Archive for March 11th, 2018

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Whole Day Through I Long for You by Džore Držić

The whole day through, my pearl so fair, I long for you,
as does the thirsting deer for cool lake-waters clear,
so that the sunbeams in your eyes might cure my ills
and heal by dint of their sweet charm my secret wounds,
which your fair gaze has wrought within my very core,
your look of love which now deprives me of my life.
The pallor of my face reveals this wound so deep
as also does my life, by you destroyed, my love.
And this you see as I do by your window stroll
and grow quite pale and chilled with constant sighing spells;
but though too freely we must not each other see,
we neither should so hide the secret love we keep.
Oh God, can there be woe much greater here below
than crying out aloud with grief for one’s beloved?
Oh blessed are they and well endowed by fortune’s hand
who oft, together joined, can consummate their love,
and who in mere desire waste not their fairest youth,
and do not hope in vain to joy in love’s delights.
And thus, my love, may I not slowly pine away,
but yet do let me rest upon your lap so still,
for tightly have you with your tresses red and fair
my throat ensnared as would some hunter bind his catch;
how terrifying ‘tis to think of all these woes,
but ‘tis more awful still to bear them in one’s heart.
And so, my pearl, the whole day through I long for you,
as would a thirsting deer for cool lake-waters clear.

From: Miletich, John S. (transl.) and Slamnig, Ivan (ed.), “The Lute and the Lattice: Croatian Poetry of the 15th and 16th Centuries” in Brücke, 1971 (25), p. 37.

Date: 15th century (original in Croatian); 1971 (translation in English)

By: Džore Držić (1461-1501)

Translated by: John S. Miletich (19??- )