It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. - Henry James
Below me the silver-capped Caucasus lies...
Nearby an abyss yawns, and, far down, a roaring
Stream swift rushes past; o'er the peaks calmly soaring,
An eagle seems motionless, pinned to the skies.
Here rivers are born that mid rocks, grumbling, wander
And landslides begin with a crash as of thunder.
Here float solemn storm clouds, and through them cascade
Swift torrents of water; they plunge o'er the edges
Of great, naked cliffs and spill down to the ledges
That patches of moss and dry brushwood invade.
Beneath spread green groves, lush with herbs and
Where birds trill and chirp and where deer play, contented.
Lower still, in the hills, nestle men; flocks of sheep
The pasturelands roam; to the gay, flowery meadow
Where flows the Aragva, its banks clothed in shadow,
A shepherd descends. In a narrow and deep
Ravine a poor horseman lurks, tense and unsleeping,
And, laugh-crazed, the Terek goes tumbling and leaping.
It lashes about like a beast in a cage
With food out of reach, full of hunger and craving,
And licks at the boulders, and, howling and raving,
Strikes out at the shore in a frenzy and rage.
Alas! it is thwarted: the mountains surround it;
Mute, threatening giants, they press darkly round it.