OH, love, what woes spring from you! What fire have you lit in the world! Your hand sets the roof-tree on the house of grief and lays waste the land of pleasure. You add power to misery, you pour water into the channel of impatience; you make the black spot on the tulip's heart the envy of the garden; lamentation is the cypress of your grove, and the fire which lit the nightingale's heart has con­sumed all the harvest of flowers. Even so the axe by which Ferhod fell clove the heart of Shirin; even so, from the cup at which Magnun drank, Leili in Nezd drank blood. Even so, Hadijeh bleeds from the wound wherewith Valeh was wounded. That fresh rose from the garden of love, the madness of a hundred loves, that sovereign queen of the city of delight, Arabian Leili for her curly locks, Persian Shirin for her ruby lips, that eye of the world, that treasure of life—the lady Hadijeh—there she sat stung to the heart by the scorpion of separation, her cheek bereft of its rose, like the sky widowed of the sun. “Valeh!” she cried, “alas for Valeh”; and with that cry the whole world became black; she cared for none else; she thought of none else; she looked east and she looked west, and she sought for him alone. She sat at home, but home was hateful to her; she sat with her kin, but spake no word to them; only to the doors, to the walls, to the roof, to the floor she told the story of her beloved. She wiped the dust from the mirror of her heart, if perchance she might see him. She searched the town for his picture; she gave her heart for the canvas, her soul for the price of his face. And night and day she held converse with it; she gazed into it as once into the mirror; but now, behold, her face was the mirror and the picture a living soul.

One day as she sat at home in sorrow one came and told her that a troop of unfortunates, plagued with the world's troubles, were about to fly from Isfahan and seek refuge in India. When she heard this, her heart was stirred within her like a stormy sea; and she cried, “Now will I discover the purpose of my heart, and make plain the longing of my soul.” And she took a pen and wrote. And the pen drank black ink like sorrow and wrote line by line along the page like waves on the sea of misfortune. Prose she wrote, as pure as the water of life—and that prose I make into my verse.