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Narodne umotvorine

Tsar Lazar and Tsaritsa Militsa

Now when at Krushevats the Tsar is camped
And takes his supper on the eve of battle
Militsa his Queen implores him thus-
"O Lazar, Golden Crown of Serbia,
You ride tomorrow out to Kosovo
And take away your servants & your knights,
You leave me no one at the castle, Sire,
Who'd ride out with a letter to the field
Of Kosovo and bring an answer back
You take away with you my nine dear brothers,
All the Yugovichi ride with you
I ask you this leave but one behind
Leave me just one brother here to swear by."
And Lazarus thus speaks to her and says
"My Lady Militsa, my dear Tsaritsa-
Which brother is it you would like for me
To leave with you in this white castle tower?"
And she:- "Give me Boshko Yugovich!"
And he, noble Prince of all the Serbs.
"My Lady Militsa, my dear Tsaritsa,
Tomorrow when the white day brightly dawns,
When the day dawns, the sun bright in the east,
And when the portals of the town are opened,
Go and stand beside those city gates
For there will pass the army in its ranks
And all the horsemen with their battle-lances
Boshko Yugovich will lead them all
And carry high the cross-emblazoned banner
Give him all my blessings and say this.
That he shall give the flag to someone else
And stay with you in this white castle tower "
When dawn has broken early in the morning
And the portals of the town are opened
Out she walks, Lazarus's queen,
And goes to stand beside the city gate
Where all the army passes by in ranks
Out before the warriors with their lances
Comes her brother, Boshko Yugovich,
Riding in his noble golden armor
On his golden-harnessed battle stallion
Holding high the cross-emblazoned banner
Which envelops him, my brothers, to the waist.
On the staff there is a golden apple,
And on the apple golden crosses stand
From which there hang several golden tassels
Dangling in the breeze about his shoulders.
Now Tsaritsa Militsa goes up to him
And takes his horse's bridle in her hand.
She puts her arms around her brother's neck
And thus she softly speaks to him and says:
"O my brother, Boshko Yugovich,
Lazarus has given you to me
And tells you not to go to Kosovo;
He sends his blessing to you and he says:
To give your flag to anyone you like
And stay with me at white-walled Krushevats
That I will have a brother here to swear by."
Boshko Yugovich then speaks like this:
"Go back, my sister, to your castle tower
It is not for me to go with you
Or give away this banner that I hold
Even if the Tsar would give me Krushevats;
What would all my comrades say of me?
Look upon this coward Yugovich!
The one who dares not go to Kosovo
And spill his blood for Jesus' Holy Cross
And for his faith to die upon that plain."
With that he spurs his horse on through the gate.
And next rides out Yug Bogdan, Boshko's father,
And behind him seven Yugovichi;
One by one she stops them and implores them
But not a one would even look at her.
She waits in misery beside the portals
Until her brother Voin comes riding past
Leading close behind him Lazar's horses
All caparisoned with golden trappings.
She stops his chestnut, takes it by the bridle,
And then she throws her arms around her brother.
Thus she softly speaks to him and says:
"O Voin Yugovich, my dearest brother,
Lazar gives you to me for a present!
He sends his blessing to you and he says:
Give to someone else those noble horses
And stay with me at white-walled Krushevats
That I will have a brother here to swear by."
Her brother Voin thus answers her and says:
"Go back, my sister, to your castle tower-
For as a warrior I may not return,
Nor would I leave these horses of the Tsar
Even if I knew that I would perish.
I ride out to the level field of Kosovo
To spill my blood for Jesus' Holy Cross
And die with all my brothers for the faith."
With that he spurs his horse on through the gate.
When Lady Militsa has seen all this
She falls down fainting on the cold hard stone
And lies unconscious, still as if in death.
Glorious Lazar, Prince of all the Serbs,
Is next to pass, and when he sees his queen
He weeps, and tears flow down his cheeks.
He looks around him turns to left and right,
And calls out to his servant Goluban:
"Goluban, my dear and faithful servant,
Dismount at once from your white horse
And take my lady in your strong white arms
And carry her into the narrow tower.
I free you before God from your grave oath.
Do not ride out to fight at Kosovo
But stay with her inside the castle tower."
When Goluban has heard his master's words
He weeps, and tears flow down his cheeks;
As ordered he dismounts from his white horse
And lifts the lady up in his white arms
And carries her into the castle tower.
But yet his heart torments him: he must go
And ride to battle on the Blackbirds' Field.
Turning back at once to his white horse
He mounts and rides to level Kosovo.
As in the east the morning brightly dawns
Two black ravens fly to Krushevats
From Kosovo, that wide and level plain,
And land upon the narrow castle tower,
The castle tower of Lazarus the Tsar.
The first bird caws, the second starts to talk:
"Is this the tower of Glorious Lazarus,
Or is there no one home in this white castle?"
Only Lady Militsa is there to hear,
And she alone walks out before the tower.
Thus she speaks and asks the two black birds:
"Ravens! in the name of God Almighty
Tell me where you come from this bright morning.
Could it be you come from Kosovo?
Have you seen two mighty armies there?
And did those armies join in furious combat?
Great black birds: which army won the battle?"
Then the ravens answered, both together:
'In the name of God, Tsaritsa Militsa,
We come today from level Kosovo,
And we have seen two mighty armies there;
Those armies met in battle yesterday
And both the Tsar and Sultan have been slain.
Among the Turks some few are left alive,
But fewer still among the Serbs yet breathe,
And all of them have cruel bleeding wounds."
Even as the ravens speak those words
The Servant Milutin comes riding up:
His own right arm he bears in his left hand;
Bleeding from his seventeen grave wounds,
He reins his sweating blood-drenched war-horse in.
Lady Militsa thus questions him:
"What happened to you Servant Milutin?
Did you abandon Lazar on the field?"
And Servant Milutin replies to her:
"Help me down, dear lady, from my horse,
And bathe with cool water all my wounds;
Quench my thirst with red reviving wine;
These evil wounds will be the end of me."
The Lady Militsa takes him gently down
And bathes his wounds with cool water there,
And gives him dark red wine to quench his thirst.
When she has thus attended to his needs
She questions him again & softly asks:
"What happened, Milutin, at Kosovo?
The noble Tsar & old Yug Bogdan- dead?
The Yugovichi, nine of them, all dead?
Vuk Brankovich and great Lord Milosh- dead?
And Strahinya the Ban beside them all?"
The wounded servant answers her and says:
"All remain, my lady, on the field
Where the glorious Tsar has bravely perished.
There are many broken lances there
Belonging both to Turks and noble Serbs-
But many more of ours have broken, Lady,
Than the Turks' defending Lazarus,
Fighting for our glorious Lord and Master.
And old Yug Bogdan, Lady, lost his life
At the beginning, in the dawn attack
Along with his eight sons, the Yugovichi,
Where brother fought by brother to the end
As long as he could strike and cut;
But Boshko Yugovich remains there still,
His cross-emblazoned banner waving high,
Where he chases Turks in frightened herds
As a hunting falcon chases doves.
And Strahinya died too where blood rose to the knees
While Milosh, Lady, lost his noble life
Fighting near the river Sitnitsa
Where many dying Turks lie all around.
But Milosh killed the Turkish Sultan, Murad,
And slaughtered many Turkish soldiers with him.
May God Almighty bless the one who bore him!
He leaves immortal fame to all the Serbs
To be forever told in song and story
As long as Kosovo and human kind endure.
But ask me nothing of Vuk Brankovich!
May the one who gave him birth be damned!
Cursed be his tribe and his posterity,
For he betrayed the Tsar at Kosovo,
And led away twelve thousand men, my Lady,
Led his knights away with him from Kosovo."