The Captivity of Đulić Ibrahim

translated by A. B. Lord

(Understanding Ugljanin’s Poems)

(original - izvorni tekst)

Where we sit, let us make merry, so that God may bring us merriment, merriment and good entertainment, and that he may grant us a better lot, both here in this place and in all others! Now we say that we shall tell a tale of what happened in times long past. It happened long ago, and now we remember it.

Once on a time, early in the morning, the cannon roared in Zadar, two at a time, and thirty together. The black earth began to tremble, and the people were amazed at the portent. The Ban of Zadar was holding a celebration. He had captured the squire Radojica, Radojica the Turkish retainer, and they had thrown him into the dark dungeon. When Radovan entered the prison, he found thirty Turks there, and among them Đulić the standard-bearer and Velagić Selim with him. When Radovan entered the prison, he stopped and gave them greeting, and all the aghas received his greeting, and each in turn bade him welcome.

Then Đulić the standard-bearer said: “Servant Rako from the land of the Turks, is it long since you left the land of Turkey or was it just recently, Rako?” When Radovan heard these words he said: “I am recently come from the Borderland.” And when Đulić heard these words he said: “Hearken, my Rako from the land of the Turks! Tell me truly what I ask. Is our Border still in the hands of the Turks? Are the Bosnian heroes still there? Are the coffee houses and taverns still standing, and the inns and shops? Do the aghas gather in Udbina, in the green arbor in Udbina? Do they lead bands of raiders into the enemy country, and do they bring home troops of captives? Do they drive in herds of cattle, and do they lead back with them the long-haired Hungarian women? Do the Turkish aghas of the Border marry them? Do they bring in saddle horses and loads of treasure? How prosper the Turks now? Then tell me, servant Radovan, if my tower still stands on the Border; [50] has my tower been torn down or has it fallen in ruins? Is my old mother alive; is she alive, or has she passed to another world? Is my sister still unmarried, even my sister Fata, in my home? Is she still waiting for her brother, Đulić the standard-bearer? Is my chestnut steed in the stable? Do they take good care of my horse in the stable? Is my steward Huso there, and does he serve my old mother in the house? Is my truelove still there? She hasn't been betrothed to anyone, has she?”

When the servant Radovan understood these words, he said: “O Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer! Each of the coffee houses and taverns is still there, and all the inns and shops. The aghas still gather in Udbina, in the green arbor in Udbina. They still lead bands of raiders into the enemy country and obtain plunder and booty, and they drive in herds of cattle. They ever lead back with them the long-haired Hungarian women, and the aghas of the Border still marry them. They bring back loads of treasure and saddle horses. The aghas can never gather all together at one time. Your tower is still standing on the Border; your tower has not been torn down. They have just made repairs on your tower, they have put a new roof upon it. They brought stonemasons and masters and repaired all the walls. They covered it with fine shingles and decked it with whitewash. They have repaired the whole tower. Your old mother is alive; she is still alive, but it were better that she were not. Her eyes have failed your mother from weeping day and night for her only son, for her son, Đulić the standard-bearer. Your chestnut steed is in the stable, and they could not care for him better. Your sister remains unwed; she ever awaits her brother, Đulić the standard-bearer. Your sister has not married. Huso the steward is there; he brews coffee on the hearth for your old mother, and he shops for whatever is needed. [100] Huso ever serves your old mother. But your love has recently been betrothed. Mujo of Kladuša has sought her in marriage for his brother Halil. They will go for her in just fifteen days; then Mujo will come and bring wedding guests to take away Đulić’s love.”

When Đulić the standard-bearer heard these words he said: “Stay Rako, and I will tell you a sad tale! When I was captured, Rako, I was in the marriage chamber with my love that night, and on that very night the Vlahs attacked. They set fire to the houses in the villages, and they took captives in the villages. All the men of the Border and marches set out and went in pursuit of the bandits up the mountain. Then each of the standard-bearers in turn came and cried out at the door of the marriage chamber: ‘Đulić the standard-bearer, ill begotten one! It's easy to make love to your bride in the marriage chamber, but it is not easy to vanquish a hero. See what is happening on the Border. The Vlahs have attacked the Border. They are setting fire to the villages and taking captives. They are taking captives throughout Udbina and driving away herds of cattle!’ They all came one after another and cried out to me. The last to come was Velagić Selim. Selim arrived with thirty-two comrades, and he called out at the door of the marriage chamber: ‘Đulić Ibrahim, my brother-in-God! Rise to your feet, by the mother who bore you! Misfortune has struck unexpectedly. Captives are being taken in Udbina. All the villages have been burned. All the men of the Border and marches have set out and are pursuing the bands of raiders to the mountain. But you stay in the marriage chamber with your love. Shame on your honor, brother. I shall wait for you, and I shall not move hence.’

“Then I said to my truelove: ‘Now, my love, we must separate.’ And I leaped to my feet and changed my clothes. I girded on my belt and weapons. And thus I said to my love: ‘My true one, long life to you! Stay here in the richly-dight chamber. You will hearken well to my mother [150] and to my young sister Fata. Hearken well to the steward Huso and look after Đulić's chestnut steed! It is all in your hands, my truelove, because I am joining the heroic bands in pursuing the raiders to the mountains. It may be that I perish there or fall into captivity somewhere. As long as you hear that my spirit is in my breast, do not marry again, my love. If you hear that I have passed to another world, then, my love, you may marry again. Then marry, my truelove.’ Then I departed from my love and from the marriage chamber.

“In my hand was my shining rifle and on my feet my marching boots. I did not wish to take my chestnut steed. With Selim and his thirty comrades I set out across country to the mountains. We tramped here and there across the country and passed through all the gullies and ravines. I could not find the ban anywhere. When we came to a clearing on the mountain, a thick fog settled down, and we lost the trail on the mountain. We entered a narrow pass and went along through it, and then, my brother, we came upon the ban; there we found the ban and his company. They surrounded us on four sides. We began to exchange blows, and we fought all along the mountain. side. The battle didn't last long. The German host surrounded us, surrounded us on four sides, and they encompassed us with wood and stone. They captured me and my comrades, and they captured Velagić Selim. They brought us to bloody Zadar.

“When the ban brought us to Zadar, he threw us into the cold dungeon; he halted the Turks in front of the dungeon and called for the keys to the prison. They brought him the keys of the prison, and they went and opened it. Then what did the Ban of Zadar say to me? ‘Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer! You will not add to our sufferings longer. Your body will lie in the prison. [200] There are snakes and scorpions there. The snakes will devour your bones. You will be long in the prison, a long time, even as long as you live!’ Then he opened the huge padlocks, nine padlocked doors one after another, and the tenth, a lock of Dubrovnik. Then he said to Đulić the standard-bearer: ‘Đulić, you go first into the dungeon, and behind you your thirty-two comrades!’ I went and entered the cold prison. When I arrived at the bottom of the dungeon, you should have seen the horror of the icy prison! The reeds grew waist high, and there was cold water up to our knees. The snakes wriggled and the scorpions lashed when we walked into them. We have been in this dungeon of horrors for full twelve years. The snakes bite us and the scorpions drink our blood. We sing and talk with them for entertainment. That’s the way it has been in prison, Rako! But since my love has been betrothed, I shall scream from my white throat!”

Đulić screamed in anguish in the dungeon, and the whole tower rocked on its foundations. The ban’s twin sons cried out. He had struck terror into the children. The ban’s wife was nursing them in her room. She held the children and quieted them: “Quiet, children, my twin sons! That is a Turk screaming in the dungeon.” Đulić thought now in the dungeon that nobody heard; but the twin sons cried. Then the ban’s wife left the children and went to the ban in his richly-dight chamber. With the ban were three generals, and thirty and two captains, and twenty and two dukes. She entered and gave them greeting, and they all returned it. Then the ban’s wife said: “Good morning, but it will not be good! O unfortunate ban of the city of Zadar, why did you lock up the Turks in the dungeon! For twelve years they have lain in the cold prison, and not one of them has ever screamed [250], nor has there been any sound to show they were alive. Now Đulić the standard-bearer is screaming in anguish; now is he screaming in anguish, and the whole prison resounds. The tower is shaken on its foundations. He has struck terror into my children. A fever seized both children, and jaundice can develop from fever, and this bodes ill for the two boys. O ban, take up the keys and go quickly to the icy dungeon! Cry out to Đulić the standard-bearer and ask him what his great sorrow is! Either release him, or cut off his head! Dispose of Đulić in some way! Since he has begun to cry out in the dungeon, the children will lose their minds.”

When the ban understood these words, he went to the bright cupboard and from the cupboard he took the keys. Then he walked down the stairs in the tower, and when he came to the icy dungeon he opened the lock of the dungeon; he opened all nine doors, one after the other, and the tenth, the lock of Dubrovnik. Then he entered the icy prison and greeted the Turks. All the Turks received his greeting, and then the Ban of Zadar said: “Hearken to me, Turks of the Border! Hearken, O Turk, Đulić the standard-bearer! What great sorrow is yours, which causes you to cry out in the icy dungeon? It is twelve years since you have been here in the icy dungeon, but you have never before cried out, Đulić. But this morning you cried out. What is your sorrow? Has the prison-house wearied you? Are the snakes and scorpions stinging you? Do the snakes bite and the scorpions drink your blood? Is it unpleasant in the cold dungeon?”

Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “Grant me a boon, O ban, by the health of your two sons! I have lain here twelve years, and I have never cried out. The snakes have bitten me, and the scorpions have drunk my blood, and I have sung with them, I have sung with them and talked with them. For twenty and four would I lie here and never cry out, O ban, but you have just captured Rako, [300] our Rako from the land of the Turks, whose name is Radovan the servant. Rako has brought black news, black news, which could be no worse. O ban, I left my tower behind me and in it my aged mother. My aged mother is over a hundred years old. Her eyes have failed my mother; yet if her eyes have failed her, she is old and will die and thus pay her debt. I left my dear sister Fata, my innocent young seven-year-old sister; she has grown up, but she has not yet married. She is waiting for her brother, Đulić the standard-bearer. But the time and season will come, O ban, and Fata will marry. I left my steward Huso to wait upon my aged mother, and I left my chestnut steed in the stable, even Đulić’s battle horse. I left my truelove behind me, just married, but as yet unloved. That night, O ban, I was in the marriage chamber, and that night I was captured. I came to you up on the mountain, and I met you on the mountain. We attacked as fiercely as we could, but you surrounded me with a host of Germans and bound our arms at the elbows. You brought me to bloody Zadar and threw me into the cold dungeon. I have stayed here for twelve years. Now my love is betrothed again, and that is something which our faith cannot bear; even one love and two bridegrooms. The Sirdar of Kladuša has sought her in marriage for his brother Halil. They will go for her in fifteen days. I pray you, O ban, by the health of your two sons, either to release me or to cut off my head, or to demand ransom for me. Do something to help me, O Ban of Zadar!”

The ban stood in thought: “I cannot release you, Đulić; but if you swear me three oaths, even the three oaths of a Turk: first, by the Lord God, second, by holy Ramazan, [350] and third, by your sacred faith, that, if I release you from the cold dungeon, you will go to your Border, and you will cut off the head of Mujo’s brother, Halil, and bring it here, then will I release your thirty-two comrades, and I will release you from the dungeon and buy you horses and weapons, and give each of you treasure without equal so that you may repair your towers and gates.” Thus spoke the Ban of Zadar.

Then said Đulić, the standard-bearer: “Although you are good and kind, O Ban of Zadar, I cannot agree to that. But I can agree to this; that I shall bring you Halil alive, and then you may do as you wish with him. I can bring Halil alive. I can deceive him. Let Halil take care of himself.” Now the ban said these words to him: “Come forth, Đulić, come forth from the dungeon, since you will bring him alive, that I may inflict great torture on him, so that he will not ravage the earth.” Then he led forth Đulić the standard-bearer.

When they led him out before the icy dungeon, alas, into what a sorry state had Đulić fallen! His hair was so long that he could gird himself with it, and his nails were like plowshares. Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “O ban, by the health of your two sons! Prepare me a safe-conduct and a passport, prepare me a passport under your seal. When I arrive at the border where your captains are standing guard, they will send me back to bloody Zadar. I do not have time to make the journey twice, because I have fallen into a very sorry state. Twelve years lying in the icy prison are no trifling matter. The snakes have bitten me, and the scorpions have drunk my blood; my hero’s blood has gone.” Then the ban prepared a passport and himself put his seal upon it. “Here, Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer! This is so that no one can send you back; if the thirty captains meet you, no one will send you back.” Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: [400] “O ban, by the health of your two sons! Give to me a foot soldier’s saber—because the mountains are never deserted; sometimes there are wolves, and more often bandits—so that I may defend myself with my saber on the mountains!” The ban gave to him a foot soldier’s saber. When Đulić had girded on the saber, he leaned upon his boxwood staff, and now he departed from the ban’s gate.

At an easy pace he went across the plain. He left the plain behind and began to ascend the mountains. Two mountains he crossed in turn until he came to Mount Vučar. There was no storm, but the mountain thundered, and Captain Gavran appeared. Behind Gavran were thirty-two comrades. As soon as Gavran saw him, he recognized him and cried out from his horse: “Ill-begotten one, Đulić the standard-bearer! Did you break out of the ban’s prison and think that you would escape? You will not flee today, Đulić!” He called to his band: “Bind his arms!” Then Đulić brought forth his passport and said: “Do not do this, Gavran, for it will be to your sorrow! The ban himself released me from the dungeon. Here is my passport from the enemy!” When Gavran saw the passport, he cried out in anger to his thirty-two comrades: “Let him go where he wants on the mountain! The ban himself released him from the dungeon.” Đulić passed and ascended the mountain.

When he had proceeded a short distance, there was no storm, but the mountain thundered, and Captain Ivan appeared; behind Ivan were thirty-two comrades. When Ivan saw him, he recognized him and said: “O Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer! Have you broken out of the ban’s dungeon and thought that you would escape? You will not flee up the mountain, Đulić.” Then Ivan called out to his thirty-two comrades: “Seize him quickly and bind his arms!” But now Đulić brought forth his passport and said: “Do not do this, Ivan; for it will be to your sorrow! The ban himself released me from the dungeon that I might gather ransom.” When Ivan took the passport, he saw who had prepared it and whose seal was on it, [450] and then he called out to his thirty-two comrades: “Release him on the mountain road! The ban himself has released him from the dungeon. Let him go wherever he wishes!” Đulić passed, and ascended the mountain.

When he came to a clearing on the mountain, to a broad clearing on the mountain—the slender pines towered to the heavens—a roaring sound was heard from above on the mountain, and Deli Milutin appeared, he who had blockaded the four roads and was ever defending the border and the marches. He flayed the merchants on the coastal roads; he gathered their money and flayed the merchants with his seven or eight comrades. As soon as Deli Milutin saw him,” he called to Đulić; “O Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer! Why do you pretend that I do not recognize you? Have you broken out of the ban’s dungeon and thought that you would escape? You will not flee on the mountain, Đulić.” The enemy cried out to his seven or eight comrades: “Surround him and seize him, so that I may return him to the ban in Zadar! The ban will grant me pardon when I bring in Đulić the standard-bearer.” But now Đulić brought forth his passport and said: “Milutin, it will be to your sorrow! See who prepared the passport! The ban himself released me from the dungeon; he released me to gather ransom.” But Milutin did not look at the passport; he took no heed at all of the passport, but he cried out to his seven or eight comrades: “Surround him and bind his arms!” When Đulić found himself in trouble, when Đulić saw that there was no other way out, his hand went to the hilt of his sword. His foot soldier’s saber screeched, and he attacked among them. He cut down all his eight comrades, and heads flew in every direction. Then he and Milutin began to hack at one another. They pursued one another among the pine trees, they pursued one another among the green pines. Whenever they met they struck. They lashed at each other among the pine trees, until Đulić the standard-bearer stopped him and struck him at a favorable moment. [500] He cut off Milutin’s head, and then he stopped and rested in the broad clearing. Đulić stripped him of his clothes and arms, and then put them upon himself. Over the clothes he girded his long hair and from it he hung the enemy’s sword. Then he hurried quickly down the monntain.

Now Đulić descended the mountain, and at an easy pace he traveled until he came to Udbina, even to his own tower and gate. When he came to the gate of the tower, he knocked upon the door with the knocker. The knocker echoed against the mighty door, and Huso the steward appeared. He opened the gate of the courtyard, and Đulić the standard-bearer entered; he gave greeting to Huso. Huso received his greeting and bade him welcome, and then Huso spoke these words to him: “By God, prisoner, unhappy one, by your glorious faith, where, O prisoner, did you languish in prison, in what enemy city?” Then said Đulić to Huso: “Since you ask me, I shall tell you truly. I was in prison in bloody Zadar in the tower of our enemy, the Ban of Zadar, in his prison for twelve years. There my clothes rotted away; I was there in Zadar.” When Huso heard that, he implored him: “By God, prisoner, unhappy one! Since you were in prison in bloody Zadar, do you have any news of Đulić? Is our Đulić among the living? We have heard men say in lies that Đulić has passed to another world.”

When Đulić the standard-bearer understood, he said: “Your Đulić has passed to another world. I am his brother-in-God. We became brothers-in-God there, and in my arms his spirit departed. It is now three years since Đulić passed to another world. I hurled his bones through the embrasure.” When Huso the steward understood, he began to weep like a bereaved mother; Huso’s tears rolled down his cheeks. “I am,” said Đulić, “a brother-in-God of Đulić. [550] Đulić left me a request that if ever I were to leave the prison, I would seek out his tower and gate and visit his aged mother, to see if his mother were alive by the hearthside, if his sister Fata were unmarried and waiting for her brother Đulić the standard-bearer, if his horse were waiting in the stable, if his tower were still unharmed, if Huso the steward were still there serving the aged woman in her chambers, if his truelove were waiting and had not married again.”

When Huso understood these words, he said: “Come with me upstairs in the tower!” He led him upstairs in the tower, he led him to the hearthroom, and he sat Đulić down beside the hearth. Then he brewed and poured coffee for him. His aged mother came to the door, his mother came and his sister Fatima, and they implored Đulić the standard-bearer: “Alas, prisoner, where did you languish in prison, in what city of the infidels? How have you fallen into such a sorry state that you have girded yourself with your hair and that your nails are like plowshares? Our Đulić too has been in a dungeon lo these full twelve years. Where, O prisoner, have you languished in prison?”

And Đulić said: “In bloody Zadar, in the prison of the Ban of Zadar. Đulić and I were in prison together and became brothers-in-God. There we became brothers-in-God, and Đulić passed to another world even three years ago. In my arms his spirit departed from him. I hurled his bones through the embrasure, and he left me this request: ‘Brother, if you are released from prison, seek out my tower and seek out my gate and visit my aged mother, to see if my mother is alive in her chamber or whether my mother has passed to another world. Let her see you because of her longing for Đulić. Find out if Fata is waiting for Đulić the standard-bearer, or whether his sister has married before his return; whether his horse is waiting in the stable, and whether they are caring for his horse as if Đulić were there; [600] see if the tower has not been destroyed, and if Huso their steward is still serving the aged woman in her chambers; find out if his truelove is waiting, or whether Đulić’s love has married and got for herself another husband!'” When the old woman heard these words and also his sister Fata, when both heard this, they began to wail so that the sound reached the heavens. They wept like destitute orphans, and they sobbed like bereaved mothers. They let fall tears like destitute orphans, and they swayed back and forth like swallows.

Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “O young Huso, good steward! My brother told me something in prison when we became brothers-in-God. He said that he had left behind a mother-of-pearl tamboura. He knew how to play the tamboura. Will you bring to me my brother’s tamboura, that I may play a bit upon it, because of my longing for my brother? Let the old woman hearken in her chamber for the sake of her son Đulić the standard-bearer, that I may pay back her sorrow in her chamber!” Then did Huso implore the old woman: “Will you give him,” he said, “Đulić’s mother-of-pearl tamboura, so that he may sing for the sake of our Đulić!” Through her tears the old woman replied: “Then give to him the mother-of-pearl tamboura, that I may listen for the sake of my son. Great indeed is my sorrow at what I have heard of my son Đulić. Yet, let me hearken to his tamboura!” Then Huso went to the chamber and brought him the mother-of-pearl tamboura. When Đulić took it in his hands, he plucked it and began to sing; he sang loudly and clearly and plucked it lightly. “I do not wonder at my aged mother, as her eyes have failed her, and she cannot see her only son. Nor do I wonder at my sister Fatima. I left her long ago when she was still a child of seven years, and so she does not recognize her own brother. But I do wonder at Huso the steward. Why, Huso, shame upon you, since we lived together so many years. [650] Do you not recognize your master, your master Đulić the standard-bearer? I am Đulić the standard-bearer himself!”

When the old woman heard that, she flew to his side; sister and mother both flew to his side. His mother clung to both his hands; she sobbed and ever kissed her son. “It is of no avail, Đulić the standard-bearer, that you now return to your mother. I cannot endure the fulfillment of my longing for you.” She kissed her son twice and thrice, and his sister kissed him on both cheeks. Then God ordained that the time had come, and his mother gave up her spirit there. She died in Đulić’s arms. Đulić turned her in the direction in which Turks turn, and then he said to Huso the steward: “My good servant, Huso the steward!” And Huso stretched forth his arms in sorrow and embraced Đulić the standard-bearer. “Thanks be to God that Đulić has returned! Let us now perform the rites for your mother!”

“Descend quickly, Huso, to the market place, and gather the priests and gather the pilgrims that we may perform the rites for our mother! Fata, my sister, as your brother lives, do not tell my truelove more than that a prisoner has come from the dungeon, a brother-in-God of our Đulić. When I have performed the rites for the mother who bore me, then shall I tell my truelove.” This he said to her and Fatima held her peace. Huso went quickly to the new market place and purchased what was needed. He gathered the priests and pilgrims and brought them to Đulić the standard-bearer. Đulić prepared his aged mother, he prepared her and performed the rites for her, and he buried her even as the Turks bury their dead. Then he returned to his gate, and from the gate he went throughout the chambers of the house.

When Đulić came to his truelove, he opened the door of the harem, and there was his truelove. When she saw him, she rose quickly to her feet and gazed upon Đulić the standard-bearer. Then said Đulić’s love: “Alas, prisoner, where did you languish in prison? What would you from me here in my chamber? [700] Where were you in prison, in what city?” Đulić said: “In bloody Zadar.” Then said Đulić’s love: “Since you were a prisoner in Zadar, will you tell me truly what I ask? Is there any news of our Đulić? Is our Đulić still among the living, or has Đulić passed to another world; has he passed to another world, or do men lie?” Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “Hearken, my lady, Đulić’s love! Long ago did Đulić pass to another world, even three years ago. In my arms his spirit departed from him. I hurled his bones through the embrasure. Behold, the news which I bring you is true.” When Đulić’s dear love heard this, the tears rolled down both her cheeks, they glided down her white face.

Then said Đulić: “O Đulić’s lady, give me a gift; for the ban has released me for ransom, so that I may gather the ransom for him!” When his love heard Đulić the standard-bearer, she gave him thirty ducats, and Đulić the standard-bearer said to her: “Is this for the soul of Đulić the standard-bearer, or is it because Đulić has passed to another world and you are betrothed to Halil, Mujo’s brother, because you are betrothed and thus rejoice?” Through her tears his love replied: “How can I rejoice in my sorrow? No greater sadness will ever be mine than for my husband, Đulić the standard-bearer. I would have waited for him many years, for many years, even as long as life lasted. Had I not heard of Đulić’s death, I would never have married again. Such a husband I cannot win again! This is for the soul of Đulić the standard-bearer!”

When Đulić heard these words, he said: “Hearken to me, my lady, Đulić’s love! I am Đulić the standard-bearer himself!” When Đulić’s love heard this, she ran to the hem of his robe and to his hand. Ever weeping she kissed his hands. And then Đulić said to her: “Since you have been so faithful, Đulić will give you his blessing, my love; he will give you his blessing and forgive you. [750] It is without blame that you intended to marry; for you had heard men tell that Đulić had passed to another world. So when the wedding guests arrive for you, and the curtained coach comes with the guests and in it the thirty maidens, among them the sirdar’s sister; when the maidens come to the harem, they will prepare you in your chamber; then, my love, do not forbid them! Let them prepare you as they wish. I shall easily come to agreement with them, when I myself go to meet Mujo at the gate.”

*

[Editorial note: here Salih stopped narrating; announced to his collector that he had earlier made a mistake in having Đulić don the slain Milutin’s clothes and arms (inconsistent with Đulić’s later presentation of himself in Udbina as a paroled prisoner); and then reprised his tale from that point.]

When Đulić came up the mountain, he passed by two captains. He stopped at the top of the mountain, and was about to enter a broad clearing. There arose a rumbling, but there was no storm, and then Deli Milutin appeared. He had blockaded the four roads. He flayed the merchants on the coastal roads, he flayed all the merchants on the coastal roads; he gathered their money and flayed the merchants, together with his seven or eight comrades. As soon as Deli Milutin saw him, the enemy cried out angrily on the mountain: “Ill-begotten-one, Đulić the standard-bearer! Have you broken out of the ban’s dungeon and thought that you would escape? You will not flee from Zadar, Đulić. Have you heard of Deli Milutin who guards the roads on the mountain? I gather their money and flay all the merchants. Here not even a bird can fly over because of him and of his seven or eight comrades; how then pass the border!” Then Đulić cried out in a loud voice: “Milutin, this will be to your sorrow! The ban himself released me from the dungeon.” Then he brought forth his safe-conduct and his passport. “See who has prepared this passport!” Milutin would not even look at it, but he cried out to his seven or eight comrades: “Bind his arms at the elbows. I shall return him to the Ban of Zadar, The ban will grant me pardon.”

Đulić saw that there was no other way out, and his hand went to the hilt of his sword. His foot soldier’s saber screeched, and he attacked among them. [800] He began to feint and to strike. God granted that he cut down the band, and then he and Milutin began to struggle with one another. They pursued one another among the pine trees. Not once did he strike the dry-branched pine tree. They battled one another among the pines until he cut down Deli Milutin and severed his head from his shoulders. He hurled him to the green grass. He did not strip him of his clothes and arms, but he took his boxwood staff in his hand and quickly descended the mountain.

At an easy pace he arrived at the Border in the same sorry state in which he had been when in the dungeon, in the same panoply and glorious array. His prison clothes were all torn, and his hair was so long that he could gird himself with it; his nails were like plowshares. He was the same, indeed, except for the foot soldier’s saber which the ban had given him and the boxwood staff in his hand. When he came to his tower and his gate, Đulić, now at his own gate, knocked with the knocker at the door. The knocker echoed against the mighty door.

When Huso the steward heard it, he hastened to the courtyard gate and Đulić stood there at the gate. Huso approached and opened the door. When Huso the steward saw him, Đulić gave him greeting; Huso received the greeting and bade him welcome. Then said Huso the steward: “O prisoner, where did you languish in prison? Where did your bones lie rotting? Where did you fall into such a sorry state, in what enemy castle?” Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “I was in prison in bloody Zadar in the dungeon of the Ban of Zadar, in the ban’s icy dungeon for full twelve years. Then the ban released me for ransom. He set it at a thousand ducats, and he gave me a foot soldier’s sword that I might defend myself against wolves and bandits; and he gave me a passport under his seal, that no one might send me back. One captain after another met me and when they saw it, they let me go. I am in such a sorry state that I reached this gate with difficulty.” [850].

When Huso the steward understood these words, he said: “By your faith, O prisoner, since you were in prison in bloody Zadar, do you know any news of Đulić? Has Đulić passed to another world, or is our Đulić still among the living? Is Đulić alive, or do people lie?” When Đulić the standard-bearer understood these words, he said: “Đulić passed to another world long ago, full three years ago. In my arms his spirit departed from him. I hurled his bones through the embrasure. We were two brothers-in-God; we became brothers-in-God there. He left me this request: ‘Brother,’ he said, ‘who are in prison with me, if you are ever released from prison, will you go to my tower and gate, to see my tower and gate, whether my tower has been plundered, plundered or destroyed; to see if my dear old mother is alive, or whether my mother has passed to another world; and whether my sister is still unmarried, my sister, Đulić’s Fata?’ He requested me to see his horse, to see whether his chestnut horse were waiting in the stable, and whether they were caring for his horse as he cared for it; and to see whether Huso the steward were still there and serving the old woman in the hearthroom and to see if his truelove, even Đulić’s love, had married again or was waiting for Đulić the standard-bearer. So first of all, even first of all, I have come to my brother’s tower. I have gone no farther.” Then Huso let fall his tears. Huso let tears fall down his cheeks. “Let us go into the chamber of the tower! Let me bring you to the well-dight chamber!” He led him up the stairs in the tower. When he had seated him by the hearth, then Huso brewed coffee for him. Đulić drank his coffee by the hearth.

His old mother came to the door, and his sister Fata approached. The old woman asked Đulić the standard-bearer: “My dear son, prisoner from the dungeon! Tell me truly what I implore you. Since you were in prison in bloody Zadar,25 [900] tell me, was there any news of Đulić? Has our Đulić passed to another world? Have we heard aright, or do men lie?” Then Fata too implored him: “Tell me, brother—health and fortune to you!”

Then Đulić spoke these words: “Since you ask, I shall tell you truly. Đulić was my brother-in-God; we became brothers-in-God there. Đulić passed to another world long ago, even three years ago. In my arms his spirit departed from him. He left me a request that, if I were ever released from the dungeon, I would seek out his tower and gate, to see at the tower and gate whether his tower had been destroyed, whether his mother were still alive by the hearth or whether the old woman had passed to another world, and whether his sister were still unmarried and waiting for her brother Đulić the standard-bearer; to see whether his chestnut horse were still in the stable, and whether they were caring for the horse as he had cared for him; to see whether Huso the steward were still serving the old woman in her chamber and purchasing whatever was needed; to see whether his truelove were waiting or whether his love had married again, or was waiting for her husband, Đulić the standard-bearer.”

When the old woman heard these words, she wailed bitterly and cried out: “Alas, my son, Đulić the standard-bearer!” She toppled forward and her spirit departed from her; the old woman fainted there in the chamber. And his sister Fata also began to cry out. They began to cry out like poor orphans; they swayed back and forth like swallows; and they wept tears like bereaved mothers. Then Huso the steward wept, Huso wept and let fall tears. Then said Đulić to Huso: “Hearken to me, Huso the steward! Do not weep! It will avail you nothing. My brother told me something. He said he had a mother-of-pearl tamboura. Is my brother’s mother-of-pearl tamboura still here? Will you bring me the tamboura to fulfill my brother-in-God’s request? That I may strum lightly on the tamboura, strum lightly and sing loudly? [950] Thus we sang in the dungeon. Let the old woman listen in her chamber to fulfill her longing for her son.” Huso asked the aged mother: “Mother, he requests Đulić’s tamboura.” When the old woman heard these words, she said: “Give it to him; there is no reason why you shouldn’t. Let me listen for my son’s sake, to fulfill my longing for Đulić the standard-bearer.” Huso hastened and brought the tamboura and gave it to Đulić the standard-bearer.

When Đulić took the tamboura he strummed lightly and began to sing loudly: “I do not wonder at my aged mother. My mother’s eyes have failed her, weeping day and night for her only son. Nor do I wonder over much at my sister Fatima. My sister was left as a child of full seven years, and Fata does not recognize her brother. But I do wonder at Huso the steward. Huso, shame upon you! Why do you not recognize your master? We lived together so many years!”

When Huso understood these words, he stretched forth both his arms; he began to weep and to embrace Đulić. Then Đulić’s mother came to his side. She kissed her son on both cheeks. At his other side was his sister Fatima. His mother said to her son Đulić: “It is of no avail, Đulić the standard-bearer! You have arrived too late, my son. I cannot endure the fulfillment of my longing for you. Your mother’s eyes have failed her, and they do not see their son; I cannot look upon my son, I do not see my son!” Then Đulić said to her: “By my life, do not weep!” God ordained that the time had come, and his dear old mother gave up her spirit. When Đulić the standard-bearer perceived this, he called out to Huso, and they moved his mother; they turned her in the direction in which the Turks face.

And now he said to Fatima: “Do not tell my truelove that it was because of the fulfillment of her longing for our Đulić that our mother died in her chamber. [1000] Say it was because she saw a prisoner from the dungeon. Do not tell my truelove otherwise, or I shall pluck out your eyes!” Then he sent Huso to the market place: “Huso, hasten to the new market place and gather priests and pilgrims and purchase whatever we shall need for the burial rites for the mother who bore me, that we may bury my aged mother!” Huso hastened to the market place and purchased whatever was needed and gathered the priests and pilgrims, and returned to the courtyard. Đulić carried out the mother who bore him, he carried her out and buried her. Then Đulić said these words. Now they rested and passed the night.

When it grew light and dawn appeared, and the bright sun warmed the earth, a rumbling arose across the level plain, across the broad plain. When Đulić looked out of the window, Mujo appeared with a thousand wedding guests. He was coming straight to Đulić’s tower. Then Đulić leaped to his feet and said to Huso: “Descend to the gate and direct his wedding guests, direct his wedding guests into the broad garden! Let them sing and take brief walks! I shall come down to them on the plain to beg coins from them that I may gather my ransom for the ban. I shall see if the aghas will give me alms.” Then he took up his boxwood staff. He was in the same sorry state, in the same array. Đulić girded himself with his hair, and his nails were like plowshares. Then he went to the broad plain and took his stand by the broad highway.

Mujo halted on his white horse. He had let his mustaches fall over his chest, and his breastplate shone through his manly mustaches even as the moon through a cloudy sky. Behind him was a young man on a strawberry roan and behind him were a thousand heroes. Mujo halted and gave greeting, and Đulić the standard-bearer received it. Mujo halted his white horse, looked at him, and said: [1050] “Unhappy prisoner, where did you stay in your sorrow? Where did you languish in prison, in what castle of the infidels?” Then Đulić said to him: “Hearken to me, Turkish buljukbaša! I was in prison in bloody Zadar, in the dungeon of our enemy the Ban of Zadar, for full twelve years. There my body rotted away. Then the enemy released me for ransom and set the price at a thousand ducats.” Then Mujo said to him: “Since you were in prison in bloody Zadar, tell me if you have news of Đulić. Is Đulić still among the living, or has Đulić passed to another world? Do we hear aright, or do men lie?” Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “Buljukbaša! You on the white horse! Give me a gift, by your faith! Đulić passed to another world long ago, even three years ago. In my arms his spirit departed from him. I threw forth his bones, and hurled his bones through the embrasure.” When Mujo understood these words, he put his hand into his pocket and gave him thirty ducats. “This is for news of Đulić the standard-bearer, because you have told me news of Đulić!” Then all the wedding guests in turn gave him gifts, the wedding guests gave him gifts upon the level plain. What wealth Đulić gathered there, my brother!

When Tale approached on his mouse-gray horse, Tale gave him greeting. Đulić received his greeting and said to him: “Give me a gift, Turkish standard-bearer, because the enemy has released me for ransom!” Then Tale looked at him, and said: “By heaven, O prisoner, unhappy one! Where, unfortunate one, did you languish in prison? Where did you so disfigure your face and get such long hair and such nails on your feet? In the dungeon of what important enemy?” When Đulić understood these words, he spoke thus to Tale: “I was in prison in bloody Zadar for full twelve years. There my bones rotted. Then the enemy released me from the dungeon [1100] for a ransom of a thousand ducats. Give me a gift, Turkish standard-bearer, that I may assemble the ransom for the ban!” When Tale understood these words, the tears streamed down his cheeks, and then Tale said to him: “Ask God for forgiveness for your woe; for I cannot desecrate my sword, nor bring sin upon my soul! Even now would I deprive you of life for the news which you tell of Đulić!” Then he separated from him on his mouse-gray horse.

They all went to the green garden. There Mujo led the company, and behind them the curtained coach, drawn by seven Bedouin mares and accompanied by thirty maidens, in which was the sister of the sirdar. When the coach arrived at the door, they led forth the thirty maidens and Ajkuna, the sister of the sirdar. They led them to the lady in the chamber, and the wedding guests went to the green garden. Đulić came quickly to them; Đulić the standard-bearer came behind them. He held his head low and passed through the door. Then he went to his courtyard and from the courtyard to the warm stable, to the stable where was his chestnut horse.

When he opened the door of the stable and the chestnut horse in the stall saw him, the chestnut began to neigh, and he broke his four hobbling lines. The spirited horse would let no one approach. Then Đulić said to him: “My chestnut horse, my falcon’s wing! Do you not recognize your master? Even though I have fallen into a sorry state, I am Đulić the standard-bearer himself.” Then the chestnut turned his head; he looked at him and let tears fall. He bowed his head against his chest. Đulić approached and unfastened the hobbles. Then he untied the animal’s halter and rubbed him down. Afterwards he saddled him; he placed all the trappings on his chestnut horse and pulled tight the four girths. He put on the weapons for fighting from horseback and placed the German bit in his mouth. [1150] Then he led out his chestnut horse, he led him out into the marble-paved courtyard and threw the rein onto the pommel.

Still in his sorry state Đulić went upstairs. Đulić came to the well-dight chamber and called his sister Fata to him: “Fata, my sister, may your life be long for your brother’s sake! Find me the clothes which I wear at Bajram, find me my clothes and all my arms!” When Fata heard her brother, she scarcely waited for him to finish. She brought all his clothes in a bundle. Đulić undressed and changed his clothes. Now he put on his green coat. All its seams were finished with golden braid. On his head he placed his fine fez; about the fez he wound a Tripolitan sash, and about it his golden plumed headdress. All the plumes were of gold. Then he adjusted his vest and breastplate and girded on his studded arms belt. In the belt were two small golden pistols. At his right side was his flint box of gold, and from his left side he hung his curved saber. Then he drew on his officer’s pantaloons and pulled over them his boots and long socks.

Now Đulić entered his chamber and from the peg he took his spear. His sword counted all the steps as he descended. He descended the stairs in the tower and mounted his chestnut horse. He rode to the castle gate; the chestnut was eager for the fields and ever and anon he leaped into the air. When Đulić came to Mujo among the wedding guests, even before the tent of Mujo of Kladuša, he gave greeting and halted the chestnut. Mujo looked at Đulić the standard-bearer. Then Đulić cried out to him from his chestnut horse: “Sirdar Mujo, wing of the entire Border! Shame upon you and your good name! You seek another man’s love for your own! Neither God nor the world condones that; it is hateful to God that you lead away my love for your own. There have never in the world been one love and two husbands. Arise, gather the wedding guests, gather the guests and return to Kladuša! Or else arise that we may decide the matter in combat. [1200] To the victor belongs the lady!”

This was very displeasing to Mujo; displeasing to Mujo, it could not have been more so. He bowed his head and thought of what he should do. But when Halil understood these words, Halil rushed forward, seizing his naked sword. But when Tale understood these words, Tale leaped up and seized Halil. “Quiet, ill-begotten one! Or may your flesh never rest! God be praised that I have seen Đulić, that Đulić the standard-bearer has come! There are women enough in the world. We shall marry you to another.” He stretched forth his arms and embraced Đulić and gave him welcome. Tale spoke and let fall tears: “Praise be to God, Đulić the standard-bearer, since I see you released from the icy dungeon!” They inquired for one another’s health and peace of mind. Then said Đulić to Tale: “Tale, ask Mujo of Kladuša if he will agree with Đulić the standard-bearer that we be sweet friends, and ask the sirdar’s brother if he will accept Đulić’s sister. Đulić will give her to him, since his love was not destined to be Halil’s. Let us give him my sister this day and bid farewell to brother-in-law and wedding guests!” Tale asked the Sirdar of Kladuša, and Mujo could scarcely wait to accept. Again Tale asked Halil: “Will you accept Đulić’s sister and take her for your truelove?” He said: “I will. Why should I not, since no better girl could fall to my lot?” Now Mujo leaped to his feet, and he and Đulić embraced one another, embraced and exchanged blessings.

Then Đulić called the goodly Huso: “Where are you, Huso the steward? Run quickly to the new market place and gather bread in the market; purchase meat from all the butchers! We must prepare to dine them, even to dine all the wedding guests.” Huso ran down to the market. Wherever he found white bread, he loaded the bread onto carts, [1250] and he cried out to the cooks: “Whatever ready meat you have carry quickly to Đulić’s tower!” They carried it all in droves. Then said Đulić to Tale: “Tale, prepare the company in order! Let them roll tables into the clearing and make preparations to dine!” They arose and gave them dinner. When they had dined, they arose to their feet on the plain. The slender standard-bearers danced, and Venetian rifles were fired in volleys.

Then Tale cried out in the courtyard: “Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer, let the coach be made ready by the gate!” Tale called to the sirdar’s sister: “Hearken to me, Mujo’s Ajkuna! Leave Đulić’s love and prepare Đulić’s sister. In the course of time Đulić has come and the lady is his, but Fatima is for our Halil.” When the sirdar’s sister understood, she left Đulić’s love and began to prepare Đulić’s sister. She prepared her quickly in the chamber. Tale cried out: “Descend the stairs!” Now the maidens came down the stairs. The coach was ready, and they led Đulić’s sister forth. When they had placed her in the golden coach, the wedding guests mounted their horses; each rider mounted his horse, and each man on foot tightened his sandals. The host rumbled, rifles cracked, and the curtained coaches departed. Then Đulić mounted his chestnut horse and took his battle spear in his hand. He rode his chestnut among the wedding guests and accompanied his brother-in-law and the guests; he accompanied his sister, his brother-in-law, and the wedding guests at an easy pace across the open plain.

Then Đulić stopped Halil and said to him: “Hearken to me, my brother-in-law, Mujo’s Halil! Tonight you will be in the marriage chamber with my sister. In the morning Friday will dawn. On Friday send away the wedding guests! You will pass one more night, [1300] and when Saturday dawns in the morning, ask Mujo for his leave and blessing! Let him give you his wondrous white horse; for I gave the ban oaths, even the three oaths of a Turk, first by the Lord God, the second by Holy Ramazan, and the third by our Faith, that I would bring Halil to him alive. It cannot be otherwise. We must go together to the Ban of Zadar. Nor will it be well for the ban.” When Halil understood these words, he said; “My brother-in-law, Đulić the standard-bearer! If I must depart immediately, I shall not go with the wedding guests, brother, but I shall return now.” Đulić would not hear of that. “I too shall gather priests and pilgrims and be married anew to my love in the chamber, for she was betrothed to you, and I must be married again. I shall pass two nights at home. On Saturday I shall expect you. Then let us go across the open plain, let us cross the mountains one after the other, and travel to the city of Zadar, that I may fulfill my three oaths to the ban, and we shall see if we can rescue our comrades. Nor will it go easily for the ban.” Halil went along the plain with the wedding guests, and Đulić returned to his gate.

Then he summoned Huso the steward. “Huso, go to the new market place and gather priests and pilgrims and whatever men are in the market. Bring them to my tower and gate. I must be married with my love anew. I shall go through the marriage ceremony with my love. I must be with her in the marriage chamber.” Huso ran to the market place; and behold, Huso performed this service. He gathered the priests, and he gathered the pilgrims and brought them to Đulić the standard-bearer. They married Đulić and his love again, and he renewed his marriage vows. They returned again to the market place, and Đulić went to the marriage chamber.

When Đulić had passed that night [1350] and had been with his love in the marriage chamber for a night, then he passed still one more night. When the morning dawned on Saturday, then Đulić arose very early and went to the casement window. He looked out over the green plain. A rumbling arose on the green plain, clouds of dust swirled upward, and from the cloud emerged a horseman. Halil appeared on a white horse, on Mujo’s spirited steed. When he came out upon the green plain, he set out across the green plain for Đulić’s tower and gate. Then Đulić called to Huso and said: “Where are you, Huso, my good steward? Prepare my broad-backed chestnut horse! Lead the horse out to the marble-paved courtyard!” Then Huso went to the stable and prepared Đulić’s horse. He led him out to the marble-paved courtyard in full array and panoply, while Đulić was readying himself in his chamber. When Đulić had readied himself in his chamber, he girded on his belt of arms and his arms, and in full array and panoply he descended the stairs in the tower to his chestnut horse at the gate.

Then Mujo’s Halil arrived, gave greeting, and halted his steed. Đulić received his greeting and gave him welcome in return. “My dear brother-in-law, Mujo’s brother Halil, It is now time for us to depart. We have a long journey, brother, to the city of Zadar, to our enemy, the Ban of Zadar.” Then said Halil to him: “It is better that we do not dismount, because we would delay long. It is better that we depart now, comrade, that we depart across the mountains. Since you are ready, mount your chestnut horse!” Đulić said: “By Allah!” and mounted his chestnut horse, and he turned him across the open plain. Đulić the standard-bearer rode first, and behind him came Mujo’s brother Halil.

Then they set out across the mountains; across one mountain after another they traveled. [1400] They thus traversed two mountains. Lo, then they came to a steep mountain and descended Kunara to the city of Zadar, to Zadar, that city of the infidel. At an easy pace they descended the steep mountain. When they came out upon the green plain, there daylight left them and dark night took hold upon them. They arrived at Zadar at night. When they came to the gate of Zadar, they passed a little beyond the gate and from the gate along the new street at an easy pace. Fortune was good to them. When they reached the ban’s tower and gate, there they dismounted from their noble horses and threw the reins onto the pommel. The horses walked by themselves in the open space. Then the men ascended the stairs in the tower and came to the door of the upper chamber. At the door of the chamber were two youthful soldiers keeping guard over the chamber. Then Đulić said to Halil: “My brother-in-law, stay here with them at the door of the chamber, while I go in to the ban, while I go to speak with the ban. In good faith I made the oaths; now I shall redeem the three oaths from the ban, and tell him that I have brought him Halil alive. Then I shall return to you and bring you news.” Now Đulić entered the chamber.

When Đulić entered the chamber, there were three generals with the ban and thirty captains in order and twenty dukes. They were all drinking, seated bareheaded at the table, and the flagons were dancing from one to the other. Đulić stood there and gave them greeting; they all received it and bade him welcome. Then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “O ban, here is Đulić the standard-bearer, who swore you three oaths that he would come again to your chamber.” Then the ban said to Đulić: “Đulić, Turkish standard-bearer, where is Mujo’s brother Halil? Have you brought him to me alive?” Then Đulić said to the ban: [1450] “He is here at the door of the chamber. I swore you three oaths that I would bring Halil to you alive. Now, O ban, you may bargain with him as to whether you will cast him into the icy dungeon, or whether you will cut off his head.” When the ban understood these words, he said: “I shall come to terms with him easily.”

Now Đulić came out of the chamber and said quietly to Halil: “Come with me to the door of the chamber. Keep your hand on the hilt of your sword; give greeting and observe the enemy. On the right are thirty captains, and, there are twenty dukes in order. You will move to the right side, and I shall attack from the left and kill the ban; then I shall give you a little help also. I shall take the ban and the three generals. If I am successful, I shall help you.”

When they entered the well-dight chamber and gave greeting, the ban said to Đulić: “Take him back there! Don’t bring him here! Their house is quarrelsome” Wherever he turns misfortune follows.” He recognized from his look that he was an enemy. The sword at Halil’s thigh rang out as he drew it. Then with a shout to Allah he leaped about the chamber. He cut them down on one side and cut off heads on the other. He disposed of the thirty captains and all twenty dukes in order. Đulić cut off the heads of the three generals and of his enemy the Ban of Zadar. When they had disposed of all these in order and also of the two youthful soldiers at the door of the chamber, then Đulić went throughout all the chambers until he came to the door of the ban’s wife. He secured the door from the outside so that she could not emerge. Then he walked through all the rooms. He discovered the wealth in the treasury, and he said quietly to Halil: “Put all this wealth into our saddlebags, while I go to seek the keys!” In a corner he came upon a cupboard; he opened the many-colored cupboard, and from the cupboard he drew forth the keys. When he had found the keys of the dungeon, [1500] Đulić went down the stairs until he came to the icy prison. Then he opened the huge bolts and afterwards the nine doors, and the tenth, the lock of Dubrovnik.

When he entered the icy prison, Đulić cried out in a loud voice: “My brother, Velagić Selim! Tell your comrades to hasten from the dungeon! The time has come to be rescued.” Then Velagić Selim cried out. He recognized the voice of Đulić the standard-bearer. “Forward! By the mothers who bore you!” They made their way from the icy prison; they emerged and came out into the open. When they appeared before the icy dungeon, then said Đulić the standard-bearer: “Hasten upstairs each one of you into the chamber! Take your choice of clothes and arms!” They went through all the rooms in turn, and each found clothes and arms. They armed themselves; they could not have done better. And Halil poured out gold for them; Halil poured the gold into the saddlebags. Then said Đulić to his comrades: “Hasten and fill all the saddlebags with gold! Each one of you fill a saddlebag! Let us go to the warm stable and prepare the enemy’s horses!” They went and gathered the treasure; they descended to the warm stable and made the horses ready. Each one of them saddled and bridled a horse; Velagić Selim the white horse of the Ban of Zadar. They led the horses into the courtyard, and each man loaded a saddlebag on his horse. They mounted their horses in the courtyard, Halil his white steed, Selim the ban’s white horse, and Đulić his own chestnut horse. Then they departed for the city gate, and from the gate they reached the plain.

Just as they reached the green plain, the ban’s wife began to scream wildly at the casement window. She cried out to the cannoneers: “Fire the cannon on the battlements and sound the alarm throughout the city of Zadar! Our house has been ruined. [1550] The Turks of the Border have come and opened the icy prison. The Turks have escaped from the dungeon. They came and struck down the ban. I do not know what has happened to him and to the captains.” When the cannoneers heard her, they put fire to the cannons; they lighted the fuses on the cannons, two at a time and twenty together. When the cannon of Zadar boomed, the black earth trembled. The alarm was given throughout the city of Zadar. When the Christian garrison had assembled, the horsemen went to the castle gate; the horses were on the plain, and the footmen on the mountain. A pursuit was raised behind the Turks. They pursued them across the level plain, but they had just reached the mountains. The Turks ascended the mountains, as the others were pursuing across the level plain. The Drenovian Hungarians kept shouting: “Halt, Turks of the Border! You will not escape easily!” Đulić and Halil climbed the mountains, and with them their thirty and two comrades. When they came to a clearing on the mountain, fires were burning and the whole mountain shone. Mujo of Kladuša was there. He was holding Halil’s strawberry roan by the reins. About Mujo were a thousand heroes, I should say, five thousand comrades. The army had occupied all the clearings and had lighted many fires.

When the Sirdar of Kladuša saw them, he approached and gave them greeting: “Brothers, are you all alive after your journey? Did you rescue our comrades from the dungeon? Did you rescue our comrades from prison? Tell me what happened to the ban.” When Đulić the standard-bearer understood, he said: “Sirdar Mujo, wing of the entire Border! We have carefully disposed of the ban, disposed of him and laid him low with his thirty captains, his four generals, and his full twenty dukes. We have obtained much wealth for you and many horses from their stable. But here they come to our sorrow across the plain. [1600] The Christian garrison is pursuing us.”

When the cannon of Zadar boomed, the green plain began to rumble, and the Drenovian Hungarians kept shouting: “Halt! Turks of the Border! You will not be able to escape from us today!” Then Mujo cried out to his comrades: “Let us seize the ravines and the passes! Let us meet them, since there is no other way out! Let them come into the mountains; it will be harder for us on open ground. It is better to meet them in a narrow place.” Thus Mujo cried out and scattered his comrades. And Budalina Tale cried out and separated them into groups, and they seized the ravines and passes.

When the Christian garrison approached, they opened fire in all directions. Rifles crackled even as hail in summer. They received them warmly with their fire, and then the hosts mingled. Just then dawn came, and after the dawn the sun waxed warm. When the two forces met, sabers flashed and blood flowed. Men’s heads rolled, and dead limbs twitched. The wounded and dying groaned. One said: “Woe, woe, do not tread upon me, comrade!” And another wailed: “Raise me, comrade!” As is common in war, horses flew past without their riders. They cut one another to pieces until midday. Soon a cloud darkened the mountains, a cloud darkened them on all sides. They cut one another to pieces for two full days, for two days and three full nights. When the fourth morning dawned, dark clouds enveloped the mountains. The Turks came rushing down from the mountains and came out upon the plain of Zadar. A stronger force arrived from Zadar and went to meet them. Then they cut one another to pieces on the green plain; they hacked at one another a whole day until noon. A cloud covered the whole plain, and no one could recognize anyone else. Then Tale raised his arms and prayed to God that the wind might blow, that the wind might blow from the mountain, [1650] so that he might see which company was losing, which was losing and which was victorious. The wind blew and scattered the cloud. When one gazed upon the plain, one saw that the level ground was littered with bodies. The whole army had returned to Zadar, and corpses covered the plain. All the mountains were filled with heads on stakes; for them the fighting was already over!

The Turks began to assemble. They gathered together on the broad plain. Their three best comrades were missing; Velagić Selim was not there, nor Mujo’s brother Halil, nor Đulić the standard-bearer. Their comrades mourned their loss. It was not long before a rumbling sound came from the direction of the city of Zadar, and Velagić Selim appeared on the ban’s white horse. He had captured three oaptains. He approached and presented them to Tale. Tale was very merciful; out of each one of them he made two! It was not long before another sound of rumbling came across the plain, and Mujo’s brother Halil appeared. He had captured the Catholic Spaniard and with him another three captains. He too approached and presented them to Tale. Tale was very merciful; out of each one of them he made two! It was not long before the plain of Zadar began to tremble and Đulić Ibrahim appeared. He had captured three generals and with them two captains; he had bound their arms at the elbows. He approached Tale and presented them to him. Tale was very merciful; out of each one of them he made two!

Then they began to assemble. Tale cried out to his comrades: “Men, pick up the dead from all ends of the plain, that we may bury those who perished!” They began to gather the dead; they gathered them and buried them. Then said Tale to them: [1700] “Now gather together the plunder and booty! There are enough horses here. Load them with provisions and munitions, so that we may depart across the mountains!” They set to work to gather the plunder and they loaded it upon beasts of burden. Each hero who had died, who had perished in battle, was blessed in heaven, if God willed; and he who had survived brought joy to his mother! Then they turned and climbed to the level plateau. When they arrived at a clearing on the mountain, Mujo began to make a count of his comrades; according to the muster roll he counted his comrades. There was not a full thousand heroes; the rest were martyred on the plain.

A little farther on in a clearing on the mountain, they came upon a small army of a thousand heroes with Mustajbey of the Lika at their head. On the other side was Rustem Alajbey and with him a thousand heroes. When they had marched forward a little farther, they found Kratovac Šaban, and with Šaban a thousand heroes, all horsemen, not a single one on foot. On the other side were the nine Belajići; there were many men with Belaj the standard-bearer; wherever he turned sorrow followed. Now the bey gave greeting, and they inquired after each other’s peace of mind. After they had greeted the aghas of the Border, then Rustem Alajbey approached, and they exchanged greetings. What did Mustajbey of the Lika say? “Sirdar Mujo, wing of the whole Border! You have fought well down on the plain. But we have remained without a battle, Mujo, and with such a mighty force in the mountains it is a shame to send the army back. Is it fitting for us to go to Zadar, to destroy Zadar from its very foundations, so that Zadar will no longer exist?” Then said the Sirdar of Kladuša : “It is for Budalina Tale to say; ask Tale of the Lika!”

Then Tale replied to them: “It is easy to go to the city of Zadar, but it is not easy to return. It is not right for our comrades to perish. [1750] We have left a thousand heroes already. Without misfortune and great suffering let us proceed with our army to the mountains!” And what did Rustem Alajbey say? “My lord, do not go, by your faith! We should march there for the sake of heroic deeds, but you will bring offence to the sultan thus to wage battle without his decree. We must answer to the sultan. Even now will he be angry at us and will punish us. He will send an army and cannons to lay waste all Bosnia, all Bosnia and the Border. He will send all our heroes into exile, and only the small children will remain, my lord, because he will abandon the Border and the marches. He will remove our boundaries, and the emperor will take the land. Worse suffering would then be ours.” Then they asked Kratovac Šaban, and Saban said in his turn: “It is better for us to return safely than to give offence to the sultan by waging battle without his decree. As it is, the sultan will say that these are small raiding bands. If they make complaint to the sultan, the sultan will say that these are raiders in the mountains. ‘In some places they are yours and in others ours; they are raiders, but not armies. No army has marched in columns to attack the city of Zadar, nor were there any imperial cannon.’ Thus they will not be able to bring reprisals against the sultan.” They were in agreement, and they set out up the mountain, up the mountain and across the mountains.

When they descended onto the level plain, they halted the entire army and divided the plunder and booty. Now the bey departed with his comrades, the bey departed for Lika and Krbava. To Rustembey on the division of the spoils they gave the provisions and munitions. He was someone with whom to reckon in the city of Kajnidža. The bey departed with his comrades for Kajnidža, and the others now remained. Mujo divided the plunder and booty with his comrades, and they set themselves in order. They accompanied Kratovac Šaban, they accompanied Kratovac Šaban [1800] and the nine Belajići and their five hundred comrades. Then they went to their own lands. Đulić assembled his thirty and two comrades and he took with him Velagić Selim. Each man carried money on his horse. Đulić set out for his tower and his gate. Mujo went to level Udbina with his four thousand men and with his brother Halil. Bosnia and the men of the Border scattered.

*

Index of S.-C. Epic Texts

Index of MPC Documents

Index of Entire Archive

DAFIDOSMEPOISEN