Plava Grobnica (Serbian Cyrillic: Плава гробница, "The Blue Tomb") is an ode written by Serbian poet Milutin Bojić during World War I. It is dedicated to the soldiers that were buried in the sea near Vido island, Greece. In his unforgettable poem, Bojić expressed the tragic fate of Serbia, whose army had passed through Montenegro and Albania to the Greek islands of Corfu and Vido, where over 5000 Serbian soldiers were buried at sea.
Bojić survived the exodus from Serbia and the desperation of Corfu, and yet in the end succumbed to tuberculosis in Salonika. "Our church bells toll the dead instead of the hours," Bojić wrote of seeing his comprades-at-arms dying around him. At the time of the Serbian retreat he had been working on an epic poem, Cain, in which he compared Bulgaria's attack on Serbia (that precipitated the retreat) to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The poem was one of the few things he carried with him as he made the winter journey over the mountains. Upon arriving at the Adriatic only to see his fellow Serbs being thrown out to the sea for burial, he penned one of the most moving war poems of his generation -- Plava Grobnica or Ode to a Blue Sea Tomb.
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|Stojte, galije carske! Sputajte krme moćne!
Gazite tihim hodom!
Tu na dnu, gde školjke san umoran hvata
Zar ne osećate kako more mili,
To je hram tajanstva i grobnica tužna
Zar ne osećate iz modrih dubina
Stojte, galije carske! Na grobu braće moje
Jer proći će mnoga stoleća, k'o pena
Ali ovo groblje, gde je pogrebena
Sahranjeni tu su nekadašnji venci
Stojte, galije carske! Buktinje nek utrnu,
Jer hoću da vlada beskrajna tišina
Jer, tamo daleko, poprište se zari
Zato hoću mira, da opelo služim
Stojte, galije carske! U ime svesne pošte
|Halt, imperial galleys! Restrain your mighty rudders!
Walk with silent tread
There at the bottom, where seashells fall into the tired grip of sleep
Do you not feel how the sea calms,
This is a temple of secret, and a graveyard of sorrow
Do you not feel from azure depths,
Halt, imperial galleys! Before the tomb of my brothers
For the centuries will pass, like white foam
But this graveyard, where lays buried
Buried are here garlands of days past
Halt, imperial galleys! Extinguish your torches,
For I wish for the eternal silence to rule
For there, far away, the battlefield burns
So I want peace, to officate my Requiem
Halt, imperial galleys! In knowing respect
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