France Prešeren: Zdravljica (A Toast)

France Prešeren (1800-1849)
Prešeren's manuscript of Zdravljica from 1844.
Prešeren's monument in Ljubljana

The vintage, friends, is over,

And here sweet wine makes, once again,

Sad eyes and hearts recover,

Puts fire into every vein.

Drowns dull care

Everywhere

And summons hope out of despair.

 

To whom with acclamation

And song shall we our first toast give?

God save our land and nation

And all Slovenes where'er they live,

Who own the same

Blood and name,

And who one glorious Mother claim.

 

Let thunder out of heaven

Strike down and smite our wanton foe!

Now, as it once had thriven,

May our dear realm in freedom grow.

May fall the last

Chains of the past

Which bind us still and hold us fast!

 

Let peace, glad conciliation,

Come back to us throughout the land!

Towards their destination

Let Slavs henceforth go hand-in-hand!

Thus again

Will honour reign

To justice pledged in our domain.

 

To you, our pride past measure,

Our girls! Your beauty, charm and grace!

There surely is no treasure

To equal maidens of such race.

Sons you'll bear,

Who will dare

Defy our foe no matter where.

 

Our hope now, our to-morrow -

The youths - we toast and toast with joy.

No poisonous blight or sorrow

Your love of homeland shall destroy.

With us indeed

You're called to heed

Its summons in this hour of need.

 

God's blessing on all nations,

Who long and work for that bright day,

When o'er earth's habitations

No war, no strife shall hold its sway;

Who long to see

That all men free

No more shall foes, but neighbours be.

 

At last to our reunion -

To us the toast! Let it resound,

Since in this gay communion

By thoughts of brotherhood we're bound

May joyful cheer

Ne'er disappear

From all good hearts now gathered here.

 

Translated by Janko Lavrin