Zuleikha in her grief reliance laid
Upon her nurse's pity and her aid.
She said: “A hundred times thy help I own,
“Who to my wishes hast devotion shown.
“Now once again do thou thy aid bestow;
“Once more of sorrow ward thou off the blow.*
“On my head's part take thou to him thy way,
“And thus to him, as my tongue acting, say.
“Say: O thou plant that hast been reared in grace,
“On roses casting sweetness from thy face,
“From beauty's garden, bed of luxury,
“No lofty cypress ever grew like thee.
“Water they mixed from soul and heart with clay,
“Planting therein from Sidrah's branch a spray,
“Did it of loftiness the leaf unfold,
“To call it graceful cypress they were bold.
“Thee when the bride of Time bore on the earth,
“Was never born a son of purer birth.
“Bright at thy birth the eye of Adam seen,
“At thy fair face, of earth the rosebud green.
“Thy perfect form beyond all mortal bound,
“From it no gain has ever Pari found.
“Were not abashed at thee the Pari's pride,
“She would before thee not in corners hide.
“Though angels dwell above in golden sphere,
“Yet are their heads in dust before thee here.
“Since thy foundation heaven has raised so high,
“On thy poor captive let thy shadow lie.
“For though Zuleikha so enchanting be,
“She is a captive in thy noose to thee.
“From childhood is thy scar upon her breast;—
“From thy desire that old grief has no rest.
“Three times at home in dreams did she thee meet,
“And now her life consumes at fever heat.
“At times in chains as water fastened tight,
“At times as breezes wandering at night.
“From longing for thee, as a hair she 's thin;—
“But she—she has no wish her heart within.
“The cash of her life has she lost for thee:
“'Tis sweet to be kind: have pity on me.
“Thy lip is of life's water pure the fount:
“To shed a drop on her what would it count?
“Grant from thy lip she her desire may gain:
“May be that this may ease her of her pain.
“Of stature to bear fruit thou art a tree:
“If she should eat that fruit, how would it be?
“Where she may lay her head advance thy foot,
“That from thy palm-tree she may gather fruit.
“How would thy royal dignity become the less
“If with a single glance thou her wilt bless?
“Before thy handmaids, too, in serving thee,
“Who art so dear, would she a handmaid be.”
When from the nurse he heard this, by-and-bye
Joseph his gem-lips opened in reply—
He said: “O thou who secrets knowest well,*
“Weave not around me to deceive thy spell.
“Bought with Zuleikha's gold, I am her slave,
“To me who many and many a favour gave.
“Of clay and water she this building made,
“And on her faith my heart and soul are laid.
“Her favour to requite though life I spend,
“My gratitude to her would yet not end.
“I lay my head on line of her command,
“And in her service ever will I stand.
“Yet bid her not of me thus e'er to think,
“That I shall from my God's commandment shrink—
“From lust's bad counsels that are born of sin,
“To evil's straits that I should enter in.
“As his son I, so the Vazír has said,
“And of his household reckons me the head.
“On grain and water fed, his bird am I:
“How in his house can I act wickedly?
“By the pure God in every nature sown
“Are some peculiar habits of its own.*
“He of pure nature ever does what 's good,—
“Adulterer he is who is base of brood.
“Not dogs of man or man of dogs is born,
“Not from wheat barley, nor from barley corn.
“My breast bears the secret of Israel,
“And I have the wisdom of Gabriel.
“To wear a prophet's mantle am I fit;
“'Tis Isaac's grace I have to thank for it.
“A mystery-enshrouding rose I am,
“In the rose-garden reared of Abraham.
“And God forbid that I a deed approve
“Me from that family that might remove.
“Go; bid Zuleikha now the wish refuse,
“And her own spirit both and me excuse,
“For in the pure God aye I hope to be
“Chaste, and from all lustful feeling free.”