BUDAI'S VLAD THE IMPALER 3
From Canto 4
And when they arrived to the place where
The Greek knew that outstretched are net traps
And where Hamza with army takes hidden sphere,
Then, like some kindled conflagration stacks,
Look that ten thousand Turks arouse
And strike Muntenians as espouse.
And the logofăt-chancellor with haughty
Eyebrow throwing off arrogant pretense:
“Do not mind (he said) neither chrism, nor loathing,
O, Vodă King! The hares still incense
The dog to surrender itself bound,
And soft lambs go the wolf to surround!...
The time has come it is minute set
By yourself when with your own good will
Wanted to prostrate to glorious gate!...
Your youths are also together still
Ready to go far away from here,
Neither now of motherland they care!...”
The vodă stayed with mind wavering
If into the vendor chest to stick blade
Of iron, but withered reckoning
The victory, as single to blood
Himself with him, he changed accompaniment
Toward a more graceless punishment.
Wrested out the sword, full of ire eye
Throwing at him, thus did he reply:
“You little dastard Greek, born slave, whereby
Accustomed at hidden cunning guile,
Intrigues to make, to master bane,
Feeling having not of honor and fame,
I want to show you with no chicanery
That neither hands of Vlad are to stretch out,
Nor head to bow at bondage slavery,
Nor easy is to find his catching route,
Are made, nor it's easy to catch him,
For you thought!...do remark with suspense,
The quicker hound would be captured by hares!”
Then turning toward his men the word:
“It is not time, o, hale lads! (uttered) to say
With long discourse, here, about the fraud
With which it tried to bring our decay
the enemy and where are we this once
For you yourself are seeing!... For that thus,
I believe, o brave ones! that it's not need
To demonstrate to you with more proves
That only victory to saving us lead.
To this only we can to trust, stout youths!
Hence now, or death with laurels death,
Or triumph, there is not other bet!...
At arms, then!... Virtue strong to evince,
To stay indomitable, with brave heart.
Not many thousand and hundred vanquish
But those who dare for triumph on their part.
Run, race, rush and take your victory
Your glory let be their valedictory.”
Says he, and giving the attack sign
To the troops prepared in hidden thicket,
He with his guard arising combine
And well set to rights like in picket
Stroke the Turks with such quickness upright,
As thunderbolt falls down from the height.
And like the torrent on the backed soil
Falling with violence in minute
Spoils the right honest plowman's labor toil,
And look how it lies down flooded permute
All the tilled land, and instead of grains
Only mud and moor swamp remains.
Thus attack giving that brave tiny troop
In Turkish lot, bodies ground overhead,
Entire rows bowl over and swoop,
Cut, crumble, and more crush,pommel, tread
And one nothing sees but cut bodies down
Reclined in plash puddle by blood drown.
Vlad like a lion irritated most,
Which, by hunters being chased in run up,
If it sees self with dogs on one coast
And by other with crafty net trap
Encircled, then he leaps over just
Where crowd of dogs is biggest nonplussed
And desiring to make bitter cause,
Anybody comes in front of his booth
He breaks, fractures, splits, corners and claws,
Now with terrible hands then with tooth
Self-defending, it strangles and kills
And among them opens its way, drills,
Thus Vlad having seen that from all track
He is invaded by numberless Turks,
Where he observes that are more compact
The crowds, toward there he so attacks,
Rotating the weapon far and near
Large path between pagans to self clear.
In vain Hamza the army of sorts
Tries to gather, war to supplement,
In vain he worries about to urge force
With strong imperial commandment,
That troop by now started to squander
Walking on itself not more stopping yonder.
And Hamza by Muntenian groups
Surrounded, falls in the trap
With many from Mohammedan troops.
The Greek seeing not yet escape,
To vodă king with obeisance bow
Falls in front of him pronouncing vow.
Then vodă king bitterly smiling told in face:
“How seems it to you, Catavolin, now yet
Plotter of closed treacherous purchases,
Hypocrite messenger of pagan Gate,
Who don't feel ashamed with robbery
To sell the Christian kingdom mastery?”
So saying with abominable death
Ordered that all to be put in stake,
Who at the robbery did participate,
In the forest which was nearby back.
Hamza was staked according to law
On the thickest lofty tree, the Greek below.
Cruel command, horrifying death!
But to the innocent it seems ever
That the sale is more inhuman yet.
Vile man, are you not scared however
From bad deed sometime sooner or later
The penalty, with any death, finds traitor!
If these in Țarigrad were soon thunder,
To the Sultan nobody had nerve
To tell, even he started to wonder
Where his chancellor delays in reserve,
Until the vizir some moment dares
And stories to him all affairs.
And the tyrant inflamed with wrath misshapen
That he dared to utter of such awful
Tales and which couldn't even have happen,
Things of shame and dastard unlawful,
Ordered that him be slapped in his face
For wrong and daring word not at all dace.
And if from quick embassies made it sure,
He was almost in self to fly in a rage
Of grudge and ire as under insult impure
Seeing his commandments, neither wage
His temper could get with habitual late
Victory, but sooner yet be let it.
Iar' deacă din solii repezite
Hence to pashas from close by, from distance,
He ordered quickly to arm their soldiers
And in such shape to behave insistence
That to bring the bravest of theirs
With themselves, and until coming spring
To be ready to present upswing.
Hardly on field it was risen the grass,
And the forest new leaf had achieve;
From all parts multitudes of Turks thus
Gather: one part in ships the sea cleave
Running toward Romanian Country,
This time to plunder it entirely,
And other part carries as thundered
The pagan sultan, trumping victory,
With whom were of thousands two hundred
of barbarous crowd contradictory.
And now at Vidin had arrived along
The most chosen troops,flights,throng.
It was just in the middle of spring then
When zephyrs with flowers play pressed,
Merry birdies are flying again,
And the beasts even the poorest
Joyously hops and enjoy themselves
Into innocent voluptuousness,
When you see the News in trumpet sound
That Turks are coming as many as leaves and grass,
That to slavery the country to bound.
All prepare themselves to take blind race.
The big boyars and those with wisdom more
Had taken the run some time before,
And the poor peasants in a hurry
Like a flock of sheep with no custody
Which anywhere starts in squandering blurry;
Full of fear and comprised by fright gluttony
Whole they leave their possession and sweat,
Putting hope only in feet cabriolet.
Running are children and young maidens,
Running are women with babes in arms,
And those more charged with days reawaken
Are caressing them as guides in alarms.
Of bitter lamentation, gloom yells
Full are the forests and fields and dales.
Here one caries one's babies on back,
Other near his poor parent,
Who would run, poor him, but is stuck
And stays as zany of mind hare-brained,
Knowing not to whom give assistance
To babes or to fallen women at once.
Grandson leads the greyhead by hand, up, low,
Midwife the nephews boys and girls tiny,
And the daughter her old mother-in-law;
Each one from peril takes out not slimy
The most loved, the closer one as shape,
Hoping toward mountains to escape.
Only Vlad, with indomitable heart
And armed, for the pagan enemy waits.
Nothing from his intent does deviate,
All things arranges, everything directs
Toward the perishing of pagan crowd,
Just in order to be numbered bowed.
With his brave regiment of horses
Through cash places, to him acquainted,
To Turkish troops from near he follows.
From hiding with quick attack submitted
Jumping over secluded alignments,
Unexpectedly surrounds and torments.
Like the famished wolf which, under compact
Bush pricking its ears, on the belly laid,
When it sees passing a bulky flock packed
Of lambs or other weak animals herd,
And seeing some of them left alone
Jumps, rapes it and immediately is gone,
Thus Vlad following to the Turkish
Big army, to separated hoards
Unexpectedly before them furbish
Assault from hidden places, towards,
And so well he upsets with insistence,
That at least one has no more existence.
Translation by George Anca