Emina by Alex Šantić
Many centuries ago, it was a tradition for men to go for a turkish bath from time to time. This was where men would gather in a relaxed ambience to exchange small talk. This area was called Hamam.
Then, one young man who was returning from the Hamam, passed by the garden of the city imam (Muslim Pastor), saw the daughter of the imam. Struck by her beauty, he wrote a poem which later made him a famous poet.
Here is my humble translation of the poem, hope you like it.
At dusk, while returning from the warmth of the Hamam,
I passed by the garden of the old city Imam.
There in the garden, Under the shade of the jasmine tree,
A pitcher in her hand stood beautiful Emina.
What Beauty! I could swear by Imam!
That even the sultan would not be embarrass to have her as his wife.
The way she moved with the gentle sway of her shoulders,
Not even the Hodja’s (Muslim Holy man) amulet could save me.
I salaamed her agreeably despite by my faith. (For the young man was a Christian but he greeted in her faith, which is Muslim.)
She didn’t want to hear me, the beautiful Emina.
Instead, down the garden She went,
With her silver pitcher to scoop out water for the blossoms.
Breeze blew down the tree onto her lovely shoulders,
Unravelling her braided plait;
Causing the hyacinth scent from her washed hair to waft gently by
And struck me suddenly with a sense of dizziness and giddiness.
I swear to God I almost fell,
But still Emina went about impervious.
Only to look at me with askance. (For it was not done for young man to behave so forward with young ladies,)
Uncaring that I could expire from my tumultuous feelings for her.
This young man who later on became a famous poet because of this poem was called Aleksa Šantić
So if you passed by the streets of Mostar. You can see the statue of him and the statue of Emina too.
Because of the diversity of religions in Bosnia & Herzegovina, it is not unknown for young people to fall in love with one who is from different religion. However, in those times, it was sadly not encouraged to marry outside faith.