Gender Analysis of Serbian Women’s Songs

Analysis of Serbian Songs

Serbian Songs

Table of Contents

  • XIV – THE maiden AND THE SUN

    • Legend

    • Nouns shown in boxes

    • Adjectives underlined

    • Feminine in red

    • Masculine in blue

    • Positive (+) in bold

    • Negative (-) in non-bold font


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    Sweet Smilia-flowers did Smilia pull,
    Her sleevelets and her bosom full;
    By the cool stream she gather'd them,
    And twined her many a diadem--
    A diadem of flowery-wreaths;--
    One round her brows its fragrance breathes;
    One to her bosom-friend she throws;
    The other where the streamlet flows
    She flings, and says in gentlest tone--
    "Swim on, thou odorous wreath! swim on,
    Swim to my Juris' home, and there
    O whisper in his mother's ear:
    'Say, wilt thou not thy Juris wed?--
    Then give him not a widow's bed;
    But some sweet maiden, young and fair.'"
    S. J. B.


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    Take hold of your reeds, youths and maidens! and see
    Who the kissers and kiss'd of the reapers shall be.
    Take hold of your reeds, till the secret be told,
    If the old shall kiss young, and the young shall kiss old
    Take hold of your reeds, youths and maidens! and see
    What fortune and chance to the drawers decree:
    And if any refuse, may God smite them--may they
    Be cursed by Paraskeva, the saint of to-day!
    Now loosen your hands--now loosen, and see
    Who the kissers and kiss'd of the reapers shall be.[6]
    S. J. B.


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    What's the time of night, my dear?
    For my maiden said, "I'll come"--
    Said "I'll come,"--but is not here:
    And 'tis now the midnight's gloom.
    Lone and silent home I turn'd;
    But upon the bridge I met her--
    Kiss'd her: How my hot lips burned!--
    How forget it--how forget her!
    In one kiss full ten I drew:
    And upon my lips there grew,
    From that hour, a honey-dew,
    As if sugar were my meat,
    And my drink metheglin sweet.
    S. J. B.


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    Lo! the maiden greets the day-star! "Sister!
    Sister star of morning! well I greet thee;
    Thou dost watch the world from thine uprising
    To thy sinking hour. In Hercegovina,
    Tell me didst thou see the princely Stephan?
    Tell me, was his snowy palace open,
    Were his steeds caparisoned, and ready;
    And was he equipp'd his bride to visit?"
    Gently then the morning star responded:
    "Lovely sister! beautiful young maiden,
    True, I watch the world from my uprising
    To my setting;--and in Hercegovina
    Saw the palace of the princely Stephan;
    And that snowy palace was wide open,
    And his horse was saddled, and was ready,
    And he was equipp'd his bride to visit:
    But not thee--not thee--another maiden;
    False tongues three have whisper'd evil of thee;
    One has said--thine origin is lowly;
    One, that thou art treacherous as a serpent;
    And the third, that thou art dull and dreamy."
    Then the maiden pour'd her imprecations:
    "He who said my origin was lowly,
    Never let a child of love be born him;
    He who called me treacherous as a serpent,
    Round his heart, O! let a serpent wreathe it;
    Through hot summers in his hair be tangled,
    Through cold winters in his bosom nestle;
    He who dar'd to call me dull and dreamy,
    Nine long years may he be worn by sickness,
    And no sleep renew his strength to bear it."
    S. J. B.


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    The maiden sat upon the hill,
    Upon the hill and far away,
    Her fingers wove a silken cord,
    And thus I heard the maiden say:
    "O with what joy, what ready will,
    If some fond youth, some youth adored,
    Might wear thee, should I weave thee now!
    The finest gold I'd interblend,
    The richest pearls as white as snow.
    But if I knew, my silken friend,
    That an old man[11] should wear thee, I
    The coarsest worsted would inweave,
    Thy finest silk for dog-grass leave,
    And all thy knots with nettles tie."
    S. J. B.


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    Under roses slept the maiden Rosa,
    And a rose fell down and waken'd Rosa;
    To the flower-rose, said the maiden Rosa--
    "Rose of mine! O fall, not on the maiden,
    I am in no tune of soul to love thee,
    For a heavy grief o'erwhelms my spirit;
    youthwould have me--but old age hath won me.
    An old bridegroom is a worthless maple;
    When the wind is up it faints and trembles;
    When the rain descends, decay decays it:
    But a young bride, is a roselet budding;
    When the wind is up, its fair leaves open,
    When the rain descends, it shines in beauty,--
    When the sun comes forth, it smiles and glories."
    S. J. B.

    XIV – THE maiden AND THE SUN

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    A maiden proudly thus the sun accosted:
    "Sun! I am fairer far than thou,--far fairer;
    Fairer than is thy sister[12] or thy brethren,--
    Fairer than yon bright moon at midnight shining,
    Fairer than yon gay star in heav'n's arch twinkling,
    That star, all other stars preceding proudly,
    As walks before his sheep the careful shepherd."
    The sun complain'd to God of such an insult:
    "What shall be done with this presumptuous maiden?"
    And to the sun God gave a speedy answer:
    "Thou glorious Sun! thou my beloved daughter![13]
    Be joyous yet! say, why art thou dejected?
    Wilt thou reward the maiden for her folly--
    Shine on, and burn the maiden's snowy forehead.
    But I a gloomier dowry yet will give her;
    Evil to her shall be her husband's brother;
    Evil to her shall be her husband's father.
    Then shall she think upon the affront she gave thee."
    S. J. B.


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    The falcon soars both far and high,
    He spreads his pinions in the sky,
    Then from his cloudy heights he lowers,
    And seats him on the city's towers:
    He sees a laughing girl of grace,
    In crystal water bathe her face;
    And looks with open, eager eye
    Upon her neck of ivory:
    White as the snow upon the mountain;
    And there he hears a youthrecounting
    His tale of love.--"Now bend thy head
    Upon thy snowy neck," he said;
    "Its whiteness is too bright for me:
    And 'neath it sorrowing heart may be."
    S. J. B.


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    A young deer tracked his way through the green forest,
    One lonely day--another came in sadness;
    And the third dawn'd, and brought him sighs and sorrow:
    Then he address'd him to the forest Vila:
    "Young deer!" she said, "thou wild one of the forest,
    Now tell me what great sorrow has oppress'd thee?
    Why wanderest thou thus in the forest lonely:
    Lonely one day,--another day in sadness,--
    And the third day with sighs and anguish groaning?"
    And thus the young deer to the Vila answer'd:
    "O thou sweet sister! Vila of the forest!
    Me has indeed a heavy grief befallen;
    For I had once a fawn, mine own beloved,
    And one sad day she sought the running water:
    She enter'd it, but came not back to bless me:
    Then tell me, had she lost her way and wander'd?
    Was she pursued and captured by the huntsman?
    Or has she left me?--has she wholly left me?--
    Loving some other deer--and I forgotten.
    O! if she has but lost her way, and wanders,
    Teach her to find it--bring her back to love me.
    O! if she has been captured by the huntsman,
    Then may a fate as sad as mine await him.
    But if she has forsaken me--if, faithless,
    She loves another deer--and I forgotten--
    Then may the huntsman speedily o'er take her."
    S. J. B.


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    Over Sarajevo flies a falcon,
    Looking round for cooling shade to cool him.
    Then he finds a pine on Sarajevo;
    Under it a well of sparkling water;
    By the water, Hyacinth, the widow,
    And the Rose, the young, unmarried virgin.
    He look'd down--the falcon--and bethought him:
    "Shall I kiss grave Hyacinth, the widow;
    Or the Rose, the young, unmarried virgin?"
    Thinking thus--at last the bird determined--
    And he whisper'd to himself sedately,
    "Gold--though long employ'd, is far, far better
    Than the finest silver freshly melted,"
    So he kiss'd--kiss'd Hyacinth, the widow.
    Very wroth wax'd then young Rose, the virgin:
    "Sarajevo! let a ban be on thee!
    Cursed be thy strange and evil customs!
    For thy youths they love the bygone widows,
    And thy aged men the untried virgins."
    S. J. B.