Bog prepisuje carstvo
God Overwrites the Tsardom

Serbocroatian English
Prva riječ: „Pomozi nas Bože!“
Druga riječ: „Oće, ako Bog da.“
Vino piju svi božji anđeli,
Među njima sveti Mikaelo.
Vedro biše, pa se naoblači,
Iz oblaka bila knjiga pade
I dopade svetom Mikaelu.
Knjigu gleda sveti Mikaelo,
Knjigu gleda, proučit ne može,
I dade je svima anđelima;
Gledaše je, proštit je ne mogu.
Sakupiše do trista popova,
Knjigu štiju do trista popova,
Knjigu štiju, a proštit ne mogu.
Sakupiše trista đakončadi,
Knjigu štiju trista đakončadi,
Knjigu štiju, a proštit ne mogu.
Sakupiše trista kaluđera,
Među njima Jovan-kaluđera,
Knjigu štiju trista kaluđera,
Knjigu štiju, proštit je ne mogu.
Knjigu daju Jovan-kaluđeru,
On prouči lijest knjige bile,
Ter govori Jovan-kaluđere:
„Da bi vami krivo kazivao,
Izgubit ću svoju grešnu dušu;
Da bi pravo, izgubit ću glavu.
Ja ću pravo, pa štogod Bog dao:
Ovo Bože prepisuje carstvo
Sa Srbije na Otmanoviće.“
Ufatiše Jovan-kaluđera,
Naopako savezaše ruke,
Sagradiše Lučevu ćeliju,
U ćeliju Jovan-kaluđera,
Zapališe sa četiri strane,
Sva izgori Lučeva ćelija,
Ali osta Jovan-kaluđere.
Kad vidiše svi božji anđeli,
Da je pravo knjigu proučio,
Uzeše ga na bijele ruke,
Pa ga nose Bogu velikome.
The first speech: »God help us!«
The second speech: »He will, if God allows.«
All God’s angels drink wine,
among them Saint Michael.
It was bright, then it clouds up,
from the clouds a white letter falls
and falls to Saint Michael.
Saint Michael looks at the letter,
looks at the letter, cannot divine it,
and gives it to all the angels;
they look at it, they cannot read it.
Three hundred priests gather,
three hundred priests look at the letter,
they look at the letter, but cannot read it.
Three hundred deacons gather,
three hundred deacons look at the letter,
they look at the letter, but cannot read it.
Three hundred monks gather,
among them Monk Jovan,
three hundred monks look at the letter,
they look at the letter, but cannot read it.
They give the letter to Monk Jovan,
he can divine the white letter,
then speaks Monk Jovan:
»If I were to tell you falsely,
I will lose my sinful soul;
if truthfully, I will lose my head.
I will truthfully, then take whatever God gives:
here God writes the tsardom over
from Serbia to the Ottomans.«
They seized Monk Jovan,
backwards they tied his arms,
they built Lučev’s cell,1
in the cell Monk Jovan,
they lit it on fire from four sides,
Lučev’s cell all burned out,
but Monk Jovan remained.
When all God’s angels saw
that he truthfully divined the letter,
they took him by his white hands,
then carried him to great God.

1. Apparently, a cell made of softwood and smeared with fat and tar within which transgressors were burned alive. Lučev is capitalized in the original text, indicating it is a proper noun of some sort, but this might be a misinterpretation of an archaism whose original meaning was forgotten.