O, Sheaves of Mine!

O, Sheaves of Mine!

By Aleksa Šantić

O sheaves of mine ‘neath the barren hills,
My dark bread spattered with blood, who
Now guards you, who now defends you
Against hungry birds, oh, my worst of ills?

Harvest-time is nigh, the seed is ripe…
My native village is glinting in the sun.
Yet, dark clouds o’er my brow now run,
And heavy thunders my soul now swipe.

Morrow as sharp sickles shall cut tougher
And golden sheaves shall fall one by one,
The blood from my wound shall anew run,
And the poor peasant shall again suffer…

All your grimy toil, what a slave has sown,
Will provide the oppressors with a feast…
And before you, like to a chained beast,
O, the ignominy, only bits will be thrown!

Nobody will hear you moan and choke
Drunken lords shall not heed your pain…
For dust you are, poor peasant, so strain
Toil and slave till you die under yoke!

O sheaves of mine ‘neath the barren hills,
My dark bread spattered with blood, who
Now guards you, who now defends you
Against hungry birds, oh, my worst of ills?

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

O klasje moje

O klasje moje ispod golih brda,
Moj crni hljebe, krvlju poštrapani,
Ko mi te štedi, ko li mi te brani
Od gladnih ptica, moja muko tvrda?

Skoro će žetva… Jedro zrnje zrije…
U suncu trepti moje rodno selo.
No mutni oblak pritiska mi čelo,
I u dno duše grom pada i bije.

Sjutra, kad oštri zablistaju srpi
I snop do snopa kao zlato pane,
Snova će teći krv iz moje rane –
I snova pati, seljače, i trpi…

Svu muku tvoju, napor crnog roba,
Poješće silni pri gozbi i piru…
A tebi samo, ko psu u sindžiru,
Baciće mrve… O, sram i grdoba!…

I niko neće čuti jad ni vapaj –
Niti će ganut bol pjanu gospodu…
Seljače, goljo, ti si prah na podu,
Tegli i vuci, i u jarmu skapaj!

O klasje moje ispod golih brda,
Moj crni hljebe, krvlju poštrapani,
Ko mi te štedi, ko li mi te brani
Od gladnih ptica, moja muko tvrda?

klasje

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