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Hadzhi Dimitar


He's alive, he's alive! There on the Balkan Mountain

Drowning in his blood, groaning

A hero lies with a deep wound in his chest

A hero in his youth, in his prime.

 

His rifle's cast to one side

His broken sword the other;

His eyes dim - his head reels

As his mouth curses the universe!

 

The hero lies, while in the sky

The angry sun bakes down;

A harvest girl sings in far-off field

And his blood flows more quickly now!

 

It's harvest time ... so sing, you slave girls

Sing your sad songs! And you, sun -

Shine on that slavish land! This hero

Will perish too ... but be quiet, my heart!

 

He who falls in freedom's fight

Dies not - he's mourned

By earth and sky, Nature and beast,

And singers remember him in song...

 

By day a mother eagle lends him shade

And a wolf meekly licks his wound,

While on high a falcon - heroic bird -

Keeps watch over her brother hero!

 

Evening comes - the moon rises

Stars flood the vaulted sky;

The woods rustle, the wind blows -

The Balkan sings a hajdut song!

 

And wood nymphs in white array

Lovely, beautiful, take up the song -

Softly treading the verdant grass

'Til they reach the hero and sit down.

 

One binds his wound with herbs

Another splashes him with water

A third hastens to kiss his mouth

As he gazes at her - lovely, smiling.

 

"Tell me, sister, where is - Karadzha?

And where is my loyal band?

Tell me - then take my soul -

I want to die here, sister!"

 

They clap their hands, then embrace

And soar into the heavens, singing;

They fly and sing until the dawn

Seeking the spirit of Karadzha...

 

But it's already dawn! And on the Balkan

The hero lies, his blood flowing -

While the wolf licks his vicious wound,

And the sun bakes on ... and on!

 

 

Translated by © Thomas Butler. All rights reserved!

 


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