- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
117

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TO DAGHESTAN
117
Ghazavåt. And were I to surrender to thee, all the
people of Ghikh would laugh me to scorn.
"As a wolf tired and hungry longs to reach the
forest, as a horse unfedand mettlesome the fresh clean
meadow—so do my companions thirst for the fight
unto death. Nor do I fear thee, Kagherman ; I laugh at
all thy force ; for ourhope is in God, the All-powerful."
And again Hamzad said to Kagherman : "Ever wc
sought booty and gold, but for such a day as this there
is nothing so precious as the beautiful black powder."
And again he said: "Gold is not money today;
today the trusty Crimean flint is pure gold."
Kagherman went back to the Russian commander
and told him that Hamzad refused to surrender.
And Hamzad returned to his rampart and sat down
with his companions.
Then the troops came up and began firing; and
Hamzad and his riders fired back.
Thick was the smoke of their firing, and Hamzad
said: "May this day be accursed! So hot it is, that
wc have no shade but that of our swords."
And again he said : "How thick is the smoke, how
dark the day ! Our only light is the flash ofour guns."
And again Hamzad said to his companions :
"The Houris of Paradise look down on us from their
windows in Heaven and wonder; they dispute
together whose they shall be; and she who falls
to the braver of us will vaunt it before her friend
—and she who falls to the less brave will blush for
shame; she will close the lattice on him and turn
away ; and if any of you plays the coward this day
may his face be black when he stands before God !"

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