Of this Zuleikha had been unaware
That but two stages might bring Joseph there,
Yet to her inmost soul the tidings came;—
The scar of love had set her heart aflame.
She knew not her desire from whence it rose,
And sought by many stratagems repose.
Out to the desert went she, in belief
That from her heart it might expel her grief.
There for some days she stayed and lived distressed,
Her teeth together in her trouble pressed.
Luxury and pleasure in her train,
Yet every moment but increased her pain.
When there her harvest the flood bore away,
Again towards her home her longing lay.
Then once again she on her litter rode,
And took the way towards her own abode.
To her own house although she turned her face,
She passed along the castle's open space.
She saw the crowd and said: “What are these cries?
“Methinks to-day the dead in Egypt rise!”
One answered her: “He of auspicious name,
“The joy of Canaan's land, a slave there came.
“No slave is this, but lo! this shining sun
“In beauty's capital has fortune won.”*
Zuleikha of her litter raised the screen:
She saw the slave and knew whom she had seen.
All undesired, a cry from her escaped,
A cry unconsciously her heart had shaped.
All haste the bearers of the litter made,
The litter to her private rooms conveyed.
Of her own house she the seclusion gained,
And sense from her unconscious state regained.
Her nurse said: “Lighter of my soul, say, why
“Thou from a burning heart didst raise a cry?
“And when thy sweet lip opened with the call,
“Why with its pain didst thou unconscious fall?”
She said: “O mother kind, what can I say?
“Whate'er I speak, there 's woe in every way.
“The slave in that assembly thou didst see,
“Whose praises Egypt's people sang to thee,
“In all the world my shrine of worship he,
“My soul for him, my love, an offering be!
“'Twas he whose face to me in dreams was shown,
“The patience of my soul was overthrown.
“Body and heart through him I fevered lie,
“And in a sea of blood is drowned my eye.
“In longing for him to this land I come,
“And make in his desire this town my home.
“Of my own family 'twas he bereft,
“And in this exile me has wretched left.
“In all my trouble thou hast seen for years,
“This world's peace broken for me through my tears,
“All this was in the hope his face to see,
“And longing for his gracious symmetry.
“More than a mountain's weight my load to-day;
“How will my matter end I cannot say.
“The royal hall of whom does my moon grace?
“The light of whose night-chamber is his face?
“Whose eye in brightness will through him unclose,
“Whose house becomes through him a bed of rose?
“Who from his sweet lips his desire may gain,
“Or find peace 'neath his cypress free from pain?
“Who of his scented hair may tie the bow,
“Or with his silver palm-tree union know?
“Who on his value all her gains would stake,
“Her eyes' collyrium of his dust who make?
“Through him shall my state benefit or not?
“This fortune shall my hand attain or not?”
When her nurse saw this fire and whence it came,
Sadly she wept, as candle in the flame.
She said: “O candle, this thy heat conceal,
“Nor thy day's grief, nor thy night's pain reveal.
“For long hast thou with patience borne the ill:
“Now hold the matter in thy patience still.
“Thou mayst with patience yet thy hope attain,
“And from dark clouds thy sun may shine again.”