The Turks, Ossetians, Lekis, Persians,
Cherkez, Ghlighvis, Didos and Kists
Were ever Georgia’s enemies,
Assaulting her with blood-smeared fists.
But soon at home domestic broils,
Quarrels and feuds arose like mists.
Brothers with brothers grappled. Thus
Did trifles cause mighty contests.
And as a cock that flies upon
Another cock, they turned to fight,
Strutted and glared and frowning sprang
On each other, and then in spite,
With unsheathed swords, they savagely
Dealt blows that fell to left and right.
Thus Georgia weakened and soon felt
The sting of Turkey’s, Leki’s bite.
What I have now to tell will make
Those who love us sad and the foe
Glad, for vile deeds will be disclosed,
Deeds that have brought our country woe.
Truth is a narrow road, yet I
Despise all flattery; and though
Many may be averse, I’ll not
To canker-worms my honour throw.
Truth is eternal, yet its tongue
Wounds deeper than a sword; and who
E’er speaks the truth has oft to bear
The world’s reproach and hatred too.
To stifle truth, or wrong conceal
With honied words of praise undue
Corrupts the world, and then do vice
And crime the steps of man pursue.
Woe was that day when the Osmanli
With swords that to the hilts were hued
With blood, ravaged the land, and o’er it
Cold-slaughtered human corpses strewed,
When crushing tyranny and havoc
Their deadly trampling feet pursued,
And black disaster like hot lava
Flowed over valley, hill and wood.
That day the wheel of fortune turned:
The foe defiled fair Georgia’s throne;
By the foul might of infidels
Was Kartl-Kakheti downwards thrown.
The fox had eaten up the cocks.
The hens were left to weep alone.
The carrion crows that croaked above
Made them lament and loudly groan.
The wounded fall; the whole are seized
By foes and into bondage led.
The hearts that once to valour thrilled
Now like a woman’s shake in dread.
Enfeebled are they and afraid,
For manhood true from them has fled,
And powers that befit a man
Sink in the mire and now are dead.
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Based on Keywords: grappled, savagely, persians, hued, assaulting, strutted, unsheathed, corrupts, broils, infidels, contests