Abandoned Church

Abandoned Church

By Milan Rakić

An old image of Crucified Christ lies:
Down his broken ribs warm blood is shed-
Pale as death his lips, lifeless his eyes,
A cast silver nimbus o’er his head.

A gift from pious serfs and noblemen-
On his neck a ducat necklace shines.
Its frame rimm’d with sterling silver lines,
Carved by the best among the craftsmen.

So lies Christ mid this desolate shrine.
As softly descends darkness divine,
And birds of prey are ready to soar,

Alone in the church that vampires haunt,
He spreads his arms, desperate and gaunt,
Waiting for 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…

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