Full of deceit and charms, thou, Love, appear,
At times to peace, at times to war who'rt near—
At times the wise distracted rendering,
At times thou dost the mad to wisdom bring.
Of beauties when thou bindest up the hair,
The wise fall into fetters of despair.
And if those ringlets thou shouldst e'er untie,
The lamp of wisdom gains in brilliancy.
One night Zuleikha as she senseless tossed,
A twin to sorrow and to patience lost,
Drinking the dregs out of the cup of grief,
From love's fierce agony found no relief.
Now from her perfumed hair the veil she drew,
Dust on her head with burning heart she threw.
Her tender cypress back she bowed in prayer;
Earth made of Iram's grove the envy there—
Tears red as Arghaván* poured forth her eyes,
With lily tongue she uttered happy cries.
Grief and affliction filled her sorrowing breast
As to her lover she this tale addressed:
“O thou who robbest me of sense and rest,
“And hast with misery my days distressed;
“No comfort giving, though thou broughtest grief;
“Stealing my heart, thou bringest no relief;
“Thy name I know not, that I thee might name:
“Thy place I find not, that I thee might claim.
“In my own state I smiled so cheerily,
“But now like cane I am in bonds to thee.
“As bud from grief for thee blood was my food:
“Now like a rose I fall out from my hood—
“I say not in thy eyes that I am dear;
“No: least am I of all thy handmaids here.
“If thou wouldst cherish her how would it be,
“And wouldest her from bonds of sorrow free?
“May none be e'er defiled with blood like me,
“Or among people thus dishonoured be!
“My mother grieved that I was of her race,
“And I, his child, my father bring disgrace.
“My waiting women all are from me gone,
“A prey to grief have left me all alone.
“Thou to my wretched spirit hast a torch applied;
“Like me in friendlessness burns none beside.”
Till she was held in slumber's soft caress
Thus her soul's object did she then address.
Her eye inebriate with sleep's cup became,
And in a dream to her sleep's robber came,
In form more fair than I could e'er portray,
Nor do I know henceforth what more to say.
Her hand upon his skirt she weeping kept,
With eyelash at his feet heart's blood she wept.
“Thou with the anguish of whose passion fly
“Ease from my heart and slumber from my eye,
“By that pure Being Who thee pure has made,
“His choice from both worlds' fair ones on thee laid,
“Shorten the period of my grief for me:
“Tell me thy name and where thy town may be.”
“If that suffices for thee,” he replied:
“In Egypt I am Vazír and abide.
“Among those trusted by the king I stand:
“He gives me rank and honour in the land.”
Zuleikha from her love this sign obtained:
As dead a hundred years fresh life she gained.
She drank as 'twere a new draft from life's bowl:
Her body strength, and patience gained her soul.
Fortune awake, when from that dream again
She waking rose, the mad one rose up sane.
To her hot heart of that moon came the word,
And her to sense and intellect restored.
She called her handmaids in from every side:
“Ye who have felt my sorrow,” then she cried:
“News of good fortune to my sire convey;
“Drive sorrow's burning from his heart away.
“Knowledge and wisdom have returned at last;
“My stream comes flowing that away had passed.
“The gold chain from my silver by be laid;
“No more of madness shall I be afraid.
“No more in miser's bonds my silver leave;
“With thy own hand my leg from chains relieve.”
When to her father the good news was brought,
He went to meet her, much as one distraught.
Like lover first himself away he threw,
Then towards that cypress on his way he drew;
Loos'ning that double snake that round her wound,
Her silver breast from bonds of gold unbound.
Her handmaids 'neath her feet their foreheads laid,
A throne of gold beneath her feet they made.
Tender upon a couch they laid her down;
Made her head lofty with a golden crown.
The fairy-faced ones all together drew;
As moths around that candle all they flew.
When of her comrades in the midst she sat,
Her lip like parrot's sugar broke and ate.
The cover of her tale box she unloosed,
As tales of every city she produced.
Of Rome and Syria she wove the thread,
With sugar mixed what she of Egypt said.
Tales of Egyptians now come to an end,
She named him who in Egypt was her friend.*
When of this name came from her tongue the sound,
She fell, as would a shadow, on the ground.
A flood of blood fell from her clouded eye,
And up to heaven rose her wailing cry.
By day and night she had this work on hand,
Spoke ever of her friend and of his land.
Such converse in her ear aye sweet remained;
On every other topic silence reigned.