Eyes

Eyes

By Jovan Dučić

Young woman, the infinite eyes thine,
Two long eves in the desert of the sea;
Two sombre fairy-tales that in the pine
Trees, all restless, murmur ominously.

With black flags unfurled two galleys still;
Two mourning women that silently pray;
Two midnight rivers crossing a craggy hill;
Two heralds of ache thru the night that stray.

My woman’s eyes, the dark triumph of lust,
Which everlasting sorrow for oft did smite,
In her virtuous purity found their place just,
And in her sins they found heavenly delight.

The tears shed during many a wakeful night,
Made her infinite eyes radiant and all aglow
With a distant and odd shine of pure delight,
Like some eyes that saw our Lord long ago.
In their infinite vision those eyes do keep
All the dark ecstasies of her dreams fair,
Eyes endless in whose bottom dwells deep
An immense and dark shadow of despair.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Oči

Beskonačne tvoje oči, mlada ženo,
Dve duge večeri u pustinji mora;
Dve sumorne bajke što uznemireno
Imaju šum slutnje u granama bora,

Dve mirne galije s crnim zastavama;
Dve žene u crnom, na molitvi, neme;
Dve ponoćne reke kroz kraje od kâma;
Dva glasnika bola koji kroz noć streme.

Oči moje žene, mračni trijumf ploti,
Koje večnom tugom opijene behu,
Svoj su prostor našle u njenoj čistoti,
A svoj čar nebeski u njenome grehu.

Od suza prosutih u velika bdenja,
Te beskrajne oči sijaju se stoga,
Dalekim i čudnim sjajem ushićenja,
Kao neke oči što videše Boga.
Čuvaju na svojoj beskonačnoj mreži
Sve tamne ekstaze snova koje sanja,
Oči nepregledne, na čijem dnu leži
Velika i mračna sablast očajanja.

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