Despot Stefan Lazarević
The Letter of Love
Translated into English by Radica Popović
Stefan Despot, (1)
to the sweetest, and the kindest,
from mine heart inseparable,
and deeply, all to much desired;
to thou, of infinite wisdom,
to mine empire true
(having said the name)
a loving embrace in the Lord
and with it the abundant gift
of our grace.
Summer and spring created God (2)
and in them, as the psalmist said,
many a beauty bright:
joyous and fast flying for the birds
and lofty peaks for the mountains,
and immensity for the meadows,
and infinity for the fields.
and the crisp air
with mellifluous voices filled
and the earth yielding offerings
of fragrant flowers and grain;
but for the revival and rejoicing
of the very essence of man
who shall the fitting wording find?
But all of these (3)
and other wondrous works of God,
that neither the mind keen-eyed
doth love surpass,
and ’tis no wonder,
for God’s name is love,
as John of Thunder has said.
In Love there is no room for any falsehood (4)
for cain, to loveunknown, unto Abel
said: “Let us go forth to the field”.
Sharp and swift-footed (5)
is the work of love
than any virtue greater.
Early David embellishes love: (6)
“‘Tis like the precious ointment, said he, upon
that ran down upon Aaron’s beard.
As the dew of Hermon
that descended upon the mountains of Zion.”.
(7) Embrace love, youths and maidens.
for love eligible
but truly and flawlessly
stain not your youth and maidenhood.
with which our being
is to God united
so as not to arouse
the indignation of the Deity.
For the Apostle said.
do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God
with whom in baptism
you were openly sealed.
(8) Together we were close
to one another
either in spirit or in flesh,
but was it the mountains
that parted us.
And David said:
“O mountains of Gil’boa, may you have
neither dew nor rain
for you kept not
Saul and Jonathan alive”.
Alas! David’s lack of malice,
hear ye, emperors, hear.
Are you grieving for Saul, the found?
For I have found David, said the Lord.
the man after my heart.
(9) With rivers will the winds collide (9)
And, as in the time of Moses,
make the sea dry land,
and, as in the time og Joshua, son of Nun
make the Jordan river dry
for the Ark of the Covenant’s sake.
(10)May we forgather again,
may we behold one another again,
may we all be one again in love,
in Jesus Christ, our Lord
glory be to him, and to the father
and the Holy Spirit