Panayot Pipkov: Hymn of Saints Cyril and Methodius


Hymn of St. Cyril and Methodius
Monument to Cyril and Methodius in front of th...
Monument to Cyril and Methodius in front of the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Composed by Panayot Pipkov
Lyrics by Stoyan Mihaylovski

May 24th – Day Of the Slavonic Alphabet and Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture

Panayot Pipkov (21.ХІ.1871 - 25.VІІІ.1942)
He composed two children’s operettas; folksong medleys and marches for wind orchestra; piano pieces; choral songs; pieces for violin; theatre music, etc. His piano pieces are among the first Bulgarian works in the genre.

His most popular choral songs are Hymn of Saints Cyril and Methodius, lyrics by Stoyan Mihaylovski (1901) and the song Sweet-voiced Lark, lyrics by Tzvetan Kalchev (1903), which was included in the children’s operetta The Cricket and the Ant (1910). The other children’s operetta Children and Birds was very popular, too.

Stoyan Mihaylovski was a Bulgarian writer and social figure.

The text of the hymn as translated in English by

Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Evgenia Pancheva, Associate Professor
of Medieval and Renaissance
English Literature at Sofia University.

March ahead, o revived people,
To your future march ahead,
Forge your destiny of glory,
By the might of letters led.

March to powerful knowledge,
Let your duty be your guide!
Join the host of other peoples,
God is always by your side.

Go! For like the sun is knowledge.
On the soul it sheds its rays.
Go! A people shall not perish,
When true learning lights its days.

Once unknown and obscure,
Take your place in History.
Let your spirit rule the countries
You subdued in victory.

Thus the two brothers encouraged
Our people long ago.
O you memorable old times,
O you sacred days of yore!
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore
(English: Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major)
where Pope Adrian II blessed the alphabet
 that the two brothers wrote

Bulgaria has ever followed
This most worthy testament,
And accomplished deeds of glory
In triumph and predicament.

For it had its time of power,
Then it grievously declined,
Yet unhesitantly followed
What was once to it assigned.

There were times when our letters
Spread quickly far and wide,
And they nourished human learning
With the wisdom which they hide.

Next came sad and slavish years,
When the proud Balkan son
Had to bow under the yoke
Of the ruthless Ottoman.

But the spirit of the people
Always sought support in you
Sages! After a millennium
Your voice still rings strong and true.

O you saviours of a nation
In the darkest days of doom!
You revivers of its spirit
Sleeping in the deepest gloom!

Panayot Pipkov
O you champions of true faith,
Enemies of strife and lies!
You apostles God-inspired,
Bright stars in the Slavic skies!

You saints Cyril and Methodius,
You be blessed thrice above!
Fathers of Bulgarian learning,
Makers of the tongue we love!

People will repeat for ever
Your two names in every clime
And the Slavs preserve your mighty

Speeches to the end of time!

Stoyan Mihaylovski's Grave
at Sofia Central Cemeter


"Върви, народе възродени,
    към светла бъднина върви,
с книжовността, таз сила нова,
    съдбините си ти поднови!

Върви към мощната Просвета!
    В световните борби върви,
от длъжност неизменно воден -
    и Бог ще те благослови!

Напред! Науката е слънце,
    което във душите грей!
Напред! Народността не пада
    там, дето знаньето живей!

Безвестен беше ти, безславен!...
    О, влез в Историята веч,
духовно покори страните,
    които завладя със меч!..."

Тъй солунските двама братя
    насърчаваха дедите ни...
О, минало незабравимо,
    о, пресвещени старини!

България остана вярна
    на достославний тоз завет -
в тържествуванье и в страданье
    извърши подвизи безчет...

Да, родината ни години
    пресветли преживя, в беда
неописуема изпадна,
    но върши дългът се всегда!

Бе време, писмеността наша
    кога обходи целий мир;
за все световната просвета
    тя бе неизчерпаем вир;

бе и тъжовно робско време...
    Тогаз Балканский храбър син
навеждаше лице под гнета
    на отоманский властелин...

Но винаги духът народен;
    подпорка търсеше у вас,
о, мъдреци!... През десет века
    все жив остана ваший глас!

О, вий, които цяло племе
    извлякохте из мъртвина,
народен гений възкресихте -
    заспал в глубока тъмнина;

подвижници за права вярна,
    сеятели на правда, мир,
апостоли високославни,
    звезди върху Славянски мир,

бъдете преблагословени,
    о вий, Методий и Кирил,
отци на българското знанье,
    творци на наший говор мил!

Нека името ви да живее
    във всенародната любов,
речта ви мощна нек се помни
    в Славянството во век веков!

Русе, 1882, априлий 15
[сп. "Мисъл", 1892, кн. IX-X]

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