Beneath this azure vault of ancient base
Are strangely careless those of Adam's race.
Favours with gratitude they never view,
And want of thankfulness their habit, too.
Although their lives are in all favour passed,
Their blessings are not known until the last.
Many a lover, who departs in pride,
And thinks that with his love he 's satisfied,
When separating fire fate lights one day,
He melts like candle and consumes away.
As to the captives in the jail awhile
It was a rosebud from that rose's smile,
And to Zuleikha from that cypress fair
Her house was a rosebud whilst it was there;
So when that cypress from her mead withdrew,
More dark than prison that fair garden grew.
A hundred times his absence hard to bear—
Her heart lived in that prison in despair.
No trial worse can a lover bemoan
That her place his love should no longer own!
What ease can there be in that garden, bereft
Of its rose that has gone, when but thorns are left?
In a roseless garden by piercing thorn
The nightingale's foot will ever be torn.
That rose in her garden no more to view,
Like a bud her garment she tore in two.
From grief up to the lip when life is pressed,
What matter if the lover rend his breast?
She to his bosom opens up a way,
For grief to quit and leave his heart more gay.
Her cheek of roses with her nails she'd tear;
As spikenard root out amber-tinted hair.
Her face and hair were thus to all a sign
How in her lover's absence she must pine.
She beat her bosom's stone upon her heart,
And struck the war-drum's signal to depart.
Although of beauty's army she was queen,
In the beat of that drum defeat was seen.
She poured dust with her hand upon her crown;
From her moist eyes the tears came running down.
Of dust and water she made such cement
As in her heart to close her parting's rent.
The rent from parting in her heart that lay
Could be closed hardly with a lump of clay.
Her pomegranate lip with her teeth she ground,—
With a string of pearls that cornelian bound,—
But in this she desired the blood to stay
From her too heated heart that flowed away.
All blue she dyed her cheek of rosy hue,
Like a lily struck when the flood breaks through.
The days of our gladness agree with red,—
Naught suits but blue when we mourn for the dead—
From a bleeding heart on her cheek she wrote,
And in grief her knee with her hand she smote.
“Who has done ever such a deed as I?
“Who has drunk such a cup of poison dry?
“What lover e'er struck in this world of woe
“On his foot with axe such a fearful blow?
“I tore my eye out with my hand, my own,
“And thus blind, myself in a well have thrown.
“On my own back a hill of pain I bound;—
“Beneath that hill has now my back been ground.
“My heart became blood in the days I passed,
“Ere that beauteous picture I gained at last.
“Through treacherous fortune are my fortunes low.
“My hand allow his skirt for naught to go.
“With my soul I went from my heart astray,
“And know no remedy to find my way.”
Thus with heart-burning lamentation sore,
Her nights of sorrow into days she wore.
From everything his perfume where she knew,
In hope of him a heart-felt sigh she drew.
At times she even seized upon his vest,
Since it had one day rubbed against his breast.
Her palate she turned into attar of rose,
And soothed her heart's scar for its many woes.
At times, her face upon his collar placed,
Sadly she kissed the fringe the collar graced—
“This is the yoke of that neck's glory. Nay;
“The cord to bind my spirit;” she would say.
At times within his sleeve her hand would be,
She through its fortune gave herself the victory.
Then as with honour there her eyes she placed,
Filled them with silver as his arm had graced,
Or on her eyelid caused his hem to rest,
Since sometime on his instep it had pressed.
As she was hopeless now to kiss his feet,
That skirt she would with adulation greet.
She saw his head's crown lying on the ground,
And scattered pearls and rubies all around.
This had at times to that head given shade,
At whose feet had a world its forehead laid.
The belt that brought his waist to mind she viewed,
And of his service thought with gratitude.
In memory of that deer that was her prey
Upon her neck as noose the girdle lay.
Of his golden cloak as she the folds undid
Of her two eyes would moisture fill the lid.
She washed his skirt with the tears of prayer,
And formed of ruby tears its fringes there.
When she saw lying of his shoes a pair,*
She tried to kiss them in her soul's despair.
To be a pair to him passed through her heart,
And patience left her when from him apart.
Its latchets she made for her heart a tie,
Which she dyed in red from her bleeding eye.
Thus every moment a new grief was born,
And from every thing a new cause to mourn.
As she knew the bliss of seeing, each day
In pain of absence she melted away.
She from repentance thus no profit gained,
And in nought but patience a gain remained.
In such a case how could there patience be
And when could her heart from his love be free?
Woe to the lover from his love apart,
The more to him who has once known her heart.
When there is loosed the tie of sympathy,
Absence is torment for eternity.
Where lies no bond of sympathy between,
The grief from parting is not half so keen.
Now in despair was she herself beside,
When good availed not she with evil tried.
She smote with her own head the wall and door;
A bloody dagger to her bosom bore;
She watched on the palace terrace at night,
Herself to cast down headlong from the height.
Then she made a rope of her night-hued hair,
To block up the road of the outer air.
From the world's cruelty release she sought:
From her cup-bearer poisoned bowl she brought.
Of all things scarce and rare she some obtained,
And thus what suited her for death she gained.
Her nurse her hands and feet kissed more and more;
And from her inmost heart would blessings pour.
“Be by thy love thy wishes all fulfilled;
“With his red wine thy cup be ever filled.
“From parting so mayst thou obtain release,
“That thought of parting may for ever cease.
“Come to thyself. In madness live not long.
“Folly forsake, in wisdom be thou strong.
“With grief into my heart thou blood dost pour,
“As thou now doest, who e'er did before?
“Listen to me. Of old I tried this thing;
“Success to thee can only patience bring.
“There's fever through impatience in thy vein:
“From patience' cloud on this fire water rain.
“Should Sarsar's blast with force begin to blow,
“Like weakly grass do not thou fall too low.
“'Twere best thy foot within thy skirt to hold,
“And with firm step be like a mountain bold.
“Patience is aye the source of victory,
“And fortune's base of power will give to thee.
“Through patience thy hope's fruit shalt thou obtain;
“In patience wealth eternal shalt thou gain.
“From rain through patience pearls bear oysters still;
“Patience the mine with precious stones will fill.
“Through patience to an ear will grow a grain
“Provision whence the traveller may obtain.
“And in the womb one drop in patience sown
“Will in nine months a shining moon have grown.”
Zuleikha, much distressed in heart and soul,
Must in some wise her nurse's words console.
Though to the hem her collar rent in two,
Her patient foot within her skirt she drew.
Patience those lovers who aye keep in view,
Will base their faith on wise men's counsel too,
Yet when the counsellor shall speak no more,
Out of their memory his words they score.