The pen of this tale's writer thus has said:
Out of the house as Joseph flying sped,
Outside the house there met him the Vazír:
A troop of his domestics, too, were near—
When the Vazír saw him with this tumult fired,
Regarding this confusion he enquired,
He in his answer due politeness paid;
No charge was made, no secret was betrayed.
He kindly took his hand within his own,
And to that Pari-faced one led him on.
She saw them thus, and to herself she said:
“Joseph the matter has to him betrayed.”
In that suspicion loud she raised her wail,
And from her secret's face raised up the veil.
“O scale of justice, what should him betide,
“Who with thy wife* would all faith lay aside;
“In his own evil way without a thought,
“Within the veil such wickedness has wrought?”
Leave gave the Vazír. “Pari-face,” he said:
“Say who this crooked nature has displayed?”
She answered him: “This Hebrew slave, the one,
“Whom from the first thou 'st chosen for thy son.
“Freed from the dust of labour of the day,
“To rest within my chamber here I lay.
“He like a thief around my pillow went,
“To pluck my wild-rose harvest with intent,
“And that I knew it not—such was his thought—
“To that rose-garden glad his footsteps brought.
“Of gardener no leave did he demand,
“Spikenard and rose to plunder with his hand.
“Just as his hand that madman would produce
“The knots of union's treasure to unloose,
“I from my heavy sleep awake became,
“From cup of lifelessness to life I came.
“At my awaking he became afraid,
“And his way quickly from my presence made.
“Towards the door he turned his face in shame,
“And lucky nigh to open it he came.
“Hast'ning behind, I followed in pursuit,
“And reached him ere without he placed his foot.
“Nimble and quick, I seized upon his hem:
“His vest rent as a rose from off its stem.
“With open mouth his tattered garment gapes,
“And what I say with proper meaning shapes.
“Now were it best like those of evil mind.
“That he awhile be in the jail confined.
“Or that in person on his body pure,
“Some pain to grieve him he should now endure.
“If thou approve for him this heavy pain,
“The warning may cause others to refrain.”
As she this story to the Vazír told,
He could himself in patience no more hold.
With blame as with a sword his tongue applied,
From path of rectitude he stepped aside.
He said to Joseph: “My jewels were weighed:
“Two hundred treasures for thee empty made
“I chose thee for my son; in dignity
“Then did I raise thee to a station high.
“I caused Zuleikha, too, to be thy friend,
“Her servants thee to wait on and attend.
“Rings in their ears, they all thy slaves became
“Faithful and pure in faith to thee they came.
“Over my goods, too, I set thee apart,
“Nor did I vex in any way thy heart.
“Was it a wise man's act that thou hast done?
“Be for thy evil deed God's pardon won!
“It is not right in this our world of woe
“That aught but gratitude the good should know.
“Ungrateful thou, though favour thou hast seen
“Hast in ingratitude rebellious been.
“Of gratitude thou passest by the street,
“And breakest the salt-dish, as thou salt dost eat.”
When Joseph the Vazír's excitement saw,
He shrank as hairs before a flame withdraw.
He said: “O, Vazír, whom doth justice grace,
“Do not impute to me a crime so base.
“Zuleikha 's false, whatever she may say:
“Her falsehood is a lamp without a ray.
“God woman from man's left side did create,
“And from the left is never seen what 's straight.*
“He who knows left and right will know this thing:
“'Tis hard for what is right from left to spring.
“Since we first met, her purpose she retains,
“Until from me her object she obtains.
“Behind me or before to come she'll never fail,
“And ever calls me for some idle tale.
“My eye in seeing her has aye passed by,
“Nor on her envious table have I cast that eye.
“What should I be, then, with thy nature kind,
“In thy harím my wicked foot to find?
“But slave, who, when his master is not there,
“To sit upon his cushion shall prepare.
“To exile's pain my heart became a prey,
“Of ease from every corner torn away.
“A messenger to me Zuleikha sent,
“On opening many a door of care intent.
“By many sweet illusions led astray,
“She to this private place bore me away.
“Her hope's fulfilment did she then demand:
“No hope of safety left she in my hand.
“Towards the door in hasty flight I passed,
“And reached it with a hundred woes at last.
“Lo! close upon me from behind she pressed,
“And on my back she tore in two my vest.
“Between us two, I say, from first to last,
“No trafficking but this has ever passed.
“If then, my innocence thou dost not see,
“In God's name do what thou mayst wish to me.”
Zuleikha heard the words as Joseph spoke,
And to prove innocence must God evoke.
And to this other oaths she added more:
By Egypt's king's head and the crown he wore,
By the Vazír's high state and dignity,
Whom the king honoured with his privity.
If in a suit some obstacle arise,
What is an oath in a false witness'* eyes?
Of many oaths the swearing will reveal
The evil thoughts the swearer too may feel.
After her oath as from her eyes tears ran,
She cried: “'Twas Joseph that the thing began.”
Their lamps of falsehood when false women light
They need no oil but tears to keep them bright;
And if upon their lamps such oil they pour,
A whole world may be burnt up in an hour.
Those oaths, those tears shed in the Vazír's sight,
The carpet he rolled up of seeing right.
He gave an officer a sign, a blow
To strike on Joseph's soul, as lute with bow:
To tear his soul's vein with the wound of grief,
Erase from his tablet the verse of relief:
To take him to jail, where he should remain
Till the secret matter became more plain.