On the fourth day, as promised, when the sun,
Joseph, above heav'n's Nile its place had won,
To Joseph Málik said: “O heart of grace,
“Make, like the sun, on the Nile's bank a place.
“Go; from thyself the road's dust wash away,
“And to the Nile honour with thy dust convey.”
At Málik's own command that shining sun
Alone towards the Nile then hastened on.
Raising his hand within his vest, was seen
On jessamine the water-lily's screen.
When from his head he took the golden cap of light,
Rose from sun's golden egg the crow of night.
As from his head he draws the clinging vest,
His skirt's the East, the Western moon his breast.
From his skirt's side the back and breast appear,
As from the circling sky the morning clear.
Binding in haste his linen drawers of blue,
As silver cypress tow'rds Nile's edge he drew.
From the blue sky, a cry there echoed round;
“From that moon's feet is Egypt prosp'rous found.
“How would it be if I, in place of Nile,
“Could kiss his foot and rest me there awhile!”
Forward the sun resolved himself to throw,
That his own spring upon the Nile should flow.
He sees the sun's spring for himself not meet,
And with Nile-water washes hands and feet.
From bank his feet towards the stream incline,
Just as the moon might enter Pisces' sign.
As the world-lighting sun in its ascent,
As water-lily in the wave he went.
Into the water as he naked dived,
From him the flowing stream fresh life derived.
As he unloosed his curling locks again,
His foot the flowing stream held with a chain.
For every kind of game he might prepare
From crescent to full moon an amber snare.
Water sometimes he pour'd upon his head,—
The Pleiads' gems upon the moon were shed.
At times he rubbed with hand his cheek so fair,
Or combed with hands as comb his spikenard hair.
Dust from face cleaned and dirt from body, too,
Like cypress on the banks of Nile he grew;—
From Málik's carpet-spreader called for vest,
His rose of jessamine with a fillet dressed.
Drew on his bosom then the fair brocade,
With many a pleasing figure that was made;—
The moon eclipsed by his gold diadem,
Put on his waist-belt decked with many a gem.
Two ringlets hung down so enchanting fair,
That filled with amber scent was Egypt's air.
That fair one on a litter then they place,
And to the royal castle set his face.
Outside the fort a platform there appeared,
Where for the king a daïs they had reared—
Before him many beauties standing there—
To gaze on Joseph's beauty all prepare.
Now on the daïs high the litter lies:
The whole world on that litter fix their eyes.
Perchance that day the heaven was concealed,
And to the world the sun was not revealed.
“O charmer,” then to Joseph Málik said;
“Out of thy litter to the throne be led.
“Thou art the sun: raise from thy cheek the veil,
“And let thy own light o'er the world prevail.”
When from the litter* Joseph took his way,
And on mankind threw like the sun his ray,
“It is the sun,” the seers thought awhile,
“Or 'tis a vapour rising from the Nile.”
The world-illuming sun was full in view:
This brilliance was not thence, they fully knew.
Hidden by clouds the sun was not yet bright.
In Joseph's face they knew this shining light;—
Beating their hands, amazed, on every side,
All people there who saw him loudly cried:
“Who is this star of fortune, God,” they said,
“Sun, moon, before whom hang with shame the head?”
And Egypt's beauties, their heads hanging down,
Their own destruction on his tablet own.
Wherever the bright sun appears beside,
Is Suha's remedy alone to hide.