After Death

After Death

By Djura Jakšić

When the knives slash my soul apart,
Or gory swords clink o’er my grave,
Sweet maidens fair, dear to my heart,
You shall not weep for me, be brave!

You shall not say: “Here rests in peace
Of our great love the withered leaf!”
Curse not this soil on my decease,
Hush the cajoling sound of grief!

Waste not beautiful roses, pray,
To deck my eternal home grand!
Praise me not – suffice it to say:
“He was true to his fatherland”.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Posle smrti

Noževi kad mi srce podele,
Nad grobom zvekne krvavi mač,
Slatke devojke, ružice bele,
Neću da čujem vaš gorki plač!

Nemojte reći: „Ovde počiva
Ljubavi naše uveli struk!“
Ne kun’te zemlju, nije vam kriva —
Stišajte jada laskavi zvuk!

Nemojte trošit ruže ubave,
Kiteći njima moj večit dom!
Recite samo: „Dosta je slave —
Veran je bio narodu svom“.

Djura Jaksic

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