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Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)
 

Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)

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Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)...

Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)

By far the greatest and most influential figure of Albanian literature in the first half of the twentieth century was the Franciscan pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940) who more than any other writer gave artistic expression to the searching soul of the now sovereign Albanian nation.

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    Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940) Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940) Document Transcript

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    • Pater Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940)By far the greatest and most influential figure of Albanian literature in thefirst half of the twentieth century was the Franciscan pater Gjergj Fishta(1871-1940) who more than any other writer gave artistic expression tothe searching soul of the now sovereign Albanian nation. Lauded andcelebrated up until the Second World War as the ‘national poet of Albania’and the ‘Albanian Homer,’ Fishta was to fall into sudden oblivion when thecommunists took power in November 1944. The very mention of his namebecame taboo for forty-six years. Who was Gjergj Fishta and can he live upto his epithet as ‘poet laureate’ half a century later?Fishta was born on 23 October 1871 in the Zadrima village of Fishta nearTroshan in northern Albania where he was baptized by Franciscanmissionary and poet Leonardo De Martino (1830-1923). He attendedFranciscan schools in Troshan and Shkodra where as a child he was deeplyinfluenced both by the talented De Martino and by a Bosnian missionary,pater Lovro Mihacevic, who instilled in the intelligent lad a love forliterature and for his native language. In 1886, when he was fifteen, Fishtawas sent by the Order of the Friars Minor to Bosnia, as were many youngAlbanians destined for the priesthood at the time. It was at Franciscanseminaries and institutions in Sutjeska, Livno and Kresevo that the youngFishta studied theology, philosophy and languages, in particular Latin,Italian and Serbo-Croatian, to prepare himself for his ecclesiastical andliterary career.During his stay in Bosnia he came into contact with Bosnian writer GrgaMartiƒc (1822-1905) and Croatian poet Silvije Strahimir Kranjcevic (1865-1908) with whom he became friends and who aroused a literary calling inhim. In 1894 Gjergj Fishta was ordained as a priest and admitted to theFranciscan order. On his return to Albania in February of that year, he wasgiven a teaching position at the Franciscan college in Troshan andsubsequently a posting as parish priest in the village of Gomsiqja. In 1899,he collaborated with Preng Doçi , the influential abbot of Mirdita, with prosewriter and priest Dom Ndoc Nikaj and with folklorist Pashko Bardhi (1870-1948) to found the Bashkimi (Unity) literary society of Shkodra which setout to tackle the thorny Albanian alphabet question. This society wassubsequently instrumental in the publication of a number of Albanian-language school texts and of the Bashkimi Albanian-Italian dictionary of1908, still the best dictionary of Gheg dialect. By this time Fishta hadbecome a leading figure of cultural and public life in northern Albania andin particular in Shkodra.In 1902, Fishta was appointed director of Franciscan schools in the districtof Shkodra where he is remembered in particular for having replacedItalian by Albanian for the first time as the language of instruction there.This effectively put an end to the Italian cultural domination of northernAlbanian Catholics and gave young Albanians studying at these schools asense of national identity. On 14-22 November 1908 he participated in the - 2 -
    • Congress of Monastir as a representative of the Bashkimi literary society.This congress, attended by Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim delegates fromAlbania and abroad, was held to decide upon a definitive Albanian alphabet, a problem to which Fishta had given much thought. Indeed, the congresshad elected Gjergj Fishta to preside over a committee of eleven delegateswho were to make the choice. After three days of deliberations, Fishta andthe committee resolved to support two alphabets: a modified form of SamiFrashëri’s Istanbul alphabet which, though impractical for printing, wasmost widely used at the time, and a new Latin alphabet almost identical toFishta’s Bashkimi alphabet, in order to facilitate printing abroad.In October 1913, almost a year after the declaration of Albanianindependence in Vlora, Fishta founded and began editing the Franciscanmonthly periodical Hylli i Dritës (The day-star) which was devoted toliterature, politics, folklore and history. With the exception of the turbulentyears of the First World War and its aftermath, 1915-1920, and the earlyyears of the dictatorship of Ahmet Zogu, 1925-1929, this influential journalof high literary standing was published regularly until July 1944 andbecame as instrumental for the development of northern Albanian Ghegculture as Faik bey Konitza’s Brussels journal Albania had been for the Toskculture of the south. From December 1916 to 1918 Fishta edited theShkodra newspaper Posta e Shqypni ës (The Albanian post), a political andcultural newspaper which was subsidized by Austria-Hungary under theauspices of the Kultusprotektorat, despite the fact that the occupyingforces did not entirely trust Fishta because of his nationalist aspirations.Also in 1916, together with Luigj Gurakuqi, Ndre Mjeda and Mati Logoreci(1867-1941), Fishta played a leading role in the Albanian LiteraryCommission (Komisija Letrare Shqype) set up by the Austro-Hungarians onthe suggestion of consul-general August Ritter von Kral (1859-1918) todecide on questions of orthography for official use and to encourage thepublication of Albanian school texts. After some deliberation, theCommission sensibly decided to use the central dialect of Elbasan as aneutral compromi se for a standard literary language. This was muchagainst the wishes of Gjergj Fishta who regarded the dialect of Shkodra, inview of its strong contribution to Albanian culture at the time, as bestsuited. Fishta hoped that his northern Albanian koine would soon serve asa literary standard for the whole country much as Dante’s language hadserved as a guide for literary Italian. Throughout these years, Fishtacontinued teaching and running the Franciscan school in Shkodra, knownfrom 1921 on as the Collegium Illyricum (Illyrian college), which hadbecome the leading educational institution of northern Albania. He was nowalso an imposing figure of Albanian literature.In August 1919, Gjergj Fishta served as secretary-general of the Albaniandelegation attending the Paris Peace Conference and, in this capacity, wasasked by the president of the delegation, Msgr. Luigj Bumçi (1872-1945),to take part in a special commission to be sent to the United States toattend to the interests of the young Albanian state. There he visited Boston, - 3 -
    • New York and Washington. In 1921, Fishta represented Shkodra in theAlbanian parliament and was chosen in August of that year as vice-president of this assembly. His talent as an orator served him well in hisfunctions both as a political figure and as a man of the cloth. In later years,he attended Balkan conferences in Athens (1930), Sofia (1931) andBucharest (1932) before withdrawing from public life to devote hisremaining years to the Franciscan order and to his writing.From 1935 to 1938 he held the office of provincial of the AlbanianFranciscans. These most fruitful years of his life were now spent in thequiet seclusion of the Franciscan monastery of Gjuhadoll in Shkodra withits cloister, church and rose garden where Fishta would sit in the shade andreflect on his verse. As the poet laureate of his generation, Gjergj Fishtawas honoured with various diplomas, awards and distinctions both at homeand abroad. He was awarded the Austro-Hungarian Ritterkreuz in 1911,decorated by Pope Pius XI with the Al Merito award in 1925, given theprestigious Phoenix medal of the Greek government, honoured with thetitle Lector jubilatus honoris causae by the Franciscan order, and made aregular member of the Italian Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1939. Hedied in Shkodra on 30 December 1940.Although Gjergj Fishta is the author of a total of thirty-seven literarypublications, his name is indelibly linked to one great work, indeed to oneof the most astounding creations in all the history of Albanian literature,Lahuta e malcís, Shkodra 1937 (The highland lute). ‘The highland lute’ is a15,613-line historical verse epic focussing on the Albanian struggle forautonomy and independence. It constitutes a panorama of northernAlbanian history from 1858 to 1913. This literary masterpiece wascomposed primarily between 1902 and 1909, though it was refined andamended by its author over a thirty year period. It constitutes the firstAlbanian-language contribution to world literature.In 1902 Fishta had been sent to a little village to replace the local parishpriest for a time. There he met and befriended the aging peasant MarashUci (d. 1914) of Hoti, whom he was later to immortalize in verse. In theirevenings together, Marash Uci told the young priest of the heroic battlesbetween the Albanian highlanders and the Montenegrins, in particular ofthe famed battle at the Rrzhanica Bridge in which Marash Uci had takenpart himself. The first parts of ‘The highland lute,’ subtitled ‘At theRrzhanica Bridge,’ were published in Zadar in 1905 and 1907, withsubsequent and enlarged editions appearing in 1912, 1923, 1931 and 1933. The definitive edition of the work in thirty cantos was presented inShkodra in 1937 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the declaration ofAlbanian independence. Despite the success of ‘The highland lute’ and thepreeminence of its author, this and all other works by Gjergj Fishta werebanned after the Second World War when the communists came to power.The epic was, however, republished in Rome 1958, Ljubljana 1990 andRome 1991, and exists in German and Italian translations. - 4 -
    • ‘The highland lute’ is certainly the most powerful and effective epic to havebeen written in Albanian. Gjergj Fishta chose as his subject matter what heknew best: the heroic culture of his native northern Albanian mountains. Itwas his intention with this epic, an unprecedented achievement in Albanianletters, to present the lives of the northern Albanian tribes and of hispeople in general in a heroic setting.In its historical dimensions, ‘The highland lute’ begins with borderskirmishes between the Hoti and Gruda tribes and their equally fierceMontenegrin neighbours in 1858. The core of the work (cantos 6-25) isdevoted to the events of 1878-1880, i.e. the Congress of Berlin whichgranted Albanian borderland to Montenegro, and the resultant creation ofthe League of Prizren to defend Albanian interests. Subsequent cantoscover the Revolution of the Young Turks which initially gave Albaniannationalists some hope of autonomy, and the Balkan wars of 1912 and1913 which led to the declaration of Albanian independence.It was the author’s fortune at the time to have been at the source of theonly intact heroic society in Europe. The tribal structure of the inhabitantsof the northern Albanian Alps differed radically from the more advancedand ‘civilized’ regions of the Tosk south. What so fascinated foreignethnographers and visitors to northern Albania at the turn of the centurywas the staunchly patriarchal society of the highlands, a system based oncustoms handed down for centuries by tribal law, in particular by the Codeof Lekë Dukagjini. All the distinguishing features of this society are presentin ‘The highland lute’: birth, marriage and funerary customs, beliefs, thegenerous hospitality of the tribes, their endemic blood-feuding, and thebesa, absolute fidelity to one’s word, come what may.‘The highland lute’ is strongly inspired by northern Albanian oral verse,both by the cycles of heroic verse, i.e. the octosyllabic Këngë kreshnikësh(Songs of the frontier warriors), similar to the Serbo-Croatian juna…kepjesme, and by the equally popular cycles of historical verse of theeighteenth century, similar to Greek klephtic verse and to the haidutskapesen of the Bulgarians. Fishta knew this oral verse which was sung by theGheg mountain tribes on their one-stringed lahutas, and relished itslanguage and rhythm. The narrative of the epic is therefore replete withthe rich, archaic vocabulary and colourful figures of speech used by thewarring highland tribes of the north and does not make for easy readingnowadays, even for the northern Albanians themselves.An intimate link to oral literature is of course nothing unusual for an epicpoem, though some authors have criticized Fishta for ‘folklorism,’ forimitating folklore instead of producing a truly literary epic. The standardmeter of ‘The highland lute’ is a trochaic octameter or heptameter which ismore in tune with Albanian oral verse than is the classical hexameter ofLatin and Greek epics. The influence of the great epics of classical antiquity, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Vergil’s Aeneid, is nonetheless ubiquitousin ‘The highland lute,’ as a number of scholars, in particular Maximilian - 5 -
    • Lambertz and Giuseppe Gradilone, have pointed out. Many parallels in styleand content have thus transcended the millennia. Fishta himself latertranslated book five of the Iliad into Albanian.Among the major stylistic features which characterize ‘The highland lute,’and no doubt most other epics, are metaphor, alliteration and assonance,as well as archaic figures of speech and hyperbole. The predominantlyheroic character of the narrative with its extensive battle scenes isfortunately counterbalanced with lyric and idyllic descriptions of the naturalbeauty of the northern Albanian Alps which give ‘The highland lute’ alightness and poetic grace it might otherwise lack.‘The highland lute’ relies heavily on Albanian mythology and legend. Thework is permeated with mythological figures of oral literature who, like thegods and goddesses of ancient Greece, observe and, where necessary,intervene in events. Among them are the zanas, dauntless mountain spiritswho dwell near springs and torrents and who bestow their protection onAlbanian warriors; the oras, female spirits whose very name is often taboo;the vampire-like lugats; the witch-like shtrigas; and the drangues, semi-human figures born with wings under their arms and with supernaturalpowers, whose prime objective in life is to combat and slay the seven-headed fire-spewing kulshedras.The fusion of the heroic and the mythological is equally evident in anumber of characters to whom Fishta attributes major roles in ‘Thehighland lute’: Oso Kuka, the fierce and valiant warrior who prefers deathover surrender to his Slavic enemy; the old shepherd Marash Uci whoadmonishes the young fighters to preserve their freedom and not to forgetthe ancient ways and customs; and the valiant maiden Tringa, caring forher brother and resolved to defend her land.The heroic aspect of life in the mountains is one of the many characteristicsthe northern Albanian tribes have in common with their southern Slavic,and in particular Montenegrin, neighbours. The two peoples, divided asthey are by language and by the bitter course of history, have a largelycommon culture. Although the Montenegrins serve as ‘bad guys’ in theglorification of the author’s native land, Fishta was not uninfluenced orunmoved by the literary achievements of the southern Slavs in the secondhalf of the nineteenth century, in particular by epic verse of Slavicresistance to the Turks. We have referred to the role played by Franciscanpater Grga Martic whose works served the young Fishta as a model whilethe latter was studying in Bosnia.Fishta was also influenced by the writings of an earlier Franciscan writer,Andrija Kacic-Miosic (1704-1760), Dalmatian poet and publicist of theEnlightenment who is remembered in particular for his Razgovor ugodninaroda slovinskoga, 1756 (Pleasant talk of Slavic folk), a collection ofprose and poetry on Serbo-Croatian history, and by the works of Croatianpoet Ivan Mazhuranic (1814-1890), author of the noted romantic epic Smrt - 6 -
    • Smail-age Cengica, 1846 (The death of Smail Aga). A further source ofliterary inspiration for Fishta was the Montenegrin poet-prince PetarPetrovic Njegos (1813-1851). It is no coincidence that the title ‘Thehighland (or mountain) lute’ is very similar to Gorski vijenac, 1847 (Themountain wreath), Njegos’ verse epic of Montenegro’s heroic resistance tothe Turkish occupants, which is now generally regarded as the nationalepic of the Montenegrins and Serbs. Fishta proved that the Albanianlanguage, too, was capable of a refined literary epic of equally heroicproportions.Although Gjergj Fishta is remembered primarily as an epic poet, hisachievements are actually no less impressive in other genres, in particularas a lyric and satirical poet. Indeed, his lyric verse is regarded by manyscholars as his best.Fishta’s first publication of lyric poetry, Vierrsha i pershpirteshem t’kthyemshcyp, Shkodra 1906 (Spiritual verse translated into Albanian), was ofstrong Catholic inspiration. Here we find translations of the great Italianpoets such as the Arcadian Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782) of Rome,romantic novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) of Milanwhom Fishta greatly admired, the patriotic Silvio Pellico (1789-1845) ofTurin, and lyricist and literary historian Giacomo Zanella (1820-1888) ofVicenza, etc.Fishta’s first collection of original lyric verse was published under the titlePika voëset, Zadar 1909 (Dewdrops), and dedicated to his contemporaryLuigj Gurakuqi. It was followed in 1913, at the dawn of Albanianindependence, by the first edition of Mrizi i zâneve, Shkodra 1913(Noonday rest of the Zanas), which includes some of the religious verse ofPika voëset. The general tone of Mrizi i zâneve is, however, much morenationalist than spiritual, the patriotic character of the collection beingsubstantially underlined in the subsequent expanded editions of 1924,1925 and in the definitive posthumous edition of 1941. Poems such asShqypnija (Albania), Gjuha shqype (The Albanian language), Atdheut (Tothe fatherland), Shqypnija e lirë (Free Albania) and Hymni i flamuritkombtár (Hymn to the national flag) express Fishta’s satisfaction and pridein Albania’s history and in its new-found independence. Also included inthis volume is the allegorical melodrama Shqyptari i gjytetnuem (Thecivilized Albanian man) and its sequel Shqyptarja e gjytetnueme (Thecivilized Albanian woman).With his nationalist verse concentrated in the above volume, Fishtacollected his religious poetry in the 235-page edition Vallja e Parrîzit,Shkodra 1925 (The dance of paradise). The verse in this collection,including poems such as Të kryqzuemt (The crucifixion), Të zânun e pafajtë Virgjërês Mri (The immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary), Nuntsiata(The annunciation) and Shë Françesku i Asizit (St Francis of Assisi),constitutes a zenith of Catholic literature in Albania.Gjergj Fishta was also a consummate master of satirical verse, using hiswit and sharpened quill to criticize the educational shortcomings and - 7 -
    • intellectual sloth of his Scutarine compatriots. His was not the benevolent,exhortative irony of Çajupi, but rather biting, pungent satire, often to thepoint of ruthlessness, the poetic equivalent of the blunt satirical prose ofFaik bey Konitza. Fishta had printed many such poems in the periodicalAlbania using the telling pseudonym ‘Castigat ridendo.’ In 1907, hepublished, anonymously, the 67-page satirical collection Anxat e Parnasit,Sarajevo 1907 (The wasps of Parnassus), which laid the foundations forsatire as a poetic genre in Albanian literature and which is regarded bymany critics as the best poetry he ever produced.In the first of the satires, Nakdomonicipedija (A lesson for Nakdo Monici),he turns to his friend, Jesuit writer and publisher Dom Ndoc Nikaj, whomhe affectionately calls by his pen name Nakdo Monici, to convey hissympathy that the latter’s 416-page Historia é Shcypniis (History ofAlbania), published in Brussels in 1902, had not received due attentionamong their compatriots. The Albanians were quite indifferent to their ownhistory and indeed to their present sorry state in general. The reason forthis indifference, Fishta tells us, was a contest between St Nicholas and thedevil. St Nicholas had sailed the seas at the command of the Almighty tosell reason and taste. The devil, for his part, competed with a ship full ofold boots which he offered for sale. When the two merchants arrived at theport of Shëngjin, the Albanians took counsel and decided to go for theboots on credit. With such uneducated masses, Fishta recommends thatNikaj take solace in the aloof and cynical attitude of Molière’s Tartuffe.Anxat e Parnasit, later spelled Anzat e Parnasit, which contains many adelightfully spicy expression normally unbecoming to a mild Franciscanpriest, was republished in 1927, 1928, 1942 and 1990, and made Fishtamany friends and enemies.Gomari i Babatasit, Shkodra 1923 (Babatasi’s ass), is another volume ofamusing satire, published under the pseudonym Gegë Toska while Fishtawas a member of the Albanian parliament. In this work, which enjoyedgreat popularity at the time, he rants at false patriots and idlers.Aside from the above-mentioned melodramas, Fishta was the author ofseveral other works of theatre, including adaptations of a number offoreign classics, e.g., the three-act I ligu per mend, Shkodra 1931 (Lemalade imaginaire), of Molière, and Ifigenija n’Aullí, Shkodra 1931(Iphigenia in Aulis), of Euripides. Among other dramatic works hecomposed and/or adapted at a time when Albanian theatre was in itsinfancy are short plays of primarily religious inspiration, among them thethree-act Christmas play Barìt e Betlêmit (The shepherds of Bethlehem);Sh’ Françesku i Asisit, Shkodra 1912 (St Francis of Assisi); the tragedyJuda Makabé, Shkodra 1923 (Judas Maccabaeus); Sh. Luigji Gonzaga,Shkodra 1927 (St Aloysius of Gonzaga); and Jerina, ase mbretnesha eluleve, Shkodra 1941 (Jerina or the queen of the flowers), the last of hisworks to be published during his lifetime.The national literature of Albania had been something of a Tosk prerogative - 8 -
    • until the arrival of Gjergj Fishta on the literary scene. He proved thatnorthern Albania could be an equal partner with the more advanced southin the creation of a national culture. The acclaim of ‘The highland lute’ hasnot been universal, though, in particular among Tosk critics. Some authorshave regarded his blending of oral and written literature as disastrous andothers have simply regarded such a literary epic with a virtuallycontemporary theme as an anachronism in the twentieth century. Onlytime will tell whether Fishta can regain his position as ‘national poet’ afterhalf a century of politically motivated oblivion.At the outbreak of the Second World War, Gjergj Fishta was indeeduniversally recognized as the ‘national poet.’ Austrian AlbanologistMaximilian Lambertz (1882-1963) described him as "the most ingeniouspoet Albania has ever produced" and Gabriele D’Annunzio called him "thegreat poet of the glorious people of Albania." For others he was the"Albanian Homer."After the war, Fishta was nonetheless attacked and denigrated perhapsmore than any other pre-war writer and fell into prompt oblivion. Thenational poet became an anathema. The official Tirana ‘History of AlbanianLiterature’ of 1983, which carried the blessing of the Albanian Party ofLabour, restricted its treatment of Fishta to an absolute minimum: "Themain representative of this clergy, Gjergj Fishta (1871-1940), poet,publicist, teacher and politician, ran the press of the Franciscan order anddirected the cultural and educational activities of this order for a long time.For him, the interests of the church and of religion rose above those of thenation and the people, something he openly declared and defended with allhis demagogy and cynicism, [a principle] upon which he based his literarywork.His main work, the epic poem, Lahuta e Malësisë (The highland lute), whileattacking the chauvinism of our northern neighbours, propagates anti-Slavic feelings and makes the struggle against the Ottoman occupantssecondary. He raised a hymn to patriarchalism and feudalism, to religiousobscurantism and clericalism, and speculated with patriotic sentimentswherever it was a question of highlighting the events and figures of thenational history of our Rilindja period. His other works, such as the satiricalpoem Gomari i Babatasit (Babatasi’s ass), in which public schooling anddemocratic ideas were bitterly attacked, were characteristic of the savagestruggle undertaken by the Catholic church to maintain and increase itsinfluence in the intellectual life of the country. With his art, heendeavoured to pay service to a form close to folklore. It was oftenaccompanied by prolixity, far-fetched effects, rhetoric, brutality ofexpression and style to the point of banality, false arguments which heintentionally endeavours to impose, and an exceptionally conservativeattitude in the field of language. Fishta ended his days as a member of theacademy of fascist Italy." - 9 -
    • The real reason for Fishta’s fall from grace after the ‘liberation’ in 1944 isto be sought, however, not in his alleged pro-Italian or clerical proclivities,but in the origins of the Albanian Communist Party itself. The ACP, later tobe called the Albanian Party of Labour, had been founded during theSecond World War under the auspices of the Yugoslav envoys DusanMugosa (1914-1973) and Miladin Popovic (1910-1945). In July 1946,Albania and Yugoslavia signed a Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation andMutual Assistance and a number of other agreements which gaveYugoslavia effective control over all Albanian affairs, including the field ofculture. Serbo-Croatian was introduced as a compulsory subject in allAlbanian high schools and by the spring of 1948, plans were even underway for a merger of the two countries. It is no doubt the alleged anti-Slavicsentiments expressed in ‘The highland lute’ which caused the work and itsauthor to be proscribed by the Yugoslav authorities, even though Fishtawas educated in Bosnia and inspired by Serbian and Croatian literature.In fact, it is just as ridiculous to describe ‘The highland lute’ as anti-Slavicpropaganda as it would be to describe El Cid and the Chanson de Roland asanti-Arab propaganda. They are all historical epics with heroes and foreignenemies. The so-called anti-Slavic element in Fishta’s work was alsostressed in the first post-war edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia ofMoscow, which reads as follows (March 1950): "The literary activities of theCatholic priest Gjergj Fishta reflect the role played by the Catholic clergy inpreparing for Italian aggression against Albania. As a former agent ofAustro-Hungarian imperialism, Fishta, in the early years of his literaryactivity, took a position against the Slavic peoples who opposed therapacious plans of Austro-Hungarian imperialism in Albania. In hischauvinistic, anti-Slavic poem ‘The highland lute,’ this spy extolled thehostility of the Albanians towards the Slavic peoples, calling for an openfight against the Slavs."After relations with Yugoslavia were broken off in 1948, it is quite likelythat expressions of anti-Montenegrin or anti-Serb sentiment would nolonger have been considered a major sin in Party thinking, but an officialposition had been taken with regard to Fishta and, possibly with deferenceto the new Slav allies in Moscow, it could not be renounced without ascandal. Gjergj Fishta, who but a few years earlier had been lauded as thenational poet of Albania, disappeared from the literary scene, seeminglywithout a trace. Such was the fear of him in later years that his bones wereeven dug up and secretly thrown into the river.Yet despite four decades of unrelenting Party harping and propagandareducing Fishta to a ‘clerical and fascist poet,’ the people of northernAlbania, and in particular the inhabitants of his native Shkodra, did notforget him. After almost half a century, Gjergj Fishta was commemoratedopenly for the first time on 5 January 1991 in Shkodra. During the firstpublic recital of Fishta’s works in Albania in forty-five years, the actor atone point hesitated in his lines and was immediately and spontaneouslyassisted by members of the audience - who still knew many parts of ‘The - 10 -
    • highland lute’ by heart. The Highland lute (Lahuta e Malc í s) Malcí Canto 1 The bandits(In 1858, despite four long centuries under the Turkish yoke, the Albanianshad not abandoned their will for freedom. The Tsar of Russia, hoping toextend his influence in the Balkans, writes a letter to his friend, PrinceNikolla of Montenegro, suggesting that the latter take possession of a pieceof northern Albania to keep the Turks on the defensive, and promisingassistance. The letter, borne over hill and dale by the Tsar’s personalmessenger, arrives at the court of Cetinje and finds favour with theMontenegrin ruler who convinces the valiant Vulo Radoviqi, commander ofVasoviqi, to ready his bandits to lay waste to Vranina on Lake Shkod ra. ) Help me God as you once helped me, Five hundred years are now behind us Since Albania the fair was taken, 5 Since the Turks took and enslaved her, Left in blood our wretched homeland, Let her suffocate and wither That she no more glimpse the sunlight. That she ever live in sorrow, 10 That when beaten, she keep silent. Mice within the walls wept for her, Serpents under stones took pity! But when a steer is first yoked under, Oxbow weighing hard upon it, 15 Theres no sense at all to goad it, It will balk, not pull the ploughshare, Only crisscross fields at fancy, And make trouble for the farmer, Will refuse to till the furrows 20 When alone or with another. So it is with the Albanians, Under foreign yoke unwilling To be slaves, pay tithes and taxes. Always have they wandered freely, 25 None but God above them knowing, Never on their lands and pastures Would they bow before a master. Never with the Turks agreeing Never out of sight their rifles. 30 They waged war on them, were slaughtered, Just as if with shkjas in battle. Therefore, when the Turkish ora - 11 -
    • Started to lose power, weaken, When her drive began to crumble,35 Russia day by day beset her And the tribesmen of the Balkans Began to flee the sultans power, Did the Albanians start to ponder How to free their native country40 From the Turkish yoke and make it As when ruled by Castriota, When Albanians lived in freedom, Did not bow or show submission, To a foreign king or sultan,45 Did not pay them tithes and taxes. And Albanias banner fluttered Like the wings of all Gods angels, Like the bolts of lightning flashing, Waving high upon their homeland.50 But the Prince of Montenegro, Prince Nikolla the foolhardy, Yes, foolhardy, but a nuisance, Gathered weapons, gathered soldiers To attack and take Albania,55 To subdue the plains and mountains Down the length of the Drin river, Right down to Rozafats fortress, There to plant his trobojnica Place on Shkodra his kapica60 Make it part of Montenegro, Leave a bloodbath there behind him. Sat the Turk there in a stupor, Teardrops from his eyes did tumble, For the shkjas he could not counter65 Now that Moscow had surrounded Stamboul and besieged the city. The Seven Kings, they did take counsel, There they talked and pondered evil, - may their evil thoughts consume them! -70 To deliver fair Albania To the hands of Montenegro. To their feet rose the Albanians, Deftly girded on their weapons, Swore an oath to the Almighty75 Like that once sworn by their fathers In the age of Castriota, Some with shoes and others barefoot, Locked their flocks in pen and corral, Some with food and others hungry,80 Left their sisters, wives and mothers, Their eyes tinder, hearts gunpowder, - 12 -
    • Like a snowstorm in a fury Did they set on Montenegro. By the Cem that was the border,85 There the heroes did do battle, There Albanian, shkja in combat Fought and slaughtered one another, They grappled, wounded, slew each other, On the ground were heaps of bodies90 Left as food for kites and vultures. Handsome youths lay strewn all over, All those mountain hawks, the heroes. Nor did their poor mothers mourn them For with suckling breasts themselves95 Theyd driven back the shkja invaders. Once the shkja advance was broken Did the Albanians hold assembly, Sent stern message to the sultan That theyd pay no tithes and taxes100 Neither to that Prince Nikolla Nor to Stamboul, to the sultan Theyd no longer show submission, They now wanted independence, For Albania was not fashioned,105 Made by God for the Circassians, Nor for Turks, their Moors and Asians, But for mountain hawks, those heroes Whom the world calls the Albanians, That they keep it for their children110 For as long as life continues. When the Turk had read the message He was filled with rage and anger. How he set upon the land to Eat them up alive, those tribesmen.115 But the Albanians were resolved Hed not devour or invade them. They had come to a decision, For their land theyd muster courage, If attacked by king or sultan.120 Thus the Turk and the Albanian Seized each others throats and strangled, Smashed each others skulls to pieces, Crushed them like so many pumpkins! Fire broke out then in the Balkans.125 The shkja, in anguish that Albania, Freed now of the sultans power, Might not fall into his clutches As he had foreseen the matter, Set upon the Turk like lightning,130 Like the wild boar with the jackal. - 13 -
    • They did haggle and did grapple, Scuffled, wrestled, bit and murdered, Rifles volleyed, cannons battered, Blood in torrents swashed the clearings,135 Over fields and through the thickets, Til at last, midst din and clamour, Of the Turkish yoke released, As shed wanted, was Albania, Free at last, as God had promised,140 But no, brothers, do believe me, Not as Turk or shkja would have it. That the Turk begrudged our freedom I can understand, but dont know What got into Prince Nikolla,145 Forcing to submit Albanians, Crush them under heel, enslave them, And to seize that land where once In ancient times Gjergj Castriota Brandished in a flash his sabre.150 Nor did he show shame or sorrow That hed caused the two such bloodshed, Both Albania and Montenegro. Moscow gave him heart and courage! In Petrograd the Tsar of Russia155 Took an oath before his people, To be heard by young and old there Not to celebrate a Christmas, Not to take part as godfather In baptisms or in weddings,160 Not to wash or comb his hair more, Not to take part in assemblies, Ere hed entered into Stamboul, Ere hed made himself the sultan, Ruler over land and water,165 Cut off all of Europes trade routes, Banning all their sales and buying, Letting no one start a trade up, Holding Europe in his power. Should she even seize a breadcrumb,170 She would end up in his clutches, Captive in his bloodstained clutches, Which were deft at theft and stealing! But the sly old fox was clever, Cheater in both words and letters,175 One whose falseness knew no equal, He knew well what lay before him, No light task to enter Stamboul, No light task subjecting Turkey Without his own neck in peril. - 14 -
    • 180 So he schemed and started plotting, Set the Slavs upon the Turks, to Have the Balkan shkjas attack them, Get accounts cleared with the sultan, Let them first solve all their problems,185 Troublemaking and deception, Then from Russia would he come forth, Lunging like a bear in ambush, And attack the Turks like lightning To eradicate, destroy them,190 Never did he once consider That his deeds might plunge the planet Altogether into mourning... When the tsar had finished scheming, Did he go back into his chamber,195 At his desk he wrote a letter, Wrote a note to friends in Serbia, Friends in Zagreb and in Sofia, That the shkjas should all join forces From Budapest to Çanakkale,200 All as one should work together, Keep at bay the sultan, harried, Keep him worried and incited, Day and night they were to hound him On his roads and at his borders,205 Make demands and ultimatums, That their actions seem haphazard, Though designed to cause his downfall. Thereupon, this Slavic scion Wrote a letter to Cetinje,210 To the prince with all the details, There to spin his web and swindle: "Greetings to you, Prince Nikolla Greetings from the Tsar of Russia, Ive heard of your reputation,215 Heard youre quite a daring fellow Heard you are a skilful speaker, Foes, they say, pale at your shadow. But, it seems, such praise is groundless For you sit there in Cetinje220 On the rocks with half a sandal, A laughingstock the world has made you, You bring shame to friends and in-laws, You go begging, plead for breadcrumbs, While the Turk who is your neighbour,225 On his haughty brow a turban, Heavy pleats are in his trousers, Hes devoid of care or worry. If you look, you cannot see him, - 15 -
    • Mounds of pilaf piled before him.230 Say, have you been mutilated? Or been somewhere earning wages Or been serving as a farmhand That of you weve lost all traces? No, good man, its not becoming235 For the bandit of Cetinje To remain at home compliant And help women with their spinning. Have you never glimpsed Albania, Seen all those majestic mountains,240 Viewed the verdant fields and lowlands? Have you never ventured out To carve yourself a piece of land there? Why then sit around and daydream? If you dont get yourself moving,245 Saint Nichlas and God wont help you. If you act, luck will be with you, As the ancient saying has it. As for rations and for weapons, Ask me and Ill give them to you.250 Come on, put on your kapica. Should the sultan try to harm you, Ill not let him touch a feather." Thus the tsar wrote his epistle, Taking great care, did he fold it,255 Fold it and with dark wax seal it, Giving it to his young herald, For the prince of Montenegro. In his breast the herald placed it, Limbered up and started running,260 Left the plains and dales behind him, Crossed the lofty mountain pastures, Forded rivers, mountain torrents, Travelled over land and water, Til one day, while running westwards,265 Did he finally reach Cetinje, Tattered jacket, shredded sandals, Did he give the prince the letter Which the tsar with wax had folded.270 The prince received it, broke it open, Opened it and read the letter, Three times did the prince peruse it, Three days long he pondered on it. Thereupon he sent a message,275 Summoned Vulo Radoviqi, Commander of the Vasoviqi, That he come down to Cetinje, Notwithstanding roads and weather. - 16 -
    • Like a goshawk did he fly there280 Off to meet the gospodari. Vulo the Commander, summoned, Had once been a wily hero, Earth itself could hardly hold him, None went raiding there without him,285 Sans his word was nothing taken, Nor was murder venged without him, Nor could maidens ever marry, Nor was judgment ever taken. And the Turks of Montenegro,290 He was at them like an eagle, Kept their heads bowed in submission. Once, this Slavic scion set out On the road down to Cetinje, There opened a woollen blanket,295 Stretched it out across the roadway, Far and wide he told the people That no Turk of Montenegro Was to cross it without paying Toll and poll tax of one ducat.300 That was quite a feat of daring, Made him famed throughout the country. Vulos glance was like a windstorm And his eyes, they flashed with fire, His thick eyebrows like an oxbow305 Bristled roughly like a boar hide, Ear to ear his branch-like whiskers, Like two ravens in a noose caught, Tall, his head reached to the ceiling. Such a man, if you had see him,310 With his garments, shoes and weapons, Youd have thought he were a drangue, And the prince did dearly love him, Loved that Vulo, listened to him For he was a clever thinker,315 Was a man of keen perception. Therefore did the prince call for him That he hasten to Cetinje. Thus came Vulo to Cetinje, Notwithstanding roads and weather,320 Like a goshawk did he fly there. When Vulo had reached Cetinje Warmly did the prince receive him, Took him in and paid him honour, Offered him tobacco, coffee.325 Then began the conversation: "Whereve you been, Vulo, you rascal? Like a lonesome wolf youve vanished, - 17 -
    • Never come here to Cetinje Where youve friends, blood-brothers waiting,330 Who above all else do love you. Howre you faring, any problems? How are things in Vasoviqi?" "You I wish long life, God willing," Turned and spoke Commander Vulo,335 "This year for us, gospodari, The harvest has not been abundant, Much bad weather have we suffered I dont know what now will happen, How Ill save my farm and family,340 For our stocks of food are dwindling." "Oh, come on," the prince responded, "Has a bandit ever hungered? Is a falcon ever meatless? You can bring in double harvest,345 All you needs a bit of booty To sustain your cows and oxen And to feed your tribe and village, Not to mention home and family. Hark my words, Commander Vulo,350 Listen to the gospodari, Find some thugs as mean as serpents, But as light and swift as goshawks, Lie in wait among the bushes, Then go pounce upon Vranina,355 Kill and slaughter all you find there, Burn the houses all to ashes, Rustle all the spoils around them, Loot and ransack, pillage, pilfer, Both by daytime or by nighttime.360 This is why I sent the message, Summoned you here to Cetinje For Im once more feeling tempted With the Turks to start a scuffle, Fight the Turks and decimate them,365 For it seems to me improper Turks and shkjas should sit together." So the prince explained the matter, Convinced him of all the details, Both of them went on discussing370 How to act, what they would need to Bathe in blood the town Vranina. When the two had reached agreement, The prince did bid him stay for dinner, And some money did he give him375 And a muzzle-loading flintlock, Stock of which was silver-coated, - 18 -
    • Unequalled in Montenegro, Even on a shelf it scares you, All the more when with a fighter, All the more when held by Vulo, 380 With his teeth hed bite through iron. Vulo, to his feet then rising, Bade farewell to Prince Nikolla And departed for the mountains. On his way did Vulo ponder 385 How to lay waste to Vranina, As the prince had bid him do so.[ Kangë e parë - Cubat, from the volume Lahuta e Malcís, Shkodra, 1937, p. 3-15, translated byRobert Elsie ]Nga: http://www.shkoder.net/en/fishta.htm - 19 -
    • 1937 Fishta Kanga / Canto 5. 391-4651937 | Gjerg j Fishta:Lahuta e Malcís / The Highland Lute MalcíKanga / Canto 5. 391-465 Por, s din Shkjau me mbajtë miqs í! But the shkjas dont value friendship! Aman, Zot, kur duel Serdari, Lo, when the Commander got there, Se ç kje ndez ë Vranina zhari! All Vranina was a bonfire. - 20 -
    • Aman, Zot, kur mrrîni Pera, Lo, when Pera reached the battle,395 Se shum krisi atbotë potera! There was such a din and uproar. Por kur rán Shkjét e Vraninës Albanians from the rear were fired on Shum u krisi plumja shpinës! When Vraninas shkjas came fighting. Porsi shé, qi m nji natë gjâmet As a torrent in a night storm Rritet turr e del prej âmet Overflows its banks and rises,400 Tuj ushtue - e tue shkumue, When it foams and when it rages, Shkaperderd het nper zallina, Flooding over beds of gravel, Ashtû u derdh Shkjau te Vranina, So the shkjas poured through Vranina, N valë Shqyptarët krejt tue i pershî. In a wave submerged Albanians. S lufton ndryshe e rrebtë kulshetra Thus does fight the fierce kulshedra405 E me dhâmb ë edhè me kthetra, With its teeth and claws a-lashing, Zjarm e surfull tue flakrue, Spewing fire, fomenting sulphur, Kur drangojt t a kenë rrethue; When surrounded by the drangues. Si i qindron sod Shkjaut Shqyptari Thus the Albanians, shkjas resisting, Per dhé t amel, qi i la i Pari: For the sweet land of their fathers,410 Kâmbë per kâmbë, tuj qitë pá dá, Shoulders in a phalanx battled, - 21 -
    • Tue korrë krena neper Shkjá. Reaping heads among shkja fighters. U janë ndezun flakë breshânat, Spitting flames, fired their breshanas, U kullojn gjak n dorë tagânat, Blood dripped on their hands from sabres, E u kullon gjak edhè zêmra, In their hearts their pulse was pounding,415 Veç se vend it s u lot thêmra. Though their heels stood fast, unmoving. Por ç dobí: dielli tue lé But to what end? Then the sun rose, - Isht tue lé m at ditë per Shkjé! - Rose that day for Slavic triumph, I rán ndore Shkjaut t terbuem Thirty dead and ten were injured, Trid hjetë t vrám e dhetë t shituem!... To the rabid shkjas fell victim.420 O ata t lumt, qi dhane jeten, Blessed those who gave their lives up, O ata t lumt, qi shkrîne veten, Blessed those who sacrificed, who Qi per Mbret e vend të t Parve, Died for sultan and their birthplace, Qi per erz e nderë t Shqyptarve Died to save Albanias honour, Derdhen gjakun tuj luftue, Spilt their blood while doing battle,425 Porsi t Parët u pan punue! Fought as once had done their fathers. Letë u kjoftë mbí vorr led ina, Oer their graves may grass grow gently, Butë u kjoshin moti e stina, May the seasons, years weigh lightly, - 22 -
    • Aklli, bora e serotina: Ice and snow and rainstorm. For as E dér t kndoje n ma l ndo i Zânë, Long as zanas sing in mountains,430 E dér t ketë n dét ujë e rânë, Long as seas have sand and water, Dér sá t shndrisin diell e hânë, Long as sun and moon are shining, Ata kurr mos u harrojshin, May they never be forgotten. N kângë e n valle por u kndojshin. Let song, dance commemorate them. E njaj gjak, qi kan dikue, All the blood that they did forfeit,435 Bân, o Zot, qi t jesë tue vlue May God make it boil and bubble Per m i a xé zêmren Shqyptarit, Thus to hearten the Albanians Per kah vend i e gjûha e t Parit! For their homeland and their language. Po, váll! Osja kû do t jetë? But, oh where is Oso Kuka? Oso Kuka a mos ká mbetë? Could it be that he has fallen?440 N Xhebehane ká zatetë! He is holed up in the tower, Ká zatetë n at kullë t barotit, In that powder tower hiding Kû ká bâ êmrin e Zotit, And has sworn an oath to God that Se per t gja llë nuk ká m e lshue, He alive will not surrender, Shokët e vet per pá i pague Settling score for all his comrades, - 23 -
    • 445 Trid hetë t vr ám e dhetë t shitue. Thirty dead and ten there injured. Kur pau Shkjau se pushka mêni When the shkjas heard wane the firing Si kah vau, si kah Liq êni, At the ford and at the lakeside, E se mbetë s kisht Oso Kuka Noted missing Oso Kuka Me tjer ë t vrám, perjashtë ke suka, mongst the dead around the hillock,450 M Xhebehane u turr m at hera, They at once attacked the tower. Si, kur t lshojë kah Prendvera, As when at the start of springtime Vrullet bleta çark njaj zgjonit, Bees swarm out around the beehive, Tue zukatë si rryma e prronit. Humming like the brooks and currents. N brohor í tue i lutë jetë Knjazit Thus, a hundred on the rooftop,455 Njiqind vetë kcyen m kulm t pulla zit, Cried: "Long live the Prince!" rejoicing, Mâ t permend unt kah trimnija, While the most courageous of them Njaq u njiten mbi frangija, Scrambled up to the embrasures, Tue thye muret n gjak t perlyeme: Breaching bloodied walls and fences. - Por ká gioben shpija e thyeme! - "All housebreaking must be paid for,"460 Krisi Osja atbotë si ulâni, Roared out Oso like a lion, Mje m Cetinë i vojti zâni: - 24 -
    • To Cetinje his voice echoed: "Ah kadalë, Nikollë, t vraftë Zoti! "Careful now, you damned Nikolla, Pse ktû i thonë Oso baroti : Here they call me Powder Oso, Se s ké pá Shqyptár me sy, Never youve seen an Albanian 465 Se djegë vehten edhè tý!" Blow himself up and you with him." [English translation by Robert Elsie and Janice Mathie-Heck]http://www.albanianlanguage.net/en/fishta.html - 25 -
    • 1937 Fishta Kanga / Canto 13. 1-771937 | Gjergj Fishta:Lahuta e Malc ís / The Highland Lute MalcíKanga / Canto 13. 1-77 Prendoi dielli, n qiell duel hâna, In the sky the sun set, moon rose, N Veleçik po pingron Zâna: On Veleçik chirped the zana: Ehu! ju malet e Shqypnís, "Oh, you mountains of Albania, N t cillat strukë shqypja e lirís - 26 -
    • On which once perched freedoms eagle,05 N t bardhat kohë qi kan prendue In that golden age now vanished, S lête anmik, jo, me i u afrue! You let not the foe approach you. E di shpat e di edhe prrue, Both the slopes and torrents know it, E di la ndë e di edhe gúr, Both the woods and cliffs bear witness, Shqyptarís kryq e terthuer, How much blood the foe left flowing10 Se sa gjak atbotë i anmikut Everywhere, throughout our homeland, Vojti rrkajë prej t bardhë çelikut, Blood spilt by a flashing sabre Qi flakote n dorë t Shqyptarit Brandished by Albanias fighters, Porsi rrfeja majes s Sharit. Lightning from the peaks of Sharri. A kisht mujtë kurr n at kohë t lume, Were marauding hands eer able15 (Me lot gjakut sod t lotueme!) In that blessed age to plunder Veç nji troe t tokës shqyptare (Age with bloody tears wept over) M e rmue dora grabitçare? Of Albanias soil a handful? Ah! jo kurr; t ish çue mbarë bota... No, no, never, all had risen, Pse ndo i Lekë, a i Gjergj Kastriota Some Lekë, some George Castriota20 Do t kisht dalë, at dorë rrembyese Would have leapt up, arms triumphant, - 27 -
    • M e cungue me armë ngadhnyese, And have lopped that thievish hand off, T cilla t n shekull do t permenden Feats to be forever told as Hânë e hyj sa qiellve t enden. Long as moon and stars do orbit. Por kan ndrrue sot moti e stina But the times have changed, the seasons,25 Per dhé t ngrît, kû rreh Martina! Oer this languid land clash rifles. Gjinde e mbajtun me lot t shumit Off the poor mans tears folk live now, Qi n djersë njomë bûcat e umit, Tears of sweat upon the tilled soil, Ja qi n kullmë rreshket kumuese, Off the blacksmith broiled at anvil, Ja nper dét bjen valës shkumuese, Or on foaming waves the sailor30 Per me mbajtë nji grue te shpija Trying wife at home to nourish S cilles bukë i lypi fmija, While for bread do beg her children, Edhe i lên ndoshta me kjá, She perhaps must let them yammer Perse e mjera bukë nuk ká: For she has no food to feed them, Gjinde, s cilles Zot i âsht ari, Folk who none but gold do worship,35 T zezen tokë qi i ngratë Shqyptari Want to parcel out their poor land, Shtrêjt me gjak e pat fitue, Dearly which in blood was paid for Pa ndo i dhimë, kjoshin ma llkue! By Albanian farmers paltry, - 28 -
    • Sod m e dá duen copa copa: Ruthless folk, I damn and curse them! E perse? Pse don Europa... You ask why? Well, Europe wished it.40 Uh! Europë, ti kurva e motit, Europe, aging whore, its you that Qi i rae mohit besës e Zotit, On your word and God have trampled. Po a ky â shêji i gjytetnís: Is it sign of all your culture Me dá token e Shqypnís That you parcel out Albania Per me mbajtë klysht e Rusís? Just to rear the cubs of Russia?45 Po ti a kshtû sod na i perligje Is this how youve paid them back now, Njata burra qi m kto brigje All those men who died to save you, Per tý vehten bâne flije Fallen, slain up in the hills while Kur ti heshtshe prej ligshtije? You yourself, too weak, kept silent? Ti qi i a kalle flaken diellit Thou who kindled fire for sunlight,50 E i shestove rrathët e qiellit Thou who drew the spheres of heaven, Ti, prej eshtnash t t ngratë Shqyptarve, From the bones of our dead fighters, Qi bânë deken per dhé t t parve, Men who perished for their homeland, Bân sod t bîjn fatosa t rí, Cause to rise now hale young heroes, T cillt nji troe t ksajë Shqypní Wholl not let an inch of homeland - 29 -
    • 55 Mos t a lâjn Shkjaut n dorë me i rá Fall into those Slavic clutches, Krejt në gjak nji her ë pa e lá! Ere they bathe in blood the foemen!" Lum, oj Zâna e Vele çikut, Blessed zana of Veleçik, Qi m i a lshon ti namët anmikut, You who at the foe hurl curses, Qi m i uron djelmt e Malc ís, You who wish well Highland fighters,60 Qi m i a kján hallin Shqypnís; You who mourn Albanias sorrows, Ksaj Shqypní, e cilla motit, Mourn that land which in past ages N zâ kah pushka e besa e Zotit, Was for faith and arms remembered, Pat kênë çmue prej fisesh t tâna Was esteemed by all our tribesmen Kah bjen dielli e kah mârr hâna! Where the sun shines and the moon glows,65 Por, sado qi poshtë ká rá Now, behold, look how shes faltered, Sod me sod, e rrin tue kjá How shes languishing and weeping N pluhen t tokës, prej njer zve shá, In the dust, by men derided. Prap, oj Zânë, shkndija e burrnís But that spark of courage, zana, Nuk â shkimë n ma le t Shqypnís, Is not dead up in the mountains,70 Qi, ma nà, edhè n kto kohë t reja Even now, upon occasion Ka i herë ndezet flakë si rrfeja. - 30 -
    • Does it sparkle, flash like lightning, S kan mbetë shkret, jo, armët besnike, Faithful arms are not abandoned, Perse Arbnorja grue fisnike, For Arbënia, noble woman, Bân se bân fatosa t rí, Always brings forth new young heroes 75 T cillt trimnisht per ket Shqypní Who in valour for Albania, E per besë e t bardhen Fé For their word and blithe religion, E bâjn deken si me lé. View as birth their own extinction. [English translation by Robert Elsie and Janice Mathie-Heck]http://www.albanianlanguage.net/en/fishta.html - 31 -