On the History of the Rhyming Birds of the Orchards of Poetry and the Ode-Singing Parrots of the Sugar-land of Versification.

Poetry, according to the phraseology of ancient philoso­phers, was a discourse composed of pre-conceived (imaginary) premises, its function being to put an idea into the imagi­nation of the hearer: no matter whether it caused acceptance of a particular thing or rejection of the same, or whether it was substantially true or not, and whether a hearer was truly convinced or not; as for instance, when wine is spoken of as molten ruby or flowing sapphire or when honey is spoken of as bitter or vomited out by bees. Modern philosophers, in addition to that, have attached importance to measure and rhyme, though in the opinion of the majority measure and rhyme alone are worthy of consideration, (thus discarding imagination altogether). Thus poetry is a metrical rythmical composition, the presence or absence of imagination and reality being not of much importance.

There is no beloved like measured discourse: the secret of its beauty lies in its down. Regarding it, it is hard to be patient and difficult to be solaced, especially when it attempts to carry away hearts with it. It puts on its body a proud robe of wazn and fringes its skirt with qàfiah. It adorns its feet with the anklets of radif, and adds the mole of imagination on its forehead. It illumines (shows pompously) its face like the moon by means of tashbiah, thereby depriving hundreds of distracted ones of their reason. It splits the hair of tajnis, and, without a head, braids ringlets. It makes its lips pour jewels by means of tarsec' and adorns the musky locks with pendants of jewels. It winks its eye through eehàm, thereby exciting sedition in the crowd of fancy. It paints its face with the inscription of majàz and brings forth realities from behind the curtain. [Note very carefully all the figures of speech and terms of prosody in the above passage.]

And because God has purified the miracle-fringed words of the Qoràn from the pollution of the charge of (its being mere) poetry, by the “not” of negation: “It is not the discourse of a poet,” and because He has lifted the standard of the eloquence of its advent above the nadir of filthy contamination by saying: “We have not taught him poetry, nor is it expedient for him to be a poet,” it is not to confirm this statement that poetry in its own nature is a work deserving reproof, and that the poet, on account of his writing verses, is to be blamed and accursed, but it is aimed at (lit., in consequence of) this, that persons defective in poetic talents may not consider the verses of the Qoràn as sustained by poetic disposition, and refractory infidels may not give the Prophet a place in the crowd of poets. [NOTE.—The Qoràn is the result of divine inspiration, not of any human efforts.] Nay, the above is the clearest proof as to the exalted position of poetry and poets, and the high dignity of magic-creating versifiers. [Vide notes at the end of the Chapter.]

Look at the dignity of poetry, that when they denied the virtue of Messengership in the Prophet, they accused him of being a mere poet in order that they may lay the Qoràn open to correction (as being of human origin). [NOTE.—This makes poetry rank with inspiration.]

Poetry is of various kinds, such as qasideh, ghazal, masnavi, qata', rubài, &c., and poets have bestowed close application to these in different degrees. It is believed that some of them composed all kinds of poetry, while others are of that class, who bestowed greater attention to (the cultivation of) some of these only. For instance, among ancient poets, the energy of some of them was devoted to the composition of idylls, panegyrics and moral poems, &c., while the energy of others was directed towards masnavi, contrary to the practice of modern poets, whose poetry is mostly confined to the domain of ghazal. The number of this class is incomputable, and a detailed description of all of these would transgress all laws of comprehension. Consequently we shall confine ourselves to the mention of some of the celebrated ones only.

1. Rudaki.—He is one of the poets of Transoxiana, and was born blind. But so talented and intelligent was he that at the age of eight he knew by heart the whole of the Qoràn-i-Sharif and learnt how to read it in the various ways and began to compose poetry. Possessing as he did a sweet voice, he took to music and learnt how to play on the flute, in which instrument he attained proficiency. Nasr-bin-Ahmed of the Sàmàni dynasty patronized him. It is said that he possessed two hundred slaves, that four hundred camels carried the load of his baggage, and that after him no other poet enjoyed so much opulence. His poems fill one hundred books, the res­ponsibility of which assertion is on the historian (who has mentioned that). It is mentioned in Sharah Yamani that his poetry numbers 1,000,300 couplets. The following is an extract from his verses on the praise of wine:

Whoever beheld that cornelian-like wine could not distin­guish it from a melted cornelian. Both are of one essence, but in their natural condition, one is found in a solid (congeal­ed), and the other in a liquid (melted), state. It dyes the hand without being rubbed, and it is blessed and praised before being tasted.

He says in admonition: Time gave me advice in a free manner; if you watch Time minutely, (you will find that) it is all admonition. It said: Do not pine over the happy days of others, (because) there are many persons longing to have your days, (i.e., aspiring for that happiness with which you are not content).

It is so recorded in some chronicles that Nasr-bin-Ahmad came from Bokhàrà to Marv-i-Shah-Jehan and alighted there. When the period of his halt (lit., delay) was protracted there, the heart of the courtiers was attracted to Bokhàrà and its palaces and gardens. They asked of him some choice thing, that he might compose some verses to create in the king an ex­cessive desire and inclination for Bokhàrà, and sing them at an opportune time in symphony with the harp. In the morning, when the king had drunk his morning draught, he tuned the following verses to the accompaniment of the harp and thus sang:

Remembrance of the stream of Mulliàn is coming; the scent of the kind beloved is recurring! The sand of Amou and its alluvion feel soft as embroidered silk under the feet! The water of Jaihun and its deep eddies reach the crupper of our steeds. O Bokhàrà, rejoice and live long! The king is coming to you as a guest! The king is the moon and Bokhàrà the sky; the moon is coming on the sky! The king is the cypress and Bokhàrà the garden; the cypress is coming towards the garden!

This had such an effect on his soul that with (only) a shirt and a pair of slippers he mounted his horse and rode there without a halt.

In several histories this story is attributed to (i.e., men tioned in connection with) Sultan Sanjar and Amir Moa'zzi: and God knows best!

2. Daqiqi.—He is one of the early poets and flourished during the sway of the Sàmànian dynasty. He commenced the Shàh-nàmeh and composed about 8,000 verses and Firdusi completed it. These two couplets are from his poetry:

Amongst all men I selected one of a peri (noble and beautiful) origin as a friend, hence she vanished now from my sight as a peri (fairy). The army departed and the army-defeating chief accompanied it: may there be none who will attach his heart to a common soldier!

I waited here long and became contemptible; a dear one (even) becomes despicable by a long continued stay. When water remains long in a pool it becomes putrid by continued stagnation.

3. A'marah.—He is also one of the early poets and flourish­ed under the sway of the Sàmànides. His disposition was pleasant and his versification inviting. The following two couplets are from his poetic collections:

Although the world was for some time silvery with snow (winter), the emerald (verdure of spring) arrived and took the place of the snow-hill. In spring the Cashmerian picture-gallery painted in the garden all its figures with vermilion.

And this Qata' also is his:

Do not be deceived by this that the world has exalted you, (because) there is many a great man in no time debased by it. The world is a serpent and the man who courts it is a snake-catcher; sometimes the snake destroys the snake-catcher.

It is narrated in the Maqàmàt of the King of Sufism Abu Sa'id Abul Khair that one day a musician recited the follow­ing couplet in his presence:

I shall conceal myself under my ghazal, so that I may kiss your lips (whenever the ghazal flows from your lips). Recite it well!

The Shaikh was pleased and asked him who had composed that poetry. He was told that it was A'màrah's. He told his disciples to get up so that they might pay him (his tomb) a visit, and with a company of his disciples he went to visit him.

4. A'nsari.—He was the foremost of the poets of his time, and Yaminud Dawlàh Mahmud Sabaktagin conferred on him the title of Mullà by way of approbation, and this couplet in his (Mahmud's) praise is from his poetry:

You are that king for whom, in the East and the West, the Jews, Guebres, Christians and Moslems all chant and pray: “Oh God, make his (Mahmud's) end mahmud (i.e., laudable)!”

This Rubài is another poem of his:

Your ringlets have taken their black colour from your (cruel) heart, and have swept away fidelity, love and modesty from your heart. In order that the corselet of panther may not disappear from your (stony) heart, they carry wax from my (melted) heart, and stone from that (stony) heart of yours.

It is said that he wrote numerous mawash-sheh mas-navis , interspersed with panegyrics of the above-mentioned king, one of which bears the title of Wàmiq-o-A'zrà, but of which no trace is left.

5. A'sjadi.—He came from Marv and was one of the at­tendants of Yaminud Dawlàh Mahmud Sabaktagin. He has written a qasideh in congratulation of his conquest of Hindus-tàn , the opening couplet of which is:

When the intelligent (lit., critical or minutely discerning) king travelled to Sumnàt, he made his achievement the very banner of miracles.

He thus describes a melon:

It is of the colour of topaz, of musky odour, and in taste of the taste of honey; it has the hue of brocade, and it has fragrance as that of fresh aloe. When you cut it into slices, every one of them presents the appearance of the crescent: and if you do not cut it, in its entirety it is like the full moon.

6. Farrakhi.—He also lived in the reign of Sultàn Mah-mud by the benefits of whose bounties he accumulated great wealth. He resolved to see Samarqand. When he approached that territory, highwaymen robbed him of all that he had. He entered Samarqand, but did not disclose himself. He stopped there for several days, composed the following Qata' and came back:

I saw every one of the delights of Samarqand and be­held its gardens, meadows, valleys and plains. But as my purse and pocket were empty of derums, my heart folded the carpet of pleasure from the court of hope, (i.e., I gave up all hopes of enjoyment). In every city I had many times heard from many learned men that there is but one Kavsar and eight paradises. (But at Samarqand) I saw a thousand Kav-sars and a thousand more paradises, though these were to me of no avail, as I had to go back with thirsty lips (having no money to enjoy them). When the eye sees delightful things, but there is no money in the hand, it is like a trunkless head in a golden basin.

7. Firdusi.—He came from Tus and his excellence, renown and perfection are well known. Yes, what need is there of the panegyrics of others to that man who has composed verses as those of the Shàh-nàmeh? It is said that he was employed in husbandry, and some injustice having been inflicted on him, he marched towards Ghaznin, the seat of Sultàn Mahmud, with the intention of lodging a complaint there. After reach­ing that place he was passing through its garden, when he saw that three persons were sitting there and drowned in per­fect enjoyment. Coming to know that they were the atten­dants of the king, he said to himself: I shall go to them and acquaint them with the circumstances of my state. When he reached them, they were scared and said to one another: This man will mar our pleasures (lit., assembly); nothing can be better than to say, when he comes to us, that we are poets of the court, and that we do not associate with anybody except poets; and we shall recite three hemistichs (rhyming of course) to which there may not be a (corresponding) fourth (rhyming) one. Then we shall say that we shall associate with him only who can put in the fourth hemistich, otherwise we must be excused (and left alone). When Firdusi came up to them, they told him what they had concerted. Firdusi asked them to recite those hemistichs of which they spoke:

An'sari recited: The moon cannot be so brilliant (rav-shan ) as your face:

A'sjadi recited: There can be no rose in the rose-garden (gulshan) like your face:

Farrakhi recited: Your eyelashes pierce even through an armour (javshan):

Firdusi continued: Like the spear of Giv in his fight with Pashan.”

[NOTE.—For the better understanding of this narration, it must be noted that the three poets were ignorant of the names of Persian warriors, and hence it was that they were thus taken by surprise when Firdusi mentioned the names of warriors like Giv and Pashan.]

They were surprised at these words and made inquiries about the episode of Giv and Pashan, which he narrated circumstantially. Afterwards when he happened to visit the king's assembly, he was favoured by the sight of the Sultàn, who said to him: You have made a heaven (firdus) of our assembly: whereupon the poet adopted Firdusi as his nom-de­plume . Some time afterwards he was commissioned to write the Shàh-nàmeh. He composed 1,000 verses and brought them before the king, who rewarded him with 1,000 gold dinàrs. He then completed the Shàh-nàmeh in the course of thirty years, produced it before the king and expected, in accordance with the precedent that was established before, one gold dinàr for every one couplet. But envious persons deliberated and said: What worth has the poet, that he should be exalted by this great favour? and the gift was fixed to 60,000 derums (only). Firdusi was disgusted thereby. It is said that when those derums were brought to him he was in a public bath. When he came out, he gave 20,000 derums to the keeper of the bath, 20,000 to the seller of syrup, who had served him with syrup, and 20,000 to those who brought these derums, and satired the king in about 40 verses. The following are some of these:

If the king's father was a king, he would have placed on my head a golden crown: and if the king's mother was a noble lady, I should have been (buried) in gold and silver up to my knees. There being no greatness (inherent) in his family, he could not brook to hear the name of great men. If the tree, the nature whereof is bitter, be planted in the garden of paradise, and if, at the time of watering it, you pour into its roots honey and pure milk from the rivers of paradise, in the end, the (bitter) essence will manifest itself, and the tree will yield the same bitter fruits. Do not entertain hopes (of goodness) from a base-born person: the negro cannot become white by washing. One descended from a slave will be of no utility, (incapabale of doing any good), although he may be the son of a king. [NOTE.—Mahmud Ghaznavi was descended from a slave.]

He then concealed himself, and however much they sought him he could not be found. After a time Khàjeh Hasan Maimandi, who held the post of Vazir, recited in a hunting place several verses from the Shàh-nàmeh appropriate to an occasion, which had happened there. The Sultàn liked them much, and on asking him whose verses they were, he was told that they were Firdusi's. The Sultàn repented of what he had done, and ordered 60,000 gold dinàrs, with special robes of honour, to be assigned to Firdusi, and to be sent to Tus. Fates, however, were not propitious. It is related that when they were bringing the royal presents to Tus from one gate there­of, the bier of Firdusi was being carried out by the other gate. One daughter survived him as his heiress to whom the gifts were offered, but she magnanimously declined to accept them. She said: I have enough property and wealth to sufficiently maintain myself; I do not stand in need of these (presents). The commissioners spent that money in the building of a public inn in its vicinity.

It is a happy thing to recognize worth, because, when the vaulted sky at last put the arrow of misfortune on the bow (and darted it), the glory of Mahmud departed, and nothing remained in the world except this story that he did not recognize Firdusi's worth.

8. Nasar Khusru.—He was proficient in the art of poetry and perfect in philosophical methods, but he was accused of heresy, impiety (as believing in the two Principals of Light and Darkness) and polytheism. He has composed Safar-nàmeh, a book of travels, as he travelled in most of the habited countries, and there strung in poetry the conversations which he had with the notables of those places. And the following couplets are from his poems which A'inul Quzàt has written in his book of Zubdat-ul-Haqàyàq:

All my oppression is from the Bulgharians and I must bear it as long as I can. It is not even the fault of the Bulgharians: I will tell you if you can hear me. O God All this calamity and sedition is from you, but nobody dares to quarrel (with you). They bring Turks from Balghar, (only) in order to (expose the weakness of men and) dishonour them. You ought not to have made the lips and teeth of those moon­like beautiful slaves with such beauty, because from the love of their lips and teeth one is in grief.

9. Arzaqi.—He was proficient in the laws of poetry and wisdom and perfect in the principles of science and philosophy.

* * * * * * *

The following is his description of Wine:

O cup-bearer! Bring that ruby-like wine from the effulgence whereof imagination will become a tulip-garden and the eye a rose-garden. If a fairy passes in the night through its rays, (even) she then cannot hide herself from the sight of men, (so powerful are its rays). It is more fragrant than amber, more beautiful-coloured than cornelian, more brilliant than the star, and purer than the spirit.

10. Moa'zzi.—He flourished in the reign of King Sanjar-bin-Malek-Shah , entitled “the great in religion and world,” and was one of his panegyrists. His name (Moa'zzi) is to be refer­red to this king's name (Moa'zzud-din &c.), and few poets will attain that high esteem and exalted dignity which he did in his time. It is said that three poets attained good fortune and met with approbation in three dynasties, such as no other poet attained or met with: Rudaki under the Sàmànian dynasty, A'nsari under the Mahmudiàn and Moa'zzi under the San-jariàn . The cause of his death was that one day the Sultàn was darting an arrow from within his tent, and he was stand­ing outside the tent. Accidentally the arrow, missing its mark, struck him, and he fell down and died on the spot. The following are some of his verses:

When my idol planted a hedge of hyacinth (ringlets) round the garden (face), she put the brand of envy on the heart of the painters of China. Every heart, which, out of refractoriness, did not bow down obediently to the writing (of command), now bends down before the musky (streak of) down below her ringlets. I am the slave of that streak of verdure, which, you may say, is a line drawn by a small ant walking on the petal of a wild rose with its feet soiled with musk.

The following are his verses from a Qasideh replete with the style of Arab poets:

O camel-driver! Do not halt anywhere except in my beloved's city, so that I may weep for a time over my mansion, its ruins and its debris. I will make the mansion swim in blood from (the blood of) my heart, and make the ruins a Jaihun, (i. e., change them into a river of blood), and from the tears of my eyes I will make the soil of the debris rose-coloured, (i. e., I will shed tears of blood). I see the palace empty of the face of my beloved of the pavilion, and I find the garden without that stature straight as the cypress. That place, where there was that heart-ravisher with friends in the garden, has become the home of the wolf and the fox and the nest of owls and vultures.

11. A'bdul Wasa' Jabali. He was a perfect literary man and a proficient poet, and has written verses both in the Persian and Arabic languages. And it is agreed on all hands that nobody has ever come equal, as it should be, to (lit., got out of the obligation of) his celebrated Qasideh, the opening hemistich of which is:

Who has got a beloved like you, an idol intelligent and heart-ravishing?

And in the opening of some Qasàyad he has said:

In the world there is no idol more heart-burning than you: in the city there is no boy more heart-inflaming than you: Ever since I saw your blooming tulip, ever since I saw your drowsy narcissus, sometimes I am like that tulip with a blooming face owing to your union, and sometimes, owing to your separation, I have my head downcast like the narcissus. [Vide notes at the end of the Chapter.]

12. Adib-i-Sabir Termizi. He was an eloquent poet and a learned scientist, and no person has in response outrivalled him in a fair degree, (lit., come out of the responsibility of an answer). His couplets and verses are most elegant and sweet, and learned men acknowledge his superiority. For instance, Anwari places him above himself when in a Qata' he enu­merates his own perfections and says in the end:

Leave all these things aside. I stand alone (distinguished) in poetry when at last I approach Sanàyi, although I am not equal to Sàbir.

The following are some of his verses:

O you, whose face is (beautiful) like Paradise and your lips (sweet) like Salsabil, my life and my heart are sacri­ficed to your Paradise and your Salsabil! My heart became devoted to your Love, because it is through devotion that Para­dise and Salsabil can be obtained! How can Venus shed its lustre before your forehead: how can the Sun be beau­teous before your lustre? You are the Baghdàd of Beauty and the Egypt of comeliness, and my eye, (which is shedding water), is like the Tigris to Baghdàd and like the Nile to Egypt. On account of the load of the misery of your separation, my stature has become (as lean as) the pith of a reed: on account of the blow at the hand of Love, my cheek has become like indigo (black and blue with sores).

The following Qata' is one of his poems:

O boy! the inkstand is the instrument of wealth, go and tame your fiery fortune (by means of this instrument). When you wish to make a fortune out of the inkstand, join alif with te, and make a làm thereout. [Note.—The last two letters alif and te of the word dawàt, which are written separately, read làm and te when joined, and thus form the last two letters of the word dawlat, while the first two letters do not vary.]

13. Anwari. He was a learned philosopher and a proficient elocutionist. His beautiful poetry and his artful versification are only minor indications of his high attainment, and contain little of the beauty of his perfection. His verses are celebrated and a diwàn (or collection of his works) has been made. Of his elegant verses the following is a Qata' herein inserted, composed as advice to poets:

Last night a lover asked me whether I sang ghazals, to which I replied: I have abandoned singing panegyrics and satires too. He asked me why, to which I replied: That time (when I sang these) I was going astray: the occasion once gone does not come back from nonentity. I sang all the three, ghazals panegyrics and satires, because I was impelled by avarice, anger and passion in addition. That one (i. e., passion) was night after night (plunged) in grief and meditation, in order to Praise sugar-like lips and curled ringlets. The second (i.a., avarice) was day after day under this misery and affliction as to how to acquire five derums and whence and from whom. And the third (i. e., anger) was like a worried dog, who would be consoled only when it succeeded in getting hold of a sarcastic term, more descipable than the former one. When God has, out of mercy, driven away these three hungry dogs from the head of me who am a humble slave, God forbid that I should any more compose a ghazal, panegyric or satire. Enough have I done violence to my mind and tortured my good sense! O Anwari! To boast is not the way of great men; if you have already boasted, at least watch your steps (now) like a man. Retire into a corner and seek the path of salvation, because these two or three moments will not last long.

It is said that it was brought to the notice of the king of Ghur that Anwari had lampooned him. He wrote to the king of Heràt and sent for Anwari, towards whom he made demons­trations of friendship and kindness, though his real object was to avenge himself upon him. The king of Heràt saw through it by means of his sagacity. He did not write that down in plain words, but in the letter which he wrote sending for Anwari he inserted the following couplets:

Lo! The world speaks to those who meet her: Beware of my violence and fury! Let not the length of my smiles deceive you. My word excites laughter and my deed makes them weep.

Anwari penetrated through it owing to his nice discerning powers and caused the king of Heràt to abstain from that requisition. A second time the king of Ghur sent for him and promised a thousand sheep to the king of Heràt in return. The king deputed some one to Anwari with a message that somehow or other he ought to go to Ghur, as he was promised one thousand sheep in return for him. Anwari observed: O king! That man, who is worth a thousand sheep, is not worth only a trifle to you, (i. e., is worth much to you). Leave me here so that I may pass the rest of my life (as one) in the chain of your servants and sprinkle at your feet jewels of panegyrics. The king of Heràt liked these words and sheltered him.

14. Rashid-i-Watwat.—He was one of the poets of Trans oxiana, and in his own age he was the master of eminent poets and the leader of that circle. The book of Hadàyaqul Sahar is his composition. In address to some one of the vazirs he says:

You are a vazir and I am your panegyrist: you see my hands without gifts and you allow it. You leave your vazirship to me and praise me, and you will see that you are rewarded.

And the following Rubà'i also is an offspring of his genius.

I have eyes full of the image of the beloved; this vision is a happy one to me inasmuch as the beloved is therein. And it is not good to distinguish between the eye and the beloved; either the beloved is the eye or the eye is the beloved herself.

O moon! I left this fleeting world, thinking of you, and you are ignorant of this! I abandoned everything and retired into a corner; when I pass my life without you, it will pass away in the same manner with others, (i. e., in sadness).

15. A'ma'q-i-Bukhari.—He is also one of the poets of Transoxiana, and the chief of the poets of his age. And these few verses, which he has sung in the beginning of one of his Qasàyad, are extremely sweet and novel:

If an ant can compose verses, and if a hair can possess life I am that versifying ant, I am that life-possessing hair. My body is (lean) like the shadow of a hair, and my heart is (small) like the eye of ants, on account of the separation of one (i. e., be­loved) with perfumed hair, (and) with waist as narrow (and beauti­ful) as that of an ant. If I associate with a hair or an ant night and day, the hair will not be aware of my existence nor will the ant find any trace of me. On account of my excessive lamenta­tions and (the consequent) debility, I may be contained in the body of a hair: an ant can conceal me in its eye if it so wishes. On account of weeping I am (grown as lean as) that ant, whom a hair can conceal; out of debility, I am (like) that hair, which is leaner than an ant. [Note the figures of speech in these lines.]

16. Suzani.—He came from Nasf and went to Bokhàrà for (literary) acquirements. He fell in love with an apprentice of a needle-maker, enrolled himself as an apprentice to his master and obtained total proficiency therein. Humour predomi­nated in his temperament, and consequently he has composed many drolleries. The following two couplets are from his Qasideh, in which he thus speaks as an apology thereof:

How long shall we throw stones at the glass of the house of devotion, on account of the revolution of the glass-coloured sphere? It is we who throw stones at the glass, and it is we our­selves who then bring accusations against the glass-coloured sphere!

And the following few verses are from his Qasideh:

I am a thousand times worse than what you think of me: nobody knows me to the extent that I know myself. Outwardly I am a bad man, inwardly I am still worse: God and myself know my ins and outs. Satan was (formerly) my guide to one venial sin: I am now guiding Satan to a hundred heinous crimes.

In another Qasideh he goes on in the following fashion:

O crusader! When you dart the arrow of your blandish ments with pride and coquetry, make my poor heart the target thereof, (i. e., make blandishments with me) In the first place, I came in to play with my heart, now when that heart is not in the body (but is snatched away by you), I submit (agree) to play with my life. O beloved! Since the blow of your arrow is not without its soothing effect, you strike me with (the arrow of) your blandishment, or rejoice me with a kiss. * * * * *

And he has written a Qasideh in praise of Hamid-ud-din Mastufi Javhari, one of the learned men of Transoxiana, the opening hemistich whereof runs as follows:

Seek a long life for associating with the good furtune of Hamid-ud-din.

And it is obvious that it will not be void of elegance if regarding those words, the syllables whereof fall in different hemistichs, it is so observed that some of those syllables are in themselves employed to convey a desired meaning, as occurs in the following Qata':

Yesterday an acute genius of the circle of the learned sent me a Qata', three or four words therein having been split (into syllables), so that I may be thereby rendered helpless from replying thereto.

(However) I wrote in reply:

O you glorious one (mafà + khar) of God's creation and the judge of the needs (hà + jàt) of the men of learning and excellences (fazà + làt), I pray much for you! [NOTE.—If the syllables themselves are translated as they stand, the second hemistich will be: Thou art an ass (khar) in the creation of God. The fourth hemistich will similarly be: I pray that you may receive many kicks (làt).]

O you the joy of my holiday! When I am confined in this prison of sorrow according to the desire of the heart of my enemies (a' + dà), I am excused (ma' + zur) by pious persons (if I do not visit you); but if you are at large I expect a pious gift (mah + busi) from you according to the custom of the holiday. [Mark the different meanings arising from reading the syllables in the second and fourth hemistichs by themselves as they stand.]

17. Khaqani Sherwani.—On account of the perfec­tion, which he attained in the art of poetry, he is given the title of Hissànul A'jm. He is distinguished from all poets by the peculiar style of his poetry and is without an equal in that novel method. He treaded the path of (i. e., imitated) Hakim Sanài in sermons and philosophies, and carried away the ball of superiority from all his compeers in that matter.

In the following Qata' he speaks by way of self-glorification:

I am an innovating poet: the banquet of sublime realities is mine; A'nsari and Rudaki are pickers of crumb from my table. My name is living, like the sage's soul, out of freshness; my greed, on account of its littleness, has disappeared like the generous man's wealth.

Rashid-i-Watwàt has sung in his praise:

O you the sun and the moon of the sphere of Dignity! And O you counsellor to the throne of excellence! The fore­most in religion! The father of virtues! A philosopher who augments faith and curtails heresy!

The following are his Qata's:

O Khàqàni! cease to make love with beauties, as reason is thereby muddled. Forms of beauties, when seen well, resemble a mirror, whose outside is clear, but whose inside is dark.

He has written a masnavi called Tuhfat-ul-A'raqain and the following couplets are extracted therefrom:

We are the melancholy spectators of this green round box (of the heavenly sphere) and this earthly shell: as long as these box and shell are in their (proper) place, they will open the top of the purse of life. And this is strange that on the expanse of the universe the shell is stationary while the box is revolv­ing. They are wonderful magicians; at one time they bring forth ermine (bright day), and at another they exhibit sable (dark night). The moment has come for Time to approach its end and for the flood of annihilation to pass. The moment has come for the four elements to throw down the litter of month and year. The moment has come for the steeds of stars to cast off their shoes and hoofs. [Vide notes at the end of the chapter.]

18. Fakhr-i-Jorjani.—He was one of the most eminent and learned men of time. His poem Wais-o-Ràmin is a standard work, showing (measuring) his perfect learning and depth of thought. It is nowhere to be found now. The following verses are reproduced from different places:

It has been well said by conquerors of the world, that an engagement appears to be an easy affair when seen from a distance only.

I am not in possession of that golden tray, into which (one day) my enemy may see my (own) blood.

A viper brings forth nothing else but a viper; a bad plant yields a bad fruit:

When travelling is not pleasant in healthy days, how unpleasant will it be during illness and langour!

To see a narcissus flower affords pleasure, but it is bitter in taste.

To hide facts from men is a sin, but it is far better than to say what has never happened.

A sovereign is like fire; fire is invariably obstinate in its nature. Though you possess the strength of an elephant and the (fiery) disposition of a tiger, do not grapple with burning fire.

19. Zahir-i-Faryabi.—He is one of the celebrities of the world, and one of the most learned men of times. The whole of his Diwàn is agreeable and pleasing, on account of its purity and elegance of diction; and his Diwàn is well-known and his verses are on (all men's) tongue. He obtained honours in the reign of Atàbek Abubakr. One night he sang the fol­lowing Rubài in his court:

O you, the prayers of angels are blessings for (the safety of) your head! To the world, there is no other chief (who can be substituted) in your place. The scabbard of your sword thus addressed your enemy: Let the secret of my heart (i.e., the blade) be sacrificed to your head!

The king ordered 1,000 dinàrs of pure gold to be present­ed to him in the court, and in return for this he recited the following Rubà'i:

O king! From you kingdom and religion are in order, and from your justice the life of tyranny and sedition is in agony. Under your rule the Ràfezi and the Sunni have each agreed that Abubakr is the rightful king, (i.e., there is no difference of opinion as to this, even among dissenting sects).

And the following few are from his elegant verses in the form of masnavi:

A learned man said from the top of the pulpit: When the Hidden Abode will become manifest, God will forgive black beards their sins for the sake of white beards. Then the black beard will be, on the Day of Hope, under the protection of the white beard. A man with a reddish beard was present there, and he touched it with his hand when he heard that. He then exclaimed: Are we not (then) taken into any such consideration? Are we good for nothing in both the worlds?

His perfection in the art of versification is to such a degree, that eminent poets are not agreed as to whom to yield prefer­ence between him and Anwari. Thus some have, by way of query, said to others:

O you glorious on earth, who are, on the sky of excellence, like the moon of an auspicious form and of the face of the sun! One class of assayers prefers the verses of Zahir to the verses of Anwari: another class refuses to believe in any such assertion; in short, they are quarrelling and wrangling. O you, under whose gem is the domain of poetry, say whom do you prefer?

Amàm Harawi wrote in reply:

O you asker of this question, if you see the truth, you are not to be excused for (putting) this interrogatory. After using proper discrimination in these two (following) conditions, there is no necessity for commenting thereon: One (i. e., Zahir) is a miracle and the other (mere) magic; one is light (itself) and the other (only) a lamp; one is a star and the other a moon (shining by borrowed light only); one is a Huri and the other a fairy (only).

Another has thus rejoined:

Every novice, who stupidly prefers the poetry of Zahir to the pure verses of Anwari, is of that class of men, who could not distinguish between the miracles of Moses and the magic of Sàmeri.

20. Nazami Ganjvi.—He came from Ganjeh. His excellences and perfections are more patent than the sun and need no observations. Nobody has attained that degree of elegance, which he has infused in his Panj Ganj, nay, it is not possible (or destined) to be attained by (any one of) the human race. Besides this book, little poetry of his has been recorded. The following ghazal is one of his compositions:

Every particle of my misery is from that wheat-coloured face, for, on account of it, all my straw-like (lean, withered and pale) face is bleeding. Her grain of wheat bears a fresh hyacinth for fruit; (and even) the most insignificant ear thereof is like (as beautiful as) the heavenly constellation of Virgo. I (who am impatient) could not enjoy its fruits, but patience did eat of its wheat; it is a paradise and a hasty, wandering eye cannnot find entrance into it. When I purchase a barley of musk (weighed) by means of the balance of her two ringlets, I shall expect a favour and more, for my verses are rythmical (well-balanced). I have become (pale) as wheat from her love, and my heart has been split (like it) into two. She cares one straw to know how Nazàmi is.

21. Kamal-i-Isphehani.—He is surnamed Khallàq--ul-ma'àni on account of the many poetical subtleties embodied by him in his verses; and what has become possible in his case (regarding his attainments in that department) has not been given to (fallen to the lot of) any poet, ancient or modern. But his excessive poetical subtleties and niceties of diction have led him away from simplicity and (elegant) flow (of verses). He has written many verses and his diwàn is well-known.

22. Salman-i-Sawaji.—He was an eloquent poet and a mighty versifier. He stands unrivalled in the elegance of his style and in his exquisite metaphors. He has composed Qasa-yàd in response to the very masters (of such poems), some of which are better than, and some equal to, the originals. He has introduced many idioms of his own. And in his poems he has borrowed idioms of masters of the art, especially of Kamàl-i-Is-phehàni . And as they are employed by him in a beautiful form and an acceptable mode, he is not therefore censured or severely criticised for doing so.

A nice idiom is like a beloved of chaste form, that can be dressed in various costumes. The latest costume would be ignominious, if it were not more elegant than the former one, and there is skill in replacing a woollen garment by one made of satin and brocade.

He has written two books of masnavi, namely, Jamshid and Khurshid, and he has toiled so laboriously at them that he has stripped them of all the sweetness (which may be imparted therein by passion and love). Another of his poem, Faràq Nàmeh, is a novel one and the versification is elegant. His ghazals also are very charming and artistic. But as they are void of the sweetness of passion and love, which are the very subject-matters of a ghazal, they are not agreeable to the nature of connoisseurs. The following few verses are from his collection of short poems:

O heart! How will you be able to fill the laps of your avarice by means of tama' (greediness), which is three letters with hollows in them? O my friend! Knock at the door of humility and contentment, because avarice begets misery, and contentment begets honour. It does not matter much if the foot of wealth slips: may the head of poverty and contentment remain safe!

23. Mahmad A'ssar-i-Tabrizi.—He is the author of the book of Mehr-wa—mushtari, and it embodies many elegancies and novel expressions.

The following few verses are from this book, descriptive of the beloved's nose:

Her nose is like a delineation, the very essence of elegance and beauty, drawn on a wild rose; the hand of Nature has, as it were, raised a silver pillar below those two arches stuffed with amber! Between the black and white shells, (i.e., the eyes) and the ruby, (i.e., the red lips) of that rose-bodied beloved, (it is like)an embossment from an ingot of pure silver! It is like a lily-flower yet unblossomed, sleeping between the jesamine, (i.e., the white shining cheeks) and the tulip, (i.e., the red lips)!

And the following qata is from his collection of poems:

O A'ssàr! Don't expect kindness from human nature, be­cause never will a rose grow in a salt-marsh. Fidelity runs away from the figure of men void of virtue, as angels do from images. Upon the heads of these. Fate sifts nothing but the dust of treachery with the sieve of the sky. That one, whom you, out of love, wish greater good, strives more maliciously every time to take revenge upon you. That person, whom you harbour in your eyes like a tear, will shed your blood when it becomes possible for him (so to do).

24. Shaikh Sa'di Shirazi.—His name is Mosalleh-ud-din . He has adopted this name Sa'di as his nom de plume out of regard for his patron, (lit., the eulogised one, Sa'ad bin Zangi). He is the model (or cream) of ghazalists, and nobody before him strayed on the path of ghazals. His verses are agreeable to all classes of men; and one of the poets has thus said, and really, has bore the very gem of justice in thus saying:

In Poetry, three men have been prophets, notwithstand­ing the words of the Prophet that there will be “no prophet after me.” Ferdusi in narrative poetry, Anwari in qasideh and Sa'di in ghazal.

25. Khajeh Hafez-i-Shirazi. Most of his verses are sweet and agreeable and some of them almost border upon the miraculous. His ghazals, when compared with (in relation to) those of others in point of simplicity and easy flow, are to them what the qasàyad of Zahir are to the qasàyad of others; and the nature of his poetry approaches that of Tarràzi-i-Qahastàni , though in Tarràzi's verses, there are many defects and corruptions as contrasted with his verses. And when there are no signs of any labour manifest in his verses, he is called lasàn-al-ghaib, (i.e., the divine tongue).

26. Khaje Kamal-i-Khujandi.—So much does he excel in poetic elegance and metaphysical subtleties, that more than that cannot be imagined. But hyperboles therein carried his poetry away from the limits of simplicity and stripped it of the sweetness of passion and love. He imitates Hasn of Dehlvi in proverbs and stories, in light metres and rare rhymes, which appear impracticable (at first sight), but are easy in execution. Yet, in the poetry of Hasn is not to be found that degree of poe­tic elegance which is found in his works; and it may be in consequence of this very imitation that he is styled dozd-i-Hasn, (i.e., Hasn's plagiarist, lit., thief). This couplet is found in many Diwàns:

No one has caught me at the breach, (i.e., red-handed in crime); it follows therefore that I am a clever (husn) robber.

Some connoisseurs, who enjoyed the society of this Shaikh and Khàjeh Hàfez, have thus opined that the company of the Shaikh was better than his poetry, while the poetry of Hàfez was better than his company.

27. Amir Khosrav-i-Dehlvi.—He is an exceptional poet, having composed qasideh, ghazal and masnavi, and carried them to perfection. He imitates Khàqàni, and though he cannot approach him in qasideh, yet he surpasses him in ghazals, and his ghazals have met with universal approbation, inasmuch as they contain familiar metaphysical subtleties, that are easily comprehended by Platonic lovers in proportion to their zeal and ecstasy. Nobody has composed better verses than he in response to the Khamase-i-Nazàmi, and besides these, he has composed other masnaviha also, all elegant and artistic.

28. Khaje Hasn-i-Dehlvi.—He has adopted a special method in writing ghazals, by selecting many narrow rhymes, rare radifs, and choice metres, to which much regard is paid in poems in general, and especially in ghazals. Consequently by a combination of these, his verses have assumed such a garb that although, at first sight, they appear easy to the eye, yet they are hard to compose, wherefore his verses are spoken of as Sahal-i-momtana'. Khosro was his contemporary, and they associated and entered into mirth with each other. Thus Hasn says: Let Khosro kindly accept what the humble Hasn says; as my words are not those of Khosro, the only words (fine poems) are those that I say.

29. Khaje A'mad Faqiah.—He came from Kermàn, and was a Shaikh and the head of a monastery. He recited his poems before all those, who would alight at (frequent) the monastery, and entreated them to correct his draft poems. Hence it is said that his poetry is the poetry of all the inhabitants of Kermàn.

30. Khaju Kermani.—He also comes from Kermàn. He strived much after verbal ornamentation and beauty of style, whence he is styled Nakhlband-i-sho'rà, (i.e., the gardener of poets).

31. Nasar.—He is a Bokhàri, and one of the poets of Transoxiana, and in his verses is embodied the sweetness of Sufism.

32. Khajeh U'smatallah.—He is a Bokhàri and imitated the ghazals of Khosro.

33. Basati.—He comes from Samarqand, and his verses are not without sweetness. But he is quite destitute of any literary attainments, as is manifest from his verses.

34. Khayali.—Many of his verses are not void of mystic ecstasy; and the following two distichs are from his collection o poems:

O you, to the arrow of whose love the heart of lovers is the target, the people are wrapt in you and you are absent from their midst! Sometimes I retire into a temple, sometimes I reside in a mosque, meaning that I am seeking you from house to house.

35. Azary Aspharai.—He is one of the poets of Khoràsàn. In his verses there are many incoherent expressions. The following is from one of the approved beginning couplets of his poems:

It was night again: my eyes flooded the plain of lamenta­tion: there came forth the deluge of tears and brought a night-attack on the army of sleep.

36. Katabi.—He is an inhabitant of Nishàpur. He has many poetic expressions peculiar to himself, and in the ex­pression thereof too he has a very peculiar style. But his poetry has neither uniformity nor melody in it.

37. Shahi,—He is an inhabitant of Sabzwàr. His poetry is sweet, uniform and melodious, with a pure style and delicious matter.

38. A'rafi.—He comes from Heràt and is the author of the work Gui-wa-Chawgàn, and this is his best poem. The following few verses from that book are on the description of a horse:

When he would make a circuit like the sphere of the sky, he would jump like a ball from plain to plain. Every time that he was drowned in perspiration, he presented the picture of lightning in the midst of rain: sparks of fire escaped from his hoof, and boisterous wind closely followed his tail. Every nerve, that followed the ball, turned into a rolling ball, on account of his swiftness. Every time that he marched on to the battle-field, the zephyr lagged behind hundred times with the dust. He would traverse the mountain like a torrent, and pass over the sea like a hurricane.

39. Amir Ali Sher.—The lord of fortune, whose exis­tence has graced our age.—How muchsoever his dignity,—look­ing to the ranks of honour and pomp and his nearness to the person of His Majesty, and judging his intrinsic virtue of civilities and devoirs, that are characteristic of and acquired by him,—is too high to demand praise for his elegant poems and poetic ingenuity, still, as his noble mind, on account of the acquisition of the virtue of politeness and humility, has con­descended so far as to allow himself to be constrained into the class of poets, the latter have, therefore, been bold enough to raise the curtain, that separated them from him and forbade them to reckon his name as belonging to their class. But justice demands that his name ought to head the list of poets, wherever their names are taken, and that his name ought to stand first wherever the names of this class, (i.e., poets), are written. And as the essence of his name is too noble to be placed in (contained by) every versification, and to grace each and every verse, his nom de plume can be known from the following other enigma, that embodies the name of Nawài.

He, whose name no one can discover amongst poetical names, has left a note only of himself on our lips.

Although, on account of his powerful genius and versatile talents, both kinds of peetry, Turkish and Persian, were amenable to him, yet he was, by nature, inclined more to the former, and there are no less than 10,000 ghazals composed by him in that language. His masnaviàt, which have stood comparison with the Khamaseh of Nazàmi, nearly amount to 30,000 verses; and verily, nobody has composed verses in that language superior to his in quality or in quantity, or bore the jewel of poetry like him. Of his collection of Persian poems, there is a qasideh in response to that of Khosrav-i-Dehlvi, denominated as Daryà-i-Abràr , and it embodies many minute subtleties and beauti­ful imageries. Tho following is the opening distich:

That fiery-red ruby, which is an ornament for the crown of sovereigns, is but a spark for cherishing, (lit., cooking), idle fancies in the head.

The following rubà'i was written in a congratulatory epistle in honour of the arrival of some persons, returning from their journey to Hajjàj.

O azure—hued sky! Judge which of these two (appear to) walk more pompously: your world—illuminating Sun from the side of the East, or my world-revolving moon from the side of the West (Mecca)?

And the following rubà'i also:

This epistle is not a mere epistle: it is the curer of my pains: it is the comforter of my heart, that has grown familiar with pains. It is a cooling appliance to my warm heart and to my cold breath, meaning, it is the news from my world—revolving moon.

And, by way of renewal, he added the following more ver­ses in that epistle:

When I am present (with you) I speak and gossip with you, and seek and search for you in my travels. At the time of that presence, I have my face turned towards yours: and when I am away from you, I have the face of my heart turned towards you!


Page 83. The last sentence on this page means that God did not wish to condemn poetry, when he said that the Qoràn was not the discourse of a poet. In answer to the infidels, who said that the Qoràn was a mere poetic composition, we find in Chapter XXXVI of the Qoràn: “We have not taught Mahomed the art of poetry; nor is it expedient for him to be a poet. This book is no other than an admonition from God, and a pers­picuous Qoràn.”

Al Qoràn.—It is derived from qara, reading, and is said to be so named from the word occurring in the beginning of the 96th chapter, which is supposed to be the very first piece of revelation received by Mahomed. The passage runs as follows: “Read in the name of thy Lord, who hath created all things: …Read by the most beneficent Lord, who taught thee the use of the pen; who teacheth man that which he knoweth not &c.” Some refuse to believe that this was the first revelation, and say that Al Qoràn means the reading, or that which ought to be read. The Qoràn has got many other names such as Al-ketàb, Al-farkàn, [i.e., the distinguisher (between right and wrong)], Ketàb-i-mujid, Kalàm-i-Allàh, &c., and the epithet generally suffixed to it is al-sharif.

The Qoràn is divided into 114 sawara or chapters, each surat or chapter containing àyàt or verses, of which there are 6666 in number. An àyat literally means a mark or wonder, each verse being regarded as a miracle. It is said that the Qoràn admits of many different interpretations. Commenta­tors have divided the contents of the Qoràn into Zàhir and Khafi, that is, literal and allegorical, the former comprising such verses as are plain and unambiguous, the latter compris­ing those that are obscure and metaphorical, parabolical, &c.

“The Qoràn is universally allowed to be written with the utmost elegance and purity of language, in the dialect of Qoreish, to which Mahomed belonged,—the most noble and polite among all Arab tribes,—though with some admixture of other dialects. It is confessedly the standard of the Arabic tongue, inimitable by any human pen, and therefore a miracle strong enough to convince the world of its divine origin. The style of the Qoràn is beautiful and fluent, concise though some­times obscure; and though written in prose, the sentences generally conclude in a long continued rhyme.” The great doctrine of the Qoràn is the unity of God: the rest of it is taken up in giving necessary laws and directions. The theore­tical part of the Mahomedan Religion is contained in six articles of belief: (1) Belief in the Unity of God. (2) Belief in his angels. (3) Belief in his scriptures. (4) Belief in his prophets. (5) Belief in the day of judgment. (6) Belief in predestination. The practical part involves five command­ments: (1) Repeating the dogma of faith. (2) Prayers. (3) Alms. (4) Fasting. (5) Pilgrimage.

The revelations were not digested into any method by Mahomed himself. This was done after his death, by the third Khalif Usmàn, who is thus regarded as the real compiler of the Qoràn. The Qoràn has been held in such reverence up to this day, that no Mahomedan will touch it without being first legally purified. He reads it with great care and respect, never holding it below his girdle. He swears by it, consults it on all weighty occasions, and writes its verses on the paper and wears them as amulets.

Tasbih wa Tahlil. Tasbih, from sabaha he praised, means praising. Sebha, a rosary, consists of 100 beads and is used to count the 99 attributes of God together with the essential name Allàh. The use of rosaries is common among the Chris­tians as well as Parsees and Brahmins. Tasbih is also used for counting the ejaculatory prayers Subhàn Allàh, “God is Holy,” and sometimes other formulæ such as Hamd Allàh, “God be praised,” Allàhoo Akabar, “God is Great,” &c. Tahlil is the ejaculatory prayer Làilàhà illallàh, “There is no God but God.”

Nargas is used for the eyes of the beloved, every blandish­ment from which unsettles even the firmest lover. To speak of the eyes of the beloved as nargas-i-makhmur (intoxicated narcissus) is a greater compliment; so also to speak of them as nargas-i-nimkhàb, drowsy or drooping narcissus, the figure being borrowed from the drooping posture in which this flower grows. Narcissus is a beautiful flower. It is said that Nar­cissus was a beautiful youth, who, seeing his own image in water, fell in love with it, and jumping into the water, was drowned and afterwards turned into a flower, which was thenceforth called after him. Persian poets are very fond of describing the beauties of their beloved by means of comparing them with beautiful flowers of various appropriate colours; thus, the red lips of the beloved are compared to a red làle, tulip; hyacinths (sambale) to her black hair, ringlets or the down on her cheeks; violets (banafshe), to the delicate hair on the chin-pit; jesa-mines (yàsmin), to her white shining cheeks, fenugreek (shamba-lid ), saffron (zàfràn) and dry yellow grass (kàh) being applied to the pale and yellow cheeks of the lover. Her tall stature is compared to the staight cypress, and her ever-blooming face to the ever-green leaves of this tree. The tulip again has a cup­like shape, and has a black spot at its bottom. Hence, it is sometimes compared to a cup of brilliant wine when the morn­ing dew deposits itself upon it, and sometimes it is compared to a wretched lover, on account of the black spot, which is regarded as a brand of separation on the heart. It is sometimes compared to an envious person, on whose heart there is always a brand. The lily (susan), on account of its peculiar shape, is called dehzabàn, and a loquacious person is compared to it. The anemone (shaqàyaq) is a very red flower from which, some say, opium is obtained. It is full of leaves and hence called sadpar, and an eloquent or clamorous person is compared to it. Bid-i-mushk is the musky willow with yellow flowers. Perfume is extracted from it, and as it shakes at the slightest gust of wind, the trembling lover is compared to it. The coxcomb (arghawàn), which is a very red flower, is compared to the bleeding heart of a lover. The banafshe or violet grows in very retired places, and also grows very low. This low growth is fantastically accounted for as arising from melancholy, caused by disappointed love, which drives it to solitude, and makes its head hang down with shame and weeping.

Diwàn, from dawn to collect, means a collection of odes and other poems in the form of a book, the odes being arranged in the alphabetical order of rhyme.

Ghazal literally means ‘making love with women or enter ing into amorous conversation with them,’ and is a species of poetic composition, its chief differentiating characteristic being the subject-matter of love,—the miseries of the neglected lover, the beauty of the beloved, the notes of nightingales, the delights of spring, the joys of wine; complaints against the oppression and whims of the world, the instability of wordly joys and possessions and the shortness of mortal life,—all expressed in fantastic and beautiful language full of similes and metaphors, and abounding with mythical and historical allusious. This is strictly the domain of a Ghazal, but the poet generally intersperses his odes with lines relating to incidents of his own life and with references to contemporay events, inculcates moral precepts in some places, and occasionally casts bitter sarcasms at vice and hypocrisy, which are the pests of mankind at all times and in all places. Also many of the odes contain some Sufistic doctrine or its interpre­tation, and the poet expresses the state of his own mind in rela­tion to certain religious tenets. Another characteristic of a ghazal is that it contains at the most seventeen distichs or couplets, and at the least five. The first is called matla' or beginning; and the last, which generally contains the takhallus or pseudonym of the poet, is called makta' or end. Also the metre of all the distichs of an ode is the same, and the ryhme of the two hemistichs of the first distich is the same as the rhyme of the second hemistich of every following distich in that ode. A third peculiarity of a ghazal is that each distich contains one single thought, which is seldom carried over to the next distich. But in spite of this, each ghazal as a whole can be distinguished from another without much difficulty, because, generally speak­ing, each ghazal as a whole has a distinct tone of its own.

According to the ancient Mahomedan geographers, the Earth (khàk) is surrounded by water (àb), the water by wind (bàd), and the wind by ether (athir). The first planet revolving round the Earth is the Moon (màh, qamar); round the Moon revolves Mercury (tir, u'tàrad); round Mercury, Venus (nàhid, zohre); round Venus, the Sun (àftàb, shams); round the Sun, Mars (behràm, murikh); round Mars, Jupiter (barjis, mushtari); round Jupiter,Saturn (Kaiwàn, zohl); round Saturn, the Bull (sawar); and round the Bull, the falak-i-aflàk, the highest sphere, which encloses the other eight. These nine spheres are called noh falak. The falak-i-aflàk contains the throne of God, called a'rsh-i-falak, the Heavenly Chair. This chair is composed of a thousand pillars, each pillar at a distance of 3 millions of miles apart. The falak-i-aflàk is also called falak-i-atlas, (the bare-headed sphere), as there are no stars in its firmament. Each of the spheres above-mentioned exercises its influence on a corresponding part of the earth, which is hence divided into 7 climes, haft aqlim. Thus Saturn rules over India; Jupiter, over China and Khata; Mars, over Eastern Turkistan; the Sun, over Mesopotamia and Khurasan; Venus, over Trans Oxiana; Mercury, over Turkey-in-Europe; the Moon, over the hyperborean regions. On account of its swiftness, Mercury is chosen as the secretary and the messenger of the heavens, (dabir-i-falak, or munshi-i-falak and paik i-falak); Jupiter is the Judge (Kazi), and Saturn is the oldest (pir). The influence of Venus and Jupiter is considered auspicious (sa'd); Jupiter is called sa'd-i-akbar and Venus is called sa'd-i-asghar. Saturn and Mars exercise a very inauspicious (nahs) influence; Saturn is called nahs-i-akbar and Mars is called nahs-i-asghar. The influ­ence of Mercury is sometimes auspicious and sometimes inaus­picious, and so it is called a hypocrite (durang).

It is supposed that the world has already passed under the sway of eight heavenly spheres, each sphere having exercised its sway for 9000 years, and that it is now under the sway of the moon (dawr-i-qamar). According to this calculation, the world will be annihilated soon after the 9000 years of the moon's sway are over.