Peony

Peony

By Milan Rakić

What a beautiful night! Lo! O’er the plains,
Down the locusts, mulberries, stately planes
And lofty oak-trees, the golden streams flow
Of ethereal bright moonlight. And so,

Above the vast meads and odorous plains,
Mid the florid boughs, o’er many a field
That are all dark after some heavy rains,
The great soul of the moon’s sleeping conceal’d.

All is calm. Still lies the level meadow
Where in bygone days troops fell row by row.
Grown out of the blood-drenched soil long ago,
Red and blue, peonies bloom in Kosovo…

Translated 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…

 

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Paths

Paths

By Djura Jakšić

Before me now two paths out are spread:
One of flowers, the other of spines;
My feet of iron are strong to tread
On the thorny path beyond confines.

I cede the path strewed with flowers sweet
To the ones whose step is soft and frail;
Trodden be flowers by ladies’ feet,
Men are made for the thorny trail!

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

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

The Falling of Leaves

The Falling of Leaves

By Jovan Dučić

She walked silent, cold, beside me,
With no silver tear in her bleary eye;
All around us dead vervains lay free,
An old river was wholly enveloped by

The falling eve. Her stride was like
A step of solitude, sad and gentle so.
Sorrow-laden we were, beset by like
Tearless anguish and the same woe.

The dark ill night with dust did smear
Alleys of plane-trees and the lakeside;
Our frail hearts were all filled with fear
Yonder where everything quietly died.

When the eve ever dimmer did grow,
And in cold silence our lips gently met
All terrified we felt that each kiss, woe!
Meant the death of another minute yet.

With ev’ry heartbeat something dies, o!
Ev’ry wish fears it will quench a breath!
And this November, grey and dreary so,
There is no Life other than in Death!

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

PADANjE LIŠĆA

Koračaše nema, hladna, pored mene,
Bez srebrne suze u mutnome oku;
Kraj nas behu mrtve ruže i vrbene,
Padalo je veče na vodu široku

Stare jedne reke. Njen je korak bio
Kô korak samoće, nečujan i setan.
Besmo tako tužni; nas tištaše tiho
Isti jad bez suza i bol istovetan.

Mrak bolesne noći zasipaše prahom
Platane po vrtu, jezero prozirno;
Naša srca behu ispunjena strahom
Tuda, gde sve tako umiraše mirno.

I kad u to veče što sve većma mrači,
Približismo usta što ledeno ćute,
Vaj, mi osetismo, s užasom, da znači
I taj svaki poljub smrt jedne minute.

Svaki udar srca, smrt nečeg što živi!
Svaka želja strepi da će nešto strti!
U ovaj novembar čamotni i sivi,
Ne postoji Život drugde neg u Smrti.

After the Funeral

After the Funeral

By Laza Kostić

I buried my love
Deep into the ground,
Spirits and demons whereat
Their abode have found.

Seraphim all flew thereat
And kissed her wholly so,
Cherubs and seraphs, yet
She quietly sleeps below.

The rays of sun fell anon
Her grave to kiss in her sleep,
And the clouds settled on
Bitter tears to weep.

Seraphs and cherubs thereat,
Kissed her wholly so,
So did rays and clouds, yet
She quietly sleeps below.

Another seraph came nigh,
A new ray from the godly shroud,
Another cherub from up high,
And another weeping cloud.

The seraph on her lips,
The godly ray on her breast,
The frail cherub upon her hips,
In her eyes the cloud doth rest.

She bowed her head
‘Fore the grave kneeling down,
The dew she softly shed
On the grass and flowers around.

Beneath that seraphic dew,
Beneath the dew of grace,
Can the late maiden true
Be asleep in that holy place?

She’s not asleep at this hour
How could she be asleep? –
Suddenly burst the divine power
To smash the grave down deep.

Seraphs came nigh as they did start
To chant to her and applaud:
“Transfigured thou art,
Have mercy, o dear God!”

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

POSLE POGREBA 

Sahranio sam ljubav
duboko u zemlju,
de dusi i vampiri
svoj konak uzimlju.

Prileteše zefiri,
celivaše je svi,
zefiri i lepiri —
al’ ona mirno spi.

Prileteli su zraci
da grob celivaju,
a siđoše oblaci
da suze livaju.

Zefiri i lepiri
celivaše je svi,
i zraci i oblaci
al’ ona mirno spi.
Još priđe jedan zefir,
još jedan božji zrak,
još jedan loman lepir
i isplakan oblak.

Na usti’ noćni zefir,
u grudma božji zrak,
u struku loman lepir,
u očima oblak.

Priklonila je glavu
i klekla nad grobom,
orosila je travu
i cveće pod sobom.

Pod tom anđelskom rosom,
pod rosom milosti,
zar može pokojnica,
zar može još da spi?

Ta kako bi još spila,
ta kako, kako bi? —
prekipnu božja sila
i grob se razdrobi.
Prileteše zefiri,
zapojaše joj svi:
„preobrazil sja jesi,
o Bože milosti!”

Raffaels_Angels

Good Night

Good Night

By Vojislav Ilić

Good night, good night,
The sun’s setting o’er the hill,
And the last ray fades away;
Thro’ the meads and dales so still,
The night sneaks up on the day.
Tranquility all around,
The even dew wets the ground,
Good night!
Like the hum of a calm sea
A soft voice disturbs the still,
‘Tis an angel coming, free
Descending from o’er the hill…
Good night, good night.
Before the crack of fair dawn
Before the first light of day,
Let the sleep carry us on
Thro’ oblivion and away,
All is calm. Soft as a sigh,
The holy voices out shall die…
Good night!

Translated from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

LAKU NOĆ

Laku noć, laku noć,
Sunce tone za planine,
I posljednji trne zrak;
Kroz poljane i doline
Prikrada se crni mrak.
Svud spokojstvo tiho vlada,
Lahor šumi, rosa pada,
Laku noć!
Kô šuštanje mirnog mora
Kroz tišinu bruji glas,
To anđeo povrh gora
Tiho slazi među nas . . .
Laku noć, laku noć.
Dok ne svane zora plava.
Dok ne grane beli dan,
Po pučini zaborava
Nek nas vodi slatki san —
Mir je. Tiho kô uzdasi
Izumiru sveti glasi…
Laku noć!

Резултат слика за good night

I Love Thee, Darling!

I Love Thee, Darling!

By Vojislav Ilić

Silence descends as in draws twilight,
All universe is sinking into tranquility.
The evening star is glimmering bright:

Everyone is merry – everyone but me!
Disquiet is sealed within my heart, alas,
My woeful heart that beats so lovingly!

Thro’ quiet meads my heart shall pass
Towards a more wonderful land far away:
From her sleep to wake my darling lass

To the tune of a flute, with a sigh no gay.
Or to whisper to her like a fair breeze:
I love thee, darling, more than I can say.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

LjUBIM TE, DUŠO!

Sumračak pada; tišina se svija,
U milu tone vasiona sva;
Večernja zvezda treperi i sija:

Veselo sve je – samo nisam ja!
Nemir mi stiskô umorene grudi,
Nesrećno srce što ljubiti zna!

Kroz tiha polja srdašce mi žudi
Daleko tamo, u bajniji svet:
Da zlato svoje iza sanka budi

Uz glasak frule, uz uzdisaj klet…
Il’ da joj šapne povetarcem blagim:
Ljubim te, dušo, više nego svet.