The Nurse.

Assured of the sympathy of the nurse, Zulaikha gives entire sway to her passion, and sends her as a messenger to make known to the object of it the state of her affections. But in vain: they are promptly and even sternly repelled.

“O versed in secret business,”—he replies,—
“Be not a contriver of wiles for my deception!
I am Zulaikha’s gold-purchased slave,
Many are the favours I have received at her hands;
The bloom and brightness of my person are her work;
My heart and spirit are due to her faithful nurture;
Were I to pass my life in recounting her benefits,
I could not discharge my obligations for what she hath done for me.
Therefore must I bow my head to the letter of her commands,
Therefore must I stand ever ready in her service:
But tell her that she must not conceive of me the thought,
That I can ever be diverted from the orders of my Lord;
That from the evil suggestions of rebellious passions
I could ever set foot in the sanctuary of her modesty.
The Vizier hath bestowed upon me the name of son;
He hath entrusted to me the charge of his whole household;
I am a bird to which he hath given its seed and water;
How, then, could I be disloyal to him within his own dwelling!
The Holy-One to every different nature
Hath assigned diversitie of labour and tillage:
One formed of unsullied clay is unsullied in deed;
The child of impur y can only be impure;
A dog is not born of a man, nor a man of a dog;
Wheat cometh not from barley, nor barley from wheat.
I hold in my breast the mystery of Israel,
I have kept in my heart the knowledge of Gabriel,
And if I be worthy of the office of a Prophet,
My only claim to it is derived from Isaac.
I am a rose with hidden secrets in its core,
Which blossomed in the garden of the Friend of God.
God forbid that I should do a deed,
Which should draw me aside from the way of my people!
Say to Zulaikha, she must banish this passion,
And hold me exculpated, and her own heart;
For I rest my hope in God the Pure,
That I shall still be kept clean from the sin of impurity!”