Paths

Paths

By Djura Jakšić

Before me two paths are laid:
One of flowers, the other of thorns;
But, my legs of iron are made:
I take the way studded with thorns.

Paths with flowers strewed I cede
To those who with soft foot stray;
The flowery path is women’s lead,
Men are made for the thorny way!

STAZE

Dve preda mnom staze stoje:
Jedna s cvećem, druga s trnjem;
Gvozdene su noge moje:
Idem trnju da se vrnem.

Ja ustupam cveća staze
kojima je noga meka;
Nek po cveću žene gaze,
a trnje je za čoveka!

dve-staze

An Abandoned Church

An Abandoned Church

By Milan Rakić

An old painting of a crucified Christ lies.
Down his wounded chest blood is shed;
His lips are deathly pale, dead are his eyes;
A wrought silver nimbus about his head.

A ducat necklace glows around his neck-
A gift from a devout serf and a noble lord,
The fine frame that pure silver does deck
A Debar artist made from a wooden board.

Thus lies Christ this desolate shrine amid.
As darkness subtly falls and all world lies hid,
And night birds lurk their prey as they soar,

Alone, in th’ empty church that vampires haunt,
Christ spreads his arms, desperate and gaunt,
Forever awaiting his flock, which is no more…

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

NAPUŠTENA CRKVA

Leži stara slika raspetoga Hrista.
Mlaz mu krvi curi niz slomljena rebra;
Oči mrtve, usne blede, samrt ista;
Nad glavom oreol od kovana srebra.

Dar negdašnjeg plemstva i pobožnog sebra,
Đerdan od dukata o vratu mu blista.
Po okviru utisnuta srma čista,
A okvir joj rezo umetnik iz Debra.

Takav leži Hristos, sred pustoga hrama.
I dok neosetno, svuda pada tama,
I jato se noćnih ptica na plen sprema,

Sam u pustoj crkvi, gde kruže vampiri,
Očajan i strašan, Hristos ruke širi,
Večno čekajući pastvu, koje nema…

https://i2.wp.com/www.kosovo.net/osojani2.jpg

Jephimia

Jephimia

By Milan Rakić

Jephimia, the wife of Uglješa, the despot,
And a nobleman’s daughter, in a sanctuary
All secluded, with pious zeal and no respite,
Embroiders a silk shroud for the monastery.

All around her, the blood of people is shed,
Empires fall and crumbles the world whole,
She, ever alone, embroiders in silk thread
And gold the deep anguish of her noble soul.

Centuries have gone by, in oblivion they rest,
But this people is still groaning as before.
And it seems that even in the time of yore
Our hearts used to beat in your gentle chest.

And at the time of the nation’s doleful fall,
When in the horizon there is no light frail,
You and your humble abode I clearly recall,
O despotress of Serbia with a nun’s veil!

Then I feel that just as once she used to do,
Over our calamity which ever direr grows,
Over the flame enveloped by darkness, too,
The old Black Lady is bemoaning our woes…

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

JEFIMIJA

Jefimija, ćerka gospodara Drame,
I žene despota Uglješe, u miru,
Daleko od sveta, puna verske tame,
Veze svilen pokrov za dar manastiru.

Pokraj nje se krve narodi i guše,
Propadaju carstva, svet vaskolik cvili,
Ona, večno sama, na zlatu i svili
Veze strašne bole otmene joj duše.

Vekovi su prošli i zaborav pada,
A još ovaj narod kao nekad grca,
I meni se čini da su naša srca
U grudima tvojim kucala još tada,

I u mučne čase narodnoga sloma,
Kad svetlosti nema na vidiku celom,
Ja se sećam tebe i tvojega doma,
Despotice srpska s kaluđerskim velom!

I osećam tada da, ko nekad, sama,
Nad nesrećnom kobi što steže sve jače,
Nad plamenom koji obuhvata tama,
Stara Crna Gospa zapeva i plače…

Peonies

Peonies

By Milan Rakić

What a beautiful night! All over the plains,
Down the locusts, mulberries and planes,
In lush golden cascades now richly flows
That ethereal fair moonlight. Over those

Meadows covered by the odorous grain,
Mid the boughs in bloom, o’er the ground
And fields all dark after the pouring rain,
The great soul of the moon sleeps sound.

Peace is all around. The vast field lies so
Quietly where brave troops fell row by row.
Sprouted from the blood of many long ago,
Red and blue, across Kosovo peonies grow.

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

BOŽUR

Kako je lepa ova noć! Gle, svuda,
S topole, rasta, bagrema, i duda,
U mlazevima zlatokosim pada
Nesuštastvena mesečina. Sada,

Nad livadama gde trava miriše,
U rascvetanim granama, svrh njiva
Koje su crne posle bujne kiše,
Velika duša mesečeva sniva.

Sve mirno. Tajac. Ćuti polje ravno
Gde nekad pade za četama četa…
— Iz mnoge krvi izniknuo davno,
Crven i plav, Kosovom božur cveta…

slika1-nadezda

(A Field of Kosovo Peonies by Nadežda Petrović, 1913)

Over Belgrade

Over Belgrade

By Vojislav Ilić

O, silent monument to times foregone,
Why’s your brow sullen and grim always?
Haply you recall the gory battles bygone
Which gave your name a glorious praise?

Or you count the graves of foreign sons
That all fell beneath your walls so grand,
Enthralled by dreams of conquest once,
Far from the bosom of their fatherland?

Even now as oft I behold you at night,
Gigantic human shadows before me fall:
With chests crushed and brows so white,
With lips cold and coated in blood all.

And I hark some unintelligible sound,
A susurrus that fades and dies away…
Haply ‘tis an echo of a pain profound?
Or haply ‘tis a curse that these lips say?

Oh, so many a dream, hope and woe,
Deeply engraved in your stone appear,
Shattered by the deadly hand of the foe
In its rage during many a glorious year!

But you live on!…Your grey hair has not
Been laid to rest by such turbulent time!
To restore your fame you may’ve sought,
That pale shadow of a future sublime.

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

NAD BEOGRADOM

Spomeniče nemi prohujalih dana,
Zašto ti je čelo sumorno i tavno?
Da l’ se sećaš, možda, krvavih megdana,
Što digoše u zrak tvoje ime slavno?

Il’ grobove brojiš tuđinskih sinova,
Što padoše redom pod zidine tvoje,
– Zaneseni čarom osvajačkih snova
Daleko od krila domovine svoje?

Jest, i sada često, kad te kroz noć gledam,
Ukažu se ljudske gorostasne seni:
S razmrskanim grudma, sa čelima bledim,
I usnama hladnim u krvavoj peni…

I ja slušam šapat nepojmljivog zbora,
Šapat koji tiho umire i tone…
To je, možda, izraz dubokoga bola?
To su, možda, reči koje kletvom zvone?

O, koliko snova, nadanja i muka
Zariveno leži u kamenju tvome,
Što ih sruši smrti oružana ruka
U danima slave, u pomamu svome!

I ti jošte živiš!… Tvoju sedu glavu
Ne položi u grob tako burno vreme!
Možda čekaš snova poništenu slavu,
Taj bleđani prizrak budućnosti neme?

Резултат слика за above kalemegdan

Spring

Spring

By Aleksa Šantić

Darling, let not a sleep come o’er thee tonight,
Grant not, dear, to thy heart a sweet respite!
When o’er our river the moon pours its light,
And on the ground fall first dewdrops bright,

A young spring will be born! As everywhere
The sweet fragrance of lilacs the air will fill;
Soft snowflakes will fall from branches still
Into our brook winding thro’ the garden there.

Lado will sneak in Mostar, our dormant town:
On each window he’ll shed snowflakes down,
To waken all the hearts that love and ache…

So, my dear, let not a sleep come over thee!
Come! May thou first rose in our garden be,
And sweetly smell in my heart till daybreak!

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

PROLJEĆE

Nemoj, draga, noćas da te san obrva
I da sklopiš oči na dušeku mekom!
Kada mjesec sine nad našom rijekom
I na zemlju pane tiha rosa prva,

Rodiće se mlado proljeće! I svuda
Prosuće se miris plavih jorgovana;
I pahulje snježne padaće sa grana
U naš bistri potok što baštom krivuda.

Uzviće se Ljeljo nad našim Mostarom,
I svaki će prozor zasuti beharom,
Da probudi srca što ljube i gore…

Zato nemoj, draga, da te san obrva!
Dođi, i u bašti budi ruža prva,
I na mome srcu miriši do zore!

woods, Mountains, Meadow, Flowers

Midnight

Midnight

By Djura Jakšić

It’s midnight,
That black-veiled silent goddess
Of a free soul she’s the blessedness,
Dark is the night, th’ evil hour has come.

But, what’s that hum?…
Under the black wing of a mute midnight,
Just like an immense solitary billow
That rolls across the sea high and low;
It’s roaring soft and slow as if dying,
As if coming from underground, horrifying.
Is it the spirits speaking to the earth?
Is it the earth cursing its deeds of little worth?
Or haply the heavens are journeying forth,
Not to listen to my curse henceforth;
So the stars and the sky are filled with rue,
As they bid to the world their last adieu!
What if the world of the sky is bereft?
What if no more dawn on earth is left?
What if the darkness
Stays on?…

The steps are heard as well…
If ‘tis midnight softly gliding I cannot tell.
Treading so quietly is not even the air;
As if it came from yonder world fair.
Is it a cloud drifting aloft furtively?
Is it some ailing man gasping heavily?
Is it an angel with a cure to save his life,
Or a keen scythe to cut short his strife?
Could it be love?….Could it be spite?…
It might be sneaking up, oh, yes it might,
To empty our sole glass of joy and delight?
Or haply tears of grief are poured alright,
To inundate us by their floods so shed,
Or the defunct are rising from the dead?

The door creaked open…
O ghost! Dearest spirit, o!
Darling mother! O I’m blessed so!
Many a day, many a year have passed,
Many a time truths were bitter in the past;
Many a time shivered my fearful heart,
Many a time people tore my soul apart;
Much I repented and much I sinned again,
And with cold death I consoled myself then;
With bitterness filled I drank many a glass,
Many a piece I drenched in tears, alas!
O mother, mother! Dearest spirit, o!
Mother, ever since I parted with thee,
No good or bliss has ever befallen me!…
Yet, thou might think: “He’s well, I believe,
For he harks not the spider softly weave
Its gossamer cobweb, with a silken thread,
Which over our gloomy ceiling is spread:
-Thou art among thy neighbours, thy kin.”

Yet, being among them is worse than a sin:
Hand in hand walk malice and disgrace,
Envy oft gives them a brotherly embrace,
Falsehood is their close and dear friend,
Villainy takes them to the world’s end;
Attended by flattery, served by treachery,
They seek infidelity to keep them company.
O, mother, mother, this world is malicious,
Life is, mother, so sorrowful and vicious!

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

PONOĆ

Ponoć je,
U crnom plaštu nema boginja.
Slobodne duše to je svetinja,
To gluvo doba, taj crni čas…

Al’ kakav glas?…
Po tamnom krilu neme ponoći,
K’o grdan talas jedan jedini
Da se po morskoj valja pučini;
Lagano huji k’o da umire,
Il’ da iz crne zemlje izvire.
Možda to dusi zemlji govore?
Il’ zemlja kune svoje pokore?
Il’ nebo možda dalje putuje,
Da moju kletvu više ne čuje;
Pa zvezde plaču, nebo tuguje,
Poslednji put se s zemljom rukuje!
Pa zar da neba svetu nestane?
Pa zar da zemlji više ne svane?
Zar da ostane
Tama?…

I hod se čuje…
Da l’ ponoć tako mirno putuje?
Ni vazduh tako tiho ne gazi;
K’o da sa onog sveta dolazi.
Il’ kradom oblak ide na više?
Il’ bolnik kakav teško uzdiše?
Il’ anđ’o melem s neba donosi?
Il’ oštru kosu, da ga pokosi?
Da ljubav ne ide?… Da zloba nije?…
Možda se krade, da nam popije
I ovu jednu čašu radosti?
Il’ možda suza ide žalosti,
Da nas orosi tužna kapljica?
Ili nam mrtve vraća zemljica?

Vrata škrinuše…
O duše! o mila seni!
O majko moja! o blago meni!
Mnogo je dana, mnogo godina,
Mnogo je gorkih bilo istina;
Mnogo mi puta drhtaše grudi,
Mnogo mi srca cepaše ljudi;
Mnogo sam kaj’o, mnogo grešio,
I hladnom smrću sebe tešio;
Mnogu sam gorku čašu popio,
Mnogi sam komad suzom topio.
O majko, majko! o mila seni!
Otkad te, majko, nisam video,
Nikakva dobra nisam video!…
Il’ možda misliš: „Ta dobro mu je,
Kad ono tiho tkanje ne čuje
Što pauk veze žicom tananom
Nad onim našim crnim tavanom:
– Među ljud’ma si, među bližnjima“…

Al’ zlo je, majko, biti međ’ njima:
Pod ruku s zlobom pakost putuje,
S njima se zavist bratski rukuje,
A laž se uvek onde nahodi
Gde ih po svetu podlost provodi;
Laska ih dvori, izdajstvo služi,
A nevera se sa njima druži…
O majko, majko, svet je pakostan,
Život je, majko, vrlo žalostan!

Midnight Pop