A singular occurrence of carnal attraction, and afterwards of divine favour.

IN those days, one of the accidents and strange events that befell me, was the attraction of a beauty, and the allurement of an accomplished lady, which drove my heart to distraction.

She shewed me a sample of the beauty of my friend (God):
But though the two worlds should be confused, I have no intent to make alarm, or complaint.

An indescribable perplexity fell amidst the inmost recesses, and secret feelings, of my nervous frame, and from my unsettled heart tumult and disturbance arose.

The morning-lecture, I have laid at the threshold of the wine-house
The times of prayer, I have devoted to the path towards my beloved.
Fire might be spread over the harvest of a hundred sage devotees,
From this burn-spot that I have had set on my maddened soul.

The frantic nightingale of my heart began in a loud tone to sing this note;

I say it openly, and am happy in what I say;
I am love's slave, and free, else, of both worlds.
There is nothing on the tables of my heart, but the Alif of my beloved's stature;
What can I do? my master taught me no other letter.

The most extraordinary circumstance was, that the vanquished and down-fallen at the feet of that princess of the fair, exceeded all number and description; and I was ever repeating this couplet;*

Sweet rose! not alone am I an object of wonder to the gazing crowd;
Hundreds of thy distracted lovers gather crowds by their frantic gestures.

One night I went to a garden with a company of agreeable companions, and true friends. Among them was Mawlana Ali Kosâri of Isphahan, a celebrated penman, who was a store of perfec­tions, both apparent and ideal, and a phoenix of the age; in beauty of person, and skill of sweet singing, a rival of the miraculous David. At mid­night, having raised his voice in tune, he first began to sing the following couplet:*

To-night come to me, Love! that in the orchard we may fill a glass;
Thou shalt outvie the rose and torch-light, I the moth and nightingale.

My poor inflamed heart fell into such a state, that it would be impossible to describe it. A thousand times, my elemental body must have been aban­doned by its sovereign spirit. Till morning dawned, his melody still compassed this same couplet. He sang, and was silent; again, after a short pause, he struck up anew the same modulation.

Some time afterwards, a severe affliction befell me. One night, a pain arose in my joints, and increasing violently towards morning, it subdued all the limbs in my body, so that I was incapable of the smallest motion. A number of medical men came to cure me, and tried sudorifics, and potions of Chinese wood: but, amid the attacks of anguish and sorrow to which my mind was a prey, the success of this treatment was difficult.* One of the practitioners, Mirza Sherif, son and heir of the celebrated doctor Jelal Eddin, who was a most ingenious physician, and adorned with the jewels of knowledge and integrity, undertook to cure me by a different process, and attended me two or three days; upon which, the physician himself was seized with the same complaint, and took to his bed. In these circumstances I composed an ode, the beginning of which was thus:*

For the crime of love if thou hast killed me, I am grateful for the kindness:
But, Lord! what is the fault of the innocent hermit? I am perplexed to understand it.

This is from the same ode:*

In the School of Being, the tablet of the heart is the Book of Love:
Thou hast done well, to draw the stroke of obliteration on the line of my body.

At the end of two months, Almighty God granted me a recovery from this chronic disease, and I returned to my occupation of teaching and learn­ing.