When Málik without labour in his trade
His foot by chance upon such treasure laid,
Upon the ground before that charmer's face
Through joy it on that journey found no place,
But his soul feeding on a distant scent,
Turning two stages into one he went.
From far when he came near to Egypt's bound,
The tale 'mong Egypt's people passed around:
“Málik's long road to-day will find its end:
“A Hebrew slave he's bringing as his friend.
“No slave is this, but 'tis a brilliant sun,
“For the world's capital that's fortune won,
“A shining moon of goodness on the height,
“In realm of love a king of omens bright.
“The heav'n with all its eyes could never see
“Like picture in earth's picture gallery.”
The rumour reached the King of Egypt's ear,
And he from jealousy was vexed to hear.*
“A garden of fair beauty 's Egypt's earth:
“No other land can give such roses birth.
“Roses above in Paradise that grow
“From shame before their face are shed below.”
He said to Egypt's Vazír: “Do thou go,
“To meet the caravan and honour show.
“With thy own eyes do thou behold this moon;
“Bring him thyself here to the palace soon.”
Towards the caravan the Vazír went,—
His look upon that ease of heart he bent.
And so that single look did him enthrall,
In worship he would fain before him fall.
But Joseph raised from off the ground his brow;
Before his face he would not let him bow,
And said: “Before Him only bend thy head,
“Who on thy neck from first hath blessing shed.”
Then the Vazír of Málik asked this thing,
That he would bring him to the conquering king.
He said: “In coming I should have no fear,
“And hope that I should find thy favours near;
“I pray that thou wilt my excuses take,
“And leave me in my camp for quiet's sake.
“For two or three days let us be at rest;
“From want of sleep and food are we oppressed.
“Our face from dust, from dirt our bodies free,
“Cleanly will we attend his Majesty.”
When Egypt's Vazír heard this subtle thing,
He went back to the presence of the king.
Of Joseph's beauty he a trifle said,
And the king's soul to jealousy was led.
He gave a sign that thousands of the fair,
The monarchs of the realm of beauty there,
With heads with gold caps all of which were graced,
And clad in robes with gold embroidery traced,
With waists that gem-bespangled belts adorn,
And mouths with lips on which sweet smiles are born,
From beauty's grove like roses to collect,
From Egypt rosy-faced ones all select,
When Joseph to the market came, that they
Before the purchasers should him display.
Then with such forms and qualities should those
To Joseph's boasted claims themselves oppose:
Were he the world-revolving sun of old,
His market through those fire-faces would grow cold.