He's alive, he's alive! There on the Balkan Mountain
Drowning in his blood, groaning
A hero lies with a deep wound in his chest
A hero in his youth, in his prime.
His rifle's cast to one side
His broken sword the other;
His eyes dim - his head reels
As his mouth curses the universe!
The hero lies, while in the sky
The angry sun bakes down;
A harvest girl sings in far-off field
And his blood flows more quickly now!
It's harvest time ... so sing, you slave girls
Sing your sad songs! And you, sun -
Shine on that slavish land! This hero
Will perish too ... but be quiet, my heart!
He who falls in freedom's fight
Dies not - he's mourned
By earth and sky, Nature and beast,
And singers remember him in song...
By day a mother eagle lends him shade
And a wolf meekly licks his wound,
While on high a falcon - heroic bird -
Keeps watch over her brother hero!
Evening comes - the moon rises
Stars flood the vaulted sky;
The woods rustle, the wind blows -
The Balkan sings a hajdut song!
And wood nymphs in white array
Lovely, beautiful, take up the song -
Softly treading the verdant grass
'Til they reach the hero and sit down.
One binds his wound with herbs
Another splashes him with water
A third hastens to kiss his mouth
As he gazes at her - lovely, smiling.
"Tell me, sister, where is - Karadzha?
And where is my loyal band?
Tell me - then take my soul -
I want to die here, sister!"
They clap their hands, then embrace
And soar into the heavens, singing;
They fly and sing until the dawn
Seeking the spirit of Karadzha...
But it's already dawn! And on the Balkan
The hero lies, his blood flowing -
While the wolf licks his vicious wound,
And the sun bakes on ... and on!
Translated by © Thomas Butler. All rights reserved!