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
    can fathom
    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
    the head,
    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
    or rivers
    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