternal stars,
And a greeting to the cherished Hope!
You were blamed for
Blood , Skulls, and Bones,
for the thousands of deaths, in droves,
But how could you have transformed, lord,
The old, decaying world?
Dry, rotting trees in forest,
Still did not collapse without wind's fury,
To yield a blossom more beautiful.
An action earned a stab in the back, like a test,
A grumble resulting in an arrest,
The greatness was replaced by denouncement,
True hero denigrated, the idol casted away into dust,
The hate, envy and the day full of misery,
Irrelevant, but still cursing you!
What was your goal? Your true plight?
Have you spread your wings to achieve a dream?
To what heights did they elevate you in predator's flight?
To achieve a Triumph above all?
To feel the bottomless pride?
To reach the Gods? In a mythical stride?
You wanted to rule the world
Above all, a Victor without opponent,
In a dizzy spell like after opiate,
Challenging the Fate on behalf of others,
Trusting that it will pacify you forever,
Pour a goblet of Truth, for an expatriate?
No, you craved a great miracle,
Greater than the Eternity that enabled you!
More than the stunning Silence of Great Empires,
You wanted to experience your own desires,
To measure your desires as well as your wings,
To hear the song of a spring,
To achieve final sensation and dreams,
About the melody arising from within.
To overcome any doubts
You marched through the night that was foggy,
Then welcomed the morning's warmth and Glory.
If Nature would not at all exist,
We would never become her slaves, or resist!
You fell but made great difference in total,
The songs and marches made you immortal,
Let this poem be a complement to the others.
You, the great, all mighty White Eagle,
Who was not perturbed by enemy arrows,
The weapons did not bring you down.
But you succumbed as if scorched by the Sun,
Not because of the Sea of blood, fury, and horrors.
Never mind Waterloo, the Russians, or battle errors.
You were unmoved by hateful, small minds.
Alas, you, a genius, gave in to your internal strides,
And thus fell a victim to the deceit and lies .
Author: Frantisek Zavrel, 1906, "Maj" Publishers, Prague, 1906. Translation in 2017.
Translated by: Radoslav (Ray) Zavrel, USA, 2017 ; E-mail: RayZavrel@gmail.com
COPYRIGHT Radoslav (Ray) Zavrel, December 2017
NOTE: This was the very first poem about Napoleon that was written by Dr. Frantisek Zavrel, prior to his publication of the "NAPOLEON POEMS", in 1925. (Dr. Zavrel, a lawyer, became a prominent writer of drama, novels, and poems in the former Czechoslovakia in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's.
He wrote "Fortinbras", "HEROIKA" (Trilogy: Christ-Hus-Nietzsche) (Czech, German); "Caesar"; "Eternal Youth"; "Venus's Mountain"; "Buried Alive" (own biography), and others.
The poem was translated and rephrased from the archaic Czech to English by native speaker. It is believed that this is the first translation and paraphrasing of the poem(s) in 100 years.
A translation from English to French and Italian of the "NAPOLEON I" and of the "NAPOLEON" (Pentalogy) is pending.
See Wikipedia for information about Dr. Frantisek Zavrel. He became a victim of the so-called Benes Decrees, 1945-1947, in Prague, then-Czechoslovakia and the newly installed government confiscated his pension benefits. Subsequently he was deprived of his home and livelihood. The communist government removed his name from the literature and history.
In 2016, Eduard Burget, Phd wrote and published a detailed book in the Czech language titled "Dramatik na Pranyri - Podivny osud spisovatele Frantiska Zavrela" (English translation:" Persecution of the Playwright-Strange fate of the writer Frantisek Zavrel", in Prague, Czech Republic.
Copyright 2018 Prometheus
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science, Nr. 242, January 2018