The first edition of A.Mickevičius's poem "Konrad Wallenrod" appeared in St. Petersburg in 1828. In the preface to the poem the poet stated his views on Lithuanian nation and Lithuanian state, characterized its rise and flourish, and explained the reasons of its decline. The rise of the Lithuanian state was stipulated by the bellicosity of Lithuanians, and its decline - by their cultural underdevelopment (the conquered Christians were of higher cultural level than their heathen conquerors). After conquering non-Lithuanian countries, Lithuanians assimilated with their inhabitants, adopted their language, creed, and customs, and lost touch with their ethnic grounds. Thus the Lithuanian state - the Great Duchy of Lithuania - grew more and more non-Lithuanian, and finally faded to bygones. Lithuanian language and ethnic culture remains preserved by the common people only. Still, the majestic past of the Lithuanian state provides valuable material for poetry, and the poem "Konrad Wallenrod" should prove that.