AND now my poem is finished. I have drunk blood for a year that its face may be ruddy. But the story is not finished, and I know not what the end may be.

So I have woven a poem out of truth; for Valeh told me all that befell him and showed me all his letters and the letters of Hadijeh; and their love-sorrow is no fancied tale, for I have seen it with my eyes.

Oh God, by thy prophet's power, keep me from the sin of idolatry. May I never forget thee, oh my Lord, for in thee is my utmost need. Count not my sin against me and reckon not my misdeeds. Am I not thy servant and art thou not my King? At whose door save thine should I seek promotion? Thou art the reason of my life, my life which I have spent in telling stories. And of this story the meaning is Thou, for save in thee nothing has being, neither substance nor thought; in secret to thee have I turned the face of my meditation, and from thy water-springs have I filled the channel of my speech.

Oh my Valeh and my Hadijeh, oh form and substance, he that has understanding knows who is the subject of this story. For thou, oh God, art the life and body of my thought, and in all I write I write but of thee. Wipe out every name but thine; oh Lord, make plain thy Presence; lighten thou my words with thy Presence and make their glory shine upon all lands.

The 5th month of the year 1163*
I became free from the
writing of this book.
Mohamed Rufi.
May God have mercy on him.