Conclusion of the work.

Praise be to God that, in spite of time,
This soul-alluring story hath reached its end,
My mind, wearied with stringing pearls,*
And oppressed by the solicitude of finding rhymes,
Now flingeth away the seales from the hand of reflection,
And sitteth down with idle arms from weighing its couplets;
Leaneth its back against the wall of leisure,
Falleth from the path of roughness into that of easiness,
Lifteth up the head of heaviness from the knee,
And lightened is my heart from its secret burthen!
My reed—the horseman with the inky fingers—
Which hath made all the stages from Abyssinia to Rûm,*
Hath left in Rûm the traces of his arrival,
And communicated to the present tidings of the future;
That he may repose awhile hath descended from his steed,
And thrown himself at full length on the bed and the day-couch.
No longer is his head bent down by the hand of the scribe,
No longer is the hand of reproof directed to the penknife;
The inkstand, become a flask of musk from Cathay,
By the aid of the reed spreadeth perfume around it;
The mouth of the flask is sealed with wax,
It is time that the mouth of the flask be so sealed;
The leaves, no longer scattered, are saved from dispersion,
And have drawn the foot within the skirt of concord;
Two hundred leaves, as of roses, are there, under one cover;
Oh! like roses, may the demand for them be fresh every moment!
And oh! may their binding be a bond of perpetuity!
See here a book written with the pen of truth,
Signed with the name of a Lover and Beloved.
Like a sugar-eating popinjay I rest well-pleased,
When I name to thee the names of Joseph and Zulaikha.
By heaven! it is a smiling garden in the new spring,
Compared with which the garden of Irim is a rough field of thorns!*
Every story in it is a verdant pleasure-ground,
And in every pleasure-ground peepeth out a rosy face;
Within it bloom a thousand fresh roses,
And hundreds of narcissuses drowsily languishing;
Glades of meaning, branch within branch,
Figures bold and sweet as the lusty melody of birds;
Every line like musk on a sheet of camphor,
Or gleam of light quivering at the foot of the tree;
Every letter resembling a pure fountain-head,
From which welleth out bubbling a rill of meaning;
See on every side how each rill from the fountain
Swelleth into a stream full of waters of pleasantness!
Happy the way-farer, whom a lucky fortune
Hath led to the brink of that beautiful river!
A look on its waters will wash-out sorrow from his heart,
Will cleanse away the dust from his afflicted bosom;
From his soul will extract the mysteries of faith:
He will draw out the hand of piety from the folds of his garment;
From the billowy ocean of the divine mercies
Will crave to apply a drop to his thirsty lip;
And when he holdeth in his grasp the fresh roses,
He who laid out the garden will not be forgotten.

After recording the date of his book and the number of the pages, the poet exclaims,

Lord! may the man who hath traversed the road of love,
And laid down his burthen at its several stations,
Be blessed in the union with his bride within the secret chamber,
And may her skirt and bosom be pure from the approach of contamination.

Then after invoking a blessing on the Sultan, Hussain Mirza Baihasa, the Pillars of his kingdom, and his earned Vizier, Mir Ali Shier, the patron of the Poet, he concludes,*

And now that thou hast ended thy words with a blessing,
Let thy tongue, Jami, utter to thyself a parting counsel:
Do no dark deed like thine inky reed:
Wash clean thy book with tears from reddened eyes;
Use thy reed only in the service of the Beneficent;
Fold up thy sheet against all deluding passion;
Inflict on thy tongue the punishment of silence,
For silence is better than aught that thou canst utter.


It is pretty generally known that MUSK, the perfume of which is so highly prized in the East, is obtained from the navel of a kind of deer, found in Thibet, Cathay, and Tatary.

Remember when Abraham said to his father, “Takest thou images as gods?”

And when the night overshadowed him he beheld a star. “This,” said he, “is my Lord;” but when it set he said, “I love not gods which set.”

And when he beheld the moon uprising, “This,” said he, “is my Lord;” but when it set, he said, “Surely, if my Lord guide me not, I shall be of those who go astray.”

And when he beheld the sun uprise he said, “This is my Lord; this is the greatest;” but when it set, he said, “O my people, I share not with you the guilt of joining gods with God! I turn my face to him who hath created the heavens and the earth.”—(Koran, § 6.)

The extraordinary pleasure which the Persian nightingale seems to take in fluttering about and smelling at the Rose is perpetu­ally alluded to by the Poets, and has given rise to the well-known fable of “The Loves of the Nightingale and the Rose.” Darwin describes it in his “Botanic Garden.”

The attraction of the Moth to the Candle has given rise to a similar fable.

It is said that the Lotus, or Nile-water lily raises its head from the water every morning at the appearance of the sun, and sinks it again beneath it at sunset.

The story of the loves of Laila and Mejnun is very famous in the East, and has been made the subject of many celebrated poems, and, amongst others, one by Jami himself; which has been made known to European readers by the elegant French translation of Chezy, and by the German of Hartmann.

The story of the love of Khosru Parviz and of Ferhad for Shireen,—the eastern type of perfect womanhood—has also formed the subject of several celebrated poems; amongst others of one by Nizami.

Love is the scale By which to heavenly love thou mayst ascend. (Parad. Lost.)

The opening and closing of each successive day is announced in the camp and at the gates of Oriental Princes by the beating of the tymbal, or great kettle-drum.

The Kiblah is the spot on which the temple of Mecca stands, and towards which every Mussulman must turn his face when he prays. The High Altar in every Mohammedan Mosk must also turn in the same direction.

We have no word in English to express exactly the Arabie word in the original—SARAB; and the French word Mirage does not quite express it either. It is that white mist, or vapour, which is so frequent in the sultry sands of the Arabian desert, and which, at a distance, resembles an expanded lake, but vanishes as you approach it. It is therefore a common emblem of disappointed expectation. It occurs in the Hebrew of Isaiah xxxv. 7, and is rendered in the authorized translation—“And the parched ground shall become a pool.” It should rather be—“And the sultry vapour shall become a real lake.” See a lively description of it at page 53 of this translation.

An allusion to the gold and silver rings with which the Oriental women adorn their ankles; a custom known also to the Jews.

The Bird of Night hides its head under the feathers of its wings, which the Poet compares to swords; and then pursuing the new image represents the swords as cutting off the throat of the bird, and reducing it to silence.

A fanciful image to mark the drowsiness of the sentinel, who, half-asleep, sees in the cupola a resemblance to the head of the poppy, which lulls him into deeper slumber.

Roll up your sleeping rug: an allusion to the call which is made by the public crier in Mohammedan countries five times a day from the minarets, to remember the Prayer appointed by the Law: “God is the greatest—There is no God but God—Mohammed is the Prophet of God.” These five calls are all in the same words, except the one which immediately precedes the rising of the sun; to which is added,—“Prayer is wholesomer than sleep—Prayer is wholesomer than sleep, which makes men like the dead.”

The Persian Poets often compare the eyes of their mistresses to the Narcissus, to which they apply the epithets, “sleepy,”—softly languishing.—(The sleepy eye that spoke the melting soul,) and “intoxicated,”—(the ebrios ocellos, of Catullus). This last epithet may have arisen from a name which they give the flower,—“the golden goblet.”

“Felix cui placidus leniter afflat amor.” Tibullus, liber 2, eleg. 1, v. 80; and “Che dolce piu, che piu giocondo stato, &c.,” Ariosto, Orlan. Furioso, C. 31.

We created man of dark loam moulded: The Jins we had before created of subtle fire.

And the Lord said unto the angels: “Verily, I create man of dried clay, of dark loam moulded.

And when I shall have fashioned him, and shall have breathed of my spirit unto him, then fall ye down and worship him.”

And the angels bowed down in worship, all of them, all together,

Save Eblis: he refused to be with those who bowed in worship.

“O Eblis,” said God, “wherefore art thou not with those who bow down in worship?”

He said: “It becometh not me to bow down to man whom thou hast created of clay, of moulded loam.”

He said: “Begone thou hence; thou art a stoned one (that is accursed,) and the curse shall be on thee till the day of reckoning.”

In amore haec sunt mala: bellum; pax rursum. (Terent.)

Compare Catullus in the well-known passage—“Ut flos in septis,” and the imitation of it by Ariosto, C. 1. “La verginella è simile alla Rosa, &c., &c.” A French poet, quite in the spirit of the Persian, sings,

“Pour garder l’ eclat du matin,
Le bouton se tient sous sa feuille,
Tandis qu’ en decouvrant son sein,
La rose pâlit et s’ effeuille.
Des charmes qu’ au jour on expose
Ainsi se passe la fraîchure:
Oter le voile à la pudeur
N’ est pas effeuiller la rose?

We have no word in English to express exactly the Arabie word in the original—SARAB; and the French word Mirage does not quite express it either. It is that white mist, or vapour, which is so frequent in the sultry sands of the Arabian desert, and which, at a distance, resembles an expanded lake, but vanishes as you approach it. It is therefore a common emblem of disappointed expectation. It occurs in the Hebrew of Isaiah xxxv. 7, and is rendered in the authorized translation—“And the parched ground shall become a pool.” It should rather be—“And the sultry vapour shall become a real lake.” See a lively description of it at page 53 of this translation.

According to Oriental belief, buried treasure is watched over and protected by serpents and dragons.

Laurus erat tecti medio in penitralibus altis. (Virgil.) Clothed in green and like them ever moving: alluding to the religious dance of the Dervises, usually clad in green, which is meant to imitate the “Dance of the Spheres.”

The Sidra or Lotus-tree: the name of a wonderful tree in Paradise, on which sits the angel Gabriel, and under the shade of which repose the Houris. It is the tree of Life and Wisdom; and from its wood were cut the tables which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. (See Koran, § 53.)

For the story of Joseph, which the Poet adopts, see (Koran, § 12.)

Wallenstein: Thy soul is busy with these thoughts.

Countess: What, dost thou not believe, that oft in dreams a voice of warning speaks prophetic to us?

Wallenstein: There is no doubt that there exist such voices. (Schiller’s Wallenstein, Act 5 Sc. 1. Cole­ridge).

And he who bought him—an Egyptian,—said to his wife: “Treat him hospitably; haply he may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.”—(Koran, § 12.)

Oh Love! what is it in this world of ours which makes it fatal to be loved?—(Byron, Don Juan, iii. 2.)

A heavy price must all pay who thus err,
In some shape; let none think to fly the danger,
For, soon or late, Love is his own avenger. (Byron, Don Juan, iv. 73.)

These verses seem to be founded on a passage in “the Traditions of the Prophet:” “Did I find,” said Saad, “anyone with my wife, assuredly I would run him through with my sword.” When this was reported to the Prophet, he said: “Why are ye astonished at Saad’s jealousy? I am more jealous than Saad; and God is more jealous than I.”

Eifersuchtig sind des schiksal’s mächte, voreilig jauchzen greift in ihre rechte.

Jealous are the powers of fate: o’erhasty shouts of joy usurp their rights. (Schiller.)

Non piace ai sommi Dei
L’aver compagni in terra. (Guarini, Pastor Fido.)
But who can view the ripened rose, nor seek To wear it? (Childe Harold C. iii. St. 11.)

The FRIEND: that is the Friend of God—Abraham, who, when he abandoned his father’s faith and acknowledged the true God, broke in pieces the images of his people.

“I will certainly lay a plot against your idols after ye have retired and turned your backs.”

So he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that to it they might return. They said:—“Who hath done this to our Gods? Verily I say he is one of the unjust.” They said:—“We heard a youth make mention of them: they call him Abraham.” (Koran, § 21.)

The Persian expression for the rules of good-breeding, etiquette, politeness. (See Vuller’s Pers. Lexicon voce Nishasten.)

Simoon (poisonous) the name of the hot suffocating wind which blows in the regions of middle Asia.

“Water and clay:” that is, the corporeal existence.

Auferat hora duos cadem. (Ovid.)

Helas! si votre main puissante
Voulait favoriser jusqu’ au bout deux mortels,
Ensemble nous mourrions. (La Fontaine.)

If death consort with thee, Death is to me as Life! (Milton.)

Hei mihi! discedens oscula nulla dedi: (Ovid.)

Nec vulnera lavi veste tegens. (Virgil.)

In Persia, when a beloved person dies, it is the custom (according to the Farhang-i-Shuri) to colour almonds with indigo and throw them on the body.

They died together, un­divorced by death. (Young.)

Saul and Jonathan, lovely and pleasant in their lives, in their deaths were not divided.

This resolution was come to in order that Joseph’s body equally removed from each bank might bestow an equal beneficent influence on both. The historian Tabari relates, that Joseph foretold that hereafter would arise a Prophet by name Moses, who would conduct the children of Israel out of Egypt back to Canaan, and charged them in his will, that when they departed they should carry his body with them and lay it by his father’s; and that Judah, in obedience to this charge, enclosed it in a marble coffin, and sank it in the Nile. Another tradition says, that he was buried in a catacomb, but that the entrance, after a time was covered by the shifting sands of the desert, and that by the bursting of an embankment of the Nile, the place was over­flowed with water, and changed from a Field of the dead into a Lake of the dead. But that an Egyptian woman, who dwelt near the place, gave information which led the people to draw off the water, when the block which barred the door of the catacomb was found and the coffin was recovered.

A fabulous bird which makes a distinguished figure in Eastern romance, and is described as “known as to name”—“unknown as to body.” (Johnson’s Persian and Arabic Diet.)

A kind of hobgoblin, a man-devouring demon (a loup-garou, a man-wolf,) sufficiently familiar to the readers of the “Thousand and One Nights.”

“Red and white,” according to Persian ideas, are symbolical of good fortune and felicity; “black” of ill fortune and unhappiness. “A white foot” is one who brings good tidings; “a black face,” one whose deeds are evil. “White-faced” means the possessor of character, reputation, virtue.

I see that in the field of poetry only a dry bough remains; only a raven’s claw, as it were, in thy hand.

Nizami is the poetical name of one of the greatest of the Persian poets. He flourished towards the close of the twelfth century, dying about the year 1180. Amongst other works he wrote two celebrated historical-romantic poems on the loves of Khosru and Shireen, and of Laila and Mejnun, and a famous heroic poem called the Iskander Nameh, or Alexander-Book, on the life and deeds of that conqueror, Hafiz says of himself,

“Hafiz, thy bright lay is like a string of pearls of the finest water,
And far exceeds in beauty even the poetry of Nizami.”
And in the book of the singer,
“This old vault contains nothing beneath it
Comparable for beauty to the words of Nizami.”

The Persian expression for composing poetry.

From “Abyssinia” (For Mauritania, the native country of Zulaikha) to “Rûm”; by which name are designated all the lands under the Turkish rule, comprizing Canaan and Egypt, the countries of Joseph.

The Rose-gardens of Irim are constantly alluded to by Persian poets as the perfection of gardens. The legend is, that they were planned and executed by an ancient king of Yeman in Arabia, named Shedâd; who, when he heard described the Gardens of Paradise, exclaimed, “For me is no need of Paradise; I will make a Paradise for myself, which cannot be surpassed.” He employed five hundred years to complete them, which he did in the most voluptuous style, and was about to enter them, when he was stopped by Azrael, the angel of death, at whose call he fell down dead. The plain was burnt up by lightning, and the Rose-gardens were hidden from the sight of men. The curious reader may find an account of them by a Persian author in the Oriental Collections, vol. iii., page 32.

This distinguished man, for some time the Grand-Vizier of the Sultan Hussain Mirza, and through life his familiar and cherished friend, was equally celebrated for his munificence and his genius. He built or repaired, it is said, 370 edifices of all kinds, and was not only the liberal patron of learned men and poets, but himself took a foremost place amongst them. In more advanced life he retired from public life, and gave himself up entirely to his literary tastes, and the composition of his works; of which he left a very considerable number in prose and verse, and on various subjects.

For the substance of many of these Notes the Translator is indebted to the German Translator Rosenzweig.