Zulaikha’s Third Dream.

Come, love! full of charms and fascination,
Whose business is now peace, now war!*
Who one while makest the wise man a madman,
At another time makest the madman wise,
When thou tiest up the tresses of the Peri-faced maiden,
The prudent man falleth into the snare of folly;
But if thou untiest the band from her tresses,
The lamp of consciousness bursteth out in full splendour.
Zulaikha, one night impatient and distracted,
Sat the twin-born of woe and the spouse of sorrow;
Draining to the dregs the cup of anguish,
From the burnings of love she could find no rest.
She tore the coif from her amber-scented hair,
In the frenzy of her passion cast dust upon her head,
Bent in supplication her fair cypress-form,
And, making of her tongue a melodious lyre,
Poured forth the deep anguish of her grief-stricken heart,
And burst into an address to the unseen friend.
“O thou who hast robbed me of my reason and tranquility,
And destroyed the peace of my happy days;
Thou hast caused my woe, but wilt not share it!
Thou hast stolen my heart, but givest me no return!
I know not thy name, that I may repeat it continually!
I know not thy dwelling, that I might wander round it for ever!
Once I was full of smiles, sweet as sugar to the taste,
Now I am as the sugar imprisoned in its cane!
Once a fresh rosebud which my passion for thee
Tinted with the blood which flowed from my heart;
Now like a flaunting full-blown rose,*
Forth I have come from the veil of my bashfulness,
Never shall I say, “I am dear to thine eyes;”
Ah! that I might be counted the last amongst thy maidens!
Where would be the harm, wert thou kind to thy maiden,
Wert thou to free me from the bonds of misery!
Oh, may never one be bathed in blood like me;
Become like me dishonoured amongst the people!
The heart of my mother is saddened by this union,
My father feeleth disgraced by his alliance with his child;
Even my attendants, wearied with my service,
Bid me farewell, and leave me to my loneliness.”
Such was her discourse with her heart and soul’s idol;
In such condition she remained till sleep overpowered her;
And when the opiate from its cup had sealed up her eyes,
Then again in her sleep cometh the marauder of her sleep,
In form more beautiful than I am able to portray;
For what more to say, than I have said, I know not!
With cries and tears her hand clingeth to his skirt,
And her eye-lids pour forth her heart’s-blood at his feet.
“O thou, who in the suffering which the love of thee hath caused me,
Hast banished tranquility from my heart, and sleep from mine eyes,
By the spotlessness of Him who hath created thee spotless,
Who hath selected thee from the beautiful things of both worlds,
Shorten, I beseech thee, the term of my anxieties,
Give me to know thy name and thy city!”
And Joseph replied:—“If that will content thee,
Know that I am prince of Egypt and that Egypt is my place;
In Egypt I am a counsellor of the king of Egypt,
And he hath given me in Egypt high dignity and princedom.”
When Zulaikha heard this account of her beloved,
Thou wouldst say, that one, a hundred years dead was again alive:
His speech came to her like a refreshing draught—
Bringing strength to her body, patience to her soul, and reason to her mind.
Then she ran hurrying to her attendants, and exclaimed,
“O ye, who have sympathized with me in my distress,
Carry to my father the glad tidings of my happiness;
Set free his heart from the burthen of sorrow:
Tell him, that reason and consciousness are come back to me;
That the stream whose waters were dried up is flowing again.”
Now she once more openeth her casket of words,
And beginneth to talk again about every city.
She would speak cleverly of Syria and Rum,
And when she mentioned Egypt her words were sweet as sugar.
She would end with rehearsing the story of the Egyptians,
That she might have occasion to utter the name of Egypt’s prince:
But when she had taken this name upon her tongue,
She would glide from her feet like a falling shadow;
From her clouded eye would descend a torrent of sanguine tears,
And the voice of her lamentation would ascend to the skies.
Such by day is her employment, such by night;
And when this is not the subject, she lapseth into silence.