Sunday, July 26, 2020


Three Ships

Anonymous, "The Capture of Constantinople", tr. Victoria Clark, Why Angels Fall: A Journey Through Orthodox Europe from Byzantium to Kosovo (London: Picador, 2011), page number unknown:
'But send a message to the West asking for three ships to come;
one to take the Cross away, another the Holy Bible,
the third, the best of them, our Holy Altar,
lest the dogs seize it from us and defile it.'
The Virgin was distressed, and the holy icons wept.
'Hush, Lady — do not weep so profusely,
after years and centuries, they will be yours again.'
The Greek, from George Thomson, The Greek Language (Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons, 1960), p. 53:
Μόν᾿ στεῖλτε λόγο στὴ Φραγκιά, νά ῾ρθοῦνε τρία καράβια,
Τό ῾να νὰ πάρει τὸ Σταυρό, καὶ τἄλλο τὸ βαγγέλιο,
Τὸ τρίτο, τὸ καλύτερο, τὴν ἅγια τράπεζά μας,
Μὴ μᾶς τὴν πάρουν τὰ σκυλιὰ καὶ μᾶς τὴ μαγαρίσουν.
Ἡ Δέσποινα ταράχτηκε, καὶ δάκρυσαν οἱ εἰκόνες.
Σώπασε, κυρὰ Δέσποινα, καὶ μὴ πολυδακρύζεις·
Πάλι μὲ χρόνους, μὲ καιρούς, πάλι δικά σας εἶναι.

See also:
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

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