Zulaikha all this time had no conception
That but two or three stages lay between her and Joseph;
Yet had she some tokens of it in her secret heart,
And her bosom was scarred with the yearnings of affection.
She knew not whence those yearnings arose,
Which she sought with all her strength to quiet.*
She would go forth into the fields, in order that there
She might dislodge from her heart what followed her in the house:
There she would spend many a weary day,
Trying to bear patiently her heavy sorrow,
And find there the means of cheerfulness and pleasure;
But every moment only added to her grief.
Then, having watered the ground with her tears,
Again she would feel the longing for her home,
Again mount her camel, and seat herself in her litter,
Again resume her journey, and return to her house.

In returning home, however, she passes the King’s palace, where she sees an immense multitude as­sembled, and looking out from her litter, and behold­ing Joseph himself, whom they have brought to present to the King, she falls immediately into a swoon.

The bearers hurry the litter forward,
And bear her to the privacy of her secret chamber,
Where, having remained for a time shut-up,
She returneth to herself from her state of unconsciousness.
Then said the nurse—“O light of my soul,
Wherefore come these sighs from thy burning heart?
What hath turned thy sweet lips to moanings?
Why hast thou fallen into this bitter unconsciousness?
And she answered—“Dear mother, what shall I say?
For every word I utter will be my torment!
The slave-boy whom thou sawest in the press,
Of whose arrival thou hast heard at Memphis,
That is he who hath become the Kiblah of my soul,
The ransom of my life—my life itself!
He it is whose lovely countenance shewed itself in my dream,
He it is who hath robbed my distracted mind of patience;
It was for love of him that I came to this country,
For his sake that my heart’s-desire was to behold this city;
Who made me a wanderer from house and home,
And wandering thus hath left me destitute.
All the suffering which for years thou hast seen me endure,
The fever of which hath robbed me of all repose,
All was the desire of beholding his face,
The passion to look upon his bewitching figure.
To-day my load hath become heavier than a mountain,
To-day I know not how matters will go with me;
What hall my moon will light-up with its rays,
Whose chamber the taper of his cheek will illumine!”

The nurse has no consolation to supply than this:

“Thou hast long borne thy condition with patience,
Trust then to nothing save patience to-day,
It may be that hope will dawn out of patience,
That the sun will yet break-out from the black cloud!”