Kosovo Cycle (Part 5)

From the Kosovo epic poetry cycle translated by Helen Rootman in 1920

Tsaritsa Militsa and the Voyvoda Vladeta

Tsaritsa Militsa went a-walking
Near the great white fortress of Krushévatz,
With Militsa were her two dear daughters
Vukosava and the lovely Mara.
To them comes Vladeta the Voyvoda
Riding on his bay, his faithful charger;
He has ridden him so hard and furious
That the white foam from his flanks is dropping.
Says to him the Tsaritsa Militsa:
“God be with thee, oh thou princely warrior,
Tell me wherefore is thy steed thus foaming?
Dost thou come now from the plain, Kossovo?
Hast thou there beheld our noble monarch
My dear lord and thine, oh princely warrior?”
Answered her Vladeta the voyvoda:
“God be with thee, Tsaritsa Militsa,
I have ridden from the plain, Kosovo,
But did not behold our noble monarch.
I have only seen afar his charger
Which the Turks chased on the field of battle,
So I think our noble prince has perished.”
As the Tsaritsa Militsa listened
Down her white face were the tears fast falling,
And she asked Vladeta the voyvoda:
“Tell me truly, oh thou princely warrior,
When thou wert upon the field Kosovo,
Hast thou seen nine Jugovitch, my brothers,
And the tenth, the Jug Bogdan, my father?”
Answered her Vladeta the Voyvoda:
“As I galloped o’er the field of battle
I have seen nine Jugovitch, thy brothers,
And the tenth, the Jug Bogdan, thy father.
Midway on Kossovo they were fighting,
Bloody were their arms up to the shoulders
And up to the hilts their long green sabres,
But their arms sank weakened with much fighting
As they cut the Turks down on Kosovo.”
Once more spoke the Tsaritsa Militsa:
“Wait awhile with me, oh princely warrior!
Hast thou seen the husbands of my daughters,
Hast thou seen Vuk Brankovitch and Milosh?”
Answered her Vladeta the Voyvoda:
“As I galloped o’ver the field of battle
I saw Milosh Obilitch, the hero.
He was standing on the plain, Kosovo,
And upon his battle-lance was leaning,
But alas, the battle-lance was broken
And the Turks were pressing hard upon him,
So I think that he has surely perished.
Brankovitch I did not see, O mistress,
Did not see him–may the sun not see him!
He betrayed the prince upon Kosovo,
He betrayed thy lord and mine, dear lady.”

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