The Ballads of Marko Kraljević/Marko Kraljević and the Falcon (Variant)

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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 author, translated by D. H. Low
Marko Kraljević and the Falcon (Variant)
Unknown2883755The Ballads of Marko Kraljević — Marko Kraljević and the Falcon (Variant)1922D. H. Low


Marko lay beside the Sultan's highway,
He wrapped him about in a green dolman,
He covered his face with a silver-worked kerchief,
He struck his spear into the ground upright,
And to the spear-shaft he tethered Sharatz.
On the spear sat an eagle—that grey bird—
He spread his wings, he made shade for Marko,
And in his beak he bare cold water
And gave to the wounded hero to drink.
Then from the woody hill the Vila called: 10
"God keep us—thou grey eagle-bird!
What kindness hath he showed thee ever,
Hath Marko Kraljević showed thee ever.
That thou spreadest thy wings to make a shade for him,
That in thy beak thou bearest cold water
And givest to the wounded hero to drink?"
But the eagle, that grey bird, made answer:
"Hold thy peace, Vila, be thou stricken dumb!
What hath he not done for me?
What hath not Marko Kraljević done for me?20
Thereof shalt thou well wit and know.
When the army perished at Kossovo,
And both Emperors were slain,
Even Knez Lazar and Sultan Murad,
The blood that fell reached to the horses' stirrups,
Yea, and to the silken girdles of the knights,
That horses and knights swam therein,
Horse against horse, hero against hero!
And we birds flew thither anhungered,
Anhungered and athirst we flew,30
We did eat of the flesh of heroes
And of the blood of heroes we did drink;

Anon my wings grew wet with blood,
The sun shined down from a clear sky withal,
And my wings waxed stiff,
That with my wings I might not fly.
But my companions flew thence,
And I remained in the midst of the level plain,
And the horses and the heroes trampled me under foot!
But God brought Kraljević Marko thither, 40
He took me from the blood of heroes,
And set me beside him on Sharatz;
He bore me to the greenwood,
And set me upon a fir branch.
From the skies there fell a slender rain
And my wings were cleansed,
That with my wings I might fly,
Yea, fly over the greenwood
For to join me with my fellows.
Yet another kindness he showed me, 50
Marko Kraljević showed me another kindness,
Thereof shalt thou well wit and know.
When the town on Kossovo plain went up in flames,
And in flames went up the tower of Hadji Aga,
My eaglets were there;
Marko Kraljević gathered them together,
He gathered them in his silken bosom
And bore them to his white manor.
He fed them a full month of days,
A full month and a week of days; 60
He set them free in the greenwood,
And I found my eaglets once again.
Thus did Marko for my sake!"
And men think of Kraljević Marko,
As of a lucky day in the year.