субота, 06. август 2011.


Your eyes were gouged out, oh beautiful image,
On a pilaster at approach of night,
Knowing that no one would witness the pillage
An Albanian’s knife robbed you of your sight.

But neither your mouth, nor your noble face
To desecrate with his hand did he dare,
Or touch your golden crown, or queenly lace
Beneath which lay your luxuriant hair.

Now in the church upon the stone pilaster
Serenely bearing your tormented plight
Dressed in the robes of mosaic and luster
I see you sad, and dignified, and white.

Like stars extinguished in the distant past,
Which yet transmit to men the far-off glow
So that men see the light, the hue, the cast
Of stars lost to sight a long time ago,

Today upon me from your royal height,
From that antique stone covered all in grime,
Oh, sad Simonida, shines down the light
Of eyes gouged sightless in another time.

Milan Rakić
(Translated by Kosara Gavrilović)

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Simonida Nemanjić (Serbian Cyrillic: Симонида Немањић, born Simonis Palaiologina) (1294 – 1340) was a Queen consort of Serbian king Milutin. She was a daughter of Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and Eirene of Montferrat.

Holy king Milutin and queen Simonida - Grachanica monastery

After signing peace with Serbian king Milutin in 1299, Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II gave him his daughter Simonida. She was to be a guarantee of eternal peace and friendship between two countries. Her beauty was well known, and a fresco of her in Gračanica monastery is one of the most valuable frescos in Serbian art. Unfortunately, the fresco is partly ruined, so that Simonida had no eyes. Simonida died in 1340 as a nun. In Serbian traditions, she was known as a beloved queen, a figure of purity, sacrifice and beauty. 

Milan Rakić wrote a lyric poem about her named Simonida, and Milutin Bojić wrote a psychological drama called Kraljeva Jesen (Eng. King’s autumn) about her. Asteroid 1675 Simonida discovered by Serbian astronomer Milorad B. Protić was named after her.

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