When with one charmer the heart gains its ease,
How can with any other union please?
When does the loving moth fly tow'rds the sun,
When its own light its face in hope has won?
Place scented herbs the nightingale before,
It loves the rose's perfume and no more.
When on the water-lily falls the sun's bright fire,
To see the moon why should it e'er desire?
When longs the thirsty soul for water pure,
It profits not clear sugar to procure.
In that abode of happiness and bliss
Of luxury could naught Zuleikha miss.
The Vazír ever as her slave at hand,
Both wealth and gold were aye at her command.
Rose-bodied servants, all perfumed with rose,
Looked for no ease in serving or repose.
Handmaids, enchanting and beloved of all,
Stood ever ready to obey her call.
Slaves all loin-girded, clad in rich brocade,
As sugar candied sweet from foot to head,
With black men also, all of amber hue;
Like angels of pure skirt, no lust they knew.
The Haram* they frequent in harmless play,
True to the Haram's service day by day.
With Egypt's ladies sitting in one place,
For goodness known and delicate in grace,
Of equal dignity and equal birth,
Associating with her in her mirth,
Zuleikha, seated in her audience hall,*
Where friends and strangers entered, equal all,
Enjoyment's carpet had spread out, the while
Her heart was bleeding, on her lip a smile.
While holding converse outwardly with all,
Her heart was in another place a thrall.*
To talk with people she her lip would lend,
Whilst heart and soul were ever with her friend.
In grief and joy but to that burden tied,
A lasting bond she sought with none beside.
She seemed to sit with those of mortal kind,
But inwardly from all had freed her mind.
This was her mood till night from dawn of day,
Among her friends was ever this her way.
When night upon her face the veil had thrown,
Moon-like, behind the veil she sat alone;
Till morn within her chamber would she oft
Place her friend's form upon a cushion soft,
On honour's knee before it once again
Would there relate it all her grief and pain,
And as she tuned her harp to trouble's air,
The song commence to sing of sheer despair.
She said: “O thou the object of this life of mine,
“Who of thyself in Egypt gavest me the sign,
“Of Egypt's Vazír didst thou give the name:
“For ever may endure thy greatness' fame!
“My head with honour's crown thy love will grace,
“Thy handmaid's service fortune there may trace.
“Lonely and strange in Egypt I arrived,
“Of union with thee by hard fate deprived.
“Oh! with this flame how long shall I consume,
“And with this fire my lamp of woe illume?
“Come! Of my heart's garden the adornment be!
“May my heart's would be salved in meeting thee!
“Hopeless became the matter of my love:
“Gave me new hope a message from above.
“When from that hope my life new being took,
“Dust of despair from off my skirt I shook.
“From light thy beauty on my heart has cast,
“I know that I shall win thee at the last.
“From thy desire although my eye should bleed,
“Tow'rds four of six sides* does my eye give heed.
“Happy the day when thou approachest near,
“When to my eye as moon thou shalt appear.
“When I shall see thee, I shall cease to be
“And my life's carpet be rolled up by me.
“Of my own thoughts then shall I lose the thread,
“In madness shall myself astray be led.
“Me in my place again thou wilt not see,
“Coming as life, in my soul's place thou'lt be.
“In this and in the next world thou my hope,
“When I win thee, of self to speak what scope?
“I lay aside all thoughts of us and me,
“Why should I seek myself in finding thee?”
Thus speaking, morn to night she turned again
Nor until morning would her lips restrain.
And when the morning breeze began to rise,
Began to speak again in other wise.
She said: “O Zephyr of the morning, blow;
“In jess'mine's bosom make musk-scent to flow.—
“Of cypress and of lily deck the place;
“With spikenard's moist locks rub the roses's face.
“Stirring the branches, leaves ring bells of mirth;
“The tree will dance, though fast its foot in earth.
“Thou bearest lovers' messages to please,
“And with the motion lovers bringest ease.
“By thee are charmers' soothing letters borne;
“Comfort thou bearest to all those who mourn.
“None in the world more sorrowful than I,
“And none more pained by parting's misery.
“My heart is sick: affection bring to play:
“My sorrow 's great; oh! drive my grief away!
“There is no place upon the earth below
“Where thou some time or other canst not go:
“Thy way through iron doors thou couldst take,
“Were the doors closed, through windows entrance make.
“Have mercy on me helpless, gone astray,
“And make a search for me in every way.
“Of ruling monarchs pass thou through the town,
“Pass by the throne of those who wear a crown;
“In every city seek this moon of mine,
“Search of my king on every throne the sign.
“On every sweet spring garden cast a look,
“Step on the margin of each purling brook.
“On any river that thou passest by,
“That charming cypress may there meet thy eye.
“On Tartar desert thy kind foot be pressed;
“In China's picture-houses stay and rest.
“Look for a model that his tale may tell,
“And from his perfume capture the gazelle.
“To leave that country should the thought prevail,
“Where'er thou pass in every hill and vale;
“There graceful moving should a partridge stand,
“Rememb'ring him, strike on its skirt thy hand.
“If on the road thou meet a caravan,
“With at his head a heart-enchanting man,
“See in my eye of my own life that king,
“That caravan into this country bring.
“It may be so, that charmer when I see,
“That from hope's bush a rose may gathered be.”
From morning's dawn until the shining sun
Into the plain of day in haste moved on,
With eye blood-shedding and heart full of pain
She to the morning breeze addressed her strain.
When the sun lit the world with its bright ray,
She lit up her assembly as the day.
Attendants stood before her in their rows,
And in her beauty her friends found repose.
With those pure-bosomed ones of cleanly heart
As yesterday she took her common part.
Such her condition every night and day,
The moons and years aye passing thus away.
When tedium in the house was hard to bear,
She in all haste would to the fields repair.
At times heart-scarred with sighing and lament,
She in the plain like tulip pitched her tent:
To tulip there that rose's secret spoke,
And from her scarred heart would sad speech evoke.
At times like flood she gave her torrent head,
And tow'rds the Nile with weeping eyes she sped:
Before it casting her own woe awhile,
She washed her mourning garment in the Nile,
And in this fashion as she passed the day,
Her eye fixed firm on expectation's way;
Her lover by what road would he draw near,
Rise as the sun or as the moon appear?
Come, Jámi; let us exercise our thought,
That Canaan's moon from Canaan may be brought.
With hope implanted in Zuleikha's breast,
Upon the royal road her eye at rest.
Her longing has beyond all limits passed.
Give me her cure, her love to meet at last.
After long expectation, oh! how sweet
That with her hope the hoping one should meet!