Love Refused.

Zulaikha can now no longer command her passion, and more and more throws herself in his way.

Zulaikha now seeketh the remedy of his presence,
But Joseph draweth himself aside from her company;
Zulaikha poureth blood-stained tears from her eyes,
But Joseph flee’th from the sight of her tears;
Zulaikha’s breast is scarred with many a heart-burning wound,
But Joseph not the more stirred retaineth his tranquillity;
Zulaikha fixeth her eyes on that favoured countenance,
But Joseph declineth his to the instep of his foot;
Zulaikha regardeth him with glowing looks,
But Joseph sealeth his eyes, and will not see them.
At last her sorrow reached such an extremity,
That in brief space she could no longer sustain herself.
She fell into the autumn of grief and misery,
The rose of her cheek faded into the yellow tulip;
The crowd of her anxieties overburthened her soul,
Her cypress-form was bowed beneath the pressure;
The lustre vanished from her ruby lip,
The taper of her countenance lost its brightness;
She no longer passed the comb through her amber hair,
Only with clinched palm she tore it from its roots;
She no longer turned her face towards the mirror,
Never directed it save towards her knee:
Since all the world was dark in her eyes,
Why any longer tinge them with the surmah!
And if with the surmah she should try to darken them,
Her tears would wash away the surmah from her eyes!
Then from a bosom wounded with sorrows
She would open the lips of reproach against herself:
“O thou whose condition is become thy disgrace,
Wherefore this passion for a gold-purchased slave!
Thou who art a monarch on the throne of sovereignty,
Why play at love with thine own bondsman!
Seek for thy beloved a king like thyself,
For a king-born princess is worthy of a king!
Yet stranger still the arrogance that upholdeth him
From bowing down his head in a presence like thine!
If the women of Egypt should learn thy condition,
How many hundred times with their censures would
they add to thy sufferings!”
So said she,—but that Only-one
Had not so fixed his dwelling in her heart,
That she was able in such wise to eject him from her bosom;
Nay, from such speech she but increased her affliction!
Yes! when a loved one hath thus mixed himself with our souls,
It is not possible for the soul to snap asunder the link;
A moment may cut off the soul from the body,
But to the beloved it remaineth steadfast for ever.
Well said one sick with the scars of love,—
“The perfume may forsake the musk, and its bloom the rose,
But it is not within the compass of the possible
That the loving soul should forget what once it hath loved.”