Make your own free website on Tripod.com
  fter these words the herald of heaven raised his hand and uttered some mysterious phrase. At once Lazar's spiritual vision was closed. But Lazar was no longer an old man, but was regenerated and renewed. He had seen and heard without participating. His soul had been pacified and illuminated by the heavens, like calmed water, in which only the sunny sky is reflected. The battle still raged around him, but he was no longer tied to it by any fiber of his soul. His heart stood elevated above earthly sorrow and joy, and his mind stood high and far above all thoughts about earthly matters. This entire world lay like ashes beneath him. His soul stood out from those ashes like a spark and was infinitely far removed in time and space. Both time and space, as well as all the worlds encompassed by them, belonged to those ashes. In his soul Lazar felt a new, infinite life, and a new, infinite world and a new, infinite joy. He sighed deeply and exclaimed aloud: "Amen."

* * *


     What is this clamor reaching the ears of the Prince? What is this victorious shouting? Why is this pack of Asiatic warriors flocking like a frothy wave to the Sultan's tent? What is filling Murat's brave soldiers with such excitement?
     It is a new trophy for the unbaptized, a new loss for the baptized. Even the guards around Lazar were shouting with great delight. Lazar lifted his heavy eyelids from his eyes, and looked and saw. The cross-banner of Boško Jugovic was fluttering above the company of Turkish soldiers. It had been captured and seized. This meant that Milca's brave brother had perished. It was a certainty that his inseparable brothers and their valiant father, Jug Bogdan, had likewise perished along with him. These thoughts filled Lazar's mind, but he was not saddened.
     The banner was planted in the ground, while the messengers went off somewhere to report it to someone. Afterwards the company of Turks began to open ranks and make a pathway. Lazar looked and he saw the Sultan's son, Bayazid, mounted on a horse as white as milk. The Turkish champions seized the banner and placed it on the ground before the heir to the Sultan's throne. After his horse stepped on the unfurled banner, Bayazid tightened his golden bridle, and the white horse neighed as it trampled the cross-standard of the Christian army with its hoofs. Lifting his head toward heaven, the horseman shouted: "Allah akbar! (God is the victor!)"
     At that moment the entire army around him fell down on their knees, bowed their foreheads to the ground and thunderously exclaimed: Allah akbar!
     All this Lazar saw and heard and was saddened.
     What is that whispering around Lazar? What is that excited whispering that is teeming from mouth to mouth among the sons of Asia? What are those mysterious assemblies, like the rustling of leaves from the face of the wind?
     The Sultan is dying. Amid the general whispering only one clear voice is heard beneath the tent. The son of the dying Sultan is issuing orders. What sort of orders could he be issuing at this hour? They are not military orders. They do not pertain to the battle. The battle is already over. The sons of Asia have won it. Rather, the new Sultan is commanding that, before his father's death, the infidel Tsar must be executed.
     "Behead the infidel Tsar before Sultan Murat the Invincible expires!" The enraged Bayazid angrily repeated this command, as he appeared at the entrance of the tent.
     Lazar heard this and understood but was not saddened.

* * *


     What is this new commotion? What is this confused bustling and searching?
     The sons of Asia are searching for a tree stump, where they can chop off the Christian Tsar's head. They are searching for one all over the treeless field, and are failing to find one. Burning with wrath, Bayazid again roars like an angry lion and threatens the executioner with death.
     Lazar understood what they were looking for and what they wanted. So he raised his right hand and crossed himself, and uttered aloud: "O Christ our God, forgive everything and glory to Thee for everything!"
     After he said this, Lazar slipped out of the grip of the Turkish bodyguards with the spryness of a youth, and stepped over to the body of Vojvoda Miloš. With ease and dignity he stretched out on the ground, and leaned his head on the head of his faithful general. When he saw this, the bloodstained executioner felt gratitude toward the noble slave, because in this way Lazar was helping him to escape his own death. The executioner brandished his scimitar. Like lightning the curved sword flashed through the air, sliced through Lazar's neck and shattered on Miloš's shoulder blade.
     But the two heavenly heralds flew off toward heaven with the soul of their new companion, Saint Lazar. To greet them as tranquilly as moonlight, the holy nations of heaven were singing the words:
     
     The earthly kingdom lasts only for a brief time,
     But the heavenly kingdom always and forever.