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There was once, of old days and in bygone ages and times, a King of great power and glory and dominion, who had a Vizier named Ibrahim, and this Vizier had a daughter of extraordinary beauty and grace, gifted with surpassing brilliancy and all perfection, possessed of abundant wit and perfectly accomplished. She loved wine and good cheer and fair faces and choice verses and rare stories; and the delicacy of her charms invited all hearts to love, even as Saith the poet, describing her:
She shines out like the moon at full, that midst the stars doth fare, And for a wrapping-veil she hath the ringlets of her hair. The Eastern zephyr gives her boughs to drink of all its sweets And like a jointed cane, she sways to every breath of air. She smiles in passing by. O thou that dost alike accord With red and yellow and arrayed in each, alike art fair, Thou sportest with my wit in love, so that indeed meseems As if a sparrow in the clutch of playful urchin 'twere.
Her name was Rose-in-bud and she was so named for the exceeding delicacy and perfection of her beauty; and the King loved to carouse with her, because of her wit and good breeding.
Now it was the King's custom yearly to gather together all the nobles of his realm and play with the ball. So, when the day came round, on which the folk assembled for ball-play, the Vizier's daughter seated herself at her lattice, to divert herself by looking on at the game; and as they were at play, her eyes fell upon a youth among them, never was seen a handsomer than he or a goodlier of favour, for he was bright of face, laughing-teethed, tall and broad-shouldered. She looked at him again and again and could not take her fill of gazing on him. Then she said to her nurse, 'What is the name of yonder handsome young man among the troops?' 'O my daughter,' replied the nurse, 'they are all handsome. Which of them dost thou mean?' 'Wait till he passes,' said Rose-in-bud, 'and I will point him out to thee.' So she took an apple and waited till he came under her window, when she dropped it on him, whereupon he raised his head, to see who did this, and saw the Vizier's daughter at the window, as she were the full moon in the darkness of the night; nor did he withdraw his eyes, till he had fallen passionately in love with her; and he recited the following verses:
Was it an archer shot me or did thine eyes undo The lover's heart that saw thee, what time thou metst his view? Did the notched arrow reach me from midst a host, indeed, Or was it from a lattice that launched at me it flew?
When the game was at an end, he went away with the King, [whose servant and favourite he was,] with heart occupied with love of her; and she said to her nurse, 'What is the name of that youth I showed thee?' 'His name is Uns el Wujoud,' answered she; whereat Rose-in-bud shook her head and lay down on her couch, with a heart on fire for love. Then, sighing deeply, she improvised the following verses:
He erred not who dubbed thee, "All creatures' delight," That pleasance and bounty at once dust unite. Full-moonlike of aspect, O thou whose fair face O'er all the creation sheds glory and light, Thou'rt peerless midst mortals, the sovran of grace, And many a witness to this I can cite. Thy brows are a Noun and shine eyes are a Sad, That the hand of the loving Creator did write; Thy shape is the soft, tender sapling, that gives Of its bounties to all that its favours invite. Yea, indeed, thou excellest the world's cavaliers In pleasance and beauty and bounty and might.
When she had finished, she wrote the verses on a sheet of paper, which she folded in a piece of gold-embroidered silk and laid under her pillow. Now one of her nurses saw her; so she came up to her and held her in talk, till she slept, when she stole the scroll from under her pillow and reading it, knew that she had fallen in love with Uns el Wujoud. Then she returned the scroll to its place and when her mistress awoke, she said to her, 'O my lady, indeed, I am to thee a faithful counsellor and am tenderly solicitous for thee. Know that passion is grievous and the hiding it melteth iron and causeth sickness and unease; nor is there reproach for whoso confesses it.' 'O my nurse,' rejoined Rose-in-bud,'and what is the remedy of passion?' 'The remedy of passion is enjoyment,' answered the nurse. 'And how may one come by enjoyment?' asked Rose-in-bud. 'By letters and messages,' replied the nurse, 'and many a tender word and greeting; this brings lovers together and makes hard matters easy. So, if thou have aught at heart, mistress mine, I will engage to keep thy secret and do thy need and carry thy letters.'
When the girl heard this, her reason fled for joy; but she restrained herself from speech, till she should see the issue of the matter, saying in herself, 'None knoweth this thing of me, nor will I trust this woman with my secret, till I have proved her.' Then said the nurse, 'O my lady, I saw in my sleep as though one came to me and said, "Thy mistress and Uns el Wujoud love one another; so do thou serve their loves by carrying their messages and doing their need and keeping their secrets; and much good shall befall thee." So now I have told thee my dream, and it is thine to decide.' 'O my nurse,' quoth Rose-in-bud, 'canst thou keep secrets?' 'And how should I not keep secrets,' answered the nurse, 'I that am of the flower of the free-born?' Then Rose-in-bud pulled out the scroll, on which she had written the verses afore said, and said to her,' Carry this my letter to Uns el Wujoud and bring me his answer.'
So the nurse took the letter and repairing to Uns el Wujoud, kissed his hands and saluted him right courteously, then gave him the letter; and he read it and wrote on the back the following verses:
I temper my heart in passion and hide my case as I may; But my case interprets for me and doth my love bewray. And whenas my lids brim over with tears,--lest the spy should see And come to fathom my secret,--"My eye is sore," I say. Of old I was empty-hearted and knew not what love was; But now I am passion's bondman, my heart to love's a prey. To thee I prefer my petition, complaining of passion and pain, So haply thou mayst be softened and pity my dismay. With the tears of my eye I have traced it, that so unto thee it may The tidings of what I suffer for thee to thee convey. God watch o'er a visage, that veileth itself with beauty, a face That the full moon serves as a bondman and the stars as slaves obey! Yea' Allah protect her beauty, whose like I ne'er beheld! The boughs from her graceful carriage, indeed, might learn to sway. I beg thee to grant me a visit; algates, if it irk thee nought. An thou knewst how dearly I'd prize it, thou wouldst not say me nay. I give thee my life, so haply thou mayst accept it: to me Thy presence is life eternal and hell thy turning away.
Then he folded the letter and kissing it, gave it to the nurse and said to her, 'O nurse, incline thy lady's heart to me.' 'I hear and obey,' answered she and carried the letter to her mistress, who kissed it and laid it on her head, then wrote at the foot of it these verses:
Harkye, thou whose heart is taken with my grace and loveliness, Have but patience, and right surely thou my favours shalt possess. When we were assured the passion thou avouchedst was sincere And that that which us betided had betided thee no less, Gladly had we then vouchsafed thee what thou sighedst for, and more; But our guardians estopped us to each other from access. When night darkens on the dwellings, fires are lighted in our heart And our entrails burn within us, for desire and love's excess. Yea, for love and longing, slumber is a stranger to our couch And the burning pangs of fever do our body sore distress. 'Twas a law of passion ever, love and longing to conceal; Lift not thou the curtain from us nor our secret aye transgress. Ah, my heart is overflowing with the love of yon gazelle; Would it had not left our dwellings for the distant wilderness.
Then she folded the letter and gave it to the nurse, who took it and went out to go to the young man; but as she went forth the door, her master met her and said to her, 'Whither away?' 'To the bath,' answered she; but, in her trouble, she dropped the letter, without knowing it, and one of the servants, seeing it lying in the way, picked it up. When she came without the door, she sought for it, but found it not, so turned back to her mistress and told her of this and what had befallen her with the Vizier.
Meanwhile, the latter came out of the harem and seated himself on his couch. Presently, the servant, who had picked up the letter, came in to him, with it in his hand, and said, 'O my lord, I found this paper lying on the floor and picked it up.' So the Vizier took it from his hand, folded as it was, and opening it, read the verses above set down. Then he examined the writing and knew it for his daughter's hand; whereupon he went in to her mother, weeping so sore that his beard was drenched. 'What makes thee weep, O my lord?' asked she; and he answered, 'Take this letter and see what is therein.' So she took it and saw it to be a love-letter from her daughter Rose-in-bud to Uns el Wujoud; whereupon the tears sprang to her eyes; but she mastered herself and swallowing her tears, said to her husband, 'O my lord, there is no profit in weeping: the right course is to cast about for a means of preserving thine honour and concealing thy daughter's affair.' And she went on to comfort him and lighten his trouble. Quoth he, 'I am fearful of what may ensue this passion of my daughter, and that for two reasons. The first concerns myself; it is, that she is my daughter; the second, that Uns el Wujoud is a favourite with the Sultan, who loves him with an exceeding love, and maybe great troubles shall come of this affair. What deemest thou of the matter?' 'Wait,' answered she, 'whilst I pray to God for direction.' So she prayed a two-bow prayer, according to the prophetic ordinance of the prayer for divine guidance; after which she said to her husband, 'Amiddleward the Sea of Treasures stands a mountain called the Mount of the Bereaved Mother,' (the cause of which being so named shall follow in its place, if it be the will of God,) 'and thither can none come, save with difficulty; do thou make her an abiding-place there.'
So the Vizier and his wife agreed to build, on the mountain in question, a strong castle and lodge his daughter therein with a year's victual, to be annually renewed, and attendants to serve and keep her company. Accordingly, he collected builders and carpenters and architects and despatched them to the mountain, where they builded her an impregnable castle, never saw eyes its like. Then he made ready victual and carriage for the journey and going in to his daughter by night, bade her make ready to set out on a pleasure-excursion. She refused to set out by night, but he was instant with her, till she went forth; and when she saw the preparations for the journey, her heart misgave her of separation from her beloved and she wept sore and wrote upon the door the following verses, to acquaint him with what had passed and with the transports of passion and grief that were upon her, transports such as would make the flesh quake, that would cause the hearts of stones to melt and eyes to overflow with tears:
By Allah, O house, if the loved one pass in the morning-glow And greet with the greeting of lovers, as they pass to and fro, Give him our salutation, a pure and fragrant one, For that we have departed, and whither he may not know. Why on this wise they hurry me off by stealth, anights And lightly equipped, I know not, nor whither with me they go. Neath cover of night and darkness, they carry me forth, alack I Whilst the birds in the brake bewail us and make their moan for our woe; And the tongue of the case interprets their language and cries, "Alas, Alas for the pain of parting from those that we love, heigho!" When I saw that the cups of sev'rance were filled and that Fate, indeed, Would give us to drink of its bitter, unmingled, would we or no, I blended the draught with patience becoming, as best I might; But patience avails not to solace my heart for your loss, I trow.
Then she mounted, and they set forward with her and fared on over desert and plain and hill, till they came to the shore of the Sea of Treasures, where they pitched their tents and built a great ship, in which they embarked her and her suite and carried them over to the mountain. Here they left them in the castle and making their way back to the shore, broke up the vessel, in obedience to the Vizier's commandment, and returned home, weeping over what had befallen.
Meanwhile, Uns el Wujoud arose from sleep and prayed the morning prayer, after which he mounted and rode forth to wait upon the Sultan. On his way, he passed by the Vizier's house, thinking to see some of his followers, as of wont, but saw no one and drawing near the door, read the verses aforesaid written thereon. At this sight, his senses failed him; fire was kindled in his vitals and he returned to his lodging, where he passed the rest of the day in ceaseless trouble and anxiety, without finding ease or patience, till night darkened upon him, when his transport redoubled. So he put off his clothes and disguising himself in a fakir's habit, set out, at a venture, under cover of the night, distraught and knowing not whither he went.
He wandered on all that night and next day, till the heat of the sun grew fierce and the mountains flamed like fire and thirst was grievous upon him. Presently, he espied a tree, by whose side was a spring of running water; so he made towards it and sitting down in the shade, on the bank of the rivulet, essayed to drink, but found that the water had no taste in his mouth. Then, [looking in the stream,] he saw that his body was wasted, his colour changed and his face grown pale and his, feet, to boot, swollen with walking and weariness. So he shed copious tears and repeated the following verses:
The lover is drunken with love of his fair; In longing and heat he redoubles fore'er. Love-maddened, confounded, distracted, perplexed, No dwelling is pleasant to him and no fare. For how, to a lover cut off from his love, Can life be delightsome? 'Twere strange an it were. I melt with the fire of my passion for her And the tears down my cheek roll and never forbear. Shall I ever behold her or one from her stead, With whom I may solace my heart in despair?
And he wept till he wet the ground; after which he rose and fared on again over deserts and wilds, till there came out upon him a lion, with a neck buried in hair, a head the bigness of a dome, a mouth wider than the door [thereof] and teeth like elephants' tusks. When Uns el Wujoud saw him, he gave himself up for lost and turning towards Mecca, pronounced the professions of the faith and prepared for death.
Now he had read in books that whoso will flatter the lion, beguileth him, for that he is lightly duped by fair words and glorieth in praise; so he began and said, 'O lion of the forest and the waste! O unconquerable warrior! O father of heroes and Sultan of wild beasts! Behold, I am a desireful lover, whom passion and severance have undone. Since I parted from my beloved, I have lost my reason; wherefore, do thou hearken to my speech and have ruth on my passion and love-longing.' When the lion heard this, he drew back from him and sitting down on his hind-quarters, raised his head to him and began to frisk his tail and paws to him; which when Uns el Wujoud saw, he recited these verses:
Wilt slay me, O lord of the desert, before My enslaver I meet with, e'en her I adore? No fat on me is; I'm no booty for thee; For the loss of my loved one hath wasted me sore. Yea, my love's separation hath worn out my soul, And I'm grown like a shape, with a shroud covered o'er. Give the railers not cause to exult in my woe, O prince of the spoilers, O lion of war! A lover, all sleepless for loss of my dear, I'm drowned in the tears from mine eyelids that pour; And my pining for her in the darkness of night Hath robbed me, for passion, of reason and lore.
When he had finished, the lion rose and coming softly up to him, with his eyes full of tears, licked him with his tongue, then walked on before him, signing to him, as who should say, 'Follow me.' So he followed him, and he led him on till he brought him, over a mountain, to the farther side, where he came upon the track of a caravan and knew it to be that of Rose-in-bud and her company. When the lion saw that he knew the track and set himself to follow it, he turned back and went his way; whilst Uns el Wujoud followed the foot-marks, till they brought him to a surging sea, swollen with clashing billows. The trail led down to the water's edge and there broke off; whereby he knew that they had taken ship there and had continued their journey by sea. So he lost hope of finding his beloved and repeated the following verses, weeping sore:
Far's the place of visitation and my patience faileth me For my love; but how to reach her o'er the abysses of the sea? When, for love of her, my vitals are consumed and I've forsworn Slumber, sleep for wake exchanging, ah, how can I patient be? Since the day she left the homesteads and departed, hath my heart Burnt with never-ceasing anguish, all a-fire with agony. Oxus and Jaxartes, running like Euphrates, are my tears; More than rain and flood abounding, run like rivers to the sea. Ulcerated are my eyelids with the running of the tears, And my heart on fires of passion's burnt and wasted utterly. Yea, the armies of my longing and my transport on me pressed, And the hosts of my endurance did before them break and flee. Lavishly my life I've ventured for the love of her; for life Is the lightest to a lover of all ventures, verily. Be an eye of God unpunished that beheld the beauteous one, Than the moon how much more splendid, in the harem's sanctuary! Struck was I and smitten prostrate by wide-opened eyes, whose shafts, From a bow all stringless loosened, pierced the hapless heart of me. By the soft and flexile motions of her shape she captived me, Swaying as the limber branches sway upon the cassia-tree. Union with her I covet, that therewith I may apply Solace to the pains of passion, love and care and misery. For the love of her, afflicted, as I am, I have become; All that's fallen on me betided from the evil eye, perdie.
Then he wept, till he swooned away, and abode in his swoon a long while. When he came to himself, he looked right and left and seeing none in the desert, was fearful of the wild beasts; so he climbed to the top of a high mountain, where he heard a man's voice speaking within a cavern. He listened and found it to be that of a devotee, who had forsworn the world and given himself up to pious exercises. So he knocked thrice at the cavern door; but the hermit made him no answer, neither came forth to him; wherefore he sighed heavily and recited the following verses:
What way is open unto me, to my desire to get And put off weariness and toil and trouble and regret? All pains and terrors have combined on me, to make me hoar And old of head and heart, whilst I a very child am yet. I find no friend to solace me of longing and unease' Nor one 'gainst passion and its stress to aid me and abet. Alas, the torments I endure for waste and wistful love! Fortune, meseems, 'gainst me is turned and altogether set. Ah, woe's me for the lover's pain, unresting, passion-burnt, Him who in parting's bitter cup his lips perforce hath wet! His wit is ravished clean away by separation's woe, Fire in his heart and all consumed his entrails by its fret. Ah, what a dreadful day it was, when to her stead I came And that, which on the door was writ, my eyes confounded met! I wept, until I gave the earth to drink of my despair; But still from friend and foe I hid the woes that me beset. Then strayed I forth till, in the waste, a lion sprang on me And would have slain me straight; but him with flattering words I met And soothed him. So he spared my life and succoured me, as 'twere He too had known love's taste and been entangled in its net. Yet, for all this, could I but win to come to my desire, All, that I've suffered and endured, straightway I should forget. O thou, that harbour'st in thy cave, distracted from the world, Meseems thou'st tasted love and been its slave, O anchoret!
Hardly had he made an end of these verses when, behold, the door of the cavern opened and he heard one say' 'Alas, the pity of it I' So he entered and saluted the hermit, who returned his greeting and said to him, 'What is thy name?' 'Uns el Wujoud,' answered the young man. 'And what brings thee hither?' asked the hermit. So he told him his whole story, whereat he wept and said' 'O Uns el Wujoud, these twenty years have I dwelt in this place, but never beheld I any here, till the other day, when I heard a noise of cries and weeping, and looking forth in the direction of the sound, saw much people and tents pitched on the sea-shore. They built a ship, in which they embarked and sailed away. Then some of them returned with the ship and breaking it up, went their way; and methinks those, who embarked in the ship and returned not, are they whom thou seekest. In that case, thy trouble must needs be grievous and thou art excusable; though never yet was lover but suffered sorrows.' Then he recited the following verses:
Uns el Wujoud, thou deem'st me free of heart, but, wel-a-way! Longing and transport and desire fold and unfold me aye. Yea, love and passion have I known even from my earliest years, Since at my mother's nursing breast a suckling babe I lay. I struggled sore and long with Love, till I his power confessed. If thou enquire at him of me, he will me not unsay. I quaffed the cup of passion out, with languor and disease, And as a phantom I became for pining and decay. Strong was I, but my strength is gone and neath the swords of eyes, The armies of my patience broke and vanished clean away. Hope not to win delight of love, without chagrin and woe; For contrary with contrary conjoined is alway. But fear not change from lover true; do thou but constant be Unto thy wish, and thou shalt sure be happy yet some day: For unto lovers passion hath ordained that to forget Is heresy, forbidden all its mandates that obey.
Then he rose and coming to the youth, embraced him, and they wept together, till the hills rang with their crying and they fell down in a swoon. When they revived, they swore brotherhood in God the Most High, and the hermit said to Uns el Wujoud, 'This night will I pray to God and seek of Him direction what thou shouldst do to attain thy desire.'
To return to Rose-in-bud. When they brought her into the castle and she beheld its ordinance, she wept and exclaimed, 'By Allah, thou art a goodly place, save that thou lackest the presence of the beloved in thee!' Then, seeing [many] birds in the island, she bade her people set snares for them and hang up all they caught in cages within the castle; and they did so. But she sat at a window of the castle and bethought her of what had passed, and passion and transport and love-longing redoubled upon her, till she burst into tears and repeated the following verses:
To whom, of my desire complaining, shall I cry, To whom, for loss of loves and parting's sorrow, sigh? Flames rage within my breast, but I reveal them not, For fear lest they my case discover to the spy. I'm grown as thin as e'er a bodkin's wood, so worn With absence and lament and agony am I. Where is the loved one's eye, to see how I'm become Even as a blasted tree, stripped bare and like to die? They wronged me, when they shut me prisoner in a place, Wherein my love, alas I may never come me nigh. Greetings a thousandfold I beg the sun to bear, What time he riseth up and setteth from the sky, To a beloved one, who puts the moon to shame, For loveliness, and doth the Indian cane outvie. If the rose ape his cheek, "Now God forfend," I say, "That of my portion aught to pilfer thou shouldst try." Lo, in his mouth are springs of limpid water sweet, Refreshment that would bring to those in flames who lie. How shall I one forget who is my heart and soul, My malady and he that healing can apply?
Then, as the shadows darkened upon her, her longing increased and she called to mind the past and recited these verses also:
The shadows darken and passion stirs up my sickness amain And longing rouses within me the old desireful pain. The anguish of parting hath taken its sojourn in my breast And love and longing and sorrow have maddened heart and brain. Passion hath made me restless and yearning consumes my soul And tears discover my secret, that else concealed had lain. I know of no way to ease me of sickness and care and woe; Nor can my weak endeavour reknit Love's severed skein. My heart is a raging furnace, because of the heat whereof My entrails are racked with anguish, that nothing can assain. O thou, that thinkest to blame me for what is fallen on me, Enough, I suffer with patience whatever the Fates ordain. I swear I shall ne'er find comfort nor be consoled for them, The oath of the children of passion, whose oaths are never in vain! Bear tidings, O night, to my dear ones and greet them and witness bear That thou knowest in thee I sleep not, but ever to wake am fain.
Meanwhile, the hermit said to Uns el Wujoud, 'Go down into the valley and fetch me palm-fibre.' So he went and returned with the palm-fibre, which the hermit took and twisting into ropes, made therewith a net, such as is used for carrying straw; after which he said to the youth, 'O Uns el Wujoud, in the heart of the valley grows a gourd, which springs up and dries upon its roots. Go thither and fill this net therewith; then tie it together and casting it into the water, embark thereon and make for the midst of the sea, so haply thou shalt come to thy desire; for he, who adventureth not himself, shall not attain that he seeketh.' 'I hear and obey,' answered Uns el Wujoud and bidding the hermit farewell after he had prayed for him, betook himself to the hollow of the valley, where he did as he had counselled him and launched out upon the water, supported by the net.
Then there arose a wind, which drove him out to sea, till he was lost to the hermit's view; and he ceased not to fare on over the abysses of the ocean, one billow tossing him up on the crest of the wave and another bearing him down into the trough of the sea, and he beholding the while the terrors and wonders of the deep, for the space of three days, at the end of which time Fate cast him upon the Mount of the Bereft Mother, where he landed, weak and giddy as a fledgling bird, for hunger and thirst; but, finding there streams running and birds warbling on the branches and fruit-laden trees, growing in clusters and singly, he ate of the fruits and drank of the streams. Then he walked on till he saw some white thing alar off, and making for it, found that it was a strongly-fortified castle. So he went up to the gate and finding it locked, sat down by it.
He sat thus three days and on the fourth, the gate opened and an eunuch came out, who seeing Uns el Wujoud seated there, said to him, 'Whence comest thou and who brought thee hither?' Quoth he, 'I come from Ispahan and was travelling by sea with merchandise, when my ship was wrecked and the waves cast me upon this island.' When the eunuch heard this, he wept and embraced him, saying, 'God preserve thee, O [thou that bringest me the] fragrance of the beloved! Ispahan is my own country and I have there a cousin, the daughter of my father's brother, whom I loved and cherished from a child; but a people stronger than we fell upon us and taking me among other booty, docked me and sold me for an eunuch, whilst I was yet a lad; and this is how I come to be what I am.' Then he carried him into the courtyard of the castle, where he saw a great basin of water, surrounded by trees, on whose branches hung cages of silver, with doors of gold, and therein birds warbling and singing the praises of the Requiting King. In the first cage he came to was a turtle dove which, seeing him, raised her voice and cried out, saying, 'O Bountiful One!' Whereat he fell down in a swoon, but, presently coming to himself, sighed heavily and recited the following verses:
O turtle, art thou mad for love, as is my case? Then sing, 'O Bountiful!' and seek the Lord His grace! Tell me, doth thy descant in joyance tale its rise Or in desireful pain, that in thy heart hath place? If for desire thou moan'st of bygone loves or pin'st For dear ones that have gone and left thee but their trace, Or if thou'st lost thy love, like me, ah, then, indeed, Severance long-felt desire discovereth apace. God guard a lover true! Though my bones rot, nor time Nor absence from my heart her image shall efface.
Then he fainted again and presently coming to his senses, went on to the second cage, wherein he found a ring-dove. When it saw him, it sang out, 'O Eternal, I praise thee!' and he sighed and recited these verses:
I heard a ring-dove say in her plaintive note, "Despite of my woes, O Eternal, I praise Thee still!" And God, of His grace, reunion of our loves, in this my travel, may yet to us fulfil. She visits me oft, with her dusk-red honeyed lips, And lends to the passion within me an added thrill. And I cry, whilst the fires in my tortured heart flame high And my soul for ardour consumes and my eyes distil Tears that resemble blood and withouten cease Pour down on my wasted cheeks in many a rill, There's none created without affliction, and I Must bear with patience my tribulations, until The hour of solace with her I love one day Unite me. Ah, then, by God His power and will, In succouring lovers, I vow, I'll spend my good, For they're of my tribe and category still; And eke from prison I'll loose the birds, to boot, And leave, for joyance, the thought of every ill!
Then he went on to the third cage, in which was a mocking-bird. When it saw him, it set up a song, and he recited the following verses:
The mocking-bird delighteth me with his harmonious strain, As 'twere a lover's voice that pines and wastes for love in vain. Woe's me for those that lovers be! How many a weary night, For love and anguish and desire, to waken they are fain! 'Twould seem as if they had no part in morning or in sleep, For all the stress of love and woe that holds their heart and brain. When I became distraught for her I love and wistfulness Bound me in fetters strait, the tears from out mine eyes did rain So thick and fast, they were as chains, and I to her did say, "My tears have fallen so thick, that now they've bound me with a chain." The treasures of my patience fail, absence is long on me And yearning sore; and passion's stress consumeth me amain. If God's protection cover me and Fortune be but just And Fate with her whom I adore unite me once again, I'll doff my clothes, that she may see how worn my body is, For languishment and severance and solitary pain.
Then he went on to the fourth cage, where he found a nightingale, which, at sight of him, began to tune its plaintive note. When he heard its descant, he burst into tears and repeated the following verses:
The nightingale's note, when the dawning is near, Distracts from the lute-strings the true lover's ear. Complaineth, for love-longing, Uns el Wujoud, Of a passion that blotteth his being out sheer. How many sweet notes, that would soften, for mirth, The hardness of iron and stone, do I hear! The zephyr of morning brings tidings to me Of meadows, full-flower'd for the blossoming year. The scents on the breeze and the music of birds, In the dawning, transport me with joyance and cheer. But I think of a loved one, that's absent from me, And mine eyes rain in torrents, with tear upon tear; And the ardour of longing flames high in my breast, As a fire in the heart of a brasier burns clear. May Allah vouchsafe to a lover distraught To see and foregather once more with his dear! Yea, for lovers, heart-sickness and longing and woe And wake are excuses that plainly appear.
Then he went on a little and came to a handsome cage, than which there was no goodlier there, and in it a culver, that is to Say, a wood-pigeon, the bird renowned among the birds as the singer of love-longing, with a collar of jewels about its neck, wonder-goodly of ordinance. He considered it awhile and seeing it mazed and brooding in its cage, shed tears and repeated these verses:
O culver of the copse, may peace upon thee light, O friend of all who love and every wistful wight! I love a young gazelle, a slender one, whose glance Than sharpest sabre's point is keener and more bright. For love of her, my heart and entrails are a-fire And sicknesses consume my body and my spright. The sweet of pleasant food's forbidden unto me, And eke I am denied the taste of sleep's delight. Solace and fortitude have taken flight from me, And love and longing lodge with me, both day and night. How shall my life be sweet to me, while she's afar, That is my life, my wish, the apple of my sight?
When the pigeon heard these verses, it awoke from its brooding and cooed and warbled and trilled, till it all but spoke; and the tongue of the case interpreted for it and recited the following verses:
O lover, thy wailings recall to my mind The time when my youth from me wasted and dwined, And A mistress, whose charms and whose grace I adored, Seductive and fair over all of her kind; Whose voice, from the twigs of the sandhill upraised, Left the strains of the flute, to my thought, far behind. A snare set the fowler and caught me, who cried, "Would he d leave me to range at my will on the wind!" I had hoped he was clement or seeing that I Was a lover, would pity my lot and be kind; But no, (may God smite him!) he tore me away From my dear and apart from her harshly confined. Since then, my desire for her grows without cease, And my heart with the fires of disjunction is mined. God guard a true lover, who striveth with love And hath suffered the torments in which I have pined! When he seeth me languish for love in my cage, He will loose me, in mercy, my loved one to find
Then Uns el Wujoud turned to his friend, the Ispahani and said to him, 'What palace is this? Who built it and who abideth in it?' Quoth the eunuch, 'The Vizier of King Shamikh built it for his daughter, fearing for her the assaults of fate and the vicissitudes of fortune, and lodged her therein, with her attendants; nor do we open it save once in every year, when our victual comes to us.' And Uns el Wujoud said in himself, 'I have gained my end' though after long travail.'
Meanwhile, Rose-in-bud took no delight in eating nor drinking, sitting nor sleeping; but her transport and passion and love-longing redoubled on her, and she went wandering about the castle, but could find no issue; wherefore she shed plenteous tears and recited the following verses:
They have prisoned me straitly from him I adore And given me to eat of mine anguish galore. My heart with the flames of love-longing they fired, When me from the sight of my loved one they bore. They have cloistered me close in a palace built high On a mount in the midst of a sea without shore. If they'd have me forget, their endeavour is vain, For my love but redoubles upon me the more. How can I forget him, when all I endure Arose from the sight of his face heretofore? My days are consumed in lament, and my nights Pass in thinking of him, as I knew him of yore. His memory my solace in solitude is, Since the lack of his presence I needs must deplore. I wonder, will Fate grant my heart its desire And my love, after all, to my wishes restore!
Then she donned her richest clothes and trinkets and threw a necklace of jewels around her neck; after which she ascended to the roof of the castle and tying some strips of Baalbek stuff together, [to serve for a rope], made them fast to the battlements and let herself down thereby to the ground. Then she fared on over wastes and wilds, till she came to the sea-shore, where she saw a fishing-boat, and therein a fisherman, whom the wind had driven on to the island, as he went, fishing here and there, on the sea. When he saw her, he was affrighted, [ taking her for a Jinniyeh] and put out again to sea; but she cried out and made pressing signs to him to return, reciting the following verses:
Harkye, O fisherman, fear thou no injury; I'm but an earthly maid, a mortal like to thee. I do implore thee, stay, give ear unto my prayer And hearken to my true and woeful history. Pity, (so God thee spare,) the ardour [of my love,] And say if thou hast seen a loved one, fled from me. I love a fair-faced youth and goodly; brighter far Of aspect than the face of sun or moon is he. The antelope, that sees his glances, cries, "His slave Am I," and doth confess inferiority. Yea, beauty on his brow these pregnant words hath writ In very dust of musk, significant to see, "Who sees the light of love is in the way of right, And he who strays commits foul sin and heresy." An thou have ruth on me and bring me to his sight, O rare! Whate'er thou wilt thy recompense shall be; Rubies and precious stones and freshly gathered pearls And every kind of gem that is in earth and sea. Surely, O friend, thou wilt with my desire comply; For all my heart's on fire with love and agony.
When the fisherman heard this, he wept and sighed and lamented; then, recalling what had betided himself in the days of his youth, when love had the mastery over him and transport and love-longing and distraction were sore upon him and the fires of passion consumed him, replied with these verses:
Indeed, the lover's excuse is manifest, Wasting of body and streaming tears, unrest, Eyes, in the darkness that waken still, and heart, As 'twere a fire-box, bespeak him love-oppress. Passion, indeed, afflicted me in youth, And I good money from bad learnt then to test. My soul I bartered, a distant love to win; To gain her favours, I wandered East and West; And eke I ventured my life against her grace And deemed the venture would bring me interest. For law of lovers it is that whoso buys His love's possession with life, he profits best.
Then he moored his boat to the shore and bade her embark, saying, 'I will carry thee whither thou wilt.' So she embarked and he put off with her; but they had not gone far, before there came out a stern-wind upon the boat and drove it swiftly out of sight of land. The fisherman knew not whither he went, and the wind blew without ceasing three days, at the end of which time it fell, by leave of God the Most High, and they sailed on, till they came in sight of a city builded upon the seashore, and the fisherman set about making fast to the land.
Now the King of the city, a very powerful prince called Dirbas, was at that moment sitting, with his son, at a window in the palace giving upon the sea, and chancing to look out to sea-ward, they saw the fishing-boat enter the harbour. They observed it narrowly and espied therein a young lady, as she were the full moon in the mid-heaven, with pendants in her ears of fine balass rubies and a collar of precious stones about her neck. So the King knew that this must be the daughter of some king or great noble, and going forth of the sea-gate of the palace, went down to the boat, where he found the lady asleep and the fisherman busied in making fast to the shore. He went up to her and aroused her, whereupon she awoke, weeping; and he said to her, 'Whence comest thou and whose daughter art thou and what brings thee hither?' 'I am the daughter of Ibrahim, Vizier to King Shamikh,' answered she; 'and the manner of my coming hither is strange and the cause thereof extraordinary.' And she told him her whole story, hiding nought from him; then she sighed deeply and recited the following verses:
Tears have mine eyelids wounded sore, and wonder-fast they flow Adown my cheek for parting's pain and memory and woe, For a beloved's sake, who dwells for ever in my heart, Though to foregather with himself I cannot win, heigho! Fair, bright and brilliant is his face, in loveliness and grace, Turk, Arab and barbarian he cloth indeed o'ercrow. The full moon and the sun contend in deference to him, And when he rises into sight, they, lover-like, bend low. His eyes with wondrous witchery are decked, as 'twere with kohl; Even as a bow, that's bent to shoot its shafts, to thee they show. O thou, to whom I have perforce revealed my case, have ruth On one with whom the shifts of love have sported long eno'. Lo, broken-hearted, Love hath cast me up upon thy coast, Wherefore I trust that thou on me fair favour wilt bestow. The noble who, when folk of worth alight within their bounds, Do honour and protect them, win increase of glory so. Cover thou then, my lord, my hope, two lovers' follies up And let them to thy succouring hand their loves' reunion owe.
Then she shed plenteous tears and recited these verses also:
I lived, a marvel till I saw in love, then lived no mo'; Each month to thee as Rejeb be, as free from fear of foe! Is it not strange that, on the morn they went away, I lit Fire in my vitals with the tears that from mine eyes did flow? Indeed, mine eyelids ran with blood, and on the wasted plain Of my sad cheek, that therewithal was watered, gold did grow. Yea, for the safflower hue, that thence o'erspread my cheeks, they seem The shirt of Joseph, steeped in blood, to make a lying show.
When the King heard this, he was certified of her passion and love-longing and was moved to compassion for her; so he said to her, 'Fear nothing and be not troubled; thou hast attained the term of thy wishes; for needs must I bring thee to thy desire.' And he recited the following verses:
Daughter if nobles, thou hast reached thy wishes' goal, I trow: In happy presage then rejoice and fear not any woe. Treasures this very day, will I collect and neath escort Of horsemen and of champions, to Shamikh they shall go. Brocade and bladders full of musk I will to him despatch And eke white silver and red gold I'll send to him also. Yea, and a letter neath my hand my wish for ties of kin And for alliance with himself shall give him eke to know; And all endeavour will I use, forthwith, that he thou lov'st Once more with thee may be conjoined, to part from thee no mo. I, too, have battened upon love and know the taste thereof And can excuse the folk who've quaffed the self-same cup of woe.
Then, returning to his palace, he summoned his Vizier and causing pack him up countless treasure, bade him carry it to King Shamikh and say to him, 'The King is minded to ally himself with thee by marrying Uns el Wujoud, shine officer, to his daughter. So needs must thou send him with me, that the marriage may be solemnized in her father's kingdom.' And he wrote a letter to King Shamikh, to this effect, and gave it to the Vizier, charging him without fail bring back Uns el Wujoud, on pain of deposition from his office. 'I hear and obey,' answered the Vizier and setting out forthright, in due course arrived at the court of King Shamikh, to whom he delivered the letter and presents, saluting him in the name of King Dirbas. When Shamikh read the letter and saw the name of Uns el Wujoud, he burst into tears and said to the Vizier, 'And where is Uns el Wujoud? He went away, and we know not his place of abiding. Bring him to me, and I will give thee the sum of the presents thou hast brought me, twice told.' And he wept and sighed and groaned, reciting the following verses:
Him whom I loved to me restore; By gold and gifts I set no store. Nor do I crave largesse, indeed, Of pearls and gems and precious ore. As 'twere a moon at full, for us, In beauty's heaven he did soar. Passing in wit and grace, gazelles With him comparison gave o'er. His shape was as a willow-wand, For fruits that sweet seductions bore; But in the willow, to enslave The hearts of men, there is no lore. I reared him from a child upon The bed of fondness evermore; And now I am at heart distraught For him and sorrow passing sore.
Then said he to the Vizier, 'Go back to thy master and tell him that Uns el Wujoud has been missing this year past, and his lord knoweth not whither he is gone nor hath any news of him.' 'O my lord,' answered King Dirbas's Vizier, 'my master said to me, "An thou come back without him, thou shalt be ousted from the Vizierate and shall not enter my city." How then can I return without him?' So King Shamikh said to his Vizier Ibrahim, 'Take a company and go with him and make search for Uns el Wujoud everywhere.' 'I hear and obey,' answered Ibrahim, and taking a company of his own retainers, set out in quest of Uns el Wujoud, accompanied by King Dirbas's Vizier; and as often as they fell in with Bedouins or others, they enquired at them of Uns el Wujoud, saying, 'Have ye seen a man, whose name is so and so and his favour thus and thus?' But they answered, 'We know him not.'
So they fared on, enquiring in city and hamlet and seeking in hill and plain and desert and wold, till they came to the sea-shore, where they took ship and sailed, till they came to the Mountain of the Bereaved Mother; and King Dirbas's Vizier said to Ibrahim, 'Why is this mountain thus called?' 'There was once of old time,' answered the other Vizier, 'a Jinniych, of the Jinn of China, who fell passionately in love with a man and being in fear of her own people, searched all the earth for a place, where she might hide him from them, till she happened on this mountain and finding it inaccessible both to men and Jinn, carried off her beloved and lodged him therein. There she used to visit him privily, till she had borne him a number of children, and the merchants, sailing by the mountain, in their voyages over the sea, heard the weeping of the children, as it were the wailing of a woman who had lost her young, and said, "Is there here a mother bereaved of her children?" For which reason the place was named the Mountain of the Bereaved Mother.' And King Dirbas's Vizier marvelled at this.
Then they landed and making for the castle, knocked at the gate, which was opened to them by an eunuch, who knew the Vizier Ibrahim and kissed his hands. Ibrahim entered and finding in the courtyard, among the serving men, a man in the habit of a fakir, said. 'Whence comes yonder fellow?' Quoth they, 'He is a merchant, who hath lost his goods by shipwreck, but saved himself on a plank; and he is an ecstatic.' Now this was none other than Uns el Wujoud, [but the Vizier knew him not]; so he left him and went on into the castle. He found there no trace of his daughter and questioned her women, who answered, 'She abode with us but a little while and went away, how and whither we know not.' Whereupon he wept sore and repeated the following verses:
O house, whose birds warbled for joyance whilere And whose sills were resplendent with glory and pride, Till the lover came to thee, bemooning himself For his passion, and found thy doors open and wide, Would I knew where my soul is, my soul that was late In a house, where its masters no longer abide! Therein were all things that are costly and rich And with suits of brocade it was decked, like a bride. Yea, happy and honoured its doorkeeper were. Would God I knew whither its mistress hath tried!
Then he wept and sighed and bemoaned himself, exclaiming, 'There is no resource against the ordinance of God neither is there any escape from that which He hath decreed!' Then he went up to the roof and finding the strips of Baalbek stuff tied to the battlements and hanging down to the ground, knew that she had descended thence and had fled forth, as one distracted and mad with passion. Presently, he turned and seeing there two birds, an owl and a raven, deemed this an ill omen; so he groaned and recited these verses:
Unto the loved ones' stead I came, as hoping, by their sight, To quench the fire that burnt in me of love-longing and woe; But no beloved found I there, nor aught, indeed, I found, Save two ill-omened ones, an owl And eke a corby-crow. And quoth the tongue o' the case to me, "Thou hast been tyrannous And hast two longing lovers torn, the one the other fro! Taste of the anguish, then, of love what thou hast made them taste And live, 'twixt agony and tears, in sorrow evermo."
Then he descended, weeping, and bade the servants go forth and search the island for their mistress; so they sought for her, but found her not. As for Uns el Wujoud, when he was certified that Rose-in-bud was indeed gone, he gave a great cry and fell down in a swoon, nor came to himself for a long time, whilst the folk deemed that a ravishment from the Merciful One had taken him and that he was absorbed in contemplation of the splendour of the majesty of the Requiter of good and evil. Then, despairing of finding Uns el Wujoud and seeing that Ibrahim was distracted for the loss of his daughter, King Dirbas's Vizier addressed himself to return to his own country, for all he had not attained the object of his journey, and said to Ibrahim? 'I have a mind to take yonder fakir with me; it may be God, for his sake, will incline the King's heart to me, for that he is a holy man; and after, I will send him to Ispahan, which is near our country.' 'Do &as thou wilt,' answered Ibrahim.
So they took leave of one another and departed, each for his own country, King Dirbas's Vizier carrying with him Uns el Wujoud, who was still insensible. They bore him with them on muleback, unknowing if he were carried or not, for three days, at the end of which time he came to himself and said, 'Where am I?' 'Thou art in company with King Dirbas's Vizier,' answered they and went and told the latter, who sent him rose-water and sherbet of sugar, of which they gave him to drink and restored him. Then they fared on till they drew near King Dirbas's capital and the King, being advised of his Vizier's coming, wrote to him, saying, 'An Uns el Wujoud be not with thee, come not to me ever.'
When the Vizier read the royal mandate, it was grievous to him, for he knew not that Rose-in-bud was with the King nor why he had sent him in quest of Uns el Wujoud, neither knew he that the fakir he had with him was Uns el Wujoud himself; and the latter in like manner knew not whither they were bound nor that the Vizier had been despatched in quest of himself. So, when he saw him thus chagrined, he said to him, 'What ails thee?' And he answered, 'I was sent by the King on an errand, which I have not been able to accomplish. So, when he heard of my return, he wrote to me? saying, "Enter not my city, except thou have fulfilled my need."' 'And what is the King's need?' asked Uns el Wujoud. So the Vizier told him the case, and he said, 'Fear nothing, but go boldly to the King and take me with thee; and I will be surety to thee for the coming of Uns el Wujoud.' At this the Vizier rejoiced and said, 'Is this true that thou sayest?' 'Yes,' answered he; whereupon the Vizier mounted and carried him to King Dirbas, who said to him, 'Where is Uns el Wujoud?' 'O King,' answered the young man, 'I know where he is.' So the King called him to him and said, 'Where?' 'Near at hand, replied Uns d Wujoud. 'Tell me what thou wouldst with him, and I will fetch him to thee.' 'With all my heart,' answered the King; 'but the case calls for privacy.'
So he bade the folk withdraw and, carrying Uns el Wujoud into his closet, told him the whole story; whereupon quoth the youth, 'Clothe me in rice apparel, and I will eftsoons bring Uns el Wujoud to thee.' So they brought him a sumptuous dress, and he donned it and said, 'I am the Delight of the World and the Mortification of the Envious.' So saying, he transfixed ail hearts with his glances and recited the following verses:
My loved one's memory cheers me still in this my solitude And doth wanhope from me away, as I in absence brood. I have no helper but my tears; yet, when from out mine eyes They flow, they lighten my despair and ease my drearihood. Sore is my longing; yea, it hath no like and my affair In love and passion's marvellous, beyond all likelihood. I lie the night long, wakeiul-eyed,--no sleep is there for me,--And pass, for love, from heaven to hell, according to my mood. Yea, patience fair some time I had, but have it now no more; And longing and chagrin increase upon me, like a flood. Indeed, my body's worn to nought, for severance from her; Yearnings my aspect and my form to change have all subdued. Mine eyelids ulcerated are with weeping, nor can I Avail to stay the constant tears, wherewith they're still bedewed. Indeed, I can no more; my strength, my very vitals fail. How many sorrows have I borne, on sorrows still renewed! My heart and head are grizzled grown, for loss of a princess In beauty, sure, the fairest maid that ever lover wooed. In her despite, our parting was, for no desire hath she Save to be joined with me and feed once more on lovers' food. I wonder, will my fate to me union vouchsafe with her I cherish, after absence long and stress of lonelihood, And shut the book of severance up, that now is open wide, And blot out troubles from my thought with love's supremest good? Shall my beloved, in my land, my cup-companion be And sorrow and affliction be by pure delight ensued?
'By Allah,' exclaimed the King, 'ye are, indeed, a pair of true lovers and in the heaven of beauty two shining stars! Your story is marvellous and your case extraordinary.' Then he told him all that had befallen Rose-in-bud; and Uns el Wujoud said, 'Where is she, O King of the age?' 'She is with me now,' answered Dirbas and sending for the Cadi and the witnesses, drew up the contract of marriage between her and him. Then he loaded Uns el Wujoud with favours and bounties and sent to King Shamikh, advising him of what had befallen, whereat the latter rejoiced with an exceeding joy and wrote back to him, saying, 'Since the marriage contract hath been drawn up at thy court! it behoves that the wedding and consummation be at mine.' And he made ready camels and horses and men and sent them in quest of the lovers.
When the embassy reached King Dirbas, he gave the pair great store of treasure and despatched them to King Shamikh's court with an escort of his own troops. The day of their arrival was a notable day, never was seen a greater; for the King assembled all the singers and players on instruments of music and made banquets and held high festival seven days; and on each day he gave largesse to the folk and bestowed on them sumptuous dresses of honour. Then Uns el Wujoud went in to Rose-in-bud, and they embraced and sat weeping for excess of joy and gladness, whilst she recited the following verses:
Gladness is come, dispelling grief and putting care aside; We are united now and have our enviers mortified. The fragrant breeze of union blows fresh and sweet for us, Whereby our bodies, vitals, hearts are all revivified. The splendour of fulfilled delight in all its glory shines, And for glad tidings beat the drums about us far and wide. Think not we weep for stress Of grief or for affliction; nay, It is for joy our tears flow down and will not be denied. How many terrors have we seen, that now are past away! Yet we each agonizing strait did patiently abide. In one hour of delight have we forgotten all the woes, Whose stresses made us twain, whilom, grey-haired and hollow-eyed.
Then they clipped each other and ceased not from their embrace, till they fell down in a swoon, for the ecstasy of reunion; and when they came to themselves, Uns d Wujoud recited these verses:
Ah, how peerlessly sweet are the nights of delight, When the loved one to me keeps the troth she did plight, When enjoyment enjoyment ensues and the bonds Of estrangement between us are sundered outright, And fortune is come to us, favouring and fair, After turning away with aversion and spite! Fair fortune hath set up her standards for us And we drink from her hand a cup pure of affright. United, our woes each to each we recount And the nights when in torments we watched for the light. But now, O my lady, forgotten have we Our griefs, and God pardon the past its upright! How pleasant, how lovesome, how joyous is life! Enjoyment my passion doth only excite.
Then they gave themselves up anew to the pleasures of the nuptial bed and passed seven whole days thus, carousing and conversing and reciting verses and telling pleasant tales and anecdotes, in the intervals of amorous dalliance; for so drowned were they in the sea of passion, that they knew not night from day and it was to them, for very stress of joy and gladness and pleasure and delight, as if the seven days were but one day, and that without a morrow. Nor did they know the seventh day, but by the coming of the singers and players on instruments of music; whereat Rose-in-bud was beyond measure wondered and improvised the following verses:
Despite the enviers' rage and malice of the spy, I've won of him I love my wish to satisfy; Yea, we have crowned our loves with many a close embrace, On cushions of brocade and silken stuffs piled high Upon a couch full soft, of perfumed leather made And stuffed with down of birds of rarest kind that fly. Thanks to the honeyed dews of my beloved's lips, Illustrious past compare, no need of wine have I. Yea, for the sweet excess of our fulfilled delight, The present from the past we know, nor far from nigh. A miracle indeed! Seven nights o'er us have passed, Without our taking note of how they flitted by; Till, on the seventh day, they wished us joy and said, "Your union God prolong to all eternity!"
When she had finished, Uns el Wujoud kissed her, more than a hundred times, and recited the following verses:
O day of pure delight and mutual happiness! The loved one came and set me free from loneliness. She blest me with the sweets of all her glorious charms, What while her converse filled my spirit with liesse. She plied me with the wine of amorous delight, Till all my senses failed, for very drunkenness. Yea, merry each with each we made, together lay, Then fell to wine and did, in song, our cheer express; Nor knew we, of the days that fleeted over us, The present from the past, for very joy's excess. Fair fall all those that love of ease and twinned delight, And joy to them fulfil its promise none the less! Ne'er may they know the taste of parting's bitter cup! God succour them as me He succoured in my stress!
Then they went forth and distributed to the folk alms and largesse of money and raiment and so forth; after which Rose-in-bud bade empty the bath for her and turning to Uns el Wujoud, said to him' 'O solace of my eyes, I have a mind to see thee in the bath; and we will be alone together therein.' He gladly consented to this, and she bade perfume the bath for them with all manner of scented woods and essences and light the candles. Then, of the excess of her contentment, she recited the following Verses:
O thou aforetime of my heart that mad'st prize (And the present for us on the past still relies), Thou, the only companion I crave, for to me None other the want of thy presence supplies, To the bath,--that in midst of hell-fire we may see Even Paradise shining,--come, light of mine eyes! We will scent it with ambergris, aloes and musk, Till the fragrance in clouds from all quarters arise. Yea, Fortune we'll pardon her sins and give thanks, For His grace, to the Merciful One, the All-Wise; And I'll say, when I see thee therein, "O my love, All delights be thy lot in the earth and the skies!"
So they went to the bath and took their pleasure there in; after which they returned to their palace and there abode in the fulness of delight, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Companies; and glory be to Him who changeth not neither ceaseth and in whom all things have their term!
[Go to Abou Nuwas with the Three Boys and the Khalif Haroun er Reshid]
Payne, John (1842-1916). The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London. 1901. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version. Wollamshram Vol. V. Wollamshram Vol. VI. Wollamshram Vol. VII. Wollamshram Vol. VIII. Wollamshram Vol. IX. Please consult the Wollamshram edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.
1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM