ALAS for those who having tasted once
Of that forbidden vintage of the lips
That, press'd and pressing, from each other draw
The draught that so intoxicates them both,
That, while upon the wings of Day and Night
Time rustles on, and Moons do wax and wane,
As from the very Well of Life they drink,
And, drinking, fancy they shall never drain.
But rolling Heaven from his ambush whispers,
“So in my license is it not set down:
“Ah for the sweet societies I make
“At Morning, and before the Nightfall break,
“Ah for the bliss that coming Night fills up,
“And Morn looks in to find an empty Cup!”

Once in Baghdád a poor Arab,
After weary days of fasting,
Into the Khalífah's banquet-
Chamber, where, aloft in State
HARÚN the Great at supper sate,
Push'd and pushing, with the throng,
Got before a perfume-breathing
Pasty, like the lip of SHÍRÍN
Luscious, or the Poet's song.
Soon as seen, the famisht clown
Seizes up and swallows down.
Then his mouth undaunted wiping
Oh Khalífah, hear me swear,
While I breathe the dust of Baghdád,
Ne'er at any other Table
Than at Thine to sup or dine.
Grimly laugh'd HARÚN, and answer'd;
Fool! who think'st to arbitrate
What is in the hands of Fate
Take, and thrust him from the Gate!

WHILE a full Year was counted by the Moon,
SALÁMÁN and ABSÁL rejoiced together,
And neither SHÁH nor SAGE his face beheld.
They question'd those about him, and from them
Heard something: then himself to presence sum­mon'd,
And all the truth was told. Then SAGE and SHÁH
Struck out with hand and foot in his redress.
And first with REASON, which is also best;
REASON that rights the wanderer; that completes
The imperfect; REASON that resolves the knot
Of either world, and sees beyond the Veil.
For REASON is the fountain from of old
From which the Prophets drew, and none beside:
Who boasts of other inspiration, lies—
There are no other Prophets than THE WISE.

AND first THE SHÁH:—“SALÁMÁN, Oh my Soul,
“Light of the eyes of my Prosperity,
“And making bloom the court of Hope with rose;
“Year after year, SÁLAMÁN, like a bud
“That cannot blow, my own blood I devour'd,
“Till, by the seasonable breath of God,
“At last I blossom'd into thee, my Son;
“Oh, do not wound me with a dagger thorn;
“Let not the full-blown rose of Royalty
“Be left to wither in a hand unclean.
“For what thy proper pastime? Bat in hand
“To mount and manage RAKHSH

* “Lightning.” The name of RUSTAM'S famous Horse in the SHÁH-NÁMEH.

along the Field;
“Not, with no weapon but a wanton curl
“Idly reposing on a silver breast.
“Go, fly thine arrow at the antelope
“And lion—let me not My lion see
“Slain by the arrow eyes of a ghazál.
“Go, challenge ZÁL or RUSTAM to the Field,
“And smite the warriors' neck; not, flying them,
“Beneath a woman's foot submit thine own.
“Oh wipe the woman's henna from thy hand,
“Withdraw thee from the minion

* “SHÁH,” and “SHÁHID” (A Mistress).

who from thee
“Dominion draws, and draws me with thee down;
“Years have I held my head aloft, and all
“For Thee—Oh shame if thou prepare my Fall!”

When before SHIRÚYEH'S dagger

KHUSRAU PARVÍZ (Chosroe The Victorious), Son of NOSH-ÍRVÁN The Great; slain, after Thirty Years of prosperous Reign, by his Son SHÍRÚYEH, who, according to some, was in love with his Father's mistress SHÍRÍN. See further on one of the most dramatic Tragedies in Persian history.

his Father, fell,
He declared this Parable
Wretch!—There was a branch that waxing
Wanton o'er the root he drank from,
At a draught the living water
Drain'd wherewith himself to crown;
Died the root—and with him died
The branch—and barren was brought down!

THE SHÁH ceased counsel, and THE SAGE began.
“Oh last new vintage of the Vine of Life
“Planted in Paradise; Oh Master-stroke,
“And all-concluding flourish of the Pen

* “BE! AND IT IS”—The famous Word of Creation stolen from Genesis by the Kurán.

Thyself prime Archetype,
“And ultimate Accomplishment of MAN!
“The Almighty hand, that out of common earth
“Thy mortal outward to the perfect form
“Of Beauty moulded, in the fleeting dust
“Inscribed HIMSELF, and in thy bosom set
“A Mirror, to reflect HIMSELF in Thee.
“Let not that dust by rebel passion blown
“Obliterate that character: nor let
“That Mirror, sullied by the breath impure,
“Or form of carnal beauty fore-possest,
“Be made incapable of the Divine.
“Supreme is thine Original degree,
“Thy Star upon the top of Heaven; but Lust
“Will bring it down, down even to the Dust!”

Quoth a Muezzín to the crested
Cock—“Oh Prophet of the Morning,
Never Prophet like to you
Prophesied of Dawn, nor Muezzín
With so shrill a voice of warning
Woke the sleeper to confession

* “There is no God but God; Muhammad is his Prophet.”

One, methinks, so rarely gifted
Should have prophesied and sung
In Heav'n, the Birds of Heav'n among,
Not with these poor hens about him,
Raking in a heap of dung.
And,replied the Cock,in Heaven
Once I was; but by my foolish
Lust to this uncleanly living
With my sorry mates about me
Thus am fallen. Otherwise,
I were prophesying Dawn
Before the gates of Paradise.

Jámí, as, may be, other Saintly Doctors, kept soberly to one Wife. But wherefore, under the Law of Muhammad, should the Cock be selected (as I suppose he is) for a “Cau­tion,” because of his indulgence in Polygamy, however un­usual among Birds?

OF all the Lover's sorrows, next to that
Of Love by Love forbidden, is the voice
Of Friendship turning harsh in Love's reproof,
And overmuch of Counsel—whereby Love
Grows stubborn, and recoiling unsupprest
Within, devours the heart within the breast.
SALÁMÁN heard; his Soul came to his lips;
Reproaches struck not ABSÁL out of him,
But drove Confusion in; bitter became
The drinking of the sweet draught of Delight
And waned the splendour of his Moon of Beauty.
His breath was Indignation, and his heart
Bled from the arrow, and his anguish grew.
How bear it?—By the hand of Hatred dealt,
Easy to meet—and deal with, blow for blow;
But from Love's hand which one must not requite,
And cannot yield to—what resource but Flight?
Resolved on which, he victuall'd and equipp'd
A Camel, and one night he led it forth,
And mounted—he with ABSÁL at his side,
Like sweet twin almonds in a single shell.
And Love least murmurs at the narrow space
That draws him close and closer in embrace.

When the Moon of Canaan YÚSUF
In the prison of Egypt darken'd,
Nightly from her spacious Palace-
Chamber, and its rich array,
Stole ZULAIKHÁ like a fantom
To the dark and narrow dungeon
Where her buried Treasure lay.
Then to those about her wond'ring
Were my Palace,she replied,
Wider than Horizon-wide,
It were narrower than an Ant's eye,
Were my Treasure not inside:
And an Ant's eye, if but there
My Lover, Heaven's horizon were.

SIX days SALÁMÁN on the Camel rode,
And then the hissing arrows of reproof
Were fallen far behind; and on the Seventh
He halted on the Seashore; on the shore
Of a great Sea that reaching like a floor
Of rolling Firmament below the Sky's
From KÁF to KÁF, to GAU and MÁHÍ

* Bull and Fish—the lowest Substantial Base of Earth. “He first made the Mountains; then cleared the Face of the Earth from Sea; then fixed it fast on Gau; Gau on Máhí; and Máhí on Air; and Air on what? on NOTHING; Noth­ing on Nothing, all is Nothing—Enough.” Attár; quoted in De Sacy's Pendnamah, xxxv.

Descended, and its Stars were living eyes.
The Face of it was as it were a range
Of moving Mountains; or a countless host
Of Camels trooping tumultuously up,
Host over host, and foaming at the lip.
Within, innumerable glittering things
Sharp as cut Jewels, to the sharpest eye
Scarce visible, hither and hither slipping,
As silver scissors slice a blue brocade;
But should the Dragon coil'd in the abyss

The Sidereal Dragon, whose Head, according to the Pau-ránic (or poetic) astronomers of the East, devoured the Sun and Moon in Eclipse. “But we know,” said Ráma-chandra to Sir W. Jones, “that the supposed Head and Tail of the Dragon means only the Nodes, or points formed by intersections of the Ecliptic and the Moon's Orbit.”— Sir W. Jones' Works, Vol. iv., p. 74.

Emerge to light, his starry counter-sign
Would shrink into the depth of Heav'n aghast.

SALÁMÁN eyed the moving wilderness
On which he thought, once launcht, no foot, nor eye
Should ever follow; forthwith he devised
Of sundry scented woods along the shore
A little shallop like a Quarter-moon,
Wherein ABSÁL and He like Sun and Moon
Enter'd as into some Celestial Sign;
That, figured like a bow, but arrow-like
In flight, was feather'd with a little sail,
And, pitcht upon the water like a duck,
So with her bosom sped to her Desire.

When they had sail'd their vessel for a Moon,
And marr'd their beauty with the wind o' the Sea,
Suddenly in mid sea reveal'd itself
An Isle, beyond imagination fair;
An Isle that all was Garden; not a Flower,
Nor Bird of plumage like the flower, but there;
Some like the Flower, and others like the Leaf;
Some, as the Pheasant and the Dove adorn'd
With crown and collar, over whom, alone,
The jewell'd Peacock like a Sultan shone;
While the Musicians, and among them Chief
The Nightingale, sang hidden in the trees
Which, arm in arm, from fingers quivering
With any breath of air, fruit of all kind
Down scatter'd in profusion to their feet,
Where fountains of sweet water ran between,
And Sun and shadow chequer-chased the green.
Here Iram-garden seem'd in secresy
Blowing the rosebud of its Revelation;

* Note in Appendix.

Or Paradise, forgetful of the dawn
Of Audit, lifted from her face the veil.

SALÁMÁN saw the Isle, and thought no more
Of Further—there with ABSÁL he sate down,
ABSÁL and He together side by side
Together like the Lily and the Rose,
Together like the Soul and Body, one.
Under its trees in one another's arms
They slept—they drank its fountains hand in hand—
Paraded with the Peacock—raced the Partridge—
Chased the green Parrot for his stolen fruit,
Or sang divisions with the Nightingale.
There was the Rose without a thorn, and there
The Treasure and no Serpent

* The supposed guardian of buried treasure.

to beware—
Oh think of such a Mistress at your side
In such a Solitude, and none to chide!

Said to WÁMIK one who never
Knew the Lover's passion—“Why
Solitary thus and silent
Solitary places haunting,
Like a Dreamer, like a Spectre,
Like a thing about to die?
WÁMIK answer'd—“Meditating
Flight with Azrá

Wámik and Azrá (Virgin) two typical Lovers.

to the Desert:
There by so remote a Fountain
That, whichever way one travell'd,
League on league, one yet should never
See the face of Man; for ever
There to gaze on my Belovéd;
Gaze, till Gazing out of Gazing
Grew to Being Her I gaze on,
“SHE and I no more, but in One
Undivided Being blended.
All that is by Nature twain
Fears, or suffers by, the pain
Of Separation: Love is only
Perfect when itself transcends
Itself, and, one with that it loves,
In undivided Being blends.

WHEN by and by the SHÁH was made aware
Of that heart-breaking Flight, his royal robe
He changed for ashes, and his Throne for dust,
And wept awhile in darkness and alone.
Then rose; and, taking counsel from the SAGE,
Pursuit set everywhere afoot: but none
Could trace the footstep of the flying Deer.
Then from his secret Art the Sage-Vizyr
A Magic Mirror made; a Mirror like
The bosom of All-wise Intelligence
Reflecting in its mystic compass all
Within the sev'n-fold volume of the World
Involved; and, looking in that Mirror's face,
The SHÁH beheld the face of his Desire.
Beheld those Lovers, like that earliest pair
Of Lovers, in this other Paradise
So far from human eyes in the mid sea,
And yet within the magic glass so near
As with a finger one might touch them, isled.
THE SHÁH beheld them; and compassion touch'd
His eyes and anger died upon his lips;
And arm'd with Righteous Judgment as he was,
Yet, seeing those two Lovers with one lip
Drinking that cup of Happiness and Tears

* *krath=ra makro\n h(donh=s kai\ dakru/wn
*kirnw=ntes e)ce/pinon a)/xris e)s me/qhn.
From Theodorus Prodromus, as quoted by Sir W. Jones.

In which Farewell had never yet been flung,

A pebble flung into a Cup being a signal for a company to break up.

He paused for their Repentance to recall
The lifted arm that was to shatter all.

The Lords of Wrath have perish'd by the blow
Themselves had aim'd at others long ago.
Draw not in haste the sword, which Fate, may be,
Will sheathe, hereafter to be drawn on Thee.

FARHÁD, who the shapeless mountain
Into human likeness moulded,
Under SHÍRÍN'S eyes as slavish
Potters' earth himself became.

Then the secret fire of jealous
Frenzy, catching and devouring
KAI KHUSRAU, broke into flame.

With that ancient Hag of Darkness
Plotting, at the midnight Banquet
FARHÁD'S golden cup he poison'd,
And in SHÍRÍN'S eyes alone
Reign'd—But Fate that Fate revenges,
Arms SHÍRÚYEH with the dagger
That at once from SHÍRÍN tore,
And hurl'd him lifeless from his throne.

* One story is that Khusrau had promised that if Farhád cut through a Mountain, and brought a Stream through, Shírín should be his. Farhád was on the point of achiev­ing his work, when Khusrau sent an old Woman (here, perhaps, purposely confounded with Fate) to tell him Shírín was dead; whereon Farhád threw himself headlong from the Rock. The Sculpture at Beysitún (or Besitún), where Rawlinson has deciphered Darius and Xerxes, was tra­ditionally called Farhád's.

BUT as the days went on, and still THE SHÁH
Beheld his Son how in the Woman lost,
And still the Crown that should adorn his head,
And still the Throne that waited for his foot,
Both trampled under by a base desire,
Of which the Soul was still unsatisfied—
Then from the sorrow of THE SHÁH fell Fire;
To Gracelessness ungracious he became,
And, quite to shatter that rebellious lust,
Upon SALÁMÁN all his WILL, with all

* He Mesmerizes him!—See also further on this Power of the WILL.

His SAGE-VIZYR'S Might-magic arm'd, discharged.
And Lo! SALÁMÁN to his Mistress turn'd,
But could not reach her—look'd and look'd again,
And palpitated tow'rd her—but in vain!
Oh Misery! As to the Bankrupt's eyes
The Gold he may not finger! or the Well
To him who sees a-thirst, and cannot reach,
Or Heav'n above reveal'd to those in Hell!
Yet when SALÁMÁN'S anguish was extreme,
The door of Mercy open'd, and he saw
That Arm he knew to be his Father's reacht
To lift him from the pit in which he lay:
Timidly tow'rd his Father's eyes his own
He lifted, pardon-pleading, crime-confest,
And drew once more to that forsaken Throne,
As the stray bird one day will find her nest.

One was asking of a Teacher,
How a Father his reputed
Son for his should recognize?
Said the Master,By the stripling,
As he grows to manhood, growing
Like to his reputed Father,
Good or Evil, Fool or Wise.

Lo the disregarded Darnel
With itself adorns the Wheat-field,
And for all the vernal season
Satisfies the farmer's eye;
But the hour of harvest coming,
And the thrasher by and by,
Then a barren ear shall answer,
“‘Darnel, and no Wheat, am I.’”

YET Ah for that poor Lover! “Next the curse
“Of Love by Love forbidden, nothing worse
“Than Friendship turn'd in Love's reproof unkind,
“And Love from Love divorcing”—Thus I said:
Alas, a worse, and worse, is yet behind—
Love's back-blow of Revenge for having fled!

SALÁMÁN bow'd his forehead to the dust
Before his Father; to his Father's hand
Fast—but yet fast, and faster, to his own
Clung one, who by no tempest of reproof
Or wrath might be dissever'd from the stem
She grew to: till, between Remorse and Love,
He came to loathe his Life and long for Death.
And, as from his She would not be divorced,
With Her he fled again: he fled—but now
To no such Island centred in the sea
As lull'd them into Paradise before;
But to the Solitude of Desolation,
The Wilderness of Death. And as before
Of sundry scented woods along the shore
A shallop he devised to carry them
Over the waters whither foot nor eye
Should ever follow them, he thought—so now
Of sere wood strewn about the plain of Death,
A raft to bear them through the wave of Fire
Into Annihilation, he devised,
Gather'd, and built; and, firing with a Torch,
Into the central flame ABSÁL and He
Sprung hand in hand exulting. But the SAGE
In secret all had order'd; and the Flame,
Directed by his self-fulfilling WILL,
Devouring Her to ashes, left untouch'd
SALÁMÁN—all the baser metal burn'd,
And to itself the authentic Gold return'd.