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.

  Winds are blowing, howling,
    Trees are bending low;
  O my heart is aching,
    Tears in streams do flow.

  Years I count with sorrow,
    And no end appears;
  But my heart is lighten’d,
    When I’m shedding tears.

  Tears the heart can lighten,
    Happy make it not;
  E’en one blissful moment
    Ne’er can be forgot.

  Some there are who envy
    E’en my destiny;
  Say, ’O happy flow’ret
    Blooming on the lea.’

  On the lea so sandy,
    Sunny, wanting dew! 
  O without my lover
    Life is dark to view.

  Nought can please without him,
    Seems the world a jail;
  Happiness exists not,
    Peace of mind doth fail.

  Where, dark-browed belov’d one,
    Where, O may’st thou be? 
  Come and see, astonished,
    How I weep for thee!

  Whom shall I now lean on,
    Whose caress receive? 
  Now that he who loves me
    Far away doth live?

  I would fly to thee, love,
   But no wings have I;
  Withered, parch’d, without thee,
   Every hour I die.

The following little elegy, heard and written down in Galicia, we have always considered as one of the gems of poetry.  It is a sigh of deep, mourning, everlasting love.

THE DEAD LOVE.

  White art thou, my maiden,
    Can’st not whiter be! 
  Warm my love is, maiden,
    Cannot warmer be!

  But when dead, my maiden,
    White was she still more;
  And, poor lad, I love her,
    Warmer than before.[41]

Of still greater importance in respect to our subject are the SERVIANS.  We have seen already in this work, that the inhabitants of the Turkish provinces of Servia and Bosnia, of Montenegro, of the Austrian kingdom of Slavonia, of Dalmatia and Military Croatia, speak essentially the same language; which is likewise the vernacular dialect of numerous Servian settlements in Hungary, along the south-western shore of the Danube.  Of this language, which has been alternately called Illyrian, Servian, Morlachian, Bosnian, Croatian, Rascian, and perhaps by still other different appellations, it may be truly said, that it has more names than dialects; and even the few of these latter differ so slightly, that the difference would scarcely be perceived by a foreigner.  It is also true, that, on account of the various systems of writing which have been adopted by the different sections of this race, the foreigner will sometimes find it more difficult to understand the language as written than as spoken.

The inexhaustible mine of Servian popular poetry belongs then to the whole nation; although, of course, neither the productiveness is every where the same, nor the power and opportunity of preservation.  For its favourite home we must look to those regions where modern civilization has least penetrated; viz. to Turkish Servia, Bosnia, Montenegro.  There also the vernacular language is spoken with the greatest purity.

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