At morning when took flight of night the crow,
And early cock's cry sounded clear below,
The nightingales with song melodious grew
And from the rose its coverlet withdrew.
Its face the jessamine with dew had wet,—
Its amber locks had washed the violet.
Zuleikha still her face to turn would seem
Towards the Mehráb of her last night's dream,
No dream, a sweet insensibility,
From the night's blackness a perplexity.
Her maidens at her feet all clustered stand,
And her attendants throng to kiss her hand.
Now her moist tulip's veil she lays aside,
Her eye, half drunk with sleep, too, opens wide:
Her breast of sun and moon the rising-place,
She lifts her head and all round turns her face.
Of the night's face of rose no trace she saw,
And bud-like would within herself withdraw.
'Twas thus that cypress by her grief down borne,
Rose-like her vest had from her body torn,
But shame of others held the hand of pride,
And thus her foot to skirt of patience tied,
Hid in sad heart her secret close she folds,
As in hard rock the mine the ruby holds.
Like buds the blood she swallows in her heart,
Nor outwardly betrays the smallest part.
Her lip still with her maids in talk engaged,
Yet at the talk her heart in secret raged.
With friends her mouth in sweet smiles aye resolved,
Like cane in hundred knots her heart involved.
Though with her friends her tongue had aye its jest,
Love with a hundred tongues burnt in her breast.
Whilst upon others' forms was turned her eye,
Her heart was with her lover constantly.
How in her hand were her heart's reins retained,
When with that charmer always they remained?
Hearts to love's crocodile that are a prey
Gain not their object, seek it as they may.
She has not one wish from her love apart,
And not with any is at rest her heart.
Each word she says she to her lover speaks,
All aim she seeks she from her lover seeks.
Times thousands to her lip her soul arose:
“Oh that the night this day of pain would close!”
Night comes to soothe him who in love abides;
Night comes that lovers' secrets ever hides.
For this to day with them night preference bears,
The one a curtain hangs, the other tears.
At night towards grief's wall her face she leant,
Her back with weeping like a harp was bent.
Her tears upon the harp as strings she laid,
To her own heart attuned its chords she played—
With weeping raising her pathetic cry,
Treble and bass she uttered sob and sigh—
Her lover's form before her constantly,
She scattered jewels both from lip and eye.
“From what mine art thou, gem of purity,
“Whence jewels fall around, encircling me?
“My heart thou stol'st; thy name thou didst not tell,
“Nor hast thou left a trace where thou dost dwell.
“Thy name I know not of whom to enquire,
“Nor one from whom thy dwelling to require.
“If thou art king, tell me at least thy name,
“And if a moon, the place from whence it came—
“Oh! may none ever like me captive be!
“No lover mine, there is no heart in me.
“I saw thy form, that robbed me of my sleep:
“My heart's pure blood it caused my eye to weep.
“And now, deprived of rest and sleep, I lie,
“With thy hot flame my fever burning high.
“If on my fire thou water pour, what then?
“Like fire, wilt not thou blaze and burn again?
“I was a flower in youth's garden fair,
“And like life's water fresh was blooming there.
“No wind had ever blown upon my head,
“Nor had my foot from piercing thorn-point bled.
“Thou gav'st me to the wind with one caress,
“And on my couch a thousand thorns didst press.
“Tend'rer a hundred times than leaf of rose,
“On bed of thorns how could my form repose?”
Thus till the morning came her night was spent,
Against her lover's image this complaint.
To lull suspicion, when night turned to day,
The blood tears from her eye she washed away.
Her lip was moist with the blood-feast of night,
But what had been was hidden out of sight.*
Upon her pillow rose-leaves fresh she spread,
With silver cypress freshened her soul's bed.
As in this manner she passed night and day,
Straight to a hair's breadth she held on her way.