ALAS for the poor dog-worshipper! For now his secret became known to all: what was hidden in his heart was proclaimed in the market-place; in the corners of the streets men met together and told the story; the sweetness and savour of those two lovers became the spice of market gossip; wherever two people met they would talk of Valeh and mock his misfortune. And his kin were wroth with him and counted his love their infamy.

And when his mother heard of it and saw his face grown yellow with grief her heart burned within her, and she came near her well-beloved and opened the door of counsel, and said: “Oh you, whose face is the light of my eyes and the glory of my house, my heart is scorched within me to see you thus. Drive her from your thoughts; what can she profit you now? The first house you built for your desire has fallen into ruin, it can rise again no more. Set not your heart on a thing impossible. When I see you thus I heap reproaches on my own heart. For it was I who was the cause of your great sorrow. I prevented you from your love. And now I who have caused your grief am seeking a remedy. I know the way along the paths of the deep. Hadijeh is fair, but I know one fairer. I will hang a jewel round your neck more precious than rubies, worthy of a king. And in her sight you will forget all the world and Hadijeh.”

When Valeh heard these words he struck his head on the ground and cried aloud: “You rub salt into my wounds; open some other door of counsel; take away the fire, I say; and you pour oil on it and fan it with your skirts. All that have but a little share in love know that their life is but one thought; you took from me the substance, then let the thought remain. Let Hadijeh alone, fret not yourself for what may come after. I cannot take your counsel, for the body cannot exist without the soul. If I may not see her with my eyes, I will lay my hands on the skirts of the thought of her; yea, thought is sweeter than the seeing of the eyes, thought is enough, and every time the shadow of her face crosses my heart all other forms are clean forgotten. I am drunk with love, I am mad; reproach me not for my worship of her dog; yea, I would rather throw my soul at her dog's feet than live for a thousand years. I chose her of all the things of the world, the idols of the world are naught to me. Her dog is more precious to me than all the world's good things. I have given her my heart and my soul; how can I give them to another? I will not be deceived by the fairest of idols; in the face of Hadijeh I learned the secret of faith, may I never look on any but her. I have but one heart, one faith, and one worship; tell me not there is not one God, but many;* speak not as one of the idolaters, seek not to corrupt my faith. I know my love is not mine, but I am hers, even for ever, in all verity and truth. From afar I look on her face; that is better than being a stranger; teach me not new knowledge; I know and my love knows. Lo, I am as a barren tree, your digging will bring no fruit. I burn, I burn; and you too, oh my mother: my day is black because of you.”

And when his mother heard his words she made no answer, but went from his presence, weeping.