FROM the Beginning such has been the Fate
Of Man, whose very clay was soak'd in tears.
For when at first of common Earth they took,
And moulded to the stature of the Soul,
For Forty days, full Forty days, the cloud
Of Heav'n wept over him from head to foot:
And when the Forty days had passed to Night,
The Sunshine of one solitary day
Look'd out of Heav'n to dry the weeping clay.

* Some such Legend is quoted by De Sacy and D'Herbelot from some Commentaries on the Kurán.

And though that sunshine in the long arrear
Of darkness on the breathless image rose,
Yet, with the Living, every wise man knows
Such consummation scarcely shall be here!

SALÁMÁN fired the pile; and in the flame
That, passing him, consumed ABSÁL like straw,
Died his Divided Self, his Individual
Survived, and, like a living Soul from which
The Body falls, strange, naked, and alone.
Then rose his cry to Heaven—his eyelashes
Wept blood—his sighs stood like a smoke in Heaven,
And Morning rent her garment at his anguish.
And when Night came, that drew the pen across
The written woes of Day for all but him,
Crouch'd in a lonely corner of the house,
He seem'd to feel about him in the dark
For one who was not, and whom no fond word
Could summon from the Void in which she lay.

And so the Wise One found him where he sate
Bow'd down alone in darkness; and once more
Made the long-silent voice of Reason sound
In the deserted Palace of his Soul;
Until SALÁMÁN lifted up his head
To bow beneath the Master; sweet it seem'd,
Sweeping the chaff and litter from his own,
To be the very dust of Wisdom's door,
Slave of the Firmán of the Lord of Life,
Who pour'd the wine of Wisdom in his cup,
Who laid the dew of Peace upon his lips;
Yea, wrought by Miracle in his behalf.
For when old Love return'd to Memory,
And broke in passion from his lips, THE SAGE,
Under whose waxing WILL Existence rose
From Nothing, and, relaxing, waned again,
Raising a Fantom Image of ABSÁL,
Set it awhile before SALÁMÁN'S eyes,
Till, having sow'd the seed of comfort there,
It went again down to Annihilation.
But ever, as the Fantom past away,
THE SAGE would tell of a Celestial Love;

* “ZUHRAH.” The Planetary and Celestial Venus.

he said, “ZUHRAH, compared with whom
“That brightest star that bears her name in Heav'n
“Was but a winking taper; and Absál,
“Queen-star of Beauties in this world below,
“But her distorted image in the stream
“Of fleeting Matter; and all Eloquence,
“And Soul-enchaining harmonies of Song,
“A far-off echo of that Harp in Heav'n
“Which Dervish-dances to her harmony.”

SALÁMÁN listen'd, and inclined—again
Entreated, inclination ever grew;
Until THE SAGE beholding in his Soul

* “Maaní.” The Mystical pass-word of the Súfís, to ex­press the transcendental New Birth of the Soul.

quicken, so effectually
With ZUHRAH wrought, that she reveal'd herself
In her pure lustre to SALÁMÁN'S Soul,
And blotting ABSÁL'S Image from his breast,
There reign'd instead. Celestial Beauty seen,
He left the Earthly; and, once come to know
Eternal Love, the Mortal he let go.

THE Crown of Empire how supreme a lot!
The Sultan's Throne how lofty! Yea, but not
For All—None but the Heaven-ward foot may dare
To mount—The head that touches Heaven to wear!—

When the Beloved of Royal augury
Was rescued from the bondage of ABSÁL,
Then he arose, and shaking off the dust
Of that lost travel, girded up his heart,
And look'd with undefiléd robe to Heaven.
Then was his Head worthy to wear the Crown,
His Foot to mount the Throne. And then THE SHÁH
From all the quarters of his World-wide realm
Summon'd all those who under Him the ring
Of Empire wore, King, Counsellor, Amír;
Of whom not one but to SALÁMÁN did
Obeisance, and lifted up his neck
To yoke it under His supremacy.
Then THE SHÁH crown'd him with the Golden Crown,
And set the Golden Throne beneath his feet,
And over all the heads of the Assembly,
And in the ears of all, his Jewel-word
With the Diamond of Wisdom cut, and said:—

“MY Son,

* One sees Jámí taking advantage of his Allegorical Sháh to read a lesson to the Living,—whose ears Advice, un­like Praise, scarce ever reached, unless obliquely and by Fable. The Warning (and doubtless with good reason) is principally aimed at the Minister.

the Kingdom of The World is not
“Eternal, nor the sum of right desire;
“Make thou the Law reveal'd of God thy Law,
“The voice of Intellect Divine within
“Interpreter; and considering TO-DAY
“TO-MORROW'S Seed-field, ere That come to bear,
“Sow with the harvest of Eternity.
“And, as all Work, and, most of all, the Work
“That Kings are born to, wisely should be wrought,
“Where doubtful of thine own sufficiency,
“Ever, as I have done, consult the Wise.
“Turn not thy face away from the Old ways,
“That were the canon of the Kings of Old;
“Nor cloud with Tyranny the glass of Justice:
“By Mercy rather to right Order turn
“Confusion, and Disloyalty to Love.
“In thy provision for the Realm's estate,
“And for the Honour that becomes a King,
“Drain not thy People's purse—the Tyranny
“Which Thee enriches at thy Subject's cost,
“Awhile shall make thee strong; but in the end
“Shall bow thy neck beneath thy People's hate,
“And lead thee with the Robber down to Hell.
“Thou art a Shepherd, and thy Flock the People,
“To help and save, not ravage and destroy;
“For which is for the other, Flock or Shepherd?
“And join with thee True men to keep the Flock—
“Dogs, if you will—but trusty—head in leash,
“Whose teeth are for the Wolf, not for the Lamb,
“And least of all the Wolf's accomplices.
“For Sháhs must have Vizyrs—but be they Wise
“And Trusty—knowing well the Realm's es­tate—
“Knowing how far to Sháh and Subject bound
“On either hand—not by extortion, nor
“By usury wrung from the People's purse,
“Feeding their Master, and themselves (with whom
“Enough is apt enough to make rebel)
“To such a surfeit feeding as feeds Hell.
“Proper in soul and body be they—pitiful
“To Poverty—hospitable to the Saint—
“Their sweet Access a salve to wounded Hearts;
“Their Wrath a sword against Iniquity,
“But at thy bidding only to be drawn;
“Whose Ministers they are, to bring thee in
“Report of Good or Evil through the Realm:
“Which to confirm with thine immediate Eye,
“And least of all, remember—least of all,
“Suffering Accuser also to be Judge,
“By surest steps up-builds Prosperity.”