A Poem to a Woman

A Poem to a Woman

By Jovan Dučić

You are my instant, my shadow, my fantasy
My brilliant word in a hum; my step, my fire;
Your true beauty is shrined in your mystery,
And your truth is born of my burning desire.

Stay unreachable, silent and aloof, do stay-
For a dream of joy is more than joy’s ember.
May you be as irretrievable as youth; may
Your shade and echo be all I can remember.

Our heart’s history lies in the tears we shed;
Thro’ our great suffering it aspires for love;
Truth is only that which by the soul is bred;
A kiss is the most glorious all encounters of.

From my sublime fancy you are all created,
With my dreams woven is your veil of gold;
You used to be my thought so enchanted;
The symbol of all vanities, bitter and cold.

You are not real, nor have you e’er been real;
Born inside my silence and there incarcerated,
It’s only within my heart that dwelt your ideal;
For all that we love we ourselves have created.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Pesma ženi

Ti si moj trenutak, i moja sen, i sjajna
moja reč u šumu; moj korak, i bludnja;
Samo si lepota koliko si tajna;
I samo istina koliko si žudnja.

Ostaj nedostižna, nema i daleka –
jer je san o sreći više nego sreća.
Budi bespovratna kao mladost; neka
tvoja sen i eho budi sve što seća.

Srce ima povest u suzi što leva;
U velikom bolu ljubav svoju metu;
Istina je samo što duša prosneva;
Poljubac je susret najveći na svetu.

Od mog priviđenja ti si cela tkana,
tvoj je plašt sunčani od mog sna ispreden;
Ti beše misao moja očarana;
Simbol svih taština porazan i leden.

I ti ne postojiš nit’ si postojala;
Rodjena u mojoj tišini i čami,
na suncu mog srca ti si samo sjala;
Jer sve što ljubimo stvorili smo sami.

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