The Head of Tsar Lazar
Heroic Ballads of Serbia
George Rapall Noyes & Leonard Bacon
When the Turks smote off Tsar Lazar’s head in Kósovo, the fair,
No Serb came forth to find it, but a young Turk found it there;
He was a Turk that a Serbian slave to a Moslem master bore.
And the young soldier thereupon he spoke his friends before:
“Brethren, most shameful would it be before God who is One,
That this lord’s head should the eagles tear, and the steeds trample thereon,
And the legions of the heroes.”
In the skirt of his spotted cloak
He bore Saint Lazar’s head where forth a spring of water broke.
Into the spring of water he lowered the holy head,
And there it lay in the cool spring till forty years were sped.
But the fair body at Kósovo, that was so white and wan,
The eagles did not tear it, nor the steeds trample thereon,
Nor the legions of the heroes.
Now praise to the Lord God’s might!
There were young carters that went forth from the town of Skupi the white;
To Nissa and to Vidin had they set out to go