The songs to which the English form has been given in the following volume have been taken mostly from Vuk Karadzic's invaluable collection: Srpske Narodne Pjesme (Serbian National Songs). Karadzic, of whom the literary world has heard so much, is the father of modern Serbian literature. He spent many years among the peasants in collecting the national treasures : ballads, tales, proverbs, anecdotes and other folklore. Before his time the songs had never been reduced to written form, and were kept out of reach of the public ear. He was only able to hear them partly because of a ruse and partly in secret, when he listened with inexhaustible patience to the girls spinning, or the guslars (bards) trolling in taverns and at fairs, or the reapers chanting at their work. In the preface of his first book of Srpske Narodne Pjesme Karadzic tells us that in Serbia two sorts of popular poetry exist the historical ballads, and popular songs of a character which caused them to be described as zenske pjesme (women's songs) chanted by country folk, both men and women and mostly in duet. It is the latter, zenske pjesme, which having been translated into English are gathered together in the following anthology, Serbian Lyrics.