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

After Death

After Death

By Djura Jakšić

When a knife shall my heart tear,
O’er me a gory sword shall clink,
Sweet maidens, my roses fair,
Thou shalt not into grief sink!

Say not: “It’s here that rests
Of our love the wilted sheaf!”
Blame not this soil blessed,
Hush the cajoling hum of grief!

Waste not pretty roses, pray,
To deck my eternal home grand!
Celebrate me not-suffice to say,
“He was faithful to his land”.

Translation from the Serbian by:
Ljiljana Parović

Posle smrti

Noževi kad mi srce podele,
Nad grobom zvekne krvavi mač,
Slatke devojke, ružice bele,
Neću da čujem vaš gorki plač!

Nemojte reći: „Ovde počiva
Ljubavi naše uveli struk!“
Ne kun’te zemlju, nije vam kriva —
Stišajte jada laskavi zvuk!

Nemojte trošit ruže ubave,
Kiteći njima moj večit dom!
Recite samo: „Dosta je slave —
Veran je bio narodu svom“.

Djura Jaksic