The Captivity of Stoyan Yánkovich
Heroic Ballads of Serbia
George Rapall Noyes & Leonard Bacon
WHEN the Turks took Kotári, great havoc did they make
With the house of Yánkovich Íliya Smílyanich did they take
And likewise Stoyan Yánkovich; bereft was Íliya’s bride
Of fifteen days; ungently from his wife’s youthful side
Was Stoyan taken also, ere a week they had been wed.
The Turks to Stamboul city captive the husbands led.
To the tsar whom all men honor, with the prisoners of their spears
Came the Turks; and the two were holden for the space of nine long years
And seven months. And Moslems the tsar hath made them there,
And likewise built them houses beside his palace fair.
Spake Íliya Smílyanich: “Stoyan, dear brother,” did he say,
“To-morrow will be Friday, the Turkish holiday;
The tsáritsa walks with the Turkish dames and the tsar with the Turks at heel.
Do thou steal the key of the treasury, and the stable key will I steal;
Let us gather the guardless treasure and take two steeds amain,
And run to level Kotári and see our wives again,