The Terrace.

Unable to see him herself, she sends a favourite servant to report upon his state, and to take him all kinds of delicacies and comforts;

And when the trusty maiden returneth from the prison,
She lavisheth upon her a hundred caresses;
One time would lay her cheek on the sole of her slipper,
At another would impress on her eyes a hundred kisses;
“For this is the eye which hath looked upon his face,
And this is the foot which hath reached his dwelling-place:
If I am not permitted to press kisses on his eyes,
Or place my cheek on the sole of his shoe,
I will kiss once at least that eye,
Which sometimes hath looked upon that beautiful countenance;
I will place my cheek on the sole of that shoe,
Which once hath travelled in his direction.”
Then would she inquire concerning his condition,
And concerning the grace of that fortune-favoured countenance:
“Had not that face been worn by his sufferings?
Had no knot perplexed his circumstances?
Had that air not withered the rose of his cheek?
Had not that ground injured his body?
Had he eaten, or not, of the dainties she had taken?
Had he remembered, or not, the friend who had given him her heart?”
And then, after many replies to her questions,
She hurrieth from the spot with blood-stained eyes.
On the roof of her palace was a covered gallery,
Whence could be seen the roof of the prison;
In this gallery she would stay sitting alone,
Closing the door against all her people.
“Who am I, that I should look upon his blooming countenance?
Enough for me, that I see his roof from mine!
Not worthy am I to gaze upon those features,
Let me be satisfied to behold his walls and his gate!
In every place where my moon is sojourning,
Is not his dwelling-place the garden of Eternity?
Its roof containeth the capital-stock of felicity,
When it overshadoweth so brilliant a sun.
From that doorway issueth head-exalting happiness,
To come forth from which my cypress hath bowed its head!
Though favoured by Fortune is that threshhold,
Which hath so kissed the foot of him who hath cap­tured my heart,
Well would it be with me were my body cut to pieces,
Member by member, by the sword of his affection;
Could I throw myself headlong from the window
To fall before the feet of that brilliant sun!
Thousands of times I envy the ground,
Over which that graceful form walketh so elegantly;
Which has been perfumed by the tucks of his garment,
Which has been honoured by his fragrant person!
Such in brief words was her life till night,
Such her behaviour, such her soliloquies;
At night her comfort was a visit to the prison,
By day to gaze upon it from her terrace-gallery.
For Joseph had so fixed his abode in her heart,
That for him she became a stranger to the world and to herself.
Lost to herself in thinking of him,
She washed from the tablet of her heart good and evil.
However her maidens uttered their voices.
She returned not to the consciousness of what was about her.
She would say to her maidens, in season and out of season,
“I pay no longer attention to myself,
Seek not from me attention to your words:
Ye will have to shake me before ye speak,
For only by shaking will ye bring me to myself.
And then perhaps I may open my ears to listen:
My heart is only with my prisoner in his prison,
And this is the cause of all my distraction.”

And she falls ill.

Thou too, Jami, come wholly out of thyself,
And enter thou into the blissful eternal dwelling!
Thou knowest, I know, the way to that happy mansion,
But happiness cometh not from so much sluggishness!
Turn away thy foot from the snare of the sluggish,
And set it toward the joyful land of nonexistence!
Once thou wast not—and it was no loss to thee;
Be so again to-day—and it will be to thy gain;
Seek not thy well-being in selfish indulgence,
For such mad passion will profit thee nothing.