THEY say that when the Shah and his commanders fell into the Afghans' hands they were cruelly racked and tormented, and among their number was Hassan Ali Khan, father of Hadijeh. Valeh, with a heart full to the brim with love, remained in the house, sick and sorrowful. His feet and hands were bound as by a chain by the memory of two curling locks; not a friend had he to speak with, he re­peated his own sad story to his own heart; one memory and a hundred thousand sorrows; one heart with the load of a hundred mountains; not a friend save his sorrowful heart, not a companion save his fiery sighs.

And Hadijeh, too, in her chamber, burnt with the secret fire of love, in secret she suffered a hundred sorrows, and the light of her heart flickered like a dying lantern.

[Here, written in the margin in Valeh's handwriting, are the quatrains:

That fair one whose head was bowed down with pain and sorrow,

Had a mother compact of love;

Not a woman, but a revelation of mercy,

And of justice to adorn the world.

That cypress of the world, that fair lady, the envy of the planets,

That mother of Hadijeh, bright as the sun—

She bore a child to be my heart's sole business,

Not a daughter, but the ruin of my soul.

I wrote this in the month of separation in the year of disappointment.]

And Hadijeh's mother saw her sorrowful condition, and knew the reason of her sorrow; and she loved Valeh as her own child. And she went to Valeh's mother and said: “My heart grieves to see a mother's eyes so blind. Do you not see how your son wears himself out like a caged lion? Do you not know that the mote which is far from the sunbeam can have no rest?” And Valeh's mother knew her meaning, but made answer: “All my kin are in chains and in the hands of the tormenters. How, then, can I make a marriage for my son?” And Hadijeh's mother said: “Indeed, we are as deer caught in a trap, and our enemies sit round and watch us. I fear me some wild wolf will come and clutch my lamb.” Then Valeh's mother began to make all manner of excuses; for she loved not the mother of Hadijeh, and she would not consent. “The time is not yet ripe,” she said; and knew not that she would die far from her son.