The Ballads of Marko Kraljević/Marko Kraljević and the Falcon

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For other English-language translations of this work, see Marko Kraljević and the Falcon.
The Ballads of Marko Kraljević  (1922)  by Unknown, translated by D. H. Low
Marko Kraljević and the Falcon


Marko Kraljević fell sick
By the roadside, by the way of heroes,
Beside his head he thrust in his spear,
And to his spear he tethered Sharatz.
And thus spake Kraljević Marko:
"If one should give me water to drink,
If one should make a shade for me,
Such an one would win a place for his soul[1]."
Thither sped a falcon—that grey bird—
In his beak he carried water to him,10
And gave to Marko water to drink.
He spread out his wings over Marko,
And so he contrived shade for Marko;
And Kraljević Marko said:
"O falcon, grey bird of mine,
What service have I done thee ever,
That thou shouldst give me water to drink,
And shouldst contrive a shade for me?"
The falcon bird made answer:
"Jest not, Kraljević Marko!20
When we were in Kossovo battle.
And endured fierce onslaught of the Turks,
The Turks took me,
And clipped both my wings.
Then thou tookest me in, Marko,
And didst set me on a green fir-tree,
That the Turkish horses might not destroy me.
Thou gavest me the flesh of heroes to eat,
And red blood thou gavest me to drink,
'Twas then, O Marko, that thou didest me service!"30

  1. I.e. a place in heaven.