In sadness wrapped, I strolled along where the waters hum and fret;
I longed to rest in solitude and all my cares forget.
And there beside the flowing stream, in utter weariness,
I sank upon the soft green grass and wept in bitterness.
Borne on the sigh that silence heaves the Mtkvari's murmur rose,
And in its lucid beds the azure skies found sweet repose;
And here beyond the strife of life, beyond all sordid noise,
The mountains brooded over the land in calm unvarying poise.
I listened to the river's hum, I saw the heavens bend
And kiss the mounts that with my soul and sorrow seemed to blend.
What means your purl, O Mtkvari old, forebodes it joy or woe?
You are witness true of bygone days, yet hum in speechless flow.
But why this life of maddening strife, if all its visions fair
Are bubbles light, illusions bright, that burst and fade forever?
Our life is but a passing dream in a fleeting hectic world.
A never-filling boundless chaos, wherein our hopes are hurled.
The mortal heart, though sate and full is a slave of surging fires,
That blast the soul and steep the heart in avariced desires.
Even sovereigns great whose wealth and power is the wonder of the day
Feel greed and envy stir their breasts for realms that others sway.
They crave and strive for more and more, and their impassioned lust
Is for that earth wherein they're doomed to mingle with its dust.
Or does the king who for his noble deeds knows only praise
Know peace amid the storms or cares that darken all his days?
The welfare of his native land and heirs brings him delight;
His aim in life's to keep the honor of his country bright.
If death holds glory in its power and the world to void is whirled,
Then on whose lips will lie the sin and glory of the world?
If mortals of this world we are and bear the form of man,
Our duty is to serve our land and walk the ways of man.
Unworthy is the one who's but a mass of worthless clay,
Who dares to shun all mortal cares, yet in this world does stay!
O Mtatsminda ! Thou Holy Mount ! the sight does haunt
The soul to thought - a place that wilderness has wrought
The dew divine like drops of pearl does grace the site
And, trembling, mingles in delight with soft twilight.
Both solitude and silence rule the place in proud and haughty state!
And from that mount my eyes behold a scene that rapture does create!
Below, the plain with ambrosial flowers is like a heavenly altar spread;
The fragrance like the incense sweet its blessings on the Mount does shed.
I still recall that lovely eve when full of grief
Your paths I trod, O dusky Mount, to seek relief;
My lonely soul in longing clung to twilight fair,
Which sorrow veiled with heaving sighs and beauty rare!
Ah! Nature wove a gentle dream of loveliness and sadness there.
O sky! O sky! You has engraved your image on my heart forever!
And when I gaze upon your blue my thoughts enraptured towards your fly
Alas, they cannot reach your heights, and in the air dissolve and die
Your radiance conceals this fleeting world of woes!
Beyond your realm my soul takes wing to seek repose
From dreary haunts where every cherished hope expires...
But woe! the gods shun man and all his heart's desires.
In pensive thought entranced I viewed the waning of the heaven's glow;
Soft twilight wrapt me in her arms and filled with dusk the glens below,
Where rivulets hummed in low response to gentle winds that haunting sighed;
My soul to nature seemed to cleave, and in her bosom's depth to bide.
O glowing Mount! whose smiles and tears enthrall the breast;
A sight that cheers the heavy heart by cares oppressed.
My grieving soul with gladness now does seem to blend,
And yet, O Mount, your silent mourn'st, my gentle friend.
Deep silence quivered in delight as twilight dimmed the heaven's dome;
And eve's sweet star of love and dreams pursued the moon throughout the gloam.
O have you seen a virgin soul, aweary with excess of prayer?
And so the pale and languid moon came floating through the misty air.
Remembrance brings to mind again that eve in May
When twilight veiled the Holy Mount in purple gray,
When over-burdened and distressed, the soul in pain,
Found vent in thoughts that ever in my heart remain.
O lovely eve! your solitude does soothe the soul by sorrow prest!
To you I baste when anguish floods the frenzied brain and burning breast!
The sorrowed heart - the saddened heart - will find its balm and hope in thee,
For morn will break and sunshine's beam will make the shades of darkness flee.
Twilight Over Mtatsminda
Meditations By The River Mtkvari
To A Chonguri
O Evil Spirit
Nikoloz (Tato) Baratashvili (1817-1844) was a Georgian poet, whose works are considered to be the high point of Georgian romanticism. In the opinion of Ilia Chavchavadze, the works of Nikoloz Baratashvili mark the introduction of Europeanism into the Georgian literature.One of the greatest Georgian Romantic poets, often described as the “Georgian Byron.” He was born on 4 December 1817 in Tbilisi, to the family of impoverished aristocrat who was a loyal servant of the emperor, on his mother's side Efemia, the sister of Grigol Orbeliani, was the granddaughter of King Erekle II. His mother inspired him with a love of literature and the young Baratashvili was influenced by the circle of famous Georgian writers and statesmen who frequented their house in Tbilisi. He was taught by Solomon Dodashvili, who influenced him greatly, in a Tbilisi gymnasium from 1827-1835.
Because his family had little money, he was unable to fulfill his desire to continue his education in Russia. Due to a bodily defect, he also was unable to march in the front-line forces, as he wished to do. With the threat of poverty looming over his family, he was forced to start working as an ordinary clerk. Baratashvili also had a dramatic private life, including intense involvement with Ekaterine Chavchavadze. All this left deep marks on the poet’s soul, as is reflected in his private letters.In 1844, he was transferred to Ganja as deputy governor of that province where he became seriously ill with of malaria and at the age of 27 On 21 October died. His poetry was mostly unpublished and unnoticed by the time he died, but as poems were published posthumously, he came to be idolized. His remains were brought back to Georgia in 1893 and his funeral turned into a great national celebration. Since 1938 his ashes have lain in the Mtastminda pantheon. At 22, he wrote his longest poem, Bedi kartlisa, in which he lamented the tragic fate of his native land. A key insight into the weltanschauung of N. Baratashvili can be found in his poem “Fate of Georgia” (1839). This poem is based on a real historical event: the ruining of Tbilisi by Aga-Mohamed Khan in 1795. However, national problems considered in this work are viewed with a modern approach; the poem considers not only Georgia’s past, but also its future in the aftermath of the failed revolt of 1832. In this poem, Erekle II, a realist politician, realizes Georgia should join with Russia, and that this event is inevitable. Another character, Solomon Leonidze, thinks that this will result in the loss of Georgia’s national identity. The sympathies of the poet and reader both fall on Solomon’s side, but the objectively rational decision of the king prevails. Despite leaving only some 40 poems and lyrics, Baratashvili is considered the preeminent poet of Georgian romanticism. His ingenuous squib portrayed a complex inner world of the human soul. The feeling of loneliness run thorough his early poems (Twilight over the Mtatsminda, 1836, and Reflections on the Kura's Banks, 1837) and reached its climax in the poem Lonely Soul (1839). In his poems, Baratashvili sang of high moral ideals and sought his own path to improve society. The poet's struggle against the powers of pessimism and darkness found expression in one of his best poems, Merani, which has been influential on later Georgian poets. With its mystical vision of the future, it also served as a symbol of progress and eternal movement forward. “Merani” is a prominent work of Georgian romanticism both from an ethical-philosophical view, and from an artistic-aesthetic point of view.
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