AND when the wedding day came round, there came a troop of Mullahs with a hundred adornments, all arranged like figures in a Chinese picture;* and among them the bridegroom, like a blot on that picture, like an owl on a fair lawn or a thorn in a garden.

And Hadijeh drank blood; her heart within her breast was like a boiling sea: on her lips was the look of shame. She spake no word, but said in her heart: “Oh heaven, crooked is the game thou playest. Why aim thy darts at so weary a heart? The hopes thou thyself hast planted are turned to despair: my wounds are foul and thy medicine is poison. Thou who givest the pain canst thou give no remedy? What cruelty is greater than thine? Thou hast torn me from my love: thou hast laid me in an ogre's arms. I was a hidden treasure,* but one knew me and was glad: and now his heart is desolate. Thou hast given the treasure to a dragon. Behold thy work! In the house of beauty I was a burning candle, and I shone on all fair things: and now thou hast set me by the fire for the heat to melt me, and in a place where cold winds blow, that my flame may perish.”

And the fair rose was laid on the thistle: the nightingale in vain lamented the rose: a hideous Gin laid hands on a houri: and light held converse with darkness.

And when the cruel news came to Valeh, and when he heard that the choicest pearl from the mines of the world was set on the neck of a jackal, he raised a bitter cry, like Majnun parted from his Leili. [Written in the margin in Valeh's hand, “Victory met me not on the path of Faith. I heard the voice of Majnun crying—‘Valeh, I follow in your track.’ And I waited long, I stood and waited, but Majnun came not”* .] He said: “What am I to do? There is no power in my hands: the power to do is gone. The stone of my fortune has shattered the glass, and the wine is spilt. I know a garden where dwelt a nightingale. He had not waited for the smell of spring. He endured the labour of the world; he endured the sharpness of the thorn. Cruel was the thorn, cruel the frosts of winter. But when all the garden was glad with spring the gardener drove the nightin­gale from the garden and gave his nest to an owl. Alas, alas, for the poor nightingale! Alas for the sharpness of the thorn!

[Written in the margin in Valeh's hand: “I am sick, and my love gives medicine to another: to some one else, to some one else. Hadijeh Sultan is the friend of my heart: Oh Hadijeh, hater of thy friends.”]