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^^^L..^.^ r- ^^ -H"^ 














» » • • 




- VA 


Impression: joo Copies. 




11 OT many words are needful to preface 

i)k- following work. ^Vhi!st yet in my 

oatly days, the life of Sir William Jones 

fell into my hands. By the reading of 

that, and his Commentaries on Asiatic 

■oetry and his other writings on the subject, I was 

iritien with a taste for Oriental Literature, This 

n.tturally led me to wish to read, in the original words, 

passages which had particularly struck me, and lo know 

wmething of the languages in which they were written ; 

lecially the Persian, with which I forthwith began 

^ form an acnuaintancc. Then, for my own pleasure 

mprovement, I made occasionally versions of 

frbat hod pleased myself, and might please others 

, who had no time or inclination to study the 

tugiiages themselves, but who might not be sorry 

I g^n some gencml knowledge of what they con- 

^ned of interest and information. I was accord- 

Igiy tempted lo print a very small edition of 

tracts from five or sis of the most celebrated 

fersian poets, with short accounts of the authors, 

ind of the subjects and character of their works. 


These accounts were not printed m a single volume 
or at once, but in small successive numbers rathei 
than volumes — each author separately. They did not 
attract much attention at the time of their appearance 
partly from the few which were printed ; partly from 
the little pains that were taken to advertise them ; and 
still more so, perhaps, because the number of those 
who take an interest in a study not generally populai 
is very few. At all events, from the smallness of the 
impression, the circulation must have • been verj 
limited. More recently they have received some 
kindly and approving notices in one or two of tht 
weekly journals and a few other publications ; the 
more pleasing to the Translator because coming fron 
writers to whom he must be, personally, perfectly un 
known. This has encouraged me — but not without 
much doubt and hesitation — to reprint my little books 
but in a new form, and with somewhat altered views a* 
to its destination. I have decided not to make m) 
work public ; — I shall retain it in my own handj 
for private distribution only amongst friends, or foi 
presentation to Free Libraries and other popular institu 
tions, in which it may find some readers to whom ii 
may afford a not unacceptable opportunity of forming 
an acquaintance with a foreign literature, very differen 
from their own, and to which they might otherwise 


have no access in so compendious and convenient a 

There is one point upon which I am particularly 
anxious to be very frank, and to be perfectly under- 
stood by any who may be my readers, I make no 
claim to be regarded as a Persian "scholar," nor do I 
wish to be so regarded. My knowledge of the 
language is very imperfect. The only claim I make 
is this: that I have done my work — such as it is — 
laboriously and conscientiously. To repair my own 
defects I have sought assistance wherever I could find 
it. 1 could have done nothing satisfactory to myself 
without such aid. 1 have diligently coinpared my 
own translations, line by line and word by word, with 
the best texts which I could obtain, and with such 
translations as existed in English, French, and (Jemian. 
I trust, therefore, that, as regards the sense of Che 
Persian originals, I am not greatly in error. As to 
L^ke English garb in which I have clothed them, my 
^^^kders mu%t judge of that. 

^^Hlt is very much on t!)e score of my want of a 
^^Biolarly mastery of the language (though combined 
^^■th other causes} that, as stated above, I have had so 
HInuch doubt and hesitation about reprinting my work, 
and I should not improbably have continued lo doubt 
and hesitate, and finally abandon the idea altogether. 

had not a somewhat accidental circu instance led me to 
reconsider the question. A gentleman of great literary 
ability, Mr W. A. Clouston, of Glasgow, had com- 
piled a very interesting collection of translations from 
the Arabic, combined with much valuable illustrative 
matter from his own pen, under the title of Arabian 
Poetry for English Readtrs, and ivrole to me to say 
how much he had been pleased with my translations 
from the Persian, a copy of which I had presented to 
the Library of the Glasgow University, This led us 
into an epistolary correspondence, in the course of 
which he urged so warmly his wish to see the work re- 
primed, most kindly offering at the same time to take 
upon himself the labour of conducting it through the 
press — which circumstances would have rendered 
almost impossible for me to do myself — that I was 
induced to withdraw my objections, and this volume 
is the result. The form it has assumed is the counter- 
part and twin-brother of Mr Clouslon's own volume — 
Arabian Poktrv for English Readers — and 
with his name I am glad to associate it, for I cannot 
easily repay the obligation under which I lie to him 
for the trouble and care which he has bestowed* upon 
my work. 







F E R D U S I. 

Biographical Sketch ... 
Character of His Writings 
Zal and Rudabah : 
An Episode of the " Shah-Namah 


• 5 

• 17 


Miscellaneous Specimens of the "Shah 
Namah : " 

The Death of Dara (Darius) 

Iskandar*s Conversations with the Brahmins 

Nushirvan*s Address to the Grandees of Iran 

From Nushirvan*s Letter to his Son Hormuz 

From the Mubid's Questions to Nushirvan, and his 

Replies : 

I. Children and Kindred 

II. Destiny 

III. How we may best serve God 

The Raja of India sends a chessboard to Nushirvan 

Ardashir's Address to the Nobles of Persia 

Last Words of Ardashir to his Son 

The Gardens of Afrasiab 

Introduction to the History of Hormuz 

Reflections on Old Age and Death 










N I Z A M I. 


Preliminary Notice 105 

Part First : His Life and Writings : 

I. Establishment of the Dates ... ... ... 109 

II. Lineage of Nizami — his ** Storehouse of 

Mysteries"... ... ... ... ... 115 

III. The K'hosru and Shirin — Kizil Arslan ... 126 

IV. The Laila and Majnnn — The Prince of Shir- 

van — Nizami as Husband and Father 133 

V. The ** Alexander- Book " 151 

VI. The Hefi'Paikar—mzomVs Death ... 166 

Part Second : The "Alexander-Book :" 

I. Retrospect ... ... ... ... ... 173 

II. The Sources from which Nizami drew ... 176 

III. Apollonius of Tyana in the Alexander-Saga iSo 

IV. The Introductory Narratives 1S4 

V. Alexander as Philosopher ... ... ... 1 98 

VI. Alexander's Call to be a Prophet — the Books 

of Wisdom ... ... ... ... 205 

VII. Commencement of the Journey — March to 

the West ... ... ... ... ... 209 

VIII. March through the South 217 

IX. March to the East 220 

X. March through the North — El-Dorado ... 227 

XI. Sickness and Death of Alexander 233 

XII. Fate of Alexander's Relatives and of the 

Seven Wise Men ... ... ... ... 236 

Additional Specimens 23S 




Prkuminary Notice 247 

I. The " GuLisTAN," or Rose-Garden : 

From the Introduction 253 

From the First Chapter — The Qualities of 

Kmgs ... ... ... ... ... 256 

From the Second Chapter — ^The Qualities 

of Devotees 261 

From the Third Chapter — The Excellency 

of Contentment 267 

From the Fourth Chapter — The Advan- 
tages of Silence 270 

From the Fifth Chapter — Love and Youth 271 
From the Sixth Chapter — Weakness and 

Old Age 272 

From the Seventh Chapter — The Effects 

of Education 573 

From the Eighth Chapter — Maxims for 

the Conduct of Life 277 

IL The " Bostan," or Pleasure-Ground : 

Introductory 284 

From Book I. — On Uprightness and 
Government : 

The Tiger-Tamer 290 

Last Words of Nushirvan 291 



Kisag^T Acdoos 

Kiaghr DvDo .^ 393 

The Fn^al Mooard!! ~ ~. 

IttK-rfptioa 00 tbe Fcpoztsia of JenuiDd. 

The Graadee aad the Beggar 

Tc4dab*s Covocsellor 

Replj of a Devotee to a Compiaiiiiiig Sahui ... 29S 


Scrlfishness ... 

The Poor Man's Buitben is less heavr than die 

From Book IL — Benevolence and Com- 
passion : 

Introductory ... 305 

Orphanage 307 

Abraham and the Fire -Worshipper ... ... 30S 

'l"hc Wise Man and the Cheat 310 

The True Works of Piety 311 

Humanity ... 312 

The hard-hearted Man punished 313 

Shabli and the Ant 316 

Live not on the Labour of others 318 

From Book III. — Love : 


Humility : the Glow-worm 
The Unjustly Punished ... 
'ITic Moth and the Taper 
The Same Subject... 







From Book IV.- 

-Humility : 



Humility ... 


The Sinner and Jeiua 


From Book V. 

— Submission to 


Counsel : 



The Camel and her Fo&l ; 

From Book VI. — Contentment : 

Intioductory 3 

The Father and his tnfant 3 

Be Prepared for Viclsffltndes i 

From Book VII. — Moral Education and 
Self-control : 

Introductory 1 

Keep your own Secret i 

Speech and Silence i 

Calumny worse than Theft 1 

How to bring up a Son 1 

From Book VIII.— Thankfulness ; 

Introdoclory i 

King Toghrul and the Sentinel ; 

From Book IX. — Conversion : 

Introductory ; 

The Gold-finder : 


S A V)\— Continued. 

The Two Enemies 

Sadi and the Ring 

The Bad Man and the Sheihh 

A^ Pardon in Time 

Sadi at the Grave of his Child . 

From Book X. — Prayer ; 



- 355 
... 356 


Pheumlnarv Notice 

Specimens OF " The Mesnevi : " 

Divine Afiect ions 

The Lovers 

The Merchant and the Panot 

Preliminary NoncK 385 

A Hundred Ghazels (or Odes) from his Divan ... 39^ 
Notes 497 



J A M I. 

Preuminary Notice 

• • • « < 

. 511 

Joseph and Zulaikha : 


• ■ • • a 

• 515 

The Divine Greatness 

• • • « 

. 516 

The Being of God, and Exhortation 

to labour i 

His service 

• ■ • • 

. 519 

Praise of God 

• • • • 

.. 521 

The Poet's Prayer 

• ■ • • 1 

• 523 

The Prophet's Journey to Heaven . . . 

• • • • 

. 526 


• • • • 

.. 527 

X./0 V w ••• ••• ••• ••• 

■ • • • 

• 530 

Adam's Vision 

• • • • 

• 533 


» • • • 

• 535 


• • • • \ 

• 537 

Zulaikha's First Dream 

• • • • 

.. 540 

Silent Sorrow 

• • • • a 

• 543 

Zulaikha's Second Dream ... 

• • . • * 

. 546 

Her Third Dream 

• • • « • 

. 550 

The Ambassadors ... 

• • « 

• 554 

The Messenger and the Departure 

• • • • • 

• 555 


• • • • 

• 557 

Beginning of the Brothers' Envy . . . 

• • • • 

• 560 

Joseph's Dream 

• • • • 

.. 562 

Artful Counsel 

• • • • 4 

• 564 

Deceitful Request 

• • • • • 

. 566 

The Well 

• • • • • 

. 568 

The Caravan 

. . 

• 571 

The King of Egj^pt 


• 571 


J Am i — Continued. 


The Slave Market 

Bazigha's Danghlei 
Love's Services 
Love Refused 
Questionings and Answerings 

The Nuree 

The Exculpation 

The False Accusation 

The Suckling 

The Visit (o the Prison 

The Terrace 

The Two Officers of the King 

The King's Dream 

Joseph's liberation from Prison 

The True Faith 

Renewal of Vouih and the Marriage 

The Victory of Love 

The Longed-for Death 

The Double Death 

The Poet's Address to Himself 

Conclusion of the Work 

Notes and Illustrations 

Appendix : 

SaRism, or the Doctrines of the Mysdcs of Isla 


Praise be to the soul of Ferdusi, that blessid and 

hazily endowed nature! 
He was not our Teacher and tee his Disables; he 

was our Lord and we his slaves! 



It majr be ptoper to state that the substance of the following 
sketch of the Life and Writings of Ferdusi U a paper which was 
read in 1823, now many years ago, before the Literary and 
Philosophical Society of Manchester, and is printed in their 
Transactions. It is now reprinleil, with the pa&safies originally 
selected newly translated and re-ananged, and with additional 
specimens of Ferdusi's Shah-NaiaoM. 

S. R. 
tVUmilim, 1876. 



I E R D U S I was born at Tus, a town ol 
Kliorasan, a province of Persia, about 
ihe middle of the tenth century of our 
era. He was of respectable parentage, 
his father being a gardener ; some say, 
in the service of the Governor. His father, according 
to the legend, had a dream, which made him con- 
soil a celebrated interpreter of dreams, who told him 
thai his son would be a great scholar, whose fame 
would reach the four quarters of the earth. This 
encouraged him to give his son every advantage of edu- 
talion which he could aflbrd, and the child seconded 
his efforts by early showing extraordinary talents and 

^.■.. -. FERDUS/. 

•TOaking rapid advances in literature, learning, and 
poetry. His ardent love of knowledge is said to 
have attracted the attention of the poet Assadi, who 
assisted him in his studies, and encouraged his rising 
genius ; and to whose instructions he probably owed 
his laste for poetry, and that intimate acquaintance 
with history which led him afterwards to em]>loy 
his muse in dignifying and embellishing the popular 
traditions of his country. At this period India was 
governed by the celebrated Mahmud, of Ghazni. 
The poets whom he favoured have sung his praises, 
and ascribed lo him the possession of every virtua 
He was certainly, at all events, a warm patron of 
literature ; and learned and ingenious men found 
a flattering reception at his Court. His chief 
amusements were poetry and history. Considerable 
collections had been made by several of the foriner 
roonarchs of Persia of such legends and historical 
documents as seemed the most authentic ; and in 
the reign of Yezdejerd, the last king of the dynasty, 
before the Persian Empire wa.s finally conquered and 
overthrown by the Mohammedans, that sovereign had 
assembled the learned Mubids, or Priests of the Fire- 
worshippers, and commanded them lo compose from 
them a connected history of the countrj', from the 
reign of the first king, Kaiumeras, to that of Khosru- 
Parvis, his immediate predecessor. This volume is 
said to have been sent, on the defeat of Yezdejerd, to 
the Khalif Omar, who ai first intended to have it 
translated, but, finding it to consist of what he 


med fictitious and immoral topics, abandoned 
idea. The book was afterwards presented, it 
t added, to the King of Abyssinia, who had copies 
; of it and distributed through the East, and 
so preserved it from destruction. This part of the 
account, however, in itself very improbable, needs 

The Vizier of Vakub-ben-I^th, alxiut a.h. 260 
(A-D. 873), by order of his sovereign, called togetiier 
the most learned Mubids, and with their assistance, 
and, by the offers of valuable rewards to every one 
who would send him records or documents, formed 
frota them a complete history of Persia down to 
: death of Yezdejerd. 

Mahmud had considerably added to these collec- 

ms, and it was his wish to possess a series of heroic 

s com|K>sed from these materials. This appears 

I have been a favourite idea with some of the 

icient PersL-in monarchs. 

1 The poet Dukiki was employed for this purpose by 

e of the princes of the race of Sassan ; or, as some 

|ky (for the accounts vary), of the family of Soman ; 

(Ut, he dying by the hand of a slave after having 

written only two thousand verses, the design had 

been abandoned- It was afterwards resumed by 

thmud, who wished to add another glory to his 

1 by procuring the completion of this great work 

r his own auspices ; and he accordingly enter- 

\ several poets at his court with this intention. 

Ferdusi, conscious of his genius, was inspired with 

an ardent desire of enjoying the reputation which 
would necessarily follow the successful accomplish- 
ment of so bold but glorious an undertaking. He 
communicated his plan to his friends at Tus, and, 
encouraged by Ihem, composed a heroic poem on 
the delivery of Persia by Feridun from Ihe tyranny 
of Zohak. This production was received with uni- 
versal applause, and introduced the poet to Abu 
Mausar, governor of Tus, who urged him to pro- 
ceed with ardour in the noble career on which he 
had entered, and gave him flattering assurances of 
success. Ferdusi has gratefully owned his obliga- 
tions to him, and has elegantly sung his praises at 
the commencement of his poem. 

Confident of his strength, Ferdusi now determined 
to repair to Ghazni, as to a proper theatre for the 
display of his genius, and the acquisition of that 
fame which he felt that he was destined one day 
to enjoy. As the story is told by Jami in his 
£aAanstiin, entering the city as a stranger, he saw 
three persons sitting in a garden, to whom he 
offered his salutations. These proved to be Ansari, 
l-'arrakhi, and Asjadi, three of the court poets, who, 
when they saw Ferdusi enter and approach them, 
unwilling to admit him into their society, agreed to 
repeat each a verse of a tetrastich, and to require 
the'stranger lo supply a fourth rhyme, fancying that 
there was no fourth rhyme in the language, before 
they would allow him to do so. They accordingly 
recited each of them one of the following lines : 

nioGNAriiic.n. SKI- rcii. «,) 

The moon's inild railinncc lliy soft looks disclose ; 
Thy blooming cheeks might shame the virgin rose ; 
Thine eye's dark glance the cuirass pierces through ; 

to which Ferdusi immediately replied — 
like Posbun's javelin in the Bght with Gu. 

To add to their mortification, the poets were obliged 
to confess their ignorance of the story to which he 
alluded, and which he narrated to them at length.' 

He soon established himself in the favour of 
Mabmtid, who allotted to him the honourable task 
of composing the work which he had projected. 
Every evening he read to the Sultan what he had 
written during the day, and Mahmud was so much 
delighted with these specimens of his performance 
that, on one occasion, he promised him a gold dinar 
for every verse which he should write, but Ferdusi 
declined receiving any reward till the whole should 
be finished 

At length, after the unremitted toil of thirty years, 
and in the seventieth year of his age, Ferdusi 
brought to a conclusion his immortal Poem, and 
presented it to the Sultan. But either envy and 
malice had been too successfully employed in depre- 
ciating the value of his labours, or possibly mingled 
feelings of avarice and bigotry on the part of the 
monarch induced him to bestow upon the poet a 
reward very inadequate to his deserts. 

According to another account, Hussain Maimandi, 
>^ho (though not vizier, as some writers have said) 

enjoyed much influence at court, and who for some 
reason had become his personal enemy, changed the 
promised sum of gold dinars into silver ones. Ferdusi 
was in the bath when the money was brought to him. 
The high-minded poet could not brook the insult. 
He divided the paltry present between the boy who 
bore it, tbe servant of the bath, and a vendor of 
.sherbets, and, retiring to his closet, wrote an animated 
invective against the Sultan, of which the following 
is a specimen : 

MiiDf kings have there been before thee, 

Who were all crowned with ihu sovereignty of the world ; 

More exalted than tbou in tank, 

Richer in treasures and snnies, and thrones, and diadems : 

But their acts were Ihosie only nfjustice and goodness ,' 

They concerned themselves noi about saving and spending ; 

They ruled with equity those under their hand. 

And were pure and pious Worshippers of God ; 

They sought Trom the future only a good name, 

And seeking a good name found a h.-ippy ending : 

But those who ore bound in the fetters of avarice 

Will be contemptible in Ihe judgment oflhe wise. 

Thou wouldst not look upon this my Book, 

Thou turnedst away to speak evil words of me ; 

But whoever esteemeth my poetry lightly. 

Him will the circling heavens hnrdly regard with favour. 

I have put forth this Chronicle of King^i, 

Wtillen in mine own beautiful language. 

And when I have come nigh ray seventieth year 

My hopes nl one stroke have become as Ihe wind. 

Thirty years long in this tmiiiitory inn 

I have loiled laboriously in the hope of my reuartl, 


And completed a work of sixty thousand couplets, 

Finished with the beauty and skill of the master ; 

Describing the deeds and weapons of war, 

And plains, and oceans, and deserts, and rivers. 

And wild beasts, and dragons, and monstrous giants. 

And the sorceries of man-wolves, and enchantments of demons. 

Whose yells and bowlings reach the heavens ; 

And men of mark in the day of the fight, 

And heroic warriors on the field of battle. 

And men distinguished for their rank and actions, » 

As Feridun, and Afrasiab, and the brazen-faced Rustam, 

And Tahmuras, the powerful binder of demons, 

And Manuchaher, and Jamshid, the lofty monarch, 

And Dara, and Sikandar, the King of kings, 

And Kai-Khosru, who wore the imperial crown, 

And Kai-Kaus, Nushirvan, and a crowd of others. 

Champions in the tournament, and lions in the battle — 

Men who all lay dead in the lapse of ages, 

And to whose names my writings have given a new life. 

I lived, O King, a life of slavery 

In order to leave some memorial of thee. 

The pleasant dwelling may become ruin. 

Through the force of the rain and the blazing sun ; 

I nourished the desire of building in my verses 

A lofty palace which would defy destruction from wind and rain. 

And pass through generations in this chronicle. 

Which every man of intelligence would read : 

But of this thou broughtest me no good tidings, 

And the King of the earth gave me not a hope. 

Daring these thirty years I bore many anxieties. 

And in my Persian have restored Persia to life : 

And hadst thou, Ruler of the earth, not had the niggardly hand. 

Thou wouldst have led me to the place of honour ; 

And had intelligence come to the aid of the King, 

Thou wouldst have sealed me on a throne. 

But when he who wears the diadem is not of noble biith. 

He amongst crowned heads will receive no mention. 

Hadst thou, O King, been the son of a king, 

Thou wouldsl have placed on my head a golden crodn ; 

Had thy mother been ■ lady of royal birth. 

Thou wouldst have heaped up gold and silver to mj kneeii. 

But he whose tribe can show no great man, 

Ought not to bear the name of the great. 

When I had worked painfully on this Book of Kings for thirty 

That the King might give me a reward from his treasury. 
That he might raise me to independence amongst the people. 
That he might eialt me amongst the nobles, — 
He opened the door of his trea^iurc' house, and gave me — 
My sole reward— a cup of barley-water : 

With the price of a cup of barley-water from the King's treasury, 
I bought me a draught of barley-waler in (he street. 

The vilest of things is belter ihan such a King, 

Who possesscth neither honour, nor picly, nor morals ! 

But the son of a slave wilt never do aught of good, 

Though he should be father of a line of kings. 

For to exalt the head of (he unworthy. 

To look for anything of good from them. 

Is to lose the thread which guidelh your purpose. 

And lo nourish a serpent in your bosom. 

The tree which is by nature bitter. 

Though thou shouldst plant it in the garden of Paradise, 

And spread honey about its roots— yea the purest honey .comb. 

And water it in its season from the Fountain of Eternity, 

Would in the end betray its nature. 

And would still produce bitter fruit 


If thou shouldst pass through the shop of the seller of amber, 

Thy garments will retain its odour ; 

If thou shouldst enter the forge of the blacksmith, 

Thou wilt there see nothing but blackness. 

That eril should come of an evil disposition is no wonder, 

For thoa canst not sponge out the darkness from the night. 

Of the son of the impure man entertain no hope, 

For the Ethiopian by washing will never become white. 

From the evil-eye expect no good ? 

It is only to cast the dust into thine own. 

Yet had the King had regard to his reputation. 

He would have deemed it a precious thing to tread the way of 

In the institutes of the Kings, and in the old customs, 
Thou wouldst have found maxims such as these ; 
Thou wouldst have looked on my longings with another eye ; 
Thou wouldst not thus utterly have ruined my fortimes. 
For to this end I composed my lofty verses, 
That the King might draw from them lessons of wisdom ; 
That he might learn what it would be well to treasure in his 

Of the words and counsels of the aged wise man ; 
And that never should he dare to injure the Poet, 
Nor even regard him with less than reverence : 
For the Poet, when grieved, will speak out his satire, 
And his satire will endure to the Day of Resurrection. 

O King Mahmud, conqueror of kingdoms. 

If thou fearest not man, at least fear God ! 

For to the Court of the Holy One will I carry my complaint. 

Bowing down and scattering dust upon my head. 

In flying from Ghazni, to escape from the indigna- 
tion of Mahmud, Ferdusi passed through Kohistan, 
where he was kindly received by Nasir ud din 

14 FEKDUsr. 

Mohtashm, its governor. Mohtashm had personal 

obligations to Mahmud, and finding afterwards that 

Ferdusi proposed to publish other writings reflecting 

on the conduct of the Sultan, he besought him to 

forego his intention, bestowing upon him at the same 

lime a considerable sum of money. To this request 

Ferdusi acceded in the following verses : 

Although t was Incerated to the heart, my fciend. 

By Ihe injustice of that iniquitous King. 

For he had blighted the labour of thirty years, 

And my complaint had ascended from earth to heaven ; 

And though I had purposed to publish my complaint. 

And to spread the tale of his conduct throughout the world ; 

And though 1 could have spoken with f;corn of his father and 

his mother. 
For 1 tremble at nothing, save the Throne of God ; 
And though t could have so blackened his reputation, 
Tlial no water would ever have washed out Ihe stain ; 
And, since he hath changed from friend to enemy, 
Would have laid him liare with the scalpel of my tongue ; — 
Vet, Mohlashm, thou hast commanded. 

And I know not how I can withdraw my head from thy com- 
Therefore have I sent tliec all thai 1 still have hy me of my 

writings ; 
Nothinc have I withholden, or kept back for myself. 
If there be aught improper in (he writings, 
Bum them with lire, wash them out with water. 
For myself, O generous Prince, 
I appeal from this to that Higher Court, 
Whete God will listen in mercy to my-plei, 
And at whose judgment-seat I sliall receive justice. 

From Kohistan Ferdusi proceeded to Mazinderan, I 



lerc he spent some lime at the court of a prince of 
It country, occupied principally in the revisal nnd 
irreciion of his great work. Still, however, appre- 
of the effects of the Sultan's displeasure, he 
[uiEIed this place to take refuge at Baghdad, where, 
soon as he had made himself known, he was 
received with great distinction by Kader Billah 
Abassi, the reigning Khalif, at whose court he re- 
sided some time in tolerable tranquillity, But the 
farj of MahmOd still pursued him. He wrote to the 
lif to demand Ferdusi, threatening, in case of a 
;fusal, to lead an army against him. The generous 
■prince, unwilling to give up the man who had sought 
his protection, and unable to meet the Sultan in the 
field, was reluctantly obliged to dismiss him. He 
wrote to Mahmud, to inform him that Ferdusi had 
ithdrawn himself from his protection ; and bestow- 
ig on the illustrious wanderer a considerable sum 
money, advised him to seek an asylum with the 
ices of Yanian. To Tus, however, his native 
o Yainan, did the poet proceed, where he 
advanced age, about the year 1021 of our 

It is added, that Mahmud, afterwards relenting in 

s anger, or |«;rhaps fearing that his conduct would 

e viewed by posterity in a disgraceful light, sent the 

Itipulated present to Ferdusi, with a conciliatory 

ittw; thai it arrived on the very day Ferdusi was 

buried; but that his daughter, 10 whom it was 

fjflercd, refiised it, saying that she would not accept 


what had been denied to her father. Nasir Khosru, 
however, in proof that some gift was at last sent, 
relates in his Saffer-Namah, or Book of Travels, that 
when he was at Tus, in the year 437 of the Hajira, 
{a,d. 1045), ^^ ^^w ^ splendid [iublic edifice, newly 
erected, and was informed that W. was built by order 
of Mahmud, with the money which the daughter of 
the i>oet had refused. 

It is proper to state that some of the circumstances 
mentioned in the preceding narrative are taken from 
a MS. account of the life of Ferdusi, which is prefixed 
to aimast all the copies of his works. It forms a part 
of the preface to the corrected edition of the Shah- 
Natnah, made by the order of Bayasanghar Khan, 
one of the descendants of the Emperor Timur, and 
published in the year of the Hajira 829 (A.a 1425-6), 
and may be supposed, therefore, to contain all thai 
was then known of the poet ; but it is the only 
detailed account of his life which we have, and as 
we possess few means of testing its perfect authen- 
ticity ; and as few Oriental Biographies, especially of 
their ancient authors, are written in a critical spirit, 
or with care or discrimination with regard lo the col- 
lection and verification of the facts narrated, we can 
never place implicit reliance on their correctness. 
Ferdusi, howe%'er, was so illustrious a character, and 
his connection with MahmOd procured him so much 
notoriety, that probably the main circumstances of 
his life may be accepted as having been recorded 
with tolerable truthfulness. 




I G H T hundred years have now elapsed 
since the publication of Ferdusi's great 
work, and it still continues to receive 
in the East that admiration with which 
it was hailed on its first appearance. 
Whatever, indeed, be the opinion which European 
readers may form of it, the Shah-Namah is con- 
fessedly the noblest production of Persian genius ; 
and the applause which has been bestowed upon it 
by some liberal and enlightened critics of the Western 
world may incline us to believe that all its merit 
does not depend upon mere Oriental prejudices. The 
assertion, indeed, that all the literary productions 
of the E^st are a tissue of absurd fictions and ideas, 
written in a barbarous and bombastic style, with few 
marks of adherence to truth and nature, is much too 
loose and general, and proceeds oftentimes from 
ignorance, or from false principles of judgment This 
is not a suitable place for instituting an inquiry into 
the reality of the existence of a fixed standard of 
taste, which the varjdng conclusions of different 
writers on the subject might almost lead us to 
suspect ; it may not, however, be improper to ob- 
serve, that the manners, customs, and o])inions of 


i8 FERDUSr. 

every nation necessarily impart a peculiar character 
to its literary productions, and that they ought not 
to be tried without a reference to those customs 
and opinions. We may read the classical poets, and 
enjoy their mythology and ideas, and yet be dis- 
gusted with the modern poet, who, on the sanction 
of classical usage, presents to us the same assembly 
of the Gods, still controlling mortal events. We 
may sympathise with the despairing Roman, who 
invokes a Goddess, in whom he believes, to favour 
his passion, but shall accuse of affectation and 
coldness the modern poet, who addresses his vows 
to the same divinity. To relish thoroughly, therefore, 
the literature of any nation, we shall have to imbue 
ourselves with something of the spirit in which it 
was conceived, and familiarize ourselves with the 
prevailing ideas of the times which gave it birth. 
If we do this with regard to the works of Oriental 
writers, we may find in them, amidst many extrava- 
gant notions and false thoughts, not a few also 
calculated to delight the fancy and fill the mind 
with pleasing images, and improve it by wise coun- 
sels, compressed into pithy apothegms, in Eastern 
fashion. Why should we disdain to receive from 
the Persian fictions of a Ferdusi something of the 
pleasure which we derive from the mediaeval super- 
stitions of a Tasso, and the legendar)' traditions of 
our own ancient domestic history, and the still more 
ancient mythological fables of our Scandinavian fore- 
fathers ? 

The Shar-Namah, or Booh of Kings, is usually 

said to have containt;d 60,000 couplets, or 120,000 

lines.* It has been called by some an epic poem, 

by others a series of epic poems, but by neither with 

much propriety. It is in truth merely a historical 

poem, similar in many respects to our ancient 

rhyming chronicles, but highly embellished with all 

the ornaments of poetry and fable. It embraces the 

wliole period of ancient Persian history, commencing 

with [he reign of Kaiumeras, the first king, and 

ending with that of Yezdejerd, the monarch who 

governed Persia when that country was invaded and 

subjugated by the Arabs. Reign follows reign with 

ideviating exactness ; the natural order of events is 

lely disturbed ; nor are the incidents of the Poem 

: conducive to the development of one great 

o the inculcation of any grand moral truth, 

letimes, indeed, we may perceive a kind of action 

mpletc within itself, but we may generally trace it 

rather to the unity of some great historical event in 

itself, than lo the design of the poet As a work of 

Ul, therefore, the Skah-Namah is certainly defective ; 

unjmt, in endeavouring to estimate its 

lo bring it into comparison with the more 

lar and classical models of European invention. 

p might, indeed, liken it lo the Orlando Furioso Qi 

Mto, to which il bears a considerable resemblance 

Rieveral respects; particularly in the irregularities 

pits structure, the wildness of its incidents, and the 

^cct of strict method which characterises the muse 

of that poet. Nor ought we to be so unreasonable as 
to condemn a jwrformance because it is not written 
precisely on the plan which we should most have ■ 
desired. It is sufficient, to establish the excellence of 
a work, that ihe author has done well what under the 
circumstances' it was in his power to do. The plan of 
Ferdusi was chalked out for him ; and every one w 
has read any considerable portion of the Shak-Namah 
must be delighted nt the admirable manner in whiclii 
he has executed the difficuh lask imposed upon him. 
In taking a view of the genius of I-'erdusi as a poet, 
the object which first strikes us is his amazing power 
of invention. The materials from which he composed 
the historical part of his work have unfortunately; 
perished, so that we cannot exactly determine to what, 
extent he enjoyed this power ; but that he posse 
it in an extraordinar)' degree, no one who is conver- 
sant with his writings can for a moment doubt. The 
records with which he was furnished consisted, most 
probably, only of dry facts or fabulous legends. He 
might draw many of his stories, and the names of 
some of his principal heroes, from the popular tr 
ditions of his country, but the form and characl. 
which he has given to the whole must be considered 
to be the fruit of his own creative genius. On a very 
narrow basis he has founded a structure, irregular 
indeed in its design, and unequal In its execution, 
but of so vast proportions, and, in particular parts, 
so highly finished, that we cannot contemplate 
without sentiments of astonishment and admiration. 



He has skilfully interwoven into his poem the whole 
range of Persian enchantment and fable, and has at 
the same time enlivened his narrative with so many 
agreeable episodes and adventures, that the attention 
of the reader is constantly diverted, and he is led on, 
generally without weariness or effort," through the 
pages of this stupendous performance. Whoever, 
indeed, considers the immense length of the work, 
the copiousness of the subject, and the variety which 
reigns throughout it, cannot fail to have a high 
opinion of the exuberance of the poet's fancy, and 
the uncommon fertility of his ideas. 

The originality of Ferdusi is scarcely to be ques- 
tioned. He had no one before him from whom to 
copy, and his excellencies are, therefore, wholly his 
own. His conceptions are in general lively and 
vigorous ; his thoughts bold and forcible ; his de- 
scriptions and narratives striking and animated 
Everywhere, throughout his Poem, we feel the glow 
of a rich and ardent imagination. Ferdusi has made 
but little use of mythology. Events are generally 
brought about without the intervention of super- 
human agency; but the extraordinary qualities with 
which the poet invests some of his heroes, as it 
places us in a manner among another race of 
beings, may render the use of machinery an object 
of less importance. 

The minute and perfect delineation of character 
is rarely the distinguishing excellence of very early 
poets. In a nation emerging out of barbarism, the 



characters of men are in general sufficiently original 
and poetical, but they must be viewed in classes 
rather than as individuals. Those slighter traits 
which distinguish one individual from another of 
the same class can be called into existence only 
with the progress of refinement, or are too evan- 
escent to be observed till men begin to be brought 
into closer contact by the influence of society. 
Homer, great as he is in this respect, is inferior 
to Tasso in the fine discrimination of characters 
marked by the same general qualities. Ferdusi is 
still inferior to Homer. Yet the characters of the 
Shah-Namah are, on the whole, well supported, and 
varied and contrasted with considerable skill, and 
there are a few which are touched with a delicacy 
and beauty hardly to have been expected in a poet 
of his age and country. 

The descriptions of Ferdusi are rich and tolerably 
varied ; and it is in the descriptive parts of his Poem 
that he will probably be thought by many to have 
displayed his happiest talent. Born in the favoured 
country of fiction and romance ; familiar firom an 
early period of his life with the magnificence of the 
most powerful and splendid court of Asia ; it is not 
to be doubted that his mind must have been early 
impressed with scenes and stories, and imbued with 
associations, admirably calculated to make a deep 
impression on a naturally ardent and lively imagina- 
tion. His battles are painted in bold and lively 
colours; and when we read of pomps and proces- 


sipns, and royal banquets, and gardens and palaces, 
adorned with everything which wealth and power 
united can command, we have little difficulty in fol- 
lowing the poet in his loftier flights, and are scarcely 
ii&posed to criticise them as too bold, or the language 
in which they are conveyed as too luxuriant His 
narratives are generally spirited and poetical ; his sen- 
timents just and noble; his touches of real passion 
often appeal forcibly to the heart, and convince us 
that the poet felt the emotions which he describes. 
The dignity and beauty of the moral reflections 
which are liberally scattered throughout the work 
would alone render it highly valuable. The fol- 
lowing fine passage may be selected as an example : 

One thou exaltest, and givest him dominion-. 

Another thou easiest as food to the fishes ; 

One thou enrichest with treasure, like KarQn, 

Another thou feedest with the bread of affliction. 

Nor is that a proof of thy love, nor this of thy hatred ; 

For thou, the Creator of the world, knowest what is fit ; 

Thou assignest to each man his high or low estate : 

And how shall I describe thee?— Thou art what thou art I 

We find in his poems many touches of tenderness 
and pathos, such as : 

Crush not yon emmet, at it draggelh along its grain ; 
For it hath life, and its sweet life is pleasant to it ; 

or, as Sir William Jones renders it : 

Crush not yond emmet, rich in hoarded grain ; 
It lives with pleasure, and it dies with pain ; 


for which Sadi, who cites it in the Bostan^ invokes 
blessings on his departed spirit 

The diction of Ferdusi is soft and elegant, but at 
the same time lively and animated; his versification 
smooth and polished ; his style easy and natural. 
The Shah'Namah is written in the purest dialect of 
the old Persian, before it had received much admix- 
ture of Arabic words. Mohammed, who admired it 
for its extreme sweetness, used to declare that it 
would be the language of Paradise. 

Ferdusi is distinguished from all other Persian 
poets by that simplicity which is almost always the 
accompaniment of the highest order of genius. In 
thus speaking of his simplicity, it is not to be 
understood that many instances of bad taste and 
exaggeration may not be found in his writings; but 
still they show a wonderful freedom from those mere- 
tricious ornaments, puerile conceits, and affected 
forms of expression, which disgrace the best compo- 
sitions of his countrymen. 

It does not consist with the object of the present 
sketch to enter into a critical detail of the faults of 
Ferdusi. The Shah-Namah^ admirable as it is in 
many respects, is still a Persian poem, and the can- 
dour of European critics must be called upon to make 
large allowances for its imperfections. In so long 
a performance it is not wonderful that there are 
passages which are tedious, and that the action 
sometimes languishes. The minuteness of the poet 
sometimes degenerates into feebleness, and occa- 


sionally becomes ridiculous. He has many weak 
and faulty verses. His figures are sometimes too 
gigantic or far-fetched, his thoughts sometimes forced 
and unnatural. His language occasionally is too 
inflated, and sometimes borders on extravagance. 
But these and other blemishes may be traced rather 
to the age and country in which he lived than to any 
defect of genius. " Had he been born in Europe," 
says the laborious editor of the first printed edition of 
the Shah'Namahy "he might have left a work more 
to our taste ; but, born anywhere, he could not fail 
to impress on his writings the stamp and character 
of his extraordinary powers. These are accordingly 
acknowledged and felt throughout the whole extent 
of the Mohammedan world, and will, I doubt not, be 
recognised in Europe, amidst all the vices of a Persian 
taste ; with which, indeed, he is much less tinctured, 
in my opinion, than any Persian poet I have ever 

In fine, Ferdusi, in whatever light we contemplate 
him, was certainly a remarkable man ; and if genius be 
estimated, not by the absolute height which it reaches 
in the scale of excellence, but by the degree to which 
it has risen by its own unassisted efiforts, that of 
Ferdusi may be thought to rival that of some who 
have produced more finished works, amidst more 
favourable opportunities of approaching towards per- 
fection. In the histor>' of Persian literature, at least, 
the Shah-Namah must ever be regarded as a dis- 
tinguished object. It is a great storehouse whence 

26 FERDUS/. 

succeeding poets have drawn their images and fables, 
and it has certainly had a very considerable influence 
on the literary productions of the country which gave 
it birth. Ferdusi has the rare merit of having identi- 
fied himself with the feelings and associations of his 
countrymen. His poems still continue to form the 
delight of the Oriental world, and must endure as 
long as the language in which they are written. To 
such a man, in the strength of conscious genius, it 
may, without much imputation of vanity, be permitted 
to exclaim, as he has done at the conclusion of his 
great undertaking : 


When this famous Book was brought to a conclusion, 
The face of the earth was filled vnth my renown ; 
And every one, who hath intelligence and wisdom and faith, 
After I am dead, will shower praises upon me. 
Henceforward I shall never die, for I have lived long enough 
To scatter abroad the seeds of eloquence.* 



I N selecting some specimens of Ferdusi's 
poetry, it has seemed advisable to the 
Translator to choose, in treating of a 
great heroic and narrative Poet, some 
portion in a sufficiently extended and 
connected form to exhibit his manner and power of 
telling a stoiy, and to retain its dramatic character 
so far as to excite and sustain the interest of the 
reader. For this purpose he has fixed upon the 
episode of Zal and Rudabah, acknowledged to be 
one of the most beautiful portions of the Shab- 
Namah. Other parts of the Poem might, perhaps, 
furnish us with passages of greater sublimity, and 
more varied description, but few or none are marked 
by more tenderness and feeling, or a deeper know- 
ledge of human passions and affections ; qualities 
which, as they are less frequently found in the com- 
positions of Persia, render the genius of Ferdusi the 
more admirable. This episode, moreover, possesses 
the advant^e of a certain unity of subject and plan, 
which renders it in some sort a short complete epic 
of itself. But to understand it better, it may be 


well to premise that Zal is the son of Sam Nariman, 
one of the generals of Manuchahar, King of Persia. 
Having the misfortune to be born with white hair, 
he incurs the disgust of his father, who orders him 
to be exposed on the savage mountain of Elburz, 
where he is nurtured by the Simurgh, an immense 
fabulous vultur(3 which figures in the legends of 
Persia. After a time the affection of the parent is 
revived towards his child. He is recovered from 
the care of the Simurgh, and, arrived at manhood, 
is sent to govern the frontier province of Zabul ; 
the adjoining province of Kabul, though tributary 
to the Persian empire, being governed by its own 
king, named Mihrab. 

The episode commences with a visit which Mihrab pays to 
Zal, who receives him with distinguished honour, entertains him 
at a sumptuous banquet, and they separate with mutual respect. 

Then a chief of the great ones around him 
Said : " O thou, the hero of the world. 
This Mihrab hath a daughter behind the veil, 
Whose face is more resplendent than the sun ; 
From head to foot pure as ivory, 
With a cheek like the spring, and in stature like the 

Upon her silver shoulders descend two musky tresses, 
Which, like nooses, fetter the captive ; 
Her lip is like the pomegranate, and her cheek like 
its flower ; 


Her eyes resemble the narcissus in the garden ; 

Her eyelashes have borrowed the blackness of the 

raven ; 
Her eyebrows are arched like a fringed bow. 
Wouldst thou behold the mild radiance of the moon ? 

Look upon her countenance ! 
Wouldst thou inhale delightful odours? She is all 

fragrance ! 
She is altogether a paradise of sweets, 
Decked with all grace, all music, all thou canst desire ! 
She would be fitting for thee, O warrior of the world ; 
She is as the heavens above to such as we are ! " * 


On hearing this description, Zal Ijecomes enamoured of the 
fair unseen. 

When Zal heard this description, 

His love leaped to the lovely maiden : 

His heart boiled over with the heat of passion, 

So that understanding and rest departed from him. 

Night came, but he sat groaning, and buried in 

And a prey to sorrow for the not-yet-seen. 

Mihrab pays a second visit to Zal, and as he is returning his 
wife Sindocht and his daughter Rudabah espy him from a bal- 
cony, and stop him to make inquiries about the hero. 

" O beautiful silver-bosomed cypress. 
In the wide world not one of the heroes 
Will come up to the measure of Zal ! 


In the pictured palace men will never behold the 

Of a warrior so strong, or so firm in the saddle. 

He hath the heart of a lion, the power of an elephant. 

And the strength of his arm is as the rush of the Nile. 

When he sitteth on the throne, he scattereth gold 
before him ; 

In the battle, the heads of his enemies. 

His cheek is ruddy as the flower of the arghavan ; 

Young in years, all alive, and the favourite of fortune ; 

And though his hair is white as though with age, 

Yet in his bravery he could tear to pieces the water- 

He rageth in the conflict with the fury of the crocodile, 
He fighteth in the saddle like a sharp-fanged dragon. 
In his wrath he staineth the earth with blood. 
As he wieldeth his bright scimitar around him. 
And though his hair is as white as is a fawn's, 
In vain would the fault-finder seek another defect ! 
Nay, the whiteness of his hair even becometh him ; 
Thou wouldst say that he is born to beguile all 
hearts ! " 

When Rudabah heard this description, 

Her heart was set on fire, and her cheek crimsoned 

like the pomegranate. 
Her whole soul was filled with the love of Zal, 
And food, and peace, and quietude were driven far 

from her. 


After a time Rndabah resolves to reveal her passion to her 

Then she said to her prudent slaves ; 
*• I will discover what I have hitherto concealed ; 
Ye are each of you the depositaries of my secrets, 
My attendants, and the partners of my griefs. 
I am agitated with love like the raging ocean. 
Whose billows are heaved to the sky. 
My once bright heart is filled with the love of Zal ; 
My sleep is broken with thoughts of him. 
My soul is perpetually filled with my passion ; 
Night and day my thoughts dwell upon his counten- 

Not one except yourselves knoweth my secret ; 
Ye, my affectionate and faithful servants, 
What remedy now can ye devise for my ease ? 
^Vhat will ye do for me ? What promise will ye give 

Some remedy ye must devise, 
To free my heart and soul from this unhappiness." 

Astonishment seized the slaves. 

That dishonour should come nigh the daughter of 

In the anxiety of their hearts they started from their 

And all gave answer with one voice : 
** O crown of the ladies of the earth ! 
Maiden pre-eminent amongst the pre-eminent ! 


Whose praise is spread abroad from Hindustan to 

China ; 
The resplendent ring in the circle of the harem ; 
Whose stature surpasseth every cypress in the garden ; 
Whose cheek rivalleth the lustre of the Pleiades ; 
Whose picture is sent by the ruler of Kanuj 
Even to the distant monarchs of the West — 
Have you ceased to be modest in your own eyes ? 
Have you lost all reverence for your father, 
That whom his own parent cast from his bosom. 
Him you will receive into yours ? 
A man who was nurtured by a bird in the mountains ! 
A man who was a by- word amongst the people ! 
You — with your roseate countenance and musky 

tresses - - 
Seek a man whose hair is already white with age I 
You — who have filled the world with admiration. 
Whose portrait hangeth in every palace, 
And whose beauty, and ringlets, and stature are such 
That you might draw down a husband from the skies!" 

To this remonstrance she makes the following indignant 

When Rudabah heard their reply, 
Her heart blazed up like fire before the wind. 
She raised her voice in anger against them, 
Her face flushed, but she cast down her eyes. 
After a time, grief and anger mingled in her counten- 
And knitting her brows with passion, she exclaimed : 


" O unadvised and worthless counsellors, 

It was not becoming in me to ask your advice ! 

Were my eye dazzled by a star, 

How could it rejoice to gaze even upon the moon ? 

He who is formed of worthless clay will not regard 

the rose, 
Although the rose is in nature more estimable than 

I wish not for Caesar, nor Emperor of China,* 
Nor for any one of the tiara-crowned monarchs of Iran; 
The son of Sam, Zal, alone is my equal. 
With his lion-like limbs, and arms, and shoulders. 
You may call him, as you please, an old man, or a 

young ; 
To me, he is in the room of heart and of soul. 
Except him never shall anyone have a place in my 

Mention not to me any one except him. 
Him hath my love chosen unseen. 
Yea, hath chosen him only from description. 
For him is my affection, not for face or hair ; 
And I have sought his love in the way of honour." 

Her vehemence overcomes the reluctance of the slaves, and 
one of them promises, if possible, to contrive an interview. 

"May hundreds of thousands such as we are be a 

sacrifice for thee; 
May the wisdom of the creation be thy worthy 

portion ; 
May thy dark narcissus-eye be ever full of modesty ; 



May thy cheek be ever tinged with bashfuUiess ! 
If it be necessary to learn the art of the magician, 
To sew up the eyes with the bands of enchantment, 
We will fly till we surpass the enchanter's bird, 
We will run like the deer in search of a remedy. 
Perchance we may draw the King nigh unto his moon, 
And place him securely at thy side." 

The vermil lip of Rudabah was filled with smiles ; 

She turned her saffron-tinged countenance toward the 

slave, and said : 
" If thou shalt bring this matter to a happy issue, 
Thou hast planted for thyself a stately and fruitful 

Which every day shall bear rubies for its fruit. 
And shall pour that fruit into thy lap." 

The story proceeds to say how the slaves fulfil their promise. 
They go forth, and find Zal practising with the bow. Busying 
themselves in gathering roses, they attract his attention. He, 
shoots an arrow in that direction, and sends his quiver-bearer to 
bring it back. The slaves inquire who the hero is who draws 
the bow with so much strength and skill. The boy answers 
scornfully : " Do they not know that it is Zal, the most re- 
nowned warrior in the world ? " In reply, they vaunt the 
superior attractions of Rudabah. The boy reports their account 
of her to Zal, who goes to speak to them, receives from them a 
warm description of her charms, and presses them to procure 
for him the means of obtaining an interview. This little inci- 
dent is well imagined : it is Zal who is made to ask for the 
meeting, and the honour of Rudabah is not compromised. The 
slaves return to their mistress and report upon their mission, 
eulogising the goodly qualities of the hero. Her ironical 
answer to their former depreciation is animated and natural. 



Then said the elegant cypress-formed lady to her 
maidens : 

"Other than this were once your words and your 
counsel ! 

Is this then the Zal, the nursling of a bird ? 

This the old man, white-haired and withered ? 

Now his cheek is ruddy as the flower of the arghavan ; 

His stature is tall, his face beautiful, his presence 
lordly ! 

Ye have exalted my charms before him ; 

Ye have spoken, and made me a bargain ! " 

She said, and her lips were full of smiles, 

But her cheek crimsoned like the bloom of pome- 

The interview takes place in a private pavilion of the Princess ; 
and the account of it is marked with more than one touch of 
truth and beauty : 


When from a distance the son of the valiant Sam 

Became visible to the illustrious maiden, 

She opened her gem-like Ups, and exclaimed : 

" Welcome, thou brave and happy youth ! 

The blessing of the Creator of the world be upon thee ; 

On him who is the father of a son like thee ! 

May Destiny ever favour thy wishes ! 

May the vault of heaven be the ground thou walkest 

The dark night is turned into day by thy countenance ; 
The world is soul-enlivened by the fragrance of thy 

presence ! 


Thou hast travelled hither on foot from thy palace ; 
Thou hast pained, to behold me, thy royal footsteps ! " 

When the hero heard the voice from the battlement. 
He looked up and beheld a face resplendent as the sun, 
Irradiating the terrace like a flashing jewel, 
And brightening the ground like a flaming ruby. 

Then he replied: "O thou who sheddest the mild 

radiance of the moon, 
The blessing of Heaven, and mine, be upon thee ! 
How many nights hath cold Arcturus beholden me. 
Uttering my cry to God, the Pure, 
And beseeching the Lord of the universe, 
That he would vouchsafe to unveil thy countenance 

before me ! 
Now I am made joyful in hearing thy voice, 
In listening to thy rich and gracious accents. 
But seek, I pray thee, some way to thy presence ; 
For what converse can we hold, I on the ground, and 

thou on the terrace ? " 

The Peri-faced maiden heard the words of the hero ; 

Quickly she unbound her auburn locks, 

Coil upon coil, and serpent on serpent ; 

And she stooped and dropped down the tresses from 

the battlement. 
And cried : " O hero, child of heroes. 
Take now these tresses, they belong to thee. 
And I have cherished them that they might prove an 

aid to my beloved." 



And Zal gazed upward at the lovely maiden, 

And stood amazed at the beauty of her hair and of 

her countenance ; 
He covered the musky ringlets with his kisses, 
And his bride heard the kisses from above. 
Then he exclaimed : ** That would not be right — 
May the bright sun never shine on such a day ! 
It were to lay my hand on the life of one already 

distracted ; 
It were to plunge the arrow-point into my own 

wounded bosom." 
Then he took his noose from his boy, and made a 

running knot, 
And threw it, and caught it on the battlement, 
And held his breath, and at one bound 
Sprang from the ground, and reached the summit 

As soon as the hero stood upon the terrace, 
The Peri-faced maiden ran to greet him. 
And took the hand of the hero in her own, 
And they went like those who are overcome with 

Then he descended from the lofty gallery. 

His hand in the hand of the tall Princess, 

And came to the door of the gold-painted pavilion. 

And entered that royal assembly. 

Which blazed with light like the bowers of Paradise ; 

And the slaves stood like houris before them : 

And Zal gazed in astonishment 


On her face, and her hair, and her stately form, and 
on all that splendour. 

And Zal was seated in royal pomp 

Opposite that mildly-radiant beauty ; 

And Rudabah could not rest from looking towards 

And gazing upon him with all her eyes ; 

On that arm, and shoulder, and that splendid figure, 

On the brightness of that soul-enlightening counten- 

So that the more and more she looked 

The more and more was her heart inflamed. 

Then he kissed and embraced her, renewing his 

vows — 
Can the lion help pursuing the wild ass ? — 
And said : " O sweet and graceful silver-bosomed 

It may not be, that, both of noble lineage. 
We should do aught unbecoming our birth ; 
For from Sam Nariman I received an admonition, 
To do no unworthy deed, lest evil should come of it ; 
For better is the seemly than the unseemly. 
That which is lawful than that which is forbidden. 
And I fear that Manuchahar, when he sh^l hear of 

this affair, 
Will not be inclined to give it his approval ; 
I fear, too, that Sam will exclaim against it, 
And will boil over with passion, and lay his hand 

upon me. 



Yet, though soul and body are precious to all men, 
Life I will resign, and clothe myself with a shroud — 
And this I swear by the righteous God — 
Ere I will break the faith which I have pledged thee. 
I will bow myself before Him, and offer my adoration, 
And supplicate Him as those who worship Him in 

That He will cleanse the heart of Sam, king of the 

From opposition, and rage, and rancour. 
Perhaps the Creator of the world may listen to my 

And thou mayest yet be publicly proclaimed my wife." 

And Rudabah said : "And I also, in the presence of 

the righteous God, 
Take the same pledge, and swear to thee my faith ; 
And He who created the world be witness to my 

That no one but the hero of the world, 
The throned, the crowned, the far-famed Zal, 
Will I ever permit to be sovereign over me." 

So their love every moment became greater ; 

Prudence was afar, and passion was predominant. 

Till the gray dawn began to show itself. 

And the drum to be heard from the royal pavilion, 

Then Zal bade adieu to the fair one ; 

His soul was darkened, and his bosom on fire, 

And the eyes of both were filled with tears ; 

And they lifted up their voices against the sun : 


" O glory of the universe, why come so quick ? 
Couldst thou not wait one little moment ?" 

Then Zal cast his noose on a pinnacle, 
And descended from those happy battlements. 
As the sun was rising redly above the mountains. 
And the bands of warriors were gathering in their 

On returning to the camp Zal assembles his counsellors, and 
consults them as to what he should do. They advise him to 
write to his father, and be guided by him. Zal accordingly 
writes to Sam. In his letter he recalls to him in an affecting 
manner all the sufferings he had endured when abandoned by 
his parents in the mountains, conjures him to consent to his 
union with Rudabah, and reminds him of his promise, when 
reclaiming him from the Simurgh, that in all the future circum- 
stances of his life he would endeavour to efface the remembrance 
of his cruelty by a cheerful compliance with his wishes. Sam is 
greatly embarrassed by this letter. On the one hand he fears 
the reproaches of his son, on the other the anger of the King. 
He convenes the sages, and bids them declare what will be the 
result of the union. After the intense study of many days, they 
prophesy the birth of the famous Rust am. 

The astrologers came to Sam Nariman and said : 

" O Warrior of the Golden Belt, 

Joy will be to thee from the union of Zal and of the 

daughter of Mihrab. 
For they are two fortune-favoured equals, 
And from them shall be born a hero, in strength an 

Who shall gird his loins in manliness ; 
Who shall bear dominion on his sword. 


zAl and RUDABAH. 41 

And shall exalt the throne of the King above the 

The evil-minded he will cut off from the land, 
Nor shall there remain a den on the face of the earth. 
He will leave neither monster nor Demon of Mazin- 

And will sweep the earth with his mighty mace. 
From him shall come many woes on Turan, 
And Iran shall enjoy all happiness. 
He will lull to sleep the head of the sufferer, 
And will close the door of sorrow, and the path of 

The hope of the Iranians shall be in him, 
And in him the joy and confidence of the warrior. 
His courser will bear the hero proudly in the battle, 
And he will bruise the faces of the tigers of war ; 
And the furious elephants and the fierce lions 
Shall be annihilated beneath the club of the hero ; 
And the monarchs of Hindustan, and Rum, and Iran 
Will engrave his name on their seals. 
Fortunate will be the King in whose time 
His renown will exalt the royal dignity ! " 

On hearing this prophecy of the future greatness of his grand- 
son, Sam is reconciled to the marriage, but writes 10 Zal to 
withhold the celebration of it until he has been to the court of 
Manuchahar, and obtained the sanction of the King. Zal, 
transported with joy, immediately sends the letter to Rudabah. 
The messenger on her return is espied by her mother, and the 
secret correspondence of the lovers is discovered. The interview 
which follows between Sindocht and her daughter is thus de- 
scribed : 

Then, greatly troubled, she entered the palace, 
Full of pain, and anxiety, and sorrow ; 
She closed upon herself the door of her chamber, 
And was as one distracted by the tumult of her 

She commanded her daughter to appear before her ; 
And she tore her cheeks with her hand, 
And she watered their roses with her tearful eyes, 
Till they became inflamed like the crimson rose. 
She said to Rudabah : " O precious girl. 
Why hast thou placed thyself on the brink of a 

precipice ? 
What is there left worth having in the world. 
Which I have not showed to thee openly and in 

private ? 
Why, my beauty, hast thou become so unjust to nie ? 
Tell, I beseech thee, all thy secrets lo thy mother ! 
Who is this woman, and whence doth she come. 
And what is the purpose for which she cometh to 

What is the meaning of this message ? And who is 

the man 
For whom is intended this ring, .ind this beautiful 

turban ? " 

Rudabah looked down to her feet and the ground ; 
She stood abashed in the presence of her mother ; 
The tear of affection gushed from her eyes. 
And her cheeks were crimsoned with the burning 

ZAL and RUDABAH. 43 

Then she said to her mother : " O full of wisdom, 

Love is chasing my soul before it. 

Would that my mother had never given me birth ! 

That neither good nor evil had been uttered concern- 
ing me ! 

The warrior-hero came to Kabul, 

And so set my heart on fire with his love. 

That the world became contracted in my sight, 

And day and night I wept continually. 

I wish not for life except in his presence : 

One hair of his head is worth the whole world to me ! 

\Mien at last he saw and conversed with me, 

We joined hand in hand and plighted our faith ; 

But, beyond seeing and conversing with one another, 

The fire of passior\ hath not inflamed us. 

A messenger was sent to the mighty Sam, 

And he returned an answer to the brave Zal. 

For a time the chief was distressed and reluctant. 

But he spoke and heard all that was needful ; 

And after consulting the aged Mubid, 

At last he yielded and gave his consent. 

To the messenger he gave many presents. 

And I also heard all the answers of Sam. 

The woman whose hair thou didst rend, 

Whom thou didst strike to the ground, and whose 
face thou didst lacerate, 

Was the messenger who was the bearer of the letter ; 

And this dress was my answer to the message." 

Sindocht was confused at her daughter's words. 

.\nd in her heart approved of her union with ZaI. 
She replied : " Here, indeed, tliere is nothing of litlle- 

Amongst the illustrioos there is not a hero lilie ZaI : 
He is mighty, and the son of the warrior of the world ; 
Wise, and prudent, and of a noble souL 
All excellencies are his, and but one defect ; 
And, compared with his excellencies, those of others 

are mean. 
But I fear that the King of the earth will be enraged 

.\nd will raise the dust of Kabul to the sun. 
For never will he suffer one of our seed on earth 
To place his foot in the stirrup." 

To tl.e 

; joyful from the royal reception- 

King Mihrab car 

For Zal had bestowed on him much attention. 
He beheld lying down the illustrious Sindocht, 
Her face iiale, and her heart troubled ; 
And he said to her : " What ailest thou ? 
And wherefore are the roses of thy cheeks faded ? " 
And Sindocht answered and said : 
" My heart is disturbed with many cares ; 
This collection of treasures and properly, 
These Arabian horses trained and ca]Mrisoned, 
This palace and its surrounding gardens, 
This abundance of heart-attached friends. 


This band of servants devoted to their master, 

This diadem and this imperial throne, 

Our commanding presence and lofty dignity, 

And all our reputation for wisdom and knowledge. 

The fair face of our tall and elegant cypress [/>. 

their daughter]. 
All our splendour and all our royalty, 
By little and little are dwindling away ; 
Unwillingly we must resign them to an enemy, 
And count all our care and painstaking but as wind. 
One narrow chest will now suffice us. 
The tree which should have been the antidote is 

become the poison : 
We planted, cultivated, and watered it with care ; 
We hung a crown and jewels on its branches ; ' 
But when it had raised itself to the sun, and expanded 

its shade, 
It fell to the ground, and my life-stock with it. 
Such is the limit and end of our being ; 
Nor know I where we can find our rest." 
And Mihrab said to Sindocht : 
" Thou hast only brought up anew the old story. 
This transitory inn is after this fashion : 
One is neglected, and another enjoyeth every comfort ; 
One arriveth and another departeth ; 
And whom see'st thou that Fate hunteth not down ? 
By anxiety of heart thou wilt never drive sorrow to 

the door ; 
There is no contending with the just God." 

Then said Sindocht : " How can I conceal from ihee 

This secret and these weighty matters ? 

Know then that the son of Sam 

Hath secretly ensnared the afleciions of Rudabah. 

He hath led her noblt; soul astray from the right path. 

And now notliing remaineth for us but to fmd some 

Much counsel have I given her, hut it availeth no- 

1 see her still [lale-faced and dejected, 
Her heart slUl full of pain and sorrow, 
Her parched lips ever breathing the cold sigh." 

When Mihrab heard this, he leaped to hLs feet : 
He laid his hand on the hilt of his sword, 
His body trembled, and his face became livid ; 
His bosom filled with wrath, and his lips with deep 

"This instant," he Exclaimed, "ihc blood of Rudabah 
I will pour out like a river on the ground" 

When Sindocht saw this, she sprang to her feet. 

She seized the belt round his body with both her 

And exclaimed : " Hear one word ; 
Give ear one moment to thine inferior ; 
And afterwards do as thy reason lelleth thee. 
As thy heart and thy guiding wisdom shall prompt 


He writhed and Aung her from hitn. 


He uttered a cry like a furious elephant ; 

And exclaimed : " When a daughter made her appear- 

I ought to have instantly commanded her to be slain ! 

I killed her not; I walked not in the way of my 

And this now is the trick that she hath played me. 

But him who departeth from the way of his fathers 

The brave will not account to have sprung from his 

If the hero Sam shall join with King Manuchahar, 

And they prove their power against me in war, 

The smoke will go up from Kabul to the sun ; 

Neither dwelling will be left, nor corn-field, nor voice 
of salutation." 

Sindocht replied : " O defender of the marches, 
Let not thy tongue utter such wild words. 
For the warrior Sam is already informed of this affair ; 
Banish from thy mind this terror, and disquiet, and 

Mihrab rejoined : " O my mildly-radiant beauty. 
Say not a word that is spoken deceitfully ; 
My bosom would be free from trouble. 
If I saw thee secure from injury. 
Than Zal a son-in-law more estimable 
There could not be either amongst the princes or the 

people : 
Who might not desire the alliance of Sam, 
From Ahwaz even to Kandahar ! '' 




^H Sindocht answered ; " O exalled chief, 

^H What occasion for deceitful words? 

^H Thy injury is plainly my injury, 

^M And thy troubled sou! is bound up in mine ; 

^M Therefore didst thou see me so troubled also, 

^H Sunk down in grief, and oil joy tjone from my heart ! 

^H But should this come about, why would it \>e so 

^H wonderful, 

^H That thou shouldst take so dark a view of it ? 

^H Feridun approved of the maidens of Yamati, 

^V And this hero, who seeks to subdue the world, but 

^m followcth the same path : 

^H For from (ire, and water, and earth, and air, 

^H The dark face of the ground is changed to brightness." 

^H Mihrab gave car to the words of Sindochl, 
^M Bui his head was still full of vengeful thoughts, 
^H And his heart still boiled over with passion. 
^M Then he gave his commands to Sindocht: 
^H " Rouse up, and bring Rudabah before me." 

^H But Sindocht was afraid of the lion-hearted man, 

^H I^st he should strike Rudabah to the earth. 

^m " First," she said, " thou shalt give me a promise, 

^H That thou wilt restore her unhurt to my arms ; 

^H And that that heavenly flower shall not be swept aw&y 

^H from the garden, 

^m And the land of Kabul be emptied of its roses. 

^H Thou shalt take first a solemn oath, 

^H That thou hast washed out vengeance from thine heart" 


ZAL and RUDABAH. 49 

The warrior gave his word, 

That Rudabah should suffer no harm : 

** But,*' he said, " consider that the Master of the earth 

Will be full of indignation at what hath been done. 

And that neither father, nor mother, nor home will be 

And that Rudabah herself will perish in a river of 


When Sindocht heard this she bowed down her head, 
And placed her face on the ground ; 
And came to her daughter with smiles upon her lips. 
And a face open as the dawn when it riseth on the 

She told her the good news, and said : " The furious 

Hath withdrawn its grasp from the wild-ass ; — 
The hero Mihrab hath sworn by the righteous God 
A strong oath, and hath set his name thereto. 
That he will not touch in anger a braid of thine hair. 
Now therefore bring forth quickly all thine ornaments. 
And show thyself before thy father, and lament what 

hath happened" 
** But why," said Rudabah, " with all my ornaments ? 
W^hy place the valuable beside the valueless ? 
My soul is wedded to the son of Sam, 
And why conceal what is so clear ? " 

She appeared before her father like the rising sun, 
Immersed in a blaze of gold and rubies — 


A charming angel from the realms of Paradise, 

Or a glorious sun in the smiling spring. 

When her father beheld her he stood fixed in astonish- 

And secretly invoked the Creator of the world. 

" O thou," he exclaimed, " who hast washed out reason 
from thy iirain. 

How is this fulness of jewelry beseeming thee ? 

Is it befitting that a Peri unite herself with Aherman 
[the Evil principle] ? 

Rather let my crown and my ring perish ! 

If a serpcnt-tharmer from the desert of Khoten should 
show himself as a magician. 

Would it not be right to slay him with an arrow? " 

When Rudabah heard these words her heart burnt 

within her. 
And her face was crimsoned with shame in ihe sight 

of her father ; 
Her dark eye-lids fell over her grief-swollen eyes, 
She stood motionless, and drew not a breath. 
Filled, heart and head, with hostility and passion, 
Htr father groaned in his rage like a roaring tiger, 
Rudabah returned heart-broken to the house, 
Her pale yellow cheek alternating with red ; 
And mother and daughter sought refuge with God 

Meanwhile inrorraation of what Ims happened reaches Ihe ear 
uf Maiiuchahar. He is greatly ilL^lurbed bf it, and sends to 
summon S^ to his court. Sam obeys the summons, nnd i 
ii received bj the King with great dist 

ZAL and RUDABAH, 5r 

manded to relate the history of his wars in Mazinderan ; and 
in answer to the inquiries of the monarch about his battle 
with the Dives, or demon-inhabitants of the country, he thus 
replies : 

*' O King, live prosperously for ever I 

Far be from thee the designs of the evil-minded ! 

I came to that city of warlike Dives — 

Dives ! — ^rather ferocious lions ! 

They are fleeter than Arabian horses, 

More courageous than the warriors of Iran ; 

Their soldiers, whom they name Sagsar [Dog-heads]^ 

You would think were tigers of war. 

When the news of my arrival reached them, 

And they heard my shout, their brains were bereft of 

They raised a tremendous clamour in their city. 
And issued forth in mass, 
And collected an army so immense. 
That the dust thereof obscured the brightness of the 

Then they rushed towards me, seeking the battle, 
Like men insane, hurrying and in confusion. 
The ground trembled, and the sky was darkened, 
As they filled the hills and the valleys. 

A panic fell upon my army. 
And I could not but be filled with anxiety 
At the serious turn which matters had taken ; 
But I shouted aloud to my dispirited soldiers, 




^^ And raised my ponderous club, 

^H And urged forward my iron-hard charger. 

^H Then 1 came and clove the heads of the enemy, 

^M So that from dread of me they lost their reason : 

^M At each assauh 1 struck down a hundred bodies ; 

^B At everj- blow of my mace 1 made a Dive rub the 

^H ground ; 

^H Like feeble deer before the strong lion, 

^B They Red affrighted at the ox-headed club. 

^M An aspiring grandson of the bold Salm 

^B Came on like a wolf to meet me in the battle. 

^H The name of the ambitious chieftain was Kakavi, 

^H Beautiful of countenance, and tall as a cyjiress ; 

^H By his mother he was of the race of Zohak. 

^H The heads of proud warriors were as dust before him ; 

^H His army was as a host of ants or locusts ; 

^H Its multitude concealed the plain and the slopes of 

^H the mountains. 

^H When the dust arose from the approaching s<]Uadrons, 

^M The cheeks of our soldiers turned pale ; 

^H But I raised ray death-dealing mace, and urged them 

^H forward, 

^H And led them onward to meet the enemy ; 

^H I shouted so loud from the saddle of my war-horse, 

^B That the earth seemed to whirl like a mill about 

■ them 

^H Courage resumed its place in the breasts of our 

^Hi And with one determination they rushed to the battle. 


When Kakavi heard my voice, 

And saw the wounds of my head-smashing club, 

He came to meet me like a mad elephant, seeking to 
wound me. 

He desired to entangle me with his long noose ; 

But when I saw him I leaped out of way of destruc- 

And grasping my Kaianian bow. 

And selecting my choicest steel-pointed arrows, 

I darted them upon him like swift eagles. 

And p>oured them upon him like fiery rain ; 

His head, massive as an anvil, 

I thought to have nailed to his helmet. 

When I saw him through the dust, 

Coming on like a mad elephant, his Indian sword in 
his hand. 

It came into my mind, O King, 

That the very hills were about to ask grace for their 

He in haste, and I slowly, 

I pondered how I might take him in my grasp ; 

And when the warrior rushed down upon me, 

I stretched out my arm from my war-horse, 

Seized the courageous hero by the belt, 

Lifted him up lion-like from the saddle, 

And furious as an elephant dashed him to the ground, 

So that his bones were crushed to atoms. 

When their commander was thus laid low, 
His army turned back from the field of battle : 


On every side they crowded in bands, 

Filling the heights and the slopes, the plains and the 

When we numbered the slain, horse and foot, 
We counted twelve thousand, who had fallen in the 

The soldiers, and town's-people, and valiant horsemen 
Amounted to thirty hundred thousands. 
What weight hath the power of the evil-minded 
Against thy fortune and the servants of thy throne ? " 

When Sam had finished his narrative Manuchahar commands 
him to assemble an army, to march against Mihrab, to devastate 
his country, and extirpate his family. Sam dares not disobey, 
and sets off to execute his commission. On the way he encoun- 
ters his son, who earnestly implores him to suspend his purpose 
and permit him to go, and himself urge his suit before the King. 
Sam consents and seconds his request in a letter to Manuchahar, 
in which he recounts his services, and in particular that of 
having slain a terrible dragon which had long desolated the 

** If I had not appeared in the land, 

The heads would have been cut off even of those who 

bear them the highest, 
When the huge Dragon came up from the river 

And made the ground bare as the palm of my hand. 
His length was as the distance from city to city. 
His breadth as the space from mountain to mountain. 
He filled the hearts of all men with terror. 
And kept them all on the watch night and day. 

■ 1 bolted, and saw not a bird in the air, J 
Nor a beast of prey on ihe face of the ground ; ^^^| 
His flames burnt the feathers of the vulture, ^^^| 
The grass withered beneath his poison, 
He drew the fierce water-serpent up from its waters. 
And the soaring eagle down from its clouds ; 
^^The earth was emptied of man and beast, 
^^Und every thing abandoned its habitation to him. 

^■When 1 saw that there was no one in the land 
Who was able to crush him with the strong hand, 
Relying on the power of the Sovereign of the world, 
<;od the Pure, I cast all fear from my heart ; 
I girded my loins in the name of the Most High, 
I vaulted tnio the saddle of my massive war-horse, 
Oraspcd in my hand the ox-headed mace, 
.\iid, my bow on my arm, and my shield at its neck. 
Rushed forward like a furious crocodile — 
I with the strong wrist, he with his venom ; 
And each one who saw by the mace that I was about 

to encounter the Dragon 
Exclaimed to me as 1 passed, ' Farewell ! ' 
I came, I beheld him, huge as a mountain. 

Trailing his cord-like hairs upon the ground. , 1 
His tongue resembled the black-tree [the upas ?], J 
His jaws open and stretched out on the way, ■ 
His two eyes were like two basins of blood, 1 
He saw me, roared, and sprang upon me with fury : 1 

^^thought, O King, so it ap|)eared to me, ^^^^ 

The world appeared to my eyes like an agitated ocean ; 

A black smoke went up darkly to the clouds, 

The face of the earth trembled at his cty. 

From the venom the ground was like the sea of China. 

But, as wa.s becoming a valiant man, 

I shouted with the voice of a lion. 

Placed without delay in my long cross-bow 

A choice poplar arrow pointed with adamant, 

Aimed the shaft right at his jaws. 

That I might nail his tongue to his palate ; 

I pierced it on one side with the arrow, 

And he lolled it out in utter bewildernienl. 

In an instant another arrow like the first 

I aimed at his mouth, and he writhed from the wound- 

A third time I struck him in the midst of his jaws, 

And the boiling blood rushed from his vitals. 

But, as he narrowed the ground before me, 

I upraised the vengeful ox-headed mace, 

In the strength of God,, the Master of the Univi^rse, 

Urged on my elephant-bodied charger, 

And battered him in such wise with its blows, 

That you would say the sky was raining down moun 

tains upon him. 
I pounded his head as though it was the head of a 

mad elephant, 
And from his body streamed the poison like the river 

Such was the wound thai he never rose again. 
And the plain was levelled to the hitls with his brains; 
The river Kashaf became a river of bile : 





But the earth was once more an abode of sl^ep and 

quiet \ 
And the hills were covered with men and women, 
Who called down blessings upon me." 

Zal arrives at the court of Manuchahar. The King is highly 
pleased with his appearance and the proofs which he gives of 
his wisdom and courage ; but his fears still make him hesitate 
to grant his request, and it is not till he has consulted the 
astrologers, and received from them a favourable answer, that 
he sanctions it with his approval. Zal then returns joyously 
to Kabul, to communicate the glad tidings to Rudabah. The 
nuptials are celebrated with great pomp, and the offspring 
of the marriage is the hero Rustam — the Hercules of Persia 
— whose deeds and adventures fill many subsequent pages of 
the Shak-Namah. 



The Death of Dara (Darius). 

nPHE Viziers came to Iskandar and said : 

" O King, crowned with victories and knowledge. 
We have just slain thine enemy. 
Come to an end is his diadem and the throne of 

When Janusyar had thus spoken, Iskandar said to 

Mahyar : 
" The enemy ye have cast down — where is he ? Show 

me the nearest road thither." 
They went before him, and the King of the Greeks 

His heart and his eyes filled with tears of blood. 
When he came near, he saw that the face of Dara 
Was pale as the flower of the fenugreek, 
And his breast clotted with gore. 
Having commanded that they should quit their horses 
And keep guard over the two ministers, 
Swift as the wind, Iskandar dismounted from his 




And placed on his thigh the head of the wounded 

He looked to see whether Dara was still in a condition 

to speak, 
Passed both his hands over his face, 
Withdrew the royal diadem from his head, 
Unclasped the warlike breastplate from his breast. 
And rained down a flood of tears from his eyes, when 

he saw the wounded body, 
And the physician far away. 
" May it go well with thee," he exclaimed, 
*' And let the heart of the malevolent tremble ! 
Raise thyself, and seat thyself on this golden cushion. 
And, if thou hast strength enough, place thyself in the 

I will bring physicians from Greece and India ; 
I will shed tears of blood for thy sufferings ; 
I will restore to thee thy kingdom and thy throne. 
And we will depart as soon as thou art better. 
When, yester-evening, the old men told me what had 

My heart swelled with blood, my lips uttered cries. 
We are of one branch, one root, one body-garment. 
Why, through our ambition, should we extirpate our 

race ? " * 
When Dara heard, with a weak voice he replied : 
" May wisdom be thy companion for ever ! 
I believe that from thy God, the just, the holy. 
Thou wilt receive a recompense for these thy words. 
But for what thou hast said, that Persia shall be mine, 

Thine be the throne and the crown of the brave, 

Nearer to me is death than a throne ; 

My fortune is turned upside down ; my throne is 

an end. 
Sach is the determination of the lofty sphere ;" 
Its delights are sorrows, and its profit is ruin. 
'Take heed that thou say not, in the pride of thy v 
' 1 have been superior lo this renowned army." 
Know that good and evil are alike from God, 
And give Him the praise that thyself art still alive. 
I am, myself, a sufficient example of this ; 
And my history is a commentar)' upon it for every 

For what greatness was mine, and sovereignty, and 


And to no one hath suffering ever come through me. 

What arms and armies too were mine ! 

.^□d what quantities of horses, and thrones, and 

diadems ! 
What children and relatives^ 

Relatives whose hearts were slaniped with my mark. 
The earth and the age were as slaves before me. 
So was it as long as Fortune was my friend ; 
But now I am severed from all my happiness, 
And am fallen into the hand.s of murderers. 
I am in despair about my children and my kinsmen ; 
The world is become black, and my eyes are darkened. 
No one of my relatives cometh to my assistance ; 
1 have no hope but in the Great Provider, and that i 



Behold me, wounded and stretched upon the ground ! 

Fate hath ensnared me in the net of destruction. 

This is the way of the changeful sphere 

With every one, whether he be king or warrior. 

In the end all greatness passeth away ; 

It is a chase in which man is the quarry, and Death is 

the hunter." 
Iskandar rained tears of anguish from his eyes over 

the wounded King, 
As he lay stretched upon the ground. 
When Dara perceived that the grief was from his heart. 
And saw the torrent of tears which flowed from his 

pale cheek, 
He said to him : " All this is of no avail. 
From the fire no portion is mine but the smoke ; 
This is my gift from the All-giver, 
And all that remaineth of my once brilliant fortune. 
Now give me thine ear from first to last ; 
Receive what I say, and execute it with judgment." 
Iskandar replied : " It is for thee to command ; 
Say what thou wilt, thou hast my promise." 

Rapidly Dara unbound his tongue ; 

Point by point he gave instructions about everything : 

** First, illustrious Prince, fear thou God, the Righteous 

Who made heaven and earth and time ; who created 

the weak and the strong. 
Watch over my children, and my kindred, and my 

beloved veiled women. 

Ask of me in marriage my chaste daughter, and make 

her happy in thy palace ; 
To whom her mother gave the name of Roshank, 
And in her made the world contented and joyful. 
Thou wilt never from my child hear a word of chiding. 
Not will her worst enemy utter a calumny against her. 
As she is the daughter of a line of kings. 
So in prudence she is the crown of women. 
Perhaps she will bring thee an illustrious son. 
Who will revive the name of Isfandyar, 
Will stir up the fire of Zoroaster, 
Take in his hand the Zendavesta ; 
Will observe the auguries and feast of Sadah, and 

that of the New Year, 
Renew the splendour of the Fire-temples of Hormuzd, 
The Sun, the Moon, and Mithra : 
Will wash his face and his soul in the waters of 

Re-establish the customs of Lohrasp, 
Restore the Kaianian rites of Gushtasp ; 
Will treat the great as great and the little as little. 
Rekindle religion, and be fortunate." 

Iskandar answered ; " O good-hearted and righteous 

I accept thy injunctions and thy testament ; 
I will remain in this country only to execute them. 
I will perform thy excellent intentions ; 
I will make thy intelligence my guide." 



The Master of the world siezed the hand of Iskandar, 

And wept and lamented bitterly ; 

He placed the palm of it on his lips, and said to him : 

" Be God thy refuge ! 
I leave thee my throne, and return to the dust ; 
My soul I leave to God the Holy." 

He spoke and his soul quitted his body, 

And all who were about him wept bitterly. 

Iskandar rent all his garments, 

And scattered dust on the crown of the Kaianians: 

He built a tomb for him agreeably to the customs of 

his country. 
And suitable to his faith and the splendour of his 

They washed the blood from his body with precious 

Since the time of the eternal sleep had arrived. 
They wrapped it in brocade of Rum, 
Its surface covered with jewels on a ground of gold. 
They hid it under a coating of camphor, 
And after that no one saw the face of Dara any more. 
In the tomb they placed for him a dais of gold, 
And on his head a crown of musk. 
They laid him in a coffin of gold. 
And rained over him from their eyelids a shower of 

When they raised the coffin from the ground, 
They bore it, turn by turn. 
Iskandar went before it on foot. 

64 FERDUSl. 

And the grandees followed behind, shedding tears of 

So they proceeded to the sepulchre of Dara, 

And placed the coffin on the dais, performing all the 
ceremony due to kings ; 

And when they had completed the magnificent monu- 

They erected gibbets before it, and executed the 

Iskandar's Conversation with the Brahmins. 

TSKANDAR asked the Brahmins about their sleep 

■*■ and their food ; 

How they enjoyed their days of tranquillity; and how 

they supported the dust of the battle : 
" What is your portion of the delights of the world, 
Kor Fortune never separateth the poison and the 

antidote ? " 

One of the sages replied : "O Conqueror of the world ! 

No one speaketh here of fame or of battle. 

We have no wants as to clothing, reposing, or eating. 

Since man cometh naked from his mother, 

He ought not to be very delicate in the matter of 

Hence he will return naked to the earth, 


And here he will find a place of fear, and of sickness, 

and of anxiety. 
The ground is our bed, and our covering the sky, 
Add our eyes are set upon the road, 
Waiting for that which Time may bring with it. 
The ambitious man laboureth excessively for some- 

Which, after all, is httle worth the labour ; 

For when he leaveth this temporary place of refuge, 

He must leave behind him also his crown and his- 

His sole companions will be his good deeds, 
And he and all that he hath will return to the dust." 

One of the Brahmins said to him : " O Monarch, 
Close thou for us the door of Death." 

I jle replied : " With Death, vain aie all petitions ! 

it rescue can there be from the sharp claws of that 
thou of iron, from them thou couldst not 

ftbuthful as he may be, he who remaineth long here 
II from old age hnd no deliverance." 

The Brahmin answered : " Then, King, 
tpuissant, and learned, and worthy of empire, 

ince (hou knowest thai for death there is no remedy, 
ind that there is no worse alHiction than old age, 
Fhy ^ve thyself so much pains to win the world? 


Why madly persevere to smell its poisoned flower ? 
The misery thou hast caused will remain after thee ; 
The fruits of thy trouble and thy treasure will go to 
thine enemies." 

Nushirvan's Address to the Grandees of Iran. 

T EAVE not the business of to-day to be done to- 

■*-^ morrow, 

For who knoweth what to-morrow may be thy con- 
dition ? 

The rose-garden which to-day is full of flowers, 

When to-morrow thou wouldst pluck a rose, may not 
aflbrd thee one. 

When thou findest thy body vigorous, 

Then think of sickness, and pain, and infirmity. 

Remember that after life cometh the day of death ; 

And that before death we are as leaves before the 

Whenever thou enterest on a matter sluggishly, 

Thou wilt execute it feebly. 

If thou sufferest passion to get the mastery over 

Thou wilt need no witness to attest thy folly. 

The man who talketh much and never acteth 

Will not be held in reputation by any one. 

By crookedness thou wilt render thy paths the darker. 

'^---■^ -— -'-^ 


But the road towards rectitude is a narrow one. 
Even a matter in which thou hast pre-eminent ability 

will turn to evil, 
If thou doest it with dulness and inactivity. 
If thy tongue allieth itself with falsehood, 
No splendour from the throne of heaven will reach 

A crooked word is the resort of weakness, 
And over the weak we can only weep. 
If the King rouseth himself from sleep to mount his 

He will enjoy sound health, and be safe from his 

The prudent man will abstain from luxurious living ; 
And all that goes beyond our actual needs proceedeth 

from greediness, 
And is full of pain and anxiety. 
If the King is endowed with justice and liberality, 
The world will be full of ornament and beauty \ 
But if crookedness enter into his counsels, 
His meat will be the bitter gourd, and his water will 

be blood. 

From Nushirvan's Letjer to his son Hormuz. 

T HAVE thought it meet to write this serious Letter 

to my child, 
Full of knowledge, and true in the faith : 

May God give him happiness and a prosperous 
fortune ! 

May the crown and throne of empire be his in per- 
petuity ! 

In a fortunate month, and on a day of Khurdad [light- 

Under a happy star and brilliant omens, 

We have placed on thine head a crown of gold. 

As we in like manner received it from our father. 

And we remember the blessing which the happy 

Conferred on our crown and throne. 

Be thou vigilant ; be master of the world ; be 
intelligent ; 

Be thou of a generous disposition, and do harm to no 

Increase thy knowledge, and attach thyself lo (iod ; 

And may He be the guide to thy soul. 

I inquired of a man whose words were cscellenl, 

And who was mature in years and in intellect : 

" Who amongst us is the nearest to God ? 

Whose path towards Him is the clearest?" 

He replied : " Choose knowledge, 

If thou desiresl a blessing from the Universal Provider : 

For the ignorant man cannot raise himself above the 

And it is by knowledge that thou must render thy 
soul praiseworthy." 

It is by knowledge that the King becomcih the orna- 
ment of his throne : 


^Gain knowledge, therefore, a.nd be thy throne vie- 
torious ! 
Beware thou become not a promise-breaker ; 
For the shroud of the promise- breaker will be the 
> dusL 

Be not a punisher of those who are innocent ; 
Lend not thine ear to the words of informers. 
In all thy business let thine orders be strictly just ; 
For it is by justice that thy soul will be rendered 

k cheerful 

Let thy tongue have no concern with a lie. 
If thou desirest that thou shouldst reflect a splendour 
on thy throne. 
If any one of thy subjects accumulate a fortune, 
Preserve htm from anxiety about his treasure ; 
^^_ For to take aught from his treasure is to be the enemy 
^^L of thine own : 

^^pKejoice in that treasure which thou hast gained by 
^M thine own care. 

* If the subject shall have amassed wealth. 
The monarch ought to be his sustainer ; 
Every one ought to feel secure in thine asylum. 
However exalted he may be, or however humble. 
Whoever^ doeth thee a kindness, do him the same ; 
Whoever is the enemy of thy friend, with him do 

And if thou comest to honour in the world, 

\ Bethink thee of pains of body, and sorrow, and 

aever thou an, it is but a halting-place ; 

Thou must not feel secure, when thou sittest down in it. 
Seek, then, to be deserving ; and seat thyself amgng 

the wise, 
If thou desirest the favours of Fortune. 
When thou placest on thine head the diadem of 

Seek ever the better way beyond that which is good. 
Be charitable to the wretched ; keep thyself far from 

all that is bad ; 
And fear for the calamity which thou permittest. 
Sound the secret places of thine own heart. 
And never show a magnanimity or justice which is- 

only on the surface. 
Measure thy favours according to merit ; 
And listen to the counsels of those who have seen the 

Be inclined to religion, but keep thine eye on the Faiths, 
For from the Faiths proceed jealousies and anger 

amongst men. 
Manage thy treasury In proportion to thy treasure, 
And give Ihy heart no anxiety about its increase. 
Regard the actions of former kings, 
And take heed that thou be never otherwise than jusL 
V the diadems of those Kings of kings ? 
Where are those princes, those great ones so favoured 

by Fortune? 
Of their acts they have left nothing behind them but 

the memory ; is all ; for this transient resting-place remainelh 

to no one. 


Give not command recklessly to spill blood, 

Nor lightly engage thine army in war. 

Walk in the ways of the Lord of Sun and Moon, 

And hold thyself afar from the works of demons. 

Keep this Letter before thee night and day, 

And sound reason perpetually in thy heart. 

If thou doest in the world what deserveth remem- 

Thy name will not perish for lack of greatness. 

The Lord of Goodness be ever thy refuge ; 

May earth and time be ever favourable to thee ; 

May sorrow have no dominion over thy soul ; 

And may the hand of cheerfulness for thee never be 
shortened ! 

May fortune be ever thy slave ; 

And may the heads of those who wish evil to thee be 
abased ! 

May the star of thy destiny ascend to the ninth 
heaven ; 

And may the Moon and Jupiter be the protectors of 
thy throne ! 

May the world be irradiated from the splendour of 
thy crown ; 

And may kings be servants in thy court ! 

When he had written this Letter, he consigned it to 

his treasury. 
And continued to live in this transitory world in fear 

and trembling. 


From the Mubid's questions to Nushirvan, and 

his replies. 


"LJ E said to him : " What is the pleasure of having 

children ? 
And why desire to have a family ? " 
He gave answer : " He who leaveth the world to his 

Will not himself be forgotten. 
When he hath children life has a savour, 
And its savour will keep vice at a distance ; 
And, when he is passing away, his pangs will be 

If a child be looking on his paling countenance. 
Even he who liveth to do good will pass away. 
And Time will count out his respirations." 
" Wherefore, then," he said, " praise virtue, 
Since Death cometh and moweth down alike the good 

and the evil ? " 
He replied : " Good deeds 
Will obtain their full value in every place : 
The man who died doing good actions is not dead — 
He is at rest and hath consigned his soul to God ; 
But he is not at rest who remaineth behind. 
And leaveth in the world a bad report." 
The Mubid said : " Of evil things there is nothing 

worse than Death ; 


How can we make provision against that ?'' 

He answered him: '*When thou passest away from 

this sombre earth, 
Thou wilt find a brighter abode ; 
But he who hath lived in fears and remorse 
Is compelled to weep over a life so spent 
Whether thou be king, or whether thou be of the low- 

Thou wilt have passed away from the terrors and the 

sorrows of the world." 
He said : " Of these two things which is the worst, 
And which will cause us the greatest pain and unhapi- 

ness ?" 
He replied : " Be assured that nothing will press upon 

thee with the weight of a mountain, 
If it come as a multitude, like Remorse. 
In the world there is nothing so strong as Remorse ! 
What terror is there, if it be not the terror of 

Remorse ? " 

II. — D E S T I N Y. 

T^HE Mubid asked : " What are we to think of the 
action of the heavenly sphere ? 

Interpret to me its revelations and its mysteries. 

Are we to accept and approve its operations, 

Even if its mutations bring with them what seems not 
salutary ? " 


He gave answer : " This aged sphere, 

Though it is charged with knowledge and memories ; 

Though it is great, and powerful, and loftier than 

aught else ; 
And though it is lord above all lords. 
Follow not thou its ordinances, nor approve them ; 
Look not to it for advantage or disadvantage. 
Know that evil and good are from Him that hath no 

partner ; 
Whose operations have no beginning and have no end. 
When He says BE ! it is done to His hand ; 
He Was, and ever Was ; and Is, and ever Is." 


OEAT thyself always in the society of the wise, 

^^ And strive after those enjoyments which are 

eternal ; 
For earthly enjoyments will pass away, 
And the wise man will not reckon them enjoyments. 
Incline thine affections to learning and knowledge, 
For these must show thee thy way towards God. 
Do not let thy words go beyond measure, 
For thou art but a young creature, and the world is 

Suffer not thyself to be intoxicated by the revolutions 

of Fortune, 


And let thy companionship not be with evil men. 
Tear away thy heart from that which cannot be, 
And bestow all that it is in thy power to bestow. 
Withhold not whatsoever thou hast from a friend, 
Even if he ask for thine eye, thy brain, or thy skin. 
If a friend would settle an account with a friend, 
Let him not admit an intermediate in the matter. 
If thou must have intercourse with an evil-minded 

Give him no opportunity of laying his hand upon 

If any one would open the path of intimacy. 
Take care that he is a man of virtue, and modesty, 

and gentleness. 
Let not thy tongue go beyond thy merits. 
For the just man will not number false pretences as 

merits : 
He will not hold any one great for his possessions. 
Nor, on the other hand, esteem any one mean for his 


The Raja of India sends a Chessboard to 


\ 7[ rHEN this heart-absorbing question was brought 

to an end. 
My narrative must proceed to the subject of Chess.** 


A Mubid related, how one day the King 
Suspended his crown over the ivory throne, 
AJl aloes-wood and ivory, and all ivory and atoes ; 
Ever)' pavilion a court, and every court a royal one ; 
All the Hall of Audience crowned with soldiers ; . 
Every [lavilion filled with Mubids and Wardens of the 

From Baikh, and Bokhara, and from every frontier — 
For the King of the world had received advices 
From his vigilant and active emissaries. 
That an Ambassador had arrived from a King of India, 
^Vlth the parasol, and elephants, and cavalry of Sind, 
And, accompanied by a thousand laden camels, 
Was on his way to visit the Great King. 
When the circumspect Monarch heard this news, 
Immediately he despatched an escort to receive him. 
And when the illustrious and dignified Ambassador 
Came into the presence of the Clreat King, 
According to the manner of the great, he pronounced 

a benediction, 
And uttered the praise of the Creator of the world. 
Then he scattered before him abundance of jewels, 
And presented the parasol, the elephants, and the J 

ear-rings ; 
The Indian parasol embroidered with gold, 
And inwoven with all kinds of precious stones. 
Then he opened the packages in the midst of the ] 

And displayed each one, article by article, before the 



^thin the chest was much silver, and gold, 
And musk, and amber, and fresh wood of aloes, 
Of rubies, and diamonds, and Indian swords. 
Each Indian sword beautifully damascened ; 
Every thing which is produced in Kanuj and Mai 
Hand and foot were busy to put in its place. 
They placed the whole together in front of the throne. 
And the Chief, the favoured of wakeful Fortune, 
Surveyed all that the Raja had painstakingly collected. 
And then commanded thai it should be sent to his 

Then the Ambassador presented, written on silk. 
The letter which the Raja had addressed to 

Nushirvan ; 
And a chessboard, «Tought with such exceeding labour, 
That the pains bestowed upon it might have emptied 

a treasury. 
And the Indian delivered a message from the Raja : 
'•So long as the heavens revolve, may thou he 

established in thy place ! 
All who have taken pains to excel in knowledge, 
Command to place this chessboard before them. 
And to exert their utmost ingenuity 
To discover the secret of this noble game. 
\ Let them learn the name of every piece. 
Its proper position, and what is its movement. 
L«t tliem make out the foot-soldier of the army, 
I The elephant, the rook, and the horseman, 

"he tnarch of the vizier and the procession of thc 

If they discover the science of this noble game, 
They will have surpassed the most able in science. 
Then the tribute and taxes ivhich the King hath 

I will cheerfully send all to his court. 
But if the congregated sages, men of Iran, 
Should prove themselves completely at fault in this 

Then, since they are not strong enough to compete 

with us in knowledge. 
Neither should ihey desire taxes or tribute from this 

land and country : 
Rather ought we to receive tribute from you, 
Since Icnowledge hath a title beyond all else." 

Khosru gave heart and ear to the speaker. 

And impressed on his memory the words which he 

They placed the chessboard before the King, 
^Vho ga/ed attentively at the pieces a considerable 

Half the pieces on the board were of brilliant ivory, 
The other half of finely imaged teak-wood. 
The nicely-observant King questioned him much 
About the figures of the pieces and the beautiful board. 
The Indian said in answer: "O thou great Monarch, 
All the modes and customs of war thou wilt see. 
When thou shall have found out the way lo the game ; 
The plans, the marches, the array of the battle-field." 
He replied : " I shall require the space of seven days ; 

1 the Mubid and the skilful to point out the way 
Repaired with one purpose to the presence nf the 
Itey placed the chessboard before theui, 
And observed it attentively time without measure. 
They sought out and tried every method, 
And [dayed against one another in all possible ways, 
One si>oke and questioned, and another listened. 
But no one succeeded in making out the game. 
They departed, each one with wrinkles on his brow ; 
And Buzarchamahar went forthwith to the King. 

He perceived that he was ruffled and stern about thi.s 

^And in its beginning foresaw an evil ending. 

I Then he said to Rhosru : " O Sovereign, 

. Master of the world, vigilant, and worthy to command, 

1 will reduce to practice this noble game ; 

All my intelligence will I cxen to jwini out the way." 

Then the King said : " This affair is thine affair ; 
kGo thou about it with a dear mind and a sound body, 
VOtherwise the Raja of Kanuj would say, 

^He hath not one man who can search out the road,' 
d this would bring foul disgrace on my Mubids, 
n my court, on my throne, and on all my wise men." 

Then Buzarchamahar made them place the chessboard 

before him, 
And sealed himself, full of thought, and exi>anded his 

He sought out various ways, and moved the pieces to 

the right hand and to the left, 
In order that he might discover the position of every 

\Vhen, after a whole day and a whole night, he had 

found out the game. 
He hurried from his own pavilion to that of the King, 
And exclaimed: "O King, whom Fortune crowneth 

with victor}', 
Ac last I have made out these figures and this chess- 
By a happy chance, and by the favour of the Ruler of 

the world. 
The mystery of this game hath found its solution. 
Call before thee the Ambassador and ail who care 

But the King of kings ought to be the first to behold it. 

Vou would say at once, without hesitation. 

It is [he exact image of a battle-field," 

The King was right glad to hear this news ; 

He pronounced him the Fortunate, and the bearer of 
good tidings. 

He commanded that tlie Mubids, and other counsel- 

And alt who were renowned for their wisdom should 
be assembled ; 


And ordered that the Ambassador should be sum- 
moned lo the Presence, 
Ss\A that he should be placed on a splendid throne. 

Then Buzarchamahar, addressing him, said : 
" O Miibid, bright in council as the sun, 
Tell us, what said the King about these pieces. 
So may intelligence be coupled with thee for ever!" 

_ And this was his answer : " My Master, prosperous in 
his undertakings, 
1 I was summoned and appeared before him, 
■id to me : ' These pieces of leak and ivory 
lace before the throne of him who wearclh the 


ind say to him— Assemble thy Mubids and coun- 

[And seat them, and place the pieces before them. 
I If they succeed in malting out the noble game, 

1 win applause and augment enjoyment : 
LTbcn slaves and monej', and tribute and taxes, 
t will send to him as far as I have the means ; 
tor a monarch is to be esteemed for his wisdom, 
Hot for his treasure, or his men, or his lofty throne. 
,t if the King and his counsellors are not able to do 
all this, 
md their minds are not bright enough to compre- 
hend it, 
ought not to desire from us tribute or treasure, 
J his wise soul, alas ! must come to grief; 


And when he seeth out minds and genius to be 

subtler than theirs, 
Rather will he send them to us in greater abundance.' " 

Then Buzarchamahar brought the chess-men and 

And placed them before the throne of the watchful 

And said to the Mubids and counsellors : 
" O ye illustrious and pure-hearted sages, 
Give ear all of you to the words he hath uttered. 
And to the obscn'ationa of his prudent Chief." 

Then the knowing-man arranged a battle-field. 
Giving to the King the place in the centre ; 
Right and left he drew up the army. 
Placing the foot-soldiers in front of the battle. 
A prudent vizier he stationed beside the King, 
To give him advice on the plan of the engagement ; 
On each side he set the elephants of war [our bishops]. 
To support one another in the midst of the combat. 
Further on he assigned their position to the war- 
steeds [our knights], 
Placing upon each a horseman eager for the battle. 
Lastly, right and iefi, at the extremities of the field, 
He stationed the heroes [the rooks] as rivals to each 

When Buzarchamahar had thus drawn up the army. 
The whole assembly was lost in astonishment ; 
But the Indian Ambassador was exceedingly grieved, 


And stood motionless at the sagacity of that Fortune- 
favoured man. 
Stupefied with amazement, he looked upon him as a 

And his whole soul was absorbed in his reflections. 
For never hath he seen," he said, " a chessboard 

for ever hath he heard about it from the experienced 
men of India, 
1 have told him nothing of the action of these pieces. 
Not a word have I said about this arrangement and 

How then hath this revelation come down upon lilm > 
Fo one in the world will ever take his place I " 


And Khosru was so proud of Buzarchamahar, 

Thou raightest say that he was looking Fortune in the 

He was gladdened at his heart, and loaded him with 

id ordered him a more than ordinarj' dress of 


And commanded to be given him a royal cup 
Filled to the brim with princely jewels, 
And a quantity of money, and a charger and a saddle. 
dismissed him from the Presence overwhelmed 

with praises. 

ARriASMiR's Aim 

: Nobles of PERsrA. 

■\X 7"HEN from Greece to China, from Turistan to 

* Hindustan, 

The world had become brilliant as the silk of Rum, 
And tribute and customs had beefi gathered in from 

every province. 
And no one had strength to resist its Lord, 
Ardashir called together all the grandees of Persia, 
And seated ihem according to their ranks on their 
princely thrones. 

Then the Master of the world stood up and uttered 
good and righteous words : 

" most illustrious men of your country. 

Who have all of you your iwrtion of intelligence and 

Know thatjjlhe swiftly-revolving sphere is not indul- 
gent through justice, 

Nor holdeth out its amis through benevolence. 

Every one whom it wiUeth, it cxalteth lo dignity ; 

And whomsoever it willeth, it abaseth to the sombre 

Nothing but his name will remain on the earth, 

And all the fruits of liis anxiety will pass into oblivioa 

Strive not then for anything except a good name, 

All ye who hope for a good end. 

Turn thou to God !— open thyself to God I 


For He it is who possesselh, and can augment thy 

In every evil let the Lord of the universe be thy refuge, 
For He it is who hath the power over good and evil 
He can make easy to thee every difficulty ; 
From Hira cometh heart-cheering and victorious 

^ fortune. 

First of all, take example from my own affairs ; 
Renew the memory of my own past, good and evil. 
As soon as I made the Ruler of the world my refuge, 
My heart was rejoiced with the crown and royalty ; 
And the lands of the seven zones became my kingdom, 
As He, in His sovereign authority, judged proper. 
Whoever shall offer Him praise worthy of His works, 
Perchance his service He will remember, 
And show to him His greatness and His power. 
Stretch forth all ye your hands towards God ; 
Labour and faint not in your compact with Him. 
For He is the giver, and He is the possessor, 
And He is the painter of the lofty skies. 
To him wlio hath suffered oppression He will bring 

Glorify not yourselves, any of you, in the face of His 
It each one beware how he aettelh his heart upon 

iler the rise foUoweth the dcsieni. 

Bold not any one knowledijt; in contemjit, 
Whether he be subject or king ; 


For never doth the word of the wise man become old. 
The dread of committing a fault is more than the 

fetters and prison of the King. 
One thing also I will tell you, 
Which is higher than aught that you have seen or 

thought : 
Happy he who hath made the world happier, 
And whose secret acts and open ones are all the 

Happy, too, he who has a soft voice, and an intelli- 
gent mind. 

And a modest air, and earnest speech. 

Watch over thine expenditure, for he who through 
vain glory 

Spendeth uselessly what he hath on empty follies 

Will receive neither return nor praise from anyone. 

Nor the approval of him who servelh God. 

If thou choose the middle way, thou mayest keep thy 

And men of sense will pronounce thee wise. 

To pass quietly through the world four paths lie before 

Which thou mayest tread in piety and faith ; 

In which thou mayest increase thy health of body and 
peace of mind, 

And taste the honey without the poison. 

First, through ambition or avarice, attempt not to go 

Beyond what the bounty of the All-giver hath assigned 

Whoever is contented, he is rich ; 



For him the rose-tree of the fresh spring leaveth 

innumerable (lowers. 
Secondly, court not battles and glory, 
For battles and glory bring with them grief and pain. 
Thirdly, keep thine heart afar from sorrow, 
And be not anxious about the trouble which is not 

tyet come, 
urthly, meddle not in a matter which is not thine : 
rsue not the game which concemeth not thee. 
Ihou who wouldst penetrate to the marrow of ihe 
;ak off thy heart from this old hostelry, 
for, like you and me, it hath seen many guests. 
Nor will it suffer any one long lo rest within it. 
Whether thou be king, or whether thou be servant. 
Thou must pass on, whilst itself remains permanenL 
Whether thou be in sorrow, or whether thou be 

enthroned and crowned, 
Thou must at a word bind up thy package. 
If thou an made of iron, Destiny will wear thee down, 
And when thou art aged he will not fondle thee. 
When the heart -de lighting cy]>ress is bowed, 
When the sad narcissus is weeping. 
When the rosy cheek is saffron, 
^Vhen the head of Ihe joyous man Is heavy. 
When the spirit slumbereth, and when what was erect 

is bowed down — 
^Vouldst thou remain alone, the companions of thy 
journey all departed ? 
Tieiher ihou be monarch, or whether thou be subject, 

No other resting-place shalt thou have than the dark 

Where aie the mighty ones with their thrones and 

crowns ? 
Where are the horsemen elated with victory ? 
Where those bold and intelligent warriors ? 
Where those valiant and exalted chieftains? 
Their only pallet now is the earth and a few bricks- — 
Happy, if only they have left a fair fame ! " 

Last words of Ardashir to his Son. 

'X'HE foundation of a King's throne may he shaken 
■^ in three ways : 

First, because the King is an unjust one ; 
Secondly, because he bringeth forward an unprincipled 

And exalteth him above the virtuous one ; 
Thirdly, when he expendelh his riches on himself, 
Or laboureth only to make his trea-sure more. 
Make thyself conspicuous for justice and liberality. 
And suffer no false person to come nigh unto thee. 
Falsehood darkeneth the countenance of a King ; 
An evil-minded man will lose all his splendour, 
Take heed that thou guard not thy treasure too closely. 
For men through money fall into affliction. 


4enever ihe King is seized with the passion of 

e exposeth the bodies of his subjects to suffering. 

Exert thyself to keep anger at a distance ; 

Ciose thine eye as in sleep to the fault of the misdoer. 

If thou yieldest to anger, shame will follow thee. 
■nVhen he makcth his apology, apply the remedy— 
^B forgiveness. 

^Pwhen the King abatidoneth himself to anger, 
^The wise man will esteem him of little worth. 

Since it is a fault in a King to wish evil to any one, 

He should study to fill his he.irt with kindness. 

ttch is the action of the revolving sphere, 
nnetimes it bringeth pain, and sometimes gladness. 
Mnetimes Fortune is like a vicious horse, 
nd in the midsl of thy prosperity its caprice involvelh 
thee in misfortune. 
t another time it is a charger at full speed, 
Tossing its head on high in its good will. 
Know, my son, that this palace of deception 
Will not permit thee to enjoy thyself without terrors. 
Watch over thy body and over thy mind, 
If thou desires! that thy day sliould not turn to evil. 
When the King payetb homage to religion. 
Religion and royalty are brethren ; 
Nor can religion be stable without ro)alty, 
Nor can royalty be i>ermanent without religion ; 

ley are two foundations interlactd with one another. 
'hich intelligence hath combined in one. 


Religion cannot do withoui royally, 

Neither can royalty be maintained withoui religion : 

They are like two sentinels keeping guard over one 

Under the same tent [or cloak] ; 
Neither can this one do without that, 
Nor can that one do without this : 
Thou would St say ihat they are two jiartners. 
Associated for the purpose of doing good. 

I^avc not liil to-morrow the business of to-day ; 
Nor place upon a throne one who counseleth to 

Fear the evil men who contrive evil in secret, 
For from bad men who work in secret cometh the 

miserj' of the world. 
Trust not thy secret to a confidant, 
Kor he, too, will have his associates and friends. 
And it will be spread abroad through the whole city. 
And men will call thee weak-headed, 
And the wise ones will tell thee that anger becometh 

thee not. 
In no wise ask about the faults of others, 
For he who reporteth the faults of others will report 

thine also : 
And if passion gaineth the mastery over reason. 
The wise will not count thee amongst men. 
The sovereign of ihe world, who should be benevolent 

to every one, 
Ought to be a man of intelligence ; 


RAnd God forbid that one of sharp and arrogant dis- 
f Who tumelh not away from calumnies and reproaches. 

Should take his place beside thee, 

Or be a counsellor and guide to thee. 

If thou desirest that the [lUre in heart should praise 

y aside anger and vengeance when thou becomesl 
Be not a man of many words, 
And |)arade not thy virtues in the face of others. 
I jsien to every word, and remember the best ; 
^^■And look well before thou takest any one to thy 

^^BWeigh well thy words in the presence of the learned ; 

^^FShow to every one a courteous demeanour and a 

^F pleasant countenance. 

^H Treat not with contempt the poor petitioner ; 

^^ And seat not the malevolent man upon a throne. 
If any one asketh pardon for his fault, receive it, 
And take not vengeance for a past injury. 

Be a just judge and a providence to all : 
Happy the man who is generous and patient ! 
„When ihine enemy feareth thee, he will use flattering 
words ; 
Jut do thou then array thine army, and sound the 
md throw th)'self into the battle, 
Xill his hand become weak and he retire. 

But if he seek peace, and thou seest that he is sincere. 

And that there is no falsehood in his heart, 

Take tribute from him, and seek not vengeance, 

And have respect to his honour. 

Adorn ihy mind with knowledge, for knowledge 

mnkelh thy worth ; 
And when thou knowest, practise what thou knowesL 
If thou art generous, thou wilt be beloved ; 
And with justice and knowledge thou wilt become 


Lay to thy soul the injunctions of thy father. 

And preserve them for a memorial to thy children. 

When 1 have left to my children their rightful heritage, 

1 shall have done an injury to no one. 

And thou, do not neglect these my injunctions, 

And do not for an instant pervert my words. 

Turn towards the good, and let the bad be as the wind- 

Gtieve not my spirit by any perversity, nor my frail 

body with fire. 
Employ not thy power, O my son, to do evil to others, 
And seek not to pain or afflict any one. 

Now I am prepared for my departure : 

Commit me to the tomb, and do thou ascend thy 

I have borne many sorrows in the world, 
Some in public, others in secret ; 
Gladden my spirit by thy justice, and be victorious 

and joyful on ihy throne 1 


The Gardens of Afr.vsiar. 

*EEST thou yonder plain, so red and yellow, 

Which might fill the heart of a brave man with 
delight ?— 
U grove, and garden, and running waters ; 
L place fit for a Court of Heroes ! 

; ground pictured silk, and its air fragrant with 

K)U mightest almost say, that its streamlets were 


The stalk of the jasmine bendeth beneath its load. 
The rose is iht idol, and the nightingale its worshipper. 
The pheasant sinitteth about in the midst of flowers ; 
The turtle-dove tooelh, and the nightingale warbleth 

from ihe c>-press. 
From the present moment to the latest times 
The banks of its rivulets will resemble Paradise. 
Fairy-faced damsels wilt thou see on every hill and in 

every dale. 
And seated in gay groups on every side. 
There. Manisha, the daughter of Afr:isiab, 
Makcth Ihe whole garden dazzling as the sun ! 
There, Sitarah, his second daughter, sitteth in royal 

glory amidst her attendants. 
Adorning the plain and eclipsing the rose and the lily! 
All veiled and lovely maidens, all tail and elegant as 

the cypress, 


All graced with musky ringlets, 

All with rosy cheeks and sleepy eyes, 

All with oruby lips, and sweet as rose-water. 

Were we to make a single day's journey. 

And rush suddenly on that palace of delights, 

We might capture some of those fairy-faced damsels. 

And make ourselves precious in the sight of Khosru. 

Introduction to the History of Hormuz. 

'X'HE month Tammuz [July] smiled at the red 
^ apples, 

And sportively rallied the apple-tree about its fruit and 
its leaves : 

Where is that nosegay of roses which in the spring- 

Drunk with joy, thou didst wear in thy bosom — 

Which from its colour breathed a hue of modesty. 

And from its stalk exhaled a perfume of tenderness ? 

What hast thou done with it? — who hath been the 
purchaser of it ? 

Where drdst thou find for it so capital a market ? 

Who hath given thee in exchange for it those corne- 
lians and emeralds, 

The great weight of which bowethdown thy branches? 

Assuredly, thou must have asked a good price for thy 


And thus adorned thy cheek with those lovely colours ! 
A hue of bashfulness tingeth thy neck ; 
Thy garment is scented with a musky fragrance. 
Perchance thou hast stolen the sheen of thy robe from 

Jupiter ; 
Thy pearls thou hast spotted with drops of blood. 
Thy bosom is become emerald, thy skin violet ; 
Thy head is more exalted than the standard of 

Kawa [the standard of Persia]. 
With thy garment, become russet, and yellow, and 

Thou hast rendered me hopeless of the leaves of thy 


mine idol ! O my spring ! whither art thou gone ? 
Why hast thou hidden the ornament of thy garden ? 
The autumn still exhibiteth the perfume of thy zephyrs. 
In a cup of wine I will renew thy memory ; 

When thy colours shall have become yellow, I will yet 
praise thee ; 

1 will still adorn thee as the diadem of Hormuz : 
And if to-day my marketing be successful, 
Thou shalt yet see traces of me after my death. 


Reflections of Ferdusi on Old Age and Death. 

A 1 rHAT sayeth the ambitious chief of the village, 
^^ my teacher ? 

What of the mutations of the revolving spheres ? 
One day we are climbing, another we are descending ; 
Now we are cheerful, and now we are in anxiety. 
Our end is a pillow upon the dark earth ; 
For one in high places, for another in a ditch. 
We have np token from those who are departed, 
Whether they are awake and happy, or whether they 

are asleep. 
In this world, however little of happiness hath been 

our portion, 
Yet have we no desire for death. 
Whether thou be'st a hundred years old, or whether 

thou be'st twenty and five. 
It is all one, when the memory cometh to thee of the 

day of anguish. 
Whether he can speak of life as cheerful and delicate, 
Or whether he speak of it as full of pain, and anxiety, 

and sorrow, 
Never yet have I seen any one who wished to die : 
AVhether he was one who had strayed out of the right 
way, or whether he was one of virtuous habits ; 
Whether he was one of the faithful, or whether he was 

an impious adorer of idols. 
When Death cometh he will place both hands upon 

his head. 


\Vhen, old man, thy years shall have passed sixty and 

The cup and the wine and repose will have lost their 

savour ; 
And the man who hath attained sound sense and 

Will not attach his heart to this ' transitory resting- 
Of thy friends, many will remain behind, and many 

will have gone before ; 
And thou, with thy cup, wilt have been left alone in 

the desert. 
If thou dost not well consider in the beginning what 

thou hast to do, 
Re|>entance without remedy will be thy portion at the 

Rejoice not, if thou hast done evil ; 
Vox thou wilt have injured thyself, if thou shalt have 

injured another. 
However many years thou mayest still be here, 
Know that thy departure will come at last ; 
Therefore increase in goodness so long as thou art here, 
That, when thou departest, in that thou mayest still bo 

joyful : 
According to our words and deeds in this life. 
Will be hereafter the remembrance of us in the world. 
For myself, from the revolution of the spheres I ask 

That so much time and so much cheerfulness of spirit 

may be left me, 





That these histories and these traditions, which have 

become ancient, 
And over which so may years have passed, 
From the time of Kaiumeras [the first king] to that of 

Yezdejerd [the last], 
I may connect together and disperse abroad by my 

writings ; 
And may clear this garden of its deforming weeds, 
And revive the words and deeds of the King of kings : 


Then will I not grieve to depart. 

And abandon this temporary halting-place. 



1 Other accounts say that this encounter took place, not 
fortuitously at the entrance of Ferdusi into Ghazni, but in a 
court or garden of the King's palace, and in his presence : a 
kind of competitive examination. Probably neither account is 
much to be trusted as absolutely correct, and is to be received 
only as an illustration of Oriental ideas and feeling about the 

2 This is very likely only an approximative estimate. Mr. 
Turner Macan, the learned and laborious editor of the printed 
edition of the Shah Namah^ in 4 vols., Calcutta, 1829, says in 
the Preface, vol. I, page 39: "Ferdusi himself alludes to this 
number, but it may be doubted if he did not calculate in a loose 
and general manner, and without having counted the verses. 
But whatever number of couplets this poem may have originally 
contained, I have never seen a manuscript with more than fifty- 
six thousand six hundred and eighty-five, including doubtfiil and 
spurious passages. The present edition contains fifty-five 
thousand two humlred and four, exclusive of the Appendix.'* 
It is not wonderful that, in so long a work, preserved for so 
many centuries only in MSS., transcribed by so many hands, 
and in so widely separated countries, many variations of readings 
and many omissions and discrepancies should have crept into 
the copies. Rather it is wonderful that they should have main- 
tained such resemblance as still exists. 

3 Preface to Lumsden's edition of Ferdusi, Calcutta, 181 1, 
page 3. This, the first attempt at a printed text of the original, 
was intended to have been produced in eight volumes folio, ami 

lu have compiiM;!] Lhe whole of the J>A.iA-.V,inioii. Bui, lliougb 
the editor received rhe palronage and aid of (he East In<lt: 
Company, he was unha(ipi1y obliged to abandon hU lask, for 
which great preparnlion had been made and under mosl lavour- 
able circumstances, on account of the expense of printing, &c. — 
It may not be unEtuimble to mention here, that the magni- 
ficent F^Iition of the Sk4iA:ViiiiiaA, undertaken by the late 
ProfcBSor Mohl, at Paris, under roynl and imperial authority, 
with an c1egn.nI translation into French on the opposite page. 
which had slowly reached its fifth volume in folio, is suspended 
for the jirescnl by the death of its lamented author ; whether 
with lhe materials collected for finishing it, and lhe inlenlioa of 
doing so uniler another editor, b not known to lhe writer. 
The complete edition, in fnur octavo volumes hy Turner 
Macan, is mentioned in Note z, above; and some Persian 
stuilenls of the Shah-Natiiah may be glad to be informed that 
lhe writer of this note has now lying before him the first number 
of a. Dew edilioQ of the entire work by Professor J. A, Vuller, to 
be published, il $«. ^d. the number. Lag, Bal. sumftihus E. 
J. Brill, /Sjt. [Professor Vnller's edition of the SiaA-Ji/amaA 
is still (1881} in course of publication, and probably far from 
bring completed, only a number or two besi^tes the first volume 
having appeared.] 
4 Compare Ovid : 

Jamque opus, exegi, &c. ; 
■nd Horace: 

Exegi monumentum sent percnniui, &c. 
Is there not rather something fine in this proud conscionsnesa i^ 
genius, relylnR on its own internal strength, not on the weak and 
mutable opinion of others in these confident aniicijwiiors of 
immortal fame, lhe richesl reward of the poet ? Who, that has 
read the pathetic complaint of Cnmoens, at the end of the Slh 
■Canto of the LmiaJ, does not rejoice to know that, amidst 
poverty and neglect, he was yet cheered H-iih lhe hope Ihai 
justice would one day be done to his injured merit ? 


NOTES. loi 

5 As it may throw light on this and some other passages, it 
may, perhaps, not be unimportant briefly to notice that a great 
and essential difference lies between our writers and those of the 
East, in the use of comparisons and similitudes. We require the 
thing compared to agree with the object of comparison in the 
major part, or, at least, in a considerable number of its points ; 
whereas the Eastern poet seeks only for a single point of 
resemblance. For example : no comparison occurs more fre- 
quently in Persian poetry than that between a beautiful woman 
and the moon — a comparison which, with our ideas, is apt tr> 
excite some ludicrous associations. Yet it is certain that no 
such associations enter into the mind of the Persian poet, who 
simply means to ascribe to the countenance of his mistress the 
mild radiance and softened lustre so beautifully assigne<l to that 
planet by Pope, in these exquisite verses : 

So when the sun's broad beam has tired the sight. 
All mild ascends the moon's more sober light ; 
Serene in virgin modesty she shines, 
And unobserved the glaring orb declines. 

In this, and in all similar cases, it would be a good rule for the 
translator from the Persian to introduce now and then a word 
which should mark the point of resemblance : " an eye radiant 
as the moon " ; "a hero strong as an elephant, and valiant as a 
lion." It may just be observed, in passing, that this Oriental 
use of figures illustrates the application of many parables in the 
sacred writings ; those, for instance, of the ** Unjust Steward " 
and " The Importunate Widow." — Those who wish for more 
information on this subject will meet with some curious obser\'a- 
tions in Professor Lumsden's Persian Grammar^ vol. 2, p. 494. 

6 Thus also, in Pope's Epistle /rem Eloisa to Abelard \ 

Should at my feet the world's great master fall. 
Himself, his throne, his world, I'd scorn them all ; 
Not Csesar's empress would I deign to prove — 
No ! make me mistress to the mnn I love. 

- • • 

• '• 

•• • 


• 7 Those who are interested in such inquiries will meet with 
a curious dissertation on the high respect paid to certain trees 
in the East, to which allusion may here 1)e made in the appendix 
to the first volume of Sir William Ouseley*s Travels in Persia^ 
pages 359-401- 

8 According to the Eastern legend, Darab, the predecessor 
and father of Dara (the Darius of the Greeks) married Nahid, a 
daughter of Failakas (Philip of Macedon) and was the father of 
Alexander. Nahid was on a visit at the court of her father, 
when Iskandar (or Alexander) was bom. Philip was oveijoyed 
at the event, and, having no son of his own, determined to keep 
it secret, and made Iskandar his heir. Darab afterwards married 
a second wife, and was the father of Dara. Dara and Iskandar 
were therefore, according to the story, half-brothers. 

9 By the " lofty sphere '* is meant Fate, Destiny, or more 
correctly, the Divine Providence. Regarding the use of this 
term by Mohammedan writers, see ** Ottoman Poems,** trans- 
lated by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb (London : Triibncr & Co.), Note 
114, where Mr. J. W. Redhouse is quoted in refutation of the 
notion prevalent among Europeans that Islam and Fatalism 
are synonymous. 

10 This account of the Game of Chess, written by Fefdusi 
more than eight hundred years ago, is curious, as showing the 
antiquity of the game, its resemblance to it as now played, and 
the tradition that it was invented in India, and came originally 
from that country. 


EspecicUly desirable is a book on the Lives of the 
Asiatic Poets, a work which, in my opinion, would 
be not only very useful, but, on account of its noTfelty, 
extremely pleasant. And it would be a laudable 
undertaking to recall so many excellent men, endowed 
7vith wonderful genius, to fresh lights and, as it were, 
to a new life, — Translated from Sir W. Jones' Poeseos 
Asiaticae Comment: (Part V., ch. 19^. 


nnmS liltle work is a contribution to the history of Persifln 
•^ literature, translated from the German of Dr. Wilhelni 
Bacher, which was published, at Leipzig, in 187 1. It consist!^ 
properly of two distinct essays, but closely connected in the 
subject and author of which they treat. The first essay is a 
Memoir of the Life and Writings of Nizami, a Persian poet, 
who flourished in the twelfth century, and who acquired and 
has preserved a rank of the very 5rst order in the literature of 
his country. His life and character, and the nature and meiits 
of his several productions, are so fully detailed in the memoir 
that it is quite unnecessary to say more about them here. The 
second essay is a very complete analysis of one of his most im- 
portant p>oems, which, so far as the Translator is aware, has 
received very little of the attention from Western writers on 
Oriental subjects which its excellence and the interest of its 
matter deserve ; and which would appear, from circumstances 
which may be seen in the Life, to have maintained, even in the 
EUist, less notoriety than the celebrity of the author and the 
popularity of his other productions might be supposed to have 
secured. In many of the MSS. this piece seems to be wanting. 

An edition of it has been printed at Calcutta, in parts, under the 

title of Htkandar-namah-i-Bahari, or the Book of Alexander the 

Navigator, of which Dr. Bacher does not appear to have pos- 
sessed the whole. 

A single word about the translation is all that is necessary. 
It has been made as faithfully as the Translator was able. 

io6 NIZAM/, 

according to his knowledge, from the German original, except 
in the case of the numerous extracts from Nizami*s poems. 
These Dr. Bacher has rendered iii poetry also, and though 
quite correct as to the meaning of the passages cited, he has 
been obliged, apparently on this account, to deviate occasionally 
a little more from the original than to the Translator seemed 
desirable ; especially as in translating from a poetical version 
quite literally, he would have been in danger of departing yet a 
little more from the Persian text : and he thinks that in the ren- 
dering of an Oriental work the reader should be put in possession, 
as nearly as possible, not only of the thoughts and images, but 
of the form and language of the author. He has therefore 
carefully compared all the extracts with the original Persian 
to the best of his knowledge of it, which he frankly con- 
fesses is far from perfect ; and, with Dr. Bacher*s version to 
assist him, has made his own version as literal as the differences 
of the Persian and English idioms, and his wish to give it, as far 
as was consistent with that first ol)ject, a poetical and rhythmi- 
cal expression, would permit. — It may be well to say also, that 
he has not thought it necessary for his particular purpose to 
translate Dr. Bacher's notes and proofs. 

This little work now offered to the English reader has been 
full of interest for the Translator, and he would fain hope will 
interest a few others whose tastes and studies lie in the same 
direction. They will probably l>e, comparatively speaking, but 
few. The majority of men are naturally engrossed with their 
daily avocations and with the events which are passing around 
them, and when they read, they, as naturally, like to read what 
bears upon the matters which immediately concern them. But 



there are a few, here and there, who do not like to think of the 
long ages which have passed before they were born as a blank, 
and who find a pleasure in lifting the veil when they are able, 
and peopling it with human forms and animating it with human 
thoughts and human affections. And there are some to whom 
it is an increase of the pleasure, when the individual so recalled 
to existence is one who has passed it under circumstances quite 
different from their own, and whose mind and character have 
been moulded under other influences other manners and cus- 
toms, faiths and institutions. To those few this portraiture of 
such an individual is addressed, and they will freely acknow- 
ledge that they are indebted to Dr. Bacher for so bringing 
Nizami before them. 

S. R. 
IVilmslmv^ 1 873. 


N I Z A M I. 



n F, statements which are contained in 
Oriental sources as to the year of 
Nizami's death diverge, in their ex- 
irenie limits, more than twenty years, 
:md unhappily European authors have 
intlineci lo that side which, according to what fol- 
lows, is submitted as the incorrect accounL Daulet 
Shah, in his biography, which gives only very scanty 
and quite insufficient notices with regard to our |>oet, 
says, that Nizami died in some month of the year 576 
nf the Hcjra. This date has been adopted by H.iji 

Khaifa also, in one place ; whilst in other plac 
Dictionary he has named quite different dates, vit, 
twice A.H. 596, once 597, and finally 599. Now ihe 
lirst named date, a.H. 576, is the one which has been 
adopted by the most eminent writers. So Von 
Hammer, in his history of Persian polite literature, 
and Von Erdman, who yet expressly adds, that Haji 
Khaifa incorrectly states (pet-peram) that Nizam i 
died A.H. 597. Flugel, in his account of Persian 
literature, names likewise the year 576 ; in which, 
nevertheless, the peculiar contradiction has crept in, 
that evidently the year 1 199 is set down instead of a,d. 
tiSo, Horn, in his treatise towards a history of the 
Shiri'an dynasty, the same number as an approxi- 
mative ascertainment of a dale with regard to a Prince 
of Hhirivan. Mohl, in his preface to the Shah-Namah, 
allows Nizami to Uve from a.h. 513 to 576. And yet 
the ixjet himself has left, here and there, in his works, 
not only hints but plain statements for the time thai 
he lived, which go far beyond 576, and inattention to 
which can be explained only by the fact, that Ihey 
have not hitherto been made the object of a critical 
examination. That statements are quite exact 
is testified by the manner in which they have been 
delivered 10 us. According to the cu.stom of Moham- 
medan authors, Nizami in three of his poems tells us 
exactly the time of iheir composition. 

The first time that he does this is in the KImru 
aiui SHirin. In the dedication of this, our poet's first 
epic, the o[>ening verses are : 


XNTien the Sultan, the sovereign of the world, the Favourite of 

May hb throne and his crown be resplendent ! 
The enlightener of the throne of the realms of intelligence, 
The claimant of dominion in the kingdom of life, 
The asylum of the empire, the King of kings, Toghrul, 
The Lord of the universe, the just monarch, 
Was confirmed in his sovereignty with crown and throne. 
And sat in the place of Arslan, 
Then I opened the door of my treasure-house. 
And laid the foundation of this my building. 

According to this passage, Khosru and Shirin was 
produced in the year a.h. 571, when Toghrul, after 
the death of Arslan, his father, became Sultan. This 
is fully confirmed by another verse of this same poem. 
In the last section but one Nizami boasts : 

Five hundred and seventy-one years have passed away, 
And no one has impressed such a mole on the downy check of 

Further we read in the Laila ami Mejnun^ at the 
conclusion of the chapter on the occasion of the work : 

Bravo ! on the unveiling of this lovely bride ! 
Bravo ! for him that exclaims " Well done ! " 
It was brought to completion under the happiest auspices, 
In the month of Rajab, and the letters Thee and Fee and Dal: • 
The precise date which it brought with it was eighty, and four, 
and four hundred. 

Finally, the ai)pearance of the Heft Paikar (the 
Seven Peaces or Planets) is exactly given, and indeed 
in the concluding section of the work : 

•Letters having a numerical value. 

After Ave and ninety nii<l &ve hundred years of the H^ra, 
1 cnitiposed this wild youthful book, 
On the foutleenlh dny of the oioath of Failing, 
When four hours of the day were fully gone 

So thai it is clear, at all events, that the higher 
slatements of Haji Khalfa are nearest to the truth, and 
that it remains only to inquire, which of the three 
dates named we are to choose. Here we are helped 
again by the poet's own intimations. In the introduc- 
tion to the Laila and Mcjnun it is said once ; 

From this 

norning enchanlmeni in 
ady read off the sum of 

vhich I live \i.t. my life]. 

This somewhat obscure distich receives light from 
another in the same introduction, which the ])0et 
addresses to himself: 

Whether thou hast read ofTonly seven sevens, 
Ot whether ihou hnsl existed lor seven thousand, 
Compule, when the final term is complelfd, 
Whether it halh not equally exceeded seven thousand yeati : 
When our mesBure is about to lie extinguished. 
Between short and long what is the difletencc f 
Nizami, then, was at that time nine and forty years 
old, and with this agrees what he says in the Alex- 
ander-Book, written three years later : 

When my dale arrived at fifty years, 

The condition of the Haslenet [on the journey of life] was 

changed from what it was. 

Now there is, with regard to the age which Nizami 

had reached, very exact information remaining from 

the hand of a glossarist, to whom pcrha]3S tlie coilec- 





tlon of the whole of his Quintuple, or Five-books, is 
to be ascribed. At the end of ihe AUxantUr-Book are 
found some verses on the ending of Sheikh Nisami's 
life, and the length of it : 
Wlien Niuinii hxl conipleled Ihis natralive. 
Be lifted up his Coot with xht parpose of selling out on hU 
journey ; 
did mnch time pass after this 
Tore tbe chronicle of his life hiu rolled up : 
months were added lo sixty and three years, 
len he beat on Ibe drum the signal of departure. 

Its exactness makes this statement indisputable; 
and Niiami, who in a.h. 584 counted forty-nine years, 
must therefore have died about a.h. 599 [a.d. 1302], 
with which the highest of ihe estimates, given by Haji 
Khalfa as the right ones, agrees. 

It remains still to settle with regard to the 
AUxander-Book the time of its comijosition, which 
Nizami tloes not directly give. Now the son of the 
poet was, at the completion of the Laila and Mtjnun, 
fourteen years old. In the admonition addressed to 
him in that work he says : 

Fourlecn-ycari-old joy of mine eyw, 

Mature enough lo desice the knowledge of both worlds \ 

And at the conclusion of the first part of the Alex- 
ander-Book he says to his son ; 

Again I have completed snulher work, 

AEttin have c»alled the head of a graceful cypress ; 

And in maTurinK its seventeen years' qualities 

Tbe seventeen yesrs' growth is t>econie such as ll it. 

This poem, then, according to this statement, was 
produced three yeare after the Laiia and Afejnun, and 
therefore a.h. 587. The date of Nizarai's first work, 
the Makhatn-al-asrdr, an endeavour will be made to 
ascertain further on. 

For the order in which his works followed one 
another the poet gives further indications in the 
Alexander-Book, in the before-mentioned admonition 
to his son ; 

So no«' thou hasl four weighty books of mine, 
Each one n dUtlncl memorial from m« : 
Four brolhers ate they : ihou art ihe fifth ; 
Kour pillars are these ; the fifth art thou. 

In the introduction to the same work, these four 
books are expressly named : 

First I brought mulerials to my STOREHOdSe, 

And in doing that I showed no weakness ; 

Then I heaped up the rich and the sweet. 

And minelcd iheni together in SitlRiN AND Khosru ; 

Afterwards I raised the veil and opened to view 

The door of Love in I.Aii.A and Mejnun ; 

Now in the open pinin of eloquence 

I strike the lymbal to (he Fortunes of Alrxander, 

That this order of succession found a place in the 
original arrangement of the "Five Works" is shown 
by the corresjionding works of his imitators ; as the 
"Quintuple" of Emir Khosru of Delhi, and of Mir 
AU Shier. In Jami and Hatifi the order is somewhat 
altered. Haji enumerates the five divisions of the 
Nizainian Quintuple quite incorrectly. The Khesru 

/ Siirirt he puts entirely away, and substitutes Tor 
it the two parts of the Alexander-Book ; leaving the 
chronological order almost entirely out of sight. 

When Nintmi collected his DiwAn, or lyrical pieces, 
we learn from the first verses of the fifth section of 
the introduction to the Laila and Mejnun : 

^^H Oae ilaj' I Tound myself in joy ful felicily, 

^^^k And royally triumphant tike another Kni-Kobad : 

^^H The brightntSE of my new-moon was expanded ; 

^^B The Diwiti orNiEsmi was compleled. 

^F Since this day was no other than the one on which 
^^k he commenced his Laila and Mejmin, it may be 
H sssumed as certain, that he arranged his Diwan in 

A.H. 584. 

IL — The I-inf.agk of Nizami-^His Ma 


K^JIZAMI, or Abu Mohammed Nizam-ad- Din, was 
born A.H. S35 [a,d. 1140-41], at Ganjah, in the 
land of Arran. His father left him very early an 
orphan, and when he was well-advanced in manhood 
we hear the lament of the son still full of sorrow : 
Ejiily, like my grand fathei, so departed my father, 
Jowph, son of Zaki Muyid. 

Why should 1 contend with the dominion of Fate? 
It Is File — wherefore utter a complaint of Fate ? 

Whose rather cemainelh and dielh not ? I wrs bom 

That I should swallow the blood of my father 1 

When I beheld him go away to his fathers, 

I toie his image from my bleeding heart ; 

Whatever might happen of bitter or sweet, I submitted, 

Forgetful of myself, to the divine decree. 

To his mother, who was of Kurdish descent, ihe 
poet dedicates some verses in the same place, in which 
he records his deep filial affection and his yearnings : 

My mother, of distinguiEhn] Kurdish lineage. 

My mother, in like manner, died l)efore me. 

To whom can I mate mj- sorrowing supplication 

To bring her before me to answer my lament ? 

She devoured griefs beyond all measure. 

She perished in a whirlpool beyond alt depth ! 

My cup of iorrow is far too full, 

That I should be able to swallow it in a thousand draughts ! 

For this unbounded woe and suflering 

What remedy is there save Forgetfulness ? 

These verses are the only memorials which Ni«imi 
has left of his relations with his parents, but they 
suffice to set his piety in a clear liyhl. We likewise 
perceive the deep impression which the early death of 
his father made upon him, and which contributed no 
less to form that seriousness which accompanied him 
through his whole life, and to his inclination for a 
solitary existence, renouncing earthly delights. 

Of his remaining relatives, of two only do traces 
remain. Of an uncle he thinks eractly as of his 
parents ; perhaps he had stepped into a father's place 
towards the orphan. He says : 



Wh«n lay tnasler, nham I cnllnl Uncle, 

Ceased to be, and to be my wing. 

The billn morsel of gtier wliich filled my mouth 

Well nigh stifled the reed of my throat ; 

And I hnd leason In feni leti the Etoans 1 uttered 

Would liuQbcale my voice like a blue steel chain. 

Then there is a brother, of whom we learn through 
Tlatilet Shah that he was calk'd Kawami Matarrizi, 
and belonged to the " Masters of Poetry, " and 
especially that he composed a Kasidah, or Idyl, in 
which was exhibited all the fulness of the poetic art. 
In another place Daulet Shah represents him, imme- 
diately after Nizami, as belonging to the poets who 
were coniemporaneous with lidighiz and his sons. 
He slates also that Nizami, like his brother, was 
named Matarrizi. 

How Nizami's youthful years were passed, we do 
not know ; at all events he appropriated to himself 
rich acquisitions of knowledge, of which his very first 
work aCTords the proofs. The Sheikh Akhi Farrah 
Rihoni is named by Daulet Shah as his teacher. Of 
ihc religious instruction which he received in his 
paternal city we are able to produce more than mere 
conjectures. Kasvini. the author of the Cosmo- 
graphy, who flourished not long after him, gives the 
following sketch of it : " Ganjali is a strong old city 
in Arrin, one of the frontier districts of Islam, since 
it ties near Kurg, or Geoigia. The city is rich in 
wealth and the abundance of its productions. Its 
inhabitants arc adherents of the Sunna and traditional 


teaching— people of piety and followers of [he religious 
prescriptions, who suffer no one lo dwell in their 
city, who is not of their doctrine and of their faith, 
in order that it may not be destroyed amongst 
them. Their principal occupation consists in the 
handling of arms and the use of warlike instruments, 
because they live on the borders and in the vicinity of 
the unbelievers." This information is indirectly con- 
firmed by the somewhat ancient Yakat, that from 
Ganjah " very learned men have come out," of whom 
he also mentions some by name. From this it is 
clearly seen how piety became a distinguishing feature 
in the character and writings of the poei, who on 
account of his natural gentleness lost its bitterness 
and intolerance, but in his intimate feeling always 
inclined to Sufiism. The first step which he made 
from the dry asceticism which he had adopted lo 3 
milder view of the world, he has painted for us him- 
self in the introduction to his firstling work. From 
this it appears, that it was especially the want of 
vitality in the society into which his pious exercises 
had brought him, which, even the last, revolted him. 

Those two ot three frienda thou hast are foul ones ; 
Drier nrc they than a iloor- knocker. 

So calls to him his warning angel. But what 
weighed upon him still more was the inactivity to 
which this soul-deadening asceticism condemned him. 
This left no room for the free expression of his inner 
heartVglow ; allowed no movement to the impulses 


at the spirit of poetiy with which he was gifted. 
Every enjoyment of the outward world was forbidden 
to him by his companions — ■" those robbers of feeling." 
Then came over him in one of those wonderful still 
Oriental nights an illumination. Whilst others are 
sleeping he sits voiceless, pained by his inner tor- 
ments, and gropes through his past life. With the 
insight that it ought not to go on so, comes also the 
recognition of the path into which he ought to strike. 
We hear how, in this decisive moment of his life, he 
suffers himself to be warned and instructed: 

Tile »pirit of solilude uttered n voice : 

t such n pledge as thou wi)t lie able to redeem. 

Thj osl water on thh pure Hamc ? 
Why lei the wind nvrr-mnsler thine earlli ? 
~ e fever'bi'inging dust give lo the tomb : 

o thy ruby give the glowing fire I 

I the arrow when the bxitt is thine nwn reason 1 
pte the whip less when Ihe courser ia tliinc own 1 
HencefoElh ihou must not sit cureless any mate, 
ir thine heart Iw stubborn bailer down the door. 
Under the dome of ihis fnit blue canopy 
Sing the story of ihioe heart like n sweet melody. 
Keep far away from those highwaymen, the passions ; 
Thine heart knovelh the way— consul! ihine nwn heart 1 
Tlie nature which submilleth itself I □ the guideship of reason 
Wit wait for the ready money of torty years ; 
Rather, till it lie matured by forty years, lei it be strenuous 
to gathering whit is needful for its furlher journey. 
Now thou necdesl n friend, indulge delusion no lotiger. 
Repeat no longer ihy forty-yen is -old lecture. 
Withdraw thine arm from ihy garment and seek a! 
Par thine hearl'ssorrow.ieek one who hath knc 

Feed not on grief whilsl iherc is one who hnlh grieved ; 

Break the neck of Eriet by sharing it wilh B friend. 

For the soul Ihnt is the caplive of tiotible 

The Friend of friends is a powerful support. 

Thoirgh kingly stale in not to lie de<!pised, 

When I look about I see nothing better tban a friend i 

Nothing ihit deserves to be chown in preference to a friend. 

A familiar friend who will uphold thee by Ihc hand ; 

Bind him fast by the cords of the heart. 

And temper thine own clny by mingling it wilh his water. 

And now the hitherto repressed voice of his 
naturally cheerful and sLill youthful disposition broke 
forth with fresh strength. The one-sided direction 
given to it was broken, and no longer was a gloomy 
inactivity to rob him of the wise enjoyment of the 
world of sense. He surrendered himself in trust to 
the vivid emotions of his own warm heart, as he says 

The heart lo which the Sut>remc Lord hath preached 

Becometh a union of body and soul ; 

The universe is illumined hy the star of the heart. 

The twins of Ihc heart nre form and spirit. 
With the shackles which had bound liis inward 
freedom fell also the fetters which had hitherto 
restrained his [«)i;tica) talent ; 
The riches of my heart made my tongue rich also, 
My nature was filled with gladness and eoiplied of its sorrows ; 
My cold tears now flowed from a hot fountain. 
For the fire of roy heart made ray pot bail over. 

Yet the separation from those who had been his 
companions hitherto was not altogether easy : 

inexperienced ind 


yij fcllow-lnvellers a 
travelling ; 
Billerei it separalion from friends e»en ihati loneliness. 

The next fruit of this transformation in Nizami 
was a collection of didactic poetrj', under the title of 
the "Storehouse of Mysteries." The contents of this 
work are given by Von Hammer. It is the ])roduc- 
tion of a poetical nature, which is not yet arrived at 
a fijll consciousness of its special vocation. What 
Nizami had hitherto carried about within himself he 
wished now to express in words : the views and 
eipcriences which hithertu had pressed upon himself 
were now to be communicated to the world, and at 
the same time the burthen which had weighed him 
down fell from his heart But his inclination towards 
ihc Epic, which at a later period stepped quite into 
the foreground, showed Itself even here, and so 
narratives form, as in Sadi's Boslaii, the accompani- 
ment of the meditations, which, by-thebye, what Von 
[aminer does not mark, are lilled with a genuine 
spirit- That facility in rhyming, of which at a 
Iter period Nizami boasts, he has not yet acquired 
this his firstling ; he says : 

Long mu&t I rest my htnd upon my knee, 

Berotc the end of this thread comcth to niy tingcis. 

the dignity of his art he was then very conscious, 
id he gives an animated expression of his intuitive 
:rception of its worth and seriousness : 

The mystic word which is veiled in fiuclry 

Is the shadow of thai which is veiled in piophecy. 

Before and hehiod sre tlie ranks of giandeur, 
Prophecy slnnds first and in front, poetry behind il ) 
These two neighbours are inlimates of one friend : 
ThBt is the kernel, this is the rind. 

But the poet must know how to preserve his dignity ; 

must not by flattery treat his art as a cheap ware : 

Dead as the gold itself is he who, regardless of aught but 

Givelh aw.iy fur gold the mimed mednl 1 
Whoever bBrlcrclh for gohl words brifiht ns the day 
Keceivelh a stone and halh given away a night-illuming ruby. 
Doubtlessly, that tribe which thinketh itsetfso learned 
Is as much lower as it uleenieth itself exalted I 
He whose head seemelh encircled with a sultan's crown 
May to-morrow feel it a banilage of iron ; 
And he who like quicksilver has not felt the sorrow of gold 
Reinainelh pure silver, and is free from a piincc's iron. 

This severe reproof, as is shown especially in the 
first verse, is directed against the countless poets of 
that time, who, flocking round the thrones of the less 
and greater princes, resigned themselves and their art 
as a football to their princely humours. Especially 
was this the case in Nizami's century, which had 
produced the greatest eulogistic poet, Anvari. Nizami 
never knew how to submit to this; in spite of many 
an opportunity oflered to htm to bring his life into 
connection with princely courts, and to make his 
principal theme the laudation of princes, as did most 
of the contemporaneous poets. This lofty compre- 
hension of his art worked endurJngly on the destiny of 
our poet ; built up a jianition wall between him and 

s feUow-artisis ; and was the cause of his dis-unl 
tvith them. 

Yet it was in the spirit of the times that the poets 
should dedicate their works to princes, if only for the 
purpose of obtaining for them an earlier diffusion ; 
whilst, on the other hand, the princes deemed it an 
honour to be sung by |K>ets. When Nizami wrote his 
Makhsan-al-asrar, he had not yet come into connec- 
tion with any potentate ; Shirvan appears to have been 
as yet not quite independent, and so he turned his 
looks towards the southern neighbour- lands, where 
the powerful Atabeg, Ildighiz, laid the foundation of 
the dynasty of the Atabegs of Aderbaigan, In the 
section of the introduction which contains the eulogy 
of the prince, and in that in which he lays his work 

I at bis feet, merely the name of Fakhi-ad-din indeed 
is mentioned ; but it is apparent from the tenor of it, 
that the brave Atabeg is meant, especially from the 
fcllowing verses : 
I Guardian Monarch, and Refuge of princes, 
I Lord of ihe scimitar, and Lord of [lie diaiiem, 
I Although, wielding the rigorous Eabre, 
I Thou cotuest taking crowns and conquering thrones ; 
I Like Ihe Klialifs, thou scatlereit thy treasures also, 
I Bestowest dindems, and sealcf^t on thrones. 
Th« edge of Ihy sword is above crowns, 
How from Kingx shoiildst thou nnt rei^eive tribale ? 
La lliis oiure revolving sphere 

The qualities of a man nre the meaiures of his dignily \ 
Here without a doubt is an allusion to the circum- 
BUnce that Ildighiz gave to his stepson, Arslan, the 

sultanship of Irak, and protected it by his bravery. 
Kill a nearer approach is shown in the following pas- 
sage. At the time when Niiiami wrote the dedication 
of his poem, Ganjah was surrounded with war-alarms, 
on account of which he excuses himself from not 
appearing in person before him : 

For one ot Iwo months have I been preparing 

Speedily to kiu the ground before the King ; 

But the wild cats which infest the boundaries of this re^on 

Have barred ever; load by which I could conie out. 

To obtain access and appear in Ihy piesencc. 

Willing should I hnve been to part with my skin ; 

But when I looked forth, in every path was « lion, 

Belbie and behinil it was girded with sabres. 

Yet in this ^bre^encompassed land, 

I will still in a loud voice address to Ihee my praise ; 

1 have poured forth ihe stream of poetry at thy door. 

And nothing have I left now, save a bed of sand. 
In another passage he recounts to the Atabeg, how, 
through his love for him, he had refused the offers of 
two princes ; 

Two letters came to me from two renowned jilaces, 

Each of them teaUd by a princely hero : 

One poured out gold from an ancient mine. 

The Qlhcr brought up pearls fniro a fresh ocean ; 

One raised its standard from a distant country, 

The other was minted with ihe eharailers of Rum 

But although the words on those coins were of gcnniue gold, 

My own gold and minting are more precious still ; 

Although my chattels and pack are smaller. 

Better than that is mine own merchandise. 

Now, of that period, distracted with war^ 

of thi: 


Iitnian potentates, history records merely one case, 

in which a campaign of more tlian usual importance 

was undertaken in the northern regions ; and this 

indeed was made precisely by lldighiz, who at the 

head of a large army conducted a war, in the end 

crowned wiih victor)-, against George, the king of 

Georgia, and this certainly in Aderbaigan and 

r Armenia. The province Arran lay exactly between 

r both lands, and was presumably exposed to the 

I tnversing of troops, and Ni^ami's coiinirymen may 

i well have shared in the expedition against the un- 

1 believers. So on the one side the attention of the 

\ poet must have been directed towards lldighiz, and 

I on the other side it must have been impossible for 

,' him to leave his native city. Perhaps the two 

L princes 

whose offers Nizami declined were the rulers 

l-of Khelai and Meragha, who took [XTJt in this cam- 
XpBJgn. So the time in which our poet's first work 
i published would be ascertained witii tolerable 
ity, since that expedition took place in the 
A.H. 561.561 [A.D. 1.65-1166]. 
In whatever exaggeration Nizami may have in- 
dulged in his eulogy of lldighiz, his proud self- 
consciousness never deserts him, especially his over- 
flowing and unbounded reverence for poetry ; so he 

Though there be many standing raunil the throne, 
Who Imw their heuls as suppliants tur favour. 

I who am arrived at the hailing -pi ace with them 
Will push on my jouniey a little ahead of them : 
I have made of my words a swotd of adamant , 
And will biing low the heads of ihOEe who follow i 

III, — The Khosru and Shirin — Kizil-Arslan. 

"T^HE powerful Atabeg, once a patron of poetry, 
apiiears to have paid no attention to the homage 
of the poet, who thus held himself aloof from the court 
The principal object which Nizami had in his eye — a 
princely bounty, which might lay a firm foundation 
for his newly-a wakened enjoyment of life — was not 
attained. At least we find him almost ten years 
later in a condition which leaves us to conclude that 
that energy which had torn him from his ascetic 
exercises, and had inspirited him to tjnderlake an 
important work, had given way to a resignation of 
the goods of thLs world, and to a life of quiet con- 
templation. He himself presents his circumstances 

So I live in my nook, luminE ray face from the world, 
My DOurishment a handful of bruised roasted barley. 
Like a letpenl seated a< the head of a treasure : 
Each day, from nighl to night, shut.up at work. 
Like a hee, which, laboaring in ils narrow cell, 
Producelh a copious granary of sweetmeats. 
But that this moderation did not altogether console 


him for the abnegations to which it subjected him, is 
shown by the way in which he wished to make use 
of the new and larger work, with which, after a 
somewhat long pause, his mtise presented tlie world, 
namely, to obtain from the son of Ildighiz, who had 
died in the interval, the reward which had nol been 
granted him by the father. 

But it is necessary first to sjieak of a work, in 
which Niiami entered on a domain of poetry, of 
which, if he was nol the creator, he became hence- 
forth the authoritative lawgiver to his nation — his 
romantic epic, Kkosrtt and Shirin. For that JfTr 
and Riimin must have been Nizami's firstling, and 
be denied to be the production of his older con- 
temporary and namesake Nizami Aradi of Samarkand, 
as Dauiet Shah and after him Von Hammer assume 
Las almost certain, is not only on chronological grounds 
■'impossible, but it is suf^cient to set against it the 
fact, that Nizami makes no mention of this work, 
ttnd that, as before showTi, his first considerable poem, 
was the Makhsan-al-asrar, and this statement sounds 
the more probable, as the certainly more competent 
Kasvini thus mentions the poem in connection with 
Nixami : "After Kakhri Gorgani," he says, "had 
comiiosed the Wis and Riimin, and certainly with the 
Utmost beauty, so that the verse glides along like 
water, as though he had produced it without effort, 
then would Nizami in like manner WTite his romance 
of Kkosru and Skirin." Nizami himself certainly 
says nothing about this ; but it was at all events, as 

we shall see, a noble ambition which moved him next 

to the epic in poetr)-. and the poem of the old Gorgani 
may have floated before him as his model. 

It is here quite in place to reject a position, which 
Von Hammer insists upon with great determination; 
that " Nizami had nothing else in view but to handle 
on the most eligible material the romantic epic poetry 
in order." For before Nizami floated no determinate 
poetic goal, as before his great predecessor FcrdusL 
Poetry, as has been shown, as such he regarded as a 
sacred thing ; the material was always to him a 
secondary matter. In two of his master-pieces be 
needed first an impulse from without, and to one of 
[hem, the Zaila ami Mejiiun, he went altogether with 
reluctance. To this want of a predetermined object is 
to be ascribed, that Nizami suffered such long pauses 
to intervene between his greater productions. His 
nature, inclined to contemplation and preferring 
loneliness, and which rendered him unsuited to a 
residence in the bustling courts of princes, made him 
also to a certain degree indolent ; and permitted him 
only from time to time to rouse himself up to activity, 
Bui the impulse once given, the fulness of his poetic 
gift showed itself in the most brilliant light; for then 
he was inspired with an energy which allowed him to 
complete the noblest works in a dlsproportionally 
short time. 

AVith regard to the Khosru ami S/iirin, here again 
Uaulet Shah has allowed another error to be laid 10 
his charge, which was copied after him b)' others : 


namely, that Nizami composed this poem at the 
request of the Atabeg, Kizil Arslan. Nizami says 
nothing of this. He recounts rather, how he received 
the first impulse to essay a new path in poetry 
through a heavenly messenger — a Hatif, " the genius 
of solitude.*' In other words, it was the result of his 
own reflections. The resolution to take his matter 
from the ancient legends of Persia came to him after 
a sleepless, broken night : 

I pondered in my heart by what door I should enter ; 
What kind of treasure I should try to discover ; 
What mode I should adopt of employing my tongue ; 
What enticement I should use for enticing the world ? 

Then the thought glimmers in his mind, that he 
will tread in the footsteps of Ferdusi. Certainly, he 

Those who have ventured on this style have been more 

exuberant than I, 
Have pierced and strung their rubies with the aid of Kings ; 
They had Fortune at their side to keep guard over their 

meditations ; 
Rabies are not be pierced save by diamonds ; 
Strong cords are necessary to draw down 
The words of Song from the sphere of the Pleiades. 

In his withdrawal from the great world, and his 
needy circumstances, he believes that he is not yet 
strong enough for the picturing of that brilliant Fore- 
time. But he represses these thoughts, and enters 
earnestly on the endeavour to find a worthy subject, 
which, on the one side, may afford him the oppor- 


ly) NIZAM!. 

tunity of satisfying his love of truth, and not be a vain, 

deceitful trifling, for, as he says, 

Allhough in Poelry, wbicli ti as the Wnlci of Lire, 

There be room (or everything which lieth in the |>ossibilities, 

irthou canst not in<Krilie Ihe right upon thy pnge. 

Why should it be necessary to inilile falsehood ? 

And ahouldst Ihnu say. Poetry hsth lost its value. 

Everyone who workelh (or ihe right is siill povrcrfiil ; 

When the cypress in its ercctness sttikelh the sky. 

Never bnve 1 seen it spoiled by Ihe blast ofautamn ; 

and which, on the other side, may correspond with the- 
taste of the time, which in reading seeks entertain- 
ment only : 

For me with n treasure like tny Makhtan-al-asrSr, 

Why need I trouble myself about something to mittise ? 

Because in the world of the present day 

No one tooketh jti Ilia book (ur aught beyond amusemeiit I 

At last he resolves to rescue from the dust of 
oblivion a subject taken from the heathenish limes of 
yore, which had dropped into forget fulness, although 
the theatre of the occurrences, not far removed from 
Ganjah, bore eternal witness to them. Above all, the 
plan for the new work was maturely weighed ; " for 
a poem," he says, " which does not proceed from 
though tfulness is not worthy of being written or 
sung." How strenuously he gave himself up to the 
work, how utterly he detested all ringing on words, is 
shown by the following utterance : 

To give to verse measure mey be an easy mdltci-, 
But to Slay within meaiure is die one thing neediul ; 


\ this he knows himself to be i 
tbD to the venal [wets of his time : 

ir understnnding. 

at the conclusion of his labours he will have 
lo achieve a great triumph. A friend who had 
Urely withdrawn himself iVom the outward world, 
and was inflamed with a severe religious zeal, had 
learnt that Nizami — the once so pious — was dedicating 
his an to the glorifying of the old heathen world. 
i.>ne evening he surprises him whilst busily occupied, 
.%]id overwhelms him with reproaches : 
Thou who hast kept ihe fait-dayii so stciclly, 
S]>cnii not ihy Tiibi over ihcsc dead bones ! 
Cajl fiom Ihine hnnd the deceils of idol -worship peri, 
Pure not otct lliese iiicanlalions like the ZendHVesla of ZeidushI 

M luul the voice, sing Ihe divine Unity: 
rcfore recall lo life the customs of llie infuleU 1 
o this unlocked for attack Nizami had no other 
irer than to read to the excited visitor some |)as- 
s of his poem. Then resentment jiassed into 
usiasm, and Ihe zealot congratulated his friend, 
that " by virtue of his magical speech he had under- 
stood how to enshrine an idol in the Kaaba." At the 
same lime he advised him not to let his light any 
longer be hid iri a corner, but to repair lo the court, 
where he would certainly outshine the stars hitherto 


glimmering there. But the poet's answer sounds 
utterly repugnant to this advice. He has no confi- 
dence in his capability of sustaining the bustle of the 
great world, atid pronounces the following judgment 
on himself : 

I va but but a g\n^s which lliou cnuldsl break with a slone : 
Of my name or my (siller's name Ihe world i 

TliDU seest in me but bmM besmcnred with gold ; 
A corpse l)es|irinkled with rose-waler. 
Hciven at its <la.wti looked upon me brightly, 
It what halh it profiled 

with myself! 

which he 

thirtieth year — the poet might then be perhaps thirty- 
seven — it is no longer becoming to cast himself into 
the whirlpool of folly. 

Nizami himself composed this episode, and did not 
without grounds incorporate it with his new poem. 
His friend was not the on!y one in the bigoled and 
intolerant Ganjah who had found a stumbling block 
in this heathenish stuff. Even Ferdusi had been 
tainted with an odour of heresy, because he had with- 
drawn for ever from oblivion the history of Persian 
heathendom. That narrative therefore was to be 
placed at its head, to secure as it were an entrance for 
the book to pious readers. The means by which 
Niiami understood how to vanquisli religious pre- 
judices were especially those supplements — the Aert 

n I to fight iviih m 
Enough is it for me lo light « 

And the time, too, i 
himself to the world ; ' 

lakelh small 

lid devote 
passed his 

^iruvres, as Von Hammer calls them — wliich he wove 
into his work. These were suggested to him by the 
subjects themselves. His hero is a king in «hose 
limes the founder of Islam appeared ; so that the 
[wet can place appropriately at the close three sec- 
tions: a letter of the Prophet to Khosru Parviz, his 
<Usrespeciful reception of him, and the Prophet's 
journey to heaven. Before his own personal con- 
clusions he places another section of a hundred 
dbtichs, in which he sets forth partly his views on 
the world and destiny, partly describes his pains- 
taking in the composition of the work, and wards off 
the attacks of malicious opi'onents. Finally he warns 
his readers : 

fin not in me the guiii? lo ihe tem|>lt: of the Fite-worsliip^eis ; 
S« only the hidden meaning wliich cleavelh lo the allcgoty I 

Si) has Kasvini reason when he says: "Nizarai 
brought into it theological matter ; wise proverbs and 
admoniliuns as well as allegories and charming narra- 

Nizami, as already mentioned, used this opportunity 
in order, through the dedication to a prince, to acquire 
the means of a quiet comfortable subsistence. He 
l.iid his new production at the feet of no less than 
ilirce princes. In the first place stands certainly 
Togbrul, who had just ascended a StiUan's throne; but 
»hcn the effective administration was by him trnns- 
ftned to ihc Atnbeg Mohammed, son of Ildighi/, then 
Nixami addresses to him the special dedication, and 

conveys to him his wishes. He esplains to him also 
why he did not present himself before him in person. 
He feels himself unequal to the duty ; for 

Soft tcHCs come nol from a ihurn such as roc, 

From mc can nothing save aupplicntion come ; 

I know nol how (o perform royal servicia, 

Save my morning net of proslmlion. 

Ambiiion in mj' brain, I (car its snare ; 

Desires in my heart, I fear iheir non-fultilmenl. 

I will clothe my desires in the lags of a tnendicanl ; 

I will tear ambition from Ihe bncU of ray head ; 

Then shnlt Love and I remain in lonelinesa ; 

Then shall I lie al rest, when I am become .1 solitary I 

He beseeches the Siittan : — 

Say lo the Alabeg, Conqueror of ihe world, 

Niiami is sufferinj; every kind of privation I 

How long shall such a speaker be hid in a comer? 

How long shall !iuch a poet be in want of sustenance? 

Is not the lime come Ihnl we should try to comfort him ? 

That we should restore to the fallen his rnrtner condition ? 

Finally, he does not forget to ask the brother and 
co-regcnt of the subsequent successor of Mohamini?d, 
Muzaffar-ad-din Kizil Arslan, to be his mediator 
his elder brother, over whom he had a great influence, 
as is illustrated by a similitude. 

Also it is plain from this, how entirely unsubstantial 
is Daulet Shah's statement, that Nizami composed hisi 
Khos>u and Shirin at Kizil Arslan's requesL How" 
this notion might originate is explained by the con- 
cluding section, which the poet after many yearsg 
xdded to the book. In that he recounts what extra- 

kHlS LIFE ANU li-RITlSGS. 13s 

mdinaiy results had crowried his new work ; how he 
asd been overloaded, not only with felicitations, but 
pth presents ; how the book had sold and had been 
Ituded to the skies. But precisely from the princes 
TO whom he dedicated it he received nothing. The 
riches which his work brought him soon vanished, 
and Nizami was again plunged into anxieties, when 

■there came suddenly a message with an autograph 
hller from Kizil Arslan to call him to his conrt. This 
prince meanwhile had become the successor of his 
brother, who died a.h. 582, in the dignity of Atabeg 
and the sovereignly of Adcrbaigan ; and now called 
lo remembrance the poet who had celebrated him 
years before. Joyfully Nixami follows the invitation 
and appears at court, where at that moment Kizil was 
holding a festive assembly, after a distribution of 

rnours and presents : 
When they gave him (he news, " Niiami is srrived," 
The ginilneu of ihe Innquel rose to a Itiumph. 
Majesty looked with respect on niy genuine devoiion, 
Not merely on the woolly cup of the devotee ; 
And ordered llie wine to t)e removed Troni Iheir midst, 
An<l stop pill to Ihe tongue of the pipe. 

~rhc reception was extremely gracious. The prince 
^■mbraced the poet, bade him lake a seat, and entered 
le most familiar conversation with him, in 
NJEami failed not to display his full elociuence : 

one lime I drew down ihe tears as from a cloud, 
At another I made their checrrulncss smile like a rose. 

length the conversation turned on the Khosru 

136 NIZAM I. 

and Shirtn, and Kizil Arslan could not find words 
enough to praise this master-work : 

The rose exhaleth not a fresher perfume, 

Nor doth the nightingale warble a newer melody ; 

To open it — to read it — distich by distich, 

Is like bathing a fresh wound with oil of olives. 

At length he inquires, whether Nizami had received 
a suitable reward for his labours; whether his late 
brother had acquitted himself of the obligation which 
lay upon them both. Nizami answers worthily : 

I set not that ruby in a jewelled crown, 
That I might first be paid its value : 

he had only availed himself of the opportunity of 
presenting with the poem his homage at his feet He 
then gave him with a delicate turn to understand 
that the late Atabeg had given him nothing, but that 
his brother and successor might share in this duty with 
the prince. Kizil Arslan took the hint graciously, and 
gave him two villages : 

When I had performed the customary act of praise and fidelity. 

He gave me for my own the villages of Hemd and Nizan, 

He gave me a royal deed duly secured, 

And authenticated by the King's own seal and subscription : 

" This village is given by us in perpetuity 

To Nizami and his sons to all generations.** 

Richly gifted with robes of honour, Nizami soon 
withdrew from the court, in order to retire again into 
his quiet life. The present received was not even very 
munificent, and Nizami was compelled to listen to the 
jeers of an envious rival, who made himself merry 


over an acquisition, the circumference of which hardly 
reached '' half a parasang, and the income of which 
did not amount to a full purse/' But the poet re- 
pelled with dignity such allusions : 

See ! compared with my fame, what are Hemd and Nizan ? 

For this my fame is worth twenty times that ! 

If thou seest in that village seeding and harvest, 

In my verse thou wilt find a hundred Paradises ; 

If that produceth from each grain the full ear, 

From mine I will bring grains of pearls, cluster on cluster ; 

If that yieldeth nothing but feeble reeds. 

Mine groweth forests of pitchy aloes ; 

If that draweth water from the fulness of the Euphrates, 

Mine in the redundance of its eloquence is the Water of Life. 

He ever preserved a grateful remembrance of the 
giver, and thus sings his tragic fate : 

When the King struck the kettledrum against the Sultan, 

And rebellion sw^ept over the land like dust. 

And the general summons \arriire-ban\ roused the heights and 

the depths, 
Who would have believed that the King was in a haunt of 

murderers ? 
In that splendid career was a moment of quiet, 
But, like the lightning, to be bom and to die was one ! 
Thou leftest untasted the morsel of sovereignty and youth, 
As He of the Two Horns [Alexander the Great] the Water of 

Thou foundest martyrdom from the wound of an assassin : 
May that other world be to thee better than was this ! 

Daulet Shah has exhibited Nizami's contact with 
Kizil Arslan in quite a different form. According to 
him, he first refuses compliance, that he may avoid 


all intercourse with the great of the earth. To prove 
him, the prince goes himself to seek him. The 
Sheikh learns his intention beforehand by a divine 
inspiration, and procures for the exalted visitant a 
look into the super-terrestrial world, in which he 
beholds Nizami surrounded with such a halo of glory, 
that he humbles himself, and asks the at first lightly 
estimated poet to forgive him. He even moves 
Nizami, in spite of his dislike of the outward world, 
to offer from time to time a visit to the Atabeg. This 
legend is taken apparently from the popular voice, by 
which Nizami, even in his life-time, was nam^d, " the 
mirror of the world to come." At all events it proves 
the high estimation in which he stood as well through 
his poetical genius, as from his avoidance of courts 
and his genuine piety. 

IV. — The "Laila and Mejnun" — The Prince of 
Shirvan — Nizami as Husband and Father. 

T^HE happy turn in the outward circumstances of 
our poet appears to have had a very beneficial 
operation on his spirit also. Some two years after his 
reception by the Atabeg we find him in the most 
joyful tone of mind over the completion of his 
Diwan, or Book of Odes. Probably this contained 


the productions especially of that long space of time 
which had intervened since the publication of the 
Khosru and Shirin^ as well as the earlier lyric poems 
of Nizami. It seems to have disappeared and been 
lost ; for Von Hammer cites only one Ghazel after 
Daulet Shah, whilst the latter tells us that it had 
contained twenty thousand distichs — simple odes, 
ring-strophes, and artistic poems. Nizami himself, in 
an outburst against one of the mimics and disparagers 
of his stuff, speaks of Ghazels and Kasidahs [Idyls] : 

If I show my art in a tuneful Ghazel, 

He putteth forth a vile counterfeit ; 

If I compose an elegant Knsidah, 

He Cometh out with his rows of weak couplets. 

That the eulogistic poems were not many, Kasvini 
testifies, when he says : " Nizami composed a beauti- 
ful Diwan, the poems of which are for the most part 
of a theological, admonitory, or ethical character, and 
which contains indications of the initiated and their 

The completion of the Diwan poured new enjoy- 
ment of life into the heart of the poet, now well-nigh 
fifty, and he resolved no longer to fly from the out- 
ward world and its doings. He says expressly on this 
occasion : 

It came into my heart, that this was the time for work. 
That Fate was my partner, and Fortune was my friend. 
How long, I exclaimed, shall I choose vacuity of mind? 
How long sit withdrawn from the business of the world ? 
Heaven which halh given me the fulness of satisfaction, 


Hath emptied my breast of emptiness of soul ; 
Now I can attune ray voice to the harmony of the world, 
For to him belongeth the world, who adapteth himself to the 

In this happy frame of mind he received a message, 
which gave him forthwith the opportunity of setting 
to work the new energy of his spirit. The prince of 
the neighbouring Shirvan, Akhsitan, also named 
Manuchahar, with the surname of Jelal-ud-din Abul- 
Muzaffer, wishes him to elaborate the love-story of 
the celebrated pair Laila and Mejnun. This prince, 
with whom begins a new dynasty for Shirvan, had 
assembled around him a complete poetical city, to 
which he gave a king as supreme head. From his 
origin, which reached back to the old kingly dynasties 
of Persia, he regarded himself as the representative of 
the Persian nationality, and of the Persian spirit, and 
wished at least to animate his not very wide spread 
dominion by making it the protector of Persian 
literature. The charge of the prince to Nizami had 
probably no other ground than to draw also to his 
court from his quiet seclusion the poet who was al- 
ready so renowned that he was able to say of himself : 

I have brought to such refinement my enchanting poesy, 
That my name is — " The mirror of the world to come ; " 

and so to complete his poetical circle. 

The task enjoined upon him by no means at first 
corresponded with Nizami's inclination. The subject 
proposed was indeed a worthy one ; the exalted task- 
master thus expresses himself about it : 


r/>ve-tales there are more than a thousand, 

Which have been eml^ellished by the tip of the pen ; 

Bat this b the King of all love-stories : 

See what thou canst make of it by the cunning of thine art ! 

But the subject appears to Nizami too dry to be 
manufactured into a great poem. The desolate 
Arabian wilderness for his theatre, two simple 
children of the desert as his heroes, nothing but an 
unhappy passion — this might well daunt the poet 
of Khosru and Shirifiy which, in everything, place, 
persons, and treatment, presented the greatest variety 
and grandeur. He says : 

The entrance-court of the story is too contracted ; 

It would lame the poetry to be ever going backwards and 

forward ! 
The race-ground of poetry ought to be spacious, 
If it is to show off the ability of the rider. 
Although the verse of the Koran may deserve to be well known, 
The commentary upon it may be far from delightful. 
The fascinations of poetry are its cheerfulness and blandishments ; 
From these two sources is derived its harmony. 
On a journey in which I know not the way, 
How can I know what pleasant spots I shall meet with ? 
There may be neither gardens, nor royal banquets. 
Nor music, nor wine, nor aught to wish for ; 
Only arid sands and rugged mountains. 
Till poetry at last becometh an aversion. 

But the persuasion of his son Mohammed, at that 
time fourteen years old, and regard to the princely 
sender concurred to overcome the reluctance of the 
poet, and he took to the labour. Here was evinced 
how Nizami, once roused, was able to exhibit an extra- 

142 NlZAMl. 

ordinary activity. Within a short tiflfe he completed 
this master-work of love-poetry, which, according to 
Von Hammer, " in the comprehensive laying-out of 
the plan and the connected execution of the several 
parts, has remained unsurpassed, though even such 
poets as Hatifi and Jami have at a later period treated 
the same subject" As to the quickness of the com- 
position, Nizami says : 

These five thousand couplets and more 

Were indited in less than four months : 

Had I not been restrained by other occupation, 

They might have been written in fourteen nights. 

With reference to his first epic he had boasted also 


This beautiful image, the darling of the soul, 
Received its completion in a very brief period. 

In his outward circumstances, Nizami's new work 
led to no change. The decoying invitation from 
Shirvan could not move him to expose himself to the 
disagreeable air of the court. He avails himself 
rather of the opportunity to address to himself a 
warning : 

Refrain from seeking the society of Kings, 
As from exposing dry cotton to a hot fire ! 
The light from the fire may be pleasant enough, 
But he who would be safe must keep at a distance ; 
The moth which was allured by the flame of the taper 
Was burnt when it became its companion at the banquet. 

Kizil Arslan's present had enabled him to live a 
quiet country-life. On this account we find, amongst 


many personal intimations in the introduction to the 

Laiia and Mej'nun, no complaint of want, and even 

in the dedication appears no request alluding to it. 

Tranquillised by his quiet life, he says in the same 


In thy village, on thine own private estate, 

Think not of eating from the portion of another. 

Fortune will tarn round on that light-minded fellow 

Who extendeth his foot beyond his garment. 

The bird which flieth beyond its own sphere 

Measureth its flight with the measure of death ; 

The serpent which keepeth not its own path 

Twisteth itself in its twistings to its own destruction ; 

If the fox come to blows with the lion, 

Thou knowest well whose is the hand that holdeth the sword. 

But what he declined for himself he was not 
unwilling to grant to his before-named son, who 
besought his father to permit him to go to the court 
of Shirvan, and reside there as the companion of the 
young prince : 

Me, a friendless boy, for counsel and protection 
Intrust to the asylum of that powerful master. 

Nizami consents to this, and, it would appear, sent 
the youth as the bearer of the poem ; for in his con- 
gratulation to the young prince, to whom he gave 
beforehand information of his son's request, he says : 

No doubt, thou wilt read the book of the Khosrus, 
No doubt, thou wilt study the sayings of the wise ; 
The treasures, too, hidden within this volume 
Look upon as tlie moon in the fulness of her circuit. 
If thou dost not behold the face of its father, 
Deign to bestow thy care on him who is its brother. 

144 NIZAMI. 

Even out , of this consent it is disclosed, that 
Nizami would have wished to give another direction 
to his son's career than he had struck into himself. 
He gives him practical counsels in the school of life. 
**Hast thou, too," he says to him, "a talent for 
poetry, do not devote thyself to it ; for that which 
pleases thee soonest is the most untrue." This judg- 
ment certainly does not apply to poetry as Nizami 
understood it, for, according to him. Truth is the very 
theme of poetry ; but he means to warn his youthful 
son against that counterfeit poetry which had spread 
itself through the courts of princes and inspired him 
with a genuine abhorrence, and to the ensnaring 
atmosphere of which he was about to be exposed. 
Then he goes on : 

Although poetry be of high dignity, 

Seek thou the knowledge of what is useful. 

The Prophet hath said : " The science of sciences 

Is the science of matter and the science of faith." 

In the navel of each is a fragrant odour, 

In that of the law, and in that of medicine. 

But let the law instruct thee in the service of God, 

Let it not be to thee a teacher of sophistries. 

If thou become an adept in both, 

Thou wilt have reached the summit of excellence, 

And wilt be held in high estimation in the sight of all men. 

And at the same time he recommends to him before 
everything assiduous activity and solidity : 

Even in thy childhood thou hadst a name and lineage ; 
Thy race hath been one highly distinguished for poetry ; 

Ills ///'/■: .LV/) irA'/77.\\;s. 145 

The place which, grown up, thou shouldst occupy is thine 

already ; 
In that thou hast nothing to gain by being my son : 
Be, like a lion, invincible thyself ; 
Show thyself to be the child of thine own good qualities. 

Of the marriage from which sprang this beloved 

son, Nizami makes mention in only one place. In 

^he second part of the Alexander-Book we find the 

^narrative of a love which was cruelly broken by the 

*^eath of the beloved. Overpowered by the resem- 

K>lance of this event with his own, the poet, at the 

*^rx)nclusion of the narrative, dedicates to his too early 

i ost wife some verses of tender remembrance : 

[eaven, which to me was nncc l>enignant, 
given to me a bride better than that ; 
^Whosc business it was in like manner to love and to serve me, 
to minister to me in thought and in deed. 
Sweet rose I tinged as it were with my own blood, 
Tever had she known other than myself in the world, 
fountain of light she was to mine eye ; 
>ery bad eye she warded off from mine. 
^^)estiny — that robber ! — robbed me of her so soon, 
""TTjat thou mightest say : " Even while she was, she was not ! " 
^or every kindness which came to me through her, 
1 pray God, that His kindness may be shown to her ! 

From the verses which immediately follow, it 
appears that Nizami after the death of his first wife 
entered upon a second marriage, and, when that also 
was dissolved by dea^h, upon a third : 

Poetry hath for me one pleasant aspect, 
Tliat it can give newness to the old story. 


But every time that I undertake some grateful subject* 

I have had to sacrifice a smiling bride : 

When I composed my delicate Shirin, 

My dwelling lost the sweetness of my heart ; 

When I had closed up my treasure Mejnun, 

I had to throw away another jewel ; 

And when I had found another bride, 

I was obliged to consign her to the keeping of Rizwan [t>. the 

porter of Paradise]. 
I know not, with the wounds left by such losses. 
How I should tell the tale of Rum and Russia ! 
But better soothe my life with this story 
Than nourish the memory of former griefs. 

This, as it would seem, only son was by the first 
wife; for he was born between a.h. 570 and 57 r» 
whilst she died a.h. 571. 

In spite of the seclusion from the world to which 
Nizami condemned himself, he had to encounter 
many attacks. The poets of the princely courts 
looked askance at the consistent man, who, although 
disdaining to mingle with the host of poetical syco- 
phants, outshone them all in genuine glory. On 
the other side, again, the precious treasures of 
poetry which he had laid up were exposed to thievish 
plagiarists, who not only decked themselves out at 
the cost of our poet, but also disparaged him. Nizami, 
through the gentleness of his character, had hitherto 
been silent; but now, when he was about to step 
before the public, he could not forbear, under the 
circumstances, from dedicating a special section to 
these unworthy fellow-artists, which throws too strong 
a light on the condition of the poet, as well as on 


his character, not to find a place here, at least by 
an extract After challenging himself to break at 
last his long silence, Nizami paints the lofty powers 
of his poetic eloquence, and then launches out against 
his assailants in the following terms : 

These saltless scribblers, these bread -consumers, 

Who under my shade live u]>on the world ! 

To slay the game is the business of the lion ; 

The business of the fox to glut itself with the carcass : 

Better that they should feed on me, mouthful and gullet. 

Than that I myself should feed on others. 

Especially bitter is he against one who had made 
it his life's task to persecute him, partly with calum- 
nies, partly with plagiarisms. With regard to the 
thieveries which they make upon his poetry, it par- 
ticularly vexes him that they should be so publicly 
shown about with impunity. But he calls to mind 
the inexhaustibleness of his poetical gifts, and says 
proudly : 

I hold in my lap the treasures of both worlds ; 

Why should I regard the thefts of the poor ? 

I am l)ound to be upright to such as are depressed, 

Whether they take what they want, or whether they steal it. 

Then alluding to the numerical value of his name, 
he describes his poetry as well guarded and secure 
from all inroad. For the rest, he continues, "pious 
and glorious men," of whom he counts up some from 
Adam to Mohammed, "have ever been obliged to 
endure enmities without deserving them." He will 
never suffer himself to be hurried to return him the 
wrong which he had done : 

So long a« I have lival, never in ihe way of violence 

Hath itie wing nf an einmel received injury from me ; 

Never have I mingled wilh drrgs any one's fresh water. 

Never sought lo iHslutb the condilinn of uny one. 

Because I have been enilowcd wilh a gentle disposilion, 

I ivoutd not apeak evil of the failh of a dog. 

He who gave me the lion's magnaniniily towards a dog 

Hnlh jjiven me also the lion's courage ; 

But 1 know ihat it is better lo conceal one's anger. 

And that what hath been Kiid had been belter left unsaid. 

He who is experienced in the cammercc of the world 

Knowelh that life is not wilhoiil jealousy ; 

And whoever is intimately acquainted wilh Our city. 

Well knowelh he the quality of my wares ; 

And if he stretcheih out his hand wilh an evit intent, 

I am not his enemy, he but remaineth to me a stranger. 

Remain silcnl, O heart, from all vain-lalking ; 

Devour thy vexations wilh a clieetful countenance. 

For the rest, these pLigiarisms from Nizami's works 
were continued. The introduction to the Alexander- 
Book, written three years later, conuiins again a 
section which is dedicated almost entirely to the 
unmasking of that miserable fellow. Amongst other 
things, Nizami says, with fine satire : 

See how these writers in bright daylight 

Sharpen their pens, stolen out of my reed-giound ! 

How what I have kept concealed they spread all abroad I 

Bni though carried lo Bokhara, it still comelh from Ganjoh : 

Men buy silken wares though ihey come from a distance ; 

for silk, though purloined, still relaiuelh its value. 

[f Nizami in this passage lias wished to make clear 
his place as a poet, so in another, in like manner 
incorijorated in ihc introduction lo his Laila aad 


ms LIFE AND WRirmCS. 149 

^ef/utn, he has endeavoured to vindicate his position 
as a man, and to fortify [hose principles according to 
which he had hitherto lived. This poem is filled 
with s. deep elegiac spirit, as some already quoted 
strophes show, and it is moreover especially interesting 
on account of its peculiar form. It is divided into 
sixteen short sections of five to ten rhymed couplets, 
and maintains throughout, by an ever recurring 
burden at the end of each section, a strophaic arrange- 
ment. These recurring verses consist of ever fres,h 
variations, summoning the cup-bearer to bring wine, 
which has the property of causing to forget suflering, 
of lightening the heart, of brightening the countenance, 
suits the purport of the foregoing strophe. The 
'first strophe contains such a summons, only in greater 
fidness; which has led Von Hammer to regard the 
Vhole as a separate poem "in praise of wine and 
-drinking bouts ! " This is the more unjust, as the 
pious Nizami makes use only of the favourite expret- 
■ions of the Mohammedan mystic. Moreover he 
'^ards himself in the introduction of the AltxaruUi- 
Sook against such a misunderstanding : 

Hunk not, O Khiui, Ihou fnvuiircd by Foriunc, 

That when I pnise wine I mean the juice iif ilie grnpc, 

I ncftn ihai wine whicli rai^crh me aliove scIT : 

Thai is the wine wilh which 1 would furniith my banqutL. 

" M7 cup-bearer " is in perform my vow to Goil ; 

"Mjr mornioG draught rrom ihe lavern" is the nine of icIT- 

Bf Heaven, so long as I huve enjoyed eiislence, 
H«*cr hath the tip of my lip 1>ceii slaintd by wine ! 


Here may the ninth of these strophes find a place 
in which Nizami reproaches himself with his meek- 
ness : 

How long wilt thou remain congealed as the ice ? 
How long be dead like a drowned mouse ? 
Like the prickly rose, abandon thy softness ; 
Show, like the violet, diversity of colours. 
There is a place in which the thorn is proper ; 
Occasions when a little devilry is not out of season. 
A Kurd once lost his little ass in the Kaaba ; 
Not seeing it in the court, he raised a loud clamour : 
" The journey across the desert was a very long one ; 
What is the mystery of my losing it here ! " 
Uttering these words he looked behind him, 
And saw the ass, and seeing it smiled. 
And exclaimed : " I lost my ass from my midst, 
And found it again because I was clamorous." 

That the whole piece was originally incorporated 
in the introduction is shown by the last strophe, which 
concludes with this address to himself: 

Better is it, O Nizami, that in this journey 

Thou shouldst pitch thy tent like Khizar beside the Fountain ; 

Fill thyself full, like the pellucid pearl. 

With the limpid water of the loves of Mejnun. 

And so he makes the transition to the immediately 
following commencement of the particular narrative. 

The peculiar " burden " which Nizami here employs 
within the narrow framework of the Elegy he has 
made use of, enlarged, three years later in the first 
part of the Alexander-Book^ sections of which through- 
out conclude with a summons to the cup-bearer, 
couched in similarly rhymed couplets. 



V. — The Alexander-Book. 

HE new attraction towards Shirvan had no last- 
ing influence on Nizam i*s life. With advancing 
years he shut himself out still more closely from the 
outside world. Three years after his completion 
of Laila and Mejnun he thus paints his solitary 
existence : 

The door of my house I close against the world, 

Like the lofty sky, with bolt and with bar. 

I know not in what fashion the universe revolveth ; 

What goeth forward in it of good or of evil. 

I am like a dead body with the soul of a man ; 

But not journeying >vith the caravan, or one of its company. 

With each breath 1 suffer a hundred heart-aches ; 

Every moment till I fall asleep I hear its echoes. 

No one do I know who in body and soul 

Holdeth me dear as he doth himself. 

In the same place he informs us, that he has forty 
times observed the forty days' fast and seclusion, and 
a thousand times given himself up to solitude. But 
poetry remained henceforward his chosen companion, 
and the lofty consciousness of being one of its elect 
comforted him for being misunderstood and against 
rude assaults. His time was divided between con- 
temi)lation and reading. In the night, in which a 
happy vision first gave him a fresh impulse to a new 
production, this was his employment : 

152 MZAML 

One while extracting the meaning from the unread tablet ; 
At another reading the legends of the olden times. 

His favourite occupation was Ferdusi's Shah- 
Natnahy or Book of Kings, and he had even formed the 
plan of filling up the gaps in it, and of working out 
the subjects not therein contained in a volume, which, 
as a supplement to the great heroic poem, should in 
a similar manner bear the title of the " Glory Book of 
Kings," or briefly, the " Glory Book." Nay, as he 
himself recounts, he had already laboured upon it 
forty days. He speaks in the following terms of the 
work which he had in view and then abandoned : 

The ancient Poet — the master of Tiis — 

Who knew how to adorn his verse like a bride, 

In that book, which he had composed of threaded pearls. 

Left many things unsaid which he might well have said. 

But if all the deeds which were done in old times 

He had set down in his book, to some it might have seemed too 

long ; 
He recorded not therefore what he did not prefer. 
And said only that which could not be omitted. 
Besides, with regard to friends, he thought it a meanness 
To enjoy his dainties quite by himself. 
Nizam i, who had strung many a gem, 
And had wielded his reed in numerous victories. 
Found in his treasure-house many gems still unstrung, 
And weighed them nicely in his own bal.tnce ; 
Gave them a happy voice in his Book of Glory, 
And restored its freshness to the almost -lost story. 

Nizami appears also to have promised himself much 
from this work ; he says, just before : 

In the itrength of pens nicely- pointed like these, 
rated with roynl wine, whose cup is Ihc sonl, 
Its liile thatl lie ihc Glokv-Book of Kini:s. 

Meanwhile, mature reflections bade him give up his 
pbn, and whilst he remained still on the domain once 
entered, of the heroic -saga, to create something new. 
But it was only at the very last moment thai he 
broke away Jrom his first purpose. 

From NiMmi the world ought to receive no work 
resting on the production of others. His grounds for 
the ciiangc Nizami puts into the mouth of his heavenly 
Mentor Khixar, who appears to him, and, amongst 
ilher things, says as follows : 


in) ihal in ihe Book ol ihe Royal Khotrus lliou ilidsl i\ 
sjiting welling forth wilh fresh waters. 
It llie wise men of yoie used lo say, 
" Bore not Iwo holes through the same jewel 1 " 
Since thou in thine art cati«t invent a new mixlel, 
Do not without reason use the old wom-oul stuff : 
When thou hnal Ihe power of choosing a maiden, 
Do Dol descend lo matrj' a widow 1 

And he then counsels him to take as the subjet 
his new poem, the history of Alexander : 

Buy ihy jewels from the mine of Alei.-tnder : 

Alexander himself will become a purchaser at thy jewels : 

I when the soveieign of the world becomelh Ihy 
r quickly ihy work will reach the skies 1 

follows the call of his genins; an independent 
k shall be the fruit of his labours. He is resolved 
to make .\lexander the hero of an epic, which 



shall comprehend all that was Itnown about him. 
do this the work must have a threefold diversion : 
setting forth Alexander as Conqueror of the world ; 
Alexander as Philosopher ; Alexander as a Prophet : 

From eich of ihree seeds, scatlerfd by the hand of wUdom, 

I will rear a tiee ofgnailly propanions. 

The Urst I will eonsecrnle to (he renown of the Afonsich, 

And to hi* deeds as a Conqueror of Itingdoins ; 

Then I will ndom my verses wilh Wisdom, 

And will renew the freshness of ihe old Chronicles ; 

Tliirdly, I will knock al the door of Prophecy. 

For U(h1 hnlh called him to be a prophet ntso : 

Three enlranees I have made, each to n rich vein, 

And on each have bestowed no lillie anniety. 

But he did not hold to this tripartite arrangement, 
but bound the two last divisions, as nearly related, in 
one. As the groundwork of the double division, he 
takes the two journeys which he causes his hero to 
make through the world, the first as Conqueror, 
Ihc second as Prophet ; whilst the middle (lart forms 
the transition. That he came to this resolution whilst 
he was still working on the first part is shown by the 
conclusion : 

When ihe King relumed to the throne of the Greeks, 
Carrying in his hand the key of felicity. 
He gathered together great stores of leoriiing. 
And opened the portal of divine wisdom ; 
But when he was called lo Ihe office ofprophet, 
He withdrew nr>i hit neck from obedience lo the comni.liid. 
Agsin he prepared provisions for his journey, 
And dismissed from his head Ihc desol.ition of (he woild. 
Tivicc he paraded the earth M a conqueror : 


Once through its cities, its regions, its mountains, and its plains ; 
And this time he saw and examined minutely 
The cultivated and uncultivated, and ended with Greece ; 
A second time he traversed its roads and pathless places, 
Displaying his standard, and spreading light like sun and moon. 

The year in which the first part of the AUxatider- 
Book was composed is already sufficiently indicated 
above. With regard to the name also, we can have 
no remaining doubt, since in the then cited verses, at 
the same time that he names the earlier poems, his 
latest he calls " the Fortunes of Alexander/' In the 
presently to be quoted passage, in which he addresses 
the prince, he says expressly that the book is called 
Jkbdl (Fortune), and this address is found at the end 
of the second part, referring to both. The name is 
also very suitably chosen, since Nizami wishes to 
sing the Fortunes of Alexander in every aspect, and 
the expression — Ikbdl — is found in numerous places 
of the poem, as marking the good fortune in virtue 
of which Alexander succeeds in every undertaking. 
Meanwhile, in spite of this declaration of the poet, 
there has arisen with respect to the title of the 
Alexander-Book a great confusion, of which presently 

But previously must be discussed the question, 
whether the appearance of the second part soon 
followed that of the first. This question is connected 
with another : to whom did Nizami dedicate his new 
work? As already shown, it was to our poet, in spite 
of his reluctance, a necessity to unite his poem to the 


name of some potentate. He explains to us this 
necessity when, as ^ere, he says : 

To indite poetry is then an advantage, 

When from inditing it cometh lofly fame ; 

But better fasten the mouth with a nail, 

Than indite, and hum what hath been indited : 

Of precious merchandise I may have plenty. 

But wherefore bring it out when no one wanteth it ? 

Certainly, when he addressed himself to the work- 
ing out of his subsequently rejected " Glory- Book,'* 
he had forgotten this necessity, for he exclaims : 

When we string pearls for the sake of another. 
We may sing a song surely on behalf of ourselves ! 

But when Khizar suggests to him the plan of the 
Alexander- Book^ he gives him a word of counsel with 
respect to this also : 

Wouldst thou have a silver jar or a golden ewer ? 

Thou must repair to the land of Irak ! 

From Rai to Dahestan, Kharism, and Hind, 

Travelling, thou wilt see nothing save desert and sterile ground : 

Bokhara, Khusistan, Ghil, and Kurdistan, 

All four eat up their own morsel of bread ; 

Irak, the delightful, be thy darling. 

For great is the fame of its redundancy ; 

And every rose which enraptureth the soul 

Distilleth its balmy drops in Irak. 

In these somewhat dark verses lies certainly nothing 
beyond the exhortation to seek in Irak for the prince 
who is to further extensively the celebrity of his 
poem, and to bestow upon it the becoming reward. 
And in fact we find at the close of the second part an 


address to Izz-ad-din Masud, who is certainly no 
other than that Prince of Mossul who waged war 
with Salah-ad-din, maintained himself in the sover- 
eignty of Mossul, and bequeathed it to his heir. 
That this closing dedication is closely connected l^ith 
the second part is proved by the commencement of it : 

Since Fate hath taken away those wise men, 

Thy royal throne, O King, reroaineth as their memorial ; 

which has a reference to the immediately preceding 
narrative of the death of the " Seven Wise Men.'* But 
that Nizami sent to this prince the whole of the 
double-work is clear from the following concluding 
verses : 

Since I have no strength in hand or foot 

To reach the restful heaven of thy throne, 

I judge it better to exalt my spirit to the clear sky, 

And escape from the bustling throng of the dark earth. 

Two gems have I brought up from the depths of my sea, 

Whose radiant lustre brighteneth my mind : 

The one reflecteth the purity of Mary, 

The other emitteth the light of Jesus ; 

The one in its beauty shineth like the full moon, 

The other is dazzling with matchless splendour like the sun. 

In the royal pavilion are two valuable pledges. 

The one, my Fortunes [my book], the other, the Fortunate [my 

son] ; 
Both have I sent to the presence of the King, 
That the jewel may receive its appropriate setting. 
The bride who hath lost the affectionate mother. 
When she cometh forth from the veil, should be veiled by her 

brother ; 
It is fitting, when she approacheth the court of a King, 

158 NIZAM/. 

That such a veiled^one should have such a veil-holder. 

And since I have consigned my spirit [my poem] to thy keeping. 

And with my spirit my very heart*s-bIood [my son], 

I am hopeful that thou wilt send him back from thy presence, 

And that his stay may more than fulfil my hopes. 

Now Izz-ad-din died in the year of the Hejra 589, 
so that the entire work must have been completed 
within the interval between a.h. 587 and 589. How 
comes it then, it will be asked, that in the first part 
the prince who is addressed is not Izz-ad-din, but 
Nasrat-ad-din Abubekr, the son of the Atabeg Moham- 
med ? The statements of Nizami himself lead us to 
the answer ; by which at the same time many another 
difficulty is solved. At the beginning of the intro- 
duction to the second part occurs a section which 
commences with a mournful reflection upon Time and 
the changes everywhere produced by it, and then 
pictures the melancholy condition in which the poet 
found himself after the death of Kizil Arslan, a.h. 
589 ; how the spirit of poetry had deserted him, and 
how the graciousness of the prince, which had cheered 
him into fresh activity, had awakened him out of his 
sadness and again made him eloquent; and how he 
had been able to renew the old work and to enrich it 
Amongst other things, he says : 

The Glory-Book I changed to a new form, 

The colourless water I turned to azure. 

Look now at the freshly embroidered poem, 

How promptly it leapeth forth to seize the plunder ! 

See what seed I sowed first, and to what it grew at last ! 

So must we make good whatever hath been broken. 


The remaining portion of this long section speaks 
of the poetical endowments of Nizarai, and particularly 
of human life. Even in the section which follows the 
subject is still the number of persons who had sued 
for the honour of appropriating the book to themselves, 
but that Nizami had discovered hitherto only one 
prince who was worthy of it : 

Many a one hath sought to obtain this book ; 

fiat only with a frontispiece adorned with his name is the I)ook 

perfect ! 
£xcept him, among the monarchs whom I have seen, 
X have seen no one who hath gained my full confidence. 
Their courts are full of petitioners, their tables empty ; 
^11 is leanness, there is nothing of fatness ; 
.All are money-changers, with the minds of traders, 
Voracious drudges, looking after their wages ! 
Here only see I a band threaded with rubies, 
^ mind like the ocean, and words that are pearls ! 
'^'ilh a purchaser so generous, how, by Heaven ! 
Should my words not command a lofty value ? 

Whom we are to understand by "the unworthy 
princes" is not apparent; the "lauded one" is no 
other than the already named Nasrat-ad-din, whose 
proper name was Bishkin, and who ruled in Ader- 
baigan, as the successor of Kizil Arslan. For in 
the dedication of the first part, Nizami says to this 
prince : 

When I received this command from the monarch, 
" On this picture inscribe my name," 
I said — To the King I will pour forth my words ; 
To all others I will keep them to myself; 

till is the lanqMeting-faatl to which I will send the bride, 
1 Thai she may brighlen tlie eye of the giver of the bunquet. 

That between the complelion of the work and this 
new dedication 'a considerable lime must have inter- 
vened is ciear from the fact that Nizatni in the 
interval had declined the offers of several princes. 
A nearer determination of the time is afforded by a 
second concluding section to the second part, ap- 
pended to the new redaction of his work ; in which 
Nizanii expressly says : 

The measure ol my days hath reached three scoie. 
And yel I have nof taken measure of my own comiilion. 

It was after a.h. 595 that Nizami, to honour 
Nasrat-ad-din, made a fresh redaction of his j4/fx- 
atuier-Book. Now it is precisely this year thai at 
the invitation of thai prince he composed his Htfi 
Paikai: Probably the successor of Kizil Arslan had 
it in view to come into connection with the renowned 
poet in a similar way to that in which the prince of 
Shirvan had done it before : and, as the desired new 
poem was finished, besought him to immortalise his 
name by dedicating lo him the old Alexander-Bosk 
also, To what extent the fresh treatment which this 
imposed on Nizami went, cannot be known. At all 
events, came with it in addition various passages in 
the introductions and conclusions. Moreover, the 
uncommonly numerous variations in the transcripts 
must be set down to this account, whilst the new 
redaction was propagated at the same time with the 
original one, and even combined with it by the 



^Beopyists. That this last was the case is evident from 
^Hbiis, that the older dedications to the Prince of Mossul 
^^nre left in. For the rest, there appears to have been 
^^■idded to it then also the important closing section of 
^^EE4<?^w and Shirin, which likewise concludes with 
^Hhe praise of Nasrat-ad-din. 

^^B Towards this prince generally Nizami shows more 
^^BBcUnation than to all the earlier ones with whom he 
^^bul come into connection, and in no one's pr^se is he 
^^BO warm. Of especial interest is the manner in which 
^^Be praises his virtues as regent fln occasion of a fear- 
^^Bnl earthqualte which had desolated his kingdom. On 
^^ Kcounl of the excellence of the description, especially 

as that of an earthquake is a rare theme, a portion of 

the section may find a place here ; 

Thrauglt I)l; life itiU Kurvivclh the dominion of Time ; ^^^1 
Mr wilnc^es behold in vallcj ami in s1r<»iin, ^^^| 
VVhen ihnt earlhqtiike. which rent even the 5ki«, ^^^H 
Overwhelmed ana hid from sight the cities of the euth! ^^^H 

Thai ihe AvsX. lou up to the colkr of heaven ^^^^H 

The eaiCi became unslaljle at ihe rolling sjiberc ^^^^H 

And was losstd up and down like a jiicgler's Imll. 

Such B thock arose rrom the ctaHon of the blast. 

Thai it tossed the fishe* far from the slteains of the valleys ; 

The jf.inu of Ihe eailh were broken asunder ; 
The fisiurci of Ihe ground were filled with water, 
fiy the (requcnl concussions ihe mounlaitis were splintered : 
The faces of young lie.irdcd men changed colour, 
At when the bur<,tiiie of the Nile-dam^ fillelh £gy[>t with 
anxiety ; 

And Ihe comptCBsion of the earth was so severe, 

That in itt pressure the hilli were squeezed into atoms ; 

Not a link in the chain remained undivided, 

Not a wall retained its cement unbroken. 

Of the treasures which that day gave to the winds 

To many a bosom was lost all rememhrance ; 

From all those men and women and old men and children 

Came forth no voice save a general uproar. 

But that jewelled chain remained unbroken, 

And evety new chain scattered fresh jewels ; 

So that by rnvoBT ofthat princely gem 

Order was re-established throughout the circuit, 

And within a short lime the bounds of this desolated region 

By the mutlificencc of the King became again more Qourisbing 

than RiJm. 
Look not on the breaches through which misery and ang;uish 
Had made of this kingdom one heap of ruins ; 
Look upon it when under the throne of that FortnDe-raToured 

It had once more recovered its former prosperity ! 

Since it has been shown that Nizami himself named 
the second part of his Alexander- Book Ikbal-Iskandari 
or briefly Ikbdl, something still may here be added 
with reference to the name, or rather the names, of 
this double epic. Haji Khalfa, in the enumeration of 
the constituent portions of Nizami's "Quintuple-book," 
names in the first place both parts as two separate 
works. The first part is called properly Ikbal- 
Namah ; the second he designates by the title 
Iskandar-Namah, or also Khirad-Namah. To these 
5pecific:itions Haji Khalfa remains faithful through- 
out : by Jskandar-Namak he understands the second 
part, as appears by the addition, "it is also named 


///S LIFE AND iVaiTINGS. 163 

K/urati-Namah, and by the citation of the commenc- 
ing verse; which, however, is not its own proper 
beginning, but that of a piece, which, separated 
from the introductory section in the Breslau MS., 
is in the Calcutta edition combined with it 
Possibly in the MS, which lay before Haji Khalfa 
this commencement was wanting. In like manner 
under Ikbal-Namah the introductory verse is cited 
of the first part. Of the title Seraf-Namah Haji 
lalfa knows nothing ; and properly ; for that has 
:n only from an error of the transcribers, who in 
section which bears the superscription, " notice 
the Seraf-Iv'amah," saw an allusion to the Aiex- 
ander-Book, and named it accordingly. So the Vienna 
MS. names the whole work Seraf-namah-Iskandari. 
In the Dresden MS. the second part only is called 
Seraf-Namah, and with this agrees the Breslau MS. 
The indctenninate expression which the first presents 
must not be used for the purpose of declaring the 
iperscription improper. 

Why the second part bears the title of Khtrad- 
Tamah also, Fleischer would explain from its intro- 
ductory words. Nevertheless it is possible that it has 
arisen from confounding it with the AUxander-Book 
of Jami, which, although not commencing with 
" Khirad," is called the Kkirad-itarnah-Iskandari. 
That work is expressly an imitation of our second 
part and derives its name, perhaps, from the "Wis- 
dom-Books" (Kkirad-Nameh) which in that, as in 
Nixami, the Wise Men present to Alexander. That 

the name " KhJrad" for Nirami's poem is related to 
that of Jami's Sakainiar (Alexander) Haji Khalfa also 
shows, who cites the former immediately after the 
latter. A principal cause of the confusion of the 
names appears to be the circumstance, that NJiami's 
Alexander- Book is perhaps the only work in the 
Persian literature which has two parts separated from 
one another, so that Haji Kholfa has considered the 
latter an independent work. The later imitators look 
sometimes, to speak as Fleischer, the heroic, some- 
times the spiritual Alexanderid as their model. \Vhen, 
therefore, it was the great Jami who gave to the 
elaboration of the last — the spiritual one— his happy 
talent and his name, the model itself fell into a certain 
oblivion; especially since the completeness of Nizami's 
" Quintuple " was not prejudiced thereby. And hence 
it comes that so few of the MSS. contain the second 

One other name still should be mentioned, assigned 
to the last of the Calcutta editions, which the lexi- 
con Bahari-Ajani recognises, namely, the Iskandar- 
nameh-iahri, or the " Maritime Alexanderid." This 
' has undoubtedly arisen from the fact, that Alexander 
in his second journey through the world, pictured in 
the second pari, meets with adventures on the ocea 
which is not the case in the first part Finally, 
may be remarked, that the " burden " employed by 
Nizami is so far modified in the second, that he docs 
not summon the cup-bearer to bring wine, but to bring 
the singer, that he may enliven him with his melodies. 


At the conclusion of this section may be placed, 
for chronological reasons, a poem which Nkami 
composed in the 590th year of the Flight, when 
Moharomed had been dead already 5S0 years ; and, 
since it is a prayer addressed to the Prophet, sub- 
joined to the introduction of the Makhsatt-al-asrar. 
This striking piece shows how deeply the poet was 
grieved by the shattered condition of the whole Mo- 
hammedan world, and is equally a faithful expression 
of the yearning after better times, which certainly 
lived in the hearts of all well-minded people ; 

Melina's veil, O screen of Mecca, 

How long will ihe sun sit hidden with shndows ? 

iriboa art a moon, bring a ray from [hy <:un ; 

If ihon an a rose, bring [lerrume Fiom Ihy garden \ 

Pn Ihine expectants are breathing their last sigh ; 

thou tedresser of complaints listen lo iheir complaint ! 

tfuten to Fersix, sit no longer in Arabia ; 

See; Ihe day-steed ii tired, the dim night is approaching ; 

Amy the Idngdoms anew, and freshen again Ihe nnlverfie! 

Make the Iwo worlds again full of glad voices ! 

Hist tbioe own coin, and let the rulers mint less ; 

Pisch the tennon thyself, and let the Khalif be dumb ! 

Thy land once breathed an odouc of authority, 

But the wind of hypocrisy came and dispersed the odour ! 

Oh, clear Ihe cushioned thrones from those who are asleep, 

l^irify the pulpits frotn those who are polluted I 

The houses are dwellings of ghouls ; sweep them away. 

Coil Ibeni down inlo Ihe keep of annihilation ! 

We ore all dead boilies, be thou our soul \ 

We arc all demons, be thou our Solomon ! 

Thou an our guard ; why is the caravan left all alone ? 

Thou art our army ; why is Ihj staniiard elsewhere? 

1 66 NfZAMI. 

On every side they make breaches in the Faith, 

On every side they lie waiting in ambush ! 

Either send thou Ali into the ranks of the battle-field, 

Or send us Omar to combat these Satans ! 

With double and treble barriers protect our breast-works, 

Destroy altogether these miserable wretches ! 

Already the days of thy sleep are five hundred and eighty years; 

The day is far advanced, hasten to the assembly ! 

Rise thou, and give command to the seraphim 

To herald the dawn with their countless candles. 

Give us admission within the veil of thy mysteries, 

We are all asleep, be thou our watchman ! 

VI. — The " Heft Paikar," or Seven 
Portraits — Nizami's Death. 

TT has been already mentioned that the Prince of 
^ Aderbaigan, as once the Prince of Shirvan, 
encouraged Nizami to fresh poetical activity, but 
that whilst the latter indicated the subject, Nasrat- 
ad-din left him a free choice. No proper epic was 
the work which resulted from this summons, but 
Nizami combined several narratives together, and 
gave them a certain unity by putting them into 
the mouths of seven favourites of the king Bahram- 
Gur, The history of this King forms the framework, 
which holds the whole together. With regard to the 
composition of this work, Nizami expresses himself 
as follows : 


^^XwHiElit in [he lecocdsorplmsuit histoii«s 
For ill that was suilcd to expand the heart ; 
From all that was cotilained ia the Chionide of the Kings, 
I chose, and cnmhined what seemed good in one book. 
First I thought on I an ingenious plan, 
And then embodied it in harmnnious numbeis. 
Whercvei pailicles remained of the niby-chipping, 
Of eveij BlDiD I contrived to make something ; 
From those small fragments, like a skilful jeweller, 
I formed and polished a not worthless treasure ; 
So that the eiea'i who know how to distinguish, 
Ught see what to choose amongil the MVeral portttitt. 
Wliatever the chronicles had half-said, I said full]' ; 
Whatever jewel he had half- pierced, I pierced wholly. 
Wluterer I perceived to be right and perfect, 
That I left andistnrbed, ns it stood at lirsl; 
I made every effort in proper setting 
To enchase each choice and rare fragment. 
Again, I searched books dispersed through the world, 
Foi wiiat had been hidden and was well-nigh forgotten ; 
Whatever was wriilen in Arabic and Persian, 
The legends preserved by Tabari and Bokhlii, 

■And words scattered through various other volumes, 
And arranged ench pearl in a subtle fashion. 
•As to the application of the number seven, which 
this work especially plays a considerable part, 
Kizami says : 

The Porltails of this book, like three of the Magians, 
I have portrayed after seven brides in their bridal ornaments, 
That the seven brides which adorn the starry vault 
May look down with favour ou my seven brides, 
And, in like array and as fellow-labourers, 
H Hay shed down on eich their kindly inKucncc. 

But he guards himself against the objection of a 

want of unity, and intends, as the painter would do, 
however numerous the figures his picture may contain, 
to observe the necessary sj'mmetTy in the arrange- 
ment. Nor is he willing to be considered as a mere 
compiler ; the work shall be so handled as to be a 
special testimony to his spirit The material worked 
upon shall be like the rainwater, which the oyster 
renders back as a splendid pearl. At all events, it 
must be admitted that the direction which Nizami 
had always foUowed^that of elaborating the subjects 
of the old Sagas — has reached in the Htft Paikar its 
highest point, whilst Nizami, in his love for it, has 
given up the inward unity of the new work. That 
he did this with full deliberation is shown by the 
following verses, in which he marks also in brief 
touches his relation to the other poets of his time: 
Orthitt crowd which hnlh precnled me 
No one hilh rendered nf fresh fruil more than I hav«. 
If I have been wanting in'iising my file. 
Vet am I all the fuller of meaning. 
Shells wilhoul kernels I have seen as lb< roin-drops ; 
Their answer lo me is, " Kernel wilhoul shell 1" 
But, for alt Iheir precious and new-fangled poems. 
Not yel will I turn away my face from the old I 
The work is naturally dedicated to Nasrat-ad-din, 
and by it we learn also thai he had two sons, who yet 
do not appear to have outlived the fatlier, who died 
A.H. 607 ; since on his death his brother Uzbeg 
succeeded to the throne of Aderbaigan. 

Nizami died yet eight yeais before his protector. 
Age had made itself felt by him, in depriving him of 



bodily strength, and very loiichingljr he describes it 
in a passage inserted in the introduction to the Alex- 
ander-Booky which contains some verses revealing the 
poet's ihoaghtful and devout views with regard to 
immortality : 

Manf, tike to mt, are sleeping in the grave. 

And DO one remembetelh thai all niH<>t sleep there too I 

Call mc la mind, O fresh j'oung iiaitridKe [his son piobably), 

When thou passesl by the head of my tomb. 

And nutyesl see the grass growing out of my clay, 

My simple pallet all broken ilown, 

The dust of my couch blown away liy the wind ; 

Not remembered by one of my co-evals. 

Lay [hen thine hand on that heap of ruins, 

Aild recall to Ihy leculleclion my pure spirit ; 
Shed over me a tear in thy far-otT dwelling, 
And t upon ihee will shed light out of heaven ; 

^_ To me shall thou pray for whatever ceijuiretli speed, 

^K And I will be thy surely that ihe prayer shall be fulfilled. 

^Wnou wilt send me a benedictioa, I will send one lo tbce ; 

^ECome, and 1 will come down frain the skies unto thee. 
Think of me as of one alive like thyself 1 
I will come in the spirit, if thou comest to me. 
Hold me not as one who hath lost his companion, 
For I shall look upon thee, if thou seesi not me. 

lis confiding view made his death also a gentle 
A gloss in the Alexander- Book describes bis 

After he had sung of the wise men of yore, 
He went away himself as Ihe wise ones had gone ; 
And departing on his journey, instructed his companions, 
~ ' while as 10 the way, another as to the guide. 

a he smiled and said : " The mercy of Ihe All-merciful 


Permitteth me a departure full of hope : 

Oh, keep yourselves afar from unmercifulness. 

Ye and this house, I and the mansions of joy ! " 

In such words and sajrings the eternal sleep seized him ; 

You would say that never had he been awake. 

Nizami died, where he had almost entirely passed 
his life, in his paternal city of Ganjah, where, accord- 
ing to Daulet Shah, his sepulchre is to be found 
Of his son, whom he exhorts in his last poem to 
live in the fear of God and in virtuous activity, no 
memorial has been preserved. Perhaps it was he who 
collected his father's five great poems into a whole, 
and gave to it the title of Panj Gan;\ or Five 
Treasures, and the Khamsah^ or Quintuple. He may 
also have written the passage just quoted on the 
death of his father. Nevertheless, it is to be re- 
marked that Kasvini, who flourished a quarter of 
a century after Nizami's death, does not yet know the 
Khamsah as a collection ; but he is quite silent about 
the Alexander-Book also. 

Nizami^s place in Persian literature and his in- 
fluence on its later development are in general 
sufficiently well known. How he himself is de- 
pendent on Ferdusi has been shown here on his 
own testimony. A further comparison would also 
prove the dependence of the next great poet, Sadi, 
on him. For the domain in which Sadi bore away 
the palm — didactic poetry — was also familiar to 
Nizami, the author of the Makhzan-al-asrdr, the 
Storehouse of Mysteries. This work was the fore- 


runner of similar didactic poetry, as his epic poems 
were the models of the romantic epics of the 
Persians. His Quintuple was the |>attcrn for many 
others composed by very eminent poets ; and his 
single works also afforded material for countless 
vL'opies. He had also an influence on Turkish 
poetry, in which one of its most considerable 
supporters, Mir All Shir, did him the honour of 
taking him as an example. 

The recognition which Nizanii received already 
<iuTing his life-time was in still greater measure 
tiestowed upon him at his death. Kasvini, versed 
moreover in Persian lileralure, as.sigas him a some- 
what long account in his Cosmt^raphy, and names 
Tiim "a wonderful, skilful, and wise poet." Daulet 
Shah is still more lavish in his laudator)' expressions ; 
and the latest native literary historian, Luft Ali Beg, 
in his Ateshkadah, names him " one of the four 
(hilars of eloquence and culture." 

Of more weight are the words with which the three 
greatest poets in Persian literature who have appeared 
since his death have honoured his memory. Sadi 

(ion« is Niiami.ourexquisite pearl, which Heaven in its kindness 
Formed of the purest dew, fonned Tor the gem of the world ! 
^^BCalmty it shone in its brightness, but, by the world UDregatdeil, 
^^^baven, reassuoiine its eifi, laid il again in its shell. 


Lnd Hafiz exclaims : 

This ancient vault coniaineth Dolhine beneaih it. 
Comparable for beautf to the words of NiiBlui. 


And the last great poet of Persia dedicates to' him, 
in the darling spiritual child of his High Altar, his 
yoseph and Zulaikha^ the following mournful mem- 
orial verses : 

Where is Nizami ? — where his soul-alluring lays ? — 

The delicate refinements of his subtle genius ? 

He hath now taken his place behind the veil, 

And all save himself have remained outside of it. 

Since he hath withdrawn himself, we have received no portion 

Save from the mystic words which now he hath taken with him. 

But no one understandeth those mjrstic words save him who 

approacheth God, 
Into whose sound heart hath entered the divine. 
But he hath escaped from these narrow by-ways. 
To journey at large towards the sacred temple ; 
And, terrified by the captives taken in the snare, 
Reposetb under the skirts of the Throne itself. 
He washed his inward soul from the image of manifoldness. 
Because he sought to fill it again with the m3rstery of unity. 



H E fate which befel the second part of 
Nizami's Alexander- Book in Eurojie 
might well nigh be called tragic. 
When Von Hammer wrote his work, 
which was to lay the foundation of 
his History of Persian Literature, an unfortunate 
accident would have it, that in his copy of the 
" Quintuple " that part was entirely wanting, and it 
appeared to him "' made out that Nizaml either 
here [at the end of the first part] had been in- 
terrupted, or that, of his own accord, he had no 
longer any particular desire to re-unite the broken 
thread." When Erdmann first called attention to the 
existence of the second part and gave the contents 
of it. Von Hammer was indeed corrected ; but the 
statement of the contents is not merely incomplete 
e thirty lines for a work of 7,000 couplets — but 
o erroneous. As a proof of the last assertion one 
r only need be pointed out here ; others will be 


indicated in the course of the relation. Erdmann 
says ; De sententiis— a sapientibus allalis, quibus 
et Nizami suam adjungit, hac facta conclusione, 
summuin Alexandri creatorem in propheta venet- 
andum esse. 

This sounds somewhat strange, but is cleared up 
when we consider the superscription which the sec- 
tion relating to it bears in the original. " The 
Creator — be His name exalted I^honours Alexander 
with Prophecy," Now Erdmann apparently had 
not acquainted himself with the purport of the 
Sfclion, and saw in the word paighamberi i 
" prophecy," but " prophet," and thus brought out 
of it this peculiar translatioa Otherwise, the table 
of contents produces the impression that it was 
chiefly manufactured out of titles of sections. Mean- 
while it became the measure in the acluai judgments 
of the day of Niwimi's poem. Weissman, ignorant 
of Persian, gives a faithful translation of Erdmann's 
I^tin, and a year later, in 1851, an authority in the 
domain of Persian literature is satisfied to recognise 
that of Erdmann, and this table of contents is once 
more printed without any correction. So it is con- 
ceivable how, particularly on this ground, the follow- 
ing judgment is pronounced by Spiegel on our second 
part : " It appears that this was never able to acquire 
the same value as the first. At all events the Iskandar 
Saga will lose very little thereby, for from Erdmann's 
extracts it appears plainly that the whole contains 
unsubstantial pictures only, which, in this form at 


least, can hardly ever have lived in the mouths of the 
people, and could only have been invented by the 
fancy of individuals." Perhaps it is to be ascribed to 
this harsh judgment that hitherto no one has yet 
been found to save the honour of this undoubtedly 
significant poet, and bestow a nearer view upon a 
work which forms an integral portion of the Alex- 
ander-Book^ The following representation, however, 
is intended to be not merely the safeguard of Nizami's 
honour; it will show not only that the second part 
surpasses the first in the richness of its matter, but 
will thoroughly prove that it is composed of such 
elements as belong to the Oriental Alexander-legend, 
and throw upon it a new light In addition to this, 
it will be of especial interest to observe how many a 
Greek legend, of which the existence was previously 
unknown in the East, has been worked up by 
Nizami, whereby is opened the question, what were 
the sources which he made use of for that pur- 
pose? But that must be the special subject of the 
following section. 


11. — The Sources from which Nizami drew. 

'T^HE predominant peculiarity of the Nizamian Alex- 
ander-Book is its completeness, in agreement 
with which the various directions which the Oriental 
Saga followed in the glorification of the Macedonian 
Conqueror are in it united. The poet himself char- 
acterizes these directions : 

Some entitle him Lord of the Throne, 

Taker of kingdoms — nay more, Master of the whole world ; 

Some, regarding the Vizier of his Court [Aristotle], 

Inscribe his diploma with the name of Sage ; 

Some, for his purity and devotion to the Faith, 

Give him admission to the order of the Prophets. 

Alexander as conqueror and also as sage had already 
been glorified in the Greco-Egyptian legend. With 
the Orientals, who assign to him his great teacher as 
Vizier, he holds a place amongst the Grecian philo- 
sophers. The third place — prophecy — is the outflow 
of the Mohammedan spirit, and rests upon the well- 
known passage in the Koran (xviii., 82-98) in which 
Dul-karnain is spoken of, who by a preponderance of 
opinion is generally understood to be Alexander the 
Great. Certainly many teachers of Islam are not 
pleased with the glorification of a heathen king, and 
many assume on this account a second Dul-karnain, 
as indeed both the old tradition teachers Kabalakhbar 
and Ibn-abbas, who see in the honoured personage of 


' Koran an ancient Himyarishan king, which the 
liistorians then, as Makrizi and Abulfeda, take as cer- 
tain. The geographical work Yakut takes likewise 
the view which assumes two Dul-karnains, but adds to 
the older one another name. " Others re|Jort," so it 
says, "that the one who built Alexandria — the first 
Alexander Dul-karnain — was from Rum, whose name 
was Ask-ibn-Selukus, and who is not to be confounded 
with Alexander the son of Philip. It was the first 
Alexander who went through the world, and who 
reached the realm of darkness : and, further, he was 
the companion of Musa and Khizar, and built the 
wall. It was he who, at every place which no one 
reached except himself, caused to be imaged an iron 
horse with an iron rider, who lays his left hand on the 
bridle of tiie horse, and stretches out the right, upon 
which was to be read : " Beyond me there is no way." 
i-'urther, they maintain that between this and the 
other Alexander, who had to do with Darius, possessed 
himself of Persia, was familiar with Aristotle the Wise, 
and lived to the age of thirty-two years, a long period 
intervened. Moreover, the first was a believer, as 
God declares of him in his Book, and reached an 
advanced age as ruler of the whole earth; whilst the 
Other adopted the views of the philosophers, and 
maintained the eternity of the world — as is the 
opinion of his teacher Aristotle— slew Darius, and 
actiuired merely the sovereignity of Persia and RQm. 
Nevertheless, with the commentators upon the Koran 
tho identity of Alexander with Dul-karnain appears to 

preponderate ; for Baidai*i, after pronouncing simply 
in favour of Iskandar of Rum, the king of Persia, and 
Greece, adds ; " As to his claims to the gift of 
prophecy there are different views, even wlien there 
exists an entire agreement with reference to his 
orthodoxy and piety." 

Thus, at all events, Nizami was justified in daimJng 
for Alexander, as a main motive of his actions in the 
poem, his dignity as a prophet, His religious nature 
could be satisfied only when the hero of his new work 
is not merely the ideal of a hero— has not merely 
reached the highest step of wisdom, but also possessed 
that nimbus, which in the eyes of the pious Moslem is 
the highest on earth, that of prophecy. But in doing 
this he had also significantly enlarged the domain of 
his subject. That Nizarai iefi nothing unexplored, 
that he drew together everything within his compass 
which bore upon his object, is shown particularly by 
the following verses : 

When nilli much trouble I underloak ihis story, 
Tbe words flowed fieely, but the ronil uos very intricate. 
The traditions of that King wlio hod loleti Ihe woild 
1 found no scroll wliich hnd fully chronicled. 
The legends which had l>een preserved hatt b^cn lioaidcd like 

Bui they were scnilered abrond and with difficulty (ound. 

From every manuscri|)t I collected CApiml, 

And bound nnd eoihcllished it with Ihe jewels of poetry. 

1 augmented my store from the mure recent histories — 

Jewish, and Christian, antl old Falil.ivi ; 

I Klected from every erain (h«t which was cxcellenl. 


And from every pod ihe innermost kernel ; 

1 joinetl the richer of one tongue Id ihoGC of another. 

And moulded the mass intn a complete whole, 

HTiat works amongst the Jewish, Christian, and 
ancient Persian (Pahlavi) are meant, cannot of course 
be discovered : but through ihe mention of Iheni we 
arc ixrrinitted to presume a tolerably rich literature 
from which Nizami drew maierials for bis poem. The 
Jewish elements we shall learn to know in the course 
of our inquiries, and, as to Christian works, we may 
:ckon with some certainty the apothegms of the 

lysician Honain-ibn-Ishak, for our AUxander-Boek 

fers much which is found in that relative to books 
more than three centuries old. As regards the 
Pahlavi writings, we know from Sams-ad-din, a 
Mohammedan wTiter of the eleventh century, that 
there were still existing in his time chronicles and 
books of old songs in I'ahlavL Many a circumstance 
in Ihe first pan, particularly the account of the de- 
Struclton of the Fire Temple, points to heathen 
Persian sources. Moreover, Nizami names there at 
the beginning of almost every section, even of fiction. 

Fire-honouring Dihkan (a chief man) as voucher 

Nizami has likewise, for the hushing-up of his his- 
torical conscience, arranged as an introduction of the 
I part a special chapter, in which he briefly nar- 
ntcs the real histor)' of Alexander — of course, accord- 
ing to Oriental conception. He is self-conscious of 
the legendary character of his poem, and thinks — 

i8o NIZAMI. 

Were I to diminish the embellishments of my poem« 

I should reduce my couplets to a very small amount : 

All the acts of this world -parading monarch 

I should have brought to an end in this single sheet of paper. 

But he has also a clear comprehension of the poetical 
truthfulness of fiction, and concludes this section with 
the words : 

The fiction which resembleth truth 

Is better than the truth which is dissevered from rectitude. 

From what is intended to be the historical narrative 
of Alexander's life is especially to be distinguished 
the description of the manner in which he measured 
the whole earth as well by land as by sea. Further, 
it should be noticed that the Alexandrian era — the 
Seleucidian — began with the day on which he entered 
upon his prophetical office. 

III. — Apollonius of Tyana in the Alexander- 

A POLLONIUS plays a too important part in the 
^^^ work of Nizami not to make it necessary to throw 
a little light on the position which he occupied with 
respect to Alexander. As philosopher, Belinas is one 
of the Seven Wise Men of the second part; as an 
adept in the secret powers of nature, as companion of 
Alexander in his travels, and as founder of talismans. 


he comes before us in both parts. ^Ve have, 
therefore, certainly to think about the celebrated 
Tyanese. From the wonderful circumstances of his 
life, the East assigned him the conspicuous position 
which was most accordant with its own natural 
tastes, and named him " Originator of Talismans." 
Phllostratus indeed mentions, with reference to the 
pestilence in Ephesus, only one talisman for warding 
off the calamity, but by the Byzantine writers he is 
credited with several. On this account it may rest on 
old local traditions if Kasvini specifics nine talismans 
as made by Apollonius, The extraordinary thing is, 
that he is made a contem[K>rary of the Sassanides, and 
ihiit in Hamadan, expressly at the rccjuesl of KobSd, 
he erected a lion as a talisman against the deep snow, 
as well as on the two sides of the lion talismans 
against beasts of prey, scorpions, and fleas. More- 
over, the Lake in Khelat, the capital of Armenia, 
which during two months of the year produces such 
nliundance of fish that it is carried to India, was a 
work of Apollonius for Kobad. For one of the 
Khosrus he made in Karmisin a talisman against 
scorpions. On the other hand, again, he is brought 
into connection with the Roman Emperors, for one of 
whom he erected a bath in Ciesarea. The other works 
ascribed to Aiiollonius are : the salt pits of Ferahan, 
a district of Hamadan and of Kum ; a treasure- vault 
and likewise a cemelerj- of the old Armenian kings i 
e horses at Constantinople, and a wonderful olive- 
i in the Sion's church at Rome. Apollonius is 

transferred to the time of Alexander by the historical 
worlc of Mugmil-Attawarikh, which tells us that he 
made a talisman for the Pharos ai Alexandria. That 
Nizami adopts the same anachronism is a very 
happy notion of the poet, bringing, as it does, so 
many features into the history of his hero, which 
lends it a new intereKt. The first time thai Apol- 
lonius proves himself is in the expedition to anni- 
hilate the Fire-lemple of the Magians. A priestess of 
the race of Rustam, by name Hasir-humai — that 
is, Fire-phcenix^defends the sanctuary against the as- 
assailanls by assuming the form of a dragon, and by 
other magical secrets. Aristotle, from whom Alex- 
ander receives counsel, draws his attention to Apol- 
lonius, telling him that he also is versed in magical 
arts, and is a maker of talismans. Ajwllonius is suc- 
cessful in overcoming the priestess, and requests, as a 
reward that he may be allowed to marry her; and by 
her aid jierfects himself in the mysteries of her magic 
arts. Soon afterwards we find him in the closest 
intercourse with the King, who applies to him for 
assistance in every perplexity. Under his advice the 
army of Alexander, when preparing for the great 
expedition to India and China, buries its treasures in 
the ground, and secures it with a talisman. Later 
Alexander is instructed by him in the meaning of 
the lines on the wonderful goblet of Kai-Khosru, and 
commands him so to enchant the throne of that 
mythical king, which he has found in Norderan, as to 
throw off every one who attempts to sit upon it 


Apollonius likewise, in order to satisfy the curiosity 
of the King, permits himself to be tied to a rope, and 
to be let down into a pit which is supposed to be a 
burial and treasure-vault of Kai-Khosru, and finds it 
full of burning sulphur. He is afterwards the leader 
of a deputation which Alexander sends to the Kaid 
of Hindostan. When they set out on the expedition 
against the Russians through the country of the Kip- 
kaks, whose women will never veil their faces in the 
presence of men, at the request of Alexander he 
erects a talisman consisting of a stone-image, which 
has its face veiled, and which compels every woman 
who passes by to do the same. When in the decisive 
battle Fortune appears to be inclining to the side 
of the Russians, Apollonius assures the King that his 
victory is written in the stars, but that he must him- 
self enter mto the combat The occasions on which 
Apollonius comes before us in the second part will 
be noticed in their place. 

For the rest, how rich the East is in such talismans 
is clear from Kasvini, who reckons up fourteen others 
over and above those of Apollonius. 

IV.— The Introductokv Narrai 

T N our second part is found, in tlie first place, a 
scries of narratives apparently having no relation 
to it, which yet on a nearer observation exhibit them- 
selves as a representation of ethical truths which 
Nizami wishes his hero to learn before he proceeds lo 
the proper objects of his poem- — the philosophy and 
prophetical office of Alexander. Such a gradation is 
founded on Mohammedan views, and is very clearly 
conducted throughout. Moreover, he does not neglect 
to give to the introduced narratives, which all stand 
in relation to Alexander, whether it be at the end or 
in the course of them, the instniciive direction at 
which he aims. The narrative loses certainly in this 
way its progressive pace ; but as the stories are con- 
joined at a middle point, the unity of the poem is 
preserved. Amongst these narratives those have an 
especial interest for us which are of Greek origin. 
Interesting also is the way in which they follow one 
another in a certain degree systematically, as will be 
immediately showa 

I. — The first forms properly only the termination of 
the section which bears the title, "The Beginning of 
the Story," and forms the connection of the second 
part with the first. We are informed how Alexander, 
after the conquest of the world, established his resi- 
dence in RQm, and collected there, above all, the 



■ ^luitual fruits of his victories. He ordered especial!)' 
that the countless works which he had found amongst 
diflerent nations should be translated, and new writings 
^^ prepared as rules for the conduct of life. Amongst 
^^L^e works made use of ts particularly named the 
^^■'^'Parsee Book of the Kings," which to him "was 
^^cuneni as flowing water." Of the newly-cotn posed 
works three are named, "A Description of the 
Universe," "A Spiritual World," and an "Alexander- 
Book." To these, especially to the last, mysterious 
operations are attributed. Thereupon the King issues 
a proclamation that every wise man will be welcomed 
and honoured at his court. The wise men stream 
together towards it from all sides, and, in their noble 1 
zeal, nurture the sciences into full bloom : 

From ihe lenming of Ihat knoH-IedEe-rrijLme King 
^K The fame of Greece foi its science wu highly eialted. 
^K Now that region liMh folded its leaves, 
^^H Time hath deimtlcd. but nol its name foi learning. 
^^K Caln/ta Edition, p. 20. 

^^B Alotandcr also built for himself a quiet hermitage, 
^^pnio which he could withdraw, when the bustle of the 
^Hbrorld had fatigued htm, for prayer and meditation. 
^^■Thereupon is portrayed his rectitude, and in con- 
^^■cltision, as a su[>plemeni, is described his mode of 
^^^conquest, which is in the highest degree original. 
Now follows at last the first narrative, in which a 
musician at Alexander's court is presented as the 
^H possessor of a splendid dress, wonderfully embroidered 
^^■h all the seven colours, and so beautiful that it 


delights the King as often as he looks at it But it 
was old and torn, and the owner tries the expedient 
of turning it inside out Alexander thinks he has 
disposed of his dress, and questions him about it ; but 
when he hears the answer he feels greatly moved, and 
exclaims {p. 13); 

When fiatn the mystery the veil is removed, 

The whole world will soon be perfutned liy its odour i 

When from the richly-embroiiJeTed brocade al Rum 

The blemish can thus easily be turned inside oul. 

It is well thnl we shouli,! not, like ihe black aloes-wood. 

Burst into Haiiie in this our silver'cl]]ised inceuse-diah. 

II. — The following section, according to its title, 
explains the reason of the epithet " Two horned." 
After five of the known views one is adduced from 
the Kitab-al-Uliif of Abu-Masar, which derives the ap- 
pellation from a misunderstanding of the Arabs, who 
saw in the two angels in the likeness of Alexander, 
brought 10 them from Greece, and which the artist 
had introduced on each side of the head, "horns." 
But these opinions form only the introduction to a 
seventh, according to tthich the appellation rests 
upon the fart that Alexander had uncommonly 
large ears. He conceals them, and only his barber 
is acquainted witii the secret. This in an dies, 
and the King takes another, enjoining upon him 
strict silence. But the constraint torments him, and 
he frees his breast by calling out ihe mysterious words 
in a well in the wilderness. Out of this grows a reed, 
in which sound the words of the barber. 




excursion Alexander notices this to be true at a shep- 
herd's, whose pipe was cut out of that well. The 
barber is brought before him and questioned, and 
confesses the truth. The king draws from the cir- 
cumstance this lesson <J. td) : 

He became aware Ihal in the open field of ihe worlit. 
Nothing, however hidden, remiinelb concealed. 

Set him at lilierif, and Treed him from the sword. 
Know that from Ihe bod of tuby o< of pcnrl ^' 
Will bXKI inID Sower whal»}ever lillEth it ; ^^^H 
Though il be a jewel encased in hard mirbk, ^^^H 
Whatever it rcall/ U will iti Insl be made plain. ^^^H 

This surprising and verj- exact application of the 
Midas story, to which n point is given by the moraJ- 
^^ iaing tendency of Nizami, is evidently brought forward 
^^uere only on account of the last lesson it conveys, 
^^fcrhich connects itself closely in its particulars with 
^■the foregoing. Whether Nizami was the originator 
of this application— he ascribes it himself to the oral 
communication of an intelligent man — or from what 
l^end it was borrowed, cannot be determined. 
^^L III. — The third narrative bears a purely Oriental 
^Batamp. Alexander falls into melancholy on account 
^^of the sickness of a beloved maiden whom the phy- 
sicians have already given up. Then he sees from the 
roof of his palace an old shepherd, whom he summons 
before him. This man, who in his younger years had 
^^^ed at a princely court, recounts to him the history 
^Blf a prince of Marv, which suited the case. Hardly 

i8S mZAMI. 

had he concluded it when news was brought to the 
King that the sick maiden was out of danger, and the 
shepherd left the court richly rewarded. As a useful 
application, follows in conclusion (/. 30); 

Whosoever poswaseth puiity of nnlurc, 

From liim ihnu nmysl write down eiich storicE ns Ihesc 

Virtue benmcth from a generous spirit, 

As light from ihe moon, or as brilliancy from Jupiter, 

The inlelligcnl man, if his bnia be not muddled, 

Knawelh how lo liistinguish between felt ind silk. 

Whosoever brinijclh thee good words. 

Listen to them with thine heart a; they come from his brain ; 

To the tongue which ullereth words without reason, 

The answer thai best beeometh thee is— silence. 

IV. — To the foregoing love-stories links itself 
another, which is especially noteworthy through the 
name of its hero. Archimedes is the handsomest 
youth of his time, and highly distinguished by Alex- 
ander. Aristotle also, " whose instruction is listened 
to by a hundred scholars, who have learned from him 
the knowledge of good and evil," loves him, lakes him 
into the relation of son, and addresses his teaching 
specially to him, " for an intelligent hearer is better 
than a hundred without disceminent." Once Archi- 
medes stayed away a longer time than usual from the 
lectures, and, questioned by the master as to the 
cause, he confesses that the love of a beautiful 
maiden withheld him from serious occupation. In 
order to prove to him the folly of his love, Aristotle 
begs him to communicate to him the object of it, 
and by means of a bitter potion he contrives to 




extract from the maiden those juices which were 
the sources of her beauty. The young man turns 
aifay from the now ugly one, but his sorrow moves 
the master to restore her beauty. She lives with 
Um yet one spring, but tlien is carried off by a 
;iudden death. The narrative, as the voucher for 
which is named "an old man of the old men of 
Rfim," forms a supplement to the preceding one ; 
which shows the true and therefore indeslractible 
passion, whilst the last represents the sensuous and 
transient one. Herein is consjiicuous in Aristotle's 
mouth the value of monogamy {p. 33) : 
One equal marriage quile sullicelli ilice 1 
In ihe midst of iiinny men a msn is com pan ion I ess : 
FHtc is ilJslracled in its councils on lliis account, 
That it hath seven fathers and four molhers. 

. — The fifth narrative has an interest on account 

r its heroine's bearing a name which a wife of 

Mohammed had borne, namely, the " Coptic Mary," 

Hie is a princess from Syria, who after her father's 

EBth is driven away by strangers from her dominion. 

To implore justice she comes to Alexander's court, 

and, inspired by the wisdom of Aristotle, joins herself 

closely to him as a scholar. She does not return 

home till she has filled her writing-tablets with all 

kinds of knowledge, and especially has learned the 

art of making gold, Alexander rcjilaces her in her 

father's kingdom, and she begins now to unlock by 

' feer art immeasurable treasures. The whole court 

Ecame resplendent with gold, which she applies to 

190 NlZAMl. 

her daily wants. A band of dispirited alchemists, 
portrayed in a very life-like manner, who know no 
art, and have only the means of living for the day, 
repairs to Mary to beseech her lo lell ihem her secret 
When the princess has first mystified them, giving 
the black locks of her head as the principle of gold- 
making, she holds with them a discourse on the 
difTerent kinds of herbs applicable to alchemy. Then 
the poet introduces, in order to oppose the right 
alchemy to the false, a plaj-ful anecdote : how a man 
from Khorasan cheated the city of Bagdad and the 
Khalif, and got himself much money, substituting the 
word KibiU (sulphur) into Tibrik, and giving that as 
one of the alchemistic ingredients. Then it is told 
at the conclusion how Mary's wealth awakens envy, 
and how their calumnies affect Alexander. By Aris- 
totle's advice, she conciliates ihem by uncommonly 
rich presents; with which he connects the saying (^. 

The bestowing or<lirems tmoney] cilineuishcth hatred. 
And displncelh fiom the bosom the ancient grudge. 

VI.^Now follows a supplement to the foregoing 
narrative. Here the calumny is directed against a 
man, who within a year's space has bounded up from 
the deepest poverty to the greatest riches. Sum- 
moned by the King to justify himself, he recounts his 
story, of which the circumstances are briefly as follows. 
He had come to his present abode a stranger, and in 
the utmost necessity ; and, at the supplication of his 

re, who was near her confinement, for food betook 
himself, full of despair, to the wilderness, where he 
found no benevolent hand to assist him. Then he 
enters a hut, where dwelt two Moors, brothers, of 
whom one is just gone out to fetch a large treasure. 
The other spares the man who is seeking assistance, 
but obliges him to conceal himself. When the first 
returns, and, being tired, falls asleep, his own 
brother murders him. The man who sees this is 
lonified, but makes use of the opportunity, whilst 
murderer is dragging out the corpse, to remove 
.self with the treasure, and goes back immediately 
his wife, whom he finds delivered of a boy. Alex- 
ander tries his horoscope, which confirms the truth 
of what the man has told him, and he is dismissed 
>irith honour. 

VII. — After these six narratives, which, taken from 
le circle of ordinary life, treat in three groups of 
■ee subjects — mystery, love, and riches — follow four 
■others, which are intended to form the transition to 
the purely philosophical sections, and the heroes of 
which are the wise men who live at the court of 
Alexander. In the first of these is described a con- 
spiracy, which is formed in the little learned society 
against him who surpasses them all in ncuteness and 
of argument, Hermes, whose colleagues refuse 
;ir applause to his most discriminating explana- 
loscs all patience at last, and by the 
lighty power of his word chaiiges the seventy men 
ito motionless statues. Alexander, when he comes 


192 NIZAMI. 

thither, and learns what has been done, praises 
Hermes, and condemns the contumacious men whom 
he has thus punished. He further expresses his 
approval of it to each of them, and, amongst other 
things, says (/.' 50) : 

Because they put a shroud on the lessons of the teacher, 
Lo ! the winding-sheet of Fate hath enshrouded them ! 
The exposition which is strong to demonstration. 
If thou wilt not listen to, thou must learn by unhappiness ! 
The pearl, whose proper place is the crown of the head. 
It is not auspicious to dash to the ground ! 

Apparently we have here to do with one of the 
many miraculous acts ascribed to Trismegistus. 
Hermes will come again before us as one of the 
Wise Men. 

Vin. — The following section is a glorification of 
the noble science of music. Once particularly the 
Grecian philosophers sat assembled and brought for- 
ward proofs of their various kinds of knowledge. 
Then a proud word uttered by Aristotle, distinguished 
by the King before all the rest, who believes that he 
unites in himself all knowledge, offends the hoary 
Plato (/. 51): 

Out burst Plato, provoked, from that assembly, 
Who held the mastery in all the sciences ; 
For of all ihe learning which men had acquired, 
The first page they had learnt from him. 

He withdraws from all society, and makes his 
dwelling under a lofty dome, in order to listen and 
find out thence the tones of the seven spheres. 


After various attempts he contrives an instrument 
which produces the most wonderful tunes (p, 52) : 

He attained such mastery over the harmony of sweet sounds, 
That whatever chord he struck he fettered the reason ; 
He concluded an alliance between man and beast. 
And bound them by his melodies one to the other, 
To such a degree that of all bom of man 
The desire was turned towards dancing and jubilation. 
Lions and wild beasts, at the sound of that crooked lyre, 
One wakened up, and another was lulled to sleep ; 
But when in a concord of soft wailing tones 
He mingled together its many harmonies. 
From the instrument he drew forth such sweet music 
As no one but himself had ever produced. 
Such was the burst of that blended melody. 
That it moved to sadness the breast of the mournful ; 
And such was the power of its soothing tones 
That it revealed to the heart of the wise its mysteries and 

Then he betook himself to the wilderness, placed 
himself in a magic circle drawn for the purpose, and 
began to prove the operations of his art {p, 53) : 

Wild beasts and deer from desert and mountain 
Came running towards him, herd upon herd ; 
They came running towards him, each at his tones, 
And placed their heads on the frame of his lyre ; 
Then one by one they clean lost their senses, 
And fell like the dead on the face of the earth. 
Nor did the young wolf offer violence to the sheep ; 
Nor had the rapacious lion a desire for the wild-ass. 
Then he knew how to change the melody, 
And give to the curved lyre another modulation, 
So that the wild beasts roared with excitement, 


And agiia (iota that modaess recoveied iheir sensci, 

Anfl spread themselves once more over ihe face of the earth r 

Who cm call to mind so wonderful a 

The fame of Plato's miracles came to the court, 
where it made an exciting impression, especially on 
Arisloile, He was troubled, "as a rival who is 
shamed by his rival." After long pondering, he 
succeeds in producing tones similar to those of 
Plato, but their effects are not nearly so magnificent. 
He hurries back to his old teacher, asks him to 
forgive him, and submits himself to his deeper pene- 
tration. But Alexander establishes Plato as master 
of science in Rum. 

There are three elements out of which Nizarai, or 
his authority, has put tc^ether this narrative : the 
jealousy between Aristotle and Plato ; the theory of 
the harmony of the spheres of Pythagoras ; and the 
wonder-working music of Orpheus. By the many 
notices which were current in the East of the Stag! 
rite would have become known the charge of many, 
that he was Plato's personal rival. Of Pythagoras, 
Kasvini is aware that " he was the founder of the 
science of music, and that he established ihe prii 
ciples of melody according lo the tones of the celestial 
movements by virtue of his penetration and tlie clearer 
nature of his soul" For the rest, the whole has 
received an Oriental stamp, and from the natural 
enchantment of music has become more talismanic, 
being already connected externally with the magic 



IX — ^The next section is closely connected with 
the foregoing one. The following day an assemblage 
of the Wise Men takes placeat the court of Alexander, 
The King Inquires of Piato, after praising him for his 
knowledge of the mysterious powers of nature, whether 
there are hidden matters which are inaccessible to 
him. The answer is, that in earlier limes they knew 
to work more enchantments than the present are 

Lpable of apprehending. As an example Plato re- 
counts the story of the Ring of Gyges, which rendered 
fte possessor invisible. A shepherd finds in a cavity 
in the ground a copper horse, in which lies the body 
of a man still uncorrupled. He draws off a ring from 
the finger, and discovers by intercourse with other 
shepherds that the ring possesses the power of ren- 
dering invisible. He makes use of it for the purpose 
of obtaining his wishes, and in conclusion surprises 
the ruler of the land, and presents himself before him 
prophet, giving the operation of the ring as a 

oof of miraculous power. The amazed king flies 
terror, and the shepherd acquires his dominions. 

How to discover the secret of the ring," says Plato 
at last, "I have sought in vaJn." We see that the 
conclusion of the well-known story has received a 
genuine Mohammedan colouring. That it is put into 
the mouth of Plato has certainly no other foundation 
than that it is derived from his writings. 

X. — The last piece is a version of the wcil-known 
dialogue between Alexander and Diogenes. The 
latest works on the Pcendocallisthenes transfers it 


from the Isthmus to Athens, where Alexander wishes 
to reward Diogenes because he had counselled the 
Athenians against the war; hut he desires nothing 
from him except to stand aside and allow htm to sun 
himself quietly. Once transferred to Athens, it was 
easy also to change the hero of the anecdote, and with 
such a change it arrived in the East, They recount, 
so says Kasvini, that Alexander repaired to Plaio, 
his teacher's teacher, and placed himself before him 
whilst he was resting his back in a sunny place 
against the wall. Questioned by Alexander whether 
lie had any request, Plato answered ; " My request is 
that thou wilt free me from the shade, for thou hin- 
derest the sun from coming to tne." Then the King 
proffered him gold, as well as a costly silk dress. 
Then said Diogenes : " Plato wants not the stone of the 
earth, nor the dryness from the plants, nor the slime 
from the worm, but he wants something which he 
will have with him whithersoever he turns." Nizami, as 
his voucher, goes yet further, and refers the scene to 
Socrates, who is portrayed as an Oriental hermit, who 
has withdrawn himself lo the wilderness, in order to 
live only a life of contcmpl.itioa Generally, as is 
sUted in the introduction, at that time a love of 
moderation and abstemiousness quite possessed the 
Greeks, and they had lo thank these qualities espe- 
cially for their glory. One day Alexander ordered 
Socrates to appear in his presence : he refuses lo 
come, which only increases still more the desire of 
the King to sec him {p. 60) : 


For this is ihe disposition Ihnt hslh bcm given to men, 
To recall lo remembruiCE thoK who are forgelful onheni ; 
And Ihe more n man seeketh to fly from others, 

lore olistinately they lix iheir affeclions upon him. 

I After many vain attempts the King sends to ques- 
a the philosopher as lo the grounds of his lefusat ; 
3 he replies in a long outburst, the termination of 
liich contains the kerne) : 

what need halh the slave, 
? service of the Holy God? 

b drcsd men of Ihi 

ID girdeth his loii 
■ this alnveiy I am thy master ; 
Siauld 1 come to thee, I become slave to Ihcc ! " (/. 62] 

At last Alexander resolves lo seek out the philo- 
ipher on foot and alone. He finds him sleeping, and 
iirous of speaking with him, he jogs the slumberer 
ith his foot ; and now he is obliged lo hear the 
bitterest truths of the dignity of the wise in com- 
parison with sovereigns ; amongst others : 
utme is Passion, 
ightful claim : 

;t of a slave whos 
To whose obedience I have 
t one who is Ihc sla 
submissively him who oughl 

It (^.63). 

Questioned whether he has no wish to gratify, he 

^Ues that he has none, and represents to the King 

rfaat unbecoming conduct it was to awaken him in 

flie way that he had done. Alexander acknowledges 

Pie impropriety, and asks in the end for wise coimsel. 

xrates becomes gentler, and gives him a series of 

irious instructions which the King prizes so highly, 

nthat he returns home and orders them to be inscribed 


in golden ink. The sources of this narrative have 
been already indicated ; the treatment of it as a 
whole may well be attributed to Nizami himself, who 
in all likelihood desired to mirror in it his own rela- 
tions to princes. 

In conclusion it may be remarked that much of 
what besides is reported of Diogenes is by Oriental 
authors ascribed to Socrates. So Honain relates that 
Socrates had a tub which afforded him protection 
against storms, and shade against the heat When 
he was about to die it is said his scholars asked him : 
"^Vhat dost thou enjoin to be done with thy body?" 
— " Let him who has to clear out the place concern 
himself with that," was the answer. 

V. — Alexander as Philosopher. 

TT ITHERTO the royal hero of the poem has been 
■*■ ■*■ chiefly a hearer, who draws instruction from 
what he has heard or experienced ; in the following 
sections he shows in himself his capacity to perceive 
and prove the truths of wisdom. 

First is recounted how Alexander was one day 
ideated in learned conversation with his Wise Men, 
when an Indian was announced, who, through hi& 
multifarious knowledge, soon wins the approbation 


of the King, and then directs to him the following 
request^/. 67): 

Thou seest in me the Primate of the Indians, 

Aged in thought fulness, but youthful in power ; 

Yet many are the mysteries which perplex my mind — 

Mysteries, which no one hath been able to reveal. 

I have heard that of all the teachers of the age, 

Thou art the most accomplished for all time ; 

That in understanding thou art a thread of priceless pearls, 

That thy reason is a volume unravelling all knots. 

That, although the master of crown and throne, 

Fortune hath gifted thee with the perfume of knowledge also. 

If I obtain from thee an answer to what I shall ask, 

I vrill then turn away my adoration from the Sun ; 

But if I receive not from the King an answer to the purpose. 

Again I must replace my pack on my own ass ; 

But I will have no other counsellor save the King, 

No one else shall enter into the number. 

From me the question shall come, from thee shall be the 

answer ; 
The words of happy augury must be from thyself. 

The Indian asks first : Where then is the one invisible 
Creator to be sought for ? The answer is, that human 
intelligence can reach only those things which can be 
grasped by the senses. On this account the Godhead 
must remain ever remote, but it reveals itself to the 
reasoning mind in the whole of creation. In a similar 
manner Alexander answers also the other questions 
of the Indian as to the finite or infinite duration of the 
universe : whether we must assume another, super- 
terrestrial, world ; upon the existence of the soul, 
which to the questioner appears to be a fire, with the 


extinction of which, by death, existence ceases ; upon 
dreams; upon the influence of the "evil eye;" 
upon the possibility of reading Fate by the astro- 
logical constellations ; finally, as to the cause of the 
different colours of the skin in the Chinese and the 
Moors, who yet, both of them, are warmed by one 
sun. Hereupon the Indian retires, enraptured by the 
wisdom of the King. We see here the questions 
brought together which most excited the times and 
surroundings of Nizami ; two metaphysical ones, the 
existence of the Creator and the duration of the 
creation ; the two weightiest questions of Faith, those 
of another life and the immortality of the soul ; one 
psychological, on Dreams, which already leads half 
way to the two following, belonging to the domain of 
the supernatural ; whilst the concluding one forms an 
anthropological question. If the material of the con- 
versation belongs entirely to the poet, still the notion 
of it is drawn from a feature of the true history of 
Alexander — his conversation, namely, with the Indian 
gymnosophists ; which is also found in the legendary 
statements. Moreover, these discourses find a place 
in Ferdusi during Alexander's presence in India ; but 
the economy of the poem demanded that Nizami 
should place them here first, as well as that he should 
so far modify them that Alexander should be the 
answerer, whilst, in the former case, he it is who puts 
the questions. 

The following section is a collection of the various 
views with respect to the origin of the world, so 


dressed thai ihey may be put into the mouths of the 
Seven Wise Men ai Alexander's court, who at the 
desire of the King gave them expression. The intro- 
duction places these [ihiloaophers before us, and informs 
us that Alexander 

Of Ihose philosoplierj selected seven, 
Upon not ODC of wlintc heads rc&led n fault ; 
Aristotle, who was ihe Viiter of hib kingiiom, 
Apollonius Ihe useful, and Kociatea the sged, 
Plato, and Tholes, nod Porphyrius, 
!b &U of whom the Holy Spirit had given the hnnd-lciu; 

h was Hermes, the endowed with good judgment, 
rorLhy lo lake his place in ihe seventh heaven {f. 74). 

^Then the King assembles and lays before them a 
estion, which he says has already given him many 
ksleepless night : In what way we are to think of 
Kition ; for that the world has been made is a pos- 
e of the sound understanding. 
^The initiation is taken by Aristotle. He, as the 
also, begins with the praise of the King, and 
■en explains, how from the first movement proceeded 
Bidually three movements ; the generators of three 
expansions, which, connecting themselves with matter, 
formed body. This body remained in constant agita- 
tion ; its glowing portion mounted upwards and 
formed the eternally circling, heaven. Out of this 
Fire then evolved itself, which produced Air ; out of 
the Air streamed forth Water : and out of this, as its 

I posit, was formed the Earth. When the four ele- 
ints had taken their natural positions, from their 


commixture proceeded the Plant, and from the Plant 
animated existence {p. 85). 

He is followed by Thales, who assumes Water as 
the original substance; from the agitation of which 
lie believes Fire to be " breathed out." From this, 
through the se|)aration of the darker portions, arose 
Air, and as the agitation of the Water abated, was 
formed as its deiwsit the Earth. Out of these indi- 
visible substances composed themselves the objects of 
nature : after the finest atoms of the whole had formed 
the revolving Sky (p. 77). 

Hereupon speaks Apollonius. He designates the 
stiff Earth as the origin of existence. Set in motion, 
it freed itself from its stiffness, and the ascending 
vapours, lowering themselves to the most suitable 
place, formed gradually the constituent parts of the 
universe ; the finest of them the Heavenly bodies, the 
less fine the Fire-spheres, then the Air, the Water, 
and finally the Earth (/. 77). 

Peculiar is the view which is put in the mouth of 
Socrates (/. 78) : 

On ihe first page, when as yet creallon was nol. 

Nothing was discernible snve God, the I-oko. 

From His Majcst; nrose a lofty claut). 

Of which every flash of lightning, every rain-dmp wai lieiielictiit. 

From ils rain the Heavens came into sight : 

From its lightning ihe Sim and Moon became visible i 

And uflhe essence which descended (rom its vapours 

Was fortneil the Enilh and sleadiei] in its place. 

According to Porphyrius, God first created matter ; 


^L Th 

this became, in virtue of .in etnanntion from the 
Creator, a waierj- substance, which separated itself 
into two parts, of which one formed the Heaven 
the other the Earth. 
The view of Hermes is the following {p. 79) : 

Ihe time ibat I trod the paths of thought, 
been a gazer on this azure vault. 
I know that this vault, like n. magnificent ocean, 
Is wependetl as a mist on the summit of a mountain ; 
Above the mist so awful and so granO. 

resplendent expanse of light, biight and unsullied. 
lace of this mist and before this light 
» veil which 13 pierce<) with window on window : 

every breach which hath opened a way through the mist 
TOTth Ihe light in full measure ; 
le stars likewise, from the moon to the sim, 
kindled by the splendour which istueth foi ih from the veil. 
ilscH I know noihing rightly ; 

<1 How the < 


[ The last speaker is Plato. He f:ombats especially 
ssumption of an original matter: God has 
created individual substances, one mdependenl of the 
other, out of nothing. If there were an original 
he Is of opinion that it must be eternal 
\ 80). 
( At length Alexander rises, and, bestowing high 
n the Wise Men (/. 81), 

ginneth : O ye who bave been nurtured in science, 
h thought hare I given to this question of the itnrs. 
H that these images have not grown of themselves ; 
must have been one to portray tliem at Ihe first. 
Bltnow that there must be a Modeller behind. 



But "theHow"Hemodei!rd(hem. oflhat I know BOtlli|u_^M 

ir I knew " the How " Ke mode Ihem, ^^M 

I should be able to make them, as He hnth msde them, .^^^f 
For every imige which presentelh ilself lo the mind, ^^^H 

II is certainly possible lo exhibit in deed. 

And since we know nol how lotead the mysteries of creation. 

Why curiously pry inio what He hath concealed ? 

Ye who have studied Ihc Heavens as ihe paijes of a book. 

See to what conirariety of opinion ye are arrived 1 

On this -iubject it is not well to say more than This, 

That (he Model of (he Universe must have had a Hodbllsk! 

Nhami shows in this section that he had no insig- 

he cfinnot forbear placing at the close his own 
view concerning the subject of the convcrsatloa The 
first thing which, according to him, God created, b 
Reasoa To it every thing is clear, except the original 
plan of creation. Hence the barrier to Reason, which 
it should not attempt to break through. It can give 
information only so far as its own might can pene- 
trate. He who can hold lo this is the truly reasonable 
man, and is satisfied to infer the originator from the 
work. The verses which follow are peculiar. The 
poet utters reproaches against himself, because he has 
allowed philosophers long since dead to express their 
views, notwithstanding that he would be able to 
express merely his own. These reproaches of his 
conscience he clothes in the form of an appeal, which 
he hears from his heavenly protecting spirit, Khizar. 
As a justification, as it were, he joins to it a vindica- 
tion of a bodily resurrection (Ji. 81). 


—Alexander's call to bl a Pkophet — The 
Books of Wisdom. 


^ S soon as Alexander had ascended the steps of 
knowledge till he had reached the limits of 
lan instruction, the enlightening beam of Prophecy 
t be his portion. A Serush, or Angel, veiled in 
dazzling light, brings him the intelligence (p. 81). 

He said ; Far greater than mounuins and river?, 
Cteaiot of the world sendeih Ihec a lienedlclbn, 

addition I0 gianling thee the ^iovereignly of the eatlh, 
besloweth apon Lhee the gift of Prophecy. 

like thee, is accustomei] to command. 

King, ihii is the command oflhc A II Provider, 
That Ihou shouldst chase away real from ihy pbce of rest. 
And in Ihts ihy supremacy refuse not the toil of travel. 
Thou must circle like the heavens the round of the universe. 
Thou must exalt to ihe sun the heads of savage men ; 
Thou must conjure the nations to quit Iheir evil troys, 
To turn 10 the All- Powerful, and 10 ihinc own Faith ; 
Thuu must build anew this lime- worn vault, 
"Thou must wash out carelessness from all its quarters ; 
Thou must free the earth from the demon of injustice. 
Thou must incline all hearts lo the Sovereign of the world ; 
Thou roust rouse from their sleep the heads of the slumbcreii, 
Thou must withdraw the veil from the face of inlelhgence ; 
Thou art a treasure of mercy from Cod, the Holy, 
An ambassador sent to the destitute of the earth ; 

lu must explore diligently t^ 

it of the globe, 

\\ each one of its inhabitants may receive his portion : 

Since ihy band is Uiil on the kincdoms of this world, 
It is well ihal Ihou shoulJsl exiend it lo that of ihe olber ; 
For in Itie miDistTalion for which ihou art about (o jourDcj, 
Look to the approval or God, not lo Ibine own ease ! 

The King listens to the message full of reverence, 
but it raises within him some hesitation. He sees 
especially difficulties in his unacquaintedncss with 
the languages of the people who are to be convened, 
in the toilsomeness of the roads for a great army, and 
in the obduracy of those who are to be led to a pure 
fear of God. The heavenly messenger comforts him, 
and discloses to him from the Deity the promised 
means of assistance. Before all. that there will be 
waiting patiently, in the four parts of the world, 
those who will ever be at hand to do him service ; 
and that against the dangers of the way it has been 
provided, that (>. 86) 

In whatsoever plnce ihy prudence shall bid ibee rest. 
The light and Ibe darkness will lie at Iby disposal ; 
Light will be before thee, and darkness be behind ; 
Thou wilt see all, but none shall see thee. 
Whoever shall nol stand aloof from Ihy comniission. 
To him give light from the Ugh) which thou hast j 
Whoever shall hide his head from thine approach. 
Him consign to his own darkness ; 
In order thai, like a shadow in the absence of light, 
He may die away in his meanness and perversity. 

As to what concerns the languages, that the know- 
ledge of all of them would be given him as well as 
the confirmatory signs of his mission (/. 86) : 


Mido evnry Iribe where thou shall show ihy face, 

They will bring lo thine car slrange langiiaECs, 

Bat by the inspiration of Ihy Friend, who pointeth oul iIie way, 

TTiou Witt be verseii in llie tongue of every country, 

Nor will Ihc meaning be hidden nf augh! that ihey may ullei ; 

Aad all tlut (hyicir shall say in the speech of Rflni, 

The liilener will undentand wilhout an inlcrprctet ; 

And by Ihc proof of this divine miiiiclc. 

Thou piaysi establish ihe incanaistency of goDd wilh cvii. 

^^ So strengthened, the King makes pre|)aration for 
^^ks great journey. Especially, he wishes to take with 
^Hm the arms of the spirit, and so he orders to be 
^Hleparcd, in addition to the "Great liook, which was 
^^Kcopy in wisdom of the Divine Book," three other 
^Hpsdom books, by the three greatest philosophers of 
^^Is court, in order lo take them wilh him as counsel- 
lors on his journey, .\ristotle, Ptalo, and Socrates 
discharge themselves of the commissions severally 
intrusted to Ihcm lo the highest satisfaction of the 1 
King. As to the contents of these books, they are a 
conglomeration of the most heterogeneous sentences 
and decisions. Here we can subjoin only a few dis- 
■tichs from Aristotle's book (/. 90) : 

^^^nrhcn Ihou chanccsl In fail between luci ignorant eviJ-ininded 

^f fellows 

Drive ihera asunder, bridle from bridle ; 

Engage bul the wolf with the panther in battle, 

Thflu maysl withdraw the meal from bciw«n the two grind- 

^KFrom the same (p. 90) : 


'The treasury is intended to lay up treasure ; 

Treasure may be used in scattering enemies : 

By a bait of fat thou mayst entangle the foot of the fox ; 

For sweetmeats the child will give up the ring from its finger. 

From the same (/. 90) : 

Array not thyself like the hyacinths in the garden ; 
The lamp might be better in the hand of another ! 
Thus said to the Fire ihe worshipper ot Fire : 
Who that existeth here below is better than we ? 
The Fire replied : Art thou willing to learn ? 
Me it were better to extinguish, and thee to kill. 

From the same (/. 92) : 

Truth was the quality which thy mother brought thee ; 
Turn not from the nature which was thine from the first. 

From the same (/. 92) : 

The shell of every substance is hard as bone, 
That it may hold within it a kernel like the pearl. 

From Plato's Book (/. 95) : 

Why do we sleep so much on this our threshold ? 
Is it because Sleep is the familiar friend of Death ? 

From the same (/. 96) : 

Wherfore turn thy bridle towards every quarter 

To gratify thine appetites and thy love of food ? 

Wherefore speed thy way through ocean and desert — 

Why hurry back and forwards for a loaf of bread ? 

Those who hasten on, if they are masters of their understanding, 

Are but hastening in search of a resting-place at the inn ; 

Those who tread the whole earth under their feet 

Are all at the last only aiming at repose ; 

All the wayfarers, who look before them, 

Bestow their approbation on those who are sitting still 


Happiness dwelleth in the realms of tranquillity, 
And, passest thou beyond them, all is vanity ! 

From the Book of Socrates (/. 99) : 

The meat which thou lockest up in thine own dwelling 
Will spread a bad odour through seventy houses ; 
When thou sendest it out to the whole village, 
It will perfume, like musk, every door and threshold. 

From the same (/. 100) : 

He who serveth us unwillingly, but in bland accents, 

Is better notwithstanding than the rough speaker, however 

benevolent : 
It beseemeth to know kindness in gentle speech ; 
Of what use is benevolence couched in harsh language ? 

VII. — The Commencement of the Journey -The 

March to the West. 

13 EADY for entering upon his second expedition 
through the world, Alexander took measures for 
the administration of his kingdoms during his absence. 
His son, Iskandarus, he appointed his successor under 
the guardianship of his own mother, to whom he 
gives also the wisest rules of conduct, with an eye 
moreover to the possibilities of his never returning. 

Then he set forth with an army of a hundred 
thousand men and four thousand laden camels, and 
proceeded in the first place from Macedonia to 



Alexandria. Here he ordered a high mound to be 
raised, and a mirror to be placed thereon to announce 
the arrival of an approaching enemy. Thence he 
repaired to Misr (Cairo), where he tarried two days. 
But before he could advance towards the West, 
properly so called, he was obliged to pay a visit also 
to the city of Jerusalem ; for {p. 105) 

Cerl.iin aEgrievetl persons ftoiti ihc Holy Cily, 

Who bad sltfiered oppression fi'oin a lymnnical ruler, 

And hail taken 10 the road \o complain of hU iniquity, 

Cnme and seired his briille imploring his justice : 

"Since by tbee, the earth n to be purilicd. 

Purify also llie dwelling nf purity ; 

Display thy -itandnrd in the Holy-Place. 

Cut out nf the world all evil-minded men \ 

In thnt city of the pure there resides a Demon 

Who bnldeth in enmity all the friends of God ; 

The obedient servants of that precious Houie 

Ueliokl naught from him !uve anguish and injuir. 

F'oiKaking himself the path of worship. 

He inflicts on ihe worshipper all kinds of cruelty ; 

He hath exalted hiE4 head in the shedding of blood. 

And in his iniquity hath he abased the heads of many. 

We arc all in terror of this son of a Demon, 

Thou art the Demon -hi 1 id er, of thee we crave justice !" 

Alexander shows him.self compliant, and draws 
toivards Jerusalem (/. ro6): 

When an uulcry arose from plain and mounwin. 

And the Tyrant was aware that his enemy was nppiiFacliiiii;. 

He girded his breast, and met him in battle, 

Bnt he knew not the might of his watchful Fortune. 

In the lirst ni^jhl attack which the King made 


He hncreil the nmd oF ihnT high way -robber. 

Then he itnmedinlcly i^ve orilers, chnl n herald 

Should make proclitmalion of all bin iniqiiilies 

And that every otic whu lhu.t commilteth injuslicc 

Should Irkewise come In a liU bad end. 

When he bail ihus possessed htmstir of the Sanctuary, 

Me I'Urilietl its soil by mixing it wilh nmbergris, 

Waihed it clean from the pollution nf the polluted. 

Kcjled n while in that abode of the peactfnl, 

Removed Troin it every mark of tyranny and injustice, 

And left il nnce more a place of worship for the worshipper. 

This narrative rests plainly upon that of the visit 
recounted by josephus, the last worker on the Pseudo- 
Callisthenes and the Pseudo-Josephus. Only, enig- 
matical is the tendency which is yivcn to it by Niainii, 
,\s exemplar of the oppressor, some Jewish account 
may have serv-ed of the tyranny of Antiochus 
Epiphanes. He, or his voucher, combined both 
elements, the more readily, as Alexander would thus 
enter upon his prophetical career in Palestine ; 
which, according to Mohammedan conceptions, a 
prophet must do. 

From Jerusalem the King went by Africa to 
Andalusia, in which land he left no scltlcmeni of man 
un visited, establishing everywhere a condition of 
morality and religion. Here ihey embarked in their 
ihips, and traversed the sea for three months (ntivirds 

e quarter where the sun sets {p. 107} : 

Many an island he saw uninllabiled liy man \ 
He went on voyi^ng fmm land lo land ; 
Many a living creature he met with, 


Both men aiii3 various lipeeies nf animals 
But not one of Ihem would come near 
BdI all (led away froin mounts 

After this voyage they arrive at a strip of coast, the 
sand of which wns yellow and glittering, and in its 
composition and easiness to kindle resembling sulphur. 
After eight monilis' marrh through this sandy desert 
Alexander comes to the great ocean. Here is the end 
of the world, the place where the sun goes down, " the 
bounds of imagination." But nothing creates in the 
King so much astonishment as the warm fountain 
which bubbles up out of the ocean. The philosopher 
whom he questions about it ran only answer so far 
as to say, that many have inquired into the cause in 
vain. Alexander bathes in the sen and finds the 
water heavy as quicksilver. On this account the 
knowing ones counsel him against traversing it, 
especially as it conceals other dangers, namely, a 
monster which kills men with a glance, and a coast 
full of glistening stones which cause irresistible 
laughter and destroy them. The truth of this last 
is proved by some men who are sent thither ; but 
great loads of the stone arc brought away by people 
with bandaged eyes. Then Alexander quits the place 
as soon as possible, taking with him some of the yellow 
sand. These loads, arriving at an oasis he applies to 
the erection of a great castle, which was constructed 
artistically out of that stone and surrounded with the 
yellow earth, "The building." says Nizanii, "has 
already killed many a traveller, who, finding no 


itrance, has climbed the walls, and through the 
Operation of the stone has been precipitated (o the 
bottom and died." 

This fabulous castle appears to have played a great 
at that time in the Oriental Sagas. From a 
ido- Aristotelian treatise upon stones, ICasvini 
details about the wonderful alone* and the 
city built of it by .Mcunnder is railed by him the 
Brazen City, and has found a place also in the 
geographical portion of his work, where he gives 
several detailed descriptions of it, excusing himself 
in the lollowing terms; "The Brazen City has a 
wonderful history running counter to what is usual; 
but I saw that many recorded it in their works, and 
so I have noted it also." Especially interesting is the 
narrative adduced about it : how Musa, the lieutenant 
of Africa, is sent by the Oniiad Abdalraalik to search 
out that wonderful city, reaches it also, exjwriences 
much that is noteworthy, and reports the whole in a 
literally quoted letter to the Khalif. Verses also in 
the Himyarishan character, which were to be read 
on the walls, are cited, according to which King 
Solomon apjienrs as a builder, as well as how such a 
view is brought forward. 

Then follows a six-months' journey through the 
desert, ai the termination of which Alexander ac- 
complishes his wish to search out the never j-et 
seen sources of the Nile. After a long march over 
mountain and valley, he came at last to a steeply 
ascending mountain, in colour resembling "green 

glass," from which flows down the river Nile. Of 

the people sent up thither not ont came back, Al last 
a man h desjiatched, accompanied by his son, with 
orders that, arrived at the summit, he should write 
what he had seen, and throw down the billet to his 
son, who is lo wait for him below. The son returns 
without his fatht^r, but with the following descrip- 
tion (/. 113): 
H« gave lo llie Kint; the paper, aiid ihc King ic>i\ »ti <t-n 

" From the toil somen ess of ihe way, 

Hy soul fainted wilhin me from lemir, 

For I Memcil In be tresdme the rood lo Hell. 

The pslh wns contraetHl In 1. hair's- bread I h, 

And whoever trod il washed bi> hands of life. 

Fnr in this path, which was slender as a hair, 

There appeared no innana ot ai; coniini; down. 

When I airived at ihc rocky mound of the summit, 

I was in an ntler Rlrail Trnm the sirnitness of ibe way. 

All IliBl I beheld on the side which I had seen tore my hi:.-.ii m 

And my judgment wns annihilated by iu perilous nspeci. 

But an ihc olhet side the way vm without a blemish. 

Delight upon delight, garden upon garden, 

Pnll of fruit, and verdure, and nater, and roses ; 

The whole region resounding wilh the melody of biriK 

The air soft, and ihc landscape so charming. 

Thai you might say, Gixl had |;ranted iu every wish. 

On Ibis side all was life and licauly, 

On the other side all was disturbance and ruin ; 

Here was Paradise, there the semblance of Hell— 

Who would come 10 Hell and desert Paradise? 

Think of that desert through which we wended, 

Look whence we came, and al what we have arrived ! 


Wlio would have ihe hcAit from this lovely spot 
Ac>u> lo Kl a foot in that intricate track ? 
Here I renmin. King, and bid ihee adieu ; 
And majrst ihou loo be liappy as I am liappy ! " 

Alexander conceals from the army this enticing 
description, and hurries forward. After passing with 
the utmost difficulty a fresh desert, the wild beasts of 
which, however, ventured nothing against him, iic 
reached the miraculous Garden o.' Irim, planted with 
golden trees from " which Shcdad had obtained throne 
and crown." The magnificence of this garden, witli 
the golden fruits and jewels which ornamented its 
trees, as well as that of the iiool with its fishes of 
pure onyx, is described, as well as the palace, into 
which Alexander enters, and which is furnished in 
the like noble manner. In the midst of this he saw 
a splendid grave-vault with a hyacinthine tablet, the 
inscription on which, Shedad's lament over the 
transitory nature of human greatness, moves the King 
to tears. He hurries away from the neighbourhood 
without taking away with him the smallest article of 
these rich treasures {pp. 114115), 

The next journey leads him through a wilderness, 
in which they meet with a " horde of wild beasts in 
human form," who live in caves, know nothing of 
fire, and live only by catching fish. The sun by day 
scr\-es them for fire, the nighi-dew affords them a 
refreshing drink. Alexander inquires of them .ilK>ut 
r dwellers in the deserts also, and learns from 
that there are those who are still more 

uncivilised and unsociable. Then they gave him 
information of oiher dwellers in the wilderness, 
beyond its circuit and boundaries (/. ii8): 

'ITien lo his questions replied that crew : 

" Much have we traversed plain >nd maiinuin ; 

Lilte deer have we run for monlh* and years, 

Yel never haie we reached (he bounds of this desert. 

Bui other inhabilanla of the desert have we seen, 

And of them we have asked, and they have Infonntd us. 

Thai beyond this tegion of pilch-blnck nien 

Those who know the way* have discovereil o;her signi. 

And Ull of a country, far from Ihemselres, 

Where the glow nf the sun is no longer felt ; 

In which there are cities fair a>: a musk-willow forest ; 

In which the inbobilants are n-hite-faced mm, 

Inlelligent and good-lempered, and of excellent disposition, 

^^hose lives endure to five hundrei! years. 

And, iflhey be prolonsed. lo five hundred more, 

On whose hair thou will never see the marks <>f old b|^. 

BeyoDci the dwelling-place of that hearl-atlracling tribe. 

No one hath ever given us further indication ) 

Only that on going out of the level country, 

Tlierq nre many mountnins and plains never yet seen. 

In -which is no water for the traveller lo drink. 

Where the heal is hent, and the culd is cold ; 

From whose soil will come forth no herb or plnnt^ 

How then shall living thing do aught there but die? " 

Alexander knows how to convert these wild men to 
civilisation and the Faith. Some of them he takes 
with him, who guide him on the way to the sea. 
Arrived at the coast, he builds a great number of 
ships ; and after a month's voyage the travellers. 


recalled to new life after so many hardships, land in 
a pleasant place, where for a week they rest from 
their labours. 

VIII. — The March through the South. 

TT is difficult to determine what lands Nizanii was 
thinking of under the term " South," since what 
he narrates offers no firm point to lay hold of. As 
Alexander, in order to arrive there from the West, is 
obliged to make a sea voyage of a month, the poet 
must suppose him at all events departed from Africa. 
The diamond-valley which Nizami removes hither, and 
which otherwise is misplaced in India, would prove 
that he includes in the South, at all events, a portion 
of India — the southern. Since also he speak^s of 
deserts, we might perhaps be permitted to think of 
the southern regions of Eran and India under the 
term " South ; " but under the term Hindustan, to 
which Alexander comes out of the South, and which 
he passes over to the countries of the East, understand 
Northern India. 

In the South, where he meets with a " sweeter air 
and a more agreeable soil," Alexander soon finds an 
opportunity of executing his mission of civilisation. 
He was told of one village in particular, the inhabi- 
tants of which obliged themselves to a shameful 

custom. They were all given up to the enjoyment of 
opium, and made use of the Intoxication produced by 
it, in an especially barharous way, for sooth-saying 
(/, = ,): 

Aflef thii'lj' or fori)' .inyi m more, 

They separale the heaii rroin one so slapefied. 

And wlicn thuy have cmplied il ufllie brain and Ihe tendon. 

And removed from ihc bone nil the fatly sulKtance, 

Then Ihey |ilnre Ihc dricil lieail before ihem, 

And make inquiry about nil that concerns them. 

Striking wil)i n rod Ihe bony skull, 

They ea!l oiil iheir questions in lis hollow shell : 

What of good or of evil wnll thi« night disclose? 

What will the litht of to-morrow bring wifh it ? 

And an echo woultl reveal ihe hidden mystery. 

An echo which answered to what had been asked : 

To-morrow will be so or so, hut or cold ; 

Or audi a picture Fate holdelh in its folds. 

The King visits the village, and he succeeds in 
abolishing the abominable custom and introducing 
better hirbits, with the knowledge and worship of 
(iod, to watch over which he leaves behind him a 
man of understanding and one of his own followers. 

The next journey leads through a rough and 
stony land, until the army finds itself shut in by 
mountains which it must climb, if it is to march 
farther. But the road over them was so full of 
stones, that Alexander gives orders to bind round the 
hoofs of the horses with lowels and leather, and that 
[leople should be appointed to clear aside the stones. 
These men find a stone which steel cannot break. 


^^^^^ THE ALEXANDBB-BOOK. 319 ■ 

^KAleuuider discerns its excellence and gives it the 

name kA almas (diamond). The army be^'ins to maki; . 
zealous search for it, and discovers a valley which 
^^ glitters with countless diamonds, but is full of 
^^Lserpents. The King orders a thousand sheep to be 
^^Klctlled, and the flosh to be cut into pieces, itnd thrown 
^^ftdown into the valley. B^les instantly nnnich away 
^Hthe pieces of meat with the diamonds slicking to 
^^Bthem. The birds of prey are chased away from the 
^^Bcostly booty, and a rich treasure is obtained. " No 
^^Bone besides," remarks the poet, "has yet seen the 

^V From the diamond-valley they proceeded for a month 

^^r through waste places, till they came to a poorly cul- 

^H tivated district, "by the greenness, and freshness, and 

^F brightness of which heart and soul were thrown into 

commotion." Here they met with a wondruusly- 

handsome youth, who, barefooted and bareheaded, 

was raking the ground. Alexander would induie 

^^B him to forsake his laborious occupation and follow 

^^■ibim, and promises to bestow upon him princely 

^HlmnouTs. The youth answers in a deprecating tone 

^H " iBintr he said in repl/, ^^H 
^H '■ Lei all tlie refrnctoiy nibroit lo learn nf tl>ee 1 ^^H 
^^H Let every one np|)ly himself 10 the .iti whidi befillelh him, V 
^^^k Thai his ilioughts mny not contradict his nmure ! fl 
^^^k I have pricliseil nolhing save the selling a\ seeds ; H 

^H A H>fi occupation would weaken his linctt. 1 


My body hath taken its colour from hardship, 

A tender condition is death to hardihood ; 

A hardy body which is delicately treated 

Would be as though gum-arabic were to become honey. * 

Pleased with this answer, the King questions him 
about his religion. The other replies, that he also 
worships the God of Alexander, the All-good Creator 
of the universe. He recognises also the prophetic 
mission of Alexander, whom he has already before 
seen in dreams. In answer to Alexander's inquiries, 
the inhabitants inform him that the soil of their land 
is very remarkable, and renders back a hundred-fold 
what is sown; but that the result is foiled by an 
over-mastering tyranny and injustice, so that they 
cannot feel themselves happy. The King on this 
account founds there a city, which he calls Alexander- 
abad (Alexander-town), and at the same time 
establishes a legal ordinance to put a stop to such 

IX. — The March to the East. 

T T was the season of Spring when Alexander, coming 
from the South, marched hurriedly through 
Hindustan, which he had already once visited, and 
trod the regions of the East The first city which 
he entered was that "named by the Turks, Gang-i- 


:hislit," (the Paradise of the Ganges), in which he 
found an Ido!-tempIe, tailed Kandahar, The richly 
adorned idol which it concealed was especially 
signalised by its eyes, which were comiMsed of two 
spiendidly-s hilling jewels. Alexander commanded 
the image to be destroyed, and the ornaments to be 
lemoved, "which would redound to the damage of 
the idol, to the advantage of mankind." Then 
stepped between them the priest of the temple and 
irrated the history of the idol and its eyes. The 
magnificenl temple had been ages before 
isolate and empty. Then had two birds, resembling 
Phcenix in lustre and beauty, suddenly descended 
upon the roof. After the citizens had vainly striven 
to lake ihem, they flew away of themselves, leaving 
behind two jewels to which no gems on earth were 
comparable. When, to gain possession of them, hot 
strife arose, it was agreed to fabricate a mysterious 
image and to insert both stones as eyes. The King 
ought not to rob the city of its jewels; "for the 
jewel which the bird of Heaven had brought ought 
to be an allowed possession till Heaven itself 
reclaimed it." Alexander is moved by their entreaties, 
and places an inscription on the image. As a reward 
for his clemency, the jiriesls discover to him a rich 
!, which he jjartly divides, partly keeps. 
Now the journey proceeds alternately between 
tste and cultivated regions, the inh.ibitants of which 
converted to God .\t last AleMndcr comes to 
,na, whose Emperor, in order to renew a once 


before concluded friendly alliance, hastens to meet 
him with rich presents, and now also accepts the true 
P'aith. Soon afterwards both princes undertake in 
common a journey to the sea, each accompanied by 
ten thousand chosen men, the rest of the army being 
left behind. After twenty days they reach the 
"heaven-blue waters," and descend at the coast 
(/. 132) : 

Of those deep deep waters the story goes, 

That there lies along them a magnificent sea-board, 

And that every night, radiant as sun and moon, 

The ocean brides emerge from the bay, 

Make on the shore their place of repose. 

Warble their songs, and frolic in their sports ; 

And every one whose ear their melody reachcth 

LoReth his reason in the sweetness of their voices. 

Enough, that in the ocean they sing their lays 

So as none such have been sung in any other I 

Thus every night in this mountain recess 

That admirable company taketh its pleasure, 

But as soon as they scent the perfume of the morning, 

Again ihey sink their heads beneath the dark waves. 

Alexander leaves the array to pitch the carap some 
miles from the coast. He goes himself, accompanied 
only by a sailor, to be a witness of the singing 

(A 133): 

He saw how, in their games amidst the ocean-waves. 
They unfolded their banner as doth the sun ; 
Their ringlets lay scattered on their fair bosoms. 
Like black musk on a plate of virgin-silver. 
Each one sang a song of a different fashion, 
A sung more varied than a hundred cries for mercy. 


\ When IhaC aweet modulation came (o his km, 

t'HU b«an woi let on Rre and his lilond wns nigh boiJIii^ ; 

\ Its mebtnuhdly cuilence made him one while weep, 

f At another, smile, uo'l say : " WhnI mcaneih ihis weeping?" 

With rospect to Alexander's meeting the sea- 
ifBymphs, it is found in the last redactor of the Pseudo- 
Callisthenes, where from a lake, by which the King 
is tarrying, come out female forms, which go about 
through the camii, so that they were thus seen by all, 
and that all hear them. Kasvini has given us informa- 
tion of this lake still more in detail, after a work 
very frequently made use of by him, the Tiihfiit-al- 
Gheraib : " in India there is a lake, of ten parasangs 
in length and breadth, the water of which wells out 
of the bottom without beinji; suppiied by any river. 
In this lake there are animals of human form, which 
jVX the night-time come out of it in great numbers, 
ft.And play, and dance, and clap their hands on the 
Aore. There are also lovely maidens amongst them. 
On moonlight nights the people sit at a distance and 
look at them, and the more lookers-on there are the 
more come to the shore. For the most part they 
bring much fruit viith them ; part of which they eat, 
and the rest leave behind them on the shore. If any 
one of them dies, they bring him out of the lake and 
cover his naked body with clay ; so long as men do 
not bury the corpse, none of the others come out of 
the water." Whether this legend has originated in the 
t Sirens of the Greeks, or whether it is a relic of the 
■old Oriental sailor-legends, cannot be resolved. 

224 MZAMI. 

Alexander, although he was acquainted with the 
dangerousness of the Chinese sea, commands a sea- 
captain to prepare a bark, on which, accompanied by 
a few men only, he wishes to explore the ocean, 
"whose veil assuredly covers a divine mystery." 
After concerting arrangements with the ruler of 
China, who remains behind, he betakes himself to the 
high seas, taking with him of the Wise Men no one 
but Apollonius. Soon, however, the ships fell into a 
current, and the pilot perceived from the " way- 
book," that here the sea begins to draw towards the 
great universal ocean, and that a station further, 
return would be impossible. On this account, Alex- 
ander gives orders to stop at an island which was 
coming into sight, and erects for the pious, intelligent 
seafarer a copper signal — a talisman — which with an 
uplifted hand indicated that from that point onwards 
the passage is impracticable. 

Hardly was that danger escaped when the ship 
encountered another. After a ten-days' voyage, the 
captain remarked, that an error had been made in its 
course, but not till he found himself in the midst of the 
whirlpool, which environs a mountain jutting out 
from the mainland, and which " an experienced man 
had named the Lion's Mouth, because it threatens life 
like the jaws of a lion." The skipper is already in 
despair, and counsels to take the difficult passage 
by Kaisur, whence it is still very far to China. But 
the wise Apollonius, at Alexander's request, gives him 
his assistance. He causes to be erected on the moun- 


tain a dome, and on the top of it a human figure, to 
which was attached a large drum {p 138) : 

The King then called the skilful steersman of the vessel, 

And commanded him to direct the vessel to that point : 

When the vessel fell into the entangling snare, 

It was whirled round in its mad eddy as by the devil's^wind. 

Then came the King to the stone-built dome, 

With the mallet in his hand for striking the drum ; 

He struck the drum, and the drum reverberated 

With a sound like the wing of the angel Gabriel ; 

The vessel escaped from the straits of the whirlpool, 

And made no delay in hastening from its rotations. 

Apollonius 'now also explains to the King the 
wonderful action of the drum ; that this scares away 
the monster, which at the approach of a ship to the 
mountain pursues it, and produces the whirling of the 
water, and continues it without intermission, until the 
vessel becomes its prey. Hereupon they both descend 
to the shore, where a little later the ship also arrives 
with its crew. 

As to the whirlpool, there exists, according to 
Kasvini, such a one in the Chinese seas, out of which 
the vessel, once inveigled into it, can never escape. 
The skippers also know its place and shun it. . A 
merchant narrates, how he was once driven out of his 
course, and had found it full of ships with the bodies 
of the unhappy victims. By the advice of a blind 
pilot, they dismembered the bodies, attached the limbs 
to long cords, and sank them in the sea, where the 
fishes devoured them. Finally they struck the drum, 


226 NIZAM/. 

screeched and clapped incessantly, till they got out 
of the whirlpool, when they cut the cords away. 

Soon after the Emperor of China comes to meet 
the King, congratulates him, and, after a week's rest, 
they march ten days long through a desert until they 
come to a finely situated and beautifully built city, 
which suffered firom a great calamity; for every 
morning at sun rise a horrible noise was heard from 
the neighbouring sea, which continued till mid-day, 
and compelled the inhabitants to conceal their children 
in twenty under-ground vaults, and to stop-up their 
own ears. Apollonius, who detects the cause in the 
heating of the waves from the falling of the sun's beams 
upon them, is able in this case also to counsel a 
remedy. He engages the King on the next morning 
to over-din the noise with kettle-drums ; which so 
pleases the inhabitants, that they beseech Alexander 
to leave some of those instruments behind him. 
Since that time it is the custom in that city to beat 
the kettle-drums every morning, and Alexander in- 
troduced the usage for himself also. The King 
now marched onwards, but not till he had first con- 
verted the city to the true Faith. Almost a month 
they had yet to journey before ihey again reached 
China, where Alexander tarried still another month, 
and then prepared himself for his further travels. 


X. — The March through the North — 


O PRING and a part of the summer had been con- 
*^ sumed in the expedition in the East, and in the 
hot late summer Alexander entered upon his further 
journey to the regions of the North, after having yet 
once more confirmed his friendly alliance with the 
Ruler of China. He first marched for a week 
through a desert destitute of all living beings, covered 
with a fine glittering sand, which proved to be pure 
silver. Alexander, who had a superfluity of gold, 
loaded some camels with a sample of it, only as a 
curiosity (/. 144) : 

He went by this road like the swift wind. 

He saw that the breeze raised no dust from the ground ; 

For a week not a parlicle of dust rested on his garment, 

For the surface of the ground was all silver ! 

Thou wouldst say that its earth and its water were two halves, 

The one half quicksilver, the other half silver ! 

There was no repose to be found in silver ! 

There was no food to be obtained from quicksilver ! 

At length the army was relieved from its fearful 
sufferings. They arrived at a country where they 
found at least earth and water (/ 145) : 

They laid to the earth their unsullied cheeks, 

For in what save in the earth is there rest for earth-made man ? 

Soon after this they came to a community, which 
complained of the attacks of the robber-race of 
Vajiij (Gog and Magog), which were continually 
repeated, and compelled them " like birds to fly to 
the trees." Alexander gave them the implored aid 
by the erection of a wall " which will never be 
destroyed till the day of resurrection." After he 
had stayed a considerable time in the city of the 
liberated people, he resumed his journey, and came 
to "a paradisiacal region exuberant in fruit-trees 
and full of cattle, none of which need watching, but 
every one of the army who purloins aught must atone 
for it by heavy sufferings." Soon came ihe city itself 
into view, which enjoyed the same happy aspect is 
the country. The King was entertained in the most 
sumptuous fashion, and received, in reply to his 
questions concerning the condition of the people, the 
following answer (p. 149) : 

Since thou hast inquired of our condition the evil nnd tbc gwtd. 
We will communicate 10 the King all ibal concemeth us. 
Know then in iriith, that we are it tribe 
Which dwelleth quietly in its plains and its mountains. 
A soft race we are, end nurtured in Ihe Faith, 
Nor will we step a hair's-breadth beyond the right. 
We hide no weapon behind n veil of treachery. 
We have nothing to defend us save our inLegrily ; 
We have baireii the dooi of ciooked dealing against the universe. 
We have escaped from the world in the practice of rectitnde : 
In no citcumslance whatever would we lell a lie, 
Therefore in the nJEbt we sec no distressing dream. 
We ask for nothing which we cannot make use of, 
For God with mch petitions is not well pleased : 


We accept whatever is sent us from God, 

Litigation with Him is a tempting of His grace. 

We wrangle not with the acts of the Almighty—^ 

What hath the servant to do with contention ! 

When a friend is weak we support him with our friendship, 

And when our own lot is hard we bear it with patience. 

If damage befall any one through us, 

And notice of the disaster come to our ears. 

We open the mouth of our own purse. 

From our own resources we make up his loss. 

No one of us hath possessions beyond another, 

We all of us share our wealth in due proportion ; 

We all count another as equal to ourselves, 

Never do we smile at the weeping of another ; 

Never.are we harassed with the fears of robbers, 

We have no garrisons in our cities, nor sentinels in our villages ; 

Never do we steal anything from others, 

Never do others steal anything from us ; 

Never in our houses have we bolts or bars. 

Never have we watchers over oxen or sheep ; 

Never do we take a frog from another by force. 

Neither does any one take from us the foot of an ant ; 

God hath made our little ones great. 

Our cattle exempt from wolf and lion ; 

And should a wolf but breathe upon a sheep. 

Death at the instant would pounce upon him. 

If from our sown fields any one should take an ear. 

An arrow from a corner would strike upon his heart. 

We cast our seed at the season for sowing. 

And leave it when so>4'n to Him, the All-Nourisher ; 

We look not after the blade of millet or barley, ^ 

Till over it hath passed a space of six months ; 

There is returned to us of all that is sown in our ground 

For every seed seven hundred fold. 

God is our keeper, and that is enough! 

In God is our refuge, and in no one else! 

230 NIZAMf, 

We have learned from no one the trade of the informer, 

We have sealed up our eyes to the faults of others. 

Should litigation arise between ourselves and others. 

We endeavour to settle it after the manner of friends. 

We never are leaders into evil ways to others, 

Nor seduce any from their loyalty, or into shedding of blood. 

We take our share in the sorrows of others. 

And participate equally in one another's pleasures. ' 

Of gold and silver, and its deceptive value, 

We make no account, nor make much use of it. 

We would not withhold what is ours from one another. 

Nor wrest by the sword from others the weight of a barley-corn. 

Neither tame nor wild animal flieth from our approach. 

Nor do we attack them for the sake of pursuing them. 

In a time of pressure, fawn, and mountain-sheep, and wild-ass 

Come from their haunts, compelled by necessity ; 

But from them all, if we are driven to chase them, 

We take of them only in the measure of our needs ; 

At all other times, when we are not in want, 

We keep them not back from their plains and valleys, 

We neither eat much, like ox or ass, 

Nor do we hold back our lips from moist and dry ; 

We eat such quantity of cold and hot. 

That we should not be unable to eat as much again. 

No one amongst us dieth in his youth, 1 

None save the aged, who of life hath had enough. 

When any one dieth, we straiten not much our hearts, \ 

For the medicine of that grief cometh not to our hand. 

We tell not in secret behind any one's back 

What we should not know how to say to his face. 

We have no curiosity about what any one hath done. 

Utter no complaint, if he faileth in doing it. 

In whatever cometh to us of fair or of ugly, 

We turn not our heads from the fate written on our brows. 

Whatever the Creator hath done we think right ; 

We say not : ** How is this ? * or •* Whence cometh it ? ** 




Any one may fix his abode amongst our people 
Who \&t like ourselves, pure and abstinent ; 
Wbeti he is of a temperament differing from ours. 
Let him remove himself beyond the pale of our circle ! 

Alexander is deeply struck by this description ; the 
true happiness, and the true faith, hath here for the 
first time disclosed itself to him (/ 151) : 

He said to his heart : ** From these wondrous mysteries, 
Thou mayst, if sagacious, take counsel for thyself, 
I shall never wish again to make assaults upon the world, 
Never again lay a snare in every hunting-ground. 
To me the best thing of all that 1 have amassed 
Is the lesson I have jusi now learned from this community ; 
Certainly more than by the practised in the world, 
Is the world established by these good people. 
These are they who give the world its dignity. 
These are the pillars on which the world resteth. 
If these are the true morals, what then are ours ? 
If these are the genuine men, what then are we ? 
Was the sending us forth through oceans and deserts 
Only for the purpose of leading us to this place ? 
Perhaps I have wandered about after the way of wild beasts. 
In order to learn manners from these wise men ! 
Had I but seen this people before this. 
Never would I have circled the earth in my travels ; 
I would have set myself down in the corner of some mountain- 
And girded up my reins in the service of God : 
This should have been the rule from which I departed not ; 
Except this my faith I would have had no other." 

It is the out-flow of the innermost tendencies of 
our poet, when he allows the great World-Conqueror 
to conclude his expedition with the recognition of 

232 NIZAMI. 

solitude and contemplation as the true good things. 
Thus the grandly-planned journey round the world 
culminates in the glorification of genuine Sufyism, 
which is hereby placed above Prophecy. As to the 
narrative itself, it is in its great entirety a poem 
which Nizami may claim as peculiarly his own, 
since in the other Alexander-legends no similar 
feature is prominent, except perhaps a legend found 
in Judaic sources, according to which Alexander 
comes to an African state inhabited by women, and is 
so enraptured by their wisdom, that on his departure 
he places this inscription on the gates of their city : 
** I, Alexander, the Macedonian, was a fool till I came 
to the * African woman-city,' and learned from 
women." In intimate connection with which is 
recounted the well-known process " about the dis- 
covered treasure," the wise determination of which 
is decided on similar Utopian circumstances to those 
which are detailed here. 



XI. — Sickness and Death of Alexander. 

A 1 WHILST Alexander, marching further from that 
happy country, touched upon several regions, 
leaving behind him everywhere health and blessings, 
a heavenly command came to him through ii Hatif 
(revelation) to return home after his long wanderings over 
the globe as speedily as possible. The King obeys the 
order, and hurries his march by Kirman to Babylon, 
whence he departs on his homeward journey to Rum. 
But whilst still on Babylonian ground he was attacked 
at Shahar-Zur by a feverish sickness, which he ascribed 
to poison, and to which he applied remedies in vain. 
Aristotle and the other Wise Men, summoned by the 
command of the King, could do nothing to remove 
the fatal malady. 

The sickness took an ever swifter and more hope- 
less course. It was late in the Autumn, but more 
desolate than Nature robbed of its splendour was 
the heart of the royal sufferer. He felt himself 
to be near his end, and summoned his friends to his 
bed-side, in order to make an address to them, in 
which, after a short reference to his acts, he proclaims 
the transitoriness and vanity of all human strivings 
(/. 1 60) : 

If I am asked, what bath been my existence, 
I should say that to all appearance I have measured but a 
breath ; 


Like an infant which hath tarried but a day and died, 

And yielded up its soul, the world still unseen. 

I have surveyed the whole earth above and below. 

And even now am not satisfied with what I have seen ; 

Nor, were my thirty and six years prolonged to thirty thousand » 

Should I remove one jot from what I have said. 

I have opened the door of the mysteries of the spheres, 

I have marked the signs of the sun and the moon ; 

I have sought out the truth with the experienced of the world, 

I have paid my adoration to the Creator of the universe ; 

I have not brought my life to an end in idleness, 

I have spent it in the exercise of wisdom and virtue ; 

I have read every page in the rolls of knowledge. 

But when death cometh, before Him I am helpless ; 

For every other difficulty may be found a remedy. 

Except for death — for death there is none. 

Almost scoffingly, he summons each of the Wise 
Men by name to prove to him his wisdom and his 
art. But he soon becomes more tranquil, and, 
comforting himself with the universality of death, 
he concludes (/. i6i) : 

From my mother I came naked to the earth, 

Naked to the earth let me be given again. 

Lightly-burthened was I born, how should I go laden away > 

Better that I depart such as I arrived ! 

There sat down and uprose a bird on the mountain, 

What did it add to the mountain, or what take away ? 

1 am that bird, and my empire was the mountain. 

When I am departed why should the world regret me ? 

Many a one like myself hath been born and soon was gone, 

Why launch reproaches at our hump-backed aged nurse ? 

Though many from me have received kindnesses, 

There may be those also who have suffered injustice. 

If I have done injustice, acquit me of my debt ; 



I loo have slain ihose who were unjust. 

When my dark couch [liier] shall descend inlo the earth. 

My piirc soul shall son lu the paJoce of the pure : 

Instead of scattering dust upon four heads, 

Rather freshen your tongues in imploring mercy upon me ! 

The following day the sufTerings of the King were 
increased, and he rejected all the grounds of comfort 
which Aristotle held out. During the next night he 
bethinks himself of his far-off mother, and gives 
directions to his secretary about writing to her. 
With his assistance he addresses to her a letter, in 
which he conjures her, by all that is holy and valu- 
able on earth, not, on the receipt of the moumfiil 
intelligence, to give herself up to grief, and not 
to fulfil the customary mourning ceremonies ; but, 
if she cannot restrain herself, to provide a mourn- 
ing-banquet, in which such persons only should take 
part as had no dear one resting beneath the earth. 
On the following night he died, after a short death- 
struggle, with smiles upon his lijjs. The corpse was 
j-Isid in a golden coffin, and moreover the last will of 
[the King observed, who had commanded that one of 
the hands should be left to hang out freely, and 
should be filled with earth. The coffin was brought 
Irom Shahar-Zur to Alexandria, and there deposited 
in a vault. Here Nizanii follows up the narrative 
with a somewhat long meditation on Heath and Fate, 
a theme which he handles, where it is possible, with 
inexhaustible manifoldness in both portions of his 


XII. — Fate of Alexander's Relatives and of 

THE Seven Wise Men. 

IVr IZAMI believed that, in order to give the proper 
conclusion to his poem, it was necessary to in- 
form us as to the fate of his other personages. We 
are told, then, in a section which is introduced by 
a description of winter, how the mother of the 
mighty dead received the news, and immediately 
afterwards died herself. Next we are informed how 
the princes wish to do homage to his appointed 
successor, Iskandarus, who declines it; excusing 
himself on account of the impossibility of being 
a worthy successor to his father, and of his small 
capacity for governing. He withdraws himself to 
a mountain-hermitage, and lives there a still and 
contemplative life till his death. 

Now follows, in seven short sections, an account of 
the latter end of each of the Seven Wise Men. First 
died Aristotle, about whose bed the rest assemble, and 
inquire of him concerning the laws of Heaven. He 
declares all wisdom to be a vain thing, and the fear 
of God to be the only enduring one. In order to 
strengthen himself, he requests, that an apple may be 
given him, the perfume of which keeps him erect, 
until he has made an end of speaking, lays aside the 
apple, and yields up his souL Hermes is the next. 



In his last words he compares the world to a house 
in the wilderness. Thales speaks in dying of the 
unrighteousness of Destiny. ApoUonius, of his own 
mastery over Nature and her powers : he is con- 
vinced that his own being is the soul, which, and 
not the body, passes away. Porphyrius recognises 
the uselessness of all knowledge against death. The 
last is Socrates, who dies poisoned. To the questions 
of his scholars he replies, that it is a matter of in- 
difference to him where they bury his body. 


By the Translator- 
Page 1 19, line 4. '* Then came over bim in one of those 
still Oriental nighls an illumination.*' 

The following is a translation of the passage to which Dr. 
Bacher probably refers ; it occurs in the First Part of the Alex- 
ander-Book^ at page 1 1 of the Calcutta printed edition : 

It was a night like a gem-adorned morning, 
Implored in many a morning prayer, 
The world resplendent with a brilliant moonlight. 
The earth emptied of all its blackness, 
The terrestrial bazaar relieved from its clamour, 
The ear reposing from the jingling of bells, 
The night-watchers with heads confused with drowsi- 
The nigh-at-hand dawn still steeped in moisture. 
I had withdrawn my hand from worldly business. 
And shackled my feet in the fetters of meditation : 
My mind expanded, but my eyes sealed. 
And my heart burning in the paths of expectation, 
Like one who hath selected a likely station. 
And waiteth for the prey to fall into the snare. 
My head had found a place on the tip of my knee, 
The ground beneath my head, the sky beneath my 

No steadiness was there in the pulses of my limbs, 


My head seemed to be changed into a footstool ; 
My thoughts rambled inconstantly on their way, 
And wandered from side to side, and in circle within 

circle : 
My body was squeezed as it were into a corner. 
And sought for nourishment in the fields of the spirit. 
Now gathering examples from yet unread tablets, 
Now searching for lessons in the pages of the ancients. 
Then fell a fire as of a lamp into my garden [my 

And my garden was scathed as with a fiery scar ; 
I melted like wax in the presence of the sun. 
And my eyes were closed as with wax in sleep. 
In such wise that enchanters might learn by me 
How they might shut up all eyes in slumber. 
Through such perplexing traverses of thought. 
The clear brain was dissipated in my head, 
And from its agitation proceeded a dream ; 
And in that dream I beheld a fair garden. 
And in that varied garden I plucked fresh dates. 
And gave of them to every one whom I saw. 
From that sweet dream came the gathering of dates, 
Which filled my brain with fire and my mouth with 

Then called the Muezzin to the first prayer. 
Praise be to God ! the ever-living and the 

never-dying ! 
And then there burst from me a sudden groan. 
And instead of vacuity I fell into thoughtfulness ; 
I lighted up again the night-illuming taper. 


And thoughts like my taper were burning within me. 
At last the morn of felicity dawned upon me, 
And I awoke to new life with the morning breeze ; 
My heart entered into eloquent converse with my 

Like Marut with Zahra in the mystical story.* 
" Why is it needful to sit so long without occupation ? 
I will take in hand afresh the unfinished embroidery ; 
I will introduce into my song a yet unknown melody ; 
I will salute anew the spirit of the olden times ; 
I will again remove the taper from the moth ; 

* Harut and Marut were, some say, two magicians, or angels, 
sent by God to teach men magic, and to tempt them. But others 
tell a longer fable : that the angels, expressing their surprise at 
the wickedness of the sons of Adam, after prophets had been 
sent to them with divine commissions, God bade them choose 
two out of their own number to be sent down as judges on earth. 
Whereupon they pitched upon Harut and Marut, who executed 
their office with integrity for some time, till Zohara [Zahra], or 
the planet Venus, descended and appeared before them in the 
shape of a beautiful woman, bringing a complaint against her 
husband (though others say she was a real woman). As soon as 
they saw her they fell in love with her, and endeavoured to pre- 
vail on her to satisfy their desires ; but she flew up again to 
heaven, whither the two angels also returned, but were not ad- 
mitted. However, on the intercession of a certain pious man, 
they were allowed to choose whether they would be punished in 
this life or in the other ; whereupon they chose the former, and 
now suffer punishment accordingly in Babel, where they are to 
remain until the day of judgment. They add that if a man has 
a fancy to learn magic, he may go to them and hear their voice, 
but cannot see them. — Sale. 


I will raise from the seed so goodly a tree, 

That every one who shaketh down fruit from its 

May pronounce a blessing on him who planted it : 
But on condition that a handful of worthless fellows 
Should not plunder the goods of their neighbours." 
I am he who is the head of the sharp-witted, 
The prince of those who are setters of jewels [poets]. 
They all pluck the ears, though I have sowed the grain ; 
They all are but house-furbishers, I am the house- 
holder : 
In all four quarters I lay out my wealth. 
But never am I secure against these street-robbers. 
Where is the shopkeeper in all these quarters, 
Whose shop is not breached on many a side? 
Yet, like the ocean, why should I fear the stealing of 

a drop. 
When my cloud renders back more than I bestow ? 
Though thou shouldst kindle three hundred lamps 

like the moon, 
The brand would still show that the light was stolen 
from the sun. 

It will be observed that in the concluding verses as above 
there is again an allusion to the plagiarisms from his writings, 
of which he complains in passages cited on page 147. 



A Welcome to Spring. 

/^^OME, gardener ! make gladsome preparation ; 

^^ The rose is come back, throw wide open the gate 
of the garden. 

Nizami hath left the walls of the city for his pleasure- 
ground ; 

Array the garden like the figured damask of China. 

Dress up its beauty with the ringlets of the violet ; 

Awaken from its sleep the tipsy narcissus. 

Let the lip of the rose-bud inhale a milky odour ; 

Let the palate of the red rose breathe out an amber 

Let the tall cypress spread wide its branches ; 

Tell the news to the turtle-dove, that its bough is again 

Whisper to the nightingale the joyful tidings, 

That the cradle of the rose is brought back to the 

From the face of the green lawn wash away the dust ; 

That, bathed, it may resume its pristine splendour ; 

On the head of the white-rose with its snowy hair 

Cast a shade from the darkness of the musk-willow. 

The lip of the pomegranate stain with wine ; 

Gild the ground with the yellow violet. 


Give to the jessamine a salutation from the arghavan ; 
Direct the running streamlet towards the rose-bush. 
Behold again the newly^bom children of the mead ! 
Draw not a line over that delicate drawing ! 
Others, like me, inspire with the love of the verdant ; 
Bear my salutation to every green thing ! 
How the mild air of the pleasure-ground is attractive 

to the soul ! 
How it sweetens to the heart our affections for our 

friends ! 
The trees are blossoming on the borders of the garden; 
Every flower is lighted up with a lamp-like splendour. 
To the tongue-tied bird its voice is come again, 
To its wing the soaring flight of the old days. 
Wake once more the melodies of the plaintive lute ; 
Break forth into dancing, my dejected heart 1 (/. 39) 

Prologue to a Battle. 

nPHE graceful procession of the azure sphere ; 

The regular circling of sun, moon, and stars ; 
Think not that they were determined in idle sport, 
Or that this fair pavilion was spread out for nothing ! 
Not a thread in its curtain was woven-in without a 

Though the end of the thread be not visible to us. 
Who knows, what will befall us on the morrow ? 



Of that which is seen what will become unseen ? 

With whom Destiny will make a compact ? 

Of whom his star will make for itself sport ? 

Whom they will carry from his house dead ? 

On whose head will be placed the crown of Fortune ? 

Who knows, on the dust which is now stirred up, 

What blood of heroes will to-morrow be poured forth ? 

(/. "7) 


If thou solves t thorns^ thou wilt not reap jessamine. 

Crowds are there of those who, greedy of the woriiTs 
pleasures, think that, not having scattered tfu grain, they 
can yet reap the harvest. 

But Sadi tells you, only he who scatter eth the seed will 
reap the harvest. — The Bostan. 


OF the distinguished authors of Persia, none perhaps have 
enjoyed in the Eastern world a more decided and wider 
popularity than Sadi, and few, if indeed any, have so nearly 
attained that rank even in our Western world. He early won 
the attention of European scholars through a Latin translation 
of his best known work, the Gulistdn, or Rose-Garden, made by 
George Gentius, and published by him, at Amsterdam, in 
165 1, under the title oi Rosarium Politicum, The fame of this 
celebrated production has since, but with a considerable interval 
of time, been extensively diffused by other translations into the 
principal languages of Europe : in our own by those of Gladwin, 
Dumoulin, Lee, Ross, and more recently an excellent one by 
Professor E^twick ; in German, by Nesselmann and Graf : in 
France, by Semelet. This celebrity has been deservedly gained 
by the good sense and wit and wisdom of the author, by his 
knowledge of the world and human nature, by his religious feel- 
ing and high moral tone, and by the general clearness and 
simplicity of his style ; in which last particular he stands, 
comparatively speaking, in remarkable contrast to the ordinary 
redundancy of expression, and exaggeration of sentiment and 
figure, in Persian composition. 

Shaikh-Muslah-ud-Din Sadi was bom at Shiraz, the capital of 
Persia, or rather of the province of Fars, which might not be 
improperly entitled the Persian Athens, in the closing years of 
the twelfth century : a period in which Europe was slowly 
emerging from mediaeval darkness. He was patronised by the 

248 SADI, 

Atabeg Saad-ben-Zingi, the then ruler of Fars, at whose court 
his father is said to have held some office. He appears to have 
been educated, in part at least, in the Nizamian College at 
Baghdad, and to have been a pupil of the Shaikh Abd-ul-Kadar 
Gilani, who instructed him in theology and the principles of the 
Sufi sect, and with whom he made his first pilgrimage to 
Mecca ; which he is said to have repeated in his after-life four- 
teen times. He was, as we gather from notices in his works, in 
the course of it a great traveller in distant countries, and is said to 
have assisted in the holy wars against the infidels in Asia Minor 
and in India : 

. " I have wandered through various quarters of the world. 
And spent my days conversing with every one I met ; 
In every corner I found something to profit me ; 
From every sheaf I gathered an ear." 

On one occasion, he tells us himself that, whilst he had 
withdrawn into the desert near Jerusalem to perform his religious 
exercises, he was made captive by the Franks, who sent him to 
work with some Jews in digging the trenches at Tripoli. Here 
he was recognised by an acquaintance whom he had known at 
Aleppo, and who, pitying his sad condition, redeemed him with 
ten dinars, took him home with him, and subsequently married 
him to his daughter, giving him a portion of one hundred dinars. 
This marriage did not prove a happy one. Her disposition, he 
says, was ill-tempered and abusive, so that it quite destroyed his 
comfort. One day tauntingly she exclaimed: " Art not thou the 
man whom my father bought for ten dinars?" ** Yes," he re- 
plied, " and sold to thee for a hundred ! " 

Sadi married a second time at Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. 
We may hope that his second nuptials were crowned with more 


felicity than his first appear to have been. In the Boston is 
found an affecting passage, in which he deplores the death of his 
son in terms of the most poignant anguish. The events of Sadies 
life recorded by his biographers are but few, and those few rest 
probably on little authority. Perhaps the poet himself is the 
best and most authentic recorder of his own acts and opinions. 
For the attentive reader of his works will be able to form a very 
fair estimate of what he did, and what he thought, and what he 
was, and will find presented to his view in them a lively and 
interesting portraiture of an intelligent, wise, and estimable man. 
If the story be true, that when the minister of Hulaku Khan 
sent him a present of 50,000 dinars he expended them on a 
house of entertainment for travellers, he practised the generosity 
which he so often and so well inculcates in his precepts. 

If to the period of his childhood and youth, and the time 
passed in the Nizamian College in his education and theological 
studies, we add the thirty years which he is reported to have 
consumed in his travels and the various adventures of his 
wandering life, Sadi must have been already of more than 
mature age when, as he is said to have done, he returned to his 
native city Shiraz, where he spent the remainder of his days in 
retirement, in religious contemplation, in receiving the friends 
and strangers whom his great fame drew around him or 
attracted to visit him, and probably in the composition of his 
various works, of which Rose in his Life enumerates twenty-two, 
and Sir Gore Ouseley in his " Biographical Notices of Persian 
Poets ** gives a list with their titles of twenty-four, and which he 
probably would hardly have had the leisure to execute on his 
journeys. His life appears to have been prolonged to extreme old 

2SO SAD/, 

age, though we may be excused from accepting Daulet Shah liis 
biographer's assertion that it was extended to one hundred and 
two years. He was buried near Shiraz, where his tomb was 
seen by Kaempfer in 1683, who describes it at that time as 
almost a ruin ; by Franklin in 1786-7, who says that unless re- 
paired it must soon fall entirely to decay ; and again by Sir 
Gore Ouseley in 181 1, who, from the reverence in which he held 
Sadi, wished himself to do something to save it from destruction. 
But the Governor of Fars, " too proud," he says, ** to acede to 
my wishes, and too avaricious to be at the expense himself, 
would not allow me to carry my intentions into execution, but 
promised himself to put it into as fine a state of repair as the 
Vakil Kerim Khan had done the tomb of HaHz. But he has 
not fulfilled his promise, and it is to be feared and lamented that 
€re long not a stone will tell where the once brightest ornament 
of Persia — the matchless possessor of piety, genius, and learning 
— was entombed." 

In the picture which Franklin saw of him near the tomb he 
is represented as wearing ** the khirkah," the long blue gown of 
a dervish, with a staff in his hand. 

Sadi, as intimated above, was not only a voluminous writer, 
but on a variety of subjects. But his fame, which has endured 
in the East with apparently undiminished lustre for upwards of 
six centuries, rests especially on two works — his Gulistdn, or 
Rose-Garden, and his Bostdn^ which may be rendered most 
appropriately perhaps in English by Pleasure-Garden. The 
last, which is commonly regarded as the later work, was really 
the earlier. The Gulistdn^ the best known by English readers, 
through several translations, as noted before, is a collection of 


-short stories, anecdotes founded on his own experience or that 

of others, and general observations on life, character, and 

manners, written partly in prose and partly in verse; the 

narrative portions being commonly in prose, and the more 

weighty maxims and dignified sentiments and more poetical 

descriptions in verse, in rhymed couplets or other measures. Of 

the English translations, the only one which preserves the farm 

of the original is that of Professor E. K Eastwick, published by 

Mr. Stephen Austin, of Hertford, in 1852, beautifully printed, 

and elegantly embellished in the Persian style. Of the Bostdn 

the Translator knows no complete version except the German one 

of Graf, of which there is an edition, published at Jena, in two 

small volumes, in 1850 ; nor, indeed, of any translations from it 

into English, excepting of very few and scattered passages. So 

far as he is aware, the following specimens present a much more 

considerable portion of it than can be found elsewhere, and 

therefore may not be unacceptable to the mere English reader, 

who may desire to form a somewhat larger acquaintance with 

Sadi's writings. It may be proper to mention that the greater 

part has appeared before in a little volume of miscellaneous 

translations from various Persian authors, entitled ** Flowers 

culled from Persian Gardens,** from which, being now quite out 

of print, those which were from Sadi are here reprinted, 

arranged in a more orderly manner, and with, it is hoped, 

not unimportant or uninteresting additional specimens. 

S. R. 
Wilmslow, 1876. 

To what use wilt thou apply a tray of roses ? 
Pluck thou rather a leaf from my Garden : 
The Rose may continue to bloom five or six days ; 
But my Rose-Garden is fragrant for ever. 

The Gulistan. 

From the Introduction. 

, BOUNTEOUS LORD, who from Thy hidden 

treasury providest sustenance for the pagan 

land the infidel, how canst Thou exclude Thy 

I friends from thy presence — Thou who thus re- 

ardest even Thine enemies? 

Behold the generosity and kindness of the All- 
)0«erful One ! His servant has committed a fault, 
Bond He it is who is ashamed for him. 

Cloud and win 
no bring bread t 

, sun, moon, and sky are all busy 
thy hand : eat it not in neglect- 

254 SADI, 

All for Thy sake are in motion and obedient : it is 
not the rule of justice that Thou only shouldst be 

O Thou, great beyond imagination, or measure, or 
thought, or conjecture; beyond all that has been 
spoken, or heard, or read, the assembly is concluded ; 
we have arrived at the term of life, and we are still 
at the commencement only of our acknowledgment 
of Thine attributes ! 

One day in the bath a friend put into my hand a 
piece of perfumed clay.* I said to it: "Art thou 
musk or ambergris, for I am charmed with thy 
delicious smell?" 

It replied : " I was a piece of worthless clay, but I 
sat for some time in the company of the Rose. 

"The excellence of my companion was imparted 
to me; otherwise I should still have been the clay 
that I was." 

Shame on the man who departeth and hath not 
finished his work ! 

Who, when the drum soundeth for departure, hath 
not made up his burthen ; 

Who, on the morning of his journey, is still in- 
dulging in sweet sleep, 

And is detaining him who hath to journey on foot. 

* Used by the Persians as soap. 


Since die thou must, whether good or bad, happy 
art thou if thou bearest off the ball of goodness! 
Send thyself provisions for thy solace before thee to 
the tomb ; send them before thee, for no one will 
bring them after thee. 

Whoever comes hither has begun a new building, 
and then has given over the tenement to another;^ 
and that other has altered it in like manner according 
to his own wishes ; so that no one has ever brought 
the building to its completion. 

Life is snow under the sun of July: but a little 
remains, and will the merchant still be slothful ? Q 
thou who hast gone empty-handed to the market, I 
fear thou wilt not bring back a full napkin ! 

O man of intelligence, what is the tongue in thy 
mouth, but the key which opens the door of the wise 
man's treasure? If the door is kept locked, what 
knows any one whether he sells jewels or is a mere 
pedlar ? — Two things are a sign of a weak under- 
standing: to keep your lips closed at the time for 
speaking, and to speak at the time for silence. 

A company of Indian sages were conversing about 
the qualities of Bezerchemher, and declared that they 
khew in him but one fault : that he was slow of 
speech. Bezerchemher overheard them, and said, 
" To think well what I shall say is better than to be 
ashamed of what I have said." Reflect, and then utter 

256 SADL 

your words; and when you have said enough, stop 
before they say, " Enough !" Man is in speech bett^ 
than the brutes; but if you speak not justly, the 
brutes are better than you. 

They asked Lokman the Wise, from whom he 
learnt wisdom. He answered : " From the blind ; 
for. till they have tried the ground, they plant not 
the foot." 

From the First Chapter : 


Upon the portico of the Court of Feridun was 
written : 

" The world, O my brother, abideth with no one ; 

" Fix thy heart on Him who created it ; that is 

"Place not reliance or trust in the sovereignty of 
Fortune; for many a one, like thyself, she hath 
nurtured and destroyed. 

" When the pure soul is on the point of departing, 
what mattereth it whether it be on a throne or on 
the bare ground?" — L i. 


The name of Nushirvan still liveth, renowned for 
his goodness, ' 

Though a long time hath passed since Nushirvan 
hath ceased to live. 

Practise goodness thou — whoever thou art — and 
turn thy life to profit, 

Before a cry is raised : Such a one is no more. — 
i. 2. 

The tree which has only just now been planted, 
the strength of a man may tear from its place ; but if 
for a time you leave it untouched, you will need a 
windlass to upheave it from its roots. You may stop 
the spring at its source with a bodkin ; but the full 
stream you cannot ford on the back of an elephant. — 
i. 4. 

O thou who art sated, to thee a barley-loaf will 
not seem sweet : 

That which to me appeareth lovely is in thy sight 
a deformity. 

To the inhabitants of Paradise, Purgatory would be 

Ask the inhabitants of Hell, they would tell you it 
is Paradise. — i. 7. 

With the strong arm and the power of the wrist, 
It is a crime to crush the palm of the helpless 


Let him live in fear who shows no mercy to the 




For if his foot should slip, no one will stretch out 
a hand to him. — i. lo. 

Whoever hath sown the seed of evil, and expecteth 
from it good fruit, hath but an empty brain, and 
nourisheth but a vain conceit. — i. lo. 

Take the cotton out of thine ear, and distribute 
justice to the people ; for if thou dealest not justly, 
surely there will be a day of judgment — L lo. 

The sons of Adam are limbs of one another, for in 
their creation they are formed of one substance. 

When Fortune bringeth affliction to a single member, 
not one of the rest remaineth without disturbance. 

Thou who art without sorrow for the misery of 

Thou deservest not to be named a son of Adam. — 
i. 10. 

They have related that Nushirvan the Just was 
once at his hunting-seat, and was about to have some 
game cooked. There was no salt, and a servant was 
sent to the village to bring some. Nushirvan said : 
" Let it be paid for, that it become not a custom, and 
the village be ruined." They said : " From this small 
quantity, what injury could spring?" He replied : 
"The origin of injustice in the world was in small 
things ; but every one who came into it added thereto, 
till it arrived at its present extremity." If from the 
garden of the peasant the monarch take but a single 


apple, his servants would tear up the whole tree from 
its roots; and if the Sultan take but five eggs 
unjustly, his soldiers will spit a thousand fowls. The 
iniquitous tyrant remaineth only for a season ; the 
curse upon him remaineth for ever. — L 19, 

Call to mind what said the elephant-driver on the 
banks of the Nile ; " Wouldst thou know the condi- 
tion of the ant under thy foot, think what would be 
thine own under the foot of the elephant." — i. 22. 

If injury cometh to thee from a fellow-creature, da 
not grieve, 

For from thy fellow-creatures proceedeth neither 
quiet nor trouble. 

Know that from God is the difference of enemy 
and friend, for the hearts of both are alike in His 

Though the arrow flieth from the bow, the wise man 
looketh to him who directeth it. — L 24. 

Beware of the sighs from a deeply wounded soul, 
for the deep wound will at last break forth. So long 
as thou art able, crush not a single heart, for a sigh 
has power to overturn a world. — L 26. 

The King ought to be the guardian of the poor, 
though affluence be his, and the splendour of Fortune. 
The sheep were not made for the sake of the shepherd; 
but the shepherd was intended for the service of the 
sheep. — i. 28. 

26o SADL 

A Vizier said to Zu-'l-nur of Egypt : " Night and 
day I am occupied in the service of the Sultan, hoping 
for some good thing, and dreading punishment" 
Zu-'I-nur wept, and said : " If I had feared the great 
God as you have feared the King, I should have been 
counted in the number of the just" — i. 29. 

Life's season flieth away like the wind over the 

Bitter and sweet, ugliness and beauty, alike pass 

The tyrant imagined that he was committing 
violence on us ; 

The violence hath passed away from us, and will 
remain on his own neck. — i. 30. 

To win the hearts of friends, scruple not to sell thy 
father's garden. To boil the pot of thy well-wisher, 
hesitate not to burn thy very furniture. — L 33. 

In so much as thou art able, distress not the mind 
of any one ; the pathway of life is strewn with many 
a thorn. Assist thou the wretched poor man in his 
troubles, for thou also wilt have troubles of thine 
own.— i. 35. 

Never will the wise call him a great man who 
speaketh ill of the truly great 

All these things, when once they have passed away, 
are nothing : 


Fortune, and thrones, and decrees, and interdicts, 
and seizing, and holding. 

Defame not those who are departed with a good 
name, that thine own good name may remain im- 
mortal — i. 41. 

From the Second Chapter: 



Whomsoever thou beholdest in the garment of piety, 
him believe to be pious, and treat as a good man, 
though thou knowest not what may be the inward 
disposition : what business has the policeman in the 
inside of the house ? — iL i. 

I have heard that men who walk in the ways of 
God would not grieve the hearts even of their 
enemies. How can such eminence be reached by 
thee — thee, who art ever in strife and opposition with 
thy friends?— il 4. 

The love of the sincere is the same to your face and 
to your back, not such as of those 

Who at your back find out your faults, but to your 
face would die for you ; 

Who in your presence are mild as the lamb, 

But in your absence a 

n-devouring wolves.— 


Whoever brings to your notice and counts up the 
defects of others, he, be sure, will display to others 
those which he sees in you. — il 4. 

Who knows what manner of man the cloak dis- 
guises ? The writer only knows the contents of the 
letter.— ii. 5. 

Arab ! I fear thou wilt never reach the Holy 

For the road which thou art travelling leadclh 
towards Tatary. — ii. 6. 

Thou who displaycst thy virtues in the palm of 
thy hand, but hidest thy vices under thine armpits, 
what, O vain man, dost thou expect to purchase in 
the day of anguish with thy counterfeit silver? — ii. 6. 

1 remember that in the season of childhood I was 
religiously-minded, and inclined to the practice of 
abstemiousness and austerities. One night I was 
sitting in attendance on my father, and never closed 
my eyes the whole night. I held the precious Volume 
to my bosom, but the company around us were all 
asleep. I said to my father : " Of all these not one 
lifts up the head to repeat the prayer," He replied : 
" Soul of thy father ! better were it for thee that thou 


also weit asleep, than thus to be remarking on the 
faults of others." — ii. 7. 

The vain pretender sees nothing but himself, for 
the veil of self-conceit is before his eyes. Would 
any one bestow upon his eye the power of discerning 
God, no one would he behold so weak as himself. — 
ii. 7. 

In the eyes of men of the world I am of a goodly 
aspect, but from my inward impurity I bow down 
my head in shame. Men will praise the peacock for 
his elegance and beauty, but he is himself ashamed 
of his ugly feet — ii. 8. 

They asked Lokman from whom he learnt good 
manners. He replied : " From the ill-mannered : 
whatever in their behaviour appeared to me dis- 
agreeable, that I refrained from doing myself." 

Not a word can be said, even in child's-play, 

From which an intelligent person may not gather 
instruction ; 

But if a hundred chapters of Wisdom were read 
in the hearing of a fool. 

To his ears it would sound as nothing but child's- 
play. — ii. 21. 

To one who was complaining to his spiritual guide 
how difficult it was to bear the slanders of injurious 
tongues, he replied in tears : " How canst thou be 
sufficiently grateful for this blessing, that thou art 

264 SADL 

better than they think thee ? How many times wilt 
thou keep repeating : * The envious and malevolent 
are perpetually calumniating me, wretch that I am ? ' 
If they rise up to shed thy blood, or if they sit down 
to speak evil of thee, cease not thou to be good, and 
let them say on their evil. Better this than that thou 
shouldst be evil, and that they should repute thee 
good. Look at me, whom men regard as a model of 
perfection, whilst I know myself that I am imperfec- 
tion itself. Had I really done what they report of 
me, I had indeed been a virtuous and pious man ! 
The door closed in thine own face to exclude men 
from thy presence, that they may not behold and 
spread abroad thy faults — the closed door, of what 
use is it before the Omniscient? — before Him, who 
knows alike what is open and what is concealed ? " 

Yesternight, towards morning, a warbling bird stole 
away my reason, my patience, my strength, and my 
understanding. My exclamations, by chance, reached 
the ear of a most intimate friend. " Never," he said, 
"could I have believed that the voice of a bird should 
have such power to disturb thy intellect!" — "It is 
not," I replied, " befitting the condition of man, that 
a bird should be reciting its hymn of praise, and that 
I should be silent." — ii. 26. 

To celebrate Him, all that thou beholdest is roused 
to exclamation. 

The heait to understand it becometh an ear. 


Not only is the nightingale on the rose-bush 
warbling its hjnnn of praise, 

But every thorn becometh a tongue to laud His per- 
fection. — ii. 26, 27. 

Abu Hurairah (the satisfaction of God be with 
him !) used to come every day to offer his service to 
Mustafa [Mohammed], upon whom be the mercy and 
peace of God ! One day the Prophet (on whom be a 
blessing !) said to him : " Oh, Abu Hurairah, do not 
come every day, that our friendship may increase." 

A holy man has said : " With all the beauty which 
attends the sun, I have never heard that any one has 
taken him for a friend, except in winter, when he is 
veiled, and therefore is loved. — ii. 30. 

There is no harm in paying visits to others, but go 
not so often that they say : " It is enough ! " 

If a man would learn to reprove himself, he would 
never hear reproof from any one else. — ii. 30. 

Whoever is possessed of the finer mind — be he 
orator, or lawyer, or teacher, or scholar — if once he 
descends to low, worldly greed, will find himself 
entangled like a fly in honey. — iL 33. 

A pupil said to his instructor : " What am I to do, 
for people incommode me with the frequency of their 
visits to such a degree, that their conversation pro- 
duces a great distraction of my valuable time ? " He 
replied : ** To every one who is poor, lend ; and from 

36^ SADL 

every one who is rich, borrow: they will not come 
about you again." — il 37. 

Turn not away, O holy man, thy face from the 
sinner. Rather look upon him with benevolence. If 
I have not been in my deeds all that a man ought to 
be, come to my aid in the spirit of the generous. — 
ii. 40. 

I saw some handfuls of fresh roses tied up with 
grass on the top of a cupola. I said : 

" What doth this worthless grass, to be sitting thus 
in the rank of roses ? '* 

The grass wept, and replied : " Be silent ! 

** The generous never forget their companionship. 

" Though I have no beauty, or colour, or odour, am 
I not the grass of His Garden ? 

"I am the servant of the Munificent Majesty, 
nourished from of old by His fostering bounty. 

" Whether I have any virtue, or whether I have it 

" Still am I hopeful of the mercy of my Master. 

" Although no valuable stock be mine — no wealth 
of worship— 

" He knoweth the remedy for His servant's case, 
when all other support faileth." — ii. 48. 

On the monument of Bahram Gur* was written : 
" The liberal hand is better than the strong arm." 

*A Persian King. 


Hatim-Tai* liveth no more; but to eternity his 
great name will remain renowned on account of his 
liberality. Distribute in alms the tithe of thy wealth ; 
for the more the husbandman lops off the exuberance 
of the vine, the more it will yield of grapes. — ii. 49. 

From the Third Chapter : 


An African mendicant, in the Mercer^' Row at 
Aleppo, kept saying : " O wealthy sirs, if you had 
justice, and we contentment, the practice of begging 
would go out of the world." 

O Contentment, do thou make me rich ! 

For without thee there is no such thing as riches. — 

■ • • 

m. z. 

The treasure chosen by Lokman was patience: 
without patience there is no such thing as wisdom. — 

• • • 

m. I. 

One of the Kings of Persia sent an able physician 
into the service of Mohammed. He remained some 
years in Arabia, but no one came to consult him, or 

• An .\rabian chief, proverbial for his generosity. 

268 SADl. 

to ask for his medicines. One day he presented him- 
self to the Prophet, complaining that he had been 
sent to heal his people, but that in all that time 
no one had paid him any attention. The Prophet 
replied: ''It is the custom of this nation not to eat 
till compelled by hunger, and to withdraw their hand 
from food whilst they have still an appetite." The 
physician said : "This is the reason that they are so 
healthy." So he made his obeisance, and departed. — 
iii. 4. 

In the Institutes of Ardshir Babegan it is recorded 
that he asked an Arabian physician : " What quantity 
of food may one eat daily?" He answered: "A 
hundred direms in weight is sufficient" He said : 
"What strength could such a quantity give?" He 
replied : " This quantity will carry you, and whatever 
more you take you will have to carry." — iiL 6. 

They asked a sick man : " What does thy heart 
desire ? " He replied : " That it might desire any- 
thing." — iii. 9. 

They asked Hatim Tai: "Hast thou ever seen in 
the world any one more noble-minded than thyself?" 
He replied : " One day I had offered a sacrifice of 
forty camels, and had gone out with some Arab chiefs 
to a corner of the desert. There I saw a thorn-cutter, 
who had gathered together a bundle of thorns. I 
said to him : ' Why goest thou not to share the 
hospitality of Hatim Tai, when a crowd has assembled 


at his feast ? ' He replied : * Whoever can eat the 
bread of his own labour will not put himself under 
an obligation to Hatim Tai.' This man, in mind and 
in magnanimity, I consider greater than myself." — 
iii. 15- 

Never had I complained of the vicissitudes of For- 
tune, or saddened my face at the revolution of the 
heavens, except once on a time when my foot was 
naked, and I had not wherewithal to purchase a 
shoe. Entering the great mosque of Nufah, I saw 
there a man who had no feet. Then I converted my 
lament into gratitude and praise for the goodness of 
God, and bore my want of shoes with patience. 

A roasted fowl is less than pot-herbs in the eye of 
him who is already satiated : 

To him who is needy and fainting, a boiled turnip 
is a roasted fowl. — iii. 19. 

I have heard of a wealthy man who was as notorious 
for his stinginess as was Hatim Tai for his liberality. 
No one ever saw his door open or his table spread. 
He was sailing on the Western Sea, on his way to 
Egypt, when a contrary wind assailed the ship. Then 
he lifted up his hand in prayer, and began to utter 
vain lamentations. 

What advantage can the hand of supplication be 
to the unhappy servant, 

Raised to God in the moment of peril, but when 
liberality is needed, folded under the arm ? — iii. 23. 

ayo SADL 

From the Fourth Chapter: 


I HAVE heard one of the sages say : " No one con- 
fesseth his own ignorance so much as the man who 
beginneth to talk whilst another is speaking, and 
hath not yet finished." — iv. 7. 

I was hesitating about a contract for the purchase 
of a house. A Jew said to me : " I am one of the 
old householders of this quarter. I can tell you the 
qualities of the house, and say to you — buy ; it hath 
no faults." I replied : " Except having you for a 
neighbour." — iv. 9. 

A man with a disagreeable voice, and in a loud 
tone, was reading the Koran. An observant passer-by 
asked: "What is your stipend?" "Nothing," he 
replied. "Why then give yourself this trouble?" 
" I read," he said, " for the sake of God." " Then," 
he replied, "for God's sake read no longer. You 
mar the beauty of your religion." — iv. 14. 



From the Fifth Chapter: 


They asked Hussain Maitnundi, how it was that 
Sultan Mahmud, who had so many handsome slaves, 
each one of whom was of rare beauty, should have 
no heart-felt affection for any of them, except for 
lyaz, one who had no excess of comeliness. He 
replied : " Hast thou not heard that whatever touches 
the heart will look fair to the eye?" 

If any one regardeth another with the eye of dis- 

Though he were formed in the image of Joseph, 

He would yet be looked upon as one of the 
unlovely ; 

And if thou regardest a demon with the eye of 

He would appear to thine eye an angel and a 

Whomsoever the Sultan regardeth with partiality. 

All that he doeth badly is sure to be well done ; 

And whomsoever the monarch discardeth from his 

Will never be caressed by any one of the house- 
hold. — V. I. 



There was a handsome and vutuous youth 

Who was betrothed to a beautiful girl ; 

I have read that, as they were sailing on the great 

They fell together into a whirlpool 

When a sailor came to seize his hand, and save him 
from perishing in that extremity, 

He called out from the midst of the threatening 
waves : " Leave hold of me and take the hand of my 

Every one admired him for that speech, and when 
he was expiring he was heard to say : 

" Learn not the tale of love from that light-minded 
man who forgetteth his beloved in the hour of 
danger." — v. 21. 

From the Sixth Chapter: 


It was good, the answer which the aged woman 
made to her son, when she beheld him, strong as an 
elephant, able to cope with a tiger : " Didst thou call 
to remembrance the time of thy infancy, when thou 
layest helpless in my embrace, thou wouldst not to- 
day afflict me with violence ; thou in the fulness of 
thy manhood, and I a weak old woman." — vi. 6. 


A rich but avaricious man had a son who was sick. 
The well-wishers said : ** It would be well to recite 
over him a chapter of the Holy Book, or to offer a 
sacrifice and distribute to the poor: perchance God 
might restore his health." For a moment he became 
thoughtful and then said : " It is better to read a 
chapter, which can be done in an instant ; my flock is 
at a distance." An intelligent fellow, who heard this, 
said : " He prefers the Holy Book, because it is on 
the tip of his tongue, whilst his gold is at the bottom 
of his heart" — vi. 7. 

From the Seventh Chapter: 


He who hath never learned good habits in his child- 
hood will in his manhood never recover his superiority. 
You may twist the green wood in any way you please; 
the dry you can make straight only by fire. — ^vii. 3. 

A King who was sending his son to school placed 
on his breast a silver tablet, on which was written, 
in letters of gold: "The severity of the school- 
master is better than the indulgence of the father." — 
viL 4. 


^74 SADL 

I heard a learned instructor saying to one of his 
scholars: ''Did a man fix his heart as much upon 
Him who affords him subsistence as upon the subsist- 
ence itself, he would raise himself into the sphere of 

"He did not forget thee when thou wast as yet 
unformed and hidden in the womb. 

" He gave thee a soul, and reason, and form, and 

" And beauty, and speech, and thought, and judg- 
ment, and understanding ; 

" He arranged on thy hand thy ten fingers, and 
adapted thy two arms to thy shoulders : 

" And thinkest thou now, who art at thy best a mere 
nothing, that He will forget to give thee means of 
subsistence ? " — vii. 7. 

I saw an Arab, who was saying to his son : " O my 
child, on the day of the resurrection they will ask 
you. What have you done ? not — Whose son are you ? 
The veil which they kiss in the Holy Place is not 
famous because it came from the silk-worm. It was 
associated some time with a venerable personage : that 
is the reason why it is so precious." — vii. 8. 

A silly fellow, having a pain in his eyes, went to a 
farrier and asked him for a remedy. The farrier 
applied to his eyes something which he would have 
^iven to an animal, and it blinded him, upon which 
they made an appeal to the magistrate. The magis- 


Ttrate said : " This is no case for damages ; it is [ilain 
that this fellow is an ass, or he would not have gone 
to a farrier." No man of enliglnened understanding 
will commit weighty matters to one of mean abilities. 

K weaver of mats, though he be a weaver, will not be 
iployed in the weaving of silk.— vii. 14. 
One of the great had a worthy son. He died, and 
ey asked him : " What shall we write on his tomb ? " 
e replied : " If it be necessary lo write anything, this 
couplet will be sufficient^ 

"'Woe is nie! When the green herbs were 
blooming in the garden, how joyous was my heart ! 

I "'Pass by, my friend, in the next spring, and 
Itbou will see the green herbs blowing out of my 


A holy man, passing by one of the favourites of 
iportune, saw that he had bound one of his slaves 
''tightly hand and foot, and was inflicting upon him 
severe punishment He said ; " O my son, the good 
and great God has subjected a creature like thyself to 
-thy power, and has given to thee superiority over 
Be grateful for the benefits He has conferred on 
; and inflict not on him this violence, lesl in the 
I Insurrection he be found better than thou art, and 
thou be brought 10 shame." 

Be not over much angry with thy slave ; 
^^ Treat him not unjustly, and pain not his feelings. 
^K True, thou mayst have bought him for ten direms ; 


But 'twas not by thy power that he was created. 

There is a tradition of the Prophet— peace be upon 
him !— that on the day of the resurrection the greatest 
grief will be when the pious slave is carried to 
Paradise, and his worthless master i,s borne away to 
HelL— vii. 1 6. 

I saw the son of a rich man seated at the head of 
his father's tomb, and engaged in a dispute with the 
son of a poor man. " The monument over my father's 
grave," said he, " is of marble ; the inscription upon 
it in coloured letters ; and the foundation is of stone, 
overlaid with azure tiles. What likeness is there 
between it and thy father's, which is of two or three 
bricks packed together, with nothing but a handful 
or two of tarth cast over it?" — "Silence!" replied 
the poor man's son ; " for whilst your father is striving 
to move under this heavy stone, my father will have 
arrived at Paradise."— vE i8. 

Of what utility are the rich, if they are clouds of 
August, and do not rain upon any one ; or the foun- 
tain of the sun, and do not give light to any oni 
are mounted on the steed of power, and never make : 
charge ; advance not on foot in the service of God 
bestow not a direni without weighing it and distress- 
ing you ; watch over their wealth drudgingly, 
leave it grudgingly? And the sages have said, thai 
the silver of the miser comes up from the ground at 
the same moment that he himself goes down into the 


ground. One brings his money within his grasp 
anxiously and laboriously, and another comes and 
carries it away quietly and painlessly. — ^vii. 20. 

Have a care that thou throw not away thy shield 
at the attack of the rhetorician, for his only weapons 
are his borrowed exaggerations. Hold fast thy faith 
and thy knowledge, for this skilful-in-words, and this 
utterer of mellifluous cadences, shows arms at the 
gate, but hath no defender within the castle. — viL 20. 

From the Eighth Chapter : 


Riches are for the comfort of life, not life for the 
amassing of riches. I asked a wise man, Who is the 
fortunate, and who is the unfortunate man? He 
replied : " He is the fortunate who sowed and reaped, 
and he the unfortunate who died and enjoyed not 
Offer no prayer in behalf of that worthless wretch 
who did nothing but spend his life in the accumula- 
tion of wealth which he used not ! " — viiL i. 

VVouldst thou be the better for worldly possessions, 
be beneficent to others, as God has been beneficent to 
thee. The Arabs say : " Give, and account it not an 

obligation, for the advantage of it will come back to 
thyself. " 

Wherever the tree of liberality has rooted itself, its 
stem and its branches wll ascend to the sky. 

If thou hast hopes of eating of its fruit, deem it 
not an obligation that thou didst not lay the axe to its 

Be thankful to God that he has prospered thee to 
thy good, 

And has not shut thee out from a share in His 
favours. Think not that thou confeirest an obligation 
in serving the Sultan ; 

Recognise the obligation he has conferred upon 
thee by placing thee in his service, — viiL 2. 

Two persons took trouble in vain, and laboured 
without advantage : he who gained wealth which he 
enjoyed not, and he who gathered knowledge which 
he did not apply. ^Vhatever amount of science you 
may possess, if you reduce it not to practice you are 
still ignorant. The beast which you load with a few 
books is not on that account a learned roan or a 
philosopher. What knows that empty skull, whether 
it be carrying precious volumes or firewood? — viii. 3. 

Three things are not stable without three things ; 
wealth without traffic ; learning without discussion ; 
and a kingdom without government — viii. 7. 

Thou shotildsl speak such words between two 


enemies that, should they become friends, thou wilt 
not need be ashamed. A quarrel between two persons 
is like a fire, and he who malevolently reports their 
words is like one who supplies fuel to the fiame. 
Speak softly to your friends, that the blood-thirsty 
enemy may not overhear. Be on your guard when 
you speak before a wall, that there be not an ear 
behind the wall — viii. 12. 

Whilst an affair can be arranged with money, it is 
not right to endanger life; nor till every device has 
failed does it become law to lay hands upon the sword. 
viiL 15. 

The wicked man is a captive in the hand of an 
enemy, for whithersoever he goeth he cannot free 
himself from the grasp of his own punishment. 

If the wicked man should seek refuge in heaven 
from his anguish, 

He would still be in anguish from his own evil 
disposition. — viii. 21. 

Hearest thou news which will afflict a heart, be 
thou silent, and let another bear it. O nightingale ! 
bring thou the good news of the spring ; leave to the 
owl the tidings of evil. — ^viiL 25. 

He who offers advice to a self-conceited man needs 
himself advice from another. — viii 25. 

An affair succeeds through patience, and over-haste 

28o SADL 

ends in disappointments. I have seen with my own 
eyes in the desert the slow man pass by the quick 
one, the wind-footed courser fall exhausted through 
its speed, and the camel-driver, though tardily, push 
on to the end. — ^viii. 35. 

To the ignorant man nothing is better than silence, 
and were he aware of this he would no longer be 

When you are not possessed of perfection or excel- 

It is better that you keep your tongue within your 

The tongue bringeth disgrace upon men. The nut 
without a kernel is light in weight. 

The beast will not learn of thee how to speak ; 
learn thou of the beast how to be silent. 

Whoever reflecteth not before he answereth, 

Will probably utter inappropriate words. 

Either adorn thy speech with the intelligence of a 

Or sit in silence like a dumb animal. — viii. 36. 

Whoever entereth into argument, in order to display 
his learning, with a man more learned than himself, 
will thereby be taught that he is unlearned. Though 
thou mayest be well informed, if one wiser than 
thyself take up the discourse, be not thou ready to 
start objections. — viiL 37. 

Publish not the secret faults of others, for you 


inflict disgrace upon them, and procure thereby no 
honour to yourself. — viii. 39. 

He who readeth and doth not practise resembleth 
the man who driveth the oxen but scattereth not the 
seed. — viii. 40. 

Were every night a night of power, the night 
OF POWER* would lose its worth. Were every pebble 
a ruby, the ruby and the pebble would be of equal 
value. — viii. 43. 

It is very easy to deprive the living of life ; 

To give back life to him from whom thou hast 
taken it is impossible. 

The archer should be patient ere he draw the bow, 

For when the arrow hath left the bow it retumeth 
no more. — ^viii. 54. 

What wonder if the nightingale loses its spirit, if a 
crow is the companion of his cage? — ^viiL 55. 

The friend whom it hath taken a lifetime to acquire, 
it is not right to estrange in a moment. How many 
years doth it require to turn the stone into a ruby? 
Take heed lest with another stone thou grind it down 
in an instant — viii. 57. 

I heard a fellow of mean disposition slandering 
a person of distinguished rank. I said : " O sir, if 
thou art unfortunate, why is it a crime to be one of 
the fortunate? O do not invoke misery on the 


282 SADI. 

envious man, for the condition of that man is misery 
in itself. What need of pursuing one with enmity, 
who has such an enemy perpetually at his heels ? " — 
viii. 70. 

I asked a wise man to give me a word of counsel. 
He said to me : " Take heed how you commit your- 
self with an ignorant man, for if you are possessed of 
knowledge you will become an ass, and if you are 
without knowledge, your folly will become still 
greater." — viiL 80. 

The bird will not alight upon the seed, 
If it see another bird caught in the snare. 
Take thou warning from the misfortunes of others. 
That thou give no occasion to others to take 
warning from thee. — ^viii. 90. 

The poor man whose end is good is better than the 

king whose end is evil. 
The sorrow which thou bearest before enjoyment 
Is better than the enjoyment which precedeth sorrow. 

viii. 92. 

A holy man in his prayers was wont to say : " O 
God, have mercy on the bad, for on the good Thou 
hast already had mercy, in that Thou hast created 
them good." — viii. 98. 

Feridun ordered his Chinese embroiderers to 
embroider around his pavilion : ** Thou who art of 

r *% 


an understanding heart, be good to the wicked^ 
for the good are great and happy of themselves." — 
viii 99. 

Two persons died, carrying with them vain regrets : 
he who had wealth which he never enjoyed, and he 
who had knowledge of which he made no use. — 
viiL X06. 

No one ever saw a man who had merit, but was 
miserly, that people did not expatiate on his faults ; 
but if a generous man hath two hundred defects, his 
generosity will cover them all. — ^viiL 106. 

Generosity and kindness make the man ; think not 
that it is his material image. To gain all the wealth 
of the world is not virtue : try if thou canst conquer 
a single heart 

The truly wise man practiseth humility ; the bough 
full of fruit inclineth its head towards the ground. It 
is in those of high estate that humility appeareth to 
most advantage ; in the beggar it is only the mark of 
his profession. — From the Patd-Namah^ or Book of 



In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate! 

In the name of the Lord, who created the soul ; 
who gave to the tongue words of wisdom ; 

The Lord, the Benevolent, the Sustainer, who 
generously accepteth excuses, and forgiveth sins; 

The Mighty One, from whose door whoever tumeth 
away will find Might at no other door ; 

In whose court the most exalted monarchs must 
humble themselves as suppliants ; 

Who is not quick to repress the arrogant, nor 
repulseth wiih violence those who sue for pardon ; 

Who, when He is angry for some evil deed, if 
thou turnest to Him again, writeth it amongst the 
things of the past ; 

Who, when He beholdeth the sin, covereth it with 
the veil of His mercy; in the ocean of whose 
omniscience the universe is but a drop. 

If a son is at variance with a father, thou wilt 
immediately behold the father in the glow of passion ; 

And, if he doth not soon give him satisfaction, will 
drive him forth from his presence like a stranger. 


If the slave doth not bestir himself actively at his 
work, his master will deem him but of little value ; 

Or if thqu art not amiable amongst thy companions, 
thy comjianions will flee from thee to a mile's distance ; 

Or if a soldier desertelh his duty, his commander 
miJl speedily dismiss him from the service. 

But He, who is Lord of the high and of the low, 
shutleth not the door of His riches against even the 

The expanse of the earth is the table of His people ; 
and to His free banquet friend and foe are alike 

If He hurried to involve him in trouble, who would 
be secure from the hand of His power? 

Independent in His essence of the judgment of any 
one of His creatures, His dominion is rich in the 
obedience of men and spirits. 

Every thing, and every person must bow down to 
His mandate : the sons of Adam, and the bird, and the 
ant, and the worm. 

So broadly is the table of His bounty spread, that 
the vulture on the Caucasus receiveth his portion. 

Benevolent, and beneficent, and the dispenser of 
blessings, He is the Lord of Creation, and knoweth 
every secret. 

This man He judgeth worthy of grandeur and a 
high destiny, for his kingdom is ancient, and bis race 
is wealthy. 

n the head of one He selteth the diadem of fortune ; 
r He bringetli down from a throne to the dust. 

^Bpother He 

On the head of one He placeth the crown of pros- 
perity ; another He clothes in the weeds of poverty. 

For His friend [Abraham] he turned jire into a 
bed of roses, and cast into the flames the host from 
the waters of the Nile.* 

If He did that, it was marked with His favour; 
and if He did iliis, it was signed with His order. 

He throweth His veil over evil deeds, and hideth 
behind it His own benefits; 

If He unsheath His sword of power in wrath, the 
very Cherubim are dumb with tenor ; 

But if He giveth victuals from the table of His bounty, 
even the Evil-One says : " I too shall have a portion." 
In the court of His benignity and greatness the 
greatest must lay their greatness aside ; 

But to such as are cast down He is nigh with His 
mercy, and He ever lendeth His ear to the prayer of 
the suppliant. 

By His prescience He foreseeth what hath not yet 
been ; in His goodness He provideih for what hath 
not yet been spoken. 

By His power He is the keeper of the heights and 
the depths, and He is master of the Book of the Day 
of Account. 

No one's back is strong enough to throw off 
obedience; nor is there room for any one to lay a 
finger on a letter. 

The Ancient Benefactor is still ever beneficent; by 
decree upon decree He fashioned the beautiful image 
in the womb. 

THE ^OSTAN, 287 

From east to west he set in motion sun and moon, 
and spread out the earth on the face of the waters. 

And though it trembleth sometimes and dreadeth 
its ruin, He hath nailed down the roots of the moun- 
tains to its skirts. 

He who hath imprinted its form upon the waters 
gave to the pearl its Peri-like semblance. 

He hid the ruby and the turquoise in the bosom of 
the stone, and hung the ruby-coloured rose on the 
turquoise-tinted branches. 

Of one globule He maketh a pearl-white lily, and 
fashioneth another into the lofty cypress. 

From His knowledge not an atom lieth concealed, 
for the hidden and open are both to Him but one. 

For the ant and for the serpent he hath alike 
provided its food, and for that which hath no hand, 
nor feet, nor strength. 

At His decree non-existence hath been embellished 
with existence, for no one knoweth but He how to 
change nonentity into being. 

So at one time he burieth an act in silence, and 
bringeth it forth again in the Plain of the Last 

The universe is agreed in the acknowledgment of 
His Deity, but is confounded when it attempteth to 
investigate His Essence. 

Man cannot comprehend the extent of His Majesty, 
the sight hath not penetrated to the limits of His 

The wing of bird hath not soared to the summits of 

His knowledge, nor the hand of intelligence touched 
the skirts of His attributes. 

In this whirlpool have been sunk a thousand vessels, 
of which not a single plank hath come to the shore. 

How many a night have I sat completely lost, till I 
have exclaimed in terror : " Up, and be doing." 

Of the kingdoms of the earth the knowledge is 
attainable ; but the knowledge of Him with thy 
measure, thou canst not attain. 

The bounds of His knowledge thy intellect cannot 
reach ; nor can thy thoughts fathom the depths of His 

To equal Sohlan in eloquence is possible; but 
innumerable aie they who have fallen exhausted in 
the race. 

To urge thy sleed over every ground is impossible ; 
and there are occasions on which thou must throw 
away thy shield. 

If the traveller is forbidden to penetrate to the 
secret place, he wiil find the door barred, and will 
have to return. 

To many a one at this banquet is offered the goble^ 
who findeth it to be but a stupefying drug. 

Let every one tremble who hath trusted himself to 
this ocean of blood, from which no one yet ever 
brought back his vessel. 

One falcon soareth up, but with bandaged eyes; 
another returncth, but with singed eyes and feathers. 

No one hath found his way to the treasure of Karun; 
or, if he hath found it, hath he brought anything back. 


Seekest thou to survey this country, as well mayest 
thou begin by ham-stringing the horse on which thou 
wouldst return. 

Let each one look into the mirror of his own soul, 
and gradually it will acquire the same clearness. 

Perhaps the odour of love will inebriate thee, and, 
seeking for a compact with the Divine, thou mayest 
thyself become divine. 

Proceed on the road of inquiry on foot, till thou 
reach the goal, and thence fly upwards on the 
pinions of affection. 

Truth will rend in twain the veils of illusion ; yea, 
even the veil which conceal eth the glory of God. 

But the courser of intellect can run no further. 
Astonishment tighteneth the reins, and exclairiieth : 
"Stand!"— 6^r/^j Text, Vienna, 1858,/. 2. Trans- 
lation, yena, 1850, i. i. 

290 SADI, 

From Book the First: 


The Tiger-tamer. 

They relate a story of one of the great in faith,— - 
one searching after the truth, and with an eye ioT 
the real, — 

That he beheld a pious man riding along rapidly, 
and grasping a serpent in his hand. 

One who was passing by exclaimed : " O thou who 
art journeying on the way towards God, direct me, 
too, on the road on which thou art travelling ! 

" What hast thou done to tame the ravenous beast, 
and stamp on thy name the seal of felicity ?" 

He replied : " If I have subdued the tiger, the 
serpent, the elephant, or the \nilture, be not thou 

"Thou, too, withdraw not thy neck from the All- 
Ruler, and no one will withdraw his neck from thy 

When the monarch submitteth himself to the 
commands of the, God will become to him 
a guardian and defender ; 

And when the All-Righteous is become thy Friend, 
it is impossible that He should deliver thee into the 
hand of thine enemy. 


This is the right way, turn not thy face from it ; 
rnake this thy desire, and what thou desirest thou 
>^ilt find. — Grafs Tcxt^p, 29. TransL L 19. 

The Last Words of Nushirvan. 

I HAVE heard that at the moment when the soul was^ 
departing, thus spake Nushirvan to his son Hormuz : 

" Be thou in heart the guardian of the poor ; be not 
in bondage to thine own ease. 

"No one will live in comfort in thy kingdom, if 
thou desirest only thine own comfort, and sayest : 
* That is enough ! ' 

" He will receive no praise from the wise who 
passeth his aights in sleep whilst the wolf is amidst 
the flock. 

" Keep w^atch over the necessitous poor, for the 
I)easant it is from whom the King deriveth his throne. 

** The King is the tree, the peasant is the root ; the 
tree, O my son, deriveth its strength from the root." — 
Grafs Text^ p, 31. TransL i. 19. 

292 SAD/. 

Kingly Actions. 

Hast thou displaced any one from his office, after 
season forgive him his fault 

To fulfil the expectations of one to whom thou has^ 
given hopes is better than to break theT chains of a^ 
thousand slaves. 

The just King will bear himself towards those who 
are under his orders, as a father who hath cause for 
anger with his son. 

Sometimes he will strike him so as to inflict pain ; 
sometimes he will drop the crystal water from his eyes. 

If thou art too soft, thine adversary will wax too 
bold ; if thou art too harsh, he will fly from thee. 

Better are softness and harshness together, as the 
surgeon applieth at once the knife and the plaster. 

Be thou generous, and gentle, and forgiving; as 
God hath scattered upon thee, so scatter thou upon 

No one hath come into the world for continuance, 
save him who leaveth behind him a good name ; 

Nor hath any one died who hath left as an inherit- 
ance a bridge, a mosque, a hostel, or a hospital. 

Whoever hath left no such memorial behind him, his 
existence has been but that of a tree which never 
bore fruit ; 

And whoever hath departed and left no mark, his 
name after his death will never be lauded. — Grafts 
Text^p, 39. TransL i. 25. 


Kingly Duties. 

^T is no crime to drink water without the command 
^Df the law ; but if thou sheddest blood, it must not be 
<lone without a decree. 

If the law pronounce its decree, then thou mayest 
slay the criminal without any dread ; 

But if thou hast those who belong to his family, 
them forgive, and extend to them thy mercy. 

The iniquitous man it was who committed the 
crime : what was the offence of his helpless wife and 
chUdren ? 

Is thy person powerful and thine army great, make 
not on that account an inroad upon the lands of thine 

He will flee away to his lofty castle, and thou wilt 
ruin only his unoffending country. 

Look well into the circumstances of thy prisoners, 
for possibly there may be amongst them those who 
are innocent. 

If a merchant die in thy dominions, it is unjust to 
lay thy hand upon his property ; 

For afterwards, when they raise over him the cry of 
lamentation, they will unite in exclamations : 

" The unhappy man died a stranger in thy country, 
and a tyrant robbed him of what remained of his 

Think of that little fatherless child, and dread the 
sigh of his miserable heart. 

294 SADI. 

Oft-times the fair name of fifty years a single ugly 
deed has ruined for ever. 

Though a man be King from one end of the earth 
to the other, when he taketh away the wealth of the 
prosperous, he is but a beggar. 

Rather will the generous man die with an empty 
hand than fill his stomach from the pittance of the 
poor. — Grafs Text^p, 57. TransL i. 38. 

The Frugal Monarch. 

I HAVE heard of a just and commanding Ruler, 
whose cloak was of coarse serge within and without 

Some one exclaimed to him : " O thou who wast 
bom on a fortunate day, order thyself a robe of 
brocade of China." 

He replied : " This stuff is sent for comfort and 
raiment. What goeth beyond this is all for display 
and ornament 

" It is not for that purpose that I take the taxes — 
to embellish myself, my throne, and my diadem. 

" Were I to clothe my body with robes like women, 
how should I have the manliness to repel my enemies ? 

"I have myself a hundred kinds of avarice and 
passions, but my treasury is not for myself alone. 

" My treasury must be full for the sake of my 
army, not for the object of beauty and ornament" 


The soldier who is not made light-hearted by the 
King will hardly guard well the boundaries of the 

When the enemy hath carried off the ass of the 
idllager, why should the King be eating the tithes and 
the taxes ? 

The enemy hath borne away the ass, and the Sultan 
the tillage; what good is there in store for such a 
crown and throne ? 

Violence towards one who hath fallen is not manly ; 
'tis to be the base bird that snatcheth the grain from 
the emmet. 

The peasant is a tree which, if thou wilt nurture 
it, will yield thee fruit to the hearts'-desire of thy 

Do not ruthlessly uproot it and destroy its produce ; 
for, so doing, the foolish man doeth an injury to him- 

Whoso dealeth not harshly with his subject will eat 
of his fruit in cheerfulness and prosperity ; 

But if the subject be pushed down from his footing, 
be afraid of his lamenting appeal to God. 

If it be allowed thee to take a city by gentle means, 
pour not out blood from the veins in battle ; 

To subjugate by thy valour every kingdom of the 
earth, it would not be worth while that a drop of 
blood should trickle to the ground. — Grafs Texty 
p, 59. Transl. i. 40. 

296 SADL 

Inscription on the Fountain of Jemshid. 

I HAVE heard that Jemshid, of happy dispositiotv 
inscribed on a tablet at the head of a fountain : 

" Many, like ourselves, have breathed at this foun- 
tain, and departed, and closed their eyes upon it 

" They captured the world by courage, or violence,, 
but carried away with them nothing to the grave. 

" They departed each one, and of that which they 
had tilled nothing remained to them, save a good or 
an evil name. 

" When thine enemy hath fallen into thy hands,, 
grieve him not further ; he hath already tasted enough 
of sorrow. 

"Better hold in thy keeping a discomfited enemy 
alive, than to have on thy neck the stain of his blood."" 
— Graf's Text^p. 6i. Trattsl. i. 41. 

The Grandee and the Beggar. 

An exalted personage who dwelt in Irak heard a poor 
wretch exclaim beneath his balcony : 

"There is a door at which thou art hopeful of 
entering ; give hope then to those who sit asking at 


Dost thou desire that thine own heart should not 
suffer, redeem thou the sufferer from the bonds of 

The heart-piercing anguish of the petitioner for 
justice hath been enough to eject a monarch from his 

Thou sleepest at mid-day in the coolness of thy 
harem, and sayest to the poor stranger : " Go thou, 
and be scorched in the burning noon." 

But God will do justice on behalf of the man who 
implored in vain the justice of the King. — Grafts Texty 
p, 64. Grafts TransL L 43. 

Tokiah's Counsellor. 

In the chronicles of the elder Kings it is written, that 
when Tokiah sat upon the throne of Zengi, 

In his time no one suffered injury from another; 
each took precedence as he was equally good, and 
that was enough. 

To an affectionate companion he one day said : 
"Life is coming to an end, and without aught of 

"Since royalty, and dignities, and thrones pass 
away, and no one carrieth anything out of the world 
except the devotee, 

298 SADL 

" I will seat myself in the cell of adoration, that I 
may discover the meaning of this brief existence." 

When his enlightened friend heard him say this, 
he exclaimed excitedly, and with some asperity: 

" Madman ! hold — enough ! 

" There is no devotion save in the service of others ; 
it consisteth not in the prayer-carpet, in rosaries, or in 
the garb of the dervish. 

"Be on the throne of sovereignty thyself, and in 
the purity of thy morals be the dervish. 

"Gird thy loins with truthfulness and good purposes; 
and keep thy tongue tied from doubtful words and 

"Thy way is by the foot, not by the mouth ; for 
words without action have no substance. 

"The eminent ones who distributed the ready-money 
of pure deeds had the dervish's tatters under their 
proper garments." — Grafs Text, p. 68. TransL i. 46. 

Reply of a Devotee to a complaining Sultan. 

I HAVE heard that one of the Sultans of Rum thus 
l)oured out his tearful lamentation : 

"Nothing now remaineth within my power — 
nothing is left me save this city and castle. 

" Many an effort did I make, that my children after 
me might become a numerous and powerful lineage ; 


" Now a malignant enemy hath obtained the mastery, 
and turned from me all aid and the fruit of my 

" What plan shall I adopt ? what remedy apply ? for 
the soul within my body is dwindling away with 
anguish ! " 

He replied: "O brother, swallow thy grief; for 
the larger and better portion of thy life is gone 
already ! 

" Enough is still left for what remaineth ; when thou 
art departed, the world will be the place of another. 

" Be he wise or be he ignorant, devour not his grief; 
he will assuredly have his own to devour. 

" To possess the world, it is not worth the trouble to 
take it with the sword and then to leave it 

" Whom knowest thou of the Khosrus of Persia, of 
the age of Feridun, of Zohak, or Jemshid, whose 
throne and whose kingdom have not come to ruin ? 

" Nought save His sovereignty — the great God's — 
remaineth for ever ! 

" Who can have the hope of enduring eternally, when 
thou beholdest not one who endureth for ever ? 

" If thou keepest thy gold and silver, thy goods and 
thy treasure, after a few days they will be trodden 
under foot ; 

"But he whose soul abideth in goodness from 
moment to moment will find mercy to his soul. 

"The great man who leaveth behind him a good 
name will indubitably live in the memory of the 

30O SAPI, 

" Of a surety, if thou nurturest the tree of nobility^ 
thou mayest certainly hope to eat of its fruit 

"Let then thine aspirations be ever towards the 
noble ; for when the demons assign the habitations, 

" They will assign them only to the meed of excel- 
lence ; — 

" To the one who hath been the most forward in good 
deeds, the loftiest station in the courts of God ; 

" Whilst he who hath been faithless will veil himself 
in shame at asking for the reward of actions unper- 

"Shame on the man — his teeth should gnaw his 
hand — who had the hot oven, and did not bake his 

" When thou knowest the time for gathering in the 
grain, not to have sown the seed was wilful trans- 
gression!" — Grafs Text, p. 69. Transl, i. 47. 


If the merchant is awakened by the sound of the 
trumpet, what knoweth he of how the watchers have 
passed the night ? 

And if the traveller hath to bear the affliction of 
his own burthen, his heart is not troubled about the 
poor back-galled ass. 

But I perceive tliat thou art not one of the fallen : 


wherefore, then, when thou seest another fall, art 
:hou standing still? 

Once upon a time there was so sterile a year in 
Damascus, that friends forgot their natural affections. 

The sky was so niggardly to the earth, that neither 
palm tree not cornfield moistened its lip with water. 

The source of the ancient fountains was dried up, 
Eind no water remained save the water in the eye of 
the orphan. 

Nothing was heard save the sigh of the widowed 
woman, nor did smoke rise out of any chimney. 

I saw the tree without leaves, naked as the body 
of the dervish ; the strength of the arm gone, and 
turned into utter weakness. 

On the mountain was no green, and the garden was 
a desert \ the locust devoured the grove, and man the 

In this state of things I met a friend on whose 
bones nothing remained but the skin. 

Once he had been strong and powerful ; the pos- 
sessor of rank and property and gold. 

I said to him : " O my excellent friend, what misery 
hath come upon thee? Tell me !" 

He thundered out : " Whither are gone thy wits, 
to know, and to ask how ? Thy question is a sin ! 

** Seest thou not that the scarcity hath risen to its 
height — that the calamity hath arrived at the bounds 
of extremity ? 

** No rain cometh down from the sky ; nor doth the 
sigh of the groaner travel in the path of his desire." 

302 SADL 

I said to him : '^ But thou, thou at least, hast no 
cause for dread : the poison killeth in the spot where 
is no antidote. 

"Should others die from want of means, for thee 
there is a rock ; what fear of the deluge ? " 

My teacher looked at me grieved, with the look 
that one casteth upon silly people : 

" Comrade, if a man be safe upon the beach, will 
he be at rest whilst his friends are drowning ? 

" Not from my own want of means is my face wan ; 
wan is my face for the necessities of others. 

" The thoughtful man wisheth not to see a wound, 
either on his own limb, or on that of another. 

" Even when I am of sound body myself, when I 
see the wound of another, my body is all in a tremble. 

"The pleasure of that soundness is turned to 
misery, if one is beside me enfeebled by sickness. 

" When I see the poor wretch who hath nothing 
to eat, the morsel on my palate becometh gall and 

" If I behold one of my friends borne away to 
prison, what would be left of the pleasure of walking 
in my pleasure-grounds ?" — Grafs Texts p. 76. Transl, 
i. 52. 


One night the sighs of the people kindled a fire, and 


Bagdad, I have heard, was half burnt down. 

" God be praised ! " cried one in the midst of it 
quickly, "that my shop hath suffered no injury." 

One who had seen the world replied : " O selfish 
man, who thinkest that it is enough to bear thine own 

" And art satisfied that a lofty city should be burnt 
to the ground, so only thine own house be saved ! '* 

Who, except a stony-hearted man, could endure to 
fill his own stomach, whilst a stone lieth heavy on the 
stomach of another ? 

How can the rich man eat that morsel, when he 
seeth the poor man eating blood ? 

Say not that the watcher by the sick man is in 
health, for the watcher himself twitcheth at every pang 
of the sick man. 

The travellers who arrive weary at the resting-place, 
can they sleep whilst the utterly worn-out are lagging 
behind ? 

Even the heart of a monarch must be burthened, 
when he seeth the poor thorn-laden ass sticking in 
the clay. 

To him who is seated in the palace of felicity, even 
a syllable of one of Sadi's sayings is enough : 

Equally so to thee, then, if thou wilt listen to it^ 

304 SADl, 

should be this : " If thou sowest thorns, thou wilt not 
reap jessamine." — Graf's Text^p, 78. TransL i. 54. 

The Poor Man's Burthen is less heavy than 

THE King's. 

Say not that there is nothing higher than the Sultan's 
<iignity ; that the mendicant is not happier than the 
King ! 

The lightly-laden will move the lighter ; and this is 
the truth, and pious men will listen to it. 

The empty-handed may eat his bread in sorrow ; 
the King hath to devour the griefs of a world. 

The beggar, when he hath eaten his evening's crust, 
sleepeth as sweetly as doth the Sultan of Syria. 

Joy and sorrow alike come to an end ; in death 
they depart both of them together; — 

What mattereth it that on the head of the one was 
placed a crown ; that on the neck of the other were 
laid the taxes ; — 

That the head of the one was exalted to Saturn ; 
that the other lay poverty-stricken in a dungeon ? 

When the troop of Destiny fell upon them both, it 
was not possible to distinguish the one from the other. 

Calamity is guardian of the kingdom of Fortune : 
the beggar is a king, and the king a beggar. 

THE BOSTAN. ' 305, 

I have heard that once upon a time a skull thus 
spake in the grave-yard to a holy man : 

" Once I possessed all the splendour of sovereignty ; 
the crown of greatness beamed upon my head 

''I had armies to back me, and the favour of 
Fortune, and I conquered Irak by the strong arm 
of Destiny; 

'* I had an eager desire to devour Kirman also, but 
my head was itself devoured by worms ! 

" Take the cotton of heedlessness out of the ear of 
thine intellect, and thine ear may receive counsel from 
the dead ! ''—Grafs Text, p. 86. TransL i. 60. 

From Book the Second: 


If thou art intelligent, prove thou the real, for the real 
is the permanent J not so the image ! 

Whoso hath not knowledge, and benevolence, and 
piety, knoweth nothing of reality, dwelleth only in the 

He will sleep peacefully beneath the sod who hath 
caused others to sleep with peaceful hearts. 

Whilst thou still livest, consume thine own grief, 
for thine heir will not leave anything when dead. 

Bestow thou then thy gold and thy wealth whilst 

3o6 SADL 

they are thine, for when thou art gone they will be no 
longer in thy power. 

And dost thou desire not to be hopeless for thyself^ 
dismiss not from thy thoughts those who are forlorn. 

Distribute thy treasure readily to-day, for to-morrow 
the key may no longer be in thy hand. 

Make thou thyself provision for thy journey, for 
compassion of wife or child will not avail thee. 

He who hath carried with him his heritage in 
eternity, he it is who hath borne from the world the 
ball of Fortune. 

Exert thyself to cast a covering over the poor, that 
God's own veil may be a covering for thee. 

Turn not the stranger from thy door without his 
portion, lest thou thyself stand a stranger at the door 
of others. 

Look thou with pity on the condition of the heart, 
for one day it may be thine own lot to be heart- 

Try to make joyful the soul of the desponding, and 
remember the day of despondency for thyself. 

Thou hast not to stand a petitioner at the gate of 
others : in gratitude drive not the petitioner from thy 
gate, — Grafs Text^p, 138. Transl, L 96. 



Cast thy shade over the head of the fatherless ; wipe 
away the dust from him ; draw out his thorn. 

Knowest thou not what hath so sadly distressed 
him ? — Can the tree ever be fresh and green without 
its root ? 

When thou beholdest the orphan cast down before 
thee, kiss not the face of thine own child. 

If the orphan weepeth, who is there to caress him ?^ 
And if he is angry, who is there to soothe him ? 

Take care that he weepeth not, for when the orphan 
weepeth even the throne of the Supreme trembleth. 

Tenderly wipe away the tear from his eye, gently 
remove the dust from his face. 

If his own shade no longer screeneth his head, do 
thou receive and nurture him under thine. 

Once my head was encircled with a diadem, when 
my head reposed on the breast of a father. 

It but a fly settled on my body, of how miany about 
me were the hearts disquieted ! 

Now, were an enemy to cast me into prison, not 
one of my friends would come nigh to assist me. 

I have experienced myself the sorrows of children, 
for in childhood I lost the protection of my father. 

The Lord of Khojund, who had once extracted a 
thorn from an orphan's foot, appeared to some one in 
a dream. 

3o8 SADL 

And said, as he paced the meads above: "How 
many roses have bloomed for me from that thorn ! " — 
Grafs Text, p. 140. TransL l 97. 

Abraham and the Fire-Worshipper. 

I have heard that for a whole week no wayfarer 
had come to claim the hospitality of the Friend of 
God [Abraham]. 

From a cheerful habit he would not eat his morning 
meal unless some necessitous traveller arrived on his 

He went out and looked out on every side, and 
surveyed every point of the valley. 

He saw only, like a reed in the desert, one solitary 
man, whose hair was white with the snows of age. 

He addressed him with a courteous welcome, and 
gave him an invitation after the custom of the liberal : 

" O dear to me as the apple of mine eye, do me the 
kindness to eat of my bread and of my salt." 

Gladly he assented, leaped up, and quickened his 
step, for he knew the character of the inviter — on 
whom be peace ! 

They who ministered to the hospitality of the 
Friend of God seated the poor old man in the seat of 


He commanded and they prepared the table, and 
his companions placed themselves around it ; 

But when the company began, " In the name of 
God," no voice from the old man reached the ear. 

Then he said : " O thou that hast seen many days, 
I perceive that thou art not pious and earnest as an 
old man should be. 

" Is it not proper, when thou eatest thy daily bread, 
to name the name of the Lord who gave it ?" 

He replied : " I have not followed thy way, for I 
was never taught it by the Priest of the Fire- Wor- 

Then the Prophet of good omen knew that the old 
man was an Infidel, doomed to perdition ; 

And when he found him to be an alien, he assailed 
him with contumelies as a wicked wretch too unholy 
to consort with the holy. 

Then came an Angel from the Creator who reproved 
him sternly, saying : 

''I have bestowed upon him life and daily food 
for a hundred years, and is he become to thee an 
abomination in a single day? 

** If he hath offered up his adoration before Fire, 
art thou therefore to withdraw from him the hand of 
benevolence?" — Grafs Textyp. 142. TransL L 99. 


The Wise Man and the Cheat. 

An eloquent fellow came to a Wise-man, saying : " I 
am broken-down and stuck fast, entangled in the 

" I am indebted to one of the base-born rabble ten 
direms, the weight of which lieth on my breast like 
ten hundred-weights. 

" All night he maketh my condition miserable ; all 
day he followeth my tail like my shadow. 

" He hath sorely broken my heart with his words ; 
my inmost soul as the door of my house. 

" He talketh as though God, since his mother bore 
him, had never given him aught save those ten 

"Of the books of his religion he knoweth not the 
first letter, and can recite only the chapter of denial. 

" Not a day doth the sun rise above the mountain 
that this wretched man is not battering my door with 
the knocker. 

" I am thinking whether some generous man will not 
aid me with silver to lift this stone from my breast ! " 

The old man, endowed with a happy disposition, 
listened to these words, and straightway placed two 
coins within his sleeve. 

The gold fell like a fairy-gift into his hand, and off 
he went with a face as bright as the gold. 

"Shaikh," said some one to him, "thou knowest 


not what that man is ! When that man dieth there 
will be no weeping over him — 

'' A beggar, who could put a saddle on a male lion, 
and place his Vizier and his Horseman as cleverly as 
Abu Zaaid" " 

The holy man looked at him displeased, and 
exclaimed : " Thou who art not a man with a tongue, 
incline to me thine ear a moment 

" If that which I deemed him to be is right, I have 
saved his reputation in the face of the people ; 

"And if he be but an impudent pretender, why, 
then — he hath played me a trick, as thou hast sus- 
pected." — Grafs Text ^ p. 144. TransL i. 100. 

The True Works of Piety. 

I HAVE heard that an old man on a pilgrimage to the 
Holy-Place, at each step made two head-bowings in 

So warmly was he pursuing his path towards God, 
that he paused not to pluck out a thorn from his foot. 

At last, through the temptations of his treacherous 
heart, his acts appeared so praiseworthy in his own 

That, through the machinations of the Evil One, he 
was well nigh falling into the pit. 

312 SADL 

Persuading himself that he could not by possibility 
walk on any road preferable to this ; 

And had the mercy of God not intervened, his vain 
glory would have hurried him on to destruction. 

But his good genius in an inaudible voice whispered 
to him : " O happy and fortune-favoured man ! 

''Think not that, because thou hast discharged a 
service of prayer, thou hast brought into this court a 
graceful free-will offering : 

" To give peace to a single heart by a kindly act is 
worth more than a thousand head-bowings in prayer ! '^ 
— Grafs Textyp. 151. TransL L 105. 


A MAN found in the desert a thirsty dog, which from 
want of drink was at its last gasp. 

The worthy man made a bucket of his cap, and 
twisted his muslin sash into a rope ; 

Then he girded his waist and extended his arms for 
service, and gave to the feeble dog a sup of water. 

The Prophet revealed of his future condition, that 
the Supreme Judge had for this act pardoned his sins. 

Oh, if thou hast been a hard man, bethink thee ; 
learn to be kind, and make beneficence thy business ! 

If a kindness done to a dog is not lost, how should 
that be which is done to a worthy man ? 


Do good as you find it offered to your hand ; the 
Master of the Universe hath closed against no one 
the door for doing some good. 

To give from your treasury a talent of gold is of 
less worth than a carat bestowed by the hand of 

Each one shall bear the burthen proportioned to his 
strength : the foot of a locust would be heavy for an 
ant — Grafs Textyp, 156. Tfansl. i. 109. 

The Hard-hearted. Man Punished. 

Thou who hast been blessed with the gifts of 
Fortune, be gentle with the people, that God may not 
to-morrow deal harshly with thee. 

Hath one fallen down, he will not always be per- 
plexed, for there is ever one at hand to take the hand 
of the fallen. 

Beware that thou command not thy slave cruelly, 
for maybe hereafter he may become thy commander. 

Since dignity and power are not held in perpetuity, 
use thou no violence with the poor and feeble ; 

For it may be that he may be raised to rank and 
authority, as the Pawn at Chess may become suddenly 

Listen then, thou far-sighted man, to good counsel ; 
scatter not over hearts the seed of malevolence. 

314 SADL 

The lord of the harvest injureth himself if he 
dealeth with the gleaner in a churlish spirit 

Let not him fear who giveth of his wealth to the 
poor, but him who layeth one man's burthen of grief 
on the heart of another. 

Many a mighty one hath fallen in the course, and 
to many a one who hath fallen hath Fortune held out 
a helping hand. 

Beware that thou break not the heart of thy 
dependants, lest one day thou become thyself 
dependent on others. 

A poor man who hath fallen into a sad condition 
was complaining one day to a crabbed rich man. 

The sour-hearted man gave him of money not a 
mite, but loaded him in his anger with loud impreca- 

The heart of the beggar was turned to gall by his 
violence ; he lifted up his head in passion and excite- 
ment, and exclaimed : " Is it not wonderful ! 

" Wherefore, O God, is the rich man so sour-faced ? 
Perchance, he knoweth nothing of the bitterness of 

Short-sighted man, he commanded a slave to drive 
him by main force contumeliously from his gate. 

I have heard that through his ingratitude to the 
All-Provider, Fortune at last turned away and deserted 

His greatness laid down its head amidst ruins, and 
Mercury dipped his pen in blackness. 

Misery left him naked and thin as his shoe-latchet \ 


nor freed him from his burthen, nor left him aught to 
bear it. 

Fate threw the dust of poverty on his head, and, 
like a juggler with his cup and ball, left him empty in 
purse and hand. 

EKs condition was altered from head to foot, and in 
the course of events Fortune abandoned him. 

His servant passed into the hands of a liberal master, 
large of heart and hand, and of a generous nature. 

At the sight of one poor and troubled in circum- 
stances he would be as overjoyed as the needy with 
his gift. 

One evening there came to his door one begging 
for a morsel, dragging along a body weakened by 

The master thereupon made a sign to his slave, and 
commanded him to administer solace to the needy 

The slave carried him a portion from the table, but, 
when he came near him, uttered a distracted cry. 

And came back to the merchant with a broken 
heart and eyes bathed in tears at the strange mystery. 

The good-natured master asked him immediately : 
** What suffering hast thou that thy face is wet with 

He replied : " My breast hath been sadly disturbed 
by the shattered fortunes of this poor old man. 

" Once in times past I was his Mamluk [/>., white 
slave] ; then he was master of lands and chattels and 
silver : 

3i6 SADL 


'' Now his hand is cut short of grandeur and pride, 
and is held out to beg alms from door to door." 

The merchant laughed, and said : " My boy, in thb 
hath been done no wrong. The revolution of the 
spheres doth injustice to no one. 

" Is not this man the churlish merchant who in his 
pride exalted his head to the skies ? 

'^ I am the man whom one day he thrust from his 
door. Now is my day, and the circling universe hath 
placed him now where I once was. 

" Heaven again looked down on me with favour, 
and wiped from my face the dust of affliction. 

" If God in His wisdom shutteth one door, in His 
beneficence and mercy He openeth another. 

" Many a needy bankrupt hath again been made 
full; many a prosperous state been turned topsy- 
turvy." — Grafs Tcxt^p, 156. TransL i. no. 

Shabli and the Ant. 

Listen to one of the qualities of good men, if thou 
art thyself a good man, and benevolently inclined I 

Shabli, returning from the shop of a corn-dealer, 
carried back to his village on his shoulder a sack of 

He looked, and beheld in that heap of grain an ant 
which kept running bewildered from corner to comer. 


Filled with pity thereat, and unable to sleep at 
night, he carried it back to its own dwelling, saying : 

"It were no benevolence to wound and distract 
this poor ant by severing it from its own place ! " 

Soothe to rest the hearts of the distracted, wouldst 
thou be at rest thyself from the blows of Fortune. 

How sweet are the words of the noble Ferdusi, 
upon whose grave be the mercy of the Benignant 

" Crush not yonder emmet as it draggeth along its 
,grain ; for it too liveth, and its life is sweet to it." 

A shadow must there be, and a stone upon that 
heart, that could wish to sorrow the heart even of an 
«mmet ! 

Strike not with the hand of violence the head of the 
feeble; for one day, like the ant, thou mayest fall 
under the foot thyself! 

Pity the poor moth in the flame of the taper ; see 
how it is scorched in the face of the assembly I 

Let me remind thee, that if there be many who are 
weaker than thou art, there may come at last one who 
is stronger than thou. — Grafs Text^ p. 160. TransL 
i. 113- 

3i8 SADL 

Live not on the Labour of others. 

A MAN observed one day a fox without foot or leg, and 
was perplexed as to the kindness and goodness of God: 

" How wiil it be able to prolong its existence ? how, 
without leg or claw, obtain wherewith to eat ? " 

With this the dervish was sorely disturbed, but 
just then came up a lion with a jackal in its jaws. 

The lion devoured the unfortunate jackal, but left 
enough to fill the maw of the fox. 

The next, day by good chance, fell a falcon beside 
him, so that each day as it came brought sufficient 
for the day. 

The assurance of the eye brought the man a new 
light, and he went away determined to rely on his 
Creator only ; 

And thenceforth to sit down like an ant in its cell, 
" since not even the elephant can get food by mere 

So he rested his chin within his collar, saying : " A 
messenger will be sent me by the All-Giver from the 
unseen world." 

But neither stranger nor friend came to minister to 
his wants, till veins and bone and skin became hard 
as a claw. 

When reason and patience were exhausted through 
weakness, from the wall of his chamber came a voice 
to his ear : 



Uprouse thee, lazy man, like a ravening lion ; cast 
not thyself down like a paralysed fox. 

" Put forth thy strength, like a lion, that something 
inay be left; not like the fox, feed on the lion's 
leavings !" 

He who, like a lion, is robust and active, if he lie 
down like a fox, is no better than a dog. 

Get with thine own hand, and bestow on others^ 
and strive not to live on another's redundancies. 

Eat so long as thou canst by the power of thine 
own arm, for the fruit of thine efforts will be weighed 
in thine own scales. 

Labour like a man, and be ready in doing kind- 
nesses; he is a good-for-nothing fellow who eateth 
by the toil of another's hand. 

Take thou, young man, the hand of the poor man ; 
but throw not thyself on others, saying : " Take me 
by the hand ! " 

The mercy of God be upon that servant, whose 
existence hath been the means of comforting his 
fellow-creatures ! 

He may look cheerfully for the good of both 
dwellings, who hath himself brought good to the 
people of God. — Grafs Text^p. 163. TransL i. 115. 

J20 SAD/. 

From Book the Third: 


Happy those who are disquieted with anxiety aboat 
Him, if the wound and the balsam are received 
together ! 

Scared away from sovereignty, they appear only 
as beggars, but, in their begging, they are patient 
through hope. 

Every moment they are drinking the water of 
affliction, but, if it taste bitter, they breathe not a 

In the pleasures of wine there is the pain of the 
after-headache, and the branch of the rose is armed 
with its thorn ; 

But patience is not bitter in memory of the dear 
one, for even wormwood is sugar from the hand of 
a friend. 

Whom He hath taken captive, he desireth not 
liberty, and the entangled in His noose wisheth not 
for deliverance. 

B^gars, though they live, they are kings in their 
isolation; though their guides have lost their track, 
they still look towards the resting-places. 

Intoxicated with passion, they mind not reproach, 
as the inebriated camel beareth its burden more 



How should the multitude find its way to their 
secret chambers, for, like the waters of life, they are 
hidden in darkness ? 

They kindle themselves the flame, which, as a moth, 
consumeth them ; not wrapping themselves up like 
the silk-worm in its own web. 

Seeking for the souFs repose on the bosom which 
only can give repose, their lips are still dry with 
thirst on the very margin of the stream : 

Not that they have no power to drink the water, 
but that their thirst could not be quenched, even on 
the banks of the Nile. — Grafs Text, p. 191. TramL 

i- 139- 

Humility : The Glow-worm. 

Perchance thou mayest have seen in the garden, or 

on the foot of a hillock, a small worm, which in the 

night shineth like a lamp. 

Some one said to it : ** O night-illuminating worm, 

what becometh of thee that thou never comest out 

during the day?" 

Hear what that little earth-bom fiery worm replied : 
" In the day, as in the night, I am equally in the 

field ; but I veil my lustre in the presence of the sun." 

— Grafs Text^ p, 217. Transl. i. 161. 


322 SADL 

The Unjustly Punished. 

During a tumult in one of the towns of Syria, they 
arrested an old man of a happy disposition. 

Even now his words are in my ear, whilst they were 
binding him hand and foot : 

" If the Sultan hath not given his authority, to 
whom belongeth the power of subjecting me to this 

It may be right that I should hold even an enemy 
for a friend, if I know that a friend hath sent him ta 

Whether it be grandeur and dignity, whether it be 
degradation and chains, I know that it cometh from 
God, not from Omar or Zaid* 

If thou art a wise man fear not the malady, and 
take, however bitter it may be, whatever medicine the 
physician sendeth thee. 

Swallow whatever cometh through the hand of a 
friend: the sick man is not more learned than the 
doctor. — Grafs Text, p, 217. TransL i. 162. 

*Not from this man or that. 


The Moth and the Taper. 

Some one said to the Moth : " My worthy friend, go 
choose for thy friend one suitable to thy condition. 

"Go thy way by the path which leadeth towards 
hope : whither will the love of the taper conduct thee ? 

"Thou art no salamander, circle not round the 
fiame ; in the battle-field is needed the strength of a 

" The blind mole lieth concealed from the sun ; it 
is mere folly to use thy palm against an arm of iron. 

" The man whom thou knowest to be thine enemy^ 
there is no wisdom in taking for a friend. 

" No one will say to thee thou doest well to hazard 
thy life in his affairs. 

" The beggar who should demand the daughter of a 
king would only draw blows upon himself, and nurse 
a vain ambition. 

" How could she take such a one as thee for a lover, 
upon whose countenance rest the looks of kings and 

"Think not that in that splendid circle a centre 
could be found for a bankrupt like thee ! 

" And however gentle she may be with the people, 
thinkest thou that she could show any warmth towards 
one so helpless as thou art ? " 

See what the flame-loving Moth replied : " Why 
wonder ? Though I be burnt by it, I fear it not 

324 SADL 

** My fire, like that of the Friend of God,* is in my 
heart ; the flame, believe me, is a bed of roses. 

" Neither of my own free will cast I mjrself into the 
fire, for the chain of aflection was laid upon my neck. 

" I was still at a distance when it began to glow, nor 
is this the moment that it was lighted up within me. 

'* Who shall impute it to me as a fault, that I am 
enchanted by my friend, that I am content in casting 
myself at his feet ? 

" Knowest thou wherefore I am eager to perish ? — 
If He />, though I am not^ it is all right ! 

" Why repeat to me : * Choose a friend who is suit- 
able to thyself ; one who is able to sympathise with 
thee in thy sorrows ' ? 

"Advice to me in so distracted a condition is as 
though thou shouldst say to a scorpion-bitten man : 

* Do not complain ! ' 

"Offer not counsel, wondering man, to any one, 
when thou knowest he will not receive it 

"To the helpless man whose bridle hath slipped 
from his hand, will they say ; * Push on thy horse 
gently, my boy ? * 

" It is good, O my son, the saying of Sindibad :t 

* Love is the fire, advice is the wind.' 

" By wind the hot fire becometh only the hotter ; by 
wounds the tiger becometh only the more savage. 

• The patriarch Abraham — See note 2. 

t An ancient Indian sage, the reputed author of the ** History 
of the King and his Seven Counsellors "—the Book of Sindibad, 


"When I looked upon thee as good, I see thee 
committing evil ; how should I go after thee, when I 
see thee devoted only to thyself? 

" Seek something better than thyself, and count it a 
gain, for with one like thyself it is but time lost 

" Only self-worshippers follow those like themselves, 
as the intoxicated rush towards the dangerous quarter. 

" As soon as I engaged myself in this affair, at once 
I staked my head against my heart [my affections] in 
its pursuit. 

" Whoever is sincere in his devotion will expose his 
life ; whoever is timid is but a lover of himself. 

" Death on a sudden draweth me into his ambush ; 
how much better that I fall into the snares of my 
Beloved One ! 

" Since without doubt death is written on my brow, 
death will be sweeter by the hand of the Comforter. 

"Wilt thou not one day helplessly surrender thy 
soul ? Better then is it that thou shouldst surrender 
it at the feet of one who loveth thee." — Grafs Text^ 
p. 224. Transi, L 166. 

326 SADI. 

The Same Subject. 

I remember that one night, when I could not dose 
my eyes in sleep, I heard the Moth say to the Tiq)er : 

" I am a lover, therefore it is right that I should 
be burnt ; but wherefore shouldst thou be lamendng 
and shedding tears ?'' 

It replied : " O my poor airy friend, my honey- 
sweet Shlrin is going away; 

" And since my Shirin hath left me, like FerhSd's, 
my head is all on fire." 

So spake the Taper, and each moment a flood of 
sorrow flowed down over its pale cheek. 

Then it continued : " O pretender, love is no affair 
of thine; for thou hast neither patience nor per- 

"Thou takest to flight before a slight flame; I stand 
firm till I am totally consumed 

" Thou mayest just singe a wing at the fire of love : 
look at me, who bum from head to foot" 

A part of the night was not yet gone, when sud- 
denly a Peri-faced damsel extinguished the light 

Then said the Taper : " My breath is departed, the 
smoke is over my head ; — such, my son, is the ending 
of love ! " 

If thou wouldst learn the moral of the story, it is 
this : Only will the pangs of burning affection cease, 
when life's taper is extinct 


Weep not over this monument of thy perished 
friend — rather praise Allah, that he is accepted by 

If thou art indeed a lover, wash not the pains of 
love from thy head ; wash rather, like Sadi, thy hand 
from all malevolence. 

The man who volunteereth a service of peril will 
not withdraw his grasp from his purpose, though 
stones and arrows rain down upon his head. 

I have said to thee : " Take heed how thou goest 
to the sea; but if thou wilt go, resign thyself to its 
billows. — Grafs Text, p. 228. TransL L 169. 

From the Fourth Book : 


The Holy One, the Lord, created thee of clay ; there- 
fore, O servant, prostrate thyself as the earth ! 

Be not thou covetous, arrogant, a world-spoiler; 
thou art formed of the clay, resemble not fire. 

Whilst the fire exalteth its neck proudly and 
terribly, the clay lieth prostrate in the consciousness 
of its helplessness. 

Whilst that displayeth its haughtiness, this exhib- 
iteth its littleness : of that were created Demons, of 
this was formed Man ! 

328 SADJ. 

A drop of rain trickled from a cloud into the ocean ; 
when it beheld the breadth of its waters, it was 
utterly confounded : 

" WTiat a place this sea is, and what am I ? If it 
is existent, verily I am non-existent." 

Whilst it was thus regarding itself with the eye of 
contempt, an oyster received and cherished it in its 

Fortune preferred it to a place of honour; for it 
became a renowned royal pearL 

Because it was humble, it found exaltation; it 
knocked at the door of nonentity, that it might arise 
into being. — Grafs Text^p, 230. TransL i. 171. 


A YOUTH, intelligent and of good disposition, arrived 
by sea at a Grecian port. 

They perceived that he was endowed with excel- 
lence, and judgment, and an inclination to asceticism, 
and placed him accordingly in a sacred building. 

The Head of the devotees said to him one day : 
" Go and cast out the dirt and the rubbish from the 

As soon as the young traveller heard the words he 
went forth, but no one discovered any sign of his 


The Superior and the brethren laid a charge against 
him, saying : " This young devotee hath no aptness 
for his vocation." . 

The following day one of the society met him in 
the road and said to him : " Thou hast showed an 
unseemly and perverse disposition. 

" Didst thou not know, O self-opinionated boy, that 
it is through obedience men attain to honour?" 

He began to weep, and replied : " O friend of my 
soul and enlightener of my heart, it is in earnestness 
and in sincerity that I have acted thus. 

" I found in that sacred building neither dust nor 
defilement; only myself was polluted in that holy 

** Therefore, immediately I drew back my foot, feel- 
ing that to withdraw myself ^9^2^ to cleanse the mosque 
from dirt and rubbish." 

For the devotee there is only one path — to submit 
his body to humiliation. 

Thine exaltation must come from choosing self- 
abasement ; to reach the lofty roof there is no ladder 
save this. — Grafs Tcxt^p, 231. Transl i. 172. 

330 SADL 

The Sinner and Jssus. 

One of the narrators hath committed to words that in 
the time of Jesus — on whom be a blessing ! — 

Was one of the dissolute, who had consumed his 
all, and reached the utmost bounds of error and folly. 

Bold, hard-hearted, and of blackened name, Iblis 
{Satan] himself would have been ashamed of his im- 

He had spent all his days to no profit ; never tried 
to soothe the heart of any one. 

His brain was emptied of understanding, and filled 
with arrogance, and his body was fat with forbidden 

The skirts of his garment were stained with iniquity ; 
begrimed like a smoky dwelling with shamelessness ; 

His feet not rightly directed, like- those of the clear- 
sighted ; his ear not one disposed to listen to good 

Men held him in abomination, like the year of 
famine, pointing to him from afar, as one pointeth to 
the new moon. 

A scorching wind had burned up his harvest, and 
he had not picked up a single wholesome grain. 

He had run the black-book so completely through 
and through, that there remained no longer a page to 
write on. 

Sinful and wilful and devoted to his pleasures, night 


and day he passed carelessly in drunkenness and 

I have heard that Jesus, returning from the desert, 
was passing by the hermitage of a devotee. 

The anchorite came down from his private cell, and 
fell at his feet with his head on the ground 

The Sinner at last approached them from a distance, 
dazzled at their presence like the moth before the 
candle, gazing upon them earnestly, sighing and bash- 
ful, like a poor man in the presence of a wealthy 

Silent and motionless, burning pleas upon his lips, 
for nights spent till daylight in careless negligence, 

Raining tears of sorrow from his eyes as from a 
cloud, that life had been passed, alas ! in so much 
heedlessness : 

" I have thrown away the ready-money of my pre- 
cious life, and have brought to my account no act of 
goodness ! 

" Let no living man be ever like me, for to him to 
die were far better than to live ! 

" He hath escaped well who. died in infancy; who 
hath not, an old man, had to bear the burthen of shame ! 

" Forgive, Creator of the world, my offences ; 
for if they rise with me they will be but sad com- 
panions ! " 

In such tones lamenting stood the ancient sinner, 
imploring help from Him who is the Helper ; 

Hanging down his head for very shame, and a river 
of tears flowing upon his bosom. 

332 SADJ. 

Meanwhile the Devotee, half turning away, his brain 
puffed up with vain self-esteem, fixed a sour brow on 
the wicked one, and exclaimed : 

" Why doth this ruined fellow follow our steps — 
ignorant and ill-omened, claim kindred with us ? 

" Encompassed with fire up to the very neck — ^his 
life given over to the storm of the passions, 

"What good can come from his polluted breath? 
What right can such as he have to seek the society of 
the Messiah and me ? 

" What was he that he should press his companion- 
ship on us ? Rather let him follow his own deeds to 

" I am pained at the very aspect of his ugly counten- 
ance ! May it never be that I should fall into his fire ! 

"At the resurrection, when all men are assembled for 
judgment, let not my resurrection, O God, be with his !" 

At this moment an inspired voice from the august 
Lord of all Perfection came to Jesus — on whom be 
blessings ! — 

** TiioUj^h this he a wise man and that be a fool, the 
invocation of each will be accepted by me. 

" The one who turned his bright day to corruption 
hath lamented it to me with burning tears. 

" Whosoever cometh to seek me in his helplessness, 
him will I in no wise drive away from the threshold of 
mercy ; 

" His evil works will 1 remove from him, and for 
what he hath done of good I will bring him to Para- 


" And if he who hath been the devotee of holiness 
scometh to sit beside him in eternity, 

"Say to him : *Fear not that he should disgrace 
thee in the resurrection ; for this one shall they bear 
to Paradise and that one to the fire/ " 

He knew not that in the court of Heaven help- 
lessness is esteemed more highly than self-exaltatioa 

If thy garments be clean and thine actions be foul, 
thou needest no key to the door of hell. 

At that threshold weakness and misery avail more 
than worship and presumption. 

If thou numberest thyself amongst the good, thou 
art evil : self-estimation is not amongst the things 
which belong to godliness ! 

If thou art a man, speak not much about thine own 
manliness ; for not every champion driveth the ball to 
the goal 

He is but a simpleton who, because the onion hath 
a perfect rind, thinketh that it is a pistachio nut, and 
hath within it a kernel. 

Devotion of this kind bringeth with it no good — go, 
ask forgiveness rather for lack of devotion ! 

That senseless man will gain nothing from his 
worship, who, good in his own esteem, thinketh evil 
of others. 

Words are what is left as the memorials of the wise ; 
retain in thy memory one word of Sadi's : 

Better is the sinner who hath thoughts about God 
than the saint who hath only the show of sanctity. — 
Grafs Text, p. 234. Transl. i. 175. 

334 SADL 

From the Fifth Book: 


One night I was burning the oil of reflection and was 
kindling the lamp of eloquence, 

When an idle chatterer heard me reciting ; one who 
seeth no path but that of detraction. 

Though obliged to commend, yet he found such a 
variety of blemishes in the pages that he was con- 
strained by the pain to cry out against them : 

" Yes, his thoughts are eloquent and his counsels 
exalted, and he is elegant enough about temperance, 
fine sentiment, and good advice ; 

" But he hath nothing to say on javelin, mace, and 
heavy battle-axe; elegancies of this kind he must 
leave to others." 

He knew not that my intention is not to speak 
of war ; but were it so, my majesty of diction is not 

I am able enough to wield the sword of the tongue, 
and in one moment could utterly confound his very 

Let him come, and let us do battle in this kind of 
elegance, and our foe shall rest his head on a stone, 
not a cushion. — Grafs Text, /. 286. TransL ii. i. 


The Camel and her Foal. 

A camel's foal said to her mother: " After journey- 
ing so long, rest for awhile." 

She replied : " Were the rein in my hand, no one 
would behold me conveying this burthen in the file." 

Fate beareth onward the ship, whither it will, how- 
soever the master may rend the clothes on his body. 

Fix not thine eye, O Sadi, on the hand of any one ; 
the All-Giver will be thy provider, and that is enough I 

If thou reverest God, He sufficeth thee ; and if He 
rejecteth thee, no one else will receive thee. 

If He deigneth to crown thee, lift up thy head : but 
if not, sink it in hopelessness. — Grafs Text^ p, 30 1» 
TransL il 12. 

From the Sixth Book: 


He hath never known God, or offered real worship^ 
who is not contented with his state and daily bread. 

Contentment is the gain which maketh man truly 
rich ; make this well known to those who covet the 
riches of the world ! 

336 SADL 

Try to win quietude, thou restless man ; for on a 
rolling stone groweth no verdure. 

Nourish not the body, if thou beest a man of intel- 
ligence and wisdom ; for whilst thou thinkest thou 
art feeding, thou art killing it. 

Men of understanding nourish the virtues ; those 
who nourish the body are starvers of the spirit. 

Eating and sleeping are the track which the beasts 
pursue ; to follow their track is the way of the unin- 

Whoso first silenced the hound of greediness, he it 
was who taught man to listen to morality. 

Favoured indeed by Fortune is the recluse who can 
draw in his cell his nourishment from knowledge ; 

For those to whom the walking in the truth is clear 
will not make choice of that which is false. 

But if they cannot discern between light and dark- 
ness, what mattercth to them the aspect of a demon, 
or the cheek of a houri ? 

It is thou who hast cast thyself into the well, 
because thou didst not distinguish the well from the 

When the male-falcon is soaring to the pinnacle of 
heaven, how could it do so were the stone of avidity 
attached to its pinions. 

But if he can free his skirt from the grasp of 
sensuality, he may reach the Sidrah-tree itself. 

If thou wilt control thine appetites, and eat less 
than thy want, thou mayest assume to thyself the 
nature of angels. 


How should ihe savage lion become an angel ? It 
is impossible lo fly to heaven out of the mud. 

Thou must apprentice thyself to human habits; 
then mayest thou think of those which are angelic. 

If thou art mounted with girded loms on an un- 
governable colt, look well that it free not its head 
from thy grasp ; 

For if it once pluck the bridle from thy hand, it 
will kill itself, and spill thine own blood. — Grt^t 
Text.p. 308. Traml. a. 18. 

The Father and his Infant. 

An infant had arrived at the time of teething. The 
father sank his head on his breast, exclaiming : 

"Whence shall I bring him bread and food, and 
humanity will not permit rac to leave him without ? " 

Whilst he was talking thus despairingly to his wife, 
hear the manly way in which the woman replied : 

"Let not Iblis [Satan] fright thee with thoughts 
that he must die. The same One who gave him 
teeth will give him bread also. 

"The Lord of Day hath surely power enough to 
provide him his daily food : be not disquieted. 

" He who formed the child in the womb will also 
prescribe for his life and nourishment. 

"The master who hath purchased a slave will pro- 
vide — how should it be otherwise? — that which will 
support the slave. 

" Hast thou not so much reliance on Him, the 
Creator, as the slave hath upon his master?" — Graft 
Text, p. 319. Transl. ii. 2^. 

Be Prepared for Vicissitudes. 

The vineyard doth not perpetually produce the mcaR 
cluster of grapes ; sometimes it yieldeth its fruit, and 
sometimes it scattereth its leaves. 

Great men, like the sun, are veiled in mist ; the 
envious, like burning charcoal, are exlinguished in the 

The sun gradually comelh forth again from under 
the cloud ; the charcoal dieth in the water for ever, 

Fear not, my valued friend, fear not obscurity, for 
not unfrequently lieth hid within it the fountain of 

Doth not the earth find rest again after the earth- 
quake ? By your painful journey, did you not obtain 
what you were in want of? 

In disappointment consume not thy soul with 
anxiety ; the night, O my brother, is big with the day. 
—Graf's Text, p. 325. Traml. ii 33. 


From the Seventh Book 


My theme is rectitude, and self-government, and good 
habits, not the practising-ground, and horsemen, and 
mace, and ball. 

Thine enemy is the spirit which dwellelh with thy- 
self; why seek in a stranger one to contend with? 

He who can bridle his spirit from that which is for- 
bidden hath surpassed Rustam and Sam in valour. 

Chastise thou thyself like a child with thine own 
rod, and brain not others with thy ponderous mace. 

An enemy will suffer no harm from one like thee, 
unless thou art able to overcome thyself. 

The body is a city full of good and evil ; thou art 
the Sultan, and reason thy wise Vizier. 

In this city, side by side, live base men, self- 
exalted ;— Pride, and Sensuality — tierce Passions ; 

Contentment, Conscientiousness, men of good 
name. Lust and Ambition, Robbery and Treachery. 

When the Sultan makcth the bad his familiars, 
where can the prudent find a place of rest ? 

Appetite, and Greediness, and Pride, and Envy, 
cleave to thyself as the blood in thy veins, and the 
. soul in thy vitals. 

If these enemies have once obtained the mastery 

340 SADL 

of thee, they rush out, and will overpower all thy 

There need be no contest with appetite and passion, 
if so be that Reason hold out a sharp claw. 

The chief who knoweth not how to manage his 
enemy will hardly save his chieftainship from his 
enemy's hand. 

What need can there be in this book to say much ? 
A little is enough for him who goeth right to his mark. 
— Grafts Text^p. 326. TransL ii. 34. 

Keep your own Secret. 

Sultan Takish once committed a secret to his slaves, 
which they were enjoined to tell again to no one. 

For a year it had not passed from his breast to his 
lips ; it was published to all the world in a single day. 

He commanded the executioner to sever with the 
sword their heads from their bodies without mercy. 

One from their midst exclaimed : " Beware ! slay 
not the slaves, for the fault is thine own. 

" Why didst thou not dam up at once what at first 
was but a fountain ? — What availeth it to do so when 
it is become a torrent ? " 

Take heed that thou reveal not to any one the 
secret of thy heart, for he will divulge it to all the 


Thy jewels thou mayest consign to the keeping of 
thy treasurer; but thy secret reserve for thine own 

Whilst thou utterest not a word, thou hast thy 
hand upon it ; when thou hast uttered it, it hath laid 
its hand upon thee.* 

Thou knowest that when the demon hath escaped 
from his cage, by no adjuration will he enter it 

The word is an enchained demon in the pit of the 
heart, let it not escape to the tongue and the palate. 

It is possible to open a way to the strong demon ; 
to retake him by stratagem is not possible. 

A child may untether " Lightning,"* but a hundred 
Rustams will not bring him to the halter again. 

Take heed, that thou say not that which, if it 
come to the crowd, may bring trouble to a single 

It was well said by his wife to an ignorant peasant : 
'" Either talk sensibly or hold thy tongue." — Grafts 
Textyp, 329. TransL ii. 37. 

• Rakhsh, " Lightning/' the name of the war-horse of Rus- 
tam, the Persian hero. 

Speech and Silence. 

A MAN in Cairo, of fair mien, but clothed in ngs, 

maintained for some time great silence. 

Intelligent men from far and near circled . round 
him, as the light-loving moth about the taper. 

One night, communing with his heart, he said within 
himself: "The man lieth concealed beneath his 

" If I thus keep my head hid in my breast, hovr 
should men know how learned I am?" 

So he si>ake out his words, and enemy and friend 
discovered at once that there was not a more ignorant 
fellow in Cairo. 

Respect for him gone and matters looking badly, 
he set off on his travels, and wrote on an arch of a 
mosque : 

L" If I had looked at myself in the mirror, 1 should 
not in my ignorance have rent my veil. 
" I came out from that veil so ugly, because I 
fancied that I was so handsome." 
The man of few words hath loud voices in hi& 
favour ; when thou hast spoken, and thy brilliance is 
departed, hie thee away I 
To thee who art master of thy reason, silence is a 
mark of calmness ; to the incapable, a veil to cover 
If thou art a wise man, dcsttoy not reverence ; and 



r thou art ignorant, rend not the veil which hideth 

The thought of thy heart be not hasty to reveal ; 
thou wilt be ab!e to show it, whensoever thou 
mayest wish : 

But when a man's secret is once made public, no 
effort will avail to conceal it again. 

The beasts are silent, and man is gifted with the 

;ulty of speech ; but a man who talketh at random 

worse than the beasts. 

When a man ultereth his words, he should do it 
with understanding ; if not, like the beasts, he had 
better hold his peace. 

He who is born of man is distinguished by articu- 
lation and reason ; let him not show his folly by 
chattering like a parrot. — Grafs Text, p. 331. Traml. 


Caliimny worse than Thkft. 

Some one said to me^I took it for a pleasantry — 
that thieving was a less unrighteous thing than 

I replied ; " O my friend, thy head is distracted ; 
thy words come to mine ears with amazemenL 

" What of better dost thou see in robbery, that thou 
^■ttaltest such villany above calumny?" — "Yes," he 

344 SADI. 

answered ; "robbers exhibit deeds of daring : they fill 
their bellies by the strong hand. 

" What seeketh the simpleton to gain by calumny ? 
— He hath smeared the page, and got nothing to cat 
by W'-^Grafs Text, p. 341. Transi. il 46. 


When thy son hath passed his tenth year, say to him : 
" Sit apart from strangers." 

It is not well to kindle a fire near cotton, for whilst 
thou closest thine eyes thy house may be burning. 

If thou desirest that thy name should remain in its 
place, teach thy son understanding and knowledge. 

If he possess not wisdom and knowledge thou wilt 
die, and no one will remain after thee. 

Oft-times hath the son had to bear hardships in the 
end, when he hath been too tenderly nurtured by his 

Keep him within bounds of prudence and modera- 
tion 'y if thou boldest him dear, indulge him not in 

In his childhood thou must give him chastisement 
and instruction ; must teach the good and the evil by 
threats and by promises. 

To the young learner praise, and commendation, 


and " well-done !" are better than chiding and fright- 
ening in the master. 

Teach to thy pupil some kind of handicraft, hast 
thou in ihy hand all the wealth of Karfin ; ' 

For what knowest thou, whether some shift of For- 
tune will not turn him out of his home to a distant 

Place no reliance on present prosperity, for thy 
wealth may no longer remain in thy hand. 

Let his hand be but skilful at some trade, and why 
should he stretch out the hand of necessity to any 

Thy purse of silver and gold may come to an end ; 
the purse of the artisan will never be empty. 

Dost thou not know how Sadi attained his wishes ? 

He roamed not over plains, nor divided seas : 

In his youth he bore cuffs from his elders, and in 
s age God gave him recreation. 

Whoever submitteth his neck to authority, doth it 
not frequently happen that he cometh to authority 

The child who hath never felt the austerity of the 
I teacher will have to learn from the severity of life. 

) the child, and treat him with kindness, 
Aat his eye may not be directed to look for it from 
' «tbers. 

Whoever doth not himself sympathise with his 
child will make others sympathise, and gain him a 
H bad name. 
^h Take heed thai thou commit him not to a vicious 







346 SADI. 

teacher, for he will make him as vicious and led-ostrajr 
as himself 

Thou canst not find him a blacker book than that 
good-for-nothing fellow, to blacken him ere his fiio» 
is blackened by his beard. 

Fly from that man so lost to honour, that his un- 
worthiness causeth worthy men to weep. 

If his son hath sat in the society of Kalenders,' say 
to his father : " Hope no good of him. 

" Cry not Alas ! over his death or ruin ; for it 
is well that the degenerate one should die before his 
father." — Grafs Text^p, 354. TransL il 59. 

From Book the Eighth: 


I CANNOT draw a breath without gratitude to the 
Friend, though I know no gratitude which is worthy 
of Him. 

Every hair of my body is a gift from Him : how 
express my gratitude for every hair ? 

Praise be to the Lord, the Giver of all good, who 
created His slave out of nonentity ! 

Who is there that hath power to describe His 
beneficence ? for the description of His favours would 
quite overwhelm him ! 




The Wonderful One ! who created man out of 
clay, and gave him a soul, and understanding, and 
wisdom, and a heart ! 

From the loins of thy father till thy hoary head, 
tee what honour He bestoweth on thee from the 
unseen world ! 

Since He created thee holy, be thou wise and holy; 
for it is shameful to return impure to the earth. 

Gradually disperse the dust from the mirror, for it 
will not take the polish when tlie rust hath eaten 
finto it. 

I Wast thou not in the beginning but a drop of 
water? Now that thou art a man expel from thy 
head every grain of egotism. 

When thou hast gained thy daily bread by thine 
own endeavours, place not thy reliance on the strength 
of thine own arm. 

Wherefore discernest ihou not God, O thou wor- 
shipper of self, who gave to thy hand and arm its 
I activity P 

\ When from thy labouring thou receivest any thing^ 
know that it is by the grace of God, not by thine own 

No one by the power of his wrist drove the ball to 
the goal ; render the praise to Him, the All-Gracious i 

Thou art not able to stand, or set one foot before 
another, did not assistance come to thee every 
moment from the unseen world! — Grafs Text, p. 
,371. Transl. ii. 73, 

348 SADL 

King Toghrul and the Sentinel. 

I HAVE heard that King Toghrul came in his rounds 
on a Hindu sentinel 

The snow was falling thick, and it rained in tor- 
rents, and he shivered with the cold like the star 

The heart of the King was moved with compassion, 
and he said : ** Thou shalt put on my fur-mantle ; 

" Wait a moment at the end of the terrace, and I 
will send it out by the hand of a slave.*' 

Meanwhile a piercing wind was blowing, and the 
King walked into his royal hall. 

There the sight of a lovely lady so enchanted him, 
that the poor sentinel entirely slipped his memory. 

As though the wintry cold was not suffering enough, 
to his evil fortune were added the pangs of disap- 

Hear, whilst the King slept in comfort, what the 
watchman was saying towards the dawning of the 
morning : 

" Perhaps thy good fortune made thee forgetful, for 
thy hand was clasped in the hand of thy beloved. 

" For thee the night passed in mirth and enjoy- 
ment ; what knowest thou of how it passed with us ? 

"When the company of the caravan are stooping 
the head over the platter, what concern have they for 
xhose who have fallen down in the sand [the desert] ? 


"O boatman, launch thy boat into the water, for 
it hath nearly reached the head of the helpless waders I 

" Stay your steps awhile, ye active youths, for in the 
caravan are weak old men also. 

" Thou who art sleeping sweetly in thy litter, whilst 
the bridle of the camel is in the hand of the driver, 

*' What to thee is plain, and hill, and stone, and 
sand ? — ^Ask, how it is with those who are left behind 
on the journey 1 

"Thou who art borne along on thine high and 
strong dromedary, how knowest thou how he fareth 
who is travelling on foot ? 

" They who in the quiet of their hearts are reposing 
at the resting-place, what know they of the condition 
of the hungry wayfarer?" — Grafs Text^ /. 38 1*^ 
Transl, iL 8i. 

From the Ninth Book: 


Come thou, whose life hath reached its seventieth 
year! — perchance thou hast been asleep, and it is. 
gone to the wind. 

Thou hast made ample provision for thy living : 
what preparation hast thou made for thy departure ? 

At the resurrection, when the market of heaven is 

$y> SAD/, 

thrown open, good works are the price which must be 
paid for the pleasant mansions. 

Whatever capital thou bringest, so much wilt thou 
carry back : and if thou art bankrupt, thou canst 
purchase naught but shame : 

For by how much the market is more abundantly 
supplied with wares, by so much will the empty- 
handed be grieved in his heart 

If out of fifty direms thou losest five, from the loss 
of those five thy heart is afflicted : 

If fifty years have slipped from thy grasp, the five 
days which remain count as a treasure. 

If the poor dead man had but a tongue, with shouts 
and groans he would cry aloud : 

" O thou living-one, to whom speech is still possible, 
press not thy lips together — rest not, like the dead, 
from praising God ! " 

If thou hast passed thy day in carelessness, count at 
once as thine opportunity the fe^;^ moments that still 
are left thee. — Graf's Text, p. 398. TransL ii. 97. 


The Gold-finder. 

A MAN of unsullied morals and a worshipper of God 
found by chance a lump of gold. 

His once clearly-discerning head was so bewildered 
by the gain, that his hitherto pure heart became 
darkened thereby. 

All the night long he kept thinking : "This wealth 
and treasure, whithersoever we push our journey, will 
suffer no exhaustion. 

" Besides, when I am too weak to rise, I shall not 
have to keep bowing and lifting myself up again to 
any one. 

" I will build myself a palace with foundations of 
marble, the beams of its roof of fresh aloes-wood. 

" It shall have a private chamber for the entertain- 
ment of my friends, the door of which shall open into 
the palace-garden. 

" I wore myself down with sewing patch to patch on 
my garments ; envy of others consumed mine eye and 
my brain. 

" Now my meat shall be cooked for me by servants, 
and I will cherish my soul in quietness. 

" My bed hath been hitherto a hard one and made 
of felt ; my couch shall henceforth be of the finest 

The crab so plunged its claws into his brain, that 
his fancies turned him into dotage and insanity. 

353 SADL 

Attention to his devotions and duties was forgotten; 
and to food, and sleep, and praise, and prayers alike. 

He went forth into a solitary place, his head dis- 
tracted with delusions, for he found no spot in which 
he could sit down and remain at rest 

There he saw a man who was tempering clay at the 
head of a grave, and who was making bricks of die 
clay of the grave. 

Then the holy man fell into deep thought, and said : 
" O short-sighted soul, take counsel from this : 

"Why bind thy heart to this brick of gold, when 
one day they will make bricks of thine own clay ? 

'* Thou careless man, who in thy thought about gain 
and riches tramplest under foot the capital of life ! 

"Over our clay will blow a wind so strong, that 
every atom of it will be borne to a different place. 

" The dust of ambition hath so choked up the eye 
of judgment, that the hot wind of passion hath burnt 
up the harvest of life." — Grafs Texf, p, 409. TransL 
ii. 107. 


The Two Enemies. 

There were two men between whom was enmity and 
contention, and who fought like tigers for the pride of 
being one above the other ; 

Fl3dng from one another in their aversion to such a 
degree that the heavens seemed too narrow to contain 

On the head of one of them Destiny brought down 
his legion, and his days of delight came to an end. 

The other, in his evil thoughts, was inwardly filled 
with gladness, and when some time had passed he 
went to visit his grave. 

The chamber of his tomb, which once had been 
ornamented with gilding like a palace, he found be- 
smeared with clay. 

Exultingly he went down to his couch, and said to 
himself, with a laugh on his open lip: 

" Joy for the rest of life to him who after the death 
of his enemy is in the embraces of a friend ! 

" There is no need to weep over the death of that 
man, who hath lived one day after the death of his 

In the excess of his hatred, with the strength of his 
arm he tore down a board from the face of the 

He saw the royal head brought down to a pit ; the 

2 A 

354 SADL 

two eyes, which once looked round upon the world, 
stuffed with clay ; 

His person, a captive in the prison of the tomb ; his 
body, the food of the worm and the prey of the ant ; 

From the revolutions of the spheres, the full-moon of 
his countenance dwindled away to the changing moon ; 
from the violence of Fate, his cypress like form reduced 
to a bodkin ; 

The palm of his hand, and the power of his fist, 
disjoined by time, member from member. 

Then was his heart so filled with pity, that with his 
weeping he changed the dust into clay. 

He repented himself of what he had done, and of 
his ugly disposition, and caused to be inscribed on the 
stone of the sepulchre : 

" Make no rejoicing over the death of any one ; for 
thine own time will not be long after his." 

An intelligent holy man heard of this, and breathed 
out a prayer, saying : " O All-Powerful Creator ! 

"It would be wonderful wert Thou not to extend 
Thy mercy to one over whom his very enemy hath 
wept with many groans ! 

** May my body also one day be found in such a 
condition, that the hearts of my enemies may be 
kindled towards me ! 

" Perhaps the heart of the Friend will have mercy 
upon me, when He seeth that even my enemies have 
forgiven mt^'-^Grafs Text, p. 411. TransL iL 108. 


Sadi and the Ring. 

I RECALL to my memory, how, during the life of my 
father — may the rain of mercy every moment descend 
upon him ! — 

He bought for me in my childhood a tablet and a 
writing-book, and for my finger a golden seal-ring. 

As it happened, a pedlar came to the door, and in 
exchange for a date carried off the ring from my hand ; 

For a little child cannot estimate the value of a seal- 
ring, and will easily part with it for anything sweet 

And thou, too, dost not estimate the value of a life, 
who throwest it away in luxurious indulgencies. 

In the resurrection, when the righteous arrive at 
the lofty place, and are raised from the damp pit to 
the region of the Pleiades, 

Will thy head not be bowed down in abasement, 
when all thy works shall be assembled before thee ? 

O brother, be ashamed now to do the deeds of the 
bad, that thou mayest not need to be ashamed in the 
face of the good 

On that day when inquest shall be made into deeds 
and words, and the body even of those who have 
striven after holiness shall tremble, 

With what excuse for thy sins wilt thou hear thy 
summons, when the very Prophets will be over- 
whelmed with terror? — Grafs Text, p. 416. TransL 
ii. 112. 

3$6 SADL 

The Bad Man and the Sheikh. 

Knock at the door of mercy, ere the chastisement 
come ; for lamentation is useless when thou art under 
the rod. 

Lift up thy head from the bosom of carelessness 
for to-morrow shame may no longer remain in thy 

A man of an excellent character was passing by 
one addicted to forbidden things, 

Who sat, his face suffused with the dew of shame, 
and was exclaiming : " What shame to be seen thus 
by the Sheikh of my village ! " 

The holy man heard his words, and approached 
him and said, with some asperity : 

" O young man, shouldst thou not be ashamed of 
thyself, that, when God is present, thou art ashamed 
at seeing me ? 

" Feel so much shame in the presence of thy Lord 
as thou wouldst feel in that of the faultless and thy 

" Thou wilt not find rest beside thy fellow-man : go 
look for it to the side of God, and that will be enough.*' 
— Grafs Text ^ p. 426. Trans/, ii. 119. 

THE B0S7AN. 357 

Ask Pardon in Time. 

A KING of Damaghan beat some one with a drumstick 
so soundly that his cries resounded like his drum. 

In the night he was so restless that he was unable 
to sleep. A pious man, who was passing, said : 

" If thou hadst brought thy regrets to the Prince in 
the evening, thou wouldst not have had to bear this 
humiliation in the morning." 

He will not need to be ashamed in the Day of 
Judgment who brings his sorrows at night into the 
court of the Supreme. 

If to-day thou canst hold up thy head in sincerity, 
what fear that the Merciful-One will close the door 
against those who ask for pardon ? 

If thou art wise, petition the Just-One; and the 
night of repentance will abridge the day of wrong- 

The Merciful-One, who brought thee, a nonentity, 
into being — is it wonderful that He, if thou be falling, 
should take thee by the hand ? 

If thou art a servant, lift up the hand of supplica- 
tion ; and, if thou hast cause for shame, rain down 
the waters of regret. 

No one hath come to this door to implore forgive- 
ness, whose transgression will not have been washed 
away by the torrent of repentance. 

358 SADl. 

God will not wipe out the character of him whose 
fault hath been wiped out by his many tears. — Grafs 
Textyp. 430. Transl. ii. 123. 

Sadi at the Grave of his Child. 

Whilst I was at Sanaa, I lost a child ; — ^why talk of 
the blow which then fell upon my head ? 

Fate never formed an image of comeliness like 
Joseph's that a fish did not become, like Jonah's, its 

In this garden no cypress ever reached its full 
stature, that the blast of Destiny did not tear its trunk 
from the root. 

It is not wonderful that roses should spring out of 
the earth, when so many rose-like forms sleep within 
its clay. 

I said in my heart : " Die ! for, shame to man, the 
child departeth unsullied, and the old man polluted ! " 

In my melancholy and distraction, whilst dwelling 
on his image, I erected a stone over the spot where he 

In terror of that place, so dark and narrow, my 
colour paled, and my senses failed me. 

When from that disturbance my understanding 
came back to me, a voice from my darling child 
struck mine ear : 



" If that dark spot make thee feel thy desolation, 
recall thy reason, and come out into the light. 

" Wouldst thou make the night of the tomb bright 
as day, light it up with the lamp of good works." 

The body of the gardener trembleth as in a fever, 
lest the palm-tree should not produce its date. 

Crowds are there of those who, greedy of the 
world's pleasures, think that, not having scattered the 
grain, they can yet gather in the crop ; 

But Sadi telleth you : Only he who planteth a tree 
will eat the fruit of it ; only he who casteth the seed 
will reap the harvest. — Grafs Text^p, 431. TransL 
ii. 124. 

From the Tenth Book. 


Come, let us lift up our hands from the heart, for to- 
morrow it will not be possible to lift them up from the 
clay. . 

Dost thou not behold the tree in the winterly season, 
how it standeth leafless from the piercing cold ? 

See, how it holdeth out its hands in supplication, 
that, for pity's sake, it may not become empty-handed 
again ; 



That Fate may restore to it its robe of honour ; may 
replace in Its lap its abundance of fruit. 

Bethink thee of that door whirh Is never closed, 
where the upraised hand is never despairing ; 

Whither all may bring their devotion, and the 
wretched his supplication; and through which all 
may come to the court of the Comforter of the 

Like the naked branch, let us lift our hands ; for 
wc cannot sit longer before a leafless tree. 

O Lord, do thou look down upon us benignantly, 
that our sins may be removed from Thy servants whilst 
still in the body ! 

If Thine earth-formed creatures commit faults, let 
it be in the hope of mercy from Him who is the 
Pardoner of transgressors. 

O Generous-One, we have been nourished by Thy 
daily bread ; Thy bounties and Thy grace have nuds 
our habit 

When the beggar beholdeth liberality, kindness, 
and soothing, let him not turn back from the track of 
the Giver. 

Since in this world Thou hast regarded us 
precious, let us keep in our eye that also which 
foUoweth it 

Greatness or meanness assign us, and it is enough ; 
great as Thou art, there is meanness from no one else ! 

Place not one like myself a ruler over my head ; if 
I am to bear chastisement, it is better that it be from 


In the world, of bad there is nothing worse than to 
bear injustice from one like oneself. 

Shame in Thy face is enough for me ; let me not be 
ashamed in the sight of any other 1 

If a shadow from Thee fall upon my head, may my 
shield be Thy lowest step ! 

If Thou shouldst place a crown on my head and 
give me exaltation, do Thou uphold me, so that no 
one else shall cast me down! — Grafts Text^p, 433. 
TransL iL 126. 


My body still trembleth when I recall to memory the 
prayers of one absorbed in ecstasy in the Holy Place, 

Who kept exclaiming to God, with many lamenta- 
tions : Cast me not off, for no one else will take me 
by the hand ! 

Call me to Thy mercy, or drive me from Thy door; 
on Thy threshold alone will I rest my head 

Thou knowest that we are helpless and miserable, 
sunk under the weight of low desires, 

And that these rebellious desires rush on with so 
much impetuosity, that wisdom is unable to check the 

For they come on in the spirit and power of Satan, 
and how can the ant contend with an army of tigers ? 

^^^^^ 36a ^^ 

^V lead me in the way of those who walk in Thy 
way ; and from those enemies grant me Thy asylum ! 

By the essence of Thy Majesty, O God ; by Thine 
attributes without comparison or likeness ; 

By the " Great is God " of the pDgrim in the 
Holy House ; by him who is buried at Yathreb* 
— on whom be peace ! 

By the shout of men of the sword.f who account 
. their antagonists in the battle as women ; 

By the devotion of the aged, tried, and approved ; 
by the purity of the young just arisen ; 

In the whirlpool of the last breath, save US in 
the last cry from the shame of ai>ostacy ! J 

There is hope in those who have been obedient, 
that they may be allowed to make intercession for 
those who have not been obedient. 

For the sake of the pure, keep me far from con- 
tamination i and if error escape me, hold me excused. 

By the aged, whose backs are bowed in obedience, 
whose eyes, through shame for their past misdeeds, 
look down upon their feet. 

Grant that mine eye may not be blind to the face 
of happiness ; that my tongue may not be mute in 
bearing witness to the Faith ! 

Grant that the lamp of Truth may shine upon my 

• Mohammed, who is buried at Medina. Ynthieb is the 
ancicnl name of this city, 
t The war^iry of Mosleros : " Great is God ! " 
J Thnl is, denying God's Unity. 


path ; that my hand may be cut ofT from committing 

Cause mine eyes to be free from blindness ; with- 
hold my hand from all that is unseemly. 

A mere atom, carried about by the wind, O stay 
me in Thy favour ! 

Mean as I am, existence and non-existence in me 
are but one thing. 

From the sun of Thy graciousness a single ray 
sufficeth me; for, except in Thy ray, no one would 
perceive me. 

Look upon my evil, for on whomsoever Thou 
lookest, he is the better: coiutesy from a king is 
enough for the beggar. 

If in Thy justice and mercy Thou receive me, shall 
I complain that the remission was not promised me ? 

O God, drive me not on account of my errors from 
Thy door, for even in imagination I can see no other 

And if in my ignorance I became for some days a 
stranger to Thee, now that I am returned, shut not 
Thy door in my face. 

What excuse shall I bring for the disgrace of my 
sensuality, except to plead my weakness before the 
Rich-One ? 

Leave me not — the poor one — in my crimes and 
sins ! — the rich man is pitiful to him who is poor. . 

Why weep over my feeble condition? — If I am 
feeble, I have Thee for my refuge. 

O God, we have wasted our lives in carelessness ! — 



what can the struggling hand do against the power of 

What can we contrive with all our planning? — Our 
only prop is apology for our faults. 

All that I have done Thou hast utterly shattered 1 — 
What strength hath our self-will against the strength 
of God? 

My head I cannot withdraw from Thy sentence, 
when once Thy sentence hath been passed on my 
head. — Grafs Text^p, 435. TransL ii. 127, 

I "TheNightof Power.'— "Vcritr we KDl down the Korihi 
in the Night o( Al-K>dr [or power]. And what shall make thee 
imdenUnd how excellent the Night of Ai-Kadr ia 7 The Night 
of Al-Kadr is better than a thousand months. Therein do the 
angels descend, and the spirit of Gabriel alto, with the per- 
mission of Iheir Lord, with his decrees concerning every matter. 
It is peace until the rising of the mom." — KardM, xcrii. fSal/t 

a "He turned fire intoabed of roses. "^*' And when Abrahain 
was cast into the burning pile, we said ; O fite, be cold, and a 
preservation unto Abraham," — JCaran, xxi. — -The legend referred 
to is, that Nireirod, to prevent Abraham from converting his 
people from their ancient gods, filled a large square with an im- 
mense quantitj' of wood, and had Abraham cast into Ihe blaiing 
furnace, from which he was saved at the command of God by the 
angel Gabriel. 

3 " Put a saddle on a male lion," that is, by his devices and 
tricks control it as a horse ; as we say, " can bell the caL' — 
" Abu Zaaid " is the name of a chess-player who had no equal, 
and was, moreover, a master in words and eloquence. The 
" Viiiei "■ — the wise man, the counsellor— is, but with more pro- 
priety than on our chess-l>anrd, our Queen. The "Horse" is 
our Knight. The change of Viiier to Queen is du^probably to 
the chivalric spirit of the times when chess was introduced from 
the East into Europe. 

366 SADL 

trees in the Seventh Heayen ; which is also the mansion of the 
angel Gabriel. 

5 "When thou utterest not a word," says Sadi, "thoa 
hast thy hand upon it ; when thou hast uttered it, it hath laid 
its hand upon thee." A curious parallel to this sagacious ob- 
servation is found in the ** Dictes, or Sa3rings of Philosophers," 
printed by Caxton in 1477, as follows (the spelling is modern- 
ised).: "There came before a king three wise men ; the one 
was a Greek, the other a Jew, and the third a Saracen ; of 
whom the said king desired that each of them would utter some 
good and notable sentence. Then the Greek said : ' I may well 
correct my thoughts, but not my words.' Then the Jew said : 
^I have marvel of them that say things prejudicial, where silence 
were more profitable.' And the Saracen said : ' I am master 
over my words ere they be pronounced ; but when they are 
spoken, I am servant thereto.' " And in the preface to Kalila 
wa Dimna (the Arabian version of the Fables of Pilpay) a king 
is represented as saying : " I am the slave of what I have 
spoken, but the master of what I conceal." 

6 " The wealth of Karun ; " probably the Korah of the 
Bible. According to the Mohammedan legend, he possessed 
immense treasure, and behaving insolently towards Moses, 
the great Lawgiver of the Hebrews prayed that the earth 
might swallow up Kariin and his confederates, which immedi- 
ately took place. See the 28th surah of the Koran, near the 
end, and Sale's note. The " wealth of Karun " is the Oriental 
equivalent to our " wealth of Crcesus." 

7 Kalenders are an order of Dervishes, who are obliged to 
be always wandering from place to place, and to live entirely on 
alms. They shave their beards and eyebrows. 


TJuy \the Sufts\ profess eager desire^ but with no 
carnal affectiofi^ and circulate the cup^ but no material 
goblet; since cUl things are spiritual \in their sect\ all 
is mystery within mystery, — ^Jelal-ad-Din. 


/^CONTEMPORARY with Sadi was a distinguished poet, who, 
^^-^ like Sadi, wrote on moral and religious subjects, and well 
deserves a brief notice, and an extract or two from his works, to 
exhibit his character and method. This was Jelal-ad-Din, the 
author of a poem on the Divine Love and the Sufi philosophy, 
of which he was an ardent professor and a zealous teacher. 
This philosophy he has embodied in a long and very remark- 
able poem, imbued with that mystical spirituality to which the 
genius of the Persian nation so strongly tends, and which forms 
SO characteristic a feature of its literature, and gives it often- 
times a peculiar charm. 

Jelal-ad-Din (" Majesty of the Faith *'), sumamed Rumi, or the 
Syrian, from Rum, or Syria, in which he eventually settled, was 
bom, at Balkh, A.H. 592 (a.d. 1195-6). He was of an illustrious 
family ; his grandmother, according to Sir Gore Ouseley, in his 
** Notices of Persian Poets," being the daughter of the last king 
but one of the Kharismian dynasty, whose capital — the ancient 
Bactra — was destroyed by Jenghiz Khan, A.H. 608 (A.D. 121 1) ; 
his mother was of the same royal house ; and his father, 
tracing up his ancestry to the Commander of the Faithful, the 
Khalif Abubeker. His father, Baha-ad-Din ("Beauty of the 
Faith "), is said to have merited and enjoyed, through his 
great sanctity and learning, the respect and affection of the 
inhabitants of Balkh, to such a degree as to excite the jealousy 
of Sultan Mohammed Kharism Shah, who held his court in that 
city, and to make him resolve, in consequence of the annoyances 

2 B 


he received, to abandon his native place, taking with him his 
family and many of his disciples, never to return. His liunily 
consisted of three children :' the eldest, a daughter, but she was 
already married, and decided to remain behind with her husband ; 
and two sons, of whom Jelal was the youngest, and at the time 
of the departure five years old. The mother also would appear 
to have been then alive, and one of the party. 

The travellers first repaired to Mecca, by way of Bagdad ; 
then visited the Hijaz, the tombs of the saints in Rum (Syria), 
and passed many years of an unsettled and wandering life 
at Damascus, Erzinjan, in Armenia, Larenda, in Asia-Minor 
(where Jelal, then in- his eighteenth year, married), Samarkand, 
and Constantinople. Baha-ad-Din ultimately determined to fix 
his residence at Koniah the ancient Iconium in Syria. Here he 
was kindly welcomed and very liberally entertained by the Sultan 
Ala-ad-Dln (*^ Exaltation of the Faith "), founded a college, and 
died, rich in honours and in years, A.H. 631 (A.D. 1233-4). 

After his father's death, Jelal-ad-Din went to pursue his 
studies further at Aleppo and Damascus, whence he returned 
with a reputation for learning and devotion, which, in the public 
estimation, surpassed that of his father, and, by the general con- 
sent of Sufi scholars, or by his father's will, succeeded to the 
chair and direction of the college (which, it is said, soon received 
an addition of four hundred students), to the spiritual guidance 
of his numerous disciples, and to the title of SuItan-al-Ulema, or 
Chief and Ruler of the Learned. 

The life of Jelal-ad-Din does not appear to have been distin- 
guished by any stirring or remarkable events ; but in all 
probability was actively, but quietly, spent in the superintendence 


of his colleges, the discharge of his educational and professional 
duties, and his pious labours amongst the numerous disciples 
who embraced his doctrine, and in whom he appears to have 
excited a profound admiration and devoted affection. He died, 
according to Sir Gore Ouseley, A.H. 661 (a.d. 1262), and was 
buried in his father's mausoleum, at Koniah. 

The posthumous fame of Jel&l-ad-Din rests on The MesnevT. 
As his work is usually spoken of and referred to under this 
simple name alone, it may be well to explain that the word 
" Mesnevi " is not properly its " title," nor does it designate any 
special kind^ or clasSj of poetry, or on any particular subject. 
It means strictly a certain kind of measure of verse — a poem 
composed in " rhymed couplets,'* in which measure many other 
poems have been written. The grand poem of Jelal-ad-Din has 
obtained this distinctive title only on account of its superior 
excellence : it is emphatically the Poem in this measure — ^ the 
Poem of poems." 

As noted above, it is, as to its substance and object, a 
philosophical and devotional poem, and the form into which the 
author has thrown it is, after the Oriental fashion, a series of 
Tales or Apologues, having a moral signification and purpose, 
and largely interspersed with pithy apothegms, wise thoughts, 
and practical applications. The entire work is said to comprise 
thirty-six thousand, six hundred, and sixty distichs, or rhymed 
couplets ; but Persian manuscripts vary so much that this 
number is not very reliable. Only three extracts are translated 
and here appended, in rhythmical prose, literally rendered, to 
exhibit a specimen of Jelal's style and manner, and his method 
of telling a story ; but those who desire to know something more 



of this very remarkable production of genius, and to xead the 
Tales for themselves in full, have now the opportunity of amply 
gratifying their curiosity by the recent publication (by Messn. 
Trtibner & Co.) of Mr. J. W. Redhouse*s metrical translation of 
the First Book. 

S. R. 
Wilmslcru), Sept, 15, 1882. 




Divine Affections. 

tT 1ST how that reed is telling its story; how it is 
■■■•—' bewailing the pangs of separation 

Whilst they are cutting me awt) from the reed bed, 
ftnen and maidens are regretting m} Fluting 

My bosom is torn to pitces with the anguish of 
1 parting, in my efforts lo e\] ress the )eammgs of 

Every one who livelh banished from his own family 
will long for the day which will see them re-united. 

To every assembly I still bore my sorrow, whether 
I the companion of the happy or the unhappy. 

Every one personally was ever a friend, but no one 
I sought to know the secrets within me. 

My affections and my regrets were never far distant, 
\ but neither eye nor ear can always discern the light. 



The body is not veiled from the soul, por the soul 
from the body, but to see the soul hath not been 

It is Love that with its fire inspireth the reed ; it is 
Love that with its fervour inflameth the wine. 

Like the reed, the wine is at once bane and antidote ; 
like the reed, it longeth for companionship, and to 
breathe the same breath. 

The reed it is that painteth in blood the story of 
the journey, and inspired the love-tale of the frenzied 

Devoid of this sense, we are but senseless ourselves ; 
and the ear and the tongue are but partners to one 

In our grief, our days glide on unprofitably; and 
heart-compunctions accompany them on their way. 

But if our days pass in blindness, and we are im- 
pure, O remain Thou — Thou, like whom none is pure. 

No untried man can understand the condition of 
him who hath been sifted : therefore, let your words 
be short, and let him go in peace. 

Rise up, young man — burst thy bonds, and be free ! 
How long wilt thou be the slave of thy silver and thy 

If thou shouldest fill thy ]Mtcher from the ocean, 
what were thy store ? — The pittance of a day ! 

* Mejnun and Laila, the Romeo and Juliet of the BU»t« 
Their love-tale forms the subject of poems by several eminent 
Persian poets. 




In the eye of the covetous man it would not be full. 
If the shell lay not contented in its bed, it would 
never be filled with the pearl. 

He whose garment is rent by Love Divine — he only 
is cleansed from avarice and the multitude of sins. 

Hail to thee, Love, our sweet insanity ! O thou, the 
physician of all our ills ! 

Thou, our Plato and our Galen, the medicine of our 
pride and our self-estimation ! 

By Love the earthly eye is raised to heaven, the hills 
begin to dance, and the mountains are quickened. 

Could I join my lip to that of one who breatheth 
my breath, I would utter words as melodious as my 

When the rose-garden is withered, and the rose is 
^one, thou wilt hear no longer news of the nightingale. 

How should I be able any longer to retain my 
understanding, when the light of my beloved one no 
longer shineth upon me ? 

If the lover no longer receiveth his nourishment, he 
must perish like a bird deprived of its food. 



The Ix)ver?. 

A BELOVED one said to her lover : " O dear 
^^^ youth, thou hast seen in thy travels many a 
city. Tell me, then, which of them appeared to 
thee the most pleasant?" 

He replied : " That which contained her who robbed 
me of ray heart." 

Wherever the sovereign of my soul spreadeth her 
carpet of repose, that place, though it were the eye of 
a needle, would seem boundless as the desert. 

Wherever there is a maiden beautiful as Joseph* 
and radiant as the moon, that place, though the 
bottom of a well, would be an Eden. 

With thee a prison would be a rose-garden, O thou 
ravisher of hearts ! with thee Hell would be a Paradise,. 
O thou cheerer of souls ! 

* The Oriental type of youthful beauty. 


The Merchant and the Parrot. 

T^HERE was a merchant who possessed a parrot, 
a beautiful parrot, which he kept in a cage. 

The merchant was preparing to make a journey, 
which he intended to begin with Hindustan ; 

And the kind-hearted man called before him every 
man-servant and every maid-servant, and said : 
** What present shall I bring for thee ? tell me 

Each one of them answered him according to his 
desire; and to every one the good man promised 
what he asked. 

Then he said to the parrot: "And what present 
from the regions of Hindustan wilt thou have ? " 

And the parrot answered : " When thou seest the 
parrots there, tell them my condition — 

" Say : ' A certain parrot is yearning to see you, but 
is shut out by a cage from the free space of heaven. 

** * He sendeth you his benediction, and asketh you 
to do him justice, and beggeth you to save his life, 
and to show him the paths of safety. 

'' * Is it right that I should consume my soul in vain 
longings, and that I should die here in loneliness ? 

"*Is it proper that I should be bound in hard 
shackles, whilst ye dwell amidst green places upon 
the trees? 


" ' Is this the kind of faith to keep with a friend — 
I in a cage and ye in a garden P 

" ' Call to mind, ye fortunate ones, that verdant 
lawn, and our morning draught in the midst of 
the meadovre I 

"■The remembrance of a friend should be a haiqiy 
one to friends, as was that of I^ila and Mejnun. 

" ' My comrades, my precious idols, I am drinking 
cups of my own blood ; drink ye to my remembrance 
one cup of wine, if ye desire to do me justicfc* " 

The merchant received the salutation and the mes- 
sage he was to carry to those of its race. 

And when he reached the boundaries of HindOstin 
he saw in the desert a large company of parrots. 

Then he stayed his horse and lifted up his voicd 
and delivered the salutation and the message en- 
trusted to him. 

And immediately one of the parrots flullered exces- 
sively, and fell down, and gave up its breath, and died. 

Then the merchant repented him of what he had 
said and done, and exclaimed : " Did ! come to bring 
death to a li\'ing creature ? 

" Perhaps this parrot was a relative of my parrot : 
perhaps they were two in body and one in sou! ! 

" Why did 1 do this ? — ^why deliver this message ? 
My heart is on fire, and for this unlucky event I see 
no remedy. 

"The tongue is like flint, and the lip is like iron, 
and that which is struck in ignorance from the tongue 
is as flame. 


** Do not, foolish man, whether in easy good nature, 
or in idle boasting, strike flint and steel together ! 

" For it is dark, and there is much cotton around, 
and in the midst of cotton wherefore scatter sparks ! 

" A single word may desolate a world— can convert 
dead foxes into lions!" 

When the merchant had finished his business, he 
returned once more to his happy home. 

For every man-servant he brought a present, and 
to every maiden he gave a token. 

Then said the parrot : " And what present hast 
thou brought to the captive? — Say! what hast thou 
seen, and what hast thou said? — Tell it me again." 

He replied : " Oh me ! that of which I much 
repent — that for which I could gnaw my hands 
and bite off my fingers ! 

" Wherefore did I foolishly carry that unlucky 
message, which I carried ignorantly?" 

It answered : " O merchant, repentance is of small 
value! What is it that requireth this passion and 
sorrow ? " 

He replied : " I delivered thy complaint to a com- 
pany of parrots, thy fellows. 

"One of those parrots took such a share in thine 
affliction, that its heart broke, and it fluttered, and 

When the parrot heard what that parrot had done, 
it too fluttered, and fell, and became cold \t,e. died]. 

When he saw it fall in such wise, the merchant 
started up, and dashed his cap upon the ground ; 


And when he saw its colour and condition he 
leaped up, and tore the breast of his garment, and 
exclaimed : 

" O my parrot, my beautiful, my dear one, what is 
this that hath befallen thee? — ^Wherefore art thou 

" Alas ! and alas ! my bird of the melodious voice, 
who didst breathe the same breath, and knewest my 
every secret ; 

" Alas ! and alas ! bird of the sweet notes, and 
tones of the harp — pleasant to me as my garden, 
and sweet as my sweet-basil ! " 

Then the merchant cast out the dead bird from its 
cage, and immediately it flew up to a high branch of 
a tree. 

He was amazed at the action of the bird, and was 
seized with desire to understand this strange mystery ; 

And turning his face upwards, he said : " O my 
sweet one, to me sweet as a nightingale, give me, 
I pray thee, some explanation of what thou hast 

It replied : " The message thou broughtest me 
gave me counsel ; it said : * Free thyself from speech 
and voice ; 

" * Since it was thy voice which brought thee into 
bondage;' — and it died itself to confirm the message. '^ 

The parrot then gave him one or two counsels, and 
bestowed upon him a parting benediction. 

The merchant said to it : " Depart in peace ! thou 
hast shown me now a new path." 



" Farewell ! merchant," it replied ; " thou hast done 
me a mercy ; thy benevolence hath freed me from the 
chain and from the net. 

" Farewell! merchant; I was away from my home: 
may thou, by God's grace, become free like me." 

H A F I Z. 

The bird of the morning only knoiveth the worth of 


the book of the rose; for not every one who readeth the 
pa^e understandeth the meaning. — Hafiz. 


y^F the poetical productions of Persian literature, none have 
^^ a wider circulation or a greater celebrity than the lyrical 
poems of Hafiz. In the East his name is almost a household 
word, and wherever any collection of Persian books, however 
small, is found, we are told that a copy of Hafiz is sure to be 
amongst them. His popularity is spread far beyond the bounds 
of his ovm country ; so far, indeed, as quite to justify him in 
exclaiming : 

O Hafiz, the fame of thine enchanting witchery 
Hath reached the bounds of Egypt, and China, and the 
extremities of Rai and Rum. 

In our western world his name and his writings are of course 
sufficiently familiar to Oriental scholars ; but to the great 
majority of even well-informed English readers his name is little 
more than a name, and his works almost unknown. Nor could 
this be well otherwise. There is not, so far as the Translator of 
the following specimens knows, any translation of his entire 
works in the English language, nor even of any considerable 
portion of them in a collected form. There is, indeed, no lack 
of versions of individual Odes, but they are spread through such 
a multitude and variety of literary Journals and other publica- 
tions, that it is in the highest degree improbable that of those 
which have been translated any single reader has seen a tenth 
part. HaHz, too, has been somewhat unfortunate for his fame 

in another respect. His character has gone forth as a mere 


386 HAF/Z. 

y singer of Love and Wine — a kind of Oriental Anacreon ; and 
too many of his poems selected for translation have been of this 
description, to the neglect of many of a more elevated nature. 
It must be admitted without doubt, that a vast number — ^perhaps 
a considerable majority — of his lyrics make these topics their 
main if not their only theme, and it is very difficult to consider 
them as written in any other than a literal sense. On the other 
hand, there are others conceived in so different a spirit, that 
in spite of the terms employed and the manifold allusions to 
apparently sensuous and material objects, it is almost equally 
difficult not to regard them as inspired by a deeper and more 
spiritual signification. The Sufis claim Hafiz as a poet of their 
sect, and representing their opinions ; and it must not be for- 
gotten that the Persian Mystics perpetually and avowedly 
describe Divine Love under the symbols of human love and 
wine. So Jam! exclaims, addressing the Deity : 

Sometimes the wine, sometimes the cup we call thee I 

Sometimes the lure, sometimes the net we call thee ! 

Except thy name, there is not a letter on the tablet of the 

universe : 
Say, by what name shall we call thee ? 

And Nizami : 

Think not that when I praise wine I mean the juice of the grape; 
I mean that wine which raiseth me above self. 
** My Cup-bearer" is to perform my vow to God ; 
" My morning draught from the tavern " is the wine of self- 
oblivion ; 

and he adds : 

By heaven, so long as I have enjoyed existence. 
Never hath the tip of my lip been stained with wine ! 



ll is Terjf t"'^''''^ ''"'-' HiRr, as a young man, may have 
indulged in some youlliful evccsscs, and became a Sufi and an 
abatainer in laler life. But Ihis queslion cannot be settled, 
because the peculiar anongcmcnl of the Odes in his Divan, 
which will lie explained hereafter, does not allow ns to ascerlain 
the order ol iheir production. Neither woiiM Hafii be the only 
man who has written bocchan^tlinn songs wilhoul living a 
bacchanalian life. 

Very little appears to be recorded of the events of the life of 
Ilalii, or of his habils and real character, and of that little, 
much rests on no very reliahle aulhorily. Oriental historians 
and biographers possess very little of Ihe critical faculty, and 
incorporate In Iheit narratives, without much discrimination, any 
legend which has associated itself with Ihe subject of Iheir story, 
and any popular anecdote, circumstance, or saying, which may 
render it attractive lo the reader. As an instance, we have an 
amusing account given us of an inlerview between our poet and 
the celebrated Timiir which it would be pleasant to believe. 
When thai great conqueror had subjugated Fais and had occu. 
pied Shiiii, where Hafii was living, we are told thai he 
commanded him (o appear before him, and said: "Art thou the 
man who has been bold enough to offer my two great cilie-. 
Samarkand and Bokhara, for ibc black mole on the cheek of thy 
mistress?"— alluding to the first verse in the first Ode of the 
follovring translations. "Yes, sir," replied the undaunted poet, 
" and it is by such acts of generosity that 1 have lieen reduced to 
my present slate of destitution, and compelled to solicit your 
^" — a rejoinder which so pleased the King that lie 
d him with a hatulsome present. Uufoitanalety ibr Ihe 

388 HAFIZ. 

authenticity of the story, Timur is said not to have taken Shiiix 
till 1393, and the poet died at the latest date in 1391. 

Ha fix was bom at Shiraz, the capital of the province of Pars, 
when it was in the hands of the Muzafer princes, and lived and 
died there. The year of his birth does not appear to have been 
accurately recorded, and about the year of his death there is 
some little discrepancy. The date inscribed on his tomb at 
Shiraz, which Sir Gore Ouseley says he had himself read, is 
A.H. 791 (A.D. 1388). A tdrikh (that is an inscription in which 
the letters of a word in the inscription numerically reckoned 
forms the date) reads Khak-i-Mosella — meaning the earth of 
Mosella, in which he is buried — making it A.H. 791 also. 
Another tarikh^ written by his friend and editor, makes it A.H. 
792. Four copies of Daulet Shah's Lives of the Poets in Sir 
Gore Ouseley*s possession agree in making it A. H. 794. Luft 
Ali, in his Memoirs of the Poets, gives A.H. 791, and D*Herbelot 
797. He appears to have lived a quiet and retired life in hb 
native city, to which he was fondly attached, and which he 
seldom quitted except for short periods and not distant places, 
and always with regret. Thus he exclaims in one of his odes 
(No. Ivii of the present selection) : 

Hail, Shiraz, nnd its incomparable site ! 
O Lord, preserve it from every disaster ! 

And in another Ode (xxxvi) : 

The gentle breezes of the ground of Mosella and the waters of 

Have never allowed me to enjoy the delights of travelling. 

The painfulness of these enforced absences and his yearnings 


to return lo Lis home are vividlj alluded lo in more thoa oae of 
hia poecns. 

Once indeed — and the story appenrs to rest on some Rulhorilj, 
being mentioned by FerishU, [he historian of the Dek'han — he 
seems to have contemplated and aclunlly lo have commenced a 
long and distant journey. He hud heard of Ihc munificent 
encouragement which Sultan Mahmuil Shah Bahmani, an accom- 
plished prince then leigning in the Delt'han, afforded to poets 
and learned men, and became desirous of visiting his court. 
Hearing of this wish, and desirous himself of forming an 
acquaintance with Halii, Sultan Mnhmiid sent him, through the 
hands of his Vizier, Mir Failullah Anjii, an invitation and a 
handsome sum of money lo defray the expenses of his journey. 
Thereupon he set out and advanced on his expedition as fat as 
Lar. Sir Gore Ouseley says, " Lahore beyond the Indus ; " but 
this is probably a oiist.ike. To go by Lahore would suppose a 
very long, a very expensive, and very arduous land journey 
through many countries, Persian and Indian. Lar is on the 
direct route from Shiiai lo Hormui, a port on ihe Persian Gulf, 
whence he could obtain a shorter and easier passage by sea lo 
the Dek'han. There lie encountered a friend who had been 
plundered by robliera, on whom he bestowed a part of his 
money, and not having left himself sufficient lo prosecute his 
journey, was compelled himself to accept the assistance of two 
merchants whom he fortunately met with Ihere, and who kindly 
look him with Ihcm to Horniuz. There he found a ship ready 
lo sail lo the Dek'han, and look his passage in her. But a 
norm having arisen, he was so terrified by 11, ihni he abandoned 
on, and sending a lelter of excuse lo the Viiier, with 
.0 the King, relumed himself lo Shiru. He says : 

390 HAFIZ. 

The splendour of a Sultan's diadem, within which, like a casket 

enclosed, are fears for one's life. 
May be heart-attracting as a cap, but is not worth the loss of the 

head it covers. 

The sufferings of the sea may appear easy to bear in the prospect 

of its pearls ; 
But I have erred, for its waves are not worth one hundred 

munns of gold. 

Hafiz is supposed to have been a married man, and if the 
tender and beautiful poem No. xlii. of the following translations 
was written, as has been supposed, on the death of his wife, he 
can hardly have been the mere gay reveller and wine-bibber 
which some of his odes, taken literally, would represent him 
to be. 

The truth is, very little that is trustworthy is to be found with 
regard to Hafiz, except occasional and not very frequent mention 
of his thoughts and feelings contained in his own poems. Some 
of these would lead us to suppose that he led a quiet and retired 
life, so far as circumstances allowed. But he lived in very 
troublous times for his country, when it was greatly distracted 
by the constant strifes between rival princes and contending 
parties, and the political convulsions and changes consequent 
upon such a condition of public affairs. To these HaBz some- 
times, though slightly, alludes in varied tone, as suits the 

His volume acquired such reputation that it was resorted to, 
in the same manner as the Sories-Virgiliana in the middle 
ages, to gather from it "fat was," as they are called, judicial 
awards, and the decrees of Fate. According to the story, when 


be died an opposition was raised by the priests to his interment 
with the usual funeral ceremonies, on the ground of the levity of 
some of his poems, and his supposed want of Mohammedan 
orthodoxy. His friends, however, procured an appeal to his 
book, which of course opened at the right passage : 

Turn not away thy foot from the bier of Hafiz, 
For though immersed in sin, he may yet be admitted into 
heaven. {See Ode rnii. ) 

He is buried in a small but pleasant garden not far from 
Shiraz, and when the Sultan Baber, some time after the poet's 
•death, visited that city, his prime minister erected a handsome 
monument over his grave. Since that time it has been frequently 
repaired ; and Sir Gore Ouseley says that when he was at Shiraz 
in 1810, he found it in excellent order. The Vakil, Kerim Khan 
.Zend, had placed a slab of the finest alabaster over the tomb, 
with two Odes from the Divan, sculptured in the most beautiful 
Nastaalik character. He also built a neat pavilion or hall, in 
which a superb copy of the poet's works is open for perusal, 
and apartments for the mullahs and dervishes who attend the 
tomb ; and he beautified the little garden in such a manner as 
to render it the most delightful retreat in the vicinity of Shiraz, 
/rom which place it is about two miles distant north-east. 

The Translator of the following selections from the works of 
Hafiz does not deem it necessary in these preliminary remarks 
to enter upon a critical inquiry into the character of his genius, or 
the peculiar nature or value of the forms in which he has dis- 
played it. He has presented to the mere English reader a 
^eater number, as he believes, of his Ghazels than he could find 
in a collected shape, and in greater variety, or, indeed, than he 

392 HAFIZ. 

could readily meet with at all, scattered, as so many of those 
which have been translated are, through an infinite number of 
publications. He must leave it to those who may have the 
curiosity to peruse these specimens to form their own judgment of 
their intrinsic merit, or their interest in a literary point of view. 
Many, perhaps most, will find them repugnant to Western taste \ 
many to their own individual sympathies and feelings ; some 
will think that they have too much sameness in their sentiments, 
figures, and ideas ; but he cannot help believing that a few at 
least will recognise beneath their strange garb and mystic ex- 
pressions many bold thoughts and fine images, and much of deep 
significance and elevating tendencies. At all events, produc- 
tions which throw any light on the intellectual and moral 
condition of a portion of the great human family, and one sa 
utterly difierent in its nature from our own, cannot be un* 
important, and ought not to be uninteresting, to those who 
think that the proper study of mankind is man. 

A word as to the dress in which the Translator has thought it 
best to clothe his version. No one but must feel how much the 
language of poetry loses by being transmuted into that of prose ; 
and this especially in the case of lyrical poetry, which depends 
so intimately for its effect on all the variety of modulation and 
the music of sound which the art and ear of the poet can give it. 
But he has wished above every thing else to preserve for his 
English reader the exact sense of the original, and not only the 
exact sense, but the peculiar and characteristic flavour — the 
aroma, so to say — of the Oriental style. This union, he thinks, 
is hardly possible in a metrical version ; at least he has seen few 
examples of such in English which completely satisfy him in this- 



tetpect. Perhaps the most beautiful rendering of n PerEian Ode 
which has ever been made in Our langunge ia Ihe eiquiaite one 
by Sir William Jones, of the first Gliazel in ihe follnwing 
specimens. It is impregnated throughout witli the Oiiental 
spirit ; but when we find thai the Iwcnly-one words of the first 
couplet of the original, literally translated inlo English prose, 
are transmuted into thiny-eighl in the version, we naturally 
wish to iinow how far ibe beauties we admire, and the thoughts 
and images which ate presented to us, really exist in the original 
teil, or are inlroUuced by the copyist to render his iinitatioa 
more conformable to the Western style nnd tbe taste of the 
European reader. Would a vetsi£ed translation of tbe pro- 
phelical and poetical books of the Bible be equally satisfactory 
ihe Engliab reader as our present lileral but rbylhmical prose 


One word more as to the title Divan which has been given to 
collections of lyrical poems by Ha6z and other writers, and the 
exact idea of the I'ersian Chniel, into which form \\i&% has 
thrown all his productions. The Ghaiel, then, is a kind of 
sonnet, subject, like the sonnet, to certain fixed rules, which it 
must not transgress. It ought not to exceed sixteen or seventeen 
bail!, or couplets. Of these baits or couplets, Ihe two lines or 
verses of which it is composed must in the lirst bait of the 
Ghazel rhyme together ; but in all the succeeding bails the tirst 
line Is left without having any rhyme to answer to it, but Ihe 
second line must rhyme with the two rhymed tines of the first 
bail of Ihe Ghaiel : so Ihat, throughout tbe Ode, after the firsl 
ImiI, Ihe first, or odd, line of every succeeding bait must be left 
rhymed, but the second, or even, Iine», must all thyme lo- 

394 HAFIZ, 

gether, and with the two rhymed lines of the first bait. 
Examples of this structure may be found in Ghazels xx, xxiii, 
XXXV, &c., of the following translations. 

In another respect, however, the Persian Ghazel differs from 
the sonnet as widely as possible. The sonnet ought to 
consist of one simple thought, which it gradually develops, en- 
larges, and embellishes, till it culminates and closes in some 
natural application, or striking and emphatic termination. The 
Ghazel, on the contrary, is made up generally of many thoughts, 
not naturally arising out of one another, and often so little 
connected, that it is not without difficulty that the reader, even 
if there be a faintly visible connection at the bottom, can seize 
and determine it, and it seems almost immaterial in what order 
the baits are arranged. In point of fact, they are placed in very 
different order in some manuscripts and printed texts. They 
have been fitly described as " pearls strung at random,*' 
"stringing pearls," or, more literally, " piercing " them, that is 
for the purpose of "stringing *' them, being in Persian phraseology 
the metaphorical expression for composing poetry. ' So Hafiz, in 
the concluding bait of the first of the following Odes, exclaims : 

Thou hast composed thy Ghazel ; thou hast strung thy pearls. 
Come, and sing it sweetly, O Hafiz I 

or, as Sir William Jones has rendered it : 

Go boldly forth, my simple lay, 
"Whose accents flow with artless ease, 
Like Orient pearls at random stnmg. 

And here it may be noted, as a curious fashion characteristic of 
the Ghazel, and amounting almost to an absolute rule, that the 

■ pMt U expected lo introduce liis ami n]une in the last Imit ; 
generally, (hough not invarialily, wilh a certain amouni of self- 
eiorification, not necessarily implying mere personal vanity. In 
the Mlowing Odes mny be found numerous instances in which 
the poet glorifies liimself in this way. 

When n poet has composed one or more Ghmels every thyme- 
hail of which lerminates in the tamt letttr, and one or more 
Ghazels for tvtry letter of the alphabet, the whole coUeclion is 
arranged in the alphabetical order of the bait-letter, and is then 
termed a DivSN ; and there i5 no greater object of ambition to 
the Feciiaa lyrist than to leave a Divan. This singular arrange- 
ment, however, has the great disadvantage, as we hove already 
observed, that it sailly interferes wilh any attempt to determine 
the order in which the poet produced his several poems, and 
almost prevents any light froai being thrown on the giouth and 
development of his moral and intellectual cliaracler. 

The Transhior hopes thai the Gbnzels selected nill be found 
amongst the best, and in sufficient variety lo give to the English 
reader a fair idea of the subjects, nnanners, and characteristic 
features of bis author, and that his renderings of [hem will be 
found close and faithful. The Translator has spared no palni to 
make them as exact as such knowledge as he possesses of the 
Persian language has enabled him to do. He has compared 
Ihem more than once, line by line, wilh the originals i but he 
cannot conclude ibis preliminary notice without acknowledging 
his obligations lo Professor von Rosenzweig's excellent edition 
of the text, published a! Vienna, in 1858, in 3 vols., Svo, aceom- 
knied by notes and a versiticd innslation, which he has bad 

oitonlly tinder his eye, and without the aid of which be would 

396 HAFIZ, 

not have ventured on his undertaking. Those who belt know 
the difficulty of clothing Eastern ideas, imagery, and phnieology 
in a European garb, will most readily excuse some errorBy in hi> 
desire to give to English readers some notion, however fidnt, 
of a poet so famed as Hafiz. 

It may be proper to mention that fifteen of the following 
translations have appeared already in another little work by the 
same translator, published in 1872, under the title of ^ Flowers 
culled from Persian Gardens," and those who wish for some 
further information and specimens may consult — 

D'Herbelot — Poeseos Persicae, .Sive Haphyzi Odse Sexdecim^ 
Vindobonae, 1 771. (Baron Reviczki.) 

Sir William Ouseley's Oriental Collections. 3 vols. 410. 
London, 1797-98. (Passim.) 

Hindley's Persian Lyrics from the Diwan-i-Hafiz. London,. 

Specimens of Persian Poetry, or Odes of Hafiz. By John 
Richardson. London, 1802. 

Scott Waring's Tour to Sheeraz. London, 1817. 

Sir Gore Ouseley's Biographical Notices of Persian Poets. 
London, Oriental Translation Fund, 1856. (Hafiz,) 

And an article on Hafiz, with Translations of Twelve Odes, 
by Professor Cowell, in No. 177 of Macmillan^s Magasine^ Jnly, 

S. R. 

Wilmsl<nVt January, 1875. 

H A F I Z. 


From his Div 

■F that beauty of Shiriiz would take my heart in - 

hand, I would give for her dark mole Samarkand 
and Bokhara. 

Boy, bring me the wine that remaineth, for in 
Paradise thou wilt not see the banks of the water of 
Roknabad, nor the rose-bower of our Mosella. 

Alas ! those saucy lovely ones — those charming 
disturbers of our city — bear away patience from my 
heart as Turkomans their repast of plunder ! 

Yet the beauty of our maidens is independent of 
our imperfect love ! — To a lovely face what need is 

ere of paint or dyes, of mole or down ? 

: to me of the musician and of wine, and 

398 HAFIZ. 

search less into the secrets of futurity ; for no one in 
his wisdom ever hath discovered, or ever will discover, 
that mystery. 

I can understand how the beauty of Joseph, which 
added new lustre to the day, withdrew Zulaikha from 
the veil of her modesty.* 

Thou hast spoken evil of me, and I am contented — 
God forgive thee ! — Thou hast spoken well ; for even 
a bitter word is beseeming, when it cometh from a 
ruby sugar-dropping lip. 

Give ear, O my soul, to good counsel; for better 
than their own souls love youths of a happy disposition 
the admonition of the aged wise. 

Thou hast composed thy ghazel ; thou hast strung 
thy pearls : come and sing it sweetly, O Hafiz ! for 
Heaven hath shed upon thy poetry the harmony of 
the Pleiades. 

RosenTTweig-Schwannau i, 24-5. Calcutta Ed, 8, 2. 


\ The heart is the veil behind which is hidden His 
love; His eye is the mirror-holder which reflecteth 
His countenance. 

I, who would not bow my head to both worlds, 
submit my neck to the burthen of His mercies. 

Thou enjoyest the Tuba-tree,* I the image of my 
beloved one ! Every one's thoughts are fashioned to 
the measure of his aims. 

What should I be within that Holy Place, in which 




- 1 

the morning- breeze is the veil-ho!der who guardeth 
the sanctuary of His honour ! 

If I have soiled the skirts of my raiment, what is 
the damage which I can do? The universe is the 
pledge for His purity I 

Mejnun is long departed i' now it is our turn; to 
each one is allowed a five-days' sojuuming ! 

The kingdom of love and the wealth of enjoyment 
— all that I possess is bestowed by the hand of 
His destination. 

If we have offered for a ransom ourselves and our 
hearts, why need we fear ? The goal towards which we 
strive is the purpose of His salvation. 

Never cease to make His image the object of thine 
eye, for its cell is the peculiar chamber of His privacy. 

Every new Vose which adornelh the meadow is a 
mark of the colour and perfume of His benevolence. 

Look not on his external poverty, for the bosom of 
HAfiz is a rich treasury in the exuberance of His 
benevolence ! 

AWf«. i. 56-7. Calmila £.i. 12. i. J 

This illustrious messenger, who has arrived from the fl 
country of my Friend, has brought an amulet for my 1 
soul in the perfumed letter of my Friend. 1 
He giveih me a sweet token of the excellence and 1 
dignity of my Friend : he telleth me a delightful 1 
history of the majesty and glory of my Friend M 

400 HAFIZ, 

I have yielded up my heart to him for his glad 
tidings, but I am ashamed on account of my own 
base counters, which I scatter as festival-money over 
the head of my Friend* 

. Thanks be to God ! that, propitious Fate assisting, I 
have brought all my desires into accord with the acts 
and injunctions of my Friend 

Why need I choose the march of the spheres and 
the mutations of the moon, since their revolutions are 
all computed at the free choice of my Friend ? 

Though the blast of convulsion should strike both 
worlds, we will fix our eye on the lamp which guideth 
us on the road in anxious anticipation of our Friend * 

Prepare me, O morning-breeze, a precious collyrium 
made of that fortune-favoured earth which lay in the 
pathway trodden by my Friend. 

We will remain prostrate at the threshold of the 
Friend, our heads bowed down in prayer, nor raise 
them till we fall into slumber on the bosom of the 

If an enemy should draw a breath with the purpose 
of injury to Hafiz, why should I fear, since, thanks 
be to God ! I have no need to be ashamed of my 
Friend ? 

Rosen, i, 74-5. Calcutta Ed, 1 7, 2. 



Come, for Hope's strong castle is built on weak found- ^ 
ations; bring wine, for the fabric of life is unstable 
as is the wind 

I am the slave of His wishes, who under the azure 
vault is free from the shadow of dependence. 

Shall I say, when yesternight I was utterly intoxi- 
cated in the wine-house, what glad message was 
brought to me by an angel from the unknown world ? 

" O lofty-sighted royal falcon, whose seat is on the 
tree of Paradise, not in this nook of misery should be 
thy nest. 

" For thee are sounding the melodious voices from 
the Ninth Heaven ! How thou art fallen into this 
place of snares I cannot conceive ! " 

I will give thee a piece of counsel : keep it in mind 
and reduce it to practice ; for it is a precept which I 
have preserved in my memory from my aged guide : 

''Seek not for the fulfilment of its promise from 
this perfidious world, for this old hag has been the 
bride of a thousand wooers." . , y 

Let not the cares of the world consume thee, and \ 1 
let not my advice depart from thee, for I received it / '^ ^ 
in affection from one who had been a pilgrim in many L 1 » 
lands : \ ' 

" Be content with what hath been given, and 
smooth thy ruffled brow ; for the door of choice will , 
not be opened either to thee or me." 


402 HAFIZ, 

In the smile of the rose is no sign of promise, or of 
performance: lament, thou loving nightingale, i(X 
there is room for lamentation. 

Why, feeble poetisers, be envious of HAfiz, because 
God hath given him the power to pour out sweet 
words, and to win all hearts ? 

Rosen, i. 8o-i. CaUuUa EtLih^X, 


There is a garden everlastingly green, the lovdy 
retreat of the pious dervish : a grand capital is the 
service of the pious dervish ! 

The treasure hidden and guarded by the wondrous 
talisman is revealed to the sight by the grace of the 
pious dervish. 

That before which the sun veileth its proud diadem 
is a grandeur exceeded by the pious dervish. 

The citadel of Paradise, of which Rizwan is the 
porter," may be seen from the cheerful meadow of the 
pious dervish. 

That which tumeth by its ray the dark heart into 
gold is an alchemy learnt in the companionship of the 
pious dervish. 

From shore to shore stretch the armies of tyranny, 
but from eternity to eternity the victory is with the 
pious dervish. 

And the fortune, to which is attached no sorrow 
from the vexation of failure, is the fortune — hear ye 
it ! — which favoureth the pious dervish. 


Monarchs are the shrine to which are directed all 
necessities, all prayers; but they all stand as servants 
in the presence of the pious dervish. 

O man of might, display not all this haughtiness ; 
thy gold and thy head are in the keeping of the 
grace of the pious dervish. 

The treasure of Karun,* which vengeance hath 
buried until now, was due — ^thou mayest have read — 
to the zeal of the pious dervish. 

The image of that which kings by their vows seek 
to obtain is to be seen in the face-reflecting mirror of 
the pious dervish. 

Art thou searching, O Hafiz, to find the waters of 
eternal life ? — Their source is in the earth which lieth 
at the cell-door of the pious dervish. 

Hafiz, be thou in this modest and respectful ; for 
the sovereignty of kings is all derived from service in 
the presence of the pious dervish. 

Roun, i. 94-5. Calcutta Ed, 25, 2. 


Is there aught sweeter than the delights of the garden 
and companionship of the spring ? But where is the 
Cup-bearer ? Say, what is the cause of his lingering ? 

Every pleasant moment that cometh to your hand 
score up as an invaluable prize ! Let no one hesitate, 
for who knoweth the conclusion of the matter ? 

The tie of life is but a hair ! Use thine intelligence ; 

404 HAFIZ, 

be thyself thine own comrade in sorrow, and what 
then is the sorrow which Fate can deal thee ? 

The meaning of the Fountain of Life and the 
Gardens of Irem^ — what is it but the enjoyment of 
a running stream and a delicious wine ? 

The temperate man and the intemperate are both of 
one tribe ; what choice is there between them, that we 
should surrender our souls to dubious reasonings ? 

What reveal the silent heavens of that which is 
behind the veil? O litigant, why dispute with the 
keeper of the veil? 

If to him who is bound up in error or sin there is 
no room for warning or amendment, what meaning is 
there in the words: "Cancelling, and the Mercy of 
the Forgiving One?'* 

The devotee longs for draughts from the river 
Kuther," and Hafiz from a goblet of wine. Between 
these, the will of the Creator — what would that be ? 

Rosetiy i. 138-9. Calcutta Ed, wanting. 


Censure not, thou pious man, in the purity of thy 
soul, the lover of wine, for in thy book of account will 
not be written the sins of others. 

Whether I be good or bad, go thou thine own way : 
every one will reap finally the seed that he hath sown. 

Make me not hopeless, on account of the past, of 
the benignity of the Eternal One ; what knowest thou, 
who, beyond the veil, will be judged to be good or evil ? 


Every one, whether he is abstemious or self-indul- 
gent, is searching after the Friend : every place may 
be an abode of love, whether it be a mosque or a 

Not even I am an outcast from the cell of piety, 
and that is enough: even our Ancestor let Eden 
escape from his hand. 

The garden of Paradise is beautiful ; but take heed 
that thou account as gain the shade of the willow 
and the borders of the corn-field. 

Place no reliance on thy works, for on that day 
of the Eternal how knowest thou what the pen of the 
Creator may have written against thy name ? 

On thy last day, though the cup be in thy hand, 
thou mayest be borne away to Paradise even from the 
comer of the tavern. 

Rosen, i. 14S-9. Calcutta Ed, 29, I. 


Now is a breeze of Paradise blowing from the garden, 
and here am I with my joy-bestowing draught, and my 
beloved-one, beautiful as a Hun ! 

Why should not the beggar to-day boast himself a 
king ? His canopy the shadow of a cloud, his banquet- 
ing hall the borders of the corn-field I 

The meadow may tell him the story of Paradise: 
wise he is not who expendeth on a future Paradise 
the ready-money of the present I 

Build up thy heart with wine, for the world is a 



406 HAFIZ, 

ruin, and the end of it will be, that they will make 
bricks of my clay I 

Ask not for faith from an enemy, for it will not 
yield thee a spark; it will be but to kindle the taper of 
the monastery at the lamp of the Fire-temple. 

Write not my name in the black book reproachfully 
as " drunkard ; " for who is informed what Fate hadi 
written on his brow ? 

Turn not away thy foot from the bier of HAfu, 
for, though immersed in sin, he may yet be admitted 
into heaven.* 

Rosen, i. 152-3. Calcutta Ed, 29, I. 


Without the sun of thy cheek, the day hath no light 
for me, and life is to me only one long night ! 

At the time of my bidding thee adieu, at a distance 
from thy countenance, no light was any longer left to 
mine eye from its much weeping. 

Thine image vanished from mine eye, as I ex- 
claimed : " Ah ! this waste ; not a nook of it now 
remaineth in cultivation ! " 

Thy presence held aloof Fate from my head ; now 
in thine absence it is not far distant 

The moment is now near when my rival may 
exclaim : " That broken-down abandoned one is not 
for from his departure." 

What now would it avail me, were my beloved one 
to wound her foot henceforth in trying to visit me» 


when scarcely a spark of life remaineth in my sick 

Absent from thee, if mine eye no longer supply any 
water, * say : " Pour out thy heart's-blood, for what 
else is left thee to do ? " 

Patience ought to be my remedy in separation ; yet 
how be patient when even the possibility no longer 
remaineth ? 

O Hafiz, with sorrow and weeping, thou hast done 
with smiles : for him who is arrayed for the funeral 
obsequies, what place can there be at the nuptial 
banquet ? 

Rosen, i. iSo-i. Calcutta Ed, 13, 2. 


My weeping eye is stained with tears of blood : see to 
what a state are reduced those who search after thee 1 

When the sun of thy countenance riseth on the east 
of thy village, it dawneth on a day auspicious to my 

The words of Ferhad are the story of Shirin*s life ; 
the plaits of Laila's tresses are the dwelling-place of 

Be friendly to my heart, for it is captive to that 
graceful cypress-resembling form ; speak words to me, 
for thy speech is gracious, and melodious are thine 
accents ! 

Cup-bearer, with the circling wine bring comfort 

4o8 HAFIZ, 

to my soul ; for the sorrows of the heart are linked 
with the sorrows of the revolving sphere. 

From the time that that precious maiden escaped 
from my hand, the skirt of my garment hath re- 
sembled the wild stream of the Jihun." 

How can my troubled soul be changed to inward 
gladness, when the power of choice is denied roe from 

Hafiz is roaming about like a frenzied man to seek 
his friend ; like the poor bankrupt who is yearning to 
discover the treasures of Karun.* 

Rosen. L 182-3. Calcutta Ed. 21, 2. 


The road of love is a road to which there is no end ; 
and in which there is no remedy save to resign our 

Frighten us not with the prohibitions of Wisdom, 
for that bailiff hath no authority in our jurisdiction. 
^ For thee, whoever thou art, that givest up thy 
- heart to love, thou hast a sweet moment ! In a good 
thing, what need of praying for something better ? 

Ask thine own eye, who wishes to slay thee ? O 
my soul, it is the fault of thy star, not the sin of the 
' constellations ! 

To him who hath a clear eye, it is possible to 
discover the first streak of the new moon ; to every 
eye it is not given to perceive that moonlet" 


Count it an opportunity to enter on the path of 
intoxication ; for the signs of it, like those which lie 
in the way to a treasure, are not perceptible to every 

The lamentation of Hafiz on thee maketh not the 
slightest impression : I am amazed to find that thy 
heart is not less hard than marble. 

Rosen, i. 186-7. Calcutta Ed, 18, I. 


Cup-bearer, the day of the Festival is come ; may 
it be to thee a happy one! And the promise thou 
madest me, let it not escape thy memory. 

Let the daughter of the vine be in attendance ; for 
the breathing of my desire to see thee hath freed 
my heart from its sorrow. 

I am astonished that for so long a period of the 
days of separation thou hast severed thy heart from 
thy companions — that thou hadst the heart to do it! 

Thanks be to God ! that from the blast of winter 
thy garden hath received no injury — neither jessa- 
mine, nor rose, nor marjoram, nor cypress ! 

Far be from thee the evil eye ! From that sad 
scattering thy glorious star and thine inborn good- 
fortune have given thee a glad salvation ! 

The joyfulness of the assemblies will follow the 
footsteps of thine arrival ; may every heart which 
doth not wish thee joy be a place of sorrow I 

410 HAFIZ, 

HAfiz, let not the fellowship of this ark of Noah go 
from thy hand, or the deluge of events may cany 
away the foundations of thy dwelling. 

Rosen, i. 188-9. CalaUta^Ed. 13, a. 


I HAVE heard a sweet word which was spoken by 
the old man of Canaan: "No tongue can express 
what meaneth the separation of friends ! " " 

The description which the preacher proclaimeth to 
the city, of the dread day of the resurrection, is but a 
significant name for the day of separation. 

From whom shall I ask for a token of my departed 
friend ? For, whatever he said, the breeze has cut it 
off, and it has perished. 

Warm the old sorrow with mellow wine ; for, so 
sayeth the aged peasant : " This is the seed to produce 
a crop of cheerfulness." 

Alas ! that to that unkind moon — the friend of my 
enemy — it hath been so easy to abandon the society of 
her own loving ones ! 

Henceforward I resign my place contentedly to the 
gratitude of my rival ; for my heart hath accustomed 
itself to grief, nor will try any longer to medicine it. 

Hope not to tie the wind, though it blow in the 
direction of thy wishes ; for the wind itself once gave 
this similitude to Solomon. 

Though Fate give thee a resjMte, leave not thou the 

right way : who hath told thee that the old hag hath 
bid adieu to her wonted tricks? 

Utter not a word about " the How and the Where- 
fore," for the faithful slave accepteth with his whole 
soul the commands of his Sovereign. 

Who hath told thee that Hafiz hath recalled one 
thought from thee ? — I have never said so ; and if 
anyone hath so said, it is a calumny ! 

A'osta. i. 190-1. Calcutta lid. 37, 1. 

the hour of dawn the bird of the garden thus spoke 
a fi-eshly-blown rose ; " Be less disdainful, for in 

s garden hath bloomed many a one like thee." 

The rose smiled and said: " We have never grieved 
at hearing the truth, but no lover would speak so 
harshly to his beloved ! " 

To all eternity the odour of love will never reach 
the brain of that man who hath never swept with his 
brow the dust from the sill of the wine*house. 

Dost thou desire to drink the ruby-tinted wine from 
that gold-begemmed goblet, how many a pearl must 
thou first pierce with the point of thine eyelashes ! 

Yesterday, when in the Rosc-Garden of Irem,' the 
morning- breeze with its gentle breath began to dis- 
turb the hair of the spikenard ; 

I exclaimed; "O throne of Jemshid, where is thy 
" :world-re(iecting minor?" — anditreplied; "AJas! 

% that watchful Fortune should be slumbering ! " " 

412 HAFIZ. 

The words of love are not those that come to the 
tongue; O Cup-bearer, cut short this asking and 

The tears of Hafiz have cast patience and wisdom 
into the sea : how could it be otherwise ? The 
burning pangs of love how could he conceal ? 

R^stn, L 194-5. Calcutta Ed, 27, I. 


Gone were heart and faith, and the heart-stealer 
stood up in anger and said : *' Sit no longer beside 
me, for salvation hath deserted thee I" 

Hast thou heard of anyone who hath sat down at 
the banquet to enjoy a pleasant moment, who in the 
end did not rise up and retire from its company 
repentant ? 

If the tongue of the taper boasted of that smiling 
countenance, did it not depart at night chastised in 
the presence of thine admirers ? ^' 

The vernal breeze in the garden had to sever itself 
from the embrace of the rose and the cypress; in 
vain transported with passion in admiration of their 
faces and stature. 

Thou didst but pass by in thine intoxicating beauty, 
and angels from their retreats came forth to look at 
thee with such tumult as shall be on the day of 


In the presence of thy bearing the proud cypress 
stayed its foot for very shame, as it gazed on the 
eloquence of thy tallness and figure 

O Hafiz, cast away thy fanatical garb of shreds 
and patches, for there cometh out fire from the garb 
of hypocrisy. 

Rosen, i. 196-7. Calcutta Ed, 17, I. 


No one has yet seen thy face, and already thou hast a 
thousand who watch thee : thou art still in the bud, 
and yet even now a hundred nightingales are fluttering 
about thee. 

When I come to thy village, it seemeth nothing 
strange ; for, stranger as myself, cometh many a one 
to thy country. 

Though I am so far from thee — ah, me ! that any- 
one should be far from thee ! — I still nourish the hope 
that I may soon enjoy thy presence. 

In love the monastery and the wine-house are not 
so far asunder ; for wherever dwelleth love, a ray 
beameth from the face of a lover. 

The work of the cloister sheds a splendour, whether 
it be by the gong of the devotees' convent, or in the 
name of the cross. 

Where is the lover, who has not some beloved one 
who regardeth his condition ? O, sir, where there is 
sufTering, there, too, will be found the physician. 


414 HAFIZ, 

The complaint of HAfiz is not without foundation : 
his tale is a strange one, and his story full of marrdi 

Rosen. L 198-9. CakuUa Ed. 23, a. 


O Hoopoo, I send thee eastward to the land of Saba ! 
Take heed, whence and whither I send thee ! 
/It is unjust that a bird like thee should be confined 
m this dust-pit of sorrow : therefore I send thee hence 
to the nest of faithfulness. 

In the road of affection there is no "far" or "near" 
as a halting-place : I behold thee as in my presence, 
and offer thee my congratulations. 

Every morning and every evening I send thee 
whole caravans of good wishes, under the convoy of 
the east and north winds. 

O banished from my sight, dear companion of my 
heart, I send thee my benediction and salutations. 

That the army of sorrow may not lay waste thy 
kingdom, mine own precious life, I send thee to buy 
off its redemption from plunder. 

That the minstrels may inform thee of my yearnings 
towards thee, I send thee my words and my ghazels 
with notes and instruments. 

Cup-bearer, come ! for a heavenly herald has an- 
nounced to me this glad message : " Bear thine 
afflictions with patience, for I will send the remedies 

In thine own face thou mayest enjoy the creative 

GffAZELS, 415 

power of God, but I have sent thee a mirror in which 
thou mayest contemplate God himself. 

Hafiz, the song of our assemblies is a kind memo- 
rial of thee. Make haste I to bring thee to me I have 
sent thee a horse and a festive garment. 

Rosen, i. 204-5. Calcutta Ed, 28, 2. 


VANISHED from my sight, God watch over thee ! 
Thou hast consumed my soul ; but I still hold thee 
dear to my heart ! 

So long as the skirt of my shroud is not trod under 
the foot of my clay, believe not that I will withdraw 
my hand from thy garment 

Let me still look towards the shrine of thine eye- 
brows, that at the morning hour I may still lift up the 
hand of supplication, and lay it on thy neck. 

Should I have to travel to the Babylonian Harut" 

1 would use a hundred juggling arts to take thee 
with me. 

Give me of thy grace unlimited permission that in 
this heart-burning I may rain down pearl-drops from 
mine eyes every moment at thy feet. 

A hundred rivers of water from mine eyes have I 
poured into thy lap, in the hope that I might sow the 
seed of love in thy bosom. 

I weep in the desire that by this torrent of tears I 
may cultivate in thy heart the germs of affection. 

She hath shed my blood, but the sharpness of her 

4i6 HAFIZ, 

dagger-pointed eye — ^and for this I thank her — hath 
set my heart free from the pangs of separation. 

One thmg I could wish for before I die, thou fidth- 
less physician : that thou shouldest make a single 
inquiry about the sick one who is yearning to see 

O Hafiz, wine, and pleasure, and revelry are not 
what becometh thee ! Thou must totally renounce 
them, or I leave thee to perish ! 

Rosen, i. 208-9. Calcutta Ed, 28, I. 


O MY Lord, contrive the means that my friend may 
return in safety, and may deliver me from the claws of 

Bring me the dust of the road trod by my travelled 
friend, that I may make my world-seeing eye her 
abiding dwelling-place. 

Alas ! that on six sides my outlet is barred by that 
mole and down, those cheeks and ringlets, that face 
and figure. 

To-day, whilst I am in thy hands, show thy mercy ; 
to-morrow, when I am clay, what will avail tears of 
contrition ? 

O thou who spendest thy breath in talk and inter- 
pretations of love, to thee we have not a word to say ! 
Depart in peace, and good be with thee ! 

Thou poor man, make no lamentation under the 


sword of friends ; for that tribe receiveth the price of 
blood from those whom they have slain ! 

God forbid, that I should complain of thy cruelty 
and tyranny ! The injustice of the lovely is all gentle- 
ness and goodness I 

Hafiz could not make a short discourse about thy 
tresses : the cham would extend itself to the day of 

Rosen, i. 212-13. CalcuUa Ed, 27, 2. 


The profit of this our workshop, the world, is all 
nothing !— ^Set wine before me, for the things of this 
world are all nothing ! 

With heart and soul we eagerly seek the glorious 
society of our beloved ones, and, were it not for heart 
and soul, it were all nothing ! 

That which cometh to our bosoms without the heart- 
pang, that is happiness ; and are they not to be won ' 
except by labour and trouble, the gardens of Paradise 
are nothing ! 

Be not beholden to the Sidrah tree and the Tuba *** 
for shade ; for if thou, waving Cypress, but look upon 
us sweetly, they are all nothing ! 

The ^y^ days that thou art permitted to tarry in 
this hostel, rest for a time in tranquillity, for our time 
itself is nothing ! 

O Cup-bearer, we are waiting in anxious expecta- 
tion on the brink of this ocean of mortality; seize 

2 £ 


4i8 HAFIZ. 

the opportunity, for, like the distance from lip to 
mouth, it is all nothing 1 

Spend not a thought on its withering, but be gay, 
like the rose whilst it bloometh ; for the glory of die 
world as it passeth is all nothing ! 

Devotee, feel not secure from the guiles of o'ver- 
xeal, for the road from the cloister to the convent of 
the infidel is as nothing ! 

What have not I, the grief-wasted man, borne of 
isuffering ! But of necessity for confession or explana- 
tion there seemeth to be nothing ! 

The name of Hafiz hath received a good report ; 
but in the presence of those who frequent the tavern, 
good report, or bad report, is nothing I 

Rosen, i. 222-3. Calcutta Ed. 19, I. 


The imnge of thy face is my companion in every 
jiath ; the fragrant breeze of thy hair is the tie of my 
conscious soul. 

I am disgusted with the adversary who would 
interdict love : the beauty of thy countenance is an 
all-sufficient argument. 

See only what sayeth the apple of thy chin : " A 
thousand Eg}-ptian Josephs have fallen into my 

well.*' *• 

If my hand cannot reach thy long tresses, it is my 

short arm that is in fault, and my unfortunate 


Say to the chamberlain who guardeth the door of 
the private apartments in the royal palace: "There 
is one who sitteth in the dust in a corner of my 
■court ; 

" Whose image, muffled-up and hidden from sight, 
is ever before the view of my quiet mind. 

" If Hafiz knocketh, a petitioner at my door, open 
it to him, for through long years he hath been yearn- 
ing to gaze upon his Moon." 

Rosen i. 248-9. Calcutta Ed, 14, 2. 


If the hand of thy musky tresses hath committed a 
fault against me, and if the dark mole of thy cheek 
hath been cruel towards me, it is gone ! gone I 

If the lightning of love hath consumed the harvest 
of the poor wool-clothed Dervish, or if the violence 
of a powerful king hath injured the beggar, it is gone ! 
^one ! 

If a heart hath been burthened by the glance of her 
who had it in her keeping, or if aught hath broken 
the harmony between lover and beloved, it is gone ! 

If reproaches have been scattered abroad by the 
prating of tale-bearers, or if amongst companions hath 
been said aught that was unseemly, it is gone ! gone I 

On the path-way of affection should be no heart- 
sorrows : bring me wine ! when aught that was turbid 
hath again become clear, it is gone I gone I 

420 HAFIZ. 

In the game of love there is need of patience : be 
'^firm, O my heart! If there was suffering, it hath 
passed away ; if there was cruelty, it is gone ! gone ! 

O Preacher, declaim not on the faults of HAfiz ! he 
has escaped from the convent : who shall bind again 
the free-foot ? — He is gone I gone ! 

Rosau i. 250-1. Calcutta Ed. 30^ i. 


One sip from his ruby lip we tasted not, and he is 
gone ; his love-beaming face we saw not fully, and he 
is gone ! 

Our friendly converse from pleasure is changed to 
sorrow ; he bound up his package, we could not turn 
him about, and he is gone ! 

Many a time have we repeated the " Supplication '* 
and " the Benediction," and breathed forth '* the 
Chapter of Faithfulness," ^ — and he is gone ! 

With fond caresses he would repeat : " Never will 
I depart from the utterance of your desires : " thou 
saw^est thyself at last how we won his fond caresses, 
and he is gone ! 

He would say : " He who seeks the enjoyment of 
my presence must cut off himself from self;'* we, in 
the hope of this enjoyment, cut ourselves off from 
self, and he is gone ! 

He would walk proudly in the meadows of beauty 
and gracefulness, but in the rose-garden we plucked 
not the rose-bud of his company, and he is gone ! 

Every night, like Hafiz, we pass in weeping and 
lamentings, for alas ! alas ! we never were permitted 
to say to him : " Adieu ! " 

^w™i. 2<;4-S. CiliultaEd.ll.l. 

XX rv. 

The Fast is over, the Festival "is come, and hearts 
are lifted up, and the wine is sparkling in the wine- 
house, and wine we must drink ! 

The turn of the heavy dealer in abstinence is past, 
the season of joy is arrived, and of joyous revellers 1 

Why should reproach be heaped upon him who, 
like me, quaffeth wine ? This is neither sin nor fault 
in the jovial lover I 

The drinker of wine, in whom is no false show and 
no dissimulation, is better than he who is a trader in 

We are neither dissembling revellers, nor the com- 
rades of hypocrites : He who is the knower of all 
secrets knowelh this. 

We discharge all our divine obligations and do evil 
to no man ; and whatever we are told is not right, we 
say not that it is right 

What mattereth it, that thou and I should quaff a 
few goblets of wine ? Wine is the blood of the vine ; 
it is not thy blood 1 

This is not a fault which ihroweth all into confusion ; 
-and were it a fault, where is the man to be found who 
is free from faults ? 

422 HAFIZ. 

HAfiz, leave thou " the How and the Wherefore,"' 
and drink for a moment thy wine : His wisdom hath 
withholden from us what is the force of the words — 
" HOW and wherefore." 

Rosen, i. 270-71. Calcutta Ed* wanting. 


My heart-robber departed, and gave to her adorer no- 
notice, and called not to mind companion of the city» 
or partner for the journey. 

Either my destiny misled me in the path of friend- 
ship, or it was she who travelled not by the broad 

Whilst I stood there, like the taper, and offered my 
life the ransom for hers, she came not to cheer me on 
my way, like the breeze of the morning. 

I said : " Perchance I may render her heart more 
lenient by my weeping ; " but no drop of rain left a 
mark upon that hard marble ; 

And though in my grief I stripped off my feathers 
and broke my wings, even this could not drive from 
my head this rough passion of love. 

Every one, who looked upon thy face, kissed mine 
eyes, for what mine eyes did, it did not without 
insight. ^ 

The tongue of Hafiz will never publish thy secret 
to one of the crowd, so long as, like the reed cut for 
his pen, he loseth not his head. ** 

Rosen, i. 338-9. Calcutta Ed, 40, i. 

I LAID my face in her path, but she passed not near - 
me; mine had a hundred kind glances for her, but 
she gave not one look at me. 

O Lord, watch over that young heart-stealer, who 
suspecteth not the arrow of the sighing anchorite. 

The torrent of my tears hath rot borne away malice 
from her heart ; not a drop of rain hath left a mark 
upon that hard marble ! 

Would that, like a taper, I might expire under her 
feet, but she would not blow over me like the morn- 
ing breeze. " 

O my soul, what heart of stone is so devoid of 
ise, that it would not make itself a shield against 
e wounds of thine arrow ! 
1 My groanings last night suffered not bird or fish to 
; but see ! that saucy one never once unclosed 
X eyes from slumber, 
^ Thy sweet lay, O Hafiz, is so heart-eaptivating, 
tax every one who heareth it, longeth that it may 
r be lost to his bosom. 

A'ourn, i. 340-I. CaUu/l'i Ed. 38, 1. 

XXV 11. 

SE preachers who in the pulpit and at the altar 
e so much display, when they retire to their 
tivacy act far othenvise. 

My heart is struck with amazement at those bold- 
faced preachers, who of what ihey say in the pulpit 
practise so little. 

424 HAFIZ. 

I have a difficulty, and would ask the wise men of 
the Assembly : " Wherefore do those who enjoin 
penance perform no penance themselves?" 

Surely these talkers, who are so arrogant and deceit- 
ful in the matters of their Judge, have no belief in a 
day of judgment ! 

Lord, set this whole band of upstarts on the 
backs of asses, for all this pride they have caught 
from a Turkish slave. 

Prostrate thyself in adoration, O Angel, at the 
door of the wine-house of Love, for there is tempered 
the particle of clay of which man hath been fashioned. 

When boundless beauty hath destroyed a host of 
lovers, a fresh host riseth uj) to love from the invisi- 
ble world. 

1 am the slave of the ancient keeper of the wine- 
house, whose ])oor beggars feel themselves, in their 
independence, rich enough to scatter dust on the 
head of riches. 

Leap up, beggar of the monaster)' I for in the 
temple of the Magi " they give a water which 
strengtheneth [or perfecteth] all hearts. 

Empty the house of idols, that it may become a 
station of souls ! For these aspiring ones seek hearts 
and souls in another place. 

In the morning hour there is a tumult round the 
Throne, and Wisdom exclaimeth : " It is the Holy 
Choir which is chanting the verses of Hafiz." 

Rosen i. 342-3. Calcutta Ed. 32, 2. 




What hath brought on this intoxication, 1 knou- 
not ! Who was the cup-bearer ? ^V'hence came tho 

What kind of lay hath the master of melody 
struck-ijp, that he hath introduced into his song the 
voice of a friend ? 

The breeze with its sweet message is like the Ho<)- 
poo of Solomon, which brought news of delight from 
the rose-bowers of Sheba." 

Thou also bring wine to the harp, and take the path 
of the fields, for tlie bird of sweet notes is come back 
with its soft-voiced thrilling harmonies. 

Welcome and good cheer to the arrival of the rose 
and the wild-rose ! The joy- sea tiering violet is come, 
and the jasmine hath brought its gladness ! 

my heart, make no complaint, that, like the 
rosebud, thou art bound up in thine acts ; for with 
the morning -breeze are come soft airs to untie all 
knots ! 

The smile of the Cup-bearer hath brought healing 
to my sick heart; lift up thy head — the physician 
hath arrived, and hath brought the remedy ! 

1 am a disciple of the old Magian" : be not angry 
with me. Sheikh ! for thou gavest me a promise 
only ; he hath brought me the reality. 

Fate seemeth now disposed to serve HAnz as a 
slave, since, fleeing for refuge, it hath brought me to 
the door of good fortune I 

Kosin. L 36S-9. Cakulttt Ed. 45. J. 



426 HAFIZ, 


She is not the beauty who hath only waist and hair 
to boast of: be the obedient slave of her commands 
only who is all perfection ! 

The blandishments of Huri and Peri are pleasant ; 
but one whom I could name is the lovely and delight- 
ful one. 

O rose, approach smilingly the fountain of mine 

eye, which, in the hope of beholding thee, welleth 

forth in sweet waters. 

\ The curving of thine eyebrows with an archer's 

^ skill taketh the arrow out of the hand of all who 

hold the bow. 

My words must touch the heart, since thou deignest 
to receive them : indeed and indeed the words of love 
do leave their tokens ! 

In the way of love no one hath been fully initiated 
. into the mystery ; every one hath a judgment about 
it according to the measure of his intelligence. 

Amongst the sitters in the tavern vaunt not thy 
miracles ; every word hath its time, and every subtlety 
its place. 
- The sagacious bird will not pour out in the mead 
the full music of its song ; it will remember that on 
X the heels of the Spring folio weth the Autumn. 
"^ Beareth any one from thee the ball of beauty here 
below, bethink thee that even the sun is a rider who 
sometimes letteth fall the bridle from his hands ! ^ 


Say to the rival : " Try not thy pithy speeches 
and thy ambiguous words on Hafiz, for my wriling- 
reed also hath its tongue and its meaning !" 

/imcn. i. 383 9. Cakulta EJ. A^, 1. 



I once possessed .a hearty friend, to 
whom I could speak about every difficulty ; 

A heart which could sympathise with any calamity, 
and a friend who could counsel me in every |>erplexity ; 

To ihe, when disturbed by any misfortune, a com- 
panion at once experienced and capable. 

When my tearful eye plunged me into a whirl- 
pool of sorrow, my hope of the shore was under his 

When I went wandering astray in the region of 
love, whose was the skirt like his to cling to? 

In my search to find him, my tears trickled like pearls, 
but to regain his presence my efforts were fniiiless. 

No skill existeth without the drawback of disap- 
pointment, but never was beggar so disappointed as I! 

In this distracted bewilderment have pity upon me, 
who once was an intelligent and thorough man I 

My words, so long as they were dictated by love, 
were admired for their subtlety in every assembly ; 

But never speak again of the subtle sayings of 
HAfiz, for we have seen ourselves that he was a con- 
ned fool. 

A'omi. i. 398-9. CalcuUa Ed. O4, 1. 

428 HAFIZ, 


Glad tidings, O my heart! for the gentle breeze is 
come again, and Hoopoo, the messenger of good news, 
is returned from the bounds of Sheba." 

Prolong, bird of the morning, thy David-sweet 
melodies ; for the rose, glorious as Solomon, is come 
back on the wings of the zephyr. 

The tulip hath found the perfume of the gra]>e-juice 
in the breath of the morning : she showeth the wounds 
on her heart [/. e, her streaks], but is hopeful of a 

Where is the learned one who can interpret the lan- 
guage of the lily ; that he may enquire of her, whither 
she went, and wherefore she is come back again ? 

My eyes were filled with tears as they followed the 
departed caravan, till to the ear of my heart came 
again the voice of the returning camel-bell. 

Kindness and a gracious lot hath God granted me ; 
for it was the grace of God which restored to me that 
flinty-hearted idol. 

Though Hafiz knocked at the door of injustice and 
broke his faith, behold His benignity, who came to 
my door with a message of peace I 

Rosen, i. 408-9. Calcutta Ed. 64, I. 

The rose would not be sweet without the face of 
my beloved ; the spring would not be sweet without 
the juice of the grape. 

GHAZELS, 429^ 

The borders of the lawn and the breezes of the 
pleasure-ground would not be sweet without the tulip- 
cheek of my maiden. 

The sugar-lip and the roseate image of my beloved 
would not be sweet without her kiss and her embraces. 

The dancing of the cypress and the ecstacy of the 
rose would not be sweet without the notes of the 
thousand-voiced nightingale. 

No picture which the hand of genius could design 
would be sweet as the portrait of my idoL 

Sweet are the garden, the rose, and wine, but they 
would not be sweet without the company of my 

Thy life, O Hafiz I is but a debased coinage ; it is 
not of value enough to throw amidst the crowd at a 
festive celebration.* 

Rosen, L 410- 11. Calcutta Ed, 51, I. 


May thy beauty be perpetually on the increase ; may 
thy tulip-cheek every year preserve its bloom ! 

May the vision of thy love, which is fixed in my 
brain, be every day that I live stronger and stron^fer 1 

May the forms of all the charmers in the world .bow 
themselves down for ever, as now, in the service of 
thine image ! 

May every cypress, which groweth in our meadows,, 
be ungraceful for ever, as now, beside thy tall and 
slender stature ! ^ 

^^ 430 HAFIZ, 


May the eye, which is not bewitched in looking 
thee, instead of pearly tears shed an ocean of bloo< 

May its glance, that it may steal every heart, 
endowed with every trick to work its enchantments 

Is there a soul anywhere which would sorrow thi 
may it be deprived of patience, and constancy, \ 
quietude ! 

May thy ruby-lip, dear as his life to Hafiz, be e 
far from that of the base and the ignoble ! 

Rosen, \. 424-5. Calcutta Ed, 49, : 


He who gave to thy cheek the bloom of the re 
and the whiteness of the wild rose, can also give 
me, the unhappy one, patience and repose. 

And He who taught thy ringlets the way to c 
quer is also able in His kindness to bestow upon 
all that is my due. 

I cut off all my hopes about Ferhad the day t 
he resigned the reins of his frenzied heart to the \ 
of Shirin.^^ 

If I possess not a treasure of gold, the treasure 
contentment is still left me : He who gave that 
kings, hath given this to beggars also. 

The world is a fair bride as respecteth her beai 
but he who has betrothed her hath pledged his life 
her dowry. 

Henceforth I will seek my pleasure in the bore 
of the cypress and the margin of the rivulet, esp< 


ally now that the morning-breeze bringeth to me the 
glad tidings of the return of February. 

In the mournful hand of vicissitude, the heart of 
Hafiz is charged with anguish : in the severance from 
thy person, I throw myself, great sir, on thee — the 


Rosen, i. 438-9. CaUuita Ed. 50^ I. 


The glad news is arrived that the days of grief are <•■ 
not for ever ; that stayed not, nor will this continue for 

What though I was as dust in the eyes of my 
beloved, my rival will not remain so honoured for 

The guardian of the veil will strike with his 
scimitar, and no one will remain a dweller in the 
sanctuary of the harem for ever. 

Count as gain, O Taper, the affection of the Moth, 
for before the dawn this attachment will cease for 

An angel from the invisible world hath brought me 
a sweet message : " No one on earth will remain 
afflicted for ever." 

What room is there for rejoicing or complaint in 
the embroidered web of good and evil, since not a 
character on the page of existence will remain for 
ever ? 

It is said that this was the song in the assemblies 






432 HAFIZ. 

of Jemshid : " Jemshid himself will not remain 

O rich man, be ready to relieve the wants of 
poor man, for thy treasure of gold and thy store 
silver will not be thine for ever. 

On the emerald vault of heaven is written in lett 
of gold : " Nothing, save the good deed of the ge 
rous man, will remain for ever." 

The morning, with a kindly salutation, brought 
a sweet message that no one will remain the capl 
of sorrow for ever. 

O Hafiz, never renounce thy benevolence, for 
image of violence and the form of injustice will ; 
be seen for ever. 

Rosen, i. 45S-9. Calcutta Ed, 61, 1 


Wine and sweet pleasure, what are they ? — Thii 
without a foundation ! We dashed into the ranks 
the inebriated : let be what may be ! 

Untie the knots of thy heart, and think not 1 
much of Destiny ; for the science of no geometer h; 
ever untied that knot. 

Be not astonished at the mutations of Fortune, 
its wheel hath counted thousands and thousands 
such stories. 

Take the cup in thy hand with reverence, for 
hath been fashioned out of the skulls of Jemsh 
and Kobad, and Bahman. 

What information can be given whither are gone 
Kai and Kaus ? Who is knowing enough to say 
whither the wind hath transported the throne of 

Now I see how, from eagerness for the lip of 
Shirin, the tulip sprang up from the tears of hlood 
shed by Ferhad.'* 

Come, O come, for I am desolate, for the moment, 
from tjie effects of wine ; perhaps amidst these deso- 
late ruins we may discover a treasure. 

Perchance the tulip knew the faithlessness of futur- 
ity J for ever since she was born and hath loved, she 
never putteth down the wine-cup from her hand. 

The gentle breezes of the ground of Mosella and 
the waters of Roknabad have never allowed me to 
enjoy the delights of travelling. 

From the sorrows of affection hath come to my soul 
what hatli cozne : may the evil-eye of Destiny never 
inflict a wound on his soul ! 

Ijke Hafiz, never take the cup into thy hand save 
to the wailings of the lute ; for the mirth of the glad 
tied to it only by a silken thread. 

J^oiiii. i. 520. Calcutta Ed. 49, I. 



The good news is arrived, that Spring is returned 
verdure ; if the gratuity is arrived, spend it in 
ine and roses I 

: chant of the bird is heard once more, but 

■■ p^ 

434 HJFIZ. 

where is the wine-flask ? The nightingale is lame 
— " Who will withdraw the veil from the rose ?" 

I will cast into the fire my rags stained like 
rose with wine, for the old wine-seller* will not 
for them the dregs of his goblet 

From the cheek of a cup-bearer beaming as 

moon pluck a rose ; for round the face of the ga 

is blooming the dawn of the violet 

: "^ In the domain of love plant not a foot withgul 

!" v to direct thee : for he is lost who travelleth this 

;. without a guide. 

What relish can he have for the fruits of Pan 
who hath never tasted the apple of a fair one's ch 

The smiling glances of the Cup-bearer hav 
snatched my heart from my hand, that I hav 
power any longer to talk of or listen to any ol 

The wonders on the road of love, O comrade 
many ; in this desert the lion trembleth before the f 

Complain not of suffering; for, exploring 
track, he will not come to his rest who hath 
achieved it through trouble. 

By heaven, my guide, assist me on this holy joui 
for to this desert of love no bounds are visible ! 

Hafiz hath not gathered a rose in this garde 
beauty; perhaps the breeze of humanity hath 
blown over this meadow. 

The Spring hath passed by ; find out the just i 
for the season is gone, and Hafiz hath not yet t2 
the wine ! 

liosen, i. 542. Calcutta Ed, 60^ 



The breath of the eastern breeze is scattering its 
musky odours ; the old world hath once more renewed 
its youth ! 

The arghavan" is presenting its onyx-cup to the 
jessamine ; the eye of the narcissus is darting its 
glances towards the anemone. 

The tyranny of the grief of separation from the 
nightingale is extending its clamour to the pavilion 
of the rose. 

If I leave the mosque to repair to the wine house, 
-censure me not; the preaching to the congregation 
was long, and time was running away. 

O my heart, if the delights of the day thou castest 
away till the morrow, who will be thy surety for the 
ready-capital of life which still is left thee ? 

This month of Shaban let not the cup be set down 
from thy hand, for this sun will go out of sight till 
the night of the Fast of Ramazan." 

The rose is precious 1 count its society as a rich 
plunder; for it came to the garden this way and 
departeth by that 

O minstrel, this is an assembly of familiar friends ; 
recite thy lay and sing thy song : how long wilt thou 
repeat : " So it hath been, and so it will ever be ?" 

Hafiz for thy sake came into the realms of exist- 
ence : prepare to bid him adieu, for he will soon be 
going ! 

Rosen, i. 560-1. Calcutta Ed, 52, 2. 

436 HAFIZ, 


In no one find I amity: what hath happenc 
those who are so loving ? — How hath friendship 
to an end ? — ^\Vhat is become of those who we 
friendly ? 

The Fountain of Life is troubled : whither is K 

gone who knew its blessedness ? ' — ^The rose hat) 

. its bloom : what is become of the vernal breezes \ 

-' No one sayeth that he hath a fnend who hat 

sincerity of friendship : what hath happened to 
I who believed in sincerity? — What hath becon 

their friends? 

The ball of good augury and of fair fortune 
been thrown into the midst of the field ; but nc 
appeareth upon the ground : what is become o 
horsemen [/. e, the champions] ? 

Hundreds of thousands of roses have blosso 
but no note of a bird hath arisen : whither are 
the nightingales? — What is become of the thpu: 
voiced songsters ? 

Zohra [Venus] playeth not her sweet melo( 
hath she, perchance, burnt her lute? — No om 
joyeth the delight of the grape-juice; what 
happened to the quaffers of wine ? 

This land was once called "the Friends of 
City ;" — " the Land of Friends :" how hath frienc 
come to an end ? — What hath become of the Fri 
of the City ? 

No ruby hath been brought up from the mi; 


humanity for many a year : the warmth of the sun, 
the force of the wind, and the rain, whither are they 
departed ? 

No one knoweth the divine secrets; therefore, be 
silent, O Hafiz: for of whom wilt thou ask what 
will be revealed by the revolutions of futurity ? 

Rosen 1. 586-7. CaUutta Ed. wanting. 


Again for a second time hath the wine deprived me 
of self-possession ; again seduced me by its caresses 
and destroyed my self-controL 

A thousand praises on that ruddy wine which hath 
taken from my face its sallow complexion ! 

Blessings on the hand which gathered the grape; 
may the foot never slip which crushed it together ! 

Love was written on my brow by the hand of Fate ; 
the fate which is written it is impossible to cancel. 

Breathe not a word about wisdom ; for in the hour 
of death Aristotle must yield up his s6ul like the 
wretched Kurd 

Go, pious man, and reproach me not ! for what God 
hath created is not a trifling thing. 

Spend not thy life in such wise in the world that 
when thou art dead, they shall say only — "Dead !" 

Intoxicated with " Unity " from the cup of " the 
old original contract " will be every one who quafifeth 
xhe pure wine like Hafiz !" 

Rosen, i. 592. Calcutta Ed. 65, I. 


438 HAFTZ, 

How should a tender verse proceed from a sorrowing 
heart? A delicate utterance from the book of mj 
sayings would be all in the same strain ! 

Could I find in thy ruby-lip a ring of manumisdon,*^ 
I would subject, like Solomon, a hundred kingdoms to 
my seal ! 

It is not well, O my heart, to be overcome with 
grief through the wounds of envy : it may be that 
when thou lookest at it again it may be for good. 

For him who hath no capacity for comprehending 
my imaginative reed, his pictures I would not pur- 
chase though he were a painter from China ! 

Every one hath his gift — one a cup of wine — 
another heart's blood ; such are the obligations of the 
cycle of Destiny ! 

In the market of rose and rose-water this is the 
condition, that this should be exposed in the public 
market, and that should remain sitting behind the 

It cannot be that the love of revelling should quit 
the heart of Hafiz, for the old custom of the former 
days will last to the afler-ones. 

Rosen, i. 594-5. Calcutta Ed, 50, i. 

That friend who made my dwelling the abode of a 
Peri; who from head to foot was, like a Peri, free 
from blemish; 

That moon who was the gaze of my own intel- 
ligence — who was endowed with beauty, urbanity, 
winning manners, and clear-sightedness ; 

Of whom my heart said : " I will subdue that city 
to ray desires " — ^but knew not, unhappy one ! that 
its friend was bound on another journey;" 

That friend hath a malignant star torn from my 
grasp !— Ah, no ! — what shall I do ? The moon in 
its circling hath wrought me this calamity I 

Nor hath the veil fallen from the secret of my 
heart alone, since hy the decree of Heaven the veil 
of her blandishments hath been torn in twain also." 

Sweet is the rose, and the margin of the streamlet, 
and its verdure; alas! that that fleeting treasure 
should be so fugitive ! 

Sweet were the moments I passed with my friend ; 
what time is still left mc must be spent ignorantly 
and un profitably 1 

The nightingale destroyed himself through jealousy, 
because the rose caressed the eastern breeze in the 
hours of the morning. 

Excuse him, O my heart, for thou art poor, and she 
was a crowned head in the kingdom of beauty ! 

Every treasure of happiness which God hath given 
to HAfiz hath been the blessing of the nightly praytr 
rand the morning supplication. 

Rosen. \. 596-7. Calculla Ed, v/antitig. 

440 HAFIZ. 


In the midst of the prayers the remembrance of 
thine arched eyebrows came into my mind; and it 
went so far, that the very shrine broke out in 

Expect no longer from me patience of heart or 
reason ; for that composure thou sawest in me came 
but on the wind 

The wine is bright, the birds of the mead are 
intoxicated j it is the season of love, and all is on a 
good foundation. 

The rose hath brought its gladness, and the soft 
breeze its joyousness, and everything breatheth an 
odour of wholesomeness. 

O bride of virtue, make no complaint of Fortune ; 
prepare the bridal chamber of beauty, for the bride- 
groom is coming. 

The heart-alluring plants are arrayed in all their 
jewels, but our charmer cometh in the beauty of her 

Every tree that beareth fruit is bending beneath its 
load : ah, happy cypress, which art free from the 
burthen of sorrow ! 

Minstrel, sing a sweet strain from the lays of 
Hafiz, that I may say : " It recalleth to my remem- 
brance the days of gladness." 

Rosen, i. 604. Calcutta Ed, 59. i. 



If from thy garden I plucked a mouthful of fruit, 
what mattereth it ? If in the splendour of thy lamp 
I abased my looks to my feet, what mattereth it ? 

O my Lord, if I — a sun-scorched man — reclined a 
moment under the shade of that tall cypress, what 
mattereth it ? 

O signet of Jemshid,** of auspicious memories, if a 
reflection from thee should fall upon my ruby-ring, 
what mattereth it ? 

Wisdom hath gone out of the door of its dwelling, 
and if this wine be the cause, I foresaw what would 
happen in the house of faith : what mattereth it ? 

The pious man of the city seeketh the favour of the 
King and the Governor; if I prefer the favour of a 
fair picture, what mattereth it ? 

My precious life hath alternated between wine and 
my beloved ; and if aught hath befallen me, from this 
or from that, what mattereth it ? 

The master knew that I was a lover ; and if Hafiz 
knoweth that I am in like case, what mattereth it ? 

Routt, i. 612-13. Calcutta Ed, 63, 2. 


If my heart attract me to the musky wine, be it so ! 
From over-sanctity and hypocrisy cometh no good 




Were every one in the world to forbid to low^ I 
would still do what the Lord coinmandeth. 

Let not avarice withdraw thee from the overflowings 
of generosity, for generous people perceive the faults, 
but forgive the lover. 

My heart remaineth steady within the circle of 
supplication, and hopeth thereby to win a ringlet 
from the tresses of its beloved one? 

To thee, on whom Heaven hath bestowed beauty 
and the bridal-chamber of Fortune, what need is there 
of the tire-woman to array thee ? 

The mead is sweet, and the air heart-ravishing, 
and the wine genuine ; what now is there wanting 
save a satisfied heart ? 

The world is a bride which is very beautiful ; but 
bethink thee that this veiled maiden is not completely 
bound to any one. 

The field is never entirely emptied of cypress and 
tulip; one departeth, but another still conieth in its 

No need to asic the heart about our beggarly con- 
dition, for that mirror showeth in its face every thing 
that is. 

I said 10 her sportively : " Ah ! face mild as the 
moon, where were the harm wert thou to give to 
me — a broken-hearted man — one bit of sugar for my 

Laughing, she replied ; " Heaven forbid, HAfiz, 
that a kiss of thine should sully my moon-mild face !'* 

Rasen. i. 634-S. CaicutSa Ed. \uanliHg. 


Whosoever depaneth from thy village in n 
his affairs will never succeed, and he himself vill go 
away at last in shame. 

The traveller who is seeking the way to his friend 
will need the light of direction ; for if he take the 
wrong path he will never arrive at the goaL 

Take a pledge for the residue of life from wine 
and the beloved one : woe for the lime of which one 
moment is wasted in idleness ! 

O guide of my lost heart, let me appeal to God for 
assistance ; for the stranger to the road necdeth 
direction from a guide ! 

In the seal of Destiny lieth the power of intoxica- 
tion and sobriety ; no one knoweth what at the last 
will be his condition ! 

The caravan which travelleth under the shield of 
God's protection will sit down to rest well provided, 
and set forth again on its march in grandeur. 

Hafiz, take into thy hand a cup from the fountain 
of wisdom : take heed, and rub out from the tablet 
of thy heart every image of folly. 

.««™, i. 638-9. C«/,««fl£is4,a. 


The east-wind at the morning-dawn brought a perfunie 
from the locks of my beloved, which at once threw 
anew into commotion my foolish heart. 

444 HAFIZ. 

I thought, that I had rooted up that fir-sapling 
from the garden of my heart, for every germ which 
sprouted from its grief bore only the fruit of sorrow. 

From dread of the assaults of her love, I set my 
heart free with bloody struggles ; my heart shed on my 
pathway drops of blood, which tracked my footsteps. 

I beheld from the terrace of her castle, how the 
radiant splendour of the moon hid itself in shame 
behind the wall in the face of that glorious sun. 

At the voice of the minstrel and the cup-bearer I go to 
the door in season and out of season ; for the message- 
carrier escapeth with difficulty from a heavy road. 

The gift of my beloved I accept altogether in the 
way of courtesy and kindness, whether she command 
a Mohammedan rosary, or a Christian or Jewish 

Heaven ward off evil from such eyebrows ! For 
though they have reduced me to weakness, with a 
kind salutation they have brought comfort also to 
the sick man^s head. 

Joy to the season and the hour when I escaped 
from the bondage of her knotted tresses, and achieved 
a victory which even my enemy confessed ! 

From envy of the black locks of my beloved, the 
eastern breeze scattered every grain of musk which 
she had brought from Tatary.** 

I was astonished, when yesternight I found beside 
Hafiz cup and flagon ; but I raised no argument, for 
he brought them in Sufi fashion.*^ 

Rosen, i. 640-1. Calcutta Ed, 45, i. 



Never shall thy image be washed-out from the 
tablet of my heart and soul : never ! Never shall the 
form of that gracefully-waving Cypress be blotted- 
out from my remembrance : never ! 

Never shall the vision of thy cheek be effaced from 
my distracted brain by the severity of the skies, nor 
by the cruelty of Destiny : never ! 

From eternity without beginning my heart made a 
compact with thy ringlets ; to eternity without end it 
shall not be dissolved, nor my promise be broken : 
never ! 

All that is in my miserable heart will pass away 
from my heart, except the burthen of sorrow which 
thou hast laid upon me ; but that will never pass 
away from my heart : no, never ! 

So great is the love of thee which hath possessed 
itself of my heart and soul, that, though I should 
lose my head, my heart will never lose its love : 
never ! 

If my heart should wander in the pursuit of beauty, 
it is excusable : what can it do ? It is in pain, and 
can never cease from seeking the remedy : never 1 

Whoever desireth not to become distracted like - 
Hafiz, let him never give up his heart to a fair one, 
nor follow her footsteps : never ! 

Rosen, i. 676-7. Calcutta Ed, 66, 2. 

446 HAFIZ. 


Were God to punish every one for his sins, the earth 
would be filled with sighs, and time with groanings. 

In the presence of the Lord alike are mountains 
and grass ; one while He pardoneth the mountain, and 
one while He calleth the grass to judgment 

Great are thy sins as the surface of the earth; 
knowest thou not that it is sin which darkeneth the 
moon in heaven? 

Thou seemest to be clothed in white garments, O 
heart ! but thy sins will appear to-morrow, when the 
accuser shall ask for justice before the judgment-seat 

The night through, in shame for my sins, I will 
weep so abundantly, that the spot of my supplication 
iihall that night be clothed with grass. 

The night of my farewell, rivers of tears shall well 
forth from mine eyes, till my friends shall exclaim : 
" They will stay his departure." 

When the King, O Hafiz, hath decreed that the 
man shall die, who will have the boldness or strength 
to go before the King, and rebuke him ? 

Rosen, i. 704.5. Calcutta Ed. 53, 2. 


Every breath I complain of the hand of separation ! 
Ah, that the wind would carr}' to thee the groans of 
my wailings ! 


How should I not utter sighs, and groans, and 
lamentations, when through absence from thee I am 
in such condition as I would wish every one to be 
who is thine enemy? 

Night and day my grief is choking ; and how 
should it not be so ? So far from thine eye, how should 
I be joyous ? 

Since thou hast been so far from my sight, a heart- 
consumed man, how many fountains of blood hath 
not my heart opened through mine eyes ! 

From every eyelash trickle forth more than a 
hundred drops, when my heart iipilfteth its wailings 
under the tyranny of separation. 

The heart of Hafiz is drowned in memories of the 
day and night; but thoU' — thou hast thoroughly set 
thyself free from thy heart-desponding slave. 

Rosen, i. 708-9. Calialla Ed. 46, 3. 


Had I once more the power of enjoying thy society, 

what more could I desire from the star of my nativity ? 
If the clamour of adorers be around thy threshold, 

what wonder is it ? For round the sugar-refinery must 

needs .be found the fly ! 
L What necessity for a sword to slay the lover, when 
^(.glance can deprive him of half his life ? 
r If" in both worlds I could breathe a moment with 

my beloved, that moment would be the gain of both 


448 HAFIZ. 

Fortune hath so shortened the arm of my passion, 
how shall I be able to reach the height of thy lofty 

How shall the drowning wretch find a way of 
deliverance, when the torrent of love overwhelmeth 
him impetuously before and behind? 

If a thousand times I meet my friend, the next 
time that she sceth me she will exclaim : '* Who is 
that man ?" 

Rosen, i. 71a CaUutta Ed, 65. 


The affection thou hast experienced will give thee 
happiness, for this is the way in which Jupiter 
administereth his affairs. 

The object of Time in thus testing thee is to impress 
on thy heart the sign of abstinence and purity. 

And this is the reason why the Holy Volume is 
exalted above all else, because time had tested it in 
every letter. 

The brave in wisdom is the man who in every con- 
dition first considereth the course he should pursue. 

The taste of his soul will be free from the bitter- 
ness of grief, who taketh into his mouth the sugar of 

Whoever will eat of the fruits of life will ponder 
within himself the path which he shall choose. 

When he seeth not the occasion for the battle, he 
will take the cup into his hand ; and when he seeth 

the time for action, he will grasp the life-destroying 

In the time of hardship turn not away thy face 

from the hidden mercy, for the good marrow hath its 

place in the hard bone. 
The sugar findeth in long abstinence the perfection 

of sweetness, and therefore is its first dwelling in a 

narrow cell- 
In the same place in which the torrent of accidents 

leaveth no hope of escape to the shore, what anxiety 

hath the firm mountain, however proudly swell the 

ocean-billows ? 

However arrogantly thine enemy may bear himself 

just now, rejoice that his very arrogance will seize 

his bridle ! 

Although he hath spoken untruthful words against 

this favoured princely house, retribution will be his 

in wife, and child, and kindred ! 

The years of thy life be permanent, for thy fortunes 

r! a gift bestowed on the souls of men and spirits ! 
HAfiz, thou art a monarch in the reaJms of words; 
* every moment thou winnesi victories, like Zu'l-Fikar,** 
in the field of eloquence 1 

Klaen. i. 718-9. Calcutta Ed. waiiliHg. 


'A Grieve not : the lost Joseph will yet come back to 
Canaan : the cell of misery will become one day a 
garden of roses. 


450 BAFIZ. 

^ Grieve not, sorrow-stricken heart : thy condition 
will change to good ; ponder not the evil : this dis- 
tracted head will recover its reason. 

Grieve not : if the spring-tide of life should again 
be enthroned in the garden, thou wilt soon, O chant- 
ress of the night, see spread over thy head a bower 
of roses. 

Grieve not : be not hopeless because thou under- 
standest not the strange mystery ; behind the veil is 
hidden many an illusion. 

Grieve not : for two or three days the circling 
sphere may not revolve according to our wishes ; the 
round of time moveth not perpetually in one orbit 

Grieve not, when, through love of the Caaba,^ 
thou plantest thy foot in the desert, and when thou 
art lacerated by the pricks of the wild thorn. 

Grieve not, my soul, if the torrent of mortality 
upheave the very foundations of existence, since in 
the midst of the deluge thou hast Noah for thy pilot. 

Grieve not : though the journey of life be rugged,, 
and the end of it is not to be seen, there is no road 
which does not lead to the goal. 

Grieve not : in the separation of our beloved ones, 
and in the pressure of rivals, all is known to God, 
who ordereth our condition. 

Grieve not, O Hafiz, in the corner of poverty, and 
in the solitude of dark nights, whilst" to solace thy 
pain there remaineth to thee prayer and the reading 
of the Koran. 

Rosen, ii. 9-10. Calcutta Ed, 71, 2. 



A THOUSAND thanks, that I have once more beholden 
thee according to my desire ; that with thy true and 
bright countenance thou art again become the partner 
of my soul ! 

Travellers must sometimes encounter paths of toil- 
someness ; the companions of the road must not think 
about ascents and descents. 

The sorrow of a concealed passion is better than 
the seeking and searching of a rival ; for the breasts 
of the malevolent are not to be entrusted with such 

Be thankful that the Assembly is lighted up by 
the presence of the beloved ; if thou art misused, 
imitate the taper : be consumed, but bum on ! 

With a half-kiss buy thyself a blessing from one 
who hath a heart; for this will preserve thee, body 
and soul, from the machinations of thine enemy. 

The sadness which hath overspread my face from 
the sorrow thou hast caused me would take me, O 
Asaf,** a long year to explain. 

The chant of love hath made known in Irak and 
Hejaz** the melodious voice of the ghazels of Hafiz of 

Rosen, ii. 52-3. Calcutta Ed. 74, 2. 

451 HAFIZ. 


Who told thee, my soul, not to inquire about my 
condition ; to make thyself a stranger, and to ask no 
news about thy Friend ? 

Because Thou art universally kind and merciful to 
every one of Thy creatures, cancel my past sin, and 
ask not why I committed it. 

Dost thou desire, that the fire of love should bum 
brilliantly, hear its tale from the taper, ask it not 
from the east-wind. 

No knowledge hath that man of the world of 
devotees who says to thee : " Ask not devotees 
about it." 

The Dervish-clad recluse ask not for ready-money ; 
ask not the poor bankrupt, if he can tell thee how to 
make gold. 

We have never read the history of Iskandar and 
Dara [Alexander and DariusJ ; ask of us no tale, but 
that of love and of faithfulness. 

In the book of the most skilful physician is to be 
found no chapter on love : O my heart, accustom 
thyself to suffering, and inquire not about the remedy. 
O Hafiz ! the season of the rose is come ; talk not 
about science : understand the value of opportunity, 
and ask nothing about the how and the wherefore. 

Rosen, ii. 78. Calcutta Ed. 75, I. 


O Mv HEART, ask good Fortune to be the companion 
of thy journey, and it is enough I A gentle breeze 
from the garden of Shiraz for thy running-footman 
is enough I 

O Dervish, travel not again away from the resting- 
place of souls; for a spiritual walk and a corner in 
ihy monastery is enough ! 

The air of the familiar dwelling, and thine obliga- 
tions towards thine old friend will excuse thee with 
the experienced way-farer, and enough 1 

Seat thyself on the bench in the place of honour, 
and quaff a goblet of wine ; for this portion of worldly 
wealth and dignity is enough I 

And if a sorrow be lurking in a corner of thy 
tieart, the sanctuary of the old Magian's court" shall 
be thy refuge, and enough ! 

Seek not for more than sufficeth thee, and lake thy 
burthen easily ; for a glass of ruby-wine and an idol 
radiant as the moon are enough ! 

Heaven giveth to the tool into his own hands the 
rjieins of passion ; thou, who countesl thyself amongst 
ones and virtuous, art also faulty, and enough I 

For no other task is there a necessity for thee, O 
Fiz, save the mid night- prayer and the morning- 
levotions ; and it is enough ! 

Accustom not thyself lo depend on the bounty of 
Others ; for in both worlds the grace of God and the 
of thy King are enough ! 

Kait'i, ii. 84-5. CalciillB Ed. 75, a. 


454 HAFIZ, 


Hail, Shiraz ! incomparable site ! O Lord preserve 
it from every disaster ! 

God forbid a hundred times that our Roknabad be 
dimmed, to which the life of Khizar hath given its 
brightness ! *• 

For between Jafferabad and Mosella*' cometh his 
north-wind perfumed with amber. 

O come to Shiraz, and the overflow of the Holy 
Spirit implore for it from the man who is the posses- 
sor of all perfection ! 

Let no one boast here the sugar-candy of Egypt, 
for our sweet ones have no reason for the blush of 

O morning-breeze, what news bringest thou of that 
tipsy lovely-one ? What information canst thou give 
me of her condition ? 

Awaken me not from my dream, O God, that I may 
sweeten my solitude with that fair vision ! 

Yea, if that sweet one should desire me to pour out 
my blood, yield it up, my heart, as freely as mother's 

Wherefore, O Hafiz, if thou wouldst be terrified 
by the thought of separation, wast thou not grateful 
for the days of her presence ? 

Rosen, ii. 104. Calcutta Ed. 77, 2. 

Last night spake to tiie a quick-wilted and expe- 
rienced man, and said : "The wine-seller's secret must 
no longer be concealed from thee." 

Then he continued : "Take matters easily upon 
thyself, for, from its very nature, the world layeth hard 
burthens on him who is willing to do hard work." 

Then he gave into my hand a cup which flashed 
back the splendour of heaven so gloriously, that 
Zahra [Venus] broke out into dancing, and the late- 
player exclaimed i " Drink ! " 

"Give ear to my counsel, O my son, and grieve not 
thyself about the things of the world ; I will give thee 
advice precious as pearls, if thou art able to lend an 
ear to it. 

"Take, like this cup, with a smiling lip, even though 
with a bleeding heart, whatever betide thee : nor, even 
if it be left wounded, lament like a w.iiling lute. 

"Till thou hasl made acquaintance behind the veil, 
thou will hear no mystery ; the ear of the uninitiated 
is no place for an angel's message. 

"In the sanctuary of Love draw not a breath of 
question and answer; for there every member must 
be all eye and ear. 

" On the carpet of the acute and discerning there 
is no room for self- laudation ; either speak words of 
wisdom, man of intelligence, or be silent !" 

Cup-bearer, give me wine ; for the follies of the 



inebriated Hafiz have been known by the Asaf of 
the mighty hero — the lord of felicity, the pardoner 
of sins, and overlooker of errors. " 

Xeien.'ii, ito-it. Ca/aMa £J. yi; a. 


O Lord, that smiling rose, which thou gavest me in 
charge, I return to Thy charge to preserve her frotn the 
envious eye of her meadow. 

Although she be removed a hundred stages from 
the village of faithfulness, far be the mischiefs of ibe 
revolutions of the moon from her soul and body ! 

MTiilhersoever she gocth the heart of her friend 
shall be the companion of her journey ; the kindness 
of the benevolent the shield of her soul and body ! 

If, morning-mind, thou passest by the bounds of 
Sulima's station, I shall look that thou cany a saluta- 
tion from me to Sulima. 

Scatter thy musky fragrance gently upon those 
black tresses ; they are the abode of dear hearts, d& 
not disturb them ! 

Say to her : " My heart preserveth its vow of fidelity 
to the mole and down of thy cheek ; " therefore hold 
sacred those amber-plaited ringlets. 

In ihe place where ihey drink to the memory of her 
lip, base would be the intoxicated one who should 
icious of himself! 

Merchandise and money expect not to gain at the 

door of the wine-house. Whoever partaketh of this 
beverage will cast his pack into the sea. 

Whoever is in dread of the restlessness of anxiety, 
not genuine is his Jove : either be her foot upon my 
head, or be my lip upon her mouth ! 

The poetry of Hafiz is the primary couplet of 
wisdom : praise be on her soul-attracting and grace- 

I inspiring breath I 
A'osni. ii. 128-9. Calivlla Ed. 80. 2. 
■ LX. 

In the dawn of the morning, when from the secret 
chambers of the palace of wonders the torch of the 
east casteth its beams on every side ; 

When the sky draweth forth its mirror from the 
bosom of the horizon, and displayeth the countenance 
of the universe with its thousand varieties ; 

When from the recesses of the mansion of delights, 
wherein dwclleth ihe Jemshid of heaven [the sun], 
Zahra [Venus] tuneth her organ in sympathy with the 
' dance of the spheres ; — 

Then is the lute excited to ecstacy, and seemeth to 
Bi^sclaim : "Who is he who denielh?" and the cup 
IS laughingly to reply: "Who is bold enough to refuse?" 
Contemplate the operations of the revolving sphere, 
tnd seize the goblet of enjoyment ; for in every cir- 

Ictimstance this is [he best 

The waving ringlets of the tresses of the world are a 


delusion and a snare ; the wisest beyond dispute will 
not seek the end of that thread. 

Pray for the life of the King, if thou seek the profit 
of the world; for a being generous, magnificent, 
beneficent — 

An object of eternal grace, bright as the eye of 
hope, a union of all knowledge and activity, the soul 
of the world, is Shah Shejaa ! 

O Hafiz, like a slave in waiting, be thou a dweller 
at his door ; for he is a sovereign obedient himself, 
and a king who deserveth to be obeyed. 

Rosen, ii. 1 52-3. Calcutta Ed. wanting. 


In the morning I went to the garden, attracted by 
the perfume of the roses, that, like the disheartened 
nightingale, I might still the disturbance of my brain. 

I gazed on the face of a red, red rose, which like a 
lamp illumined the darkness of the night. 

So arrogant was she in admiration of her own youth 
and beauty, that she had chased from the heart of the 
poor nightingale all repose. 

The eye of the lovely narcissus was filled with 
water from sympathy ; the tulip, in her sadness, 
showed a hundred wounds in her heart and soul ; 

The lily extended her tongue like a sword in 
reproof; the anemone opened her mouth like a tell- 
tale : 

Now with flask in hand, like worshippers of wine ; 

now like cup-bearers ministering to the revellers with 
glass in hand. 

Cheerfulness, and pleasure, and youth, like the rose, 

I count thou as spoil; for, HAfiz, the messenger hath 
nothing to do but deliver his message." 
Jfosfn. ii. 15S-9. Calailla Ed. S2, 3. 
' LXII. 

Let no one be sorely tried, like me, the stricken one, 
by separation ; for all my life hath been passed in the 
pangs of separation. 

A stranger — a lover — desponding, poor, and bewil- 
dered, I drag on my days in sorrow and the wounds 
of separation. 

»If he fall into my hands I will slay Separation ; I 
irill pay hack with tears the blood-price of Separation. 
Whither shall I go? — what shall I do? — to whom 
tell the condition of my heart ? Who will do me 
justice?— who will repay me what I deserve for the 
pain of separation ? 

I will sorely try Separation by separation from thee ; 

1 will make the blood trickle from the eyes of Separation 

Whence am I ? — whence cometh separation ?— -and 

■wherefore is sorrow ? Perhaps my mother bore me, 

in order to suffer separation ! 

For this reason, with the wounds of love, night and 
day, like the heart-broken Hafi;, I answer the morn- 
ing nightingale with the wailings of separation. 

A'oicn. ii. 1 72-3. Caliutia Ed, 83, a. 


Heart-wounded as I am, I have the claims of salt 
upon thy lip : ah, guard thou its faith, for I tan 
departing : God preserve thee ! 

Thou art that pure Pearl the celebration of whose 
excellence might in the Holy World be the befitting 
hymn of angels. 

If thou hast a doubt of the sincerity of my 
affection, submit it to [he proof: nothing can test 
the genuineness of fine gold like the touchstone I 

Thou hadst said to me : "I am intoxicated ; I will 
give thee two kisses." Thou hast made promises 
without end, but thou givest me neither two nor one 

Open thy smiling pistachio [i.e. mouth], and scatter 
sugar around ; leave not the people in doubt of thy 
mouth itself [i.e. of its beauty]. 

The spheres I will shatter to pieces if they revolve 
not according to my desires : T am not the man to let 
myself be crushed under the wheels of Fate 1 

If thou permittesc not herself at limes to have 
access to Hafiz, be pleased, O my rival, to remove 
thyself one or two paces from her person I 

AW.,, ii. 174.5, C-./™««£</. 84,1. 

Bv the witchery of thine eye, thou puppet of happy 
qualities; by tlie mystery of thy down, thou miracle 1 
of blessed omens ; 

7 the draught of thy niby-lip, by ihy tints and 
fragrance, O spring of beauty and loveliness ; 

By the dust of thy path, which is the pavilion of 
Hope ; by the ground of thy foot, which is the envy 
of limpid water; 

By Ihy steps, like the coquettish gait of the mountain 
partridge ; by thy glances, like the gentle eyes of the 

By the delicacy of thy nature, and by thy breath — 
the perfume of the morning ; by the fragrance of thy 
locks, and thy respirations, grateful as the northern 
breeze ; 

By that onyjt-eye, which is to me the signet-seal of 
mine own ; by those gems [thy teeth], which are the 
pearls of the casket of eloquence ; 

By that leaf of ihy cheek, which is a rosebud of 
intelligence; by thai garden of looks," which is the 
dwelling-place of my fancies ; — 

Hafiz sweareih that, if ihou wilt turn thy regards 

f.ra, for thy contentment he will sacrifice not only 
th and all that he hath, but life itself. 
Roscu. ii. 300-1. CaUulla Ed. 86, i, 
Thholijh thy black eyelashes ihou hast made a 
thousand breaches in my Faith; come, that from 
ihy languishing eye 1 may pluck a thousand sorrows. 

O companion of my heart, from whom hath de- 
parted all memory of thy friends, may there never be 

462 HAFIZ. 

a day in which I shall sit a moment without remembrance 
of thee ! 

The world is old and hath lost its foundation ; it 
uttereth a cry of distress for the slaying of FerhSd ; 
its sorceries and deceptions have disturbed the soul of 

The world which perisheth, and the world which 
endureth, I will offer as a ransom for my beloved one 
and the cup-bearer ; for I see in the sovereignty of 
the world only the child of love. 

If my friend choose a stranger in my place, let him 
be the judge; but let it never be lawful to me to 
choose life in preference to a friend ! 

From the hotness of the fire of separation, I have 
been bathed like a rose in dew ; bring me, O night- 
wind, a breeze to cool my burning. 

The recital of the yearnings which this letter 
attesteth is surely without error, for Hafiz himself 
hath given me the information it containeth. 

Rosen, ii. 224-5. Calcutta Ed, 86, 2. 


Wherefore should I not be steadfast in following 
the track to my own country? Why should I not 
desire to prostrate myself on the earth in the village 
of my friend ? '* 

No longer able to endure the sorrow of estrange- 
ment and trouble, I will return to my own city ; and 
become my own monarch. 

GffAZELS, 463 

I will be one of those who are admitted behind the 
veil of the Presence ; I will become one of the slaves 
of my own lord [/>. his mistress]. 

Since the events of life are hidden from our view^ 
would that in the day of Fate I might be found in the 
presence of the beloved ! 

Continually hath my employment been love and 
revelry ; henceforward I will work and apply myself 
to my own proper business. 

Hitherto I have been led by the hand of Fortune 
to be a sleeper and a sluggard ; profuse of words, I 
will henceforth be the keeper of my own secret. 

Perchance, O Hafiz, the Mercy Eternal without 
beginning will be the guide of thy ways ; if not, to 
Eternity without end will be thy shame. 

Rosen, ii. 250- 1. Calcutta Ed, wanting. 


We are not come to this portal in pursuit of wealth or 
grandeur ; we are come to a refuge from evil accidents. 

Pilgrims in the stages on the journey of Love, we 
are come a long way from the brink of annihilation to 
reach the climes of existence. 

We beheld the fresh down of thy cheek, and we 
come from the garden of Paradise in search of the 
green pastures of affection. • 

With such treasure as is his — the Faithful Spirit who 
is its treasure" — we come as come beggars to the door 
of the King^s palace. 

O vessel of the divine grace, where is thine anchor 
of clemency; for in this ocean of mercy we are over- 
whelmed with our sins? 

Our glory is departing ! O cloud, wash out our 
offences to the root ; for black are the lelters in which 
our names are inscribed in the book of actions ! 

Hafiz, fling off thy woolly garment of rags [i.A 
hypocrisy], for we follow the track of the caravan 
with the fire of our exclamations )" 

Xaim. ii. jSo-t. CalcitUa Ed. lOO, 3. 


We will not speak evil nor incline towards injustice; 
we will blacken no man's face, nor dye blue our own 

We will not dwell more or less on the faults of rich 
or poor; it is better that we commit no bad deed 
at all. 

We will pursue our journey through the world 
quietly in the sight of oilier wayfarers, nor bestow a 
thought on black steed or high saddle ; 

We will not trace a line of impropriety on the 
records of knowledge; we will not append to the 
mysteries of the Truth the pages of jugglers 1 

If the abstemious man forbiddeth us wine, nre will 
not pay him respect with wine pure and refined ; 

And if the King giveth us to drink without 
•consideration the leavings of the revellers, on no 


we ofTer it to him in its genuineness and 

Heaven favoureth in shipwreck the bark of the 
virtuous; but better not pillow ourselves on that 
pendulous ocean ! 

And if the envious speak ill of thee, and the friend 
was angry, say to him : " Be calm ! we lend no ear to 
fools I " 

Hafiz, if an enemy hath spoken of thy faults, go 
thy way ! If it be true what he said, let us not quarrel 
with the words of truth ! 

KoitH. ii. 388-3. CalaUla Ed. 100, a. 


I HAVE made a compact with the raislress of my 
soul, that so long as I have a soul within my body I 
will hold as mine own soul the well-wishers of her 

In the jirivacy of my breast I see light from that 
taper of Chighil ; splendour to mine eye and bright- 
ness to my heart from that moon of Khoten." 

Since, in accordance with my wishes and yearnings, 
1 have gained the privacy of my breast, why need 1 
care for the slander of evil-speakers in the midst of 
(he crowd ? 

If a hundred armies of lovely ones should be lying 
in ambush to assault my heart, I have, hy the mercy 
iind to the praise of Heaven, an idol which will shatter 
annies to pieces. 

466 HAFIZ. 

Would to Heaven, my rival, that this night thou 
wouldest close thine eye for awhile, that I might 
whisper a hundred words to her silent ruby-ljps ! 

No inclination have I for tulip, or while rose, or the 
leaf of the narcissus, so long as by Heaven's grace I 
walk proudly in the rose^atden of her favour. 

Oh, mine ancient wise one, lay not thy prohibition 
on the wine-house; for, abandoning the wine-cup, 1 
should break a pledge to mine own hearL 

My beverage is easy of digestion, and my mistress 
is beautiful as a picture; no one hath a mistress — 
such a mistress — as I have 1 

I have a Cypress in my dwelling, under the shade of 
whose tall siature I can disjjense with the cypress of 
the grove, and the box-tree of the meadow. 

I can boast that the seal of her ruby-lip is potent 
as was that of Solomon : in possession of the Great 
Name, why should I dread the Evil One I 

After long abstinence, Hafiz is become a notoriom 
revdk-r; but why grieve, so long as there is in the 
world an Emin-ad Din Hassan 1 '* 

Rosen, ii. 384-7. Calcutta Ed. 101. 

Who am I, that I should pass over that fragrai)! 
heart ; that thou shouldest bestow on me such favoursi 
— on me, on whose tirow the dust of thy door-mj 
would be a diadem ? 

TcU me, thou robber of beans, who hath taughl 




thee this courtesy? For I will never reveal thy 
opinion to those who watch thee. 

O sacred bird, be my guide in the way of my 
desires, for the journey I propose is a long one, and I 
am new to travelling ! 

O morning-breeze, bear with thee my service, and- 
say : " Forget me not at the time of the morning- 
prayer ! " ^ 

Joyful the day when I shall bind up my pack for 
that journey ! — when my companions shall inquire of 
me : " How far are we from thy village ? " 

Show me the way to thy private retreat, that I may 
drink wine with thee, and rid myself of worldly sorrow. 

Exalted and world-entrancing is the dignity of 
Poetry ! Bid, therefore, the ruler of the sea omit not 
to fill thy mouth with pearls. 

O Hafiz, it may well be, that in thy search after the 
jewel of fruition thine eye may become an ocean of 
tears, and thyself be overwhelmed in its depths ! 

Rosen, ii. 388-9. Calcutta Ed, loi, 2. 


Thou lookest at me, and every moment thou 
augmentest my pain : I look upon thee, and every 
moment my affection for thee becometh greater! 

Thou inquirest not about my condition ; I know not 
what are thy secret thoughts ; thou preparest me no 
medicine ; thou knowest not, perchance, even that I 
am ill! 


This is not the way — that thou shouldesc cast me 
to the ground, and pass me by ! Ah, come back, and 
inquire once more, how it is with me; for I would 
become to thee the dust of thy path I 

I will not keep my hand off thy skirt, even when I 
turn to clay J for when thou passest my grave, my 
hand shall seize hold of thy garment 

The sorrows of thy love have deprived me of 
breath : restore it me again I How long wilt ihou 
take away my breath, and not say to me: "Take it 

One night in the darkness I demanded back my 
heart from thy ringlets! I beheld thy cheek, and 
quaffed the cup of thy ruby-lip ! 

I drew thee quickly to my bosom, and thy ringlets 
burst into flame; I pressed lip to Up, and gave for 
thy ransom my heart and soul. 

When without me Ihou wanderest for thy pleasure 
through the green fields, a red tear startcth and 
courseth down my pale cheek, 

Be kind to HAfiz! Go, say to my enemy: "Re 
thy life ! " If I but find warmth in thee, what sorrow 
can 1 feel from the cold breath of my enemy ? 

Jimlti. 3yo-I. Calcutta Ed. lol, I 


Although I am old, and feeble, and broken-heoned 
whenever I call to remembrance thy lace, I become 

once more young. 


Thanks be to God, that, whatever I have sought of 
God, when undertaken with a will, it hath had a 
successful issue ! 

On the royal road of eternal Destiny I have 
ascended the throne of Fortune, and, as was the 
desire of my friends, with a goblet of wine in my 

O young rosebud, pluck, whilst thou canst, the fruit 
of happiness; for I, beneath thy shade, became the 
nightingale of the garden of the universe ! 

Once no voice or letter had given note of me to the 
world, it was in thy school of sorrow that I learned 
these subtle graces. 

From the moment that the seduction of thine eye 
fell upon me, I was freed for all after-time from every 
other seduction. 

That day the door of reality was opened to my 
heart, on which I became one of those who sought 
the court of the old Magian." 

My fate was decreed to me to be a frequenter of the 
tavern; into such road I struck, and such did I 
become ! 

It is not years and months that have made me 
old ; it was my faithless friend ! That it was, which, 
like passing life, made me an old man. 

Last night the Divine Mercy sent me a sweet 
message : " Return, Hafiz ; I will be thy surety that 
thy sin shall be forgiven thee." 

Rosen, 402-3. Calcutta Ed. 102, 2. 

470 HAFTZ. 

Spring is come again, and the joy-exciting and vow- 
breaking rose : in the delight of gazing on the cheek of 
the rose tear up the root of sorrow from thy heart ! 

The soft east-wind is arrived; the rosebud in its 
passion hath burst forth and torn its own garment 

Learn, O my heart, the way of sincerity from the 
clear water; in uprightness seek freedom from the 
cypress of the meadow. 

The bride of the rosebud with her jewels and 
sweet smile hath stolen away with her black eye my 
heart and my religion. 

The warbling of the enamoured nightingale and 
the piping of the bird of the thousand notes come to 
enjoy the meeting with the rose from her house of 
mourning [/>. her pod]. 

See how the gentle breeze hath entwined with his 
hand the ringlets of the rose ! Look how the plaited 
locks of the hyacinth bend over the face of the 
jessamine ! " 

The story of the revolving sphere seek to learn 
from the cup, O Hafiz ! as the voice of the minstrel 
and the judgment of the wise advise thee! 

Rosen, ii. 422-3 Calcutta Ed. 107, 2. 


The bird of my heart is a sacred bird, whose nest is 
the Throne of God : sick of its cage of the body, it is 
satiated with the things of the world. 

If once the bird of the spirit wingeth its 
from this pit of mire, it findeth its resting-pl; 
more only at the door of that palace ; 

And when the bird of my heart flieth upward, its 
place is the Sidrah-tree : " for know that our falcon 
reposeth only on the pinnacle of the Throne. 

The shadow of good fortune falleth upon the world, 
whenever our bird spreadeth its pinions and feathers 
over the earth. 

In both worlds its station is only in the loftiest 
sphere ; its body is from the quarry, but its soul is 
confined to no dwelling. 

Only the highest heaven is the secret bower of our 
bird ; its drinkJng-place is in the rose-arbours of the 
Garden of Paradise. 

O Hafiz, thou perplexed one, when thou breathest 
a word about Unity, inscribe Unity with thy reed on 
the page of man and spirit ! 

tRostiu ii. 458-9, CalcHtta Ed. 104, 2. 
s violet is angered in envy at her muslty, waving 
lets; at thy heart-expanding smile the rose-bud 
eth its leaves to pieces. 
O my perfume-breathing Rose, destroy not thine 
own Nightingale, who with sincere affection prayeth 
for thee night after night. 

Behold the power of Love I how, in his majesty 
and glory, he daretli, beggar as he is, to break off a 
tip from the diadem of royalty. 

flight ^^H 

once ^^H 

472 HAFIZ. 

I, whom the breath of angeb made melancholy, 
can for thy sake endure the talk and the opinions of 
the world. 

Thee to love is the fate written on my brow ; the 
dust of thy doorway is my Paradise; thy sunny 
cheek, my element ; to pleasure thee, my rest 

The rags of the saint and the goblet of wine — 
although they are not well paired — I have melted 
into one because of my passion for thee. 

I/Ove, like the beggarly Dervish, still hideth a 
treasure in his sleeve ; and soon he who was thy 
beggar mountcth the throne of sovereignty. 

The resting-place of thy form is my royal balcony 
— my oratory : O my Queen, let not thy place be 
deserted by thee. 

This confusion of wine, and this tumult of love, will 
not depart from my head, till I prostrate it, full of 
passion, in the dust at the portal of thy dwelling. 

Thy cheek is a pleasant flower-bed, especially when, 
in the lovely spring, Hafiz of the sweet speech is thy 
melodious Nightingale. 

Rosen, ii, 476-7. Calcutta Ed. 109, i. 


I LOOKED at the heavens spread out like a fresh 
cornfield, and at the sickle of the moon, and I 
thought of my own farm and the time of harvest 
And I said : " O Fate, the sun hath dawned, and 


thou hast laid thyself down to sleep." And it replied : 
" For all that hath happened, do not despair ! 

" If thou wilt raise thyself pure and naked as the 
Messiah to heaven, from thy lamp will yet ascend 
towards the sun a hundred rays." 

Place no reliance on those midnight thieves, the 
stars, for they have stolen away the diadem of Kaus 
and the girdle of Kai-Khosru. 

O heavens, ask not so high a price for your magni- 
ficence, for in love the harvest of the Moon is valued 
only at one, and the cluster of the Pleiades at two 

Though a heavy ear-ring of gold or ruby hang / 
upon thine ear, the duration of beauty is fleeting -1 
attend to my counsel ! 

Far be the evil eye from the mole on thy cheek ! 
for on the chessboard of beauty a pawn pushed for- 
ward hath often won the stakes from sun and moon. 

The fire of hypocrisy and deceit will burn the har- 
vest of faith. O Hafiz, cast away thy saintly woollen 
garment, and go thy way. 

Rosen, ii. 490-1. Calcutta Ed, no, I. 


She said : " Thou wentest forth to gaze upon the new 
moon ; be ashamed of the moon of mine eyebrow, 
and go ! 

" Life-long thy heart hath been the captive of my 



tresses ; be not so neglectful of keeping at the side of 
thy friends ! " 

Sell not for the dark tresses of a loved one the 
■ perfume of thy understanding, for in that a thousand 
pods of musk are Co be had for half a barley-corn. 

In this old corn-field look not that the seed of love 
and faithfulness will become visible to the eye tiD 
the season of harvest. 

Cup-bearer, bring me wine, and I will tell thee a 
riddle, about the mystery of the ancient constel- 
lations and the journeyings of the new-moon. 

The shape of the waning moon at the conclusion of 
every month giveth thee a sign, what hath been the 
end of the crown of ZhQ, and of the diadem of 

O Hafiz, a fortress of trust is the threshold of the 
keeper of the wine-house," where thou mayest hear 
and read the story of love, 

Riistn. Ci, 491-3. CataUla Ed. I lOi a. 

At early dawn after a night of revelry I seized ihft 
lute, the goblet, and the wine ; 

I gave to wisdom provision for its journey, and scC 
it forward towards the cily of intoxication. 

The vendor of wine regarded me with caressing 
looks, so [hat I fell freed from the tricks of Destiny, 

Then from the arch-browed Cup-bearer I heard : 
*'0 thou who art a butt for the arrow of reproach. 


" Never wilt thou embniPe that waist like a girdle, 
D long as thou seest within it nothing but thyself. 

" Go, spread thy net before some other bird ; the 
Anita" buildelh his nest in a lofty place ! 

"The boon -companion, the musician, the Cup-bearer 
— all are but a phantom of clay and water; all nothing 
save empty evasions !" 

Give me then a vessel of wine, that I may steer 
safely out of this shoreless sea ! — 

Who girdelh his loins in a royal service, and 
looketh for a gracious recompense, who Is eternally 
playing at love with himself! 

O HAfiz, our existence is a dark problem ! The " 
pretence to solve it is a delusion and a fable ! 

Rosen. \\. 5:6-7. Calmlla tld. ill. i. 

^p LXXIX. 

Better than eternal life is union with her: l.ord, 
give me that, for that is the best ! 

Oh, smite me with a sword, but to no one I told it ; 
to hide the secret of a friend from his enemy is the 

Abide, O my heart , a beggar in h er village, 
according to the proverb, "an abiding fortun e is 
Ae besL" ' ^ 

O pious man, bid me not accept thine invitation to 
Paradise ; for this apple-like chin, rather than that 
garden, is the best. 

To die at this door with the mark of ser>-itude, I 

476 HAFIZ, 

swear by her soul, compared with the sovereignty of 
the world, is the best 

The rose which my cypress hath trodden under 
foot, rather than the blood-dyed arghavan" is best. 

For Heaven's sake, ask my physician how shall 
this prostration be in the end for the best ! 

O young man, turn not away thy head from the 
counsel of the aged ; for the old man's wisdom com- 
pared with the young man's fortune is the best 

One night she said to me : " No eye hath seen a 
brighter gem than the pearl which hangeth in mine 
ear; 'tis the best." 

Words from the mouth of a friend are jewels ; but 
those which are spoken by Hafiz are the best. 

Rosen, ii. 534-5. Calcutta Ed, 112, 2. 


O THOU who art without knowledge, work till thou 
art a master in knowledge ; so long as thou art not 
a wayfarer, how shouldest thou be able to show the 

In the school of verities, in the presence of the 
Professors of Love, labour continually, my son, that 
thou mayest one day become a father ! 

Sleep and over-feeding have kept thee far from the 
exaltation of Love; wouldest thou attain Love, thou 
must withhold thyself from food and slumber. 

When the light of the love of God shall have 
fallen on thy heart and soul, then, by Heaven ! 


thou wilt have become more beautiful than is the sun 
in the sky. 

Wash thyself clean from the copper of the body, 
like men of the road, that thou niayest discover the 
alchemy of Love, and become gold." 

From head to foot all the light of God will 
surround thee, when, like the headless and footless, 
thou shalt be borne along the path of the glorified. 

Plunge for one moment into God's ocean, and 
think not that the water of the seven seas will wet 
a single feather," 

If the countenance of God shall be the object of 
thy gaze, not a doubt will remain that thou art one 
of the clear-sighted. 

Though the foundation of thy life shall have been 
turned upside-down, have not thou a thought in thy 
heart that thou thyself art become a ruin ! 

But if, HAfiz, there be in Ihy head a desire of 
fruition, thou will have to become as dust at the 
threshold of the gifted with discernment 

Kascn. iii. 46-7. Calcutta Ed. 117, 1. 

IF, at the voice of the turtle-dove and the nightingale, 
thou wilt not quaff wine, how can I cure thee, save by 
the last remedy^Burning?" 

When the Rose hath cast her veil and the bird is 
reciting his " Hu, Hu," put not the cup from thy 
hand !— what meaneth thine " Oh I Oh I " 

478 HAFIZ, 

AVhilst the Water of Life is in thy hand, die not of 
thirst! "Water giveth life to all things."* 

Lay up treasures for thyself from the hues and 
odours of Spring-tide, for follow quickly on its heels 
the Autumn and the Winter. 

Fate bestoweth no gift which it taketh not back : 
ask not aught of sordid humanity; the trifle it 
bestoweth is a nothing. 

The grandeur of sovereignty and power, how 
should it be stable? Of the throne of Jem, and the 
diadem of Kai, what is left, save a fable? 

Whoso heapeth-up riches to be the heritage of the 
mean is an infidel : so say the minstrel and the cup- 
bearer ; such is the decree of the cymbal and the fife ! 

It is written on the portico of the mansion of 
Paradise : " Woe to him who hath purchased the 

SMILES OF the WoRLD ! " 

Generosity is departed ! I fold up my words. 
Where is the wine ? — that I may give : " May the 
soul of Hatim Tai dwell in bliss for ever ! " •* 

The miser will never breathe the fragrance of 
heaven ! Come, Hafiz ! take the cup, and practice 
liberality, and I will be thy surety ! 

Rosen, iii. 56-7. Calcutta Ed, 131, 2. 


To gaze for a time in tranquillity of soul on that mild 
radiance of the moon is better than to wear one a 
whole life a kingly crown. 

By Heaven, mine own eye is jealous of that cheek, 
that its look with such benignity of countenance 
should yet be so repellanL 

My heart is depnned, and I know not what h 
become of my stranger; for ray life hath passed 
away, and no news comcth to me from any quarter. 

My breath is come to an end, and mine eye is still 
unsatisfied; beyond this there remainelh to me neither 
desire nor ambition. 

Disturb not, O breeze, one ringlet of that Peri- 
countenance i for Hafiz would give a thousand lives 
(1 the lip of a single hair ! 

Horni. LiL 60.1. CaUulta EJ. 12J. I. 

V ■* Lxxxin. 

Thy beauty, like my love, hath reached perfection I . 
— Lord, may neither one, nor the other, suffer 
diminution ! 

To my imagination it cometh not, that within the 
portrayings of intelligence any degree of loveliness 
should esceed this ! 

Every moment that I am with thee a year seemeth 
to me but a day, and every moment that 1 am with- 
out thee the twinkling of an eye appeareth to me a 

Every line of life is gain, if expended with thee; 
were life but a day, that day would be all that I 
. ^nild desire. 

How should I behold, O my soul, the image of thy 


48o HAFIZ, 

face in my dreams, when in my dreams I have never 
yet seen aught but an image ? 

Have mercy on my poor heart, for the love of thy 
beautiful face hath reduced me, like a vanishing 
moon, to a grain of sand ! 

O Hafiz, make no complaint, if thou desirest to win 
thy beloved ; for thou wilt yet have to bear a heavier 
burthen of separation ! 

Rosen, iii. 62-3. Calcutta Ed, 125, 2. 


The nightingale from the bough of the cypress 
chanted last night in her ancient strain to the as- 
sembled audience a significant lecture.. 

Come, for the rose-bush is on fire like the bush of 
Moses, that thou mayest learn from a plant the 
subtle meaning of Unity.** 

The birds of the garden are measuring out their 
melodies and gay cadences, that the master may quaff 
his wine to the old ditties. 

Sweet to the beggar is the hour when he spreadeth 
out his mat, and enjoyeth untroubled sleep ; for such 
enjoyment is not allowed on the kingly throne. 

Jemshid took nothing out of the world save the 
story of his magic glass ;" take heed that thou bind 
not thy heart to the things of the world ! 

Well said the time-worn peasant to his son : " O 
light of mine eyes, what thou hast sown, that only 
wilt thou reap." 


Thine eye with a glance hath darkened a man's 
•dwelling; let not thy intoxication wholly overcome 
thee, lest thou treat him rudely. 

Perhaps the Cup-bearer hath given to Hafiz more 
than his allowance, for the tags of the Maulavi's 
turban hang disordered. *• 

Rosen, iii. 64-5. Calcutta Ed, 1 19, 2. 


Heaven hath wonderfully granted its assistance on 
this day of judgment ! How wilt thou show thy 
thankfulness? What will be thy tribute of gratitude P*^ 

In the village of Love royal magnificence hath no 
value; perform the conditions of slavery, and fulfil 
thy contract of servitude. 

Over him that hath fallen, and whom God hath 
taken by the hand, say to thyself : " Be it thy part to 
feel the sorrows of the fallen." 

O Cup-bearer, enter my door with glad tidings of 
joy, that for one moment thou mayest banish from my 
heart the troubles of the world. 

In the royal road of dignity and greatness there is 
much hazard ; over this rough way it is well to travel 
heedfully ! 

The Sultan's thought is about enemies, his ambition 
is crowns and treasure; the Dervish*s thought is the 
garb of the heart and the nook of the Kalender.*** 

The attainment of our desires must go to the 

2 I 

482 HAFIZ, 

account of reflection and resolution ; with the aid of 
the King's good gift and the grace of God. 

I will repeat to thee — if thou wilt permit me — one 
word of the wise man : " Peace is better than war and 
dominion ! " 

O Hafiz, wash not from thy face this dust of 
poverty; for better is this dust than all the works 
of alchemy. 

Rosiu. iii. 80-1. Calcutta Ed, 129, 2. 


A TWAIN of clever friends, a flagon of old wine, quiet 
and a book, and a corner of the lawn ; 
• I would not exchange this condition, either for this 
world, or that which is to come, although the crowd 
every moment should pursue me with its censures. 

Whoever hath given up the treasure of contentment 
for the treasure of the world hath sold for a very trifling 
sum an Egyptian Joseph. 

^„x^ome, for the capacity of this workshop is not 
small ; it will admit a pious man like thee, or a rebel 
Uke myself. 

On the day of death we may have to tell our 
sorrows to wine; for in such a conjuncture we can 
put confidence in no one. 

Seat thyself cheerfully in thy nook, and take thy 
pleasure, for no man can call to mind so strange a 

I behold my picture in the hand of mean people : 



is it thus that Heaven recogniseth the service of such 
a one as me ? 

But work on in patience, my heart ! For God will 
not suffer so precious a ring to remain in the hands of 
the Evil One ! 

From the rough wind of events it is not possible to 
perceive that on this lawn was once rose or jessamine. 

The hot blast of the simoon which hath passed over 
this garden maketh it wonderful that hue of rose 
should remain, or smell of narcissus. 

The temper of the times is sick ! In this calamity, i^-^-'-'r/'!, 
O Hafiz, where is the thoughtfulness of the physician, j 

or the counsel of the Brahmin ? 

Rosen, iii. 82-85. Calcutta Ed, 123, I. 

M • ,•-•'' 


I WENT into the garden to pluck a morning-rose, 
when suddenly came to my ear the voice of a 

Miserable as myself — afflicted with his passion for 
the rose — he filled the whole glade with the clamour 
of his lamentation. 

Again and again I paced the terrace of the garden, * 
musing on this matter of the rose and the nightingale : 

The rose become the friend of the thorn, and the 
nightingale still the faithful lover ; the one remaining 
ever unchanged — the other discovering signs of mu- 



484 IfAF/Z. 

The voice of the nightingale penetrated my heart, 
till I was so moved, that I lost all power of endurance. 

How many a rose hath blossomed in this garden, 
yet no one hath plucked a rose wthout feeling the 
prick of its thorn ! 

O Hafiz ! nourish no hope of gladness in this 
> sublunary world; for amidst its thousand defects it 
can show no perfect excellence. 

/^osfn. iii. 98-9. Calcutta Ed, 128, i. 


From the village of my friend cometh a gentle breeze 
of the New Year, by wliose aid, if thou desirest it, 
thou maycst kindle the lamp of thine own heart 

If, like the rose, thou hast a particle of gold about 
thee, for Heaven's sake, expend it on enjoyment ! 
For the cause of the error of Karun was his passion for 
.amassing gold. 

I have wine pure as the soul, yet the Sufi findeth 
fault with it : O heavens, may no evil fortune one day 
befall the man of understanding ! 

How search out the way which leadeth us to our 
desires ? — By renouncing our desires ! The crown of 
pre-eminence is to make this renouncement. 

I know not wherefore cometh the wail of the turtle- 
dove from the margin of the streamlet : perchance, like 
me, she hath a daily and nightly sorrow ! 

Thy sweet friend hath left thee ; now sit alone, O 





Tai«r ! For whether thou workest or art consumed is 
equally the disposal of Heaven. 

I will say to thee a word behind the vei! : "Like 
the rose-bud, come out of thj-self ; for not more than 
five days tarrielh the l^mpress of the Spring." 

In the pride of knowledge forbid not thyself the 

^L objects of enjoyment : come, Cup-bearer ; for " to the' 

^B idiot Cometh the greatest good fortune ! " " 1 

^r Go ihy ways and indulge in wine and revelry, and J 

abandon hj-pocrisy ! I shall be astonished if thou canst J 

teach me a better way than this ! | 

Go to tlie garden, and there learn from the nightin- ■ 

gale the mystery of love ; come to the assembly, and fl 

leam from Hafiz how thou shouldest sing a lay ! 1 

KestH. iii. :o6-7. Calcutta Ed. 133, 1. J 

One morning, on the bounds of his land thus spake 
his proverb a wanderer to his neighbour : 

"0 Sufi, only will the wine become clear when 
thou shall have kept it fourteen days in the bottle." 

If it were not for the finger of Solomon, what — -"^ 
Special value would have his seal-ring? 

Hundreds of times doth God regard with aversion 
the garb of the devotee, which concealeth in its sleeve 
' a hundred idolatries. 

The inward parts were darkened, but it may be 
that the anchorite may bring from another world a 
lamp to enlighten them. 

486 HAFIZ, 

Though humanity be a name without a mark, still 
offer thou thy petition to the benign. 

A recompense may be awarded thee, lord of the 
harvest, if thou art pitiful to the poor gleaner I 

I behold not in any one pleasure or enjoyment ; nor 
medicine for the heart, nor sympathy with the faith. 

My spirit is no longer hopeful of exultation ; nor is 
there a picture of Love on the tablet of my brow. 

Nor hath Hafiz any rest in study or retirement; 
y nor hath the learned man to offer any science of 

Show me the door of the wine-house, that I may 
inquire of the seer the worth of my condition. 

Though the manners of the Beauty may be proud 
and ungentle, what may be thy fate, if thou dealest 
with the pitying ? 

Rosen. Hi. 112-13. Calcutta Ed. 126, *> 


In the dawn of the morning I told to the breeze 
the tale of my yearnings ; and it returned me an 
answer : " Have confidence in the mercies of the 

Words have no tongue which can fully express the 
secrets of love j and beyond the bounds of recital is 
the interpretation of yearnings. 

Bind thy heart to the locks of Laila, and let thy 
deeds be done after the example of Mejnun ;' for all 
the words of wisdom are accounted a fraud by the lover. 

O thou, my Joseph of Egj'pt, occupied with thy 
l_«Overeigniy, ask the father : " What were the limits 
fto the affection of the child?" 

Cast on us the witchery of one of thy glances, at 
; bringing the medicine and creating the pain ; 
r let us pluck those musk-scaltering ringlets, at once 
heart-so ol hi ng and hear I -enslaving. 

The world, at once aged and beautiful, never yet 
had in her nature a touch of sympathy. — What dost 
thou seek from her affection ? Where dost thou see in 
her the fulfilment of thy desires ? 

In this market, if there be any gain, it resteth 

tirith the prudent, poor devotee. — God, make me 
aalisfied witli poverty and prudence ! 
The morning petition and the nightly sigh are the 
jKy of the treasure-house of thy projier object ; in 
tiiis road and this direction persist in travelling, if 
Ihou wouldest be united with the one who hath thy 
heart In keeping. 

How long will a nobly-endowed Hiimai " like thee 
nourish its cupidity for bones and garbage ; alas, that 

»lhou shouldest cast away that shadowing of fortune 
on the unworthy ! 
Give not thy heart, O Hafiz, to the fair-ones ; see 
■what were the faithless acts which were wrought by 
those Turks of Samarkand on the poor Kharasmians." 
When they hear the lays of HAriz of Shiraz there 
Js dancing and jubilation amidst the black-eyed 
maidens of Kashmir and the damsels of Samarkand. 
J^oun. ill lao-i. CaltuUa Ed. 139, 2. 

488 HAFIZ, 


Salutations, fragrant as the perfume of friendship^ 
to the man whose eye is beaming with light ! 

Benedictions, like the brightness of the pure in 
heart, to the taper which illumineth the lonely cell of 
the pious ! 

I see no longer in his place one who breatheth the 
same breath that I do; my heart is bleeding with 
choking sorrow ! The Cup-bearer, where is he ? 

Where do they sell the wine which mastereth the 
Sufi ? For I bum with rage at this hypocrisy of the 

My companions have so broken the contract of 
friendship, that thou wouldest say, that friendship 
itself had never been ! 

Turn not away thy face from the village of the 
Magian, for there they sell keys which unlock all 

The bride of the world, though of surpassing loveli- 
ness, surpasseth, too, all bounds of faithless coquetry. 

My broken heart, could it have its desires, would 
not draw its balsam from those marble hearts. 

Wouldest thou learn the alchemy of happiness, 
keep thyself separate from all that incline to evil. 

If thou wilt spare me, O greedy soul, I shall 
become many times a monarch in my beggary ! 

O Hafiz, make no complaint of the violence of the 
spheres : what knowest thou, O slave, of the acts of 
the Master? 

Rosen, iii. 1 30-1. Calcutta Ed, wanting. 


One morning an unseen voice in friendly lone called 
to mc from the wine-house : " Come back, ihou who 
so long hast served at this threshold. 

" Like Jemshid, qtjaff a draught of wine, for a ray 
from his world-displaying Cup may give thee a glimpse 
of the world of spirits. 

" At the door of the wine-house they are inebriated 
Kalenders, who give and take back princely diadems. 

"A brick under their heads, iheir feet rest on the 
seven stars; look at them, and thou mayest seethe 
value of power and the worth of dignity." 

I will place my head on the threshold of the wine- 
house ; for though its walls be lowly, its roof reacheth 
to the heavens. 

O wayfarer, be courteous to the beggar at the door 
of the tavern, if thou wouldesi have some knowledge 
of the mysteries of God. 

If they make thee a sultan in the kingdoi 
thy smallest territory will be from the moon ic 

But enter not on the journey, unles 
Khizar' for thy companion ; for the road is 
dread thou the danger of losing thy way ! 

O Hafiz — the prey of crude a 
of thy deeds '^What are thy deeds that thou shouldest 
claim the rewards of both worlds ? 

Thou knowest not how to knock at the door of 
poverty; therefore let not go from thy hand the 
cushion of luxury and the royal assemblies of Turan. 
Rostn. iii. 134.5. CatcatUt Ed. I17, 1. 

n of poverty, 

o Ihe fishes, 
i thou have 
s dark, and 

—be ashamed 

490 HAFIZ. 


My heart is brimful of pain : alas, who will bring 
me a remedy ? My heart in its loneliness is well-nigh 
dead ! — O God, who will give me a companion ? 

Who looketh for an eye of repose from the sour- 
faced world ? Cup-bearer, bring me a cup, that I may 
enjoy a moment's rest ! 

Rise, that we may give our hearts to those lovely 
damsels of Samarkand; for the breeze wafteth us 
fragrance from the river of Mulian." 

I exclaimed to a quick-witted man : " Behold this 
our condition ! " He laughed, and replied : " Yes, our 
condition is hard, our state is full of marvels, the 
world is a ruin ! " 

I am burning in the pit of patience on account of 
that taper of Chighil ! The King of Turkistan careth 
not for our welfare ! Where is there a Rustam ? '* 

In the path of love, suffering is security and 
pleasure ; may the heart that would medicine thy 
wound be itself wounded ! 

To the village of the inebriated there is no road for 
the soft and indulgent ; there are conflagrations for 
the wayfarer, and sorrows for the inexperienced ! 

In this world of clay there is no real man ! We 
must make another world, and create a new Adam ! 

O HAriz, what is weeping weighed in the balance 
of love ? — In this deluge the seven seas seem but as 
the night-dew ! 

Rosen, iii. 138-9. Calcutta Ed. 128, 2. 

Come, cupbearer, for the cup of the tulip is already 
full of wine ; how many doubtful words ! and how 
long these fooleries? go thy pomps and ihy daintiness ; for Time 
hath seen the robe of the Emperor wrinkled, and the 
end of the diadem of KaL 

Be sober ; for the bird of the garden is continually 
intoxicated. Awake : for the sleep of inexistence is 
close behind thee. 

Gently and gracefully wave, thou branch of the 
fresh spring ; never may calamity overtake thee from 
the shock of the winter's wind I 

Rely not upon the affection of the spheres, or their 
caresses ; woe unto him who feeleth himself secure 
from their machinations ! 

To-morrow our draught may be from the river of 
Paradise, and amidst the Huris ; but to-day enjoy the 
radiant looks of the Cup-bearer and a goblet of wine ! 

The morning-breeze calleth to my remembrance 
the promises of childhood ; oh, that childhood could 
bring a medicine to my soul to chase away sorrow I 

Regard not the pomp and royalty of the rose, for 
the wind will scatter every leaf beneath its fecL 

Give a full goblet to the memory of Hatim Tai,** 
that we may close the black-book of the votaries of 

Carry the cushions to the garden ; for the cj'press 
is standing like a slave in waiting, and the reed hath 
girded its waist for senice. 

492 HAFIZ, 


List, how the musicians of the meadow join in con- 
cord ! — the harmony of harp and lute ; the voice of 
the flute and the lyre ! 

O Hafiz, the fame of thine enchanting witchery 
hath reached the boundaries of Egypt and China, 
and the extremities of Rai and Rum ! 

Rosen, iii. 140- 1. CcUcuUa Ed, iiS, 2. 


A CITY it is, full of graceful forms ; a picture on 
every side ! My friends, it is the proclamation of 
Love, if ye are desirous of trafficking. 

The eye of the world will never behold younglings 
fresher than these ; a fairer prey hath never yet fallen 
into the hands of the hunter ! 

Who hath ever seen created material forms so 
resembling spirit? Oh, may no dust of earth-made 
beings sully their garments ! 

Wherefore dost thou drive from thy presence one 
so broken down as I am ? Lost entirely is every 
expectation of a kiss or an embrace. 

The wine is genuine, drink it speedily ; the lime is 
propitious, know how to seize it ! Another year, 
who may hope for another spring-tide? 

The guests are assembled in the garden, like tulips 
and roses ; each with a cup in his hand, and a remem- 
brance to the face of his beloved-one. 

How shall I untie this knot? How resolve this 
problem ? Painful — very painful — it is ! A problem 
difficult — very difficult : 


Every tip of the hair of Hafiz is in the hands of a 
saucy one's ringlets ; very dangerous it is to dwell in 
a city like this I 

Routi. lii. 144-5. CaUull.i Ed. 122, 2, 

O Breeze, whence hast thou the fragrance of my be- 
loved ? Thou hast stolen it from her odoriferous breath. 

Have a care how thou committest a theft on her ! 
What hast thou to do with her wavy rijiglbts ? 

O Rose, what art thou in the presence of her lovely 
face? Sweet as musk is she, and thou — thy fruit is a 

Sweet-basil, where art thou, compared with the 
tender down of her cheek ? She is all freshness, and 
thou art soiled with dust. 

Where art ihou, Narcissus, in view of her sportive 
c>*es ? Hers are but merry, but thine are tipsy ones. 

O Cypress, where art thou beside her graceful stature? 
How wilt thou be valued any longer in the garden ? 

O ^Visdom, what is there to choose between thee 
and the reality of her affection ? 

One day, O Hafiz, thou wilt come to the joy of 
fruition, if thou pine not away, meanwiiile, in the 
■ (tnxiety of expectation. 

Kmen. n\. 162. Calcutta Ed. iii, i, 

pYERVWHERE appear vestiges of unfaithfulness; no 
me showeth signs of friendship any longer ! 

494 HAFIZ. 

Excellent men, reduced to poverty, now stretch out 
to the mean the hand of poverty ; 

And in the mutations of the revolving sphere the 
virtuous man enjoyeth not a moment's respite from 
sorrow ; 

Whilst fools live in the enjoyment of every 
comfort : for this is the merchandise which hath 
its value at present. 

And doth a poet pour out a lay pellucid as water, 
which sheddeth over the heart an increase of bright- 

Avarice and parsimony will not give him a barley- 
corn, even v;ere he to sing as melodiously as Sina)^." 

Wisdom whispered yesterday in the ear of mine 
understanding : " Go, in thy weakness still keep thy 
patience ! 

" Still make contentment thy capital stock, and 
suffer; and in pain and sorrow and indigence bear 

Come, Hafiz ! lay this counsel to thy soul ; and 
if thou stumble on thy feet, raise up thy head and 
stand again erect ! 

Rosen, iii. 164*5. Calcutta Ed. 115, 2. 


Cup-bearer, hast thou a passion for wine, bring not 
before me aught but wine ! 

Come with suffering, if through suffering cometh 
the remedy : see, in Love both worlds are as nothing ! 

The secrets of the heart in the path of love are the 
voice of the guitar and the wailing of the lute. 

A poor sincere bankrupt in the path of love is of 
more worth than a thousand Halim Tais." 

A Peri-faced idol but step|>eth forth Sultana-like, 
and a crowd from the city foUoweth her from the 

Men stand agaze at that lovely countenance ; and 
her cheek is crimsoned wilh the blush of modesty. 

How long will HAfiz have to bear the sorrow thou 
catisest him ? How long still endure his broken heart ? 
Riaen. iiL iSo-i. Calevlla Ed. ii8, i. 


It is the fresh spring ! labour to be of a cheerful 
heart, for it will behold yet many a rose when thou 
shalt be under the sod. 

The harp, too, behind the veil, might give counsel 
to thy heart, but its warning can only profit thee 
when thou shalt be capable of listening to it. 

I tell thee not now with whom to sit down or what 
to drink, for thou thyself knowest, if thou be wise 
and subtle, what thou shouldest da 

Every leaf in the meadow is a volume of a different 
kind ; it were an injustice to thee to suppose that 
thou canst be neglectful of them all. 

Although the path which leadeth from us to our 
friend's be full of terrors, yet the journey will be 
easy, if thou be acquainted with the stations. 


496 HAFIZ. 

The choking grasp of the world hath carried off 
with impunity the ready-money of thy life, if day 
and night thou art occupied with this perplexing 

O Hafiz, if high Fortune shall favour thee with 
assistance, thou wilt yet become the prey of that 
richly-gifted fair one. 

Rosen. 204-5. Calcutta Ed. 117, 2. 


The mirror of abnegation reflecteth the light of God ; 
if thou art a searcher after the Eternal Love, enter 
thou in at my door. 

Give me wine ! If in hell is inscribed the name of 
my sin, Mohammed^s miracle hath cast water upon 
its fire. 

Thou art every moment playing the juggler with 
thyself; and this is not right, for the Prophet hath 
said : ** O Lord, I have never gamed I " 

If thou wouldest walk over the lawn in all thy 
beauty and splendour, the lily, the cypress, and the 
rose would with one consent become thy imitators. 

O Hafiz, the bird of thy heart is entangled in 
the net of appetite ; dependent, as thou art, on what 
should be thy shame, breathe not thou a word about 
abnegation ! 

Rosen, iii. 228-9. Calcutta Ed. 129, 2. 

I Joseph is universally regarded by Moslems as the perfect 
type of youthful beauty, and is so described by their poets. His 
story, according to Mohammedan accountf (derived from Hebrew 
sources, and probably in part from oral traditions), is found in 
the I2th chapter of the Koran, and is the theme of a beautiful 
poem, Jn'fph and Zulaiilia, by Jaini, a Iran<JalioD of wtiicfa is 
included in the present volume. 

^La The Tuba is one of Ibe trees of Paradise, bearing delicious 

H 3 The story of the Loves of Mejnun and Laila is very famous 
thniughoul the East, and has been the theme of several poets ; 
amongst others, of Niiami and Jami. The former has been 
made known to European readers by Atkinioo's English metrical 
translation, and the latter by Hartmaon's Germnn, and by 
Chezy's elegant French, renderings. 


Riiwin means Paradise, and U aLm the name of its porter 

For the story of Karun, see SadI, Note 6, page 366, of tlir 

7 The " Fountain of Life " (here employed by Hafii 
ID a mystical sense) is a very old Asiatic mytli. Accord- 
ing to the Eastern legend, an ancieot Perdan King, called 


Alexander (not of Macedon). or Kaikobitd, despatched Khinr 
(wha ia often confounded with Moses, or Elias) to procute h 
some of the Water of Life ; and after a long and painful jounicj, 
tit length reaching the Stream of [mmortslit)', and haWng himself 
taken a draught of it, the stream soddeolj disappeared. Khiiar. 
it is believed, still lives, and sometimes appears to those whom he 
desires to favour, always clad in green. Solomon is said to have 
procured some of this water, but abstained from using il, because 
he would not survive all his friends, or continue young while thej 
were become decrepit. In Eastern liclion many tales have for 
their subject the quest of the Fountain of Life ; and ia European 
(blk-tales also (as in the German collection of the Brothers 
Grimm) the same legend is not uncommon. Ia Conrad of 
Wartiburg's Trojatt War, written in the t3th century, Medea 
obtains Ihe Water of Paradise to renew the youth of Jason's 
Sufaer, as the English translator of Grimm has observed. 

The "Garden of Irem" is another ancient myth, referred la in 
the Koran, chap. Ixxm, and Sale's note. A Kingof Yemen named 
Sheddad, who was very impious, resolved lo make for his own 
pleasure an earthly paradise which should eqaaJ if not excel UuU 
of the s|nrilual world. After the treasures of Ihe earth had be«a 
employed in the construction and embellishment of this garden, 
during five hundred years, when at length it was completed, the 
impious King vaunted his own greatness and magniiicecce, 
jtist as he was about lo enter it, the angel of death appeared 
before him, and compelled him lo render up his soul ; and 
garden immediately disappeared beneath (he surface of the 
earth. Mohammedans profess lo believe that this teirestriol 
paradise has been seen occasionally by peculiarly (kvourtd 
individuals, in the sandy desert, not far distant from Aden 
[Eden], the British stronghold The Garden of Irem, as well as 
the Fountain of Life, is very bequently referred to in Oriental 

S Kuther is (he name of a river in Paradise, frum which all 

9 This, as is meotioned in the PrcliminEuy Notice, ie the 
![S! which is said to have decided (he question raised by the 
iesis against the tntennent of Haliz with the usual teliginus 
iiemonies. Sir Witliam Jones has thus tendered it : 
Turn not away from Hafie' bier, 
Nor mournful check the pitying teat ; 
For though immersed in sin he lies, 
His soul forgiven to heaven shall rise. 

e Note 


^^E •bove. — The story of Ferhad, [he celebrated sculptor, and his 
love for Shirin, the beautiful \vife of the Persian monarch, 
Khoani Parvii, has been (he favourite theme of many romantic 
Eastern Eove-poems ; one of the best of which being thai by 
Ntiami — seepage 126 rtjty. of the present volume. The poet 
in this passage means, thai we love to dwell on vrhat mi:st 
engrosses our affectiona, lilte Ferhad on the charms of Shirin, 
and Mejniin on the Iresseh of Laila. 


The river Jihun is the Oxus of our maps. 

irery eye is not given to perceive the moonlight.' 
It needs a bright and clear eye to discover the first glimpse of 
the new moon, which marks Ihe beginning and ending of 
Ramaiin, the monlh of fasting ; for only when witnesses have 
sworn in eoort that they have really seen it, does Ihe obligation 
of fasting commence. (AWn., in Itxa.) 

13 "The old man of Canaan ;" that is, ihe patriarch Jacob, 
when he had lo part for so long a lime from his dearly beloved 
son Joseph. The eslraordinary grief of Jacob for the loss of hia 
son is a favourite similitude for great sorrow in Eastern poetry. 

14 The marvellous Cup of Jemshid , one of the ancient Kings 
if Persia, which, according lo Eastern fabulists, represcnled tli« 

world, and roirrored all its events and circumstances. 

K'lj The allusion hen 

™hat obscure ; perhaps it 


means: Did not the taper expiate its fault by its being itself 
consumed and extinguished ? 

i6 (Page 413, line 6, figures omitted in text) According to 
Sadi's commentary : Because those who h3rpocritically pretend 
to virtues which they have not, awaken the fire of disgrace and 
shaming in themselves. 

17 For some account of the fabulous angels Harut and 
Marut see foot-note, page 240 of this volume. 

18 Sidrah and Tuba are the names of two trees in Paradise. 

19 Alluding to the unrivalled beauty of Joseph (see Note i), 
and his being cast into a well by his brethren. — See also Jamfs 

Joseph and Zulaikka, ** The Well," in the present volume. 

20 The first surah (or chapter) of the Koran, which is 
regarded by Moslems as Christians regard the Pater Noster. 
The " Chapter of Faithfulness " — perhaps more correctly ren- 
dered **Sincenty," or "Purity" — is the 112th surah of the 
Koran, which has the same superscription in the original as here 
in the text. 

21 The Bairam Festival, which follows the Fast of Ramazan. 

22 ** Kissed mine eyes " : as a sign of his approval. 

23 As the reed does not make known its secret till it has lost 
its head — that is to say, is prepared for writing — so Hafiz will 
never communicate the secret of his love till he dies. 

24 In other words : But she will not deign to destroy me, as 
the wind extinguishes the taper. 

25 The "temple of the Magi," that is, the wine-house, or 
tavern, which, in the mystical phraseology of the Sufis, signifies the 
cell where the searcher after Truth becomes intoxicated with the 
wine of Divine Love. 

26 The hoopoo and the morninf^-hrocze ^vere, according to 

Eastern legends, the love-messengErs between Salomon sod Ihe 
beautiful Baikis, Ihe Queen of Saba, or Sheba (see Sole's KoraJi, 
eh, Jiivli. and notes). It is very luual in Oriental poetry for the 
lephyr to be employed as the messenger oflove. Thus the cele- 
brated pocl Bahi-Bd-Din Zohcir, of Egypt, says (ac 
Professor Palmer's tmnslBtion) : * 

And now I bind Ihe veiy wind 

To speed my loving message OD, 
As though I might Us fury bind, 
Like Solomon. 
And the Arabian poet-hero Antar eiclaima : " O may the 
western breeze tell thee of my aidenl wish to return home 1 " 
And the Turkish poet Latifi (Mr, Gibb's OttomaH Petmi) : 
" O Zephyr t shouldst thou pa;3s the home of her we love so well. 

Full many blessings bear to bei from us who her obey I " 
Compare alao these lines from a Scottish ballad : 
" O gentle wind, thai bloweth south 
From where my love repaireth, 
Convey a kiss from his dear mouth 
And tell me bow he farcth ! " 
In like manner, a cloud is made the messenger of love in Hindi! 
poetry, and it is remarkable [hat in Schiller's A/ary Sluarl the 
hapless Queen is also represcoted oi addressing the "light doudi 

Kye barks of air," with a message to her "youth's home." 
27 The aun is here thought of as a horseman who lets bia 
idle fall from his hand at the sight of the lovely one. In the 
uHiguage of Sufis be is called a sun-rider who ho) alreadj' 
advanced into the higher spiritual world. 

aS This ghaiel is one of those written on ihe return of Shah 

IMutuar after driving away the Turkomans from Shirii. — See 
Nole a6 above, for reference lo the hoopoo. 
ag Translated literally, this would hardly be inlcllii>ibk to 



502 HAFIZ. 

the mere English reader; it would be : "May every o^like 
stature be like a «//»." Al!f, the first letter of the Peraan 
alphabet, is a tall, slender, and graceful character, while the nun 
(our N) is m comparison broad and ungracefuL 

30 "The Support of the Faith," Kawam-ad-Din, the name 
of his patron the Vizier. 

31 All the names mentioned in these two couplets are those 
of ancient Persian Kings of the first, or Kaianian, dynasty, 
whose histor>', mixed up, of course, with all kinds of fabulous 
legends and poetic embellishments, is told in detail in the 
celebrated heroic poem of Ferdusi, entitled Shah-Namek^ or 
Book of Kings. 

32 The arghavdftf called also the syringa, is the cercis 
siiiquastrum of botanists, and is popularly known in the East as 
the Judas-tree, being that on which it is believed the arch-traitor 
hanged himself, after bctrajing ])is Master, when it wept blood, 
and hence the bright red colour of its flowers. In Ferdusi's 
Shah-Naineht the ruddy cheeks of Zal, the father of Rustam, are 
compared to the flower of arghavan (see page 35 of the present 
volume) ; and in old Arabian poetry the blood-stained armour of 
heroes in battle is said to be dyed like the syringa-flower. 

33 Shabiln is the eighth month of the Mohammedan year, 
which immediately precedes the Fast of Ramazdn. 

34 He who, like Hafiz, hath drunk the wine of Love, will, 
with the thought of His Unity and Aloneness, feel himself intoxi- 
cated with the eternal existence — an intoxication to which he was 
destined already from the first day of his creation. {Roscn.^ note 
in loco. ) 

35 " A ring of manumission. ** — The name of the ring which 
the master in former times gave to a slave when he gave him his 
freedom, as he now gives him a letter of freedom. 

2f» ** Bound on another journey : " that is, was doomed to 

die. This ode seems to hive been 
beloved Wend ; posably, as s 

37 TIiE ailusioD is a. liule obscure. Rosenzweig says : 
■' Through the dealh of my friend, Fate bath luiveiled to him 
Ibe secret of my love, as, geDcraUy, it leaves nothing unveiled 
then. " (A'lWc, in Ixo. ) 

38 By "the seal'ring of Jemshid," which, like that of 
Solomon, commanded men and spirilj, the poet understands 
the fuby lip of his beloved, which he wishes to eiercise the 
same power over him. 

39 " Every present of my beloved I accept with eratitude." 
— The Mohammedan rosary consist* of ninety -oioe beadi, which 
correspond with the ninety-nine qualities (or " Most Comely 
Namts ") of God. The girdle named Sormas was introduced 
in A.H. 23s (A.1). 849), by the Abbasidi Khalif Mutawakltil 
a» a aark of distinction of Mohammedans from Jews and 
Christians. {Nbsih., Notts, vol. i.. pp. 770 and Sag.) 

40 It is pretty generally known thai musk, the perfume which 
is so highly prized in the East, is obtained from the navel of a 
species of deer, foond in Thibet, Cathay, and Tartary. 

41 '■ In Sufi fashion " — that is, under his cloak, hypo- 
critically, like a Sufi 

42 Zu'I-Fikar, the name of the celebrated, irresistible, two- 
pointed sword of Ali, the Prophet's brothcr-in-lnw. 

44 Asaf, the grand vizier of King Solomon ; regarded in the 
East as the t>'pe of ministerial wisdom. 

45 Irak, the andent Hyrcania. and Hijai, Stony Arabia, are 
also names of two of the three principal fariiai, or modes, of 

Persian music: ihe Iraki,, the HijSti, and (he /i/ahSmi 
corresponding with the Gtedan Brrangeineiit of the Pktygiaa, 
Deric, Ionic, &c. 

46 Roknabsd is the little stream near Shirii, immonafiMd 
by Hifii.— For reference to Khiiar see Note 7, above. 

47 Jafferabad is the name of a saburb near Shirat, vhidl 
contains wilhin itself many gardens and villas. — Mosellm, I 
pleasure-garden near Shirai> in which HaJii lies buried. 

4S Asaf— see Note 44, above; — here "the Asaf of the 
mighty hero " is the Viriet of Shah-Sheja, namely, Kawira-«d- 
Din, the patron of Haliz. 

49 I gave thee counsel to enjoy thyself; if thou wi1t not do 
so, I ain no longer responsible : "we have only to deliver our 
message." (See Johnson's /VifiaK Dictionary; ajl. Balo^) 

50 Haliz, we sec, compares the " loolcs" ofhts beloved Lo i 
garden ; and it is curious to find the Persian poet and npir OWI 
poet Coivley both employ precisely the same expression ; — Ilu 
litter, in an ode to Evelyn the Dinrist, thus graccfiilly refen K 
his love of literature and his loste in horticulture : 

In Books and Gardens thou hast placed arighC 

(Things well which thou dost understand, 

And both dosl make with thy laborious hand) 

Thy noble, innocent delight ; 

And in thy virtuous Wifi, where thou again dosl meet 

Both pleasures more refined and sweet : 

The fairesf ^rden in htr looks. 

And in her mind the wisest books. 

51 This ghaiel was composed, it is said, while staying ftt 
Veid, from which place be was yearning to return to hit beknred 

54 Blue is ihe colour or the gBrmeots of the Sofia, who by 
this colour pretend lo liymboliae their aspiratioos towards lieavea, 
and whom Hilix disliked. 

55 Like the district of Khoten, Chighil, b Turkiatan, la the 
nittivc land of handsome youths and lovely maidens. 

56 Amin-ad 
keeper of the st 

57 The rose and the jessamine symbolise the cheeks of the 
beloved, and the hyacinth perpetually represents het hair, 

5S The angel Gabriel has his abode in the Sidrah-tree. (See 
also Note iS, above.) 

$g The Anka is a fabulous binl which makes a diadngnulwd 
figure in Eastern poetry and romance, and is described as 
" known as to name — unknowo as to body." (Johnson's 
Plisiaa and Arabic Diet. ) 

60 Free thjiself from alt entanglement with baser matters of 
Ihe world, hke those who are journeying on the heavenly road, 
that thy affections may become like pare gold in the hands of the 

61 That is : " Not all the water of all the oceans of the 
world ; " of which the Orientals reckon ecvcn. 

61 The extreme cautery^the last remedy of the surgeon ; a 
proverb taken from the Traditions of the Prophet. {Kosm., 

63 "Water givelh life to all things," an Arabian proverb, 
jequentiy inscribed on (ounlains. 

Hatun Tai, an Arabian chief, who Sontished in the sixth 
intnty of our era, and whose name is llirougboat the Moham- 

5o6 HAFIZ. 

medan world synonymous with unbounded generosity. For 
interesting anecdotes of him, see selections £rom SadTs Guiistam, 
in the present volume, pages 268, 269, and Mr. Clouston*s 
Arabian Poetry for EngUsh Readers^ pages 4o6-4ia 

65 The rose-bush is compared by the nightingale to the 
burning bush in which God appeared to Moses, and said : " I 
am the only God." {Rosen, , Note in loco, ) 

66 The Maulavis are the Sufi sect, known to Europeans as 
the Dancing Der\nshes, whose founder was the far-famed Jetil- 
ad-Din, Ruml. 

67 This ghazel, as well as No. xxxi. of the present selection, 
is supposed to have been written at the time when King Manssar 
drove the Turkomans out of his territory. 

68 Kalendcrs, an order of Der\'ishes — see Note 7, page 366. 

69 This ghazel was composed when the Turkomans had 
occupied Shira/, and had committed terrible devastations there. 
— ** I behold my picture," &c., in the next verse, perhaps refers 
to the seizure of his house, or some valued object, by the enemy. 

70 A translation of the Arabian proverb, " The idiot is the 
fortunate one." 

71 The Humai, a fabulous bird, which, according to the 
legend, portends good fortune to all whom it overshadows with 
its wings, and refuses to prey, like conrntion birds, on garbage. 

72 An allusion to an event in Hulugu's time. The princes of 
Samarkand and Kharasm made war on one another, when the 
first-named sued for peace. But hardly was it agreed upon, 
when he treacherously fell upon the unsuspecting prince of 
Kharasm, caused him to be slain, and plundered his countr)*. — 
Samarkand is celebrated for the beauty of its young men and 
maidens, and Kashmir for its delightful climate and scenery. 

73 The Mulian is one of the names of the river Oxus. 

74 The " Taper of Chigbil " is Ihe beloved one.— Rustain is 
the name of the famous hero — the Hercolea of Per^a — whose 
exploits foriE a la^e portion of (he narratives of Ihe Shah- 
Nanuh of Ferdo^ The allusion is to his liberating his nephew, 
Prince Hshen, the son of the Persian Kii^, Kai Khosni, fnam a 
neU into which the King of Turkistan, Afrasiab, had thrown hioi, 
because he had secretly married his daughter, 

75 Sinayi, the name of one of the great mystic poets. He 
lived under Sultan Mahniud, the Ghaznavkle, and died A.H, 576 
(A.D. 1 180). 

!* : 



I '1 


/ can understand how the beauty of Joseph^ which 
added fresh lustre to the day^ drew forth 2^laikha from 
behind the veil of her modesty, — Hafiz : Alif. 8. 


"T^HE poem of which a full analysis and very copious 
-^ specUnena are now, so far as the Tranalatar is aware, for 
the first lime submitled to the English reader is one of the moat 
ceiebrHted in the Persian language, and U considered bj com- 
petent judges to be the finest work which eirials in the East. 

"German and EngliiJi," says Koseiuwdg, in the Preface to 
his German Translation of the /osfpA and Zulaitha, " as tbose 
nations which have dedicated themselves, especially since the 
Utter half of the lost cenlury, with the greatcsl predilection to 
the study of Oriealal literature, have recognised the excellence of 
Jami, and particularly of this poem ; which, through the living 
nature and freshness of its colouring, and the truth of the feelings 
therein delinented, would beyond doubt be alone suilicienl to 
establish the glory of its author, and to prove that he deserves to 
be placed boldly by the sde of the mo^t distinguished and 
greatest poets. So the valuable journals of literature, almost in 
the first volume, expressed the wish for a IranslBlion of Jaml's 
poetical worVs. So in the Flowers of Persian Literature, of the 
poem in question it is said : ' JamI, whose poem on the loves of 
Joseph and Zulaikha }s one of the finest compositions in the 
language, and deserves to be translated into every European 
language ' — and ' Jsmi ha'j decorated with all the graces of 
poetry the romantic story of the youthful Conaanite.' So says 
Thornton in his Present Slate otTurkey." 

512 JAML 

Jam! was bom in the year of the Hejra 8 1 7, or of the Christiaii 
era 1414. His father was a native of Ispahan. He dedicated 
his whole life to literature, and is one of the most prolific writers 
of Persia. We have the titles given of thirty-four of his works 
in prose» and sixteen in verse. Those in prose are an a great 
variety of subjects : Letters ; Gnunmar and Prosody ; a History 
of Herat ; Religious, Theological, and Moral Treatises ; and 
numerous expositions and commentaries on the mystical doctrines 
of the Sufis, the Mohammedan sect to which he attached himiM»K; 
Of his poetical works, the most celebrated are his Joseph and 
Zulaikha^ his Laila and Afejnufij his four Dwdns^ or collections 
of Odes, and his Baharistdn or Spring-garden, in eight gardens* 
after the tjrpe of the Eight Gardens of Paradise. 

Jam! was the last of the great poets of Persia, and if any of 
them have assumed a loftier position, it is rather in virtue of their 
having concentrated all their powers on special subjects — as 
Ferdusi and Nizami on Epic, Sadi on Moral, and Hatiz on Lyric 
Poetry — than from any defect of genius. In variety he has 
probably surpassed them all, attaining high excellence in every 
one which he attempted, and furnishing gratification to many 
kinds of taste. But if the English reader does not perceive in 
the following poem all the merit which the translator fancies it 
possesses, he is asked to receive it kindly as a contribution to the 
general history of literature, and may find some pleasure in com- 
paring the agreements and differences of eastern and western 
ideas and feehngs, and some profit from enlarging his acquaint- 
ance with the great family of man and his knowledge of human 

The reader of the Oriental writers of Erotic poetr>' should 


bear in mind, ihat, whilst they aie prone lo veil a probably merely 
sensuous and earthly love in myalical and exalted terms uid 
Sgures, there arc. on Ihe other hand, very many whose descrip- 
tions of the passion, (hough couched in natural and ordinary 
language, ate undoubredly intended by the poet lo bear a deeper 
signification, anJ to shadow forth a higher and dii-iner affection. 
Thai JamI wrote his poem in this spirit can scarcely be qoes' 
tioned, liolh from the known character of the man, the drcum- 
■tancei of his life, and the spitiiual lone which pervades the 
whole work. 

The Translator wishes liankly to confess Ihat he could not 
have executed the present tittle work without the assistance of 
the Persian leil, and notes atid German translation, of Profestor 
Roseniweig, with which his own has been carefully compared, 
line by line and word by word ; so that he hopes that it is a fair 
representation of the original : so fur at least as the difference of 
the two languages will allow, and (he highly liguralive character 
of the Pcnian composition, which he has been anxious to 

S, R. 
Drtimbir. 1S72. 



J A M I. 



j[ XPAND for me, O God, ihe blossom of 

Show me a rose from the Eternal 

Garden ! 
Cause my garden to smile from the lip 
of that rose-bud. 
And invigorate my brain wilh the sense of its perfume ! 
In this abode of affliction, where is no rest, 
Make me ready to acknowledge the multitude of Thy 

Fill my mind full of thoughts to Thy pntise, 
Make thanksgiving the business of my tongue ! 
Give me for a spear the power of my reason. 
In the battle-field of words give me the victory ! 
Thou hast made my heart a ireasure-house^ewel 

upon jewtl : 
Let my tongue duly weigh the jewels of my heart ! 

5i6 JAM/. 

Thou hast placed in my navel the musk-pod of mosk. 
Let my musk spread its fragrance from K3f to Kif!* 
Give to my reed a sugar-sweet tongue to write my 

poem : 
Shed over my book an amber-diffusing perfume ! 
For the object of my words has not yet been attained. 
And nothing but a name has yet been left of its story. 
In this the wine-house of pleasant histories 
I find not an echo of this sweet melody. 
The guests drank their wine, and forthwith departed — 
Departed, and left only the empty wine-jars. 
Of those who are seasoned or unseasoned in such 

I see not one whose hand holds a goblet of this wine : 
Come then, Jami, throw off thy timidity ; 
Be it clear, or the dregs only, bring to us what thou 


Celebration of Divine Greatness. 

In the name of Him whose name is the Fortress of the 

Whom to praise is the gem on the sword of the tongue, 
Whose name satisfies every desire of the ixilate, 
And from the fountain of whose benefits is derived all 

its freshness ! 
From Him proceed the thousand subtleties 



Which, fine as a hair, the reason discovers with every 

breath : 
The High God — the Eternal — ^the All-knowing ! 
Who is able to give strength to him that is weak ; 
Who hath lighted up the sky with the host of heaven, 
And ornamented the earth with the multitude of men. 

He planned the vault of the revolving sphere, 
And fixed it on the walls of the Four Elements; 
He planted the musk-pod in the navel of the rose ; 
He clasped its ornaments round the beautiful rose- 
He wove their delicate vestures for the brides of the 

spring ; 
He gave its stature to the cypress on the rivulet ; 
He gives its loftiness to every lofty ihought ; 
He abases to humility everj' self-lauding fancy, 
Forgives the sins of the reckless drunkard, 
I- And takes back to His service the repentant hypocrite. 

RRc is the companion of the lonely night- watchers. 
The comrade of those who toil through the day ; 
From the ocean of His kindness the vernal cloud 
Sheds its water on the thorn and the jessamine ; 
From the mine of His bounty the autumnal wind 
Spangles with gold the carpet of the meadow ; 
The palate of the good man He sweetens with the 

sugar of His benefits. 
His indignation turns the delights of the bitter- 

tongued into poison ; 


518 JAML 

From His being flows that burning sun. 

By which every atom is penetrated with light. 

Were He to hide His face from sun or from moon. 

Its ball would drop into the void of non-existence. 

On us His favour has bestowed our being, 

For He Is, and His Being gives being 10 us. 

From the vault of heaven to the centre of the eartb, 

Shouldst thou travel without stopping on the foot of 

conjecture or comprehension, 
Shouldst thou descend downwards, or shouldst thou 

hasten upwards. 
Thou canst not go beyond the bounds of Hia wisdom. 

His essence, free from " How " and " How Much," 
Is freer stili from " Low " and " Lofty." 
Incomparable Himself, He determines "all quantities 

and degrees," 
And, compared with His sublime greatness, all 

grandeur is meanness. 
Wisdom in His presence is disturbed in its counsels ; 
In search of His ways we are without hand or fooL 
If in His benignity He advances not Hisstej^* to meet us. 
Our distance from Him is every moment greater and 

When rises ihe loud cry to the exaltation of His glory. 
The very Angels in His everlasting Court 
Stand abashed at their own ignorance, 
And heaven itself is amazed at its own distraction ; 
Therefore, better for us that we, an inquisitive handful. 
Should polish our mirror from the rust of curiosity. 


Sink into forgetfulness of our own existence, 

And seat ourselves henceforth on the knees of silence. 

Arguments for the Being op God, 
AND Exhortation to Labour in His Service. 

How long, O heart, in this deceptive summer-dwelling 
Wilt thou, like children, build houses of clay ? 
Thou art a bold bird to quit the fostering hand, 
For not in this summer-dwelling is thine own nest ! 
Wherefore hast thou become a stranger to that nest ? 
Wherefore, like a grave owl, hast thou chosen this 

desolate waste ? 
Cleanse thy wings and thy feathers from all admixture 

of dust, 
And soar upwards to the pinnacles of heaven 1 
Behold in the dance those blue-fringed turbans — 
Those garments of light streaming out to the world ! 
They whirl round and round by night and by day. 
They intend to arrive victorious at the goal of their 

aspirations ! 
But each one, like the ball which receives its motion 

from the bat, 
Is impelled to the dance by his own desires : 
One turns his face from the sunset to the sunrise ; 
One launches his vessel in the tides of the ocean ; 
One plunges ardently into the tumult of the day-mart ; 

S*> 7^Mi. 

One kindles his lights in the nightly throng ; 

One traces out the letters of felicity ; 

One breaks in twain the tlireads of prosperity ! 

So they eagerly run forwards to shorten their journey, 

And from their onward movement can never rest ; 

Yet they are never worn down by the toils of travel, 

Nor is there pain to their loins, or soreness to their feCL 

But what knows any one on what he bestows so mach 

Who knows to whom they turn their faces ? 
At every moment they show some fresh painting ; 
Yet in the Society of Painters* they are nothing worth. 

How long wilt ihou give the reins into the hand of 

Doubt ? 
How long say to everything, "This is my Lord?" 
Like the Friend, knock at the door of the True King, 
And cry, '■ I like not that which sets." ' 
Dismiss every vain fancy, and abandon every doubt ; 
Blend into One every spirit and form and place ; 
See One— know One^speak of One- 
Desire One— chant of One— and seek One. 

For every atom there is a pathway and approach to 

To every one is pledged the certainty of his existence ; 
On the heart of every thoughtful man is painted His 

And for ever)' painting there must be a painter. 

• k reliEioni sccl. 



^r. ^^^^* 



If a thousand characters appear upon the board, ^^^H 

Not a stroke will be right without the pen of a writer ; ^^^| 

Amidst the ruins thou canst not tind a brick ^^^^| 

Which has not come forth from a shaping mould. ^^^^| 

On every brick the pen of the ti>it;er bath written, ^^^^| 

That the Hand nf Wisdom traced the letters. ^^^^| 

fUWhen thou readest these letters on the brick, ^^^^| 

Hrhou canst not but think of the existence of the brick- ^^^| 

^B maker ^^^^| 

^VWhen thou beholdest displayed before thee the archi- ^^^^| 

H^ tecture of the ^^H 

HHow is it that thy mind is not busied about the ^^^| 

H^ Architect? ^^^| 

^wWhen thou seest the work, turn thy face towards the ^^^H 

B Workman ^^^H 

Gather a judgment of the Workman from the work ! ^^^H 

In the last hour, which no man can escape, ^^^H 

The reckoning for thy work will be with the Over- ^^^H 

^L^ looker only ^^^| 

^po Him only lift up the eye of thy desires. ^^^| 

^Htnd ask Him with His blessedness to sea! thy labour ! ^^^^H 

^^ Praise: of ^^^^^^^H 

^K) Lord, once we had no ^^^^^^^H 
^KAnd were free from the fear of annihilation. ^^^^^^^^| 
^HThou first didst call us into existence from non- ^^^H 

522 JAMI. 

Thou hast bound our feet in the fetters of water and 

Thou hast set us free from the infirmity of powerless- 

And hast led us onward from ignorance to knowledge ; 

Thou hast shed upon us the light of Thy Book ; 

Thou hast decreed what is to be done, and not done ; 

But we are ever mingling the evil with the good, 

One while doing too much, one while too little. 

We often have lost the way of Thy commandments, 

Have often trodden the paths of disobedience ; 

Yet Thou hast not withdrawn the promise of Thy grace, 

Thou hast not hidden from us the light of Thy guid- 

But from that light, if through Thy kindness it be not 

What profit can we gain, if we work not on our own 
parts ? 

It is our own idleness which we have to lament ; 

Bestow on our work Thy gracious aid, that we work 
not in vain ! 

If the wise man drowns himself, like the fool, 

What difference remains between ignorance and know- 
ledge ? 

From the chords of sensuality comes no responsive 

symphony ! 
Narrow not to our feet the way of good deeds ! 
In this straitened pathway of groans in which we travel. 


Open to us, in Thy mercy, an outlet of safety ; 

By that road call us to Thine own Court, 

And be our fellow-traveller to the portals of salvation ! 

The Poet's Praver. 

I AM the bird whose snare hath been Thy grain, 
Whose enchantment in the desert hath been thy tale ! 
Thou ii is who hast prepared for me the materials of 

my labour. 
It is Thy kindness which opened to me the door of 

mercy ! 
It is Thy liberality which hath kindly accepted my 

And whose grace hath exalted me from the prostration 

kof devotion. 
Through Thee I have rubbed my forehead in the dust 

of Thy ways. 
With Thy coilyriuni Thou hast sharpened mine eyes to 

discern Thy paths. 
Thou hast given lo my tongue the power of praise, 
Thou hast touched my heart with the memory of Thy 

Thou hast tipped my tongue with richness and sweel- 

Thou hast put into my mouth a delicate morsel. 

The bile of which inflicts no injury on the tooth, . 

I ^ 

5*4 JAML 

And from the eating of which the throat receives no 

Give me for thankfulness a sugared speech, 

Let no bitterness mar the suavity of my acts ; 

Suffer not my tongue to run into evil-speaking, 

\jt\. not my tongue become an injury to myself: 

Should a sinful letter trickle from my pen, 

Before the How and the Why is before me, 

Over that sinful letter draw the line of erasure. 

Throw me not, like the reed, into the conflict 

I am a blade of grass, nourished in the faith of Thy 

Which Thou hast brought out from the clay and the 

water ; 
My head waves on every side to the wind, 
But my foot is set in the clay of Thy valley ; 
And the clay of the valley in which my foot is fast 
Is better than the rose which has neither colour nor 

fragrance for Thee : 
Make me in this garden like a rose-bud of one core ; 
Mark me like the tulip with Thine own streaks. 
In this path no gain is to be made but by singleness 

of heart ; 
To be double-hearted is to lose every advantage. 
The blooming pistachio sees not two kernels, 
Like the double almond, to injure the teeth ; 
Since the corn-ear nourishes a hundred grains in one 

The sickle cuts down all at a single stroke ; 


When the single-hearted rosebud shows its face upon 

the thorn, 
It receives not a wound Trom its thousand daggers. 

Although my sins are beyond all measure, 
Thy mercy is a thousand times more redundant still I 
Nay ! though my sin were two hundred sheaves. 
Thou CDuIdst burn them up, ir thou wouldst, with the 

lightning of my sighs ; 
And though my rebellious acts were to fill a hundred 

Thou art able to wash them out by the waters of mine 

For all eagerness for fame which hath glowed in mine 

My eyelids have trickled with drops of blood. 
May I wash out from mine eyes all vain dreams of 

May the hlood-linged drop suffuse my countenance. 
If my looks strain towards the hope of celebrity. 
Let a tear be the rei)Utation to which I aspire ! 
Let ray two eyes become two rivers of repentance ! 
Let this be my glory till the Day of Resurrection I 
Let this be the gain which crowns my ambition — 
To carry my salutation to the ears of the Prophet ! 

Then follow five sections ; In Praise oi' the Phophbt— 
The Prophet's Jol'rnev to Heaven— Supplication fob 
THE I^TEHu■ESS^J^ up the Prophet— Ph avers for his 
Blessing— The Pkaise op Sultan Hussain.— These, li 
[hey would not probnblj' be interesting (o maoy readers, and 

have no necesaftry coonection with the subject of the Potm, ktit 
not becD transUted, except a short puMge from the JociNlv 
TO Heavf.n, in which the poel narrates how the Angel Gidncl 
BWaJies him as he is alutiibering on his bed, and nUbrmi htm 
thai be has brought htm the wonderful horse, Boruk (a Idud of 
mysterious animal, like some of those described in Eleldd), to 
tODvcy him to Paradise. Mounting this, he 5rst visits Jcnualeint 
u the Hebiew Prophets had done, and then wings hi* fliglu 
through the eight inferior heavens to the ninth and hlj{fae»t. 

No sooner was this bower dignified by his presence, 
Than he was (itiickly transported to the Court of the 

L Eternal ; 

There he flings off, like rags, the vesture of his body, 
And exalts his standard in the incorporeal world ; 
Leaves with his earthly clay ihis humble vestibule. 
And touches with his hand the Sublime Throne. 
And when he had moved his piece from the 
chequered board. 
And his courser had sprung out of the nairon 
bounds of extension. 
Then found he space unlimited by sjtace, 
Into which nfither body nor spirit is admitted; 
One Only, who is beyond the praise of all — 
Whose being knows nothing of great or little. 

He saw there what no other eye ever saw — 

Ask not of us what was its nature I 

Thai place is not measured by "How" and ' 

Much " ; 

Therefore close thy lips as to the " Less " or " h 
No tongue nor palate hath given account of it, 




Nor hath speech ever explained its meaning. 

He heard what no voice hath ever uttered in words ; 

Meaning in meaning, mystery in mystery ; 

The ear of the spirit drinks nothing but wind, 

The finger of the heart can transcribe not a letter ; 

The robe of the understanding is too contracted for its 

The steed of intellect is lamed in its career ; 

It is loftier than aught thai can be seen or heard ; 

The tongiie should be cut out which discourses about it. 

O JamI, plant not thy fool beyond thy bounds, 

And escape from this life devouring sea ! 

Expend not a breath in this idle conversation ! 

Put a seal on thy talk — God is the Greatest 1 

In thai solitude, in which Being is without a mark, 
The universe still lay hidden in the treasure-house 
of non-exislence ; 
Tiilst its substance had not yet taken the form of 
, was far from speech and talk, from " We " 
and "Ye" — 
tAUTY was free from the shackles oF form, 
d by its own licht alone was it visible to itself; 
fras a lovely bride behind the veil of her nuptial- 



Her vesture unsullied by suspicion of a speck. 
There was no mirror to reflect back its countenance, 
Nor had ever comb passed a hand through its ringlets ; 
No breeze had ever ruffled a lock of its tresses ; 
Its eye had never been touched bya grain of surma-dust; 
No nightingale had yel nestled under the shade of his 

No rose bad |}ut yet on her adornment of verdure ; 
Its cheek was not yet embellished by mole or down. 
And no eye had yet beheld it even in imagination ; 
lis voice of endearmeni was with itself alone, 
And with itself was played its game of aGTection. 

But wherever the power of Beautj- exists, 

Beauty is angered to be hidden by a veil. 

A lovely face will not endure concealment : 

Bar but the door, it will escape by the window ! 

Behold the tulip on the mountain-top, 

How smilint;!)' it comes forth in the vernal season ; 

It shoots out of the earth thro' every cleft of the rock, 

And forces itself into notice by its own loveliness. 

When a feeling of Beauty once falls upon the sight. 

And strangely threads itself on the tie of sensation. 

It can never again pass away from the fancy ; 

U insists henceforth on being heard or spoken of. 

Wherever is the Beautiful, this is its law. 

Imposed by the action of the Eternal Beauty ; 

Coming from the realms of the Holy, here it pitched 

And revealed itself in every quarter : 

o every spirit. 



In every mirror is reflected its face. 

In every place is heard its conversation ntid language ; 

And all the hoiy who are seeking the Holy 

Exclaim in ecstacy, " O Thou Holy One ! " 

And from all the divers in this celestial ocean 

Rises the shout, " Glory to the Lord of Argels I " 

From its brightness a beam fell upon the Rose, 

And from the Rose came its melody into the soul of 

the Nightingale ; • 
From its lire the Taper kindled up its cheek, 
And forthwith a hundred Moths were burnt in every 

chamber : ' 
From its light a spark set on fire the sun, 
And straightway the Nile-lily raised its head from the 

By its countenance Laila arrayed her own, 
And Mejnun's passion was inflamed by every hair;' 
The mouth of Shirin opened its sugared lip, 
And stole the heart of Par\-ii and the soul of Ferhad ; ' 
The Moon of Canaan' raised its head from its breast, 
■ And bore away reason from the brain of Zulaikha. 

sl — Beauty unveils its countenance in the private 

en when hid behind the veil from eartlily lovers; 
tf every veil which thou seeat it is the veil-holder, 

s its decree which carries every heart into bondage ; 
a its love only lus the heart its life; 
B its love only has the soul its felicity. 

The heart of every one who is enamoured with the 

Is inspired by its love, whether he knows it or not 
Beware that thou fall into no error as to Beauty ; 
Love we must when it shows forth its charms ; 
For as each thing is fair, so is it worthy of love ; 
It is the slem whence comes the object : 
Thou art the mirror, it brings thee the image ; 
Thou art hid by a veil, it shows itself openly ; 
When thou lookcst on Beauty, it is the mirror also, 
For it is not only the treasure, but the treasure-house 

We have in this matter no right to intermeddle — thou 

and I; 
Our opinions about it are but vain fancies ! 
Be silent 1 — for this is a tale which has no endi 
Its language is one which has no interpreter. 
Better for us that our business be love, 
For without its converse we are nothing — noih 


A HEART which is void of the pains of love is 

A body without heart-woes is nothing but clay and 

Turn thy face away from the world to the pangs of ] 


For the world of love is a world of sweetness. 
Let there not be in the world an unloving heart ! 
Let not the pangs of love be loss in the bosom of any 

Heaven itself is confused with longings after love ; 
Earth is filled with tumult at the clamours of its 

Become the eaptive of love, in order to become free; 
Lay its sorrows to thy heart, that thou mayest Icnow 

its gladness. 
The wine of love will inebriate and warm thee, 
Will free thee from coldness and devotion to self. 
In the memories of love the lover renews his freshness. 
In his devotion to it he creates for himself a lofty fame. 
If Mejnun had never drunk the wine from this cup, 
Who would have spread his name throughout both 

worlds ? 
Thousands of the wise and learned have passed away. 
Passed away ^forgot I en, because strangers to love ; 
No name or trace remains of their existence. 
No historj' of them is left on the records of Time. 
Many are the birds of beautiful forms. 
Which the people closes its lips and refuses to speak of; 
When those who have hearts tell stories of love, 
The stories ihey tell are of the Motfi and the Nightin- 
In the world thou mayst be skilled in a hundred arts, 
Love is the only one which will free thee from thyself. 
Turn not thy face from love, even if it be shallow. 
It is thy ajiprenticeship for learning the true one ; 

532 JAAfl. 

If thou dost not first learn thine A B C on thy slate, 
How wilt thou be ever able to read a lesson from the 

I heard of a scholar who besought a teacher 
To assist him in treading the path of his doctrine ; 
The teacher replied : " Thou hast never yet stirred a 

foot in the way of love ; 
Go — become a lover, and then appear before me ; 
For till thou hast tasted the symbolical wine-cup. 
Thou wilt never drain the real one to the lees," • 
No ! thou must not stay lingering over the image. 
But quickly transport thyself over this bridge : 
If thou desirest ever to reach the inn, 
Thou must not remain standing at the bridge-head. 
Praise be to God ! that so long as I have dwelt in this 

I have been a nimble traveller in the road of love ! 
When the mid-wife first divided the navel-string. 
She divided it with the knife of love ; 
When my mother first put my lips to her breast, 
She gave me to suck the blood-tinged milk of love ; 
Although my hair is now white as milk, 
The savour of love still dwells in my mind. 
In youth or in age there is nothing like love ; 
The enchantment of love breathes upon me for ever. 
** Jami," it says, " thou hast grown old in love ; 
Rouse up thy spirit, and in love die ! 
Compose a tale on the pleasures of love. 
That thou mayst leave to the world some memorial of 

thy existence : 





Draw thou a picture with thy delicate pencil, H 

Which, when thou quittesi thy place, may remain in j 

^- thy stead." ^^J 

After Ihese introductory pieces, and a eulogy of Ihe Word— 
Speech— beginniDg, 

The Word—the exordium of the Book of Love ; 
The Word — first fruits of Che Garden of Love ; 
Wisdom has no greatness or efficacy comparable lo 

the Word ; 
The earth has no memorial enduring as the Word, 

the Poet enters on the proper subject of his work with a 
dejcription of Adam's first awaking to a sense of his existence, 

line of his deseendants—bere the Prophets— there the Saint*— 

King* and Leaders of the People-each in his destined tank aod 

office — his eye is arrested as he scans the midtilude by tfae surpass- ^^^^| 

ing beauty of Joseph ; whom the Orientals consider the perTectioa ^^^^| 

of the human form and the model of manly grace and elegance, ^^^B 

^■Then Jiiseph struck his eye like a radiant moon — 1 
^B*lloon! — nol — a sun in the zenith of his splendour and ^k 

^K The distinguished taper of a select assembly ; ^^^| 
^B, A high-flashing torch in a festive gathering. ^^H 

The loveliness of the lovely in his presence was as 

As stars vanish in the beains of the sun ; 
The perfection of his beauty and loveliness passetl 

Exceeded all limits of ihe powers of thought ; 
The vesture of Divine power robed his shoulders. 
His head bore the crown of royal splendour ; 
His brow was like the dawn of the morning of felicity. 
And his face changed the gloomy night into the day 

of brightness ; 
All the Propliets before and after hini, 
Purified from the darkness of their mortal bodies ; 
All the holy spirits without failure or diminution. 
Waving high their standards, right and left, 
Shouted aloud, " In the namL- of God," and "There is 

no God but God," 
And Adam was amazed at that majesty and glory. 
And in a tone of astonishment whispered softlj-, 
" God ! — from what rose-bed comes this seedling. 
And of whose eye is he the bright beauty-spot?' 
How hath this ray of fortune beamed upon him ? 
AVhere hath he found this perfection and honour?" 
And a voice answered : " It Is the light of ihine eye. 
The joy-giving solace of a sorrow-scricken heart ; 
He is a sapling from the garden of Jacob, 
A gazelle from the plains of the Friend of God [Abra- 

The height of bis dome shall be more exalted ilian 



The land of Egypt shall be his royal palace ; 

The excess of loveliness which shines in his counten- 

Will inflame with envy the loveliest in the world : 

Thine own countenance is mirrored in his ; 

Bestow upon him all that thou hast thyself in thy 
treasure-house !" 

Then Adam drew him and pressed him on his breast, 

And poured into him the virtue of his own pure heart ; 

Made him certified of his own affection ; 

Imprinted on his brow a fatherly kiss ; 

Blossomed like a rose in the possession of his chUd, 

And invoked blessings upon him, as the Nightingale on 
the Rose. 


In this changeful world — a worshipper of semblances, 
When each one in turn strikes the tymbal of exist- 
ence, " 
Each day makes conspicuous some new truth, 
And some name spreads abroad a light through the 

earth — 
If the universe remained conformed to one rule, 
How many secrets would remain unrevealed ! 
If the brightness of the sun never became less in the 
revolving sphere. 

These words inltoduce the Poet'i account of the s' 
Adun's descendants — Sclh — Enoch ^ Noah — Abraham — 
Ii>ac and Jacob — to the birth of Joseph, upon whom, of )iu 
twelve children, Jacob coiiceiitiaIe<l his strongest sfiection. 
Losing his molher after two years, he is lalten in charge by hii 
It ; who becomes so devotedly fond of him, that she will not 
part with him, and resorts to devices for keeping him froDi hi* 
bther, and as much an possible to herself. But after a time she 
loo dies, and Jacob can no longer resist his fatherly ye»miii£i Id 
enjoy his son's companionship. 

But Jacob was cheered by this event, 

And closed not his eyes in sleep from the desire to 

beliold him. 
He (bund in Joseph the Kiblah of his affection, " 
And turned away his fare from his other children ; 
In Joseph was centred his every act, 
To Joseph was limited his whole occupation ; 
In Joseph alone bis sotil found repose. 
By Joseph alone was his eye lighted up : 
Yes ! whatever place that moon should irradiate 
To that not even the sun would find an entrance I 
How shall I describe beauty and alhiringness. 
Which transcended that of Huri or Peri? 
He was a moon in the firmament of graciousness, 
Wliich filled with btilliancy the whole universe : 
A moon, resembling a resplendent sun — no !^ 
A moon, of which that in heaven is but a tay ! 



What say I ? ^Vhat room for comparison with the sun ! 
The sun's flashing beams were, compared with hini, a 

delusive mirage. " 
No " Why " or " Wherefore " will explain his sacred 

When from his bright countenance he withdraws the 

veil : 
For in him dwellelh calmly He to whom there is none 

And veilelh Himself under the name of Joseph. 
If then love of him stole unheeded into the heart of 

And fixed itself in his soul, it was not without reason ! 
Znlaikha, herself the envy of the lovely Huris, 
Sitting in the far west behind the veil of hur modesty. 
From the sun of his countenance caught a spark, 
And became in a dream the captive of his image ; 
When the pangs of love overpower those who are 


1 it be far away from those who are near? 


*Hus hath said the master of choice speeches, the 
eloquent narrator, 
s who from his treasury of words can produce a 
treasure of expression, 

S38 jAiar. 

That in the Western I-and [Mauritania] lived a 

renowned king. 
Whose royal tymbal beat to the name of Timus, 
Possessed of all that 15 befitting sovereign authority, 
So that not a wish of his heart remained unsatisfied : 
His head gave to the crown prosperity, 
His foot exaltation to the sieps of his throne ; 
Orion, by the grace of Heaven, girded himself in ifae 

support of his armies. 
And victory cleaved with firm grasp to his sword. 
A lovely daughter was his, by name Zulaikha, 
Whom he prized beyond aught else in the world ; 
Daughter^no t rather a star from the constellation of 

heaven — 
A brilliant jewel from a royal casket. 
Her perfection could not be comprised withio the 

limits of description, 
I can but essay an attempt to portray her. 
Like her own tresses I must descend from head to 

My soul must be enlightened from ihc reflection of 

From her own sweet ruby lips I must draw her pot- 
If I am to repeat what I know of her qualities. 

Her stature was of the grace-created palm-tree. 
Which raiscth its head in a garden of delights ; 
And which, copiously watered from a royal stream. 


I ^ 


Even the wise man might be entangled in the snare of 

her tresses, 
Than which rot musk itself exhaled a greater fragrance. 
Oft did the comb nicely divide the hair, 
Which elegantly adorned the trown of her head ; 
So that the musk-bag burst with [assion, 
For there was no etnployment for musk here. 
Why should I further make mention of gold. 
For in the ankle-ring it lay at her feet." 
One while she walks proudly in the presence-chamber 

of the palace, 
In the gold-shot robes of Egypt and Syria ; 
Another while she reclines cocjueltishly on the sofa, 
In the beautiful brocade of Rum and China ; 
On every new day on which beams a ray, 
She arrays her person in a new vestment ; 
She crowns not her head twice with the same tiara, 
Presenting, like the moon, every day a new phase. 
She allows not the grandees the favour of the foot-kUs ; 
Reserving that privilege for the skirt of her garment 
Tali cypres5 formed maidens move airily about her, 
Pcri-faced attendants minister to her wants, 
And a thousand Huri-born damsels, youthful as herstlf. 
Stand before her day and night to do her service. 
Never yet had a burden weighed upon her heart, 
Never yet had a thorn lacerated her foot, 
Never yet had she loved, or had a lover. 
Never yet admitted a passion to the heart 
She slept thro' the night as sleeps the fresh narcissus, 
And bloomed in the morning, like the smiling rosebud. 

540 JAMI. 

With silver-like dolls [young girls], yet tender in years. 
Or with graceful gazelles in the courts of the dwelling. 
Her mind thoughtless of the deceitfulness of the 

changeful sphere, 
She had not a care beyond her sports : 
So was she cheerful and gay at heart, 
And her soul was free from every sorrow. 
As to what the coming days might bring to vex it. 
Or what might be born from the womb of the nights. 

Zulaikha's First Dream. 

A NIGHT it was, sweet as the morning of life, 

Joy-augmenting like the days of youth ! 

Fish and fowl rested from motion, 

Business drew its foot within the skirt of its garment 

Within this pleasure-house, full of varieties, 

Nought remained open save the eye of the star. 

Night — the thief — robbed the sentinel of his under- 

The bell-ringer stilled the tongue of the bell ; 

The hound wound its tail round its neck like a collar. 

And in that collar stifled its baying ; 

The bird of night drew out its sword-like feathers. 

And cut off its tuneful reed (/>. its throat) from its 
morning-song ; " 

The watchman on the dome of the royal palace 


Saw in imagination the drowsy poppy-head, 

And no longer retained the power of wakefulness — 

The image of that poppy- head called him into 

The drummer no longer beat his tymbal, 
His hand could no longer hold 10 the drum-stick. 
The Muezzin from the minaret no longer cried, 

■■ Allah ! Allah ! the Ever-Living 1 
RoU up your mattresses, ye nightly dead, and n^leci 

not prayer ! " " 
Zublkha, of the sugar-lips, was enjoying the sweet 

Which had fallen on her soft narcissus like eyes ; " 
Her head pressed the pillow with its hyacinthine locks, 
And her body the coudi with its rciseale burthen. 
The hyacinthine locks were parted on the pillow, 
And painted the roseate cheek with silken streaks ; 
The image-seeing eye was closed in slumber, 
But another eye was open — ^ihat of the soul : 
With that she saw suddenly enter a young man — 
Young man, do I say? — rather a spirit 1 
A blessed figure from the reali 
Beauteous as a Huri, borne 

the Seventh Hea 
And had robbed Irait by Ira' 

lence, and perfect 
Copying, one by one, every alluring aiirarlion. 
His stature was that of the fresh box-tree ; 
The free-cypress in its freedom was a slave compared 

with his ; 


of light, 

from the Garden of 

t of each beauty, excul- 

His hair from above hung down like a chain, 

And fettered, hand and foot, even the judgment of the 

From his broiv shot so resplendent a flash of light. 
That sun and moon bent to the ground before him ; 
His eyebrows, which might have been a high-altar for 

the saintly. 
Were an am her- seen ted canopy over the sleeper's eyes; 
His face was as the moon's from its station in Paradise; 
From his eyelashes darted arrows to pierce the heart ; 
The pearly teeth within the ruby lips 
Were lightning flashing from a roseale evening sky ; 
The smiles of his ruhy-lips were sweet as sugar — 
When he laughed, his laugh was the lustre of the 

Pleiades ; 
The words of his mouth were sugar itself. 
When this vision rose before the eye of Zulaikha, 
At one glance happened that which needs must happen: 
She beheld excellence beyond human limits. 
Seen not in Peri, never heard of in HurL 
From the beauty of the image and the charm of its 

perfection — 
She f)ecame his captive, not with her one but with a 

hundred hearts ; 
Fancy made his form the ideal of her mind, 
And pinnicd in her soul the young shool of love. 



On Ihe morrow, when the raven of night had taken its 

upward flight, 
And the cock was crowing its morning carol, 
And the nightingales had ceased their soiil-moving 

And had withdrawn from the rose-bush the veil of the 

And the violet was washing its fragrant locks, 
And the jessamine was wiping the night-dew from its 

Zulaikha still lay sunk in sweet slumber, 
Her heart-look still fixed on her last-night's altar ; 
Sleep it was not^rather a delightful bewilderment — 
A kind of insanity from her nocturnal passion J 

Her waiting-maids impress the kisses on her feet. 
Her damsels approach lo give the hand-kiss ; 
Then she liftelh the veil from her dewy tulip-cheeks, 
And shaketh off ihe sleep from her love-languishing 

She looketh round on every side, but seeth not a sign 
Of the roseate image of her last night's dream. 
For a tinae she withdrew like a rose-bud into herself; 
In the grief of not beholding that slender cypress-form. 
She would have rent the clothes off her body to pieces, 
Had not shame withheld her hand in the presence of 

And restrained her foot within the skin of patience : 

544 JAML 

So she kept the secret tight within her bosom, 

As in a ruby-mine the hard stone encases the ruby ; 

And though she was gulping down in her heart the 

rose-red blood, 
She showed not outwardly an action of emotion. 
Her lips recounted her stories to her maidens, 
But her heart, whilst she recounteth them, is full of 

lamentations ; 
Her mouth to her companions talketh sweetly as sugar. 
But her heart, like the sugar-cane, is full of hard knots ; 
Her tongue to her friends still telleth its tale. 
But a hundred sparks flash from the wounds of her 

passion ; 
Her looks fall on the figures of rivals, 
But her heart remaincth fixed on the only beloved one. 
No longer were the reins of her heart in her own hands, 
For wherever she was, she was with the heart-stealer. 

No longer now hath she a wish beyond her friend, 
Nor except with her friend had she any rest. 
If she sayeth a word, to her friend she sayeth it ; 
And if she formeth a wish, from her friend she 

seeketh it. 
A thousand times riseth to her lips the desire of her 

That night would come to that day of weariness — 
The night which conieth so agreeably to lovers — 
The night which kecpeth the secrets of lovers : 
Therefore all the day the niglit is their desire ; 
For this guardeth the veil, and that uplifteth it. 



When night came she turned her face to the wall of 

She stooped her back like a crooked lyre ; 
She strung her harp with the chords of tears, 
And tuned it in concord with her own heart's sadness ; 
She rent her bosom with its tuneful wailings, 
And runneth through ever}' note of sighs and laracniings; 
She sctteth her friend in fancy before her face, 
And pourelh out from her lips and eyes words and 

pearly- tears ; 
" From what mine dost thou come, thou pure gem, 
That hast given me this power of scattering jewels ? 
Thou hast stolen my heart, but told me not thy name. 
Nor left me a sign of the spot where thou dwellest ! 
I know not of whom I can ask thy name ! 
I know not whither to go to inquire thy habitation ! 
If thou art a king, what is thy name ? 
If thou art a moon, what is thy station ? 
Forbid it, that another should become captive like niu. 
For I have no longer in my hand either my heart or 

1 saw a vision which has broken my sleep. 
And drawn out pure blood from heart and eyes ; 
Now I no longer know what sleep is. 
My heart is consumed by a perpetual glow ! 
How is it that, as when thou easiest water on (ire. 
Thou too dost not become warm and agitated ! 
I was a rose from the rose-bed of youth. 
Moist and fresh as from the Fountain of Life ; 
No rough wind had ever blown on my head. 

Never had a thorn punctured my foot ; 

With a single soft glance thou gavesC me over to the 

Thou hast planted a thousand ihoms in my couch ! 
A body a hundred times softer than a rose-leaT, 
How should sleep visit it on a bed of thoms?" 

So all the night long she passed in moanings, 
Uttering her complaints to the vision of her friend ; 
But when the night was gone, to avoid suspicion. 
She washed the tears from her blood-suffused eyes ; 
On her lips, still moist from the cruel struggle of the 

She impresseth deeply the seal of silence ; 
She makt'th her bed gay with the fresh rose-leaves, 
And enliveneth her pillow with the silvery cypress. 
In such wise passed she her days and nights, 
-."or changed her habit by a single hair. 

Zin.AiKHA's Second Drkah. 

Happy the heart which Loi-e hath made its abodel" 
Which Love hath set free from worldly cares ! 
He on whom the flashing lightning hath darted so i 
vividly, I 

That il hath consumed the harvest of patience and , 



In whom not a trace is left of anxiety about his security, 
On whom a mountain of reproach weigheth but as a 

straw ! 
Zulaikha dwindled in a year like the waning moon ; 
In a year she had changed from the full to the new. 
Seated at night in the gray twilight. 
With bloodshot eye, and bowed like its crescent, 
She would exclaim i " O Heaven, how hast thou dealt 

with me ! 
How hast thou paled the brilliancy of my sun ! 
Thou hast bent like a bow my slalely form, 
Tliou hast made me a mark for the arrow of rebuke, 
Thou ha5t_given my reins to the hands of an arrogant 

Of whom I know nothing except his arrogance ! 
He hath kindled in my heart the flame of love, 
Yet even in sleep dealeth with me hke a niggard. 
He never in my waking hours Cometh to sit near me, 
Never permittelh me to see him, even in ray dreams. 
A sign that my fortune is wakeful were the sleep 
In which I could behold that worid-illuming moon ! 
Mine eye no longer reposeth in sleep ; 
Oh, that my fortune would lend me its own sleep I 
For my fortune would show itself awake from its sleep, 
If it brought to me in sleep the vision of my friend I " 

So she complaineth through a watch of the night j 

So Cometh to her lips the anguish of her soul ! 
When suddenly sleep interrupted her fancies — 
No, not sleep, but raihcr bewilderment ; 


And hardly had her body touched her pallet, 
When, lo ! her soul's desire entered from the door 
The self-same image which before beset her way. 
Entered with an aspect more radiant than (he moon. 

The moment her sight fell upon the beautiful coun- 

She sprang from her couch, and cast her head at his 

And kissed the ground, exclaiming: "Oh, lovely as the 
rose and graceful as the cypress 1 

Thou who hast robbed my sou! of rest and patience. 

By that Maker who framed thee out of ligljt, 

Who created ihee exempt from all defilement ; 

Who gave thee pre-eminence over all lovely things, 

And greater sweetness than the Water of Life ; 

Who made thy form a rose-tree in the garden of souls. 

Thy lips a delicate morsel to meet those of spirits ; 

Who from thy heart- inflaming countenance kindled 
the taper 

Which, like the moth, hath consumed my soul : 

Who made thy musky locks a noose, 

Every hair of which entanglelh me in its fetters ; 

Have mercy. I pray thee, on a love-sick maiden, 

Open thy sweet ruby-lips to give me on answer ! 

Tell me, with this heart-captivating perfection, 

Who art thou ? — From what family descended ? 

Art thou a sparkling jewel ? — From what mine comest 

Art thou of royal birlh ? — Where is thy palace ? " 



And Joseph replied : " I am of mortal lineage. 
Of the race formed of earthly dust and water : " 
If thou makest a claim upon mo a^i a lover; 
If thou art sincere in what thou sayest, 
See that thou keep true to thy love and thy promise, 
That thou remain unmarried in mutual affection. 
If I have inflicted a wound on thy bosom. 
Think not that mine is free from a wound also ; 
l-'iir my heart in sympathy is fettered in thy snare, 
And I too am marked with the self-same wound." 

When Zulaikha perceived this gentle hearing, 
And heard this lender language from his ruby-lips, 
The mad demon again took possession of her mind. 
Her soul, like the moth, fell again into the flame; 
She tore her clothes as one teareth a rose-bud, 
She poured out on the ground her heart's blood, like 

the tulip's i 
Now in her passion she lacerateth her face. 
Now in yearnings rendcth her locks, hair by hair. 

Her attendants gather round her and endeavour lo soothe her, 
but she repulses all (hrir efToits. They report her condition lo 
her falhcr. He consults his wise men, and they prescribe a 
chatm. priictiscd in the East, to restrain her free action. Then 
she bursts into freah lamealations : 

"Ah, would but favouring Fate lend me its assistance, 
I would fetter his foot in this chain of gold ; 
Then might I gaze upon his face as long as I would, 
And in gaziiig upon him my dark day would once more 
be bright ! 



But what am I saying? — This delicately-nurtured being. 
On the instep of whose fool every grain of dust 

Would weigh like a mountain, pressing out his life. 
Tho' he hath crumpled up the carpet of my happiness. 
How could I choose so to burthen his soul ? 
How pain his precious ankle with a chain ? 
Sweeter were a hundred swords to my sorrowing heart 
Than that a thorn should pierce even his gartneni ! " 

Then she fell with the wounds in her distracted breast. 

As falleth to the ground the wounded bird ; 

For a time became the sharer of unconsciousness, 

And again returned to her former condition ; 

Again, under the spell of her insane mind, 

Commenceth anew the tale of her sorrows ; 

One while smiling, she bursteth again into lamentings 

Now appeareih dying, and now to live again ; 

So every moment she changed from slate to state, 

And continued another year in the same condition. 

Zulaikha's Third Dreau. 

Come, Love ! full of charms and fascination, i 
Whose business is, now peace, now war 
Who one while mak?st the wise man a madm 
At another time makest the madman wise : 
When thou tiest up the tresses of the Peri-faced n 


The prudent man falleth into the snare of folly ; 
But if thou untiest the band from her tresses, 
The lamp of consciousness bursteth out in 

Zulaikha, one night, impatient and distracted, 

Sat the twin-born of woe and the spouse of sorrow ; 

Draining to the dregs the cup of anguish. 

From the burnings of love she could find no rest 

She tore the coif from her amber-scented hair, 

In the frenzy of her passion cast dust upon her head : 

Bent in supplication her fair cypress-forni, 

And making of her tongue a melodious lyre, 

Poured forth the deep anguish of her grief-strickL'n 

And burst into an address lo the unseen friend : 
"O thou, who hast robbed me of my reason and 

And destroyed the peace of my happy days ; 
Thou hast caused my woe, but wilt not share it 1 
Thou hast stolen my heart, but givest me no return ! 
I know not thy name, that I may repeat it continually ! 
I know not thy dwelling, that I might wander round 

it for ever ! 
Once I was full of smiles, sweet as sugar to the tasle ; 
Now I am as the sugar imprisoned in its cane ! 
Once a fresh rose-bud, which my passion for thee 
Tinted with the blood wliich flowed from my heart ; 
Now, like a flaunting full-blown rose," 
tyrih I have come from the veil of my bashfulnes;., 



Never shall I say, ' I stm dear to thine eyes ; ' 

.^h, that I might be counted the last amongst thy 

maidens ! 
Where would be the harm, wen thou kind to thy 

maiden — 
Wert thou to free me from the bonds of misery ? 
Oh, may never one be bathed in blood, like me ; 
Become, like me, dishonoured amongst the people I 
The heart of my mother is saddened by this union ; 
My father feeleth disgraced by his alliance widi hts 

Even my attendants, wearied with my service, 
Bid me farewell, and leave me to my loneliness ! " 

Such was her discourse with her heart and soul's idol ; 
In such condition she remained till sleep overpowered 

And when theopiate from its cup had sealed up her eyes, 
Then again in her sleep comelh ihe marauder of her 

In form more beautiful than I am able to portray ; 
For what more to say than I have said, I know not ! 
With cries and tears her hand clingelh to his skirt. 
And her eyelids pour forth her heari's-blood at his feet : 
" O thou, who, in the suffering which the love of thee 

hath caused me. 
Hast banished tranquillity from my heart, and sleep 

from mine eyes, 
By the spotlessness of Him who hath created 



Who halh selected thee from the beautiful thin 

both worlds, 
Shorten, I beseech thee, the term of my anxieties — 
Give me to know thy name and thy city ! " 

And Joseph replied : " If that will content thee, 
Know that I am Prince of Egypt, and that Egypt is my 

In Egypt I am a counsellor of the King of Egypt, 
And he hath given me in Egypt high dignity and 


When Zulailcha heard this account of her beloved. 
Thou wouldst say, that one a hundred years dead was 

again alive ; 
His speech came to her like a refreshing draught, 
iSringing strength to her body, patience to her soul, 

and reason to her mind. 

Then she ran hurrying to her attendants, and exclaimed; 
" O ye, who have sympathised with me in my distress. 
Carry to my father the glad tidings of my happiness ; 
Set free his heart from the burthen of sorrow : 
Tell him. that reason and consciousness are come back 

to me ; 
That the stream whose waters were dried up is flowing 


Now she once more openeth her casket of words. 
And beginneth to talk again about every city. 
.She would speak cleverly of Syria and Rum, 



And when she mentioned Egypt her words were sweet 

She would end with rehearsing the story of the 

That she might ha\'e occasion to utter the name of 

Egypt's Prince i 
But when she had taken this name upon her tongue, 
She would glide from her feet like a falHng shadow ; 
From her clouded eye would descend a torrent of 

And the voice of her lamentation would ascend to the 

Such by day is her employment, such by night ; 
And when this is not the subject, she lapscth tntr> 


The Ambassadors. 

The besiflty and attractions of Zulaikha are so noUed abroad, 
that ambassadots from pawtrful princes on all sides crowd to her 
father's court to demand her hand in marriage. But Dene come 
fiom Egypt, and Zulaikha is deeply diiappdnted. 

" Is no one amongst them a messenger from Egypt ? 
The love of the Egyptian hath bowed me down ! 
My heart draweth me mightily towards Egypt 1 
If there is no messenger from Egypt, what avallethj 
The brecife which risetli from the land of Egyp 


Which bioweih into my eyes the dust of Egypt, 
Is a hundred times more precious than (he wind 
Which is iaden with musk from the deserts of Tatary." 

But no raeasenger ia there flora Egj^it, and Zulaikha vril! lislen 
to no uther. So her fathei is compelled Co ilismiss them, with the 
proverbial eicusc—" Who comes first has the first riehl," Gnd 
lo plead the anlenor claim of Egypt- 


The Messenger and the Departure. 

ZuUikha, sick through hope defetred, falls into her old dejec- 
tion, and her fond father, in his anxiety and perplexity, determines 
lo offer her in marriage to (he Grand Vizier of EgypL With this 
liew, he selects a Inuty and discreet messenger, and sends him 
OD his roission. The Grand Vizier, in great delight, accepts the 
offer, but excuses himself for not reluming with the messenger to 
fetch his bride, on the ground of his duties and the requirements 
of his office, the King, his master, not allowing him a term of 
absence. Her father, nevertheless, decides lo send her, and pre- 
pares a magni^cent dowry, and a suitable retinue of attendants 
and companions. 

For Zulaikha herself he provideth an elegant litter, 

Or rather, the model of a bridal chamber ; 

A sculptured apartment of sandal and aloes-wood : 

Its we 11 -compacted boards overlaid with gold ; 

Its roof studded with gems, like the pavilion of Jemshid; 

Its golden dome, like the ball of the sun ; 

Within and withotit covered all over 


556 7//^/. 

With golden nails and with pendants of jewels. 
And hung all around with brocade and cloth-of-gold, 
In heart-captivating colours and lovely figures. 
They place Zulaikha in this bridal chamber, 
And, with a thousand endearments, set her forward 

towards Memphis : 
The beautiful litter, borne on wind-footed dromedaries, 
Went swiftly as the rose-leaves before the spring-tide 


Zulaikha, with heart reconciled to Fortune, 

Hopeth soon to reach the end of her journey at 

Soon will the morning dawn on the night of gloom ; 
Soon will the pain of separation come to its ending ! 
Thoughtless how many a black night was yet to be — 
How many a year's travel ere the dawn of that morning ! 

By the bright day, through the darksome night. 

They hurried on, till Memphis was nigh at hand ; 

Then they sent forward a swift messenger, 

To announce the news before their arrival. 

He was to seek the nearest road to Memphis, 

And inform the Grand Vizier of Egypt : 

" Lo ! now a sudden fortune descendeth upon thy 

head ! 
Rouse thyself, if thou wouldst give it a worthy 

reception ! " 


^^t Deception. 

The Grmnd Viiier hears with gicat delight of the oeai appioscb 
of hii bride, and goes oat with a laige retinue to lind a sullnble 
ruliDg-plnce on the jouraey. There he causes lo be erected a 
magnificenl pavilion for hci reception. Zulaikha is anxious lo 
behold the object of her dreams, and the nunc, lo gratify h<;T. 
makes a small slil in the curtain. But, says the Poet ; 

This ancient sphere is but a cup-ant^-ball juggler, 
Quick of foot to discover means of deceiving men : 
She bindeth ho[>e round the heart of the dejected, 
And then, with hopelessness, severeih the tie ! 
She showelh at a distance the fruit of our desire. 
And then grieveth us by preventing us from reaching it. 
No sooner had Zulaikha peeped through the rent. 
Than from her breast was wrung forth a sorrowful 

"Ah! woe is me! what wonderful fate hath befallen me? 
This is not ihe man I have seen in my dreams, 
In searching after whom I have suffered so much 

misery ! 
This is not he who stole from me reason and under- 
standing ! 
Who gave over to distraction the reins of my affections ! 
This is not he who told me his secret, 
Who from insanity brought me back to consciousness ! 
My gentle fortune hath turned to harshness ; 
The morning-splendour of my star is dimmed with 
misfortune ! 

5S« yAMI. 

I planted date-palms — they have come up brambles; 

I scattered the seeds of love — their produce is affliction, 

I had hoped from my rose-garden to gather roses — 

My garment is pierced with the pricks of their tboms. 

I am a thirsty man amidst the sands of the desert. 

Who hurrielh about on every side in search of water ; 

My tongue, through dryness, clcaveth to my lips. 

My lips are bleeding with the feverish paslules. 

Suddenly I seem to see water in the distance : 

I hurry towards it, stumbling and rising, 

I find in the hollow, in the place of the water, 

From the glare of the flashing sun, a sandy salt plain I"" 

And 10 she continues her moan, symboluing her desolalioD by 
other iniagei. Then ihe exdaimi : 

"For Heaven's sake, O Fate, have pity on my suf- 
ferings ! 
Open before ray face a door of mercy ! 
If thou wilt not give into my grasp the skirt of my friend, 
I>et me not become the captive of another! 
Suffer uot dishonour to rend my garment I 
Allow not my hand to sully my vesture ! 
I have pledged my faith to the object uf my heart, 
That with a hundred struggles I would watch o'er my 

Consume not with grief one who hath lost all power of 

hand and of foot, 
Give not over to the serpent the disposal of my 

treasure 1"™ 


So she prolongeih her lamentations deeply into the 

And each eyelash is lipped with a blood-stained tear; 
From her wounded heart and soul she pourelh forth 

her distress, 
And grovelleth in the dust in the extremity of her 


Then the bird of mercy came on the wing, 

And a secret angel answered the complaint : 

"Oh, comfortless one, lift up thy face from the earth, 

For out of thy perplexity will come deliverance. 

The Grand Vizier of Egypt is not the goal of thy desires, 

But except through him thou canst not reach the goal ; 

Through him thou will behold the beauty of thy friend. 

And through him will altaiti ihe object of thy wishes. 

Be not affrighted in thy intercourse with him, 

For from him thy silver casket will remain in safety." 

She is conveyed by the Vizier wUh great distinction to Mem- 
phbi and is lodged luiurioui)y and ivith eveiy attention in his 
palace. But nothing consoles her in her scpnnition from her 
friend. 5hc is still restless and unhappy, and continues her 

Such was her condition by night, such by day ; 
So passed her months, and so her years. 
When she feeleth her heart straitened in the house, 
She rushcth out into the open corn-fields. 
One while she would erect her tent in the desert, 
And there pour out the sighs and moans of her wounded 
bosom ; 

56o JAMI. 

At another she would hurry, like the torrent of the 

With weeping eyes, to the banks of the Nile, 
And mingle her tears with its waters. 
And throw over the stream the garb of her mourning. 
So she spendeth her life, day after day. 
Her eye directed on the path of expectation : 
By what road will her friend arrive ? 
When will he rise on her like sun or mqon ? 

Come, Jami, let us fulfil her desire, 

I^t us bring from Canaan the Moon of Canaan ; 

Zulaikha in her heart is cherishing hop>e ; 

Her eye is fixed on the highway of expectation ; 

The pain of expectation hath passed beyond measure, 

I-,et us offer the remedy — the union with her friend. 

The Beginning of the Brothers* Envy. 

Whilst Joseph exalted his head in beauty. 
He became dearer and dearer to the heart of Jacob ; 
He kept him in his eye like the pupil of his eye, 
And closed his eyes to the other brothers. 
He so preferred him to his special favours. 
That every moment their envy increased more and 

There stood a tree within the court of his dwelling, 
Augmenting delight by its freedom and beauty. 


56f I 

Clothed in green like the brethren of the Oratory, 

And, like them, ever moving in the ecstacy of devotion." 

It stood rooted in the soil of stateliness, 

And cast on the ground the shadow of luxuriance ; 

Every leaf was a tongue uttering praises. 

Like one who keepeth reciting, "In the nameof Cidd!" 

The boughs climbed liigher than the pinnacle of the I 

And angels nestled like birds in its branches. 
With every son which the Lord gave him. 
From that tree, gladsome as theSidrah-tree of Paradise," | 
At the same moment sprouted out a fresh shoot, 
Which waxed stronger and stronger as he grew i 

stature ; 
And as each arrived at the age of manhood 
His father would give from it a green staff into his hand, j 
Except to Joseph ; for to the greatness of his desliny'l 
A staff from that tree he deemed an unworthy present? 1 
He was a sapling in the garden of spirits. 
To whom a staff of wood was all too common. 

Bat Joseph is not content to be so pushed over, and the j 
Btnbitious and presuming youth beseeches hii father to pray j 
to God lo granl him a staff fniin the Sidmh-ttee ilseif — 

Which, from the season of youth to that of old age, 
May yield him sujiport wheresoever he may be. 
And give him on the field of exercise or combat 
A marked superiority over all his brethren. 

The prayer 15 granted to Jacob's earnest and humbiu suppUei- 
tion, and (he aoKel brings the sougbt-for !>□□□, irhich, ofcourae, 
only iDccEases the je^ousy of the brothcn. 

562 JA.\fI 

Joseph's Dream. 

Joseph was one night sleeping in the sight of Jacob, 

In whose sight he was dearer than Kis own eyes ; 

His head rested on his pillow in sweet sleep. 

And a soft smile played about his pleasant ruby-lips ; 

But that soft smile on that candied lip 

Filled with agitation the soul of Jacob. 

And when Joseph awoke, like his fortune, 

And opened his moist sleepy eyes, Jacob said : 

'* O thou, whose sweetness shameth the sweetness of 

What was the meaning of that honied smile ? " 
And Joseph replied : " I saw in my dream 
The sun and the moon and eleven brilliant constel- 
Who with one accord joined to magnify me." 

His father commands him not to reveal what he had seen in 
his dream to his brothers — it could only augment their envy and 
hatred. But he will not be advised ; he tells it to one, who tells 
it to another, till all know it ; as says the Poet : 

Thou hast heard that ever}' secret which passeth 

beyond two. 
In a little time becometh a throng on the tongue of 

The wise man hath said : " Those two are the two lips ; 
To pass aught beyond them is not well advised. 
Many a secret which hath escaped from the two lips 
Hath raised a blood-feud between brave spirits." 


Well said the thoughtful utterer of sage maxims : 

"** Let him who would keep his head in safety keep his 

secret ! 
When thou hast freed the wild bird from the bars of its 

Thou wilt never be able to bind its foot with thy 

hand again." 

When the brothers had heard the dream, they not unnaturally 
burst out into indignant exclamations : 

" What ! — doth he desire that we, clear from his dark- 

Should fall down to the ground and worship before 

And not we alone, but father and mother also? 

This self-glorification must not be so valued : 
We are our father's traffickers — not he ; 
We are our father's well-wishers — not he ; 

Whilst it is day, we keep his flocks in the field ; 

When it is night, we are the guardians of his dwelling ; 

If he have enemies, we are the strength of his arm ; 

In the circle of his friends, we are its shining jewel ! 

Come, let us find a cure for this matter ; 

In every way possible let us compass his ruin : 

The thorn which sprouteth up to bring with it mischief, 

It is better to root out ere it become a tree." 

56* JAML 

Artful Counsel. 

When a difficulty springeth up before an intelligent 

So that by that difficulty his business is hindered, 
He uniteth with his own the intelligence of another, 
AVho may give him his assistance in solving the 

If his house is not sufficiently lighted by one taper, 
He kindleth another taper to add to its brightness. 
But this word applieth to the right-seeing only — 
To those who sit exalted in the seat of rectitude : 
Apply it not to the crookedness of those who love 

For from two crooked things cometh only increase of 


When Joseph's brothers were assembled together, 

In order to deliberate on Joseph's affairs. 

One of them said : " He hath caused the blood of our 

envy to flow. 
We must use our cunning to make his flow also. 
When thou hast got the power, shed thine enemy's blood. 
For in shedding his blood thou wilt escape from thine 

enemv : 
When he is slnin, thy secret remaineth hidden, 
For from the slain never voice cometh near." 

The second spoke : " This way were to walk in the 
way of the faithless, 



That we should think of slaying a guiltless man. 

We may spur on (he siecd of punishment, 

But not to the extremity of slaying— we, who are of 

the Faithful ! 
Our end will be ohuined by banishing hiiji from this 

Rather than by killing, or smiting, or murdering him. 
It were better to cast him forth, far from his father. 
Into some dreadful valley— secluded and abandoned ; 
Some wilderness, where is naught but wild beasts and 

Save foxes and wolves, all of good and evil ; 
Where his drink will be only the tear of despair. 
And his bread be only the disc of the sun ; 
No shade over him save the darkness of the night. 
And no bed under him save the lancets of thorns ; 
When he hath abided thus only a few days, 
He will doabtless come to his death, but die of himself; 
■Our swords will not be tinged with his blood, 
And we shall be free from his wiles and enchantments." 

A third said : " This mode of killing is quite unlawful 1 

What kind of killing can be worse than this? 

For to yield up the soul under the dagger in a moment 

Is surely better than to die of thirst or famine. 

It were best, far or near, in the place where we ar^ 

To seek out a well, deep and narrow. 

Into which we may cast him, with every indignity, 

Down from the seat of exaltation and glory : 

Perchance there may come thither some caravan, 

566 JAML 

Which may stop to rest itself awhile at this resting- 

And some one may lower a bucket into the well. 

And draw up him instead of water. 

He may adopt him for his own son, or take him as a 

And, rejoicing in his booty, carry him away : 

So all his tie to this place will be cut off, 

And calamity will not come on his account to us."*^ 

Deceitful Request. 

The above suggestion is approved of by the rest, and in the 
morning the brothers repair to their venerable father, and, kneel- 
ing before him with seeming respect, urge him to allow their 
brother Joseph to return with them to the wilderness : 

" Already we feel the wearisomeness of the house, 

And long to return to the open fields. 

If thou wilt suffer us, it is the wish of our hearts 

To go back to-morrow for some days to the wilderness. 

Our brother Joseph — the light of our eyes — 

On account of his tender years hath been little there 

with us; 
What if he were to accompany us on the way, 
And cheer our spirits by his companionship on our 

journey ? 
Night and day he remaineth lost in a comer of the 

house ; 


Send him forth with lis to ramble and disport himself! 
Sometimes we will roam with him through paths of the 

desert ; 
Sometimes we will wander with him o'er the hills and 

the mountains; 
Sometimes we shall draw ihe milk from the sheep ; 
Sometimes we shall quaff it with delighted lips, 
We will mark out for him a playground on the verdant 

We will trace him a path lo a bed of tulips ; 
To one place we will lead the roes to pasture. 
In another we will tear to pieces the strength of the 

Perchance by these means his temper will be cheered. 
And his mind be set free from the anxieties of home." 

But Jacob replied : " How can I approve of what yt 

are saying ? — 
It would fill my soul with deep anxiety. 
I should be in terror lest ye should sit down neglecting 
him — 
HThrough inconsidernlian should overlook bisconditinn : 
;t in this old calamitous wilderness 
me gray wolf should fix his sharp teeth 
t tender body, and lear it to pieces — 
T to pieces his body, but my very soul ! " 

[ At last, however, Ihey force Froin him : 
ce, assuring him that — 

'hey are not such spiritless creatures 

ulenl but foreboding 

568 JAML 

That ten of them cannot master a single wolf — 
^ Not merely the wolf, but the courageous lion 
Would in our grasp be contemptible as foxes^" 

Thk Welu 

Alas ! for this deceitful sphere, which every day 

Casteth into the pit some heart-enlightening luminary ! 

The gazelle, feeding in the pastures of the soul, 

It delivereth into the claws of the devouring wolf ! 

When Joseph was given over into the fangs of those 

Heaven cried : '* Behold ! wolves are carrying off a 
lamb ! " 

Whilst they still showed themselves in the eyes of their 

They robbed one another to prove their affection : 

One would carry him on the tip of his shoulder ; 

Another would embrace and bear him in his bosom ; 

But no sooner had their feet touched the skirts of the 

Than they stretched forth upon him the hand of the 

And cast off their burthen from the shoulder of com- 

Down amidst the thorns and the hard pebbles. 

Now he standeth on the thorns with naked foot. 


And pricks and splinters lacerate his feet ; 
Now without a shoe he ticadcth the stony way, 
And tearelh his silver hand to pieces on the rock ; 
The sole of his foot, whicli rivaleth the rose, 
Makeih roseate the thorns and stones with its blood. 
Lingereth he behind those hard-fisted ten. 
One would smite him with a wound on the cheek ; 
Hurrieth he forward, another, with a torrent of blows 

on the neck, 
Would beat him black and blue, like the face of a 

And waiketh he along with them side by side, 
They would drag him by the ears on one side and the 

Did he in tears hang on any one's skin, 
In anger he would tear open the collar of his gamient ; 
Did he fling himself weeping at any one's feet. 
He would place with laughter his foot upon his head ; 
Did he utter his woes in the voice of lamentation, 
No instrument would reply with accordant notes. 

Besmeared with blood, or lying in the dust. 

From a bosom lorn to pieces with a hundred sorrows, 

"O father," he exclaimed, "where art thou? where 

art thou ? 
Wherefore art thou so careless of the welfare of thy 

Come, and look at the sons of thy handmaidens — 
How they are fallen away from the Faith and from 

understanding I 

570 JAM/. 

See what they are meditating in their hearts against 

the cherished one of thy bosom ; 
How they are repaying the claims of thy kindness ! 
The rose, which bloomed in the garden of thy soul, 
On which dropped down the rain of thy affection, 
Is so faded from thirst under the scorching heat. 
That it no longer retaineth either colour or moisture : 
A sapling, delicately nurtured in Paradise, 
And planted in the flower-border of the palace of life, 
Hath so fallen to the ground under the wind of tyranny, 
That it is totally overgrown with thorns and brambles ! 
The moon, which illumined thy night with its light. 
Which seemed so far removed from the darkness of the 

Is obscured by the scowling heavens to such a degree. 
That it is fain to ask for a ray from even the new moon/* 

But his lamentations naught avail him : he is dragged away to 
the well. 

There he once more entreateth for mercy from their 

And rcneweth in such wise hiswailingsand supplications, 
That if they could have been heard by the rock, 
From his burning grief it would have melted like wax ; 
But as the sharp note became sharper still. 
Their stony hearts became still stonier. 

He is plunged into the well ; but the angel Gabriel dc:»ccnds 
to him from Paradise, brings him a wonderful amulet to sustain 
his fortitude, and comforts him with an assurance, that his piti- 
less brethren will hereafter come to his presence to sue for his 
pity and forgiveness. 



The Caravan. 

then proceed* to describe, almoal in ihe words 
of ihe lith surah of the Kotan, how. a day or Iwo afler, a 
caravan of merchants returning to Egypt blop lo repose near ihe 
wel[ ; how they go to draw water, end how, to their grtat surprise 
and Bdmiration, they tind Joseph, radiant with grace and beauty ; 
how the brothers, who have been on the watch, appear and claim 
him OS a slave whom they are punishing for his stubbornness ; 
how they sel] hitn for a small sum to the leader, Malik ; and how 
the caravan tinally departs on its homeward journey. 

V Thf, Kin« ov Egvpt. 

When from his distant journey Malik approached 


The news was spread abroad amongst the Egyptians ; 
" Maliic arrivcth lo-day homo Irom his journey. 
Accompanied by a slave of Hebrew race — 
A refulgent moon in the zenith of beauty, 
A perpetual monarch in the kingdom of attractiveness. 
Never hath heaven with its thousand eyes 
lx)oked on a portrait like him in the picture-gallery of 
Ihe world." 

s greatly 

e land of Egypt is the garden of beauty ! 
Tioeversaw lovelier than the roses of this garden? 



A rose which hath grown in the garden of Pantdise 
Would sink tti the earth in shame before them ! " 
Then he exclaimed to the Vizier of Egypt : 
" Up, and go meet this caravan on the way ! 
See with thine own eyes the moon of beauty. 
And bring him to our court with all expedition." 

The Grand Vizier set his face towards the caravan. 
But hardly had he cast eyes on that heart-lulling cou: 

Than it so nearly robbed him of himself, 
That in his ecstacy he almost bent down in adoration. 
But Joseph raiscth up his head from the ground, 
And petmittelh not such an act of worship in his 

*' Let not thy head be bowed down before any one. 
Save Him who set thy head on the neck of suppltoi- 


Then Ihc Grand Viiier delivers his message lo Malik ; boi 
Malik entreat* him to suffer ihcm to repose u few days from the 
loUs of their journey, thai Joseph may not appear before ihe King 
under any disadvantage. The Viiier retums, and rcpoit 
request to the King, who immediately issues his command, thai 
all the beauty of Egypt should be selected and brought tagvthei 
to depreciate the boasted pre-eminence of Joseph. 

Meanwhile Malik takes every care lo enhance the value of 
Joseph, and amongst other means sends him to refresh atul purify 
himself in the waters of Ihe river ; and, under the title of Tnx 
Batiiino in the Nile, follows n lively description, but some- 
what loo figurative to be quite intelligible lo those wlm are 
familiar wiih Oriental imagery, of the bathing and its eScctt. 



/ui.AiKHA all tilts time had no conception 

'That but two or three stages lay between her and 

Joserh ; 
Yet had she some tokens of it in her secret heart, 
And her bosom was scarred with the yearnings of 

She knew not whence those yearnings arose, 
Which she sought with all her strength to quiet" 
She would go forth into the fields, in order that there 
She might dislodge from her heart what followed her 

in the house : 
There she would spend many a weary day, 
Trying lo bear patiently her heavy sorrow, 
And find there the means of cheerfulness and pleasure ; 
But every moment only added to her grieC 
Then, having watered ihe ground with her tears. 
Again she would feel the longing for her home, 
Again mount her camel, and seat herself in her litter. 
Again resume her journey, and return to her house. 

In retoniing home, however, she passes ihe King's palace, 
where she sees an immenae multitude assembled, and looking 
out from her liller, and beholding Joseph himself, whom tliey 
have brought lo present to the King, she fails immediately into 

The bearers hurry the litter forward, 

And bear her to the privacy of her secret chamber. 

Where, having remained for a time shut-up, 

574 y^^^v/. 

She retumeth to herself from her state of unconscious- 

Then said the Nurse : " O light of my soul, 

Wherefore come these sighs from thy burning heart ? 

What hath turned thy sweet lips to moanings ? 

Why hast thou fallen into this bitter unconsciousness?*' 

And she answered : " Dear mother, what shall I say ? 

For every word I utter will be my torment ! 

The slave-boy whom thou sawest in the press. 

Of whose arrival thou hast heard at Memphis — 

'^Fhat is he who hath become the Kiblah of my soul. 

The ransom of my life — my life itself ! 

He it is whose lovely countenance showed itself in my 

He it is who hath robbed my distracted mind of patience ; 
It was for love of him that I came to this country — 
For his sake that my heart's desire was to behold this 

city ; 
Who made me a wanderer from house and home, 
And, wandering thus, hath left me destitute. 
All the suffering which for years thou hast seen me 

The fever of which hath robbed me of all repose, 
All was the desire of beholding his face — 
The i)assion to look upon his bewitching figure. 
To-day my load hath become heavier than a mountain. 
To-day I know not how matters will go with me ; 
What hall my moon will light up with its rays — 
\VTiose chamber the taper of his cheek will illumine ! " 


The nurse has no consolation lo supply ihfto this : 

"Thou hast long borne thy condilion with patience. 
Trust then to nothing save patience to-day, 
It may be that hope will dawn out of patience — 
That the sun will yet break out from the black cloud t ' 

The Slave-Market. 

Joseph in biDUght to the sUvc- market and Ib put up lo auction, 
and excites on immense competition to obtain one who ia endowed 
with so man; excellendes. But Zulailiha cannot liear the idea of 
losing him. She pours out all her treasure, Emd persuader Poti- 
phar to go lo the King, who wishes to purchase him, and moke 
iiis request, that, in reward of his long services, he will pennil 
him to become the purcha-ter, and adopt him as his son. The 
Kinggiveri his consent, and so Joseph is introduced into Foliphai's 
house, to the great content of Zulaikha, who expresses her satis- 
faction in very animBled and bcautilid language : 

" ,\m I, O Heaven, awake or asleep. 

That my soul hath obtained my soul's desire ? 

In my dark nights however could I hope — 

That one day would dawn upon me this auspicious 

morning ? 
The moon of victory hath broken upon my night, 

E^y night-and-day grief and mourning are come to an 

P end I 

Once my own tenderness was my sole companion. 
Now it is but right that I confess the tenderness of 


Fate 1 

576 7A^f/, 

Who in this abode of sorrow is so happy as I am ? 
Who, after such a withering, hath bloomed again, like 

For I was like a fish deprived of water. 
Palpitating in the drought on the arid sand, 
\Vhen from the cloud of benignity poured down a 

Which bore me back from the sand into the sea of 

I was as one who hath lost his way in the darkness 

of the night. 
Whose life-breath in his bewilderment is come to his lip. 
When a beaming moon hath risen in my horizon, 
And showed me the path to the valley of felicity. 
Can I regret a casket of jewels, 
When a mine of jewels is come to my hand ? 
What are jewels beside the wares of the soul ? 
Whatever it be, be it given for a friend ! 
For some dead fossils I have hou'j[ht a soul — 
In Heaven's name, could I have bought anything 

cheaper ?" 

Bazigha's Daughter. 

But not from the eye alone germinatcth love ; 
Oftentimes this fortune chanceth through words : 
Beauty entcreth her bridal-chamber through the ear. 
And robbeth the soul of rest, and the mind of under- 

A high-born and wealthy Princess of Egypi hears (he nport 
of his atltactions, and resolves to behold them for herself. Ac- 
cordingly she repairs to Mcmphisi inquires his esidcncc, ani on 
seeing him is distracted, and enclaims : 

" O thou who art surely the soul of excellence, 
Who hath adorned thee with this perfection of beauty ? 
Who hath lighted-U]) thy temples like the sun ? 
What ciirining artist hath portrayed thine image;' 
What garduncr hath exalted thy cypress-like stature ? 
^Vhose compass hath rotinded the arch of thy brow ? 
W ho hath sujiplied thy fresh roses with moisture, 
And nurtured in his garden to so much loveliness? 
Who hath taught thee thy graceful walk? 
Who hath given to thy lips their eloquent speech? 
Who opened ihy languishing eyes lo see the light. 
And roused thee lo wakefulness from the sleep of non- 

And Joseph, when he had listened to what she said, 
I'oured forth from his sweet fountain these soul- 
refreshing words : 
" I am the work of that Workman," he said, 
■' \Vith a single drop from whose ocean I am quite 

riic heavens are but a dot of His perfect pen, 

The earth but a single bud from the garden of His 

beamy ; 
The sun is but a speck from the light of His wisdom, 
The sphere but a bubble from the ocean of His power ; 
From atoms of the universe He hath created for us 


Which cast back to each of us the reflection of His 
countenance ; 

His loveliness is free from the suspicion of defect, 

Though it be hidden behind the screen of His mys- 
terious veil ; 

Whatever to thy sharpened eye appeareth to thee of 

Is — ^if thou pierce deeper — ^but the reflex of His coun- 
tenance : 

If thou see but the reflex, haste to the source, 

For before the source the reflex hath no lustre ! 

God forbid thou shouldst remain at a distance from 
the source ! 

For if the reflex come to an end, thou wilt be left 
without light : 

To the reflex is given no long duration, 

Not much is to be trusted the colour of the rose ! 

Dost thou wish for duration, look to the source ! 

Wouldst thou rely on the promise, go on to the First 
Cause ! 

Often doth a something puncture the heart's veins, 

Because one while it is, and another it is not." 

When the wise maiden had listened to these deep words. 
She rolled up the mattress of her love for Joseph, 
And said : " When first I heard a description of thee, 
The desire to behold thee stam[)ed itself on my heart : 
With this desire I instantly set forth, 
My head becoming feet to search for and find thee. 
When I looked upon thy face, immediately I fell down 

And longed to yield up my life at thy feet ; 

But thou hast strung for me secrets precious as jewels, 

Thou hast thrown up for me a jet from the Fountain of 

Thou hast ])arcclled out for me to a hair the words of 

And ihou hast ihyself warned me from seeking thy 

Thou hast removed the veil from the face of my hope ; 
Thou hast shown mc the way from the atom to the sun. 
Now is unclosed to me the door of the mystery ; 
Now I perceive that to till the field of thy love were 

an illusion ! 
Now that mine eyes are opened to the truth, 
I at once abandon my vain passion. 
God reward thee, that thou hast opened mine eyes, 
That thou hast made my spirit the companion of spirits! 
'Chou hast broken off my heart from a strange affection, 
And hast changed my halting-place into an abiding 

If each hair of my head were turned into a tongue, 
1 would unite them all to rehearse thy praises. 
How shall I string for ihee the pearls of my gratitude? 
How shall Irehcarseahair's-breadthof thy kindness?" 
Then she biddeth him farewell, and leaveth him, 
And departeth, freed from the ferment of passion. 

Reluming home, she builds for herself a lilttc House of Piely 
on Ibe banks of the Nile, and rcnaundu^ for the future all worldly 
pomp, and clothing herstlf in mean raiment, she dedicates her- 
M:lf eotircly to works of charily ; and, adds the Pocl, 



>Mien her pious life came to an end. 
She resigned it sweetly with the courage of a hero : 
And think not that she resigned it in vain ; 
Resigning it, the face of the beloved-one beamed upon 

I^nm, O my heart, manliness from this woman ! 

I^am, like her, to sorrow with a genuine sorrow ! 

If thou hast not such sorrow, grieve that thou hast it 
not ; 

If thou mournest not thus, become a mourner ! 

Thy life is ending in the worship of semblances ; 

From semblances thou hast never escaped for a mo- 
ment : 

But every moment taketh something from the fairness 
of the semblance, 

Which Time keepeth changing from one form to 

Therefore plant not for ever thy'foot in the same stony 
way ; 

Sit not for ever on the self-same bough ; 

Choose thy nest above all time and space, 

And build it aloft in the palace of reality ! 

Reality is unity — semblance is thousand-fold : 

Seek not for unity in the multiplication of semblances. 

Numbering is ever connected with disjunction, 

Therefore let One be thy fortified city : 

When thou hast no longer strength against the multi- 
tude of thine enemies, 

It is well to escape from their grasp into thy fortress. 


Love's Services. 

Joseph being thus brought into the dwelling of Potiphar as 
his slave, and into intimate daily intercourse with Zulaikha, it is 
only natural that, with her previous feelings towards him, she 
should bestow upon him every care and attention. A passage 
in the Koran, indeed, which the story in the main incidents 
pretty strictly follows, intimates that Potiphar himself enjoined 
this upon her." It is equally natural that, under such circum- 
stances, her passion should increase ; for, as the Poet says, 

\Mien the love-sick fixeth his heart on the beloved, 

Nevermore can his condition be one of rest. 

If he holdeth not in his hand the ready-money of her 

He will caress the fancy which is imaged in his bosom ; 
But the heartVblood will still trickle from his heart, 
Till the fancied image appeareth before the eye. 
When the tearful eye hath obtained this portion, 
Then followeth the thought of kisses and embraces ; 
And if the kiss and the embrace be also granted. 
Then is entwined with the grant the dread of separation. 
In love there is no such thing as felicity ; 
In love no such thing as the satisfaction of life ! 
Its beginnings have their source in a bitter fountain, 
Its ending is self-inflicted death.^ 


Love Refused. 

Zulaikha can now no longer command her pasaooD, and more 
and more throws herself in his way. 

Zulaikha now seeketh the remedy of his presence. 
But Joseph draweth himself aside from her company ; 
Zulaikha poureth blood-stained tears from her eyes. 
But Joseph fleeth from the sight of her tears ; 
Zulaikha's breast is scarred with many a heart-burning 

But Joseph, not the more stirred, retaineth his tran- 
Zulaikha fixeth her eyes on that favoured countenanre. 
But Joseph declineth his to the instep of his foot ; 
Zulaikha regardeth him with glowing looks, 
But Joseph sealeth his eyes, and will not see them. 

At last her sorrow reached such an extremity, 

That, in brief space, she could no longer sustain herself 

She fell into the autumn of grief and misery. 

The rose of her check faded into the yellow tulip ; 

The crowd of her anxieties overburthencd her soul. 

Her cypress-form was bowed beneath the pressure ; 

The lustre vanished from her ruby-lip, 

The taper of her countenance lost its brightness ; 

She no longer passed the comb through her amber 

Only with clenched palm she tore it from its roots ; 
She no longer turned her face towards the mirror. 

Never diretled it save towards her knee : 

Since all the world was darlc in her eyes. 

Why any longer tinge them with the surnaah ! 

And if with the surmah she should try to darken them, 

Her tears would wash away the surmah from her eyes f 

Then from a bosom wounded with » 
She would open the lips of reproach against herself: 
" O thou whose condition is become thy disgrace, 
Wherefore this passion for a gold-purchased slave ? 
Thou who art a monarch on the throne of sovereignty, 
Why play at love with thine own bondsman ? 
Seek for thy beloved a king like thyself. 
For a king-hom princess is worthy of a king ! 
Yet stranger still the arrogance that upholdeth him 
From bowing down his head in a presence like thine ! 
If the women of Egypt should learn thy condition, 
How many hundred times with their censures would 
they add to thy sufferings !" 

So said she — but that Only one 

Had not so fixed his dwelling In her heart, 

That she was able in such wise to eject him from her 

bosom ; 
Nay, from such speech she but increased her affliction ! 
Yes ! when a loved one hath thus mised himself with 

our souls. 
It is not possible for the soul to snap asunder the link ; 
A moment may cut off the soul from the body. 
But to the beloved it remaineth steadfast for ever. 

584 jAAfl. 

Well said one sick with the scars of love : 

" The perfume may forsake the musk, and its bloom 

the rose, 
But it is not within the compass of the possible 
That the loving soul should forget what once it hath 


Questionings and Answerings. 

A prey to her passion, and finding it unanswered, Zulaikha 
now sinks into hopeless despondency. The Nurse, full of 
sympathy for her distress, questions her more closely about its 
cause, reminding her that the object of her affection is no longer 
a dream and at a distance, but is constantly near her and in her 
service. Zulaikha replies : 

" Oh, my dear mother, is it possible 

That thou still knowest not my entire secret — 

That thou art still ignorant wHat presseth on my ht;art ? 

What advantage have I from this life of the world f^ 

True, he standeth before me, ready in my service, 

But the service he offereth is no service at all ! 

True, he is never at a distance from me, 

But never are his looks bent upon me ! 

One cannot but weep in sorrow for that thirsty-oilie 

Who liveth on the brink of the stream, and mafy not 

drink of it ! 
When my face is lighted-up by the taper of beai/ty, 

He lurneth his away, and fasteneth it on his feet : 
And yet 1 mean not to complain of this. 
For fairer is his foot than is my face. 
When I fix on him a penetrating eye. 
His forehead showeth only the semblance of folds r 
•And yet reproach for this would not be right in me, 

latever rometh from him no fault is to be 
found ! " 

le continues in the same !>crain, till the Nunc e>dnim-i : 

tBetter the forced separation of the lovely, 
rhan a union fraughl with so much of bitterness and 

ard, indeed, to bear is the pain of separation, 

union like this bringeth calamities without 
number ! " 

The Nurse. 

Assured of the Bjmputhy of Ihe Nurse, Zulnikhn gives entire 
sway to her passion, and sends her Bs a messenger to make 
kaawn to the object of il the state of her itFTecliona. Bui in vain ; 
iHcy are promptly and even sternly repelled ; 

" O versed in secret business, 

Be not a contriver of wiles for my deception '. 

I am Zulaikha's gold- purchased slave — 

Many are the favours I have received at her hands ; 

586 JAMI, 

The bloom and brightness of my person are her work ; 
My heart and spirit are due to her faithful nurture ; 
Were I to pass my life in recounting her benefits, 
I could not discharge my obligations for what she 

hath done for me. 
Therefore must I bow my head to the letter of her 

Therefore must I stand ever ready in her service : 
But tell her that she must not conceive of me the 

That I can ever be diverted from the orders of my 

Lord ; 
That from the evil suggestions of rebellious passions 
I could ever set foot in the sanctuary of her modesty. 
The Vizier hatli bestowed upon me the name of son ; 
He hath entrusted to me the charge of his whole 

household ; 
I am a bird to which he hath given its seed and water; 
How, then, could I be disloyal to him within his own 

dwelling ? 
The Holy-One to every different nature 
Hath assigned diversities of labour and tillage : 
One formed of unsullied clay is unsullied in deed : 
The child of impurity can only be imjjure ; 
A dog is not born of a man, nor a man of a dog : 
Wheat conicth not from barley, nor barley from wheat. 
I hold in my breast the mystery of Israel, 
I have kept in my heart the knowledge of Gabriel, 
And if I be worthy of the office of a Prophet, 
My only claim to it is derived from Isaac. 


I am a rose with hidden secrets in its core. 

Which blossomed in the garden of the Friend of God. 

God forbid that I should do a deed 

Which should draw me aside from the way of my 

people ! 
Say to Zulaikha, she must banish this passion, 
And hold me exculpated, and her own heart ; 
For I rest my hope in God the Pure, 
That I shall still be kept clean from the sin of 

impurity ! " 

The Exculpation, 

Zulukha, though discouraged by the report of the Nurse, in- 
impelled [o make one more efTort in person ; he answers her wilh 
his tean. She asks him why he weeps, and he replies : 

" Because I am heart-broken with sorrow ! 

Never hath any one's love brought happiness to me ! 

^Vhen an aunt desired to tread with- me the paths of 

They uttered my name with the epithet of " thief; " 
When my father held me dearer than my brethren, 
He planted for me in their souls the sapling of 

jealousy : 
They cast me from his neighbourhood far away. 
And threw me abandoned on the land of Egypt. 
And now every heart-beat is fraught with cruel fears 

588 JAML 

Of what your love is to bring lipon my head ! 
Yes ! very jealous is the Prince of Love" — 
Love's dominion will endure no partnership. 
In this high office, beginning is ending, 
No one will he ever associate with himself ! 
Hardly hath the cypress exalted itself in its graceful- 
Than he humbleth to nothing the shadow at its foot ; 
Hardly hath loveliness lighted up the face of beauty. 
Than he bumeth up its harvest with the lightning of 

jealousy ; 
Hardly hath the sun reached the height of the whirling 

Than he precipitateth it swiftly downward to its setting : 
Hardly hath the moon filled her mould with light, 
Than he grievcth and afflicteth her with her waning 
into darkness," 

Zulaikha still presses her request to be deemed ** the lowliest 
of his maidens. " He answers : 

" My Mistress, I am your bondsman. 

Bound as a slave to do you service ; 

Aught save ser\'ice is out of my province, 

Enjoin me only what becometh a servant ; 

Ask not from your ser\'ant that he become your master. 

Make him not by such graciousncss ashamed of him- 

Who am I, that I should become your familiar friend ; 

That I should partake with the Vizier of the same 
table ! 


It was quite meet that the monarch should put to death 

the slave 
Who dipped his linger in the same salt-cellar. 
Bener that you should lay upon me some other duty. 
In the discharge of which I might ptass my days. 
I desire not to withdraw my head from your service ; 
With all my power I would repay my obligations. 
It is by service that slaves have become free. 
By service that they have been gladdened with the 

deed of manumission j 
The heart is made joyful in the performance of good 

But never can the undutiful slave become a freed- 

But Zulaikha will not llslen to his request, and he escapes Croni 
th« interview to busj himself with his cnstomaiy employments. 

The False Accusation. 

Zulaikha. andiscouraged by his repulses, still continues to force 
him into interviews, and contrives various schemes with (he dc* 
aign of seducing him from his allegiance to duly. In a moment 
of weakness she nearly prevails \ but he impetuously flies fromt 
her presence. Then, believing thai he has betrayed her secret, 
she accuses him to the Vizier. 

The Vizier when he heard these words 
Could not rest a moment in the same place ; 

590 JAMI. 

His heart lost all self-possession, 

And he turned his tongue into a d^ger of reproaches. 

He said to Joseph : " "S^Tien I had weighed my jewels. 

And emptied my treasury to pay thy purchase, 

I received thee afterwards to the relation of sonship. 

And raised thee to a high place to show thee my 
esteem ; 

I gave Zulaikha to be thy companion, 

I made her maidens handmaidens to thee ; 

My slaves bore thy ring in their ears. 

And were to thee true and faithful servants ; 

All my wealth I entrusted to thy keeping, 

And in nothing did I cause thee a single uneasiness. 

It is not the rule of reason what thou hast done ! 

<.iod forgive thee the evil thou hast committed ! 

In this cloister of the world, full of calamities, 

Kindness only should be the reward of the kind ! 

My benefits thou hast rewarded with ingratitude and 
rebellion \ 

Fed at my table, thou hast turned away thy face, not 
acknowledging the favour ; 

Thou hast eaten of my salt, and hast broken the salt- 
dish ! " 

In vain he asserts his innocence ; Zulaikha confirms her accu- 
sation with an oath, and the Vizier summons an officer and 
consigns him to a prison. 


Thk Suckling. 

When the sergeant had secured the person of Joseph, 
And had conveyed him to that doleful prison, 
His heart siirank under the weight of his misery, 
.\nd he turned upward to Heaven the face of secret 

supplication : 
■■ O Thou, who art versed In hidden mysteries, 
Who hast knowledge to iwnetrate eveiy obscurity, 
In whose mind truth and falsehood are clearly dis- 
Who knoweth but Thou how to unravel this great 

perplexity ? 
j^nce Thou hast enlightened me with the light of Thy 

.Suffer not the suspicion of a lie to rest upon me : 
Raise up at my prayer a witness In my favour. 
That my sincerity may shine forth bright as the 
morning ! " 

" Beware, Vinier, and proceed more slowly ; 

Be cautious, and be not in haste to punish, 
"or Joseph is not deserving of punishment, 
lo ! nuher is Joseph worthy of kindness and pity I' 

tct passion u changed U 
<f have him thrown into 

fshcraitempis, anUiaagainrepeBeil Then 
anger, and she conirives once more 
son, having firit caused him to be led 

592 JAMi. 

through the streets and exposed to every kind of coDtmnely. 
But the Orientals have a notion that beauty of oountenance and 
vicious dispositions arc inconsistent with one another, and when 
the people behold his exceeding comeliness, they refuse to believe 
his guilt 

But the crowd which came forward to witness the sight 

Exclaimed : " God forbid ! — ah, God forbid ! 

That from that beautiful face should proceed evil 

That that charmer of hearts should inflict a heart- 
wound ! 

An angel he is with an angel's purity, 

From an angel come not the deeds of Satan. 

The beautiful face withdraweth its foot from vicious 

And well said that wise and handsome man. 

That every one in the world who is endowed with 

Hath dispositions far better than his face ; 

That the countenance of every one whose nature is 


Covereth dispositions still uglier than his countenance : 
So tliat from the unlovely can come naught of good- 
And from the lovely nothing of evil." 

So when that living heart entered the i)rison, 

Thou wouldcst say it was as though tlic soul had 

returned to a dead body : 
An ebullition of joy broke forth in that abode of misery. 



And a shout of delight burst from the prisoners, 

At the arrival of that image of brightness and beauty ; 

All the enchained rattled their chains, 

The shackles of their feet became fetters of inclination, 

The chains of iheir necks, collars of happiness ; 

The melancholy of their hearts was exchanged foi 

gladness ; 
The mountain of grief pressed lightly as a straw. 
Ves \ whatever place enlereth a heavenly Huri, 
That place, were it hell, would become a paradise ; 
Wherever appearelh the blooming face of a beloved 

Were it a furnace, it would become a bed of roses. 

When Joseph reached the dwelling prepared for him. 
He spread on the ground the carpet of devotion. 
And, as was his custom, bowed himself down, 
lurned his face towards the altar of adoration ; 
Then seated himself manfully in the restiiig-place of 

Thankful that he bad escaped the snares of women. 

To no one in the world happenelh an affliction. 
That from the affliction comclh not an odour of mercy ; 
Even the hard lot of the prisoner, overwhehned wilh 

An odour of mercy can render easy ! 

594 7^^fI^ 


Wonderful is it, how, in this old blue-canopied 

The race of Adam is so wanting in consideration ! 

Its habit is not recognition of benefits, 

Its nature it is to know nothing but unthankfulness : 

Although he hath passed a life of prosperity, 

He acknowledgeth not its value till it remaineth no 

Many is the lover who scoffeth at separation, 

Believing that he hath tasted of love to satiety ; 

But as soon as Destiny hath kindled the fire of separa- 

His body dwindleth away like a taper, and his soul is 
consumed in the glow. 

AVhilst the prison became to the captives in the prison 
A rose-garden from the presence of that smiling rose- 
Zulaikha, whose dwelling that incomparable cypress 
Had rendered gayer even than the rose-garden. 
Found, when the cypress had vanished from the garden, 
The garden itself darker than the prison : 
She too in heart became a captive in its hold, 
And in the separation her affliction was doubled. 

For what affliction can be worse than his, 
Who seeth the place of the charmer deprived of the 
charmer ? 



^Vhat comfort is left in that bower of roses, 

When the rose is departed, and the thorn only re- 

maineth ? 
The spine of the thorn in a rose-bower without roses 
Can be followed only by the wail of the nightingale ! 

Deprived of the sight of the beloved object, Zulaikha abaodons 
bcrsf^lf [o utler despair, and altetnpts to destroy herself. The 
Nurse affectionately interposes with lender endcannenta and 
exhortationa to patience, which are leceived as mch counsel! 
umally arc 

Then the Nurse kissed her hands and her feet, 
And from the bottom of her heart pronounced a bles- 
" May thou be set free from the pangs of separation ; 
May nothing remind thee of separation more! 
Bethink thee — how long wilt thou lose thy setf-pos- 

Resume thy reason ! — how long will thou be unwise? 
My sorrow for thee fiUeth my heart with blood ; 
Who hath ever done as thou doest now ? 
listen to me, for I am old in experience : 
Endurance only can order such matters as this ! 
By impatience hast thou fallen into this fire and fever — 
Pour water on the flame from the cloud of patience. 
When the rough wind of calamity bloweth on thine 

Thou shouldsl not, like a straw, fly before it ; 

Better draw thy foot within thy skirt. 

And remain, like the mountain, rooted in thy place. 


596 JAMI. 

Patience bringeth with it the fruit of hope ; 

Patience bringeth with it the happiness of perpeHiity ; 

Patience layeth the foundation of victory, 

Is the firmest step for mounting to felicity ; 

By patience the rain-drop in the shell becometh a pearl ; 

By patience the mine is filled with gems and rubies ; 

By patience the ear of com cometh from the seed. 

And from the ear of com the grain which nourisheth 

the life ; 
By patience of nine months an atom in the womb 
Becometh a moon to irradiate the world." 

The perturbed heaft and soul of Zulaikha 

Were soothed by tlie words which fell from the Nurse ; 

In garments rent from the collar to the skirt, 

She drew her slipper in patience within its border ; 

But the patience which the lover seemeth to exert, 

Whilst the wise counsellor is uttering his words, 

As soon as his counsels sink into silence, 

Endeth, and the lover forgetteth every letter. 

The Visit to the Prison. 

When the lover's day is changed into night, 

The night but maketh the lover's glow more glowing 

still ; 
Separation hath turned his day into darkness, 


Its darkness is increased by the darkness of the night ; 

The day by its sorrow is become black. 

The night heapeth up blackness on blackness. 

When the night draweth nigh to the impatient Zulaikha, 

It Cometh to her at last fraught with anguish ; 

Far from the stealer of her heart, and separated from 

the holder of her soul, 
The night is without a moon, and her house without a 

light ; 
When the face of the beloved one emittelh not a ray, 
A hundred torches will not illumine the dwelling. 
The anxiety of her heart never suffered her eye lo 

And forced from her eyelids blood-stained tears. 
"I know not," she would exclaim, "how this night 

it fareth with Joseph 1 
Who is this night the surely for his service ? 
Who will stretch out his feet on his pallet? 
Who will lay his head comfortably on his pillow? 
Who will kindle the lamp to light up his couch? 
^Vhat hand of kindness will smooth down his cushion ? 
\\'!io will unclasp the girdle from his loins? 
Who will read him stories to lull him to sleep ? 
Hath the air of that place agreed with him, or not ? 
Hath that net yet tamed him like a bird, or not ? 
Doth the rose of his cheek still retain its brilliance ? 
Do his hyacinth-locks still keep their lustre? 
Hath thai air not borne away the brilliancy of the rose ? 
Hath that air not withered the lustre of the hyacinths ? 

Doth his heart still fold itself up like a rose-bud? 
Or, like the rose, hath it expanded itself to pleasure?" 

Urged by such feelings, she cannot rf[>re3s her desire to see hu» 
he is, and summons the Nurse to accompnny her lo the prison. 

She beheld him from a distance kneeling on the 

Like a flashing sun drowned in light ; 

Now, like a taper, standing erect. 

And casting the light of his face on the prisoners ; 

Now bowing his stature, Ukc the crescent moon. 

And throwing on the carpet the rays of his coun- 
tenance ; 

Now, with head on the ground, asking pardon for error. 

Like a tender rose-branch under the night-wind ; 

Now prostrated in acts of humiliation ; 

Now sitting resigned, like the lowly violet 


ici, ilie 

" O thou, the lamp and eye of all that is amiable, 

O heart's desire of all the unhappy I 

Tiiou who hast kindled the fire of love in my breast. 

Hast consumed my body from head to foot, 

Never hath thy presence thrown water on the flames I 

Never hast thou quenched ihe fever of my soul I 

Thou hast lacerated my bosom with the sword of 

And I see thee careless of the sorrow It has wrought 
Hast thou no pity to bestow on my sufferings — 


On me so pitiable, and alas ! rejected ? 

Every glance of thine giveth me a fresh grief: 

Would to God, my mother had never borne me ! 

Would to God, that, when I was bom, 

No nurse had ever cast a shade over my head ; 

That she had refused me my portion of the pure milk ; 

Or vindictively mixed the milk with poison ! " 

So spake Zulaikha, discovering her condition, 
But not less did Joseph retain his own ; 
Not a hair's breadth did he approach her nearer ; 
Or, if he did, he betrayed not a sign. 

At dawn, when the kettle-drum soundeth in the palace. 
And the Muezzin proclaimeth the morning-call, 
And the hound curleth his tail about his throat, 
And stoppeth his breath from the baying of the night, 
When the cock, raising his neck from his pleasant sleep,, 
Tuneth his pipe, and uttereth his shrill cry, 
Zulaikha gathereth together, and tucketh up her 

Kisseth respectfully the threshold, and departeth home- 

So long as her moon sat in the loneliness of his prison, 

So long thitherward would she go to and fro : 

This running backwards and forwards was the food of 

her soul. 
This coming and going was her sole occupation ; 
No one's inclination to visit the flower-garden could be 


600 • yAMi. 

Than was the inclination of that broken-hearted one to 

visit that prison ; 
And in truth he whose friend is a prisoner. 
Where but in the prison can he find a resting-place? 

The Terrace. 

Unable to see him herself, she sends a fkvoarite s ei vant to 
report upon his state, and to take hfan all kinds of delicacies and 
comforts : 

And when the trusty maiden retumeth from the prison, 
She lavisheth upon her a hundred caresses : 
One time would lay her cheek on the sole of her slipper. 
At another would impress on her eyes a hundred 

'* For this is the eye which hath looked upon his face. 
And this is the foot which hath reached his dwelling- 
If I am not permitted to press kisses on his eyes, 
Or place my cheek on the sole of his shoe, 
I will kiss once at least that eye 
Which sometimes hath looked upon that beautiful 

countenance ; 
I will place my cheek on the sole of that shoe 
Which once hath travelled in his direction." 

Then would she inquire concerning his condition. 


And concerning ihe grace of that Fortune favoured 

" Had not that face been wom by his sufferings? 

Had no Imoi perplexed his circumstances ? 

Had that air not withered the rose of his cheek ? 

Had not that ground injured his body? 

Had he eaten, or not, of the dainties she had taken ? 

Had he remembered, or not, the friend who had given 

him her he;in ? " 
And then, after many replies to her questions, 
She hurrieth from the spot, with blood-stained eyes. 

On the roof of her palace was a covered gallery. 
Whence could be seen the roof of the prison ; 
In this gallery she would stay, sitting alone. 
Closing the door against all her people. 

'■ Who am I, that I should look upon his blooming 

Knough for nie, that I see his roof from mine ! 

Not worthy am I to gaze upon those features — 

Let me be satisfied to behold his walls and his gate I 

In every place where my moon is sojourning, 

Is not his dweUing-place the Garden of Eternity ? 

Its roof containeth the capital-stock of felicity, 

When il overs hadoweth so brilliant a sun ; 

From that doorway issueth head-exalling happiness, 

To come forth from which my cypress hath bowed its 

head I 
Though favoured by Fortune is that threshold, 


Which hath so kissed the foot of him who hath cap- 
tured my heart, 
Well would it be with me were my body cut to pieces, 
Member by member, by the sword of his afTecdon ; 
■ Could I throw myself headlong from the window- 
To fall before the feet of that brilliant sun 1 
Thousands of times I envy the ground 
Over which that grateful form walkelh so elegancy; 
Which has been perfumed by the tucks of his garment. 
Which has been honoured by his fragrant person ! " 

Such, in brief words, was her life till night. 

Such her behaviour, such her solilo(|uie5 ; 

At night, her comfort was a visit to the prison. 

By day, to gaze upon it from her terrace-gallery. 

For Joseph had so fixed his abode in her heart. 

That for him she became a stranger to the world and 

to herself. 
Lost to herself in thinking of him. 
She washed from the tablet of her heart good and eviU 
However her maidens uttered their voices. 
She returned not to the consciousness of what wis 

about her ; 
She would say to her maidens, in season and out of 

" 1 pay no longer attention to myself ; 
Seek not from me attention to your words : 
Ye will have to shake me before ye speak. 
For only by shaking will ye bring me to myself. 
And then (perhaps I may open my ears to listen : 

I An 


My heart is only with my prisoner in his prison. 
And this is the cause of all my distraction." 

And she falls iU. 

Tliou too, Jami, come wholly out of thyself, 
And enter thou into the blissful eternal dweliiug ! 
Thou knnwesl, I know, the way to that happy mansion. 
But happiness cometh not from so much siugnishness ! 
Turn away thy foot from the snare of ihe sluggish, 
And set it toward the joyful land of non-existence ! 
Once thou wast not, and it was no loss to thee ; 
Be so again to-day, and it will be to thy gain. 
Seek not thy well-being in seifish indulgence. 
For such mad passion will profit thee nothing. 

The Two Officers of the King. 

Whoever is bom of his mother under a happy star. 
Its brightness cleareth away even the darkness from 

the night; 
He goeth to a field of thorns, it becometh a bed of roses, 
And he giveth perfume to the roses like the musk of 

He passeth like a cloud over the thirsty fallows. 
And his approach changeth them into a smiling 

paradise ; 
I Jke the wind, when it bloweth over the fresh garden, 

604 ^AML 

His face kindleth up the lamp of every rose-bud ; 
He entereth the prison, it becometh pleasant and 

And he freeth the prisoner from his burthen of sorrow. 

These lines introduce the section of the Poem in whidi are de- 
scribed the benevolent ministrations of Joseph amongst die 
prisoners, in soothing their griefs, healing thdr diseases, and 
interpreting their dreams. Here he meets with the two diigraeed 
servants of Pharaoh, the Butler and the Bakery whose stoiy, 
following the narrative in the KoriLn, is almost identical widi 
that in the Bible, from which it is evidently copied. He iDte^ 
prets their dreams, telling the one that he will be hanged, and 
beseeching the other, when he is restored to his office of Ci^ 
bearer, as he will be, to mention his hard case to the King, and 
to obtain his deliverance ; a request which, when restored, hr 
quite forgets. 

The King's Dream. 

There is many a curious lock, to open which, 

When the key is lost, the way appeareth not : 

But when the attempts of the most skilful have been 

When in face of the difficulty sight and thought have 

devised nothing ; 
AVhen the cunning hand hath not been ready, 
And even the clever-handed hath found no means to 

open it, 



Suddenly and stiangely it opcncth itself, 

Ami discloseth the doposil— the ohjecl of our wishes. 

When Joseph had freed his heart from its own dis- 

And cut the lie which threaded its schemings, 

There remained nothing for him but to lake refuge 
with God, 

Who in our adversities is ever our stay ; 

Delivered from selfishness and want of understanding. 

The grace of the Divine Wisdom took him by the hand. 

Here follows the account of Pharaoh"* dteama of the seven fat 
and the »veti leuti kine, and of the gcvcn full and thin cars of 
con>. as told In the Koran and the Book of Gencsia. He mterro- 
gatei hid wise men and counsellors, but they are Dnabls to e»- 

atid infonns the King that there is one confined in ibe piuon, ■ 
who had interpreted his dream, and could probably interpret the H 
King's. At the King's command, he hastens to Joseph, and re- 1 
euiviiS frwii him the interprctaliun of the seven years of plenty H 

bring him in person to ihe King's presence, who remarks : H 

"Sweet as sugar are the words which come from a V 

friend, 1 

Bui sweeter is it sti!) when we hear them from himself." J 

But Joseph declines to obey the order, saying : ^^H 

" Why should I go to the tCing, ^^^H 
Who me, the friendless— the faultless one — ^^^| 
Hath kept confined for years in the prison, ^^^^| 
And left me despairing of all signs of mercy ? ^^^^| 



If he desireth that from this house of sorrows 

I should step forth, let him first comnund 

That the women of Memphis, assembled liie tbe 

Should lift up [he veil which covcreth my actions. 
And plainly declare what they have seer in me, 
What is iny crime, and wherefore they have led mc un 

the way to a prison ; 
Then may the mystery be cleared up before the Ki(% 
And it may be seen that my garment is pure from 

|)erfidy : 
No 1 it is not my habit to give way to sinful thoughts, 
It is not my habit to have a thought of treachety I 
In that house treachery never came from me. 
Nothing came from me but truth and rectitude; 
For rather would I grub for treasure in a mine, 
Than become a traitor to the household-couch ! " 

When the King has received ihis mcisai^, be ordcn all Ihc 
women of Memphis lo be Hiiembled. »nd demands from Ibea 
Iheir reason for accusing Joseph. The women reply : 

"O Fortune-favoured Monarch — 

May thy throne and thy crown be ever pros[>erou5 ! 

Never have we seen aught but purity in Joseph. 

Never have we seen aught but honour and nobility ; 

The pearl is not more pure within its shell 

Than is that soul of the world pure from suspicion." 

And Zulaikha also was seated ihere. 
Her tongue freed (rom falsehood and her soul boca. 


And purified by the discipline of love 

From every deceit which was hid beneath a veil 

The brightness of rectitude showed wisdom to her heart, 

And, like the clear morning, she spake out the truth. 

She said ; "Joseph is guiltless of a crime; 

It was I who lost my way in the pursuit of his love; 

I it was who first sought his society, 

And, when he refused it, drove him from my presence; 

My injustice it was which threw him imo prison, 

My own misery it was which brought him to misery ; 

And when my misery had passed all limits, 

I made his condition as miserable as my own. 

For ail the injustice done him through tny injustice 

Now -im I bound to find a remedy ; 

And whatever favours a beneficent King may confer, 

Joseph is worthy of such a hundred-fold." 

When the King heard these nicely-weighed words, 
He expanded like a rose, and smiled like a rose-bud; 
He made a sign that they should bring him out of 

And conduct him to that delightful palace-garden-house. 
" He is a blooming rose from the garden of grace. 
The rose-garden befitteth a blooming rose better than 

a prison ; 
He is a favoured king in the realm of spirits. 
He oughl to have no seat, except a throne." 

The narrator now goes on to describe how JoBcph, released 
fioiii prison, is received with the greatest honour by the King, 
who demajid^ fiom him what it will be best to da during the 

6o8 JAMI. 

years of plenty and famine^ Ibtena to his counsels and pian^ 
appoints him his Grand Vizier, and gives him fiill power to ad- 
minister the affairs of the kingdom. Podphar, thus deprived of 
his rank and authonty, pines away and dies ; and Zulaildii 
retires into solitude, and falls into premature old age, blindness, 
and decrepitude ; but after a time, unable to bear her distiDoe 
from Joseph, she returns to the city, and builds herself t hut sn^ 
roundecf with reeds, whence she can hear the sound of lu!> 
horse whenever he passes to and fro : and thb is her sole 
remaining solace and occupation. 

The True Faith. 

Never is the melancholy lover content, 

His avidity increases hour by hour : 

Not a moment doth he rest in the same desire, 

Every moment his wishes rise higher and higher ; 

If he scenteth the Rose, he longs to see it, 

If he seeth it, he cannot but pluck it ! ** 

Zulaikha now sitteth perpetually in the way, 

Pierced with the yearning to behold his countenance; 

At night she boweth her head to the ground before the 

Whom it has been her custom all her life to worship, 
Exclaiming : " O thou who hast been the shrine of my 

Before whose perfection I have ever prostrated myself 

in obedience ; 
Look with thine eye upon my reproach, 


Restore to mine eyes the power of vision ! 
I'rom him how long shall I remain separated ? 
Grant me tr> behold his face, though it be but from a 

distance I 
Fulfil this desire, ifihou canst do so; 
When thou hast fulfilled this desire do with me what 

scemeih to thee best ; 
Keep me no longer in this soul-piercing sorrow, 
Jn this miserable condition hold me not longer ! 
What life is this, than which not to be were better ! 
Better were it to me to tread the jxith of non-being I " 
So she speaketh, and casteth dust upon her head, 
And maketh the earth all wet with her tuars. 
When the sun, like a king, ascended the throne of the 

And the nei|;hing was heard of Joseph's charger, 
Zulaikha would come forth in (he guise of a beggar. 
And would take her place in his narrowest path ; 
Hold uji her hand like the petitioner for justice. 
And pour out from heart and soul her sighs and groans. 
But from the loud cries which rose to the sky, 
When the sergeants proclaimed, " Clear the way,'' 
And from the noise which struck the ear on every side. 
From the neighing and stamping of the road-clearing 

No one amidst the tumuh noticed her condition, 
Though it was such as might make one cry, "God 

have mercy ! " 
Thus, with a heart broken in pieces, 
A despairing wanderer from the valley of joy. 

She went away, her soul heaving glowing sighs, 
And withdrew her foot to her own sorrowful home. 
There she brought out ihe stony Image, set it 

And, opening her lips lo quiet her pain, 
Exclaimed : " O stone ! — vessel of my dignity ai 

honour, — 
Stone, which hath been Ihe stone in my every pidi, 
By which the way to happiness hath been bancdl 

my heart — 
It is fitting that my heart should have felt thy w^hl 
When J prostrated myself in adoration before ihee, 
I stnick into the road which led to sin ; 
When, weeping, I sought my desires from thee, 
I washed my hands from the desire of both worlds 
Now, O stone, I will free myself from thy weight. 
And break with a stone the jewel of thy power," 

She spake, and with the blow of a heavy stone. 
Broke, like the Friend, the Image to pieces ;" 
And whilst she eagerly sprang to break it. 
In the act of breaking she regained her purity. 

When she had completed this work of idol -breaking 
She washed her eyes with tears and her bean "illl 

Humbled herself, and rubbed her face in the dust, 
And in the court of God the Pure uttered her lament: 
" O Thou lo whom love is due from all Thy subject^ 
Idols, and idol-makers, and Jdol-adorcrs, 


Did not a reflection from Thee fall upon the idol, 
Who would bow down before an idol in worship ? 
When Thou hasi touched the idol-maker with Thy low. 
And thereby moved him to idol-sculpture. 
The man falleth down prostrate before the idol, 
For, worshipping the idol, he thinkelh that he worship- 

jieth God. 

When, O God, I turned my face lo an idol, 
In that 1 committed, O God, an offence against myseif \ 
In Thy mercy, O God, forgive the offence ; 
I have committed a sin, pardon my sinfulness ! 
Because I have trod so often the jaths of sin. 
Thou tookest away from me the jewel of sight. 
Now, since thou hast scattered the dust of my sin, 
Give me back that which Thou tookest from me. 
In order that, freed from the scars of my sorrows, 
I may still gather a tulip in the garden of Joseph ! " 

When the Ruler of Egypt returned by the way. 
Again she placed herself in his path, and, renewing her 

Began : "O Thou Holy One, who didst make the King 

And didsl abase his head to meanness, and weakness, 
And hast placed on the head of a poor and needy slave 
A royal crown of dignity and glory 1 " 
When these words found a |)Iace in the ears of Joseph, 
His mind was disturbed with awe and reverence. 
And he said to his chamberlain: "This rjciier of 

6i2 JAMI. 

Who hath deprived my soul of strength and firmness^ 
Bring her to my private chamber of audience, 
Bring her within the circle of my most trusted intimates, 
That I may question her as to every point of her con- 
dition, I 
That I may question her as to her unhappiness and j 

happiness ; 
For that recital of praise hath so moved and disturbed 

That I remain astonished that it hath left so strange an 

impression ; 
Unless some deep calamity have laid hold on her 

How have her words so strangely impressed me ? " 

A hundred lives for the ground trod by that sagacious 

Who by a sigh, by a look, can discriminate 
Ketween the clear morning light of the genuine 

And the false story of those who have left the right way ' 

Thk Renewal of Youth, and the Marriagi. 

The chamberlain brirgs the petitioner to Joseph's Palace. 
He inquires what she wants, and orders him, if she be poor, to 
give her relief. She refuses to declare what is the object of her 
petition except in a personal interview. Being adniitted, she 


maltes henelf luiowii, and, in answer to his compassioaate in- 
<]iuries, what has reduced her to that miserable condition, tells 
him that it is her affection for him, and coDJnrea him to comply 
with her earnest requests. Moved with pity at her sad slate, he 
aweara by the Prophets that he will do everything for her which 
he can, and is permitted to do. First she requests that she may 
be restored to her fonner condition. He prays that what she 
dedres may be granted, and, in answer lo his prayer, she recovers 
her pristine youth and beauty. Then he demands what further 
she requests, and she supplicates him to consent to their union ; 
and, whilst lost in thought, he is deliberating whether he shall 
say. Yes or No — the angel Gabriel is commissioned to inlbrm 
him thai the espousals have been already sanctioned in heaven, 
and that the marriage is decreed to take place. It is accordingly 
forthwith proclaimed, and is celebrated, in the presence of the 
Court, with great pomp and rejoicing. 

The Victory of Love. 

The Lover, whose desire is fixed on a true love. 
Will at last obtain the title of Beloved : 
Whoever trod the path of sincere love 
That in the end did not become the Beloved from the 

Zulaikha was a faithful devotee of love, 
For to love she had given up every moment of her life. 
In infancy, whilst she was still occupied with her games. 
Her game she would ever call the game of love. 
If she placed two dolls before her, 



She would name them the Lover and the Loved ; 

As soon as she knew her right hand from her left, 

And how to rise up and sit down," 

In that dream which a kind fale sent her. 

She became a captive in the net of Joseph. 

She banished from her heart her affection for her own 

And resolved on the journey to the land of Egypt 
From her own cily she repaired to the city of Joseph. 
Not drawn of her own accord, but, attracted by hint 
Her youth she passed in visions about him. 
In hopes of union with him it came to an end ; 
In old age her yearning was still towards him ; 
And blind, her longing was still in her blindness M 

behold him. 
And when from old age she was restored to youth ant 

Her passion for hini was ever the same ; 
And in wishes for him she lived whilst she lived. 
And so-long as she lived, she lived enchained in her 

And when he saw that her alfcction was boundless and 

The soul of Joseph was infected with a like passion, 

And became so inflamed with the warmth of her lovi 

That he felt, as it were, ashamed of its warmth. 

Her blandishments so beset his path 

That he could not remain an hour at rest without her 

He was ever seeking to content her wishes, 

And was ever pressing lips to lips and heart to heart. 



Thus, set Bt rest in her earthly oflecCions, Zulaikha feels her 
heart slrangly drown Iqwanls divine ones ; and Joseph, perceiy- 
ing her indinalion and her devotion to her new Faith, builds her 
A. beautiful Prayer-house, and when it is completed, tenderly 
(aikes her by the hand, conducts her to it, seats her on a throne, 
and thus addresses her : 

" O thou, who by every kind of kindness 

Hast made inc ashatned to the Day of Resurreclion, 

In those days when thou still namedst me a slave, 

Didsi erect in my name a iwlace of wonders. 

Yellow and red, with gold and rubies, 

And didst adorn it with every ornament possible — 

I likewise, in gratitude for all thy bounties. 

Have now raised to |)lease thee a House of Adoration : 

There rest, and show thy thankfulness for the divine 

Which hath showered its gifts on every hair of thj' 

He lifted thee out of poverty to make thee rich. 
From the weakness of old age He restored thee to 

To the eye from which light was gone He gave lighl 

And opened to admit thee the door of His mercy ; 
And after a life in which thou hast tasted of ever\' 

In thy union with me He providt-d the antidote." 

So Zuiaikha, through the grace of God, 

Sat down upon the decorated throne of sovereignt)'. 

6i6 JAMl. 

And in the privacy of that retired dwelling 
Was content in the attachment of Joseph and the 
bounty of the Lord. 

The Longed-for Death. 

Alas, the pity ! — when the happy traveller 
Hath laid down his burthen at the vestibule of greeting, 
Hath clasped Fortune like his beloved in his embrace, 
And hath utterly forgotten the anxieties of separation ; 
When his heart hath shaken off the dust of sorrow, 
And he looketh to spend the days of his life in glad- 
ness — 
Then riseth suddenly the breeze of vicissitude, 
And the simoon of separation doeth its work : ^ 
A rude intruder burstcth into the pleasure-ground, 
And breaketh off the fair branch from the tree of (Mir 

Zulaikha, having obtained the desire of her heart. 
And found rest to her soul in her union with Joseph. 
Continued to live in cheerfulness and gladness, 
Lived in freedom from soul-felt sorrows. 
Long was the term of her days of enjoyment. 
Forty years passed over her in that felicity ; 
That fertile palm-tree produced successively 
Child after child, children's children ; 


Nor was there a wish for earthly good in her heart 
Which was not fulfilled in the tablets of hope, 

As Joseph one night bowed down his head before the 

And the robber sleep fell suddenly upon him. 
He beheld his father seated with his mother, 
VVilh face like the sun veiled in light, 
^Vho cried to him : " O son, be aware that the day 
Of the far separation is swiftly approaching ; 
Sign away with indifference water and clay,"' 
And set t!iy loot in the pleasant jilarcs of the heart and 

the soul." 

\Vhen Joseph again awoke from that sleep. 
He repaired from the altar to the side of Zulaikha, 
Announced to her the message dehvered in his dream. 
And explained tn her its accordance with his own de- 
sire of departure : 
Then he sank deep in her heart the image, 
And left glowing in her soul the anguish of separation. 

But Joseph came out from the circle of his business. 
And his desires were turned more and more towards 

the regions of eternity ; 
He set forward his foot from the narrow passage of 

worldly lusts, 
To tread a larger way towards the dwelling of 

He withdrew his earthly goods from the monastery of 


erS JAM!. 

To lift up the hand of prayer towards the imperishablf 

sanctuary ; 
" O Thou who listenest to the supplications of ihe 

Who seltest a diadem on the head of the exahed. 
Who hast placed upon my head a crown of fortune, 
Such as Thou hast never bestowed even on the mo^l 

My heart is estranged from this transitory kingdom, 
It is weaned from the ambition of worldly dominion : 
Freed from myself, conduct me in Thy paths. 
Issue Thy royal mandate for the kingdom of Eternity! 
They who have done good — who have trod the road of 

Have come nigh to Thee and taken the first stations : 
Olakemeout of the number of those who are loiterers. 
And let me be amongst the first to hasten lo Thy 

banquet ! " 

No sooner did Zulaikha hear the mysterious sccrcl, 
Than a severe wound struck her to the heart ; 
She knew at once that (his prayer from him 

For not an arrow could part from that bow 

Which in the very bending would be slow to reach the 

Then she retrealeth to her closet narrow and dark. 
And unknotlelh from each other her night-black tresses, 
Scattereth dust upon her head in the pangs of separa- 


And rubbeth her blood' stained face upon the earth. 

Deserted by joy, the companion of grief and trouble. 

The tears gush forth from her eyes as she cxclaimeth : 

" O Thou that relieves! the sorrows of the sorrowing, 

Who appliest the balsam to the lacerated breast ; 

Thou who fulfiUest the heart's-hope of the hopeless. 

And extricatest him who seenicth fast inextricably : 

Who bringest the keys which unlock the closed gatis. 

And bindest the bandage on ihe broken heart ; 

Who givest deliverance to the forsaken in the dungeon, 

And makest lighter the pangs of separation ; 

I am captive in the thoughts of my own heart, 

And strangely bewildered in my own acts ! 

I have no strength to bear my separation from Joseph : 

Oh ! with his life take my life from my body 1'° 

Without his beauty I desire not life, 

And no continuance in the dominion of existence ; 

The sapling of life were leafless without him, 

Life everlasting were death without hini !* 

By the canon of faithfulness it would not be just 

That I should be in a world where he is not ! 

If he is not made the companion of my way, 

Oh, take me away first, and him afterwards ! 

I wish that I may never sit apart from him ; 

Nor look upon a world not beautified by his beauty !" 

So she passed her lime in weeping and wailing, 

Nor called the night night, nor the day day ; 

For to him who has his heart straitened with sorrow. 

His day and his night will seem of one colour. 


620 JAMI. 

The Double Death. 

The next day, in the early morning, 

When the beauty of the dawn filled all hearts with 

Robing his breast in regal vesture. 
He was issuing from his dwelling, intending to ride, 
When, as he was placing his foot in the stirrup, 
Gabriel called to him : " Make no haste ! 
The life-destroying sphere will give no promise 
That thou wilt place in thy stirrup another foot ; 
Snap the bridle of hope and security. 
And draw forth thy foot from the stirrup of life !" 

When Joseph's ear received this joyful message, 
In his gladness he forgot all desire of life, 
He shook from his skirt every wish for kingly rule. 
Summoned to his presence one of the heirs of his 

Seated him in his own place as ruler of the countr}-, 
And bequeathed to him in his will his own great deeds. 

Again he said : " Call hither Zulaikha, 
And bring her to receive my last adieu ! " 

They replied : " Weakened by the hand of sorrow. 
She lieth prostrate in the midst of dust and blood ; 
Her soul hath no strength to sustain this burthen : 
Leave her to herself to bear it as she can." 



He said : " I fear that the scar of this misery 
Will remain on her heart till the Day of Resurrection 1 " 
They replied : " God can beslow resignation upon her ; 
In resignation she will find a strong cord." 

There lay an apple in the palm of Gabriel, 

Which had added an ornament to the Garden of 

Eternity ; 
He placed the apple in the hand of Joseph, 
And he scented its spirit, and yielded up his soul. 
In its perfume he recognised the Garden of Elerniiy, 
And, atlracled by its perfume, hastened to the Garden. 

When, in smelling the apple, Joseph's soul had 

A sound of lamentation arose from all who were ■ 

Voices of wailing went up on high, ^^^^H 
And the cry was re-echoed from the azure vault. ^^^^H 
Zulaikha inquired : "What meaneth (his tumult and H 
uproar?- 1 
Heaven and earth arc full of clamour, what meanetli m 

They answer : ■' Alas 1 that high-gifted Prince ^^^^H 
Hath turned his face from the throne to the bier : ^^^^| 
He hath bid adieu to his narrow cell of earth, ^^^^| 
And taken up his abode on the summit of (he ^^^^H 
unearthly Palace." ^^^^H 

When she heard this account, her mind departed, ^^^^| 


ti32 yAML 

And in the honors of these words that graceTuI 

Fell, like its shadow, three days upon the ground ; 
And when on the fourth day she awoke &om thai 

The hearing of it look her again out of herself. 

Thrice was she three days out of her mind, 

And lost to herself from the burning wound in her 

bosom ; 
And when on the fourth she relurned to herself. 
Again her first question was to ask after Joseph. 
She found no mark of his head on the pillow. 
Not a trace of his coffin in the moving world ; 
They gave her back no intelligence but this. 
That they had hid him in the earth like buried treasure. 

In her distraction she rends her hair, and tears her cbcdot 
and taccrates bcr body, and then sinJu into melancholy wailings. 

"Oh, where is Joseph ? — Where he, the ornament of 

his throne ? 
He, the bounteous purveyor for the wants of lh« 

needy 1 
When he mounted his steed and departed hence:. 
Intent on reaching the eternal kingdom. 
So great was his haste to bqjin his journey, 
That it was forbidden me to give him the foot-kiss in 

the stirrup." 
When he went forth from this mansion of sorrow. 
Why was I not present to witness his departure? 


I saw not his head laid on his pallet ; 

I gathered not the dew from ihe face of that wild-rose : 

When thai rough wound pierced his body," 

1 offered not my bosom as a wall to lean against ! 

When they opened ihe ground as a bed to slumber in, 

And hid him in the earth like a pure gem, 

I swept not the spot above and beneath him, 

And slept not, according to my heart's wish, in his 

embrace ! 
Alas ! and alas ! for this ruinous blow ! 
Alas ! and alas ! for this soul-eating sorrow ! 
Come, desire of my heart, and behold my desolation. 
Behold my oppression from the cruelty of heaven ! 
Thou didst sever thyself from me, and rememberedsl 

mc not. 
And didst not gladden me by a single look ! 
That was not the affectionate custom of friends, 
That was not the faithfulness due to the faithful ! 
Thou didst leave me like one cast out of thy heart. 
Thou didst leave me encompassed with blood and 

dust \ 
\\'oe is me, thou hast broken a thorn in my heart, 
Which will never come forth save out of my clay. 
Nor hast thou taken thy journey to a place 
From which he who makelh it hath ever returned : 
Therefore it is belter that I lake my flight hence, 
And, at one soaring, soar upward to thee ! " 

She spoke, and ordered her litter-bearers to come, 
And adorned the litter in her own way. 

624 JAML 

And tottered forth from that house of mourning, 
And took the road to Joseph's last goal ; 
But there she saw no sign of the pure pearl. 
Save a little hillock of bare dank earth. 

She throws herself down on the mound, and in her desoktkn 
again abandons herself to a wild lament, but in language and 
figures which, however familiar to an Oriental, would be not 
quite simple and intelligible to a Western reader ; and then the 
narrator proceeds : 

It is the custom with mourners overwhelmed with their 

To scatter on the coffin blackened almonds :• 
But, separated as she was from the coffin, the 

miserable woman 
Only threw two black almonds on the grave, 
Cast her blood-bcsprinkled face to the earth, 
Kissed the ground in her misery — and yielded up her 


When her companions beheld her condition, 
Their cries and lamentations went up to the skies ; 
And every sigh she had breathed for Joseph, 
Two hundred-fold they breathed over her. 

But when the wailing of the harp was somewhat 

They folded up their sleeves to wash the body ; 
They washed it with torrents of tears from their eyes, 
Like a rose-leaf moistened with a springtide shower ; 
Like a bud which shootetli from a twig of jessamine. 


They wrapped it round in a shroud of green, 
Made clean her face from the dust of separation, 
And placod her in the grave at the side of Joseph, 

Fate has not always given to loving souls 

To find in death the society of the beloved ! *" 

But the narrator of this sweet slory, 

Who hath Che account from the old of former days. 

Sayeth thus : That on the opposite bank of the Nile 

To that on which was buried the holy body of Joseph, 

Arose an outburst of drought and pestilence. 

And in the room of prosperity a crowd of calamities ; 

So that at last they came to the resolution 

To place his remains in a coffin of stone. 

And, when they had smeared every crevice with pitch. 

To sink it midway to the bottom of the Nile." 

Bui see here the deceitfulness of the faithless spheres, 
Which even after her death separated her from Joseph ! 
I know not what spite they harboured against them, 
That they would not suifer them to rest beneath the 

But drowned the one in the sea of natation. 
And abandoned the other, lip-thirsty, in the desert of 


Well said the foot-sore Pilgrim of Love, 

Who now rcsteth from all its gains and losses, 

That " Love, when it hath been purchased at a h^h 


•626 JAML 

It rendeth even the shroud which envelopeth the lover, 
Though he himself be slumbering beneath the sod" 

Well for the lover, who, in the pangs of separation, 
Bore such a soul to his beloved in the secret charabeis 

of souls ! 
Yet let no one say that he, in his winding-sheet. 
Attained the magnanimity of that lion-hearted woman, 
Who closed fast her eyes to all love but his, 
And after that cast down upon his grave the ready- 
money of her life. 

A thousand blessings on her, body and soul ! 

And in the spirit-world may her eye be brightened by 

the sight of her beloved ! 

Two sections, one entitled, Complaint to the Stars, or 
Fate; the other. Admonitions to his Son, though containing 
very beautiful passages, are omitted here, not having much con- 
nection with the story. 

The Poet's Address to Himself. 

Turn thy face, J ami, towards the acts of the ripened ; 

Proceed no further in those of the still immature ! 

For what is ripeness ? — Tis to become free ; 

To fall prostrate to the dust of self-negation. 

Dost thou not see, in this rust-discoloured pavilion. 


How the fruit in its immaturity sticketh to the branch ? 
When it changeth to ripeness, how it falleth of itself, 
Nn longer wounded by the stones of mischief-seeking 

Take thy food at ihe table of the perfected. 
Escape from the roughness of the stone-throwing un- 
seasoned ones. 
Tear up by contentment avarice from its roots j 
Break off by trustfulness the bough of eager wishes. 
Choose thy dwelling in the city of good-intent ; 
Build thy nest in the sequestered abode of the Anka;" 
U*e not thy tongue in commendation of the weak, 
And endure not for a loaf the ignominy of the base ; 
Turn away thy foot from the great ones of the kingdom, 
And show to the strong-handed of the world the nape 
of ihy neck. 

See how, through the changes of the four seasons, 
The world revolveth ever in the self-same circle ; 
Behold how similar is the last spring to that of to-day. 
Behold how the revolution of one autumn resembleth 

another ; 
And how, between two summers and two winters, 
In this constitution of things discrimination is im- 
possible ! 

I know not wherefore, on this round orb. 
This ever-repeated condition should make thee joyful; 
For though in change is a mixlure of enchantment, 
Yet a restless change is wearisome to our nature. 

628 JAML 

Leave then that which damageth, and take thought for 

that which profiteth ; 
Turn thy face from thy being to when thou shalt cease 

to be; 
Free thine inner soul from the business of the busy, 
Cleanse it from the foul machinations of the Ghoul;** 
Teach not the spell of love to ignoble minds, 
Light not up the lamp for the eye blind as night 
Let thy spirit keep watch over inconsiderate words : 
The condition of a wayfarer requireth watchfulness ; 
To a soul which walketh not in the path of vigilance, 
The lengthening of a brief existence would be of no use. 
The taper of life goeth out with a puff, 
If but the exhalation of a sigh rise to the brain of the 

Youth bringeth only darkness to thy dwelling, 
Old age only illuminateth thy day of action ! 
The obscurity of blindness and distance is come to an 

And a fringe of hoary hair hath brought with it the 

In that obscurity thou never sawest thy desire accom- 
plished ; 
Try to accomplish it in the rays of this light. 
It may be that this desire may bring thee to a place 
Whence thou mayest perceive a portion of the truth ! 
But what comeliness at last will white hairs give thee. 
If they give thee not also a white countenance?** 
If of that colour thou art at heart ashamed, 
(lO ! dye them, like the black-headed, with indigo ! 


For old age on thy head is melting snow, 
And thy tears like snow-water will pass away also. 
Enter thou weeping on the path of supplication, 
And with snow-water wash out the blackness of thy 

But knowest thou not how to wash out the blackness 

from thy heart ; 
I know not in truth how blackness can profit thee ! 

Throw away thy reed, for it is held by a tremulous hand ! 
Tear the sheet, for thou canst fill it only with vain 

babblings ! 
The lamp of thought hath lost its brightness, 
The gardens of poesy are all unwatered \ 
I see not now in these once happy bounds 
Aught in thy hand save a raven's claw : ** 
Thinkest thou with this to strut about like the peacock? 
Why seek escape from the dungeon which imprisoneth 

Freedom is to escape from delusion and conceit ; 
From the coupling of rhymes and the inditing of poems. 

Where is Nizami ? — Where his soul-alluring lays ? — 
The delicate refinements of his subtle genius ? 
He hath now taken his place behind the veil, 
And all save himself have remained outside it.** 
Since he hath withdrawn himself we have received no 

Save from the mystic words which now he hath taken 

with him. 

630 JAML 

But no one understandeth those mystic words save 

him who approacheth God, 
Into whose sound heart hath entered the Divine. 
But he hath escaped from these narrow bye-ways, 
To journey at large towards the sacred Temple, 
And, terrified by the captives taken in the snare, 
Reposeth under the skirts of the Throne itself! 

In thine own side findest thou not such a heart, 

What if thou wert to turn thy side away. 

And lean it against that of some tried man, 

And thou too take thy place in the circle of the tried? 

Well said one whose heart was a treasure-house of 

wisdom : 
" The season of fasting is the winning of bread." 
The aged woman oft faileth in piety. 
Because her youthful blandishments were weakness 

and imperfection. 
If thou art a true man, take a heart in hand, 
For with men of deeds this only is a deed : 
Such a heart as that which I have above described, 
And, describing it, bored a jewel and disclosed its secret- 
Seek a thorough man on whom to lean thy side, 
For this is indeed to take a heart in hand. 


Conclusion of the Work. 

Praise be to God, that, in spite of Time, 

This soul-alluring story hath reached its end. 

My mind, wearied with stringing pearls,*' 

And oppressed by the solicitude of finding rhymes. 

Now flingeth away the scales from the hand of 

And sitteth down with idle arms from weighing its 

couplets : 
Leaneth its back against the wall of leisure, 
Falleth from the path of roughness into that of easiness, 
Lifteth up the head of heaviness from the knee. 
And lightened is my heart from its secret burthen ! 

My reed — the horseman with the inky fingers — 

Which hath made all the stages from Abysinnia to 

Hath left in Rum the traces of his arrival. 

And communicated to the present tidings of the future ; 

That he may repose awhile, hath descended from his 

And thrown himself at full length on the bed and the 

No longer is his head bent down by the hand of the 

No longer is the hand of reproof directed to the pen- 
knife ; 

The inkstand, become a flask of musk from Cathay, 

632 JAML 

By the aid of the reed spreadeth perfume around it ; 
The mouth of the flask is sealed with wax — 
It is time that the mouth of the flask be so sealed ; 
The leaves, no longer scattered, are saved from 

And have drawn the foot within the skirt of concord ; 
Two hundred leaves, as of roses, are there, under one 

cover j 
Oh, like roses, may the demand for them be fresh 

every moment ! 
And oh, may their binding be a bond of perpetuity ! 

See here, a book, written with the pen of Truth, 
Signed with the name of a Lover and Beloved, 
Like a sugar-eating popinjay, I rest well-pleased, 
When I name to thee the names of Joseph and 


By Heaven ! it is a smiling garden in the new spring. 
Compared with which the (larden of Irem is a rough 

field of thorns !^^ 
Every story in it is a verdant pleasure-ground, 
And in every pleasure-ground peepeth out a rosy face ; 
Within it bloom a thousand fresh roses. 
And hundreds of narcissuses drowsily languishing ; 
Glades of meaning, branch within branch, 
Figures bold and sweet as the lusty melody of birds; 
Every line like musk on a sheet of camphor, 
Or gleam of light quivering at the foot of the tree ; 
Every letter resembling a pure fountain-head. 
From which welleth out bubbling a rill of meaning : 


See on every side how each rill from the fountain 
Swelleth into a stream full of waters of pleasantness ! 

Happy the wayfarer whom a lucky fortune 

Hath led to the brink of that Beautiful River ! 

A look on its waters will wash out sorrow from his heart, 

Will cleanse away the dust from his afflicted bosom ; 

From his soul will extract the mysteries of faith : 

He will draw out the hand of piety from the folds of 

his garment ; 
From the billowy ocean of the Divine mercies 
Will crave to apply a drop to his thirsty lip j 
And when he holdeth in his grasp the fresh roses, 
He who laid out the garden will not be forgotten. 

After recording the date of his book and the number of the 
pages, the poet exclaims : 

Lord ! may the man who hath traversed the road of 

And laid down his burthen at its several stations, 
Be blessed in the union with his bride within the secret 

And may her skirt and bosom be pure from the approach 

of contamination ! 

Then, after invoking a blessing on the Sultan Hussain Mirza 
Baihasa, the Pillars of his kingdom, and his learned Vizier, Mir 
Ah Shier, "<> the patron of the Poet, he concludes : 

And now, that thou hast ended thy words with a 



Let thy tongue, J ami, utter to thyself a parting counsel: 
Do no dark deed like thine inky reed ; 
Wash clean thy book with tears from reddened eyes; 
Use thy reed only in the service of the Beneficent \ 
Fold up thy sheet against all deluding passion ; 
Inflict on thy tongue the punishment of silence, 
For silence is better than aught that thou canst utter. 



1 "Musk" — sec HaHz, Note 40, p. 503. — "From Kaf to 
Kaf," that is, from one end of the world to the other. It was 
formerly believed by Mohammedans (and doubtless is still, by 
the uneducated classes) that the world was a plane of circular 
form, surrounded, as by a vast ring, by mountains called Kaf, 
composed of green chrysolite, the reflection of which causes the 
greenish (or blueish) tint of the sky. 

2 "I like not that which sets" : an ejaculation of Abraham, 
according to the following passage from the Koran (ch. vi. ) : 

Remember when Abraham said to his father, "Takest thou 
images as gods ? " 

And when the night overshadowed him he beheld a star. 
•* This," said he, •* is my Lord ; " but when it set he said, " I 
love not gods which set " 

And when he beheld the moon uprising, ** This," said he, ** is 
my Lord ; " but when it set he said, ** Surely, if my Lord guide 
me not, I shall be of those who go astray. " 

And when he beheld the sun uprise he said, "This is my 
Lord ; this is the greatest ; " but when it set, he said, " O my 
people, I share not with you the guilt of joining gods with God ! 
I turn my face to him who hath created the heavens and the 

3 The extraordinary pleasure which the Persian nightingale 
seems to take in fluttering about and smelling at the rose is per- 
petually alluded to by the poets, and has given rise to the well- 
known fable of " The Loves of the Nightingale and the Rose. " 
Darwin describes it in hb Botanic Gardett, 

636 yAMi. 

4 The attraction of the Moth to the Candle has given rise to 
a similar fable. — See Sadi, pp. 323 and 326. 

5 It is said that the Lotus, or Nile water-lily, raises its head 
from the water every morning at the appearance of the sun, and 
sinks it again beneath it at sunset. 

6 See HaBz, Note 3, p. 497. 

7 See Hafiz, Note 10, p. 499. 

8 Joseph, as has been mentioned in the first Note on Hafiz, 
is considered in the East as the perfection of youthful beauty. 

9 Thus Milton also represents the Archangel Gabriel as in- 
structing our great progenitor, that — 

Love is the scale 
By which to heavenly love thou mayst ascend. 

{Paradise Lost,) 

10 The opening and closing of each successive day is an- 
nounced m the camp and at the gates of Oriental Princes by the 
beating of the tymbal, or great kettie-drum. 

1 1 The Kiblah is the spot on which the temple of Mecca 
stands, and towards which every Mussulman must turn his face 
when he prays. The High Altar in every Mohammedan 
mosque must also turn in the same direction. 

12 We have no word in Enghsh to express exactly the Arabic 
word in the original — Sarab ; and the French word Mirage does 
not quite express it either. It is that white mist, or vapour, 
which is so frequent i n the sultry sands of the Arabian desert, 
and which, at a distance, resembles an expanded lake, but 
vanishes as you approach it. It is therefore a conmion emblem 
of disappointed expectation. It occurs in the Hebrew of Isaiah 
XXXV. 7, and is rendered in the authorized translation — "And 
the parched ground shall become a pool." It should rather be 


— "And the sultry vapour shall become a real lake.*' Sec a 
lively description of it at page 558 of the present work. 

13 An allusion to the gold and silver rings with which the 
Oriental women adorn their ankles — a custom known also to the 

14 The Bird of Night hides its head under the feathers of its 
wings, which the Poet compares to swords ; and then, pursuing 
the new image, represents the swords as cutting off the throat of 
the bird, and reducing it to silence. 

15 A fanciful image to mark the drowsiness of the sentinel, 
who, half-asleep, sees in the cupola a resemblance to the head of 
the poppy, which lulls him into deeper slumber. 

16 Roll up your sleeping rug : an allusion to the call which is 
made by the public crier in Mohammedan countries five times a 
day from the minarets, to remember the prayer appointed by the 
Law : ** God is the greatest — There is no God but God — 
Mohammed is the Prophet of God." These five calls are all in 
the same words, except the one which immediately precedes the 
rising of the sun, to which is added : " Prayer is wholesomer 
than sleep — Prayer is wholesomer than sleep, which makes men 
like the dead. " 

17 The Persian Poets often compare the eyes of their mis- 
tresses to the Narcissus, to which they apply the epithets, 
sleepy, softly languishing (**The sleepy eye that spoke the 
melting soul"), and "intoxicated" (the ebrios ocellos, of Catullus). 
This last epithet may have arisen from a name which they give 
the flower — "the golden goblet" 

18 Compare Tibullus, 1. 2. eleg. i, v. 80 : 

Felix cui placid us lenitcr afHat amor ; 
and Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, c 31 : 

Che dolce piu, che piu giocondo stato, &c. 

^38 JAML 

19 We created man of dark loam moulded : The Jins we had 
before created of subtle tire. 

And the Lord said unto the angels : " Verily, I create man of 
dried clay, of dark loam moulded. 

And when I shall have fashioned him, and shall have breathed 
of my spirit into him, then fall ye down and worship him. " 

And the angels bowed down in worship, all of them, all 

Save Eblis : he refused to be with those who bowed m 

** O Eblis," said God, ** wherefore art thou not with those 
who bow down in worship?" 

He said : ** It becometh not me to bow down to man, whom 
thou hast created of clay, of moulded loam." 

He said : ** Begone thou hence ; thou art a stoned one [that 
is accursed], and the curse shall be on thee until the day of 
reckonmg." — Koran, xv. 

20 In amore haec sunt mala : bellum ; pax rursum. ( T^rent.) 

21 Compare Catullus in the well-known passage : ** Ut flos 
in scptis," and the imitation of it by Ariosto, c. I. : ** La ver- 
ginella e simile alia Rosa," &c. — A French poet, quite in 
the spirit of the Persian, sings : 

** Pour garder V eclat du matin, 
Le bouton se tient sous sa feuille, 
Tandis qu' en decouvrant son sein. 
La rose palit et s' effeuille. 
Des charmes qu* au jour on expose 
Ainsi se passe la fraichure : 
Oter je voile a la pudeur 
N' est pas effeuiller la rose ? 

22 According to Oriental belief, buried treasure is watched 
over and protected by serpents and dragons. 

23 Laurus erat tecti medio in penitralibus altis. (I'ir^/.) — 


Clothed in green, and like them, ever moving : alluding to the 
religious dance of the Dervishes, usually clad in green, which is 
meant to imitate the " Dance of the Spheres." 

24 The Sidrah, or Lotus-tree : the name of a wonderful tree 
in Paradise, on which sits the angel Gabriel, and under the shade 
of which repose the Huris. It is the tree of Life and Wisdom ; 
and from its wood were cut the tables which God gave to Moses 
on Mount SinaL (See Koran, liii.) 

25 For the story of Joseph, which the Poet adopts, see 
Koran, xiL 

26 VVallfnstnn : Thy soul is busy with these thoughts. 
Countess : What, dost thou not believe, that oft in dreams a 

voice of warning speaks prophetic to us ? 

IVallenstein : There b no doubt that there exist such voices. 
— Schiller's IVallenstein, Act 5, Sc. I. {Coif ridge.) 

27 And he who bought him — an Egyptian — said to his wife : 
** Treat him hospitably ; haply he may be useful to us, or we 
may adopt him as a son." (Koran, xiu) 

28 O Love ! what is it in this world of ours 
Which makes it fatal to be loved ? — 

Byron — Don yuan, iii. 2. 

A heavy price must all pay who thus err. 

In some shape ; let none think to fly the danger, 

For, soon or late, Love is his own avenger. 

Ibid, iv. 73. 

29 These verses seem to be founded on a passage in the 
Traditions of the Prophet : *' Did I find," said Saad, *' anyone 
with my wife, assuredly I would run him through with my 
sword." When this was reported to the Prophet, he said, 
* * Why are ye astonished at Saad's jealousy ? I am more jealous 
than Saad ; and God is more jealous than I." 

640 JAMl. 

Eifersuchtig sind des schiksal's machte, voreilig jaachzen greift 
in ihre rechte. — Jealous are the p>owers of fate : o'eihasty shoots 
of joy usurp their rights. (Schiller. ) 

Non piace ai sommi Dei 
L'aver compagni in terra. 

(Guarini — Pastor Fub.) 

30 But who can view the ripened rose, nor seek 

To wear it ? — Byron — Childe Harold^ C. iii. St II. 

31 The Friend : that is, the Friend of God — Abraham, who, 
when he abandoned his father's faith and acknowledged the trae 
God, broke in pieces the images of his people. 

** I will certainly lay a plot against your idols after ye have 
retired and turned your backs." 

So he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that 
to it they might return. They said : **\Vho hath done this to 
our gods ? Verily I say he is one of the unjust." They said : 
*' We heard a youth make mention of them ; they call him 
Abraham." — Koran, xxi. 

32 The Persian expression for the rules of good-breeding, 
etiquette, politeness. (See Vuller's Pers. Lexicon^ voce Niskasten. ) 

T^2^ Simoon {poisoftous), the name of the hot suffocating wind 
which blows m the regions of middle Asia, 

34 ** Water and clay : " that is, the corporeal existence. 

35 Auferat hora duos cadem. {Ot'/J.) 

Ilelas ! si votre main puissante 

Voulait favoriscr jusqu* au bout deux mortels. 

Ensemble nous mourrions. (La FoHiaitt^.) 

36 If death consort with thee, 
Death is to me as Life ! (Miltoti.) 

37 Hei mihi ! discedens o.>cula nulla dedu (Ovid.) 


38 Nee vulnera la\'i veste tegens. ( VirgiL ) 

39 In Persia, when a beloved person dies it is the custom 
(according to the Farhang-i Shuri) to colour almonds with indigo 
and throw them on the body. 

40 They died together, undivbrced by death. ( Young, ) 
Saul and Jonathan, lovely and pleasant in their lives, in their 

deaths were not divided. (2 Sam. i., 23.) 

41 This resolution was come to in order that Joseph's body, 
equally removed from each bank, might bestow an equal bene- 
ficent influence on both. The historian Tabari relates, that 
Joseph foretold that hereafter would arise a Prophet, by name 
Moses, who would conduct the children of Israel out of Egypt 
back to Canaan, and charged them, in his .will, that when they 
departed they should carry his body with them and lay it by his 
father's ; and that Judah, in obedience to this charge, enclosed it 
in a marble coffin, and sank it in the Nile. Another tradition says 
that he was buried in a catacomb, but that the entrance, after a 
time, was covered by the shifting sands of the desert, and that 
by the bursting of an embankment of the Nile, the place was 
overflowed with water, and changed from a field of the dead 
into a lake of the dead ; but that an Egyptian woman, who 
dwelt near the place, gave information which led the people to 
draw off the water, when the block which barred the door of 
the catacomb was found, and the coflin was recovered. 

42 See Hafiz, Note 59, p. 505. 

43 A kind of hobgoblin, a man-devouring demon (a hup- 
ji^aroUf a man- wolf), sufficiently familiar to the readers of the 
** Thousand and One Nights." 

44 " Red and white," according to Persian ideas, are sym- 
bolical of good fortune and felicity ; ** black," of ill-fortune and 
unhappiness. ** A white foot " is one who brings good tidings ; 


642 JAMI. 

** a black face," one whose deeds are eWl. "White-faced" 
means the possessor of character, reputation, and virtue. 

45 I see that in the field of poetry only a dry bough remains ; 
only a raven's claw, as it were, in thy hand. 

46 See Preliminary Notice of Nizami, pp. 105-7. 

47 "Stringing pearls " — the Persian expression for compos- 
ing poetry. 

48 From " Abyssinia " (for Mauritania, the native country 
of Zulaikha) to ** Rum ;" by which latter name are designated 
all the land under the Turkish rule, comprising Canaan and 
Egypt, the countries of Joseph. 

49 The Rose-Garden of Irem is constantly alluded to by 
Persian poets as the perfection of gardens. — See Hafiz, Note 7, 
p. 49S. — 'I'he curious reader may find an account of it by a 
Persian author in the Oriental Collections, edited by Sir Win. 
Ouseley, vol. iii. page 32. 

50 This tli^tinguished man, for some time the Grand Vizier 
of the Sultan Ilussain Mirza, and through life his familiar ami 
cherislieJ friend, was equally celebrated for his munirtcence and 
his genius. Me built, or repaired, it is said, 370 edifices of all 
kinds, and was not only the liberal patron of learned men and 
pools, but himself took a foremost place amongst them. In 
mure advanced years he retired from public life, and gave him- 
self up entirely to his literary tastet*, and the composition of his 
works, of which he left a very considerable number in prose and 
verse, and on various subjects. 






The following remarks on the leading doctrines of the Suf! sect 
of philosophers — the Mystics of Islam — from a review of 
Mr. J. W. Redhouse*s metrical translation of the First Book 
of the Mcsnevt of Jelalu-'d-Din, Er-RumI, published in the 
Glasgow Herald of April 25th, 1 88 1, will perhaps render the 
more obscure passages of the poetry presented in this work 
somewhat more intelligible to the mere general reader. 

It is a common notion in Europe that all the poetry of 
Muhammadan coimtries is simply erotic and bacchanalian, and 
characterised by extravagant conceits and absurd metaphors. 
Hafiz is styled by Europeans the Anacreon of Persia, because 
the subjects of his gazals are love and wine and flowers. But 
there is more in Oriental poetry than meets the ear ; for beneath 
the literal meaning lies a deep, esoteric, spiritual signification — 
the love that is celebrated by Hahz is not human passion, but 
divine love. And as in the Song of Solomon, which orthodox 
theologians admit is in a literal sense an epithalamium on the 
marriage of the sage King of Israel and the Princess of Egypt, 
the reciprocal love between the soul of man and the Deity is 
mystically shadowed, so is it in the beautiful poem of the loves of 
Layld and Alajnun^ by the great Persian Nizami. To properly 
understand and appreciate the finest Oriental poetry it is neces- 
sary to possess a thorpugh knowledge of dervish-doctrine, or 


644 Sl/F/ISM, 

SufSsm, or which the leading idea is a mystical union of mu 
with the Creator, through love for Him. For Sofiism has fotml 
its ablest exponents in the poets of Islam, and especially in Ibc 
great poets of Persia — in the Mesnaii of Jelilu-'d-Din ; iht 
/!/<(«/«*«■'/■ TojV of Feridu-'d-DtnAttat; the BuslSn of Si'di: 
the Gulshdn-i Raz of Sa'du-'d-Din Mahmfld Shabistari; lie 
gazals of Hafiz, &c "Under the veil of earthly love and tht 
woes of temporal separation, they disguise the dark riddle ol 
human life and the celestial banishment which lies behind (bi 
threshold of existence, and under the joys of revelry and inebria- 
tion ihey figure transports and ecstatic raptures." 

Briefly stated, the fundamental doctrine of the Sufi=— the 
Mystics of lilim— iitliat God is diffused throughout all crealion; 
the soul of man is ef God, not from God. an exile from Min. ; 
the body is its prison-house, and life in this world is its piTicHi il 
banishment from God— its home and ils source. Before the ^^1 
was exiled, it had seen the face of Truth, but hcru it nicrvlv 
obtains a shadowy glimpse, which " serve; to awnkcn ihf 
slumbering memory of the past, but can only vaguely ttcull it ; 
and Suf iism undertakes, by a loag course of education and moral 
discipline, to lead the soul onward from stage to stage, unril at 
length it reaches the goal of perfect knowledge, truth, and peace." 
.\ccording lo der\'ish -doctrine and practice, there ai 
through which the soul must pass before il reaches ils h 
its perfect condition. The first is •m^ui, or liumamly, isi 
obedience to the orthodox law — due 
ceremonies of religion — is nccc^^ai 
"the way" in which the disciple an 

Uing forms of religion (tisnng J 

Jng foi 

OJk' DERVISH-DOVrf:iyE. 645 

adopting spiiLiual adorntion in pluce uf corporeal worship. ThU 
iiage, which admits the disciple within the pole of Sufiisnii is 
only attaiaed by great pielyi virtue, enducance. and resignaCiDn 
10 the divine will. The third stttge is 'arfif, knowledge or 
inspiration ; and the fontlh and last, Aatiiat, or Truth itself^ 
uuion with the Deity is now perfect and complete. The SuTi 
disciple liom the first places himself under the guidance of a 
spiritual instructor, to whom he must in all things be submissive — 
passive as clay in the hands of the potter, or, to employ the Sufi 
phrase, as the corpse under the hands of Ihe imam. The dignity 
of Bpirituil difeclot — Khalifa, as the teacher is designated — ia 
not lo be obtained wilhuut lon[;-coii tinned fasting and prayer, 
and by complete abstraction from ali earthly things ; for the man 
most dit before the lainC can be liorii. 

Such, in CFUtline, is the doctrine of the Sufis, which differs but 
little in essentials from that of Buddhism, or from the teachings 
□f Pythagoras, and those of tile mystics of modem Europe. 
Indeed there are many paints of rcsetiiblnitcc between the 
myatidsm of the Sufis and that of certain sectaries in England 
during the I7tli cealur)', who aiE so wittily satirised in Butler's 
lludibriti : nhose boasted "inward light" is there styled, "a 
dark lanthorn of the spirit" 11ms the Sufis, hke these sectaries, 
talk of "love 10 God," " union with God," " death to self and 
hfe eternal in God," "the indwelling in man of the Spirit," "the 
nullity of works and ceremonies," "grace and spiritual illunii- 
nation," and so on. The sensual Paradise, with its jewelled 
mnniions and its beauteous hijtis, described in the Kur'an, is to 
the Sufis a mere allegory of course ; in like manner Law, in his 
"Serious Call," got rid of the material heaven so minutely 

646 SUFllSAI, 

described in the Book of the Revelation of St John. In short, 
Suf lism may be termed the religion of the heart, as opposed to 
formalism and ritualism. 

Muslim poetry, especially that of Persia, is more or less tinged 
with dervish-doctrine ; the parallels are carefully and skilfully 
maintained between external and sensuous objects and the 
internal and spiritual emotions of which they are supposed to be 
the emblems. (Therefore, to understand, even partially, the 
sweet odes of llatiz, it is necessary to know that by wine is 
meant devotion ; sleep signifies meditation on the divine {per- 
fections ; perfume represents hope of divine favour ; zephyrs 
mean outbursts of grace ; idolaiors^ inJiJelSy and Hbert'nu-s are 
men of the purest faith, and the idol they worship is the Creator; 
the tiU-e? n is the cell where the searcher after truth become.^ 
intoxicated with the wine of divine love ; the 7f'///i'-.v.'/W- is the 
spirilual director ; beauty is the perfection of the Deity ; r//;// 
and tresscsy the infiniteness of His glory; ///.f, the inscrutable 
mysteries of His essence ; dou'ti 011 (he cheeky the world of sjMrit> 
who surround the Creator's throne ; a black mole is the point of 
indivisible unity : luiufonficssy mirthy and inebriation^ religious 
ecstacy and perfect abstraction from all mundane thouijhts, and 
contempt for all worldly things. Read with this key to the 
esoteric meaning, the gazals of Hafiz are no longer anacreontic 
and bacchanalian effusions, but ecstatic lucubrations on the love 
of man to his Creator. 

\V. A. Cloiston. 

.M'LAfccs \ Sun, raiMKiis. Wkli.inoton SrRfchT, (iLA-uo',\ 




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