p. 260 p. 261
[The numbers given in round brackets are those of the strophes in the preceding translation.]
Gon AND THE KING [1 (1)].--He who by His mighty power created the firmament breathed a celestial spirit from heaven and made what is; to us men He gave the earth: we own its infinite variety. And every king is ordained by Him in the image issuing from Him.
THE GEORGIAN KING DAVID SOSLAN, CONSORT OF QUEEN T’HAMARA [2 (3)].--Behold the lion! (lit., To the lion to whom is fitting . . .). It befitted him to use spear, sword, and shield; (he is the lion of [lit., to the lion of]) Queen T’hamara, the sun, whose cheeks are like rubies, whose hair is like jet: dare I sing of him and extol him in verse? (lit., the singing of the sermon [for doxology] of verses). Of a truth, they that. gaze on him cannot but taste sugar and milk. (For khshiri, which breaks the rhythm, read sherisa; Pers. shir = milk.)
THE SUBJECT OF THE POET'S SONGS [3 (25)].--The poet ought not to lavish his labour in frivolity. One (woman) should be the subject of his madness, he must love but one; let him for her alone show his art, laud her alone, embellish her alone (in song). Save her let him need nought: let the music of his discourse sound for her alone. (Cf. Prof. Marr's Odopistsi for another version.)
[4 (26)]--Now you shall know concerning me: I laud her for whom Heaven has already set apart a place in Itself (more literally, whom Heaven has made Its own, or made Its denizen, or adopted for Its own; ikia, second aorist of verb derived from adverb iki = there, is equivalent to "has made
its own," etc.). (A song to her) is great praise to me; it is no shame to me. She is my life; she is pitiless as a Circassian (dchiki; cf. Adighe, Ζηκχοὶ). Hereafter I name her name, I bestrew her (with pearls of song), I laud her (lit., her name, bestrewing, I pronounce hereafter, I praise).
THE ODES TO QUEEN T’HAMARA [5 (4)].--Let US sing the Queen T’hamara while shedding tears of blood; in her honour have I indited songs (lit., whose songs I spoke--vst’hkveni, aorist first person singular, with indication of relation to plural [kebani]), not ill-chosen are they: for ink I used a lake of jet (cf. Odes, V. 50, xii. 8), for pen a wavering reed (nai [Pers.]; the terminal i in Rust’haveli is only a mark of the nominative case, and not the Persian semivowel , corresponding to Georgian , which, according to M. E. T’haqaishvili, had not yet come into the mkhedruli [military or civil] alphabet from the khutsuri [ecclesiastical]. For use of na as musical instrument, cf. 178.) A spear, through-piercing, shall rend the heart of him who hears those songs (lit., He who hears, into his heart will pierce a lance, lacerating).
[6 (5)].--She bade me compose in her honour sweet (-sounding) verses, (praise her) eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair, her lips and her teeth, carved (turned) out of crystal and ruby, and firmly set. On an anvil of soft lead even a hard stone can be broken.
NEW BEGINNING [7 (17)].--(My) eyes not enlightened by her rays (or lightless--i.e., blind--on account of her rays) again long to show themselves to her. My heart has gone mad, there remains for it but one thing (lit.. Behold, the heart has gone mad, to it has fallen the lot): to flee to the wilderness. In her power it lies to set the flesh on fire and give joy to the soul; entreat her for me (lit., For me, m[i]-, beg her, iadjet’h, or, For me, m-, intercede, iadjet’h, before her--cf. 816, 819, 1035--who is sufficient to give burning to the flesh, comfort [lkhena, cf. 300] to the soul); I fear verses will fail (me), I am about to laud three forms (or colours--i.e., three types of heroes--Tariel, Avt’handil, and P’hridon).
[8 (16)].--This (is a) Persian tale transferred into the Georgian language: like a rare pearl worthy of fondling (by rolling it) from hand to hand; it came to my hands, and I shall put it into verse (vpove and gardavt’hkvi both in the aorist, despite the future sense), I shall perform a feat, there will be reason for pride. I await the approval of the stately beauty who has robbed me of reason (lit., She has deprived me of reason, the stately and beautiful, let her give me approval! Cf. Odes, xii. 15).
REQUEST TO THE BELOVED [9 (6)].--Thus I need for the making of my song tongue, heart and art. Let her give me strength and uphold me. I shall put into (the song all) my mind, which is in her power, and then we shall help Tariel (lit., Now are needful for composition tongue, heart and art. Let her give me power and help. From her I have mind [wit] to put into, etc.; but in the printed texts T’hamara is addressed in the second person singular in this strophe, which perhaps the copyists thought addressed to God. The poet asks T’hamara for mind [wit] because she had robbed him thereof). It is necessary to tell in chosen language of the three stars, giant-heroes, obedient one to another like slaves (lit., It is inherent in them to be slaves one of another).
INVOCATION TO FELLOW-SUFFERERS [10 (7)].--Come, ye to whom from birth the fate of Tariel is appointed (lit., who is born with a birth exactly like his; cf. 852, 4), and whose tears flow undrying for him! (cf. Odes, p. 68). Let us sit down! I, the man of Rust’havi, pierced through the heart by a lance (of sympathy; cf. 5, 4) for him, will sit and expound (both "sit" and "expound" in the past tense in the accepted text; but this is evidently a copyist's error) in verse. That which till now was a tale will henceforth be a threaded pearl.
VARIETY OF VOCATION [11 (18)].--Let everyone be content with that which Fate gives him, and let everyone speak of his own lot. Let the ploughman ceaseless plough, the warrior show his prowess, but let him that is in love cherish mad love, and be compassionate to (lit., acknowledge) the love (of others). Neither have others the right to censure love in him, nor has he that right over others.
LOVE [12 (9)].--Love-madness is a wondrous fair thought, hard to be apprehended; it cannot be compared with carnal passion, it is something different; love is one thing, lust is another; their bounds are separated by a vast space. Confuse them not. Do ye hear my words? (reading gesmist’h for gesmast’h).
[13 (12)].--The highest love is to bury sufferings in oneself: he hides them; when alone, he is always with her in thought (lit., let him always remember at home [alone]), and he loves solitude (lit., he ought to be in solitude). Away (from her) he loses consciousness and dies; absent he burns and flames (lit., Afar to lose consciousness, afar to die, afar to burn, afar to flame). He is ready rather to endure calmly royal wrath, but towards her he feels fear and reverence.
[14 (8)].--The lover must have an exquisitely fair exterior and shine like the sun; he must be sage, rich, open-handed,
he must be a knight (lit., have the qualities or attributes of a knight), he must have leisure; he must be a master of speech, a possessor of intelligence and patience, a conqueror of all-powerful adversaries. He who is not endowed with all these things has not the qualities of a lover.
[15 (10)].--He who is possessed by love-madness is constant; he is not an adulterer, no base libertine. Separated from his beloved, his sighs and groans become stronger. His heart is satisfied with one, though she be stern and wrathful. Hateful to me are caresses in which the soul is not felt: huggings, kisses and the smacking of lips.
[16 (11)].--Lovers, you must not call it love if one easily bears the torture (lit., disease or pain, reading lmobasa) of separation, if to-day he want one (woman) and to-morrow another. This reminds me of the frivolous games of youth; (it is) childishness. The true lover is he who checks earthly impulses.
POESY [17 (19)].--Poesy is first of all a branch of wisdom: the divine in it must be hearkened to with reverence; it is very instructive to the hearer. He who is prepared finds satisfaction in this domain. A vast thought may be put into a short phrase: herein is the beauty of poesy.
[18 (20)].--In like manner as the best trial of a horse is a long course and an easy win, as a ball-player is judged in the field by his unerring aim and clever stroke, so with the poet skill to indite lengthy songs and curb (?) (the steed of poesy) if he has exhausted the subject of his discourse and rhyme begins to dry up.
[19 (21)].--Contemplate the poet and his songs when his tongue fails him (lit., when he cannot attain [the perfection] of the Georgian [speech]; or, when he cannot hit upon [the exact expressions] of Georgian), and his rhymes begin to grow thin! Shortens he not his discourse? Weakens not his speech? (lit., Will he not abridge [diminish] the Georgian language?). Has he heroic hardihood enough to strike cunningly with the chogan (polo-stick)? (lit., Will he strike with the polo-stick with skilful hand? Will he show the high quality of a hero?).
[20 (22)].--He who chances to say two words in verse cannot be called a poet (lit., He is not called a poet if somewhere he says one, two [verses]); in vain he puts himself on a level with singers of renown. He makes one verse, another (lit., of course, to make one [verse], another): they are not like anything; they are incoherent. Yet he asseverates, "Mine is better!" as stubbornly as a mule.
[21 (23)].--Another (form) is fugitive verse; this is the domain of poets powerless to pour out (? mould) heart-piercing thoughts in perfect (forms) (lit., Another versification is small [verse], the domain . . . He is not able in perfection to create words capable of piercing the heart). I liken this to the wretched bow of young hunters: big beasts they cannot bring down; they can kill only small game.
[22 (24)].--A third (kind of) songs is fitting for banquets and merrymakings, for courtship, for amusement and frivolous adventures with friends, and to these songs we gladly have recourse (lit., we like [the making of] them) if the thought in them be clearly expressed. But he who is incapable of creating something great is no poet.
Professor Marr rejects the nine remaining quatrains as spurious. It will be seen that he has rearranged the quatrains, and adopted readings which are not in the printed editions.