Part 9 - How the king sent messengers to Samarcand to fetch the goldsmith

    185   The king sent thither one or two messengers, clever men and competent and very just. 186   Those two Amírs came to Samarcand and went to the goldsmith, bearing the good news...


Part 9 - How the king sent messengers to Samarcand to fetch the goldsmith

 

 

185

 

The king sent thither one or two messengers, clever men and competent and very just.

186

 

Those two Amírs came to Samarcand and went to the goldsmith, bearing the good news from the king

187

 

Saying, “O fine master, perfect in knowledge, thou whose quality (of perfection in thy craft) is famous in (all) the lands

188

 

Lo, such-and-such a king hath chosen thee for (thy skill in) the goldsmith's craft, because thou art eminent

189

 

Look now, receive this robe of honour and gold and silver; when thou comest (to the king), thou wilt be a favourite and boon-companion.”

190

 

The man saw the much wealth and the many robes: he was beguiled, he parted from his town and children.

191

 

Blithely the man came into the road, unaware that the king had formed a design against his life.

192

 

He mounted an Arab horse and sped on joyously: (what really was) the price of his blood he deemed a robe of honour

193

 

O (fool), who with a hundred consents thyself with thine own foot didst enter on the journey to the fated ill!

194

 

In his fancy (were dreams of) riches, power, and lordship. Said ‘Azrá‘íl (the Angel of Death), “Go (thy way). Yes, thou wilt get (them)!”

195

 

When the stranger arrived (and turned) from the road, the physician brought him into the presence of the king.

196

 

Proudly and delicately they conducted him to the king of kings, that he might burn (like a moth) on that candle of Tiráz

197

 

The king beheld him, showed great regard (for him), and entrusted to him the treasure house (full) of gold.

198

 

Then the physician said to him: “O mighty Sultan, give the handmaiden to this lord

199

 

In order that the handmaiden may be happy in union with him, and that the water of union with him may put out the fire (of passion).”

200

 

The king bestowed on him that moon-faced one and wedded those twain (who were) craving (each other’s) company

201

 

During the space of six months they were satisfying their desire, till the girl was wholly restored to health.

202

 

Thereafter he prepared for him a potion, so that when he drank it he began to dwindle away before her.

203

 

When because of sickness his beauty remained not, the soul of the girl remained not in his pestilence (deadly toils)

204

 

Since he became ugly and ill-favoured and sallow-cheeked, little by little he became cold (irksome and unpleasing) in her heart

205

 

Those loves which are for the sake of a colour (outward beauty) are not love: in the end they are a disgrace

206

 

Would that he too had been disgrace (deformity) altogether, so that that evil judgement might not have come to pass upon him

207

 

Blood ran from his eye (that flowed with tears) like a river; his (handsome) face became the enemy of his life

208

 

The peacock's plumage is its enemy: O many the king who hath been slain by his magnificence

209

 

He said, “I am the muskdeer on account of whose gland this hunter shed my pure (innocent) blood

210

 

Oh, I am the fox of the field whose head they (the hunters springing forth) from the covert cut off for the sake of the fur

211

 

Oh, I am the elephant whose blood was shed by the blow of the mahout for the sake of the bone (ivory)

212

 

He who hath slain me for that which is other than I, does not he know that my blood sleepeth not (will not rest unavenged)

213

  

To-day it lies on me and to-morrow it lies on him: when does the blood of one such as I am go to waste like this?

214

 

Although the wall casts a long shadow, (yet at last) the shadow turns back again towards it

215

 

This world is the mountain, and our action the shout: the echo of the shouts comes (back) to us.”

216

 

He said this and at the (same) moment went under the earth (gave up the ghost). The handmaiden was purged of love and pain,

217

 

Because love of the dead is not enduring, because the dead one is never coming (back) to us;

218

 

(But) love of the living is every moment fresher than a bud in the spirit and in the sight.

219

 

Choose the love of that Living One who is everlasting, who gives thee to drink of the wine that increases life

220

 

Choose the love of Him from whose love all the prophets gained power and glory

221

 

Do not say, “We have no admission to that King.” Dealings with the generous are not difficult

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