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The Hanging of Vasil Levski


O my Mother, dear Motherland

Why weep you so mournfully, so plaintively?

And you, raven, cursed bird -

On whose grave croak you with such a dread?

 

Ah, I know - I know you're weeping, Mother

Because you are a dismal slave,

Because your holy voice, Mother

Is a helpless voice - a voice in the wilderness.

 

Weep! There, near the edge of Sofia town

Stretches - I saw it - a dismal gallows

And one of your sons, Bulgaria

Hangs from it with a terrible power.

 

The raven croaks dreadfully, ominously

Dogs and wolves howl in the fields,

Old people pray to God with fervor

Women weep, children cry.

 

Winter croons its evil song,

Gales sweep thistle across the field

And cold and frost and hopeless weeping

Heep sorrow on your heart.

 

 

Translated by © Thomas Butler. All rights reserved!

 


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