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  • Jeremiah

These words were written on the marble column on Kosovo

by Despot Stefan Lazarević (1377-1427)

You man, who steps on Serbian land,

whether you are from here or come here,

whoever you are and whatever you are,

when you come to this field,

which is called Kosovo,

you will see many bones of the dead strewn,

with them the stone nature,

myself as the banner of the sign of the cross,

you will see how I stand tall in the middle of the field.

Just so you don't pass and overlook it,

as something futile and for naught,

but please, come and get closer to me, o dear one,

and consider the words I transpose unto you,

and you will see from them for what reason

and how and why I stand here,

because I speak the truth to you,

no less than life,

that I will tell you the essence of everything that happened.

There was once there a great autocrat,*

a wonder of the world and riga** of Serbia,

the unbreakable pillar of piety,

the sea of good reasoning and the depth of wisdom,

the fiery mind and protector of foreigners,

the feeder of hungry and the caress of unwanted,

the comforter and touch to the ill,

who loves everything that Jesus wills,

who of his own will goes

and with all his countless multitudes,

as many as are under him.

Men good, men brave,

men, in truth, in their words and actions

who shine like the brights stars,

colourful like the land covered in flowers,

dressed in gold and decorated with precious stones,

many horses chosen and gold-saddled,

wonderful and beautiful their riders. The all-noble and glorious

like a good shepherd and protector,

wisely brings the spiritual lambs

to die well in Christ

and accept the wreath of martyrdom

and partake of a greater glory. And so in harmony the great countless multitude

together with the good and great lord,

the good soul and hardest faith,

as if to a beautiful hall and fragrant food

darted unto the enemy

and stepped on a real snake

and killed the wild beast and the great enemy

and the all-devourer of the insatiable hades,

I say Amurat and his son,***

the children of the asp and the adder,

the cub of lion and basilisk,

and with them not few of others.

Oh, the wonder of God's fates,

the brave martyr was captured

with the faithless hands of Agarens****

and took the end of his suffering well

and became a martyr of Christ

the great prince Lazar.

He was not cut down by anyone, o dear one,

but the hand of the murderer, the son of Amurat,

And all said here ended in

the summer of 6897, indictus 12, month 15,***** on the day of Tuesday the hour was the sixth or seventh,

I know not, God does.

* autocrat at this time means that there is no one above the ruler than God, therefore it's a ruler independent of foreigners or a King or Emperor

** riga is Greek for "king"

** Amurat is Murad I, his son was Yakub Çelebi

*** Agares or Agaryans is the contemporary Serbian term for Turks

**** 15/28 June, 1389, the date is given based on the Byzantine "Era of Creation" calendar

Translated by Books of Jeremiah

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