The water, by the handful catered, The Montenegrins rushed to hold - Drink now: there is no water later; Live now till thirty years old; An honored death is one to merit Midst matted blades and bullet rain; And take along before you’re buried A couple enemies you’ve slain. Until the trigger’s worn and broken, Shoot from the saddle and the knee; No Montenegrin could be taken A captive: he just wouldn’t be. But they all yearned to live to hundred And then some more - so they could be Where skies and mountains are abundant And overflowing is the sea. A handful of the living water Six hundred thousand parts would mold... And yet the Montenegrins fought to Live long till thirty years old. Their wives had water for their mourning And in the mountains hid from harm Their children, till there came a morning When they’d have grown to carry arm. They quietly dressed to mourn; and, soundless, Shed tears upon the grassy ground, And then put off the fire in silence, So enemies would hear no sound. Black as the land that gives a bounty From all their grief the women turned; Black as the women was the mountain, That set the fire on to be burned. Oh that was true avenge - makes little Sense to burn self without intent - Self-burning of the mounts and people Was a revolting discontent. Like God’s damnation never aging, Like father’s vengeance for his son, Five centuries the fires kept raging, The Montenegrins’ hearts flamed on, The Tzars and servants came, departed - But death in fight is always gold. The Montenegrins disregarded Those over thirty years old.        
© Eugenie Sarkisyants. Translation, 2011