Vazha Pshavela – Letter Of A Pshav Soldier To His Mother

Thy dreams, dear mother, will become
A garden full of happiness.
O weep not so, nor drown thy heart
In languor of grief’s heaviness.
Our wounds are healed, and once again,
We’re ready for a dubious fight.
The morn we’ll greet with battle cries,
With deeds of wonder and of might.
Tamari’s sons will flood the skies
With radiance of vict’ry’s light,
And with our lives we’ll guard and keep
The torch of honour ever bright.
For glory born of fallen pride
We ne’er will barter Georgia’s right!
We’ll fell the enemy or die,
And ne’er like cowards shirk a fight.
Though now we’re far from Georgia, yet,
Our hearts for her with longing sigh.
One thing sends fires through our veins,
As wondering we see on high,
Above a red-fanged field of war,
Upon a flying steed — a knight!
He holds a flaming sword that like
A star of hope shines in the night!
His glowing eyes flash sombre light.
And there midst man-wrought hell and woe
That knight protects our souls from blight!
When all is still and not a sound
Is heard of cannon’s deafening roar,
When battle’s surging din is hushed,
And thoughts invade my mind once more,
I seem to see thee, mother, combing
Wool in the quiet of the night.
Thy head is bent and tears like torrents
Fall on the carded wool so white.
A homespun ‘chokha’ wilt thou sew
For me, made holy by thy tear;
No sword can tear it, nor can fire
Burn through the cloth, O mother dear.
And through the long and dreary night
Sleep toucheth not thy tearful eyes.
God grant to happy smiles and song
Be changed thy mournful dirge and sighs.
Farewell! the battle-trumpet rings,
And bids us rush where soldiers’ cries
Resound; where blades like lightning blaze
And cannon’s volley rends the skies.
But woe! if glory’s thrill is o’er
And all our hopes turn to despair!
Woe if the spark of valour’s flame
To ashes cold be quenched fore’er!
Perchance the raven black will croak
A dirge of doom o’er Georgia fair!
Farewell! the battle-trumpet rings
And bids us rush where soldiers’ cries
Resound, where blades like lightning blaze
And cannon’s volley rends the skies.
Farewell! and weep not, for thy son
Will fell the foe or bravely die!


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