One night as pleasant as life's morning rays,
And joy-enhancing as of youth the days,
From movement were both bird and fish at rest,
And fate within its skirt its foot had pressed.
In this house* seers many that contained,
None but the stars' eyes wakeful had remained.
Had stol'n the watchman's sense the thief of night,
The ringer the bell's tongue had fastened tight.
Their tails the dogs their necks had twisted round;
In that ring for their voice no way was found.
Its feather-sword had drawn the bird of night,
And cut its reed that should proclaim the light.
Where royal dome its battlement upreared,
And to the sentry poppy-head appeared,
No strength remained in him his watch to keep,
The poppy-head had lulled him off to sleep.
The drummer's drumming now was at a stand,
Sleep's onslaught to his stick had tied his hand.
Nor had Yá Hai! the Caller's message, sped
The beds to roll up of the careless dead.
With sugar-clear lips there Zuleikha lies,
With sugar-sweet sleep seated on her eyes.
With spikenard rubbed her locks her pillowed head;
On her couched form the rose's harvest spread.
Her locks the pillow in disorder threw;
Their silk threads on the roses pictures drew.
Closed fast in sleep her outward eyes may lie,
Yet from her heart looks out another eye.
Sudden a youth comes to her from the door;
A spirit 'tis, I say a youth no more.
That form auspicious from the realm of day
To Eden's mead the Huris steal away.
Their charms and beauty all away he took,
And snatched away from each her amorous look.
His stature like the young box raised on high,
The cypress tall his slave in dignity.
As chains his ringlets, falling him around,
Both wisdom's hand and foot of counsel bound.
Shone from his brow a light of brilliant ray,
The moon and sun before him prostrate lay.
His eyebrows' bend the Mehráb of the pure,
For drowsy men a perfumed shade secure.
With softness' Surma was his eye anoint,
Piercing all men's hearts with its eyelash point.
Smiles shedding sweets upon his lips abode,
And from his mouth speech mixed with sugar flowed.
His bright pearls, from those lips that jewels shed,
Were lightning flashing in the twilight red.
Light from the Pleiads by his smile was spread,
And salt his lip in agitation shed.
A dimpled apple from his chin was hung,
Or like a quince upon an apple strung.
With moles of musk was his cheeks' rosebud dressed,
As crows that in a garden build their nest.
A crescent new from Eden's heav'n that face
In Archer's sign made with its brow a place.
Silver his side and arms, a mighty pair,
Not so his loins, thin drawn out as a hair.
Upon his face Zuleikha cast one look,
And there took place at once what place there took.
Beauty she saw beyond all mortal range,
Unseen by Pari and to Huri strange.
To his fair form and pleasing traits as well
She with a hundred hearts a captive fell.
In dream she saw him at the age of seven;
Bound as with rope, her heart to him was given.
His stature's image in her heart embraced,
Affection's plant she in her spirit placed.
Fire burning from his face her breast illumed,
Of her heart's patience all the goods consumed.
To those sweet locks that scattered amber round
With every hair her own soul's rope she bound.
At his arched eyebrow she lamenting wept,
And at his drowsy eye in blood she slept.
Her heart her lip then into sugar made,
Her teeth her eye-lash in gem-necklace laid.
Her silver forearm washed from sense her hand,
And wound around her loins a service band.
She saw the sweet musk-mole upon his face,
And on the fire she took, like rue, her place.
She saw life-pain in apple of his chin:
Such apple lightly who can gather in?
In God's name, what a beauteous form appeared,
Sown in an outward form, in mystery reared!
Zuleikha with Zuleikha was oppressed,
The mystery gone, upon the form at rest.
If of the mystery she had been aware
Upon its road had she been moving there.
But captive to the form when she had grown,
At first that mystery she had not known.
We in the bonds of fancy all are laid,
And by appearances are captive made.
Once from the form turned tow'rds the inward part,
When tow'rds the form would ever turn one heart?
There's moisture in the jar, the thirsty knows
Full well, as on its neck his hand he throws:
Once overwhelmed within the limpid sea,
Weeping, the jar no more remembers he.