Songs of the Frontier Warriors is a cycle of Albanian oral epic poetry. It is a collection of sung talesthat existed in the oral tradition before they were gathered and written down in the 20th century - and in many places the oral tradition still carries on today. The English translation I read was a surprisingly quick and really eloquent read, with beautifully flowing verses and enchanting rhythm.
Most of the songs in the collection revolve around Gjeto Basho Mujo (Mujo for short), his little brother Sokol Halili (Halili for short) and the group of warriors that surrounds them. They are known for their fearsome strength and their prowess in battle, and they spend most of their time raiding the surrounding Christian and Slavic kingdoms, kidnapping wives (although most of the wives are not at all against being kidnapped by the handsome warriors), and saving each other from certain death. The heroes live in Jutbina, a town associated with modern-day Udbina in Croatia.
1. Mujo starting his mornings with coffee before he goes adventuring. Even heroes need coffee sometimes.
2. The story of Gjerg Elez Alia, who is on his death bed with serious wounds for nine years, cared for by his sister. When a monster appears and wants to carry away the sister, the hero gathers his last strength, gets out of bed, bandages up his wounds, and goes to kill the monster.
3. The moment when Halili is gushing about his lady love in great poetic detail, until Mujo unceremoniously puts a hand on his mouth to shut him up.
4. The descriptions of winter in the mountain highlands.
5. The time when Mujo makes friends with three zanas (mountain nymphs) and accepts them as his blood sisters. The little zana saves the day, and the three keep coming back over the course of the epic to save Mujo, give him advice, and even bring him back from the dead.
6. The time Mujo comes back from the dead, but can't break out of his coffin. Oops.
7. The part where Halili watches from the balcony as his friend rides away with his bride, and says "I don't care about the maiden, but how do we get back the horse?..."
8. The song about the hero Arnaut Osmani getting out of prison by pretending to be dead, and while he is being tortured in various ways to make sure he is really dead, he manages to sneak a smile at the king's daughter and get away with it.