A Georgian Menshevik
In November 1900 there appeared in the Georgian periodical Kvali a poem entitled A Fearless Knight, in which the nineteen-year-old poet Irakli Tsereteli described an encounter between a young knight and a disillusioned old man. The old man had abandoned all hope that the younger generation would find the strength and courage to fight for the cause for which so many warriors had sacrificed their lives in the past. The youth vowed, however, to dispel this pessimism. When the old man looked up in surprise, he tapped himself on the chest and said ‘Look! You see before you the man whose arm will not weaken in the just cause and who would die sooner than retire broken-spirited from the lists. Wish him victory in the battle!’ For the rest of his life Tsereteli evidently identified to a certain extend with the young man in this early poem. Much later, when he translated the poem into Russian, he said that he was still so moved by the mood of the poem that he was only able to reproduced it by a literal translation.1
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