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The Man in the Panther's Skin

Sjota Roestaveli

Those who prepare for battle, better record their last will and testament.

illustratie: lees in nederlands
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De ridder in het pantervel

Als het lot, dat allen treft,
Ook mij zal treffen,
Zal ik sterven als vreemdeling in een vreemd land.
Mijn moeder zal niet om mij kunnen wenen,
en zij die ik grootgebracht heb zullen mij niet in mijn lijkwade kunnen wikkelen, en mijn vertrouweling ook niet.
Moge dan uw barmhartige, milde
hart mij genadig zijn.

Ik heb talloze bezittingen
Die niemand kan wegen;
Geef de kostbaarheden aan de armen;
Geef de slaven de vrijheid;
Maak iedere wees
Die niets heeft rijk;
Zij zullen mij dankbaar zijn, zij zullen zich mij herinneren,
zij zullen mij zegenen, ik zal voortleven in hun herinnering.

Vertaling: Carl Hinrich Menze

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Do you speak Georgian and would you like to recite this poem? Contact us at muurgedichten@taalmuseum.nl!

illustratie: ontdek dit gedicht in 1 minuut
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The knight in the panter's skin is probably the most famous Georgian text. This medieval epic, full of contestation and bravery, illustrates contemporary contacts with both India and the arab world. This fragment also displays chivalrous ideals: the protagonist decides to help a friend, even if it might cost him his life. Before riding off, he dictates his last will to a slave.

illustratie: ik heb een verhaal bij dit gedicht
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Share your story

Does this poem hold a special place in your heart? For example, do you remember when you first read the poem? Or did you come across it someplace unexpected? Let us know at muurgedichten@taalmuseum.nl! We would love to add your story to our website.

illustratie: gedicht in leiden
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Sjota Roestaveli in Leiden

Photo Anoesjka Minnaard

illustratie: lees dit gedicht in het engels
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ვეფხისტყაოსანი

თუ საწუთრომან დამამხოს, ყოველთა დამამხობელმან,
ღარიბი მოვკვდე ღარიბად, ვერ დამიტიროს მშობელმან,
ვეღარ შემსუდრონ დაზრდილთა და ვერცა მისანდობელმან, -
მუნ შემიწყალოს თქვენმანვე გულმან მოწყალე-მლმობელმან.

მაქვს საქონელი ურიცხვი, ვერვისგან ანაწონები,
მიეც გლახაკთა საჭურჭლე, ათავისუფლე მონები,
შენ დაამდიდრე ყოველი ობოლი, არას მქონები:
მიღვწიან, მომიგონებენ, დამლოცვენ, მოვეგონები.

შოთა რუსთაველი,
მე-12 საუკუნე, საქართველო

illustratie: lees dit gedicht in het engels
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The Man in the Panther's Skin

If Fate, the destroyer of all,
destroy me,
an orphan I shall die travelling,
unmourned by parent,
nor will those who brought me up, nor the friend whom I trust, enshroud me;
then indeed will your merciful, tender heart have pity on me.8

I have countless possessions weighed by none:
Give the treasure to the poor,
free the slaves;
enrich every orphan without means; they will be grateful to me,
remember me,
bless me;
I shall be thought of.


Translation: Marjory Scott Wardrop (1912)

illustratie: meer weten
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Learn more

This entry was written by Het Taalmuseum. The following publications were consulted: