The Queen's Court Manuscript with Other Ancient Bohemian Poems/The Stag

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For other English-language translations of this work, see The Stag (Queen's Court Manuscript).


There courses a stag through the land so wide,
And o’er the mountains free;
O’er hill and dale he bounds along,
His antlers are fair to see.
With the antlers fair, that his brow doth bear,
Thro’ the thick wood bursts his way,
And on his feet, that are so fleet,
Doth in the forest play.

There paces a youth on the mountains high,
Thro’ the vales to war he goes,
Proud weapons on his shoulders bears,
With weapons strong bursts through the throng
And close array of foes.

No more ’s the youth on the mountain high;
With craft his savage foe
Doth on him spring; his look is dark,
His eyes with fury glow.
With heavy axe he smites his breast,
The woods with sorrow sigh;

He drives forth the soul, the gentle soul,
That thro’ the long and slender neck
At the fair lips out doth fly.

Ah! there he lies! the warm blood flows
After the soul that ’s gone;
The waste earth drinks the warm, warm blood,
And every maid for the youth low-laid
In sad heart makes her moan.

Low lies the youth in the cold, cold earth,
An oak grows o’er his grave,
And far and wide on ev’ry side
Its branches it doth wave.

On goes the stag with antlers fair,
On his quick feet he doth bound,
And reaches with long and slender neck
The leaves that grow around.

Together swift-wing’d sparrow-hawks
From all the forest fly,
And on that oak they sit and scream,
That all may hear the cry:
“By wrath of foeman low was laid
“A youth bemoan'd of ev'ry maid!”