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…

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