Muma lui Stefan cel Mare

Wednesday, 30 May, Year 10 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Since this is a major point of learned reference in colloquial Romanian not to mention a pretty decent poetic attempt, let's regale the esteemed leadership with something that to date doesn't exist : a bilingual version.

Pe o stinca neagra, intr-un vechi castel, unde cura-n vale un riu mititel
On an ancient rampart upon darken rocks cast above a river as deep as deer's hocks

Plinge si suspina tinara domnita, dulce si suava ca o garofita
Cries and sighs a beauty, sweet and elegant, temptress to behaviours most extravagant

Caci in batalie sotul ei dorit a plecat cu oastea, si n-a mai venit
Cries she for her Master, her desired one, sallied to do battle and is not yet done.

Ochii sai albastrii ard in lacrimele cum lucesc in roua doua viorele
Iridiscent glimmers seared in teardrops, drying out the river every time she stops.

Buclele-i de aur cad pe albui-i sin, rozele si crinii pe fata-i se-ngin
Golden curlicues framing milky breast, rose and white lily cheek and forehead wrest.

Insa doamna soacra linga ea vegheaza, si cu dulci cuvinte o imbarbateaza.
Yet a gaunt expression of her own old age sprinkles on her sadness rosemary and sage

Un orologiu suna noaptea jumatate ; la castel in poarta oare cine bate ?
Brazen bell announces the night is half gone ; iron gates arattle. Who is knocking on ?!

Eu sunt, bun a maica, fatul tau dorit, eu, si de la oaste ma intorc ranit
It is I, good mother, your beloved son. I, that from the battle now returns undone

Soarta noastra fuse cruda de-asta data ; mica mea ostire fuge sfarimata.
Fate's cruel shadow broke our joyous band ; the fiend's charge and arrow no one could withstand.

Dar deschideti poarta, turcii ma-ncongior, vintul sufla rece, ranile ma dor...
But open this gate, the Turks are about, and the winds blow coldly, and my wounds bleed out...

Tinara domnita la fereastra sare. "Ce faci tu copila ?!" zice doamna mare
The young lady darts towards the door, but can't make it past the towering old bore

Apoi ea la poarta atunci a iesit si-n tacerea noptii astfel i-a vorbit
That instead came out and in silence spoke, creaking, terminally, words cut out of oak.

Ce spui tu, straine ? Stefan e departe ; bratul sau prin taberi mii de morti imparte.
What say you, nobody ? Stephen is afar, his right arm enacting a free death bazaar.

Eu sunt a sa muma, el e fiul meu ; de esti tu acela, nu-ti sunt muma eu.
I am that one's mother, and that is my son ; if you seek a mother I am not the one.

Insa daca cerul vrind sa-ngreuieze anii vietii mele si sa ma-ntristeze
But if ill fortune is so darken cast as to undermine with the future, past

Nobilul tau suflet astfel l-a schimbat, daca tu esti Stefan cu adevarat
If your soul is changed in this knavish vein, if you're truly Stephen and not claim in vain,

Apai tu aice fara biruinta nu poti ca sa intri far'a mea vointa
Then defeated, here, and against my will you will never enter 'til the Sun stands still.

Du-te la ostire! Pentru tara mori, si-ti va fi mormintu-ncununat de flori!
Go back to your battle, for the country die, and your earthly grave will reach to the sky.

Stefan se intoarce si din cornu-i suna, oastea lui zdrobita de prin vai s-aduna
Stephen turns back, and his horn resounds, his scattered army the enemy pounds

Lupta iar incepe, dusmanii zdrobiti cad ca niste spice de securi loviti.
The erstwhile victor falls like so much wheat, when the Summer's over, and the sickles meet.

The original is not very even ; it contains excellent figures (the 7nd and especially 10th) along some more dubious portions (20th particularly, who ever heard of attacking sheaves with an axe), but in being one of the first poems studied in school it is widely known, and as a result constitutes a sort of pons asinorum of learned discourse in Romanian.

Category: Cuvinte Sfiinte
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5 Responses

  1. There is a WW2 SU take on this ancient leitmotif:

    Первая болванка
    Попала в бензобак.
    Выскочил из танка,
    Эх, да сам не знаю как.

    Любо, братцы, любо,
    Любо, братцы, жить,
    В танковой бригаде не приходится тужить!

    Тут и вызывают
    Меня в Особотдел:
    - Что же ты, скотина,
    Вместе с танком не сгорел?

    А я им отвечаю,
    Я им говорю:
    В следущей атаке
    Обязательно сгорю.

    А наутро слово
    Я свое сдержал:
    На опушке леса
    Вместе с танком догорал.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 30 May 2018

    Basically it's ye olde story of pentru ca futu-ti rasa ma-tii.

  3. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 27 May 2021

    Fixed the incomprehensible "mama eu" which somehow snuck in, to spite all sense.

  1. [...] La Moartea Lui Fulger, or Rinduieli or The Beoble, or Prime Pastrami, or Sobieskii si Romanii, or Muma lui Stefan cel Mare and so following (but nobody really cares about Romanian, as is doubtlessly proper and perhaps for [...]

  2. [...] slut What would you call it then? Master I dunno, being extremely sad ? "Dowager philosophy" probably appeals more to their sensibilities, soon they'll all be knighted and they can retire to mourn their loss somewhere, pe o stinca neagra, intr-un vechi castel.... [...]

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