Mtskheta is the ancient capital of Georgia, founded there, “where, merging, rustling, / Embracing like two sisters, / Arahwa and Kury Strui.” Immediately, in Mtskheta, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral with the tombs of the last kings of independent Georgia, “handed over” their own people “to the one-faith Russia. Since then, and blessed by the grace of God’s long-suffering country – it blossoms and prosperes, “not fearing enemies, / Beyond the bounds of friendly bayonets.”
“Once a Russian general / I drove from the mountains to Tiflis, he was taking the child of the prisoner.” He realized that he would not take the child to Tiflis alive in such a state, the general leaves a prisoner in Mtskheta, in the local monastery there.
Life in captivity extinguished the “ray-guide” in his soul, that is, the unmistakably correct, almost animal feeling of his path, which every mountaineer possesses from birth, and without which neither man nor beast can survive in the wild abysses of the central Caucasus. Yes, Mtsyri escaped from the monastery fortress, but that inner prison, the constraint that civilizers built in his soul, he already does not destroy! It is this terrible tragic discovery, and not the ragged wounds inflicted by the leopard, that kill in Mtsyri the instinct of life, the thirst for life with which the true and not foster children of nature come into the world. A born freedom-loving person, he, in order not to live as a slave, dies like a slave: humbly, without cursing anyone. The only thing about which he asks his jailers to be buried in that corner of the monastery garden, from where “the Caucasus is also visible.”