Reapers

Reapers

By Aleksa Štantić

Like spider-woven soft silk  strings,
A moonlight veil is hanging from the trees.
By the river in th’ field, ripe grain sings,
As blood-red fruit is swayin’ in th’ breeze.

A small wooden tower stands guard across
The sleeping village. Th’ ancient cemetery
Is silent and the crosses covered in moss,
Are spreading their arms as if waiting wary

Someone to hug. As winks this midnight fine
And th’ village sleeps upon the hand divine,
I see strange reapers, all gaunt and sour,

Descend the stairs of heaven, treading slow,
Scythes flung o’er their necks as on they go.
And the hour of doom strikes from the tower.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Žeteoci

Kô svilene niti što ih pauk satkô,
Po drveću visi mesečine veo.
U polju, uz reku, šušti ječam zreo,
I, kô krv, sa grane rudi voće slatko.

Mali drven toranj, kao straža neka,
Uvrh sela stremi. Staro groblje ćuti,
A krstovi, mahovinom ogrnuti,
Svoje ruke šire, kô da svaki čeka

Da zagrli nekog… I dok ponoć plava
Trepti, i pod božjom rukom selo spava,
Žeteoce čudne, koštane i sure,

Ja vidim gde s neba niz lestvice slaze,
S kosama na vratu šoboćući gaze…
I svrh sela zvoni udar kobne ure.

aleksa_santic_01

 

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