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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Elegy

Elegy

By Aleksa Šantić

Why do you haunt me, oh why
As my soul does quietly sleep?
And why does your lustrous eye
Hide your woe and sorrow deep?

Why do you call my name at night,
What does your sad heart want? For
I have nothing to offer you outright,
I’m but a desolate man, nothing more.

All that I had I have given unto you,
Oh, unfaithful and cold love of mine, –
All that I once called my treasure, too:
The youth and flame of my soul divine.

Now that ‘fore me you anew stand,
What do you ask of the dead man?
For, cold, oh, so cold is this hand
That oft at you roses throws as it can.

Let me be! Torture me no more!
Let me live my life lost and forlorn,
Till my heart shall burn to the core,
Till my soul shall die, weary and torn.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Elegija

Zašto se meni javljaš tajno
Kada mi duša tiho sniva?
I zašto tvoje oko sjajno
Golemu tugu i jad skriva?

Zašto me kroz noć staneš zvati,
I šta ti jadno srce ište?
Ta ja ti nemam ništa dati,
O, ja sam pusto pepelište.

Sve što sam imo ja sam dao,
Nevjerno hladna ljubavi moje, –
Sve što sam svojim blagom zvao:
Mladost i oganj duše svoje.

Pa zašto meni stupaš snova,
Šta tražiš ovdje u mrtvaca?
Hladna je, hladna ruka ova
Što nekad na te ruže baca.

Pusti me! Pusti i ne mori!
Nek sam ovako trajem dane,
Sve dok mi srce ne izgori,
Sve dok mi duša ne izda’ne.

02_Алекса-Шантић

Turkey

Turkey

By Vojislav Ilić

As if abandoned long ago, before me lie towns
And quiet, desolate villages. From houses their
Forlorn and ancient stone walls, thick vine heaves
Or rustles in the air,

And like an old cemetery veils them by its leaves.
There, on the gray top of an olden cliff they stand
As a dreadful, giant skeleton. Through their bleak
Windows murmurs the wind and grows high grass
Of somber oblivion, alas!

As if the human hand has not touched what tore
The tumultuous centuries in their dismal walk
Off the towers and walls. Here dwells a night-hawk,
And snakes and lizards crawl on the grassy floor.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Turska

Ko izumrli davno, preda mnom gradovi leže
I mirna, uboga sela. Sa mračnih domova njini
I drevnih, kamenih platna, vinjaga gusta se vije
Il’šumi na visini,

I kao prastaro groblje lisnatom vrežom ih krije.
Eno na surom visu urvine vekovne stoje
Ko strašan, ogroman skelet… Kroz okna njihova pusta
Sanjivo šumori vetar i niče visoka trava
Sumornog zaborava.

Izgleda kao da čovek ni rukom dotako nije
Što su stoleća burna odbila u mračnom hodu
Sa kula i platna gradskih. Tu gnezdo jejina vije,
I zmija odvratno mili i gušter po travnom podu.