Op'ning her hand, Zuleikha then arrayed
The house the master there had ready made.
With silken carpets she adorned its floor,
With golden throne increased its beauty more.
Around it lamps with jewels decked were strung,
To give sweet odour scented herbs were hung.
All needful things she had there laid at hand;
To spread the couch of pleasure, too, she planned.
Of each and all in that abode of bliss
Joseph to summon, there failed only this.
Without the face of her who is adored
By the fond lover's Paradise abhorred.
It came to this that she would Joseph call,
With honour she would seat him high in hall,
In secret would his beauteous self caress,
Towards union's plain she would his courser press.
Would from his life-increasing lip gain her desire,
Would from his haughty ringlets ease acquire.
But towards her beauty art should do its part,
That should demand the love of Joseph's heart.
Her charms had never need of shining gem,
Yet her own beauty* she increased with them.
In garden's beauty is well-known the rose,
But with dew-necklace even fairer grows.
With red paint she her roses freshly dressed,
And added to her charm a greater zest.
With dye upon her arching eyebrows laid,
A rainbow of her feast's new moon* she made.
Her amber hair in ringlets she combined,
Her Chinese musk locks in each other twined.
Down on her back her locks of musk were laid,
And to the Arghaván gave amber aid.
With surma her soft eye was tinged anew,
Thence black art's sorcery its pupil drew:
With moles of amber fresh upon her face,
She to her darling there would state her case:
“Thy face into my heart such burning threw,
“That to my heart and soul 'twas just as rue.”
Upon her moon with surma-wire* blue lines she drew;—
That Egypt as from Nile more beauteous grew.
That blue line on that moon's face would not show
But as an iron to make blind her foe.
Had the tire-woman seen that frenzied eye,
The surma-wire had she dropped hastily.
Her silver hand she dyed with colour due,
With magic that she might his heart subdue.
An artist drew upon her palm a little thing
With which her beauty to her hand to bring.
Dye of fresh jujube on her filbert* spread
Her lover told of blood-red tears she shed.
By art ten crescents* to the moon appear.
Out of the veil of twilight shining clear,
That from her fortune's terrace she might soon
Show of her union's feast the crescent moon.
Beside her cheek an earring she had laid;
The moon had with a star conjunction made,
Of this world and of faith that fortune clear
From that conjunction might to her draw near!
She like a rose in beauty fresh and gay,
Had clothed herself in garments new that day.
Upon her body then a robe she drew,
Its lily skirt was filled with roses, too.
She clothed the rose's branch with jessamine,
Lilies on breast, roses the sleeve within.
No eye could see, though it examined close,
But water on the tulip and the rose.*
A stream of wonder, of pure silver made,
Two fish* at rest there with two forearms laid.
A bracelet fair upon each forearm bound,
With golden collar girt those fish around.
Both cheek and forearm testimony bore,
From moon to crescent she would fair endure—
When on her body slight the robe was laid,
She decked it with gold wrought Chinese brocade.
With a thousand graces that Chinese fair
In Chinese garb seemed an idol there.
She arranged of dry gold and glistening gem
On her harvest of musk* a diadem.
With skirt and bosom all with jewels graced,
Like peacock round the palace court she paced.
Mirror in hand she went on pacing there,
And saw the image of her beauty fair,
And when that fair reflection came to view,
She found it current money, good and true.
Joyed at that cash into her treasure brought,
To purchase it a purchaser she sought.
Some one in search of Joseph when she sent,
Her servant up and down in searching went.
In at the door that moon came suddenly,
In state the sun, in pomp a Mercury.
Traces of clay and water in him none,
Upon his brow a light of lights there shone.
One ray from him a world would lighten still:
One word from him with tales the world would fill.
And when Zuleikha's eye upon him fell,
The fire had seized the cane-brake, one might tell—
She caught his hand, “O being pure,” her cry,
“Light of discerning people of the eye;
“Oh! with what faith, in God's name, dost thou serve!
“Favours and gratitude dost thou deserve.
“Of thy good services so proud am I,
“Thy favour's collar lifts my head on high.
“My gratitude, oh! let me now display:
“And let me praise thee for a while to-day.
“The ways of gratitude now let me show,
“That all the world may speak of it and know.”
With boundless wiles and stratagems she knew,
Of seven houses to the first she drew.
The moment the first golden door was passed
She made it with a lock of iron fast.
And when the door was closed, her lip revealed
The secret which her heart no more concealed.
She first exclaimed: “O longing of my soul,
“Thou of my heart's wish art the very whole.
“Thy image in my dreams before me lay,
“And in my childhood slumber snatched away.
“In the same house with grief it made me dwell,
“And with great longing maddened me as well—
“Thyself when my eye was opened to see,
“I came to this land, an exile for thee.
“For wandering here no remedy I know,
“And pass wretched days in the midst of woe.
“Though I rejoice at seeing thee again,
“Without thy presence hopeless I remain.
“Pass from unkindness: turn to me thy face,
“Speak one word only to me in thy grace.”
Low hanging his head, he said in reply:
“A hundred kings are thy slaves, just as I.
“Make me from this my chain of sorrow free,
“And thus my heart releasing gladden me.
“To be here with thee I no pleasure own,
“To be behind this screen with thee alone.
“Thou art a fire and I am cotton dry:
“Thou Sarsar's wind*; a breath of musk am I.
“How can this cotton with the fire contend?
“How must scent's struggle with the Sarsar end?”
These words were to Zuleikha wind, no more:
She to the second house him speaking bore.
Again she locked it firmly as the first,
And with his woe the heart of Joseph burst.
Thence once again Zuleikha raised a cry,
Of many years the veil she lifted high,
“Sweeter than life,” she said: “how long shall anger last?
“Me how long at thy feet shall thy rebellion cast?
“I emptied all my treasure for thy price.
“My sense, my Faith to thee I sacrifice.
“So that my medicine thou mightest be,
“Pledged to my collar thou shouldst follow me.
“Not only dost thou not obey my will,
“In every way dost thou oppose me still.”
He said: “To do sin is not to obey:
“To live in sin 's of wickedness the way,
“For everything of God that 's not approved,
“The chain in service-court may not be moved.
“Nor such a matter may I ever know,
“My hand no power have to strike a blow!”
Few words beyond this in that house were said,
But to another house the way was led.
Zuleikha closed again and locked the door,
And her heart's tale another fashion bore.
In this same way, with wiles and all deceit,
From house to house she onwards led his feet.
In every place she told another tale;
Some other point minute would there prevail.
In houses six her aim was not attained.
Nor exit from the Shishdar* for her draughtsman gained.
Thence to the seventh house his feet she brought,
And there the solving of the matter sought.
As yet was she not hopeless in the way,—
Beyond the darkness was the light of day,
From doors a hundred should hope show no light,
Hopeless to eat thy heart still is not right.
Knock at another door; perchance there may
To gain thy object be another way.