Maximilian August Mugge -Serbian Folk Songs,Fairy Tales and Proverbes (1916)

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Some facts about cultural history of Serbs and Serbia

Transcript of Maximilian August Mugge -Serbian Folk Songs,Fairy Tales and Proverbes (1916)



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  • Serbian Folk Songs --.....

    Fairy Tales and Proverb~


    " MAXIMILIAN A. MUGGE Author of " Friedrich Nietzsche: His Life and Work;"

    " E ugenics and the Superman;" " Heinrich von Treitschke," &c,

    lLonbon : DRANE'S



    3f ^ y> ?" avdpa 6 wcfyeXelv a(f> wv

    ex^oi re Kai SvvaiTO /caXXfcrro? ttovcov."



    In spite of an ever-growing network of tight-fittingiron ribbons and copper threads, our old planetEarth still refuses to be squeezed and reduced to anicely manageable globe, just so many times thesize of the Albert Hall, with properly numberedand defined departments, with a common larderand withan American Board of Directors. Dis-tance and language are yet barriers proving asformidable to *' progress " as racial antagonism,human inertia, greed, and ambition.True, only about thirty-six hours are needed

    nowadays to travel from London to Serbia. Nolonger does the traveller settle all his w^orldly affairsbefore he crosses the frontier at Belgrade, as theauthor of Eothcn did in 1835. But that the rela-tively shorter distance has not achieved everythingMiss Mary E. Durham has shown us in her delight-ful book. Through the Lands of the Serb. It is buta little over ten years since she drew her charmingword-pictures of impressions during her journey;but we read, '* Guards and ticket-collectors agreedin telling me that it was impossible for me to go toBelgrade." When she travelled from Nis to Pirotan officious and stupid fellow-traveller actually suc-ceeded in frightening her about her dangerousenterprise, '* until I had a hail-Csesar-we-who-are-to-die-salute-thee feeling, which became less andless dignified as the West Balkans themselves cameinto sight. We reached Pirot, and I descendedfrom the train in a state not unlike * funk.' "



    During the last eighteen months Serbia has comenearer to us. Fighting against terrible odds, ourbrave little ally held up the '' walk-over " of herpowerful northern neighbour, and thrice she threwback the vast armies of Austria. Little Serbia notonly impaired the prestige of her foe, but also keptfully occupied those legions of Austria which other-wise would have been employed elsewhere. Thefine peasant army of Serbia was the rampart whichfor long weary months defied the Central Powersin their policy of joining up with the Turk.

    Finally, however, gallant little Serbia went downunder the avalanches from North and East.She had done all she could. Yet her heroic

    army still exists to fight again for Liberty andNational Unity. The Spirit of the Serb is un-broken. And the Great Powers amongst the Allieswill never forget their debt to Serbia. I cannotstate the case better than by quoting Professor R.W. Seton-Watson : '* She has borne the burdenand heat of the day, she has rendered signal servicesto the allied cause, and her valour has finally dis-persed the calumnies with which her enemies solong assailed her reputation. ... I have nohesitation in asking you to sympathise withSerbia !"

    The object of this book is to enlist such sym-pathy. England was the champion of Greece andItaly when these two countries fought for theirliberty and unity. And Serbia, who, within ahundred years after her liberation from four cen-turies of Turkish " rule,*' has performed the miracleof almost attaining the civilisation of Western


    Europe, deserves likewise the championship of thefree Britons.The folk-songs given in this volume are for the

    greater part taken from J. Bowring's SerbianPopular Poetry, O. Meredith's (Bulwer-Lytton)The National Songs of Serbia, and from variousreviews, and some I have translated from theSerbian original. I have made some alterations inthose poems which are reprinted. The fairy-talesand proverbs I have translated from Miss Karadzic'sVolksmdrchcn tier Serben. The music given in theappendix has been taken from F. S. Kuhac, Juzno-Slavjenskc Narodne Popievke.

    I am under great obligation to Professor BogdanPopovic and to Professor Pavle Popovic, both ofBelgrade University, for the kind help they havegiven me ; and a subsidy granted by the SerbianGovernment to the publisher mny also be mostgratefully acknowledged.

    I am personally indebted to the present Earl ofLytton for the kind permission to make extractsfrom his father's book, and to the Rev. EdgarFrancis Bowring, Rector of Farncombe, for kindlyallowing me to make use of Sir John Bowring'sbook.Thanks are due to the officials of the Reading

    Room of the British Museum and to FrankCompton Price, Esquire, who have assisted me inthe endeavour to trace Translations from theSerbian Afinstrelsy, a book privately printed, re-viewed without the author's name being given inThe Quarterly Review, 1826, and mentioned inChambers's Edinburgh Journal, 1845. We did not


    succeed. Perhaps some reader of this anthologymay be more fortunate.

    M. A. M.,Royal Sussex Regiment.

    Fort Hill Camp, Newhaven,April, 1916.


    Preface 5

    Serbo-Croat Orthography 13

    Introduction 17

    FOLK SONGS. (The Roman figures inbrackets refer to the volume, the Arabicfigures in brackets to the number of thepoem in that volume, of V. S. Karadzic,Srpske Narodne Pjesme, Beograd,1891-1902.) 43

    Cease Thy Warblings, Nightingale! (I., 566) 45

    The Maiden and the Violet. (I., 1,22) ... ... 45

    Solicitude. (I., 524) ... ... ... ... 46

    Spring Song. (I., 546) ... ... ... ... 46

    The Absent Lover. (I., 318) ... ... ... 47

    The Maiden and the Talisman. (I., 498) ... 47

    Cares and Curses. (I., 360) ... ... ... 48

    Longings. (L, 350) ... 48

    The Unhappy Bride. (L, 609) ... ... ... 49

    Remembrance. (L, 351) ... ... ... ... 49

    Frozen Heart. (L, 311) ... ... ... ... 50

    Despair. (L, 581) 50


    Folk Songs (continued)Retaliation. (I., 351) ... 51

    The Pale Hag Jealousy. (I., 359) ... ... 52

    Love and Sleep. (I., 455) ... ... ... 52

    The Maiden's Appeal. (I., 310) ... ... ... 54

    The Lover's Blessing. (L, 362)... ... ... 54

    Love and Dignity. (L, 526) ... ... ... 55

    Surrender. (L, 594) 55

    The Hunter's Prize. (L, 432) ... ... ... 57

    Reminiscence. (L, 564) ... 57

    Keepsakes. (L, 555) 58

    Merriment. (L, 487) ... ... ... ... 59

    Love's Trial. (L, 738) ... ... ... ... 59

    The Knitter. (L, 397) ... ... ... ... 61

    May and December. (L, 401) ... ... ... 61

    All's Well That Ends Well. (L, 705) ... 62

    The Roguish Maiden. (L, 253) ... ... ... 63

    Hasanaginica. (HL, 513) ... ... ... ... 64

    Hajkuna's Marriage. (HL, 83) ... ... ... 68

    The Death of Ivo. (HL, 31) 72

    Jaksic Dahtar and Jaksic Bogdana. (n., 97) ... 75

    Marko's Falcon. (H., 69) ... ... ... 78


    Folk Songs (continued)

    Marko and the Moorish Maiden. (II., 63) ... 82

    The Death of ^vIarko. (II., y^) ... ... ... 85

    The Fall of the Serbian Empire. (II., 45) ... 90

    Kosovo. (II., 44; Lines 119-204) ... ... 93

    FAIRY TALES. (The figures given inbrackets refer to the numbers of the fairytales in V. S. Karadzic, Srpske NarodnePripovijetkc, 1870 and 1853 editions.) ... 99

    Why the Sole of Man's Foot is Flat. ...(18) ... loi

    \/The Ra.m with the Golden Fleece. (12) ... 102

    y/ABOUT THE Maiden Swifter than a Horse. (24) in

    Honesty is Ne'er an III Penxywoktii. (7) ... 113

    The Castle in Cloudland. (-) . 116

    The Wonderful Hair. (31) ... ... ... 121

    Clothes Made of Dew and Sunrays. (21,) ... 125

    *, ,, Fate. (13) ... ... ... ... ... ... 129v

    Solomon Cursed 6y his Mother. (31) ... ... 139

    The Trh'mph of Justice. (16) ... ... ... 142

    Proverbs -. 147

    Bibliography 155

    Appendix: Serblan Texts and Melodies . 162

  • SERBO-CROAT ORTHOGRAPHY(From Southern Slav Culture, published by the

    Jugoslav Committee in London.)

    s = sh m ship.c = ch in *' church."c = ditto (softer).c = ts in *' cats."

    z = 3 in 30ur.

    3 = y in " your."




    In his excellent book, Hero-Tales and Legendsof the Serbians, Voislav M. Petrovic tells us,** That a distinct Serbian Nation has survived thedark days of Turkish rule is due to the NationalSongs of Serbia."These songs told of great deeds and men, of by-

    gone splendour and of a glorious independence inthe past. Theirs was the ** immortal Voice, bornof Golden Hope !"Of course the national church, national customs

    like the national dance, the Kolo, contributedtowards preserving and strengthening the spiritualbonds that held the Serbians together. But thenational songs more than anything else ensuredthe continuance of the Serbian Language whenTurkish was the official language of the Govern-ment and administration. They kept alive thespirit of nationality during those centuries ofliving death under the Crescent. The Christiannations under the Moslem's sway have been com-pared with the Sleeping Beauty. For a long timenothing could penetrate the strong and cruel thornsaround the Castle of the Middle Ages, the Balkans.But the National Muse at last succeeded.And the National Muse is not yet dead.In 1833 Karadzic wrote : *' To-day it is In

    Bosnia, Hercegovina, Montenegro, and the moun-1



    tainous regions of Serbia, where our people's lovefor the heroic poetry of the past is found to bestrongest and most general* There is hardly ahouse anywhere in these districts, with