The Taking of the Castle of Kadjet'hi and 
the Saving of Nestan-Daredjan
1407
I SAW those heroes shining with rays excelling the sun;
those three are covered by the seven planets with a column
of light. Tariel with slender form sits on the black horse;
they consumed their foes in fight as their admirers by
gazing.
1408
NOW, this is what I shall say is their image and likeness:
When clouds rain down, and the stream pours from the
mountains, it comes and glides through the glens, turmoil
and uproar is heard; but when it unites with the sea then is
it even so calm.
1409
THOUGH P'hridon and Avt'handil are unrivalled in valour,
yet to engage with Tariel is to be desired of none; the sun
hides even the planets, nor do the Pleiads shine. Now give
heed, O listener; thou shalt hear of fierce fights.
1410
THE three split up into three, one for each gate; with them
they had three hundred men all equal to heroes. That
night they hastily made a reconnaissance, not illusory. Day
dawned, they appeared, they set forth, they each had his
shield.
1411
FIRST they went quietly in the guise of some travellers;
those inside could not perceive, they could not meet them
alertly, they had no fear in their hearts, quietly they stood
at ease. They approached; for the time being they covered
over their helmets.
1412
SUDDENLY they spurred their horses, their whips
swished. When they saw, they opened the gates, a tumult
came forth from the city. The three set out in three different
directions, thus risking their lives. They played on fifes and
drums; they made the trumpets sound shrill.
1413
THEN the measureless wrath of God struck Kadjet'hi.
Cronos,1 looking down in anger, removed the sweetness of
the sun; to them also in wrath turned round the wheel and
circle of heaven. The fields could not contain the corpses;
the army of the dead was increasing.
1414
THE sound of Tariel's mighty voice made men unwounded
faint, he rent the armour, the strength of the chain-mail
was brought to nought; they attacked the gates on three
sides, they found no difficulty in cutting them down; when
they entered the city they began swiftly to destroy the
castle.
1415
AVT'HANDIL and the lion P'hridon met inside, they
had wholly destroyed the enemy, whose blood flowed in
streams; they shouted and saw each other, they rejoiced
greatly; they said: "How goeth it with Tariel?" Their eyes
roved round seeking him.
1416
NONE of them knew; they could hear nought of Tariel.
They wended to the castle gate, no care had they for the
foe; there they saw a bank of armour, shattered chips of
sword-blades, the ten thousand guards lifeless, like dust.
1417
ALL the castle guard lay like sick men, every one wounded
from head to foot, their armour rent in pieces, the castle
gates open, the fragments of the gates flung aside. They
recognized Tariel's handiwork, they said: "This is his
doing."
1418
THEY found the roads prepared, they entered and crept
up the passage; they saw: the moon was freed from the
serpent to meet the sun; he raised his helmet, his reedy hair
thrown back became him well, breast was glued to breast,
neck was riveted to neck.
1419
THEY embraced each other, they kissed and shed tears;
they were like when Musht'har and Zual are united. When
the sun surrounds the rose it becomes fair and reflects the
rays. They that have hitherto seen griefs will henceforth
rejoice.
1420
THEY kissed each other, they stood neck-welded; again
full oft they glued the roses of the opened lips. Now
Avt'handil and P'hridon came forth also, the three sworn
brothers were gathered together; they gave greeting to that
sun. they presented themselves as they were called on.
1421
THE sun met them with lovely, laughing face, the proud
one kissed her helpers with gentle mien, she humbly gave
them thanks with dainty words; both together talked with
fair discourse.
1422
THEY greeted Tariel too, that tree like an aloe sapling,
they wished him joy of the victory, they asked news of one
another; it irked them not, they regretted not, for their
armour had not failed them; they themselves had quit
themselves as lions, those that fought against them had been
as hinds and goats.
1423
OUT of the three hundred men, a hundred and sixty came
in with them; it grieves P'hridon for his troops, but on the
other hand he rejoiced; they sought out and suffered not
to live whatever adversaries were left. What treasures
they found, now how can their number be told!
1424
THEY collected mules, camels, whatever they could find
that was swift, they loaded three thousand with pearls and
gems, every gem cut, jacinths and rubies; they placed that
sun in a palanquin, precautions are taken by them.
1425
THEY appointed sixty men to guard the castle of
Kadjet'hi. They led away that sun—hard would it be to
ravish her from them-they set out for the City of the Seas,
though long is the way thither. They said: "We must see
P'hatman; we owe her a due recompense."

1 Cronos—Saturn (Greek).