Muyo and Aliya
Heroic Ballads of Serbia
George Rapall Noyes & Leonard Bacon
MUYO and Áliya were brothers, and nobly did they live;
Their very steeds and armor to each other would they give.
They came unto a turbid lake, and a duck went swimming by,
With golden wings; and Muyo let his gray falcon fly,
And Áliya a tame lanneret. Them happed the duck to slay.
Said Muyo: “The falcon took it.” But Áliya said, “Nay,
’Twas the lanneret.”
Then was Muyo sore cast down in that place.
They seated them ’neath a green fir to drink the wine apace,
And sleep and the wine o’ercame them. They were seen of three vilas (1) white;
Then said the oldest:
“Here be now two noble heroes of fight.
I will give an hundred sequins to whomsoever of you
Shall make the heroes quarrel.”
Then forth the youngest flew
On her white wings, and settled on the ground by Muyo’s head;
And over face and forehead the bitter tears she shed.
Burned Muyo’s face; as he were mad, he leaped at his brother’s side.
When he looked, he saw the damsel; to his brother then he cried:
“Arise now, Áliya, my brother! Let us hasten home away.”
Up leaped the Turk: “Nay, brother, now may a plague thee slay!
Now hast thou got two damsels, but there is none for me.” (2)
Muyo was grieved; forth from his belt he wrenched the dagger free,
And there smote Áliya to the heart. He fell on the green grass;
But Muyo seized the milk-white steed, and threw behind the lass;
And unto his own homestead o’er the mountain did he ride.
Neighed the black steed of Áliya, and the wounded hero cried:
“O Muyo, brother and kinsman! turn back upon the way;
Take the black steed, lest masterless on the mountain side it neigh—
But thy fame shall be forever, as though thou hadst blinded thine eyes.”
Muyo turned back unto him, and took the steed likewise,
And threw the girl thereon. Across the mountains did they pass;
And when about the middle of the journey home he was,
He came upon a raven with the right wing gone from the side;
And unto the black raven he raised his voice and cried:
“Ho, raven! Without the black right wing, prithee how dost thou fare?”
And with a wail the raven gave answer to him there:
“Without my wing is it with me as without a brother to be;
As without Áliya, Muyo, is it even now with thee.”
Said the Turk to himself: “Ah, Muyo, alas for thy might this day!
If even the birds reproach me, what will my brethren say?”
Said the vila to him: “Muyo, return on thy track again.
Perchance I might heal thy brother; I was once a healer of men.”
Muyo turned back upon the track. When at the lake they were,
He looked behind at the black steed, but the maiden was not there.
By his friend he knelt, but the spirit had hasted to depart;
When he saw, he drew his dagger and thrust it through his heart.
(1) …but here the vilas seem to be really malignant.
(2) “Muya must have been married—or did it seem to Áliya that two damsels were standing by Muyo?” (Note by Karájich.)