Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic.

  Gladly I would hunting go,
      With the bobtailed dog so fleet,
      Pleasure of a good brave youth! 
      But the steward bids me stay,
      Lest the proud Pole’s steeds should stray!

  O farewell, thou rosy maid,
      Rattle gently, rusty sabre! 
      Quick on horseback, Haidamack! 
      Stray may steeds, sheep, cows and all;
      Perish may the haughty Pole!

We finish with a few Ruthenian ballads, having no political reference.  The first is interesting as illustrating a peculiar popular superstition.  The Leshes are a kind of Satyrs; covered like them with hair, and of a very malicious nature.  They steal children and young women.  Their presence has a certain benumbing influence; a person whom they visit cannot move or stir; although, in the case of our ballad, we have some suspicion that “the brandy, the wine, and the mead,” had some preparatory influence.

The second exhibits the whole plaintive, yielding mood of a Russian loving maid; and may be considered as a characteristic specimen.

SIR SAVA AND THE LESHES.[39]

  With the Lord at Nemirov
    Sir Sava dined so gladly;
  Nor thought he that his life
    Would end so soon and sadly.

  Sir Sava he rode home
    To his own court with speed;
  And plenty of good oats
    He bids to give his steed.

  Sir Sava behind his table
    To write with care begun;
  His young wife she is rocking
    In the cradle her infant son.

  ’Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Bring now the brandy to me;
  My well-beloved lady,
    This glass I drink to thee.

  ’Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Now bring me the clear wine;
  This glass and this, I drink it
    To this dear son of mine.

  ’Holla! my lad, brisk butler,
    Now bring me the mead so fast;
  My head aches sore; I fear
    I’ve rode and drunk my last!’

  Who knocks, who storms so fiercely? 
    Sir Sava looks up to know;
  The Leshes stand before him,
    And quick accost him so: 

  ’We bow to thee, Sir Sava,
    How far’st thou, tell us now! 
  To thy guests from the Ukraina,
    What welcome biddest thou?’

  ’What could I bid you, brethren,
    To-day in welcome’s stead? 
  Well know I, ye are come
    To take my poor sick head!’

  ’And tell us first, Sir Sava,
    Where are thy daughters fair?’
  ’They are stolen by the Leshes,
    And wash their linen there.’

  ’Now to the fight be ready! 
    Sir Sava meet thy lot! 
  Thy head is lost! one moment,
    Death meets thee on the spot.’

  The sabre whizzes through the air
    Like wild bees in the wood,
  The young wife of Sir Sava
    By him a widow stood!

THE LOVE-SICK GIRL.[40]

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Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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