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The Message of King Sakis and the Legend of the Twelve Dreams He Had in One Night, Anonymous

May 16, 1999

1

I saw a gold pillar from earth to heaven.

2

I saw a dark towel

hanging from heaven to earth.

3

I saw three boiling kettles:

one of oil, one of butter, and one of water,

and oil boiled over into butter,

and butter into water

but the water boiled all by itself.

4

I saw an old mare with her colt,

and a black eagle pulling grass by its roots

and laying it down before the mare

while the colt neighed.

5

I saw a bitch lying on a dunghill

while the puppies barked from her womb.

6

I saw many monks soaked in pitch

wailing because they can't get out.

7

I saw a beautiful horse

grazing with two heads

one in front, one in the back.

8

I saw precious stones, pearls, and royal wreaths

scattered over the whole kingdom,

but fire came down from heaven

and scorched everything into ashes.

9

I saw the rich giving workers either

gold or silver or rice,

but when they asked for their own reward,

no one was left.

10

I saw evil-faced rocks descending

from the sky

and walking all over the earth.

11

I saw three maidens in a mowed field

bearing wreaths of sunlight on their heads

and sweet-smelling flowers in their hands.

12

I saw men with slits for eyes,

cruel fingernails, and hair that rose up,

and these were the devil's servants.

TRANSLATED FROM SERBO-CROATIAN, CIRCA THE 12TH CENTURY

From "The Horse Has Six Legs: An Anthology of Serbian Poetry," edited and translated by Charles Simic (Graywolf Press: 222 pp., $12 paper)

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