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THE SUN AND THE MOON The sun, the fair brother, wandered Seeking a wife, hither, younder, Nine year’ s course On nine horses Which gazed, nights, in Paradise, He wandered both earth and skies As an arrow, as wind flies, Till the horses all grew tired Still he found none he desired Like his sister Ileana, Ileana Cosânzana, Lovely as a winter flower Booming in a sunless hour.

I’ll search the whole earth also, Hen bright sun turned dark and chill; Then, up to the Lord ascending, Low, before God humbly bending, There he spoke aloud his word: ‘’Holly Lord, Father adored, Now I must no longer wait, Now I should get married straight, Yes, I cannot find a mate Like my sister Ileana, Ileana Cosânzana”. The Holy Lord listened to him, By the hand, then, clasped him to Him

”Litte sister Ileana,

And down through Hell s regions drew him

Ileana Cosânzana!

Hoping to strike terror through him;

Come now and let s plight our troth; We re matched to perfection, both – Braided ceeding graces, My hair flows in splendor streaming and fair faces,

After this, the Almighty Lord In his own voice spoke this word And when God in Heaven spoke All the universe awoke Listening with rapt delight;

Beauty of exceeding graces.

All the skies streamed radiant light

Your hair shows like pure gold gleaming;

And the clouds vanished from sight.

My face is all consolation”.

”Sun, dear and illustrious sun,

”Alas, brother, radiant,bright,

Form free from transgression,

Unstained body, pure in light,

Paradise you have passed through

Sister and brother wed together –

And through the Inferno, too?”

In the world you ll find that never,

What does your mind choose to do?”

Search through all the heavens; go;

”My mind says the soul in me

I’ll search the whole earth also,

Will choose Hell eternally

Then at last we’ll do God’s will’’.

If I only will not be


Alone, but with Ileana,

Flung her high in the skies, where

Ileana Cosânzana.”

She turned to a full moon there.

Now the sun made his descent,

After this, the Almight Lord

Straightway to his sister went,

In His own voice spoke this word.

Found her at her preparations

And when God in Heaven spake

For a wedding celebration,

All the cosmos came awake,

With a bride’s tinsel and gold thread,

All the seas began to shake,

An empress’ crown for the head

Mountains, too, beganto quake,

A gown with no embroidery

The skies darkened for His sake.

But crushed with jewelry.

”Ileana, soul must dear,

Then these lovers, he and she

Without blemish, pure and clear;

For the wedding church departed

Sun, illustrious, and bright,

Yet, there when the wedding started

Unstained body, pure in light,

Alas for them, woe betide,

With your eyes you’ll see each other

The torches and candles died,

But you’ll never come together,

All the bells turned their faces, hiding,

Day and night consumed with yearning,

The priests knelt at such ill tiding,

With unquenchable fires burning,

While the poor bride, woe unto her,

Banished, never more returning,

Death’a chill gripped her and ran through her

Through the wide skies taking flight,

Then the waves swelled and a grew bold

For the live world casting light.”

And, through vaulting billows rolled, She turned to a fish of gold. The sun rose on high, where he Let himself move Westerly Plunging himself in the sea To his sister Ileana, Ileana Cosânzana. But the holy Lord on high, Sacred in earth and the sky, Reached down into the sea water To the golden fish and caught her,


The Sun and the Moon  

a famous Romanian ballad

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