The most powerful and effective epic to have been written in Albanian for which no English translation exists. This is a unique resource for students and scholars of Balkan studies and comparative literature. "The Highland Lute" is the most powerful and influential epic to have been written in Albanian. Enormously popular when it appeared in the 1920s and 30s, it captivated the country with its vivid, archetypal characters and panoramic descriptions: the backdrop to Albania's historical battles for freedom and independence from the Turks and Montenegrins. It propelled its author, Gjergj Fishta, to universal recognition as the national poet of Albania until the Communists took power in 1944. On its first public recital in post-Communist Albania, 45 years later, many in the audience still knew parts by heart. Robert Elsie's masterful new translation, the first to appear in English, captures the spirit of the original and, accompanied by a new critical introduction, will introduce the poem to a new generation of admirers.