Vazha Pshavela – The Shepherd-Maid

On quiet sleep you lie, fair maid,
With curly locks that lure the eye.
What visions, thoughts invade your dreams
As you rest here beneath the sky?
With beating heart and hurrying feet
You pass this forest every day.
Woe if you meet the tiger fierce,
The wolf or bear upon your way!
* * *
A light worn garment hid her form.
Her feet in slippers soft were clad.
The beauty of her arms on which
Her head reposed nigh made me mad.
A sheep-skin sack hung on her back,
A shepherd’s rod beside her lay.
She slumbered on and sleep brought her
A short respite from toils of day.
Oblivious of any fear,
No troubled dreams disturbed her sleep,
Yet, for that angel of the woods
I feared, and prayed to God to keep
Her safe from every future pain.
Though I, by fate, am doomed to wander
With dire misfortune all my life,
God, may Thy blessings fall upon her,
For if those eyes are closed by death,
And no more will they brightly glow,
What other fires can warm my heart
Or on it equal joys bestow?
O mounts! O trees! O flowing streams!
On ye I call in humble prayer,
This lass, the angel of my dreams,
From pain and sorrow shield fore’er!


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