Happy that heart where passion comes to birth,
That in its passion scorns the things of earth;—
Their coruscating flash of lightning bright
Burns sense and patience harvest with its light.
Salvation's pain* no more a thing of awe,
Reproach's hill less weighty than a straw,
A feather weight his soul reproach will know,
That with the blame his love will stronger grow.
For a whole year Zuleikha's moon then waned;
Her full moon to its crescent form attained.
With back bent like the crescent she one night
Sat with her bleeding eye in semi-light,
And spoke: “O heav'n, with me what hast thou done,
“That should already 'gin to pale my sun?
“Now like a bow becomes my bleeding frame;
“I am a target for the darts of blame.
“My reins on restive hands didst thou bestow,
“The restiveness of which alone I know.
“He cast into my heart of love a ray,
“And in dreams treats me in a niggard way.
“In waking hours he does not sit with me,—
“His form in dreams not such that I may see.
“A sign of making fortune in my dream,
“A moon I see of world-enlivening beam.
“Sleep gives no comfort to my weary eyes;
“Of fortune but the form my dream supplies.
“If fortune in my dream would but awake,
“My lover in my dream would substance take.”
Thus said she till a watch of night had passed;—
Upon her lip her soul rose up at last.
Sudden, a dream her fancy bore away:
It was no dream; insensible she lay.
Her form upon her couch was not at rest,
Hope came in from the door her soul that blessed;
That form that had appeared to her at first
Brighter than moonlight on her vision burst.
No sooner did her sight the vision meet,
Than leaping she fell down before its feet,—
Kissed then the ground and cried: “O cypress-rose,
“That from my heart rob'st patience and repose,
“By Him who has created thee from light,
“From all contamination pure and bright,
“Who thus has given kingship o'er the fair,
“And than life's water greater grace to bear,
“In stature as a rosebush in life's mead,—
“Of the soul's food thy lip a source indeed,—
“Thy heart-enlivening face my light illumes,
“And like a moth my bird of life consumes.
“Hid in thy scented locks a lasso lies
“Enfolding every hair of mine that ties.
“Thy waist has made thy body as a hair:
“Thy mouth's Mim drives my sad heart to despair.
“Pity my wretched soul without a hope,
“And thy sweet mouth to give me answer ope.
“Say with that grace that ravishes my heart,
“Who thou mayst be and of what race thou art.
“Where is thy mine if thou a gem shouldst be?
“A king, where is thy hall of majesty?”
Then answered he: “I am of mortal birth,
“Of water made and of the dust of earth.
“Thou say'st thou hast of love a claim on me,
“If these thy words be in sincerity,
“My right of love and faithfulness preserve,
“Unmarried still, do thou my will observe.
“Thy sugar by no tooth shall bitten be,—
“No diamond thy jewel pierce for thee.
“If on thy breast my sign inscribed shall be,
“From that brand think not that I can be free.
“My heart as well is captive in thy snare,
“And of love's branding, too, the scar I bear.”
Then when Zuleikha saw his loving mood,
And from his lip the mystery understood,
Her maddened seized the Pari* once again,—
The fire fell on the moth with greater pain.
From her dream's thought infatuate, she leapt,
With heart and mind in burning madness kept.
Her grief for him at heart still greater grew,
Up to the spheres her grief's smoke* quicker flew.
A hundred-fold her madness had increased
Beyond all bounds; her wailing never ceased.
Down from the hand of wisdom fell her rein,
She freed herself of counsel from the chain.
Like rose-bud, her soul's robe in tatters shred—
Like tulip, in the dust her lip's blood shed;
Sometimes from love for him her face she'd tear,
Or root out, thinking of his locks, her hair.
On every side attendants on the ground
Sat like a halo drawn the moon around,
And if a gap were left in any part,
Straight as an arrow would she through it dart.
And had the circle held her skirt not fast,
Into the fields the cypress would have passed;
Round her, as round a bird, should it not close,
Gone to the market like an unveiled rose.
Informed of these events, her sire each sort
Of med'cine sought for from the wise at Court:
Of all devices every road run through,
Better than chains no remedy they knew.
A twisting serpent made of gold they brought,
Which was with precious pearls and rubies wrought.
The snake, around her silver leg entwined,
Made rings, near treasure as you serpents find.
Treasure of grace Zuleikha was indeed,
And every treasure of a snake has need.
Beneath her skirt there as the serpent slept,
Thus she exclaimed, as pearly tears she wept:
“Fast in the bonds of love my heart's foot lies,
“Yet dearer than the world those bonds I prize.
“Why should quick fate, dear life that wears away,
“Loading my feet, me in such fetters lay?
“To me no power in my foot is left,
“To go and come I am of sense bereft.
“Why with such heavy bonds my foot confine?
“Why wound with cruel sword this heart of mine?
“Fast in the mire my cypress foot they bind,
“And movement for my foot is hard to find.
“And what the benefit the gardener gains,
“When round that foot he draws the water chains?
“That charmer's foot should surely chains control,
“Who in a moment all my senses stole,
“And lingered not so long there in my eye
“As with his tulip hue to satisfy.
“As flashing lightning did he then depart,
“And raised the smoke from out my burning heart.
“If lofty fortune me its aid would lend,
“Round his own foot this chain of gold I'd bend.
“Then as I wished would I upon him gaze,
“And he would render bright my darkened days.
“What of that tender beauty shall I say,
“Upon whose foot if ever dust there lay
“Grief on my soul would like a mountain be,
“And would roll up my couch of joy for me?
“When did I wish a load were on his mind,
“His silver leg from bonds should trouble find?
“A hundred heart-stabs sweeter far to me
“Than that his skirt one thorn should pierce would be.”
Now of those pleasing tales that lovers tell,
One suddenly upon her target fell.
Dust from her wounds upon her bosom fell,
Like wounded game into the dust she fell,
For a short time insensible she lay,
But soon to sense her spirit found its way.
With spells imagined in her maddened heart,
Again her charms began to bear their part.
Sometimes she laughs, and sometimes takes to tears,
Sometimes alive and sometimes dead appears.
Each moment varying from grave to gay,
In varying mood a whole year passed away.