Welcome‎ > ‎Jovan Jovanović Zmaj‎ > ‎

Ciganin hvali svoga konja

Ciganin hvali svoga konja

Gledaš, je li, moga konja,
Gospodaru stari?
Ne znaš je li konj il' ptica
Skidaj naočari -
Ne možeš se nagledati,
Već hajde pazari!
Ti još pitaš za Putalja
Da li valja!
Nemaj brige!
Da ne valja, ne bi bio
On kod Cige,
Ne možeš ga u carevoj
Naći štali -
Samo Ciga što ne ume
Da ga hvali.

Da ga pospe suvim zlatom
Ko ne štedi,
Još i onda jedan dukat
Više vredi.

Ako imaš, jede seno,
zob i slamu,
Ako nemaš, on ne ište,
Ne treba mu.
Nemoj da mu gledaš zube,
Moj golube,
Ni ja mu ih nisam gledo,
Nemoj ni ti -
Taj ne može ostariti.
- Što ga duže teraš, kume,
Sve je mlađi,
Pa de sad mu
Para nađi!

A što pitaš: hoće l' moći
Kakav jendek da preskoči,
Jendek, jendek - kakav jendek!
Taj se nije još rodio
Koj' on nije preskočio -
Preskoči ga tako lako
Kao da je pile neko,
I to uzduž, ne popreko.

Photo by Josef Koudelka


Ja ga jašem bez sedla -
Sedlasta mu leđa.
- Za pasoš ga ne pitaj,
Jer - to njega vređa.

Idi, kume, idi, idi -
Još me pitaš: kako vidi?
To je da se pripoveda:

Vidi ostrag ko i spreda,
Vidi noću ko na danu,
A na danu ko u noći -
Takve su mu oči.

A što pitaš, moj prijane,
Ima l' mane -
pa zato ga i prodajem,
Moj prijane,
Jerbo nema mane -
Takvi konji nisu za nas,
za Cigane.

A brzina kakva mu je?
Malko j' brži od oluje.
Sad ćeš čuti,
Kazaću ti:
Jednom sam se iz Erduta
Vraćo s puta.
Mada nas je pljusak vijo,
On se nije umorio.
Munja sevne, a on rže -
Pljusak brzo, a on brže;
Pljusak pišman na mog hata,
Pa ga hvata,
A Putalj ga preko gleda,
Pa se ne da.
Pljusak leti da polije -
Tek što nije!
Kad stigosmo pod šatora,
U ciganski dvorac lep,
Na mom konju sve je suvo,
Pokiso mu samo
- Rep.

The Gipsy Praises His Horse

You're admiring my horse, sir, I see.
He's so light that you 'd think it 's a bird
Say a swallow. Ah me!
He's a prize!
It's absurd
To suppose you can take him all in as he passes
With the best pair of eyes,
Or the powerful aid
Of your best pair of glasses :
Take 'em off, and let's trade.

What! "Is Selim as good as he seems?"
Never fear,
Uncle dear,
He's as good as the best of your dreams,
And as sound as your sleep.
It's only that kind that a gipsy would keep.
The emperor's stables can't furnish his mate.
But his grit and his gait,
And his wind and his ways,
A gipsy like me doesn't know how to praise.
But (if truth must be told)
Although you should cover him over with gold
He'd be worth one more sovereign still.

"Is he old?"
Oh, don't look at his teeth, my dear sir!
I never have seen 'em myself.
Age has nothing to do with an elf;
So it's fair to infer
My fairy can never grow old.
Oh, don't look (Here, my friend,
Will you do me the kindness to hold
For a moment these reins while I 'tend
To that fly on his shanks?)...
As I said (Ah now thanks!)
The longer you drive
The better he'11 thrive.
He'11 never be laid on the shelf!
The older that colt is, the younger he'11 grow.
I've tried him for years, and I know.

"Eat? Eat?" do you say?
Oh, that nag isn't nice
About eating! Whatever you have will suffice.
He takes everything raw
Some oats or some hay,
Or a small wisp of straw,
If you have it. If not, never mind
Selim won't even neigh.
What kind of a feeder is he? That's the kind!

"Is he clever at jumping a fence?"
What a question to ask! He's immense
At a leap!
How absurd!
Why, the trouble's to keep
Such a Pegasus down to the ground.
He takes every fence at a bound
With the grace of a bird;
And so great is his strength,
And so keen is his sense,
He goes over a fence
Not across, but the way of its length!

"Under saddle?" No saddle for Selim!
Why, you've only to mount him, and feel him
Fly level and steady, to see
What disgrace that would be.
No, you couldn't more deeply insult him, unless
You attempted to guess
And pry into his pedigree.
Now why should you speak of his eyes?
Does he seem like a horse that would need
An eye-glass to add to his speed
Or, perchance, to look wise?
No indeed.
Why, not only's the night to that steed
Just the same as the day,
But he knows all that passes
Both before and behind, either way.
Oh, he doesn't need glasses!

"Has he any defect?" What a question, my friend!
That is why, my dear sir, I am willing to sell.
You know very well
It is only the horse that you give or you lend
That has glanders, or springhalt, or something to mend:
'T is because not a breath
Of defect or of death
Can be found on my Selim that he's at your pleasure.
Alas! not for gipsies the care of such treasure.

And now about speed. "Is he fast?" I should say!
Just listen I'11 tell you.
One equinox day,
Coming home from Erdout in the usual way,
A terrible storm overtook us. 'T was plain
There was nothing to do but to run for it. Rain,
Like the blackness of night, gave us chase. But that nag,
Though he'd had a hard day, didn't tremble or sag.
Then the lightning would flash,
And the thunder would crash
With a terrible din.
They were eager to catch him; but he would just neigh,
Squint back to make sure, and then gallop away.
Well, this made the storm the more furious yet,
And we raced and we raced, but he was n't upset,
And he wouldn't give in!
At last when we got to the foot of the hill
At the end of the trail,
By the stream where our white gipsy castle was set,
And the boys from the camp came a-waving their caps,
At a word he stood still,
To be hugged by the girls and be praised by the chaps.
We had beaten the gale,
And Selim was dry as a bone well, perhaps,
Just a little bit damp on the tip of his tail.*

(Translated by Nikola Tesla and Robert Underwood Johnson)

[Tesla's note: * Readers will be reminded by this conclusion of Mark Twain's story of the fast horse as told to him by Oudinot, of the Sandwich Islands, and recorded in " The Galaxy " for April, 1871. In that veracious narrative it is related that not a single drop fell on the driver, but the dog was swimming behind the wagon all the way.]

Bookmark and Share