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p. 187


NOT yet the dawn had whitened, nor the day star shown its face;
Men thought not of day—forth Márgita the maid walked in the place,
In Sriyem over Slánkamen;2 barefoot the damsel sprang
Over the stone so early. In delicate wise she sang,
But Rayko in the song she cursed: 
“Rayko, may God thee slay!
The Turks have plagued us grievously in Sriyem, since the day
When thou becamest voývoda. When Mirko ruled the land,
We heard of no Turk, nor ever saw one before us stand;
But now they plague us grievously. Their horses’ feet are sore
For riding night and morning in our country evermore.
The very fields on their horsehoofs are lifted and stolen away,
And the air is full of javelins and their throwing-darts to-day.”

p. 188

 So sang the girl of Sriyem, and deemed that none could hear,
But Voývoda Rayko saw her, and the curse came to his ear;
And he called the maiden Márgita: 
“Sister,” he saith, “do thou
No more curse Rayko the voývoda. What more can he do now?
What may he do for himself? And what for Sriyem in this hour?
What shall he do in Sriyem against the Turkish power?
While Mirko was the voývoda, in our cities in their turn
Were many voývodas. Stay thou; their number thou shalt learn.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
At Pótserye on Sava his dwelling Milosh made.
He was vizier of Lazar in many-towered Belgrade.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
In Krúshevats, the white city, glorious Lazar had his hall,
With his fair son beside him, the good lad Stevan the Tall.
Yug Bogdan, the old hero, with the nine sons of his might,
Dwelt in another city, Prókuplye the white.
At the white town of Kurshúmliya was Strahin, the great ban;
At Tóplitsa, Milan Tóplitsa, where the chill waters ran.

p. 189

At flat Kósaynitsa, Ivan Kósanchich, the mighty man,
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
In Travnik, the white, Vuk Bránkovich was Lazar’s high vizier;
Duke Stepan1 in Herzegovina ruled the country without fear.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
At Skadar on the Bóyana, Vukáshin was the king.
With his brethren Goyko and Úglyesha, to help in governing.
And in Prizrend, where the plowland reacheth so fair and far,
With his little son, Prince Urosh, was Stepan the Servian tsar.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
Starína Novak2 held the rule on Stara, the mountain old;
And with him Rádivoye, his brother, called the bold,
And Tátomir and Grúitsa dwelt with them in the hold.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
And, moreover, Bey Kostádin dwelt in Kúmanovo white.
  .   .   .   .   .   .   . 
And Prince Marko in white Prilip, in the mansion of his might.
 “Harken thou, sister Margita, our voývodas were they;

p. 190

All of them were among us, and all have passed away.
Some died in their beds, sister, and some in battle were slain;
To-day doth Rayko alone of them in Sriyem yet remain,
Like a dry tree in the mountain grove. What shall he do in this hour?
What shall he do in Sriyem against the Turkish power?”
 From his belt he drew a dagger—through his live heart it sped;
On the black earth Rayko of Sriyem, the voývoda, lay dead.
And Márgita ran to him; with a wailing cry she said:
 “My brothers, Servian voývodas; you have been and have passed away!
How have you left your children and your faithful wives this day?
Are they not now a footstool, that Turkish feet may rest?
Are not your monasteries become a Turkish jest?”
 She snatched the dagger of Rayko, through her live heart smote it well,
And dead the wretched maiden by the dead Rayko fell.



p. 187

1 In the translation of this ballad slightly more than a third of the original has been omitted. The canceled lines give the names and dwelling-places of numerous Servian voývodas not mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

2 That is, “Salt-stone.”

p. 189

1 Ertseg Stepan.

2 The introduction into this ballad of a hero of the late sixteenth century is of course an anachronism.