Our Ninika is old

His bravery left him…

How could the old age

Take his iron strength away!


How often you could see him

With swift vitality

Swinging his sickle across the valley

Using his vigorous skill.


He piled mountain upon mountain

of the corn that he cut,

Until his perspiring face

Turned crimson!..


And now he cannot even move

His old crippled legs.

He lies still and dreams a lot,

Or tells his grandsons stories of his



Sometimes when a song is heard

From the nearly valleys,

His still brave heart

Starts to beat stronger;


He rises up despite his frailty,

Leaning on his crutches,

And delightedly glances

And smiles at the boy…



(in: Kvali, July 1895)


He wanders like a shadow

From door to door through the


Holding in his hands the oak


and playing it tenderly;


In the sounds so full of dreams

As the rays of the sun,

You can hear pure truth

and divine love.


Many stony, frozen hearts

Started beating then,

Many blinded frozen minds

Turned to the light again.


But instead of gratitude

For the sounds as sweet as love,

The mob brought to the anchorite

The cup full of poison…


And they told him: “Drink it

                               and be damned

To fulfill your destiny!

We do not need your truth,

Nor your heavenly voice!”



(in: Iveria, 25 December 1895)


When driven to tears by the

                          Suffering peasants,

You, bard, devoted to the

                          people of Georgia,

Bemoaned their faith and justice


Adressing the heaven above.


Moved by the passion

For a prosperous future of our


You sounded like delighful lute,

Blessed by the Lord.


Singing the praise of your country,

With glorius adoration

And the strings of your heart

Resounded with joi….


But then some Georgians

Are going to enthrone you

And your past troubles and sufferings

Will be crowned in our days.


Your words have taken root already

In their hearts,

And now, venerable elder,

You will reap the fruits of your hard


Listen to the people’ s appeal

Use it in your struggle as a sickle:

Long live Raphiel! May the nation

Have more sons like you!!!



(in: Iveria, 29 October, 1895)


Move on tirelessly –

Don′sst let your head droop,

Disperse the misty clouds,

The rule of the Lord is great.


Send your gentle smile to the land

That spreads beneath your feet,

Sing a lullaby to the isy pearks

Suspended from the sky.


Be sure that some day

Even the deprived and humiliated

Find the strength to climb up the

                                     Sacred mountain

Supported by hope.


Keep shining, beautiful one

Among the clouds as long ago,

Cast your delightful rays

Through the blue firmament.


And I, too, will unbutton my collar

Baring my breast to the moon,

Reaching out my hands

And singing a song of glory to the




(in: Iveria, 11 october, 1895)


When the shining moon

Glides across the sky,

Illuminating the horizon

With its sparkling light;


When the nightingale’s song

Echoes softly through the air,

When the flute’s tender note

Reaches the mountain top;


When the fugitive banished from


Is free to return to his

                                   wounded country,

When the blinded cripple

Is able again to see the moon and

                                                  the sun;


Then I, abused, abandon my grief,

And in my poor heart

Reappears hope

For a prosperous future;


My soul seems happy,

And the heart is tranquil,

And yet, will this hope hold true

That overfills me today ?!



(in: Iveria, 22 september, 1895)


The rosebud flowered

Entwining the violet,

And Iris aworke

Greening the breeze.


The lark sang its tune

High up in the clouds.

And nightingale joined

In the jubilating song :


“May you prosper, my beautiful


Land of Iberia, blossom and thrive!

And you, my studious and diligent


Acquire the knowledge your

                                 Fatherland needs! “


I. J- shvili

(In: Iveria, 14 June 1895)