When in the jail set Joseph's sun of grace,
Hid to Zuleikha was the heaven's face.
As from Zuleikha's sky he disappears,
For Joseph's love the heav'ns weep starry tears.
The twilight with these blood tears was red,
And the sphere's skirt became as if it bled.
From Joseph's grief Zuleikha so was found,
That her tears' twilight scattered blood around.
Weeping she uttered a heart-burning cry,
Just as by day she heaved the bitter sigh.
Whene'er a lover's day is turned to night,
Far greater then becomes his passion's might.
Dimmed is in parting of his day the light,
And still more darksome is his dreary night.
Although his day become from sorrow black,
His night increases further black on black.
The night bears ever in its dark'ning womb,
That hour for lovers that increases gloom:
Out of its membrane as the child comes, then
It sucks no milk, but blood from hearts of men.
Of such a mother who would eat the fruit,
Whose offspring such a food as blood would suit?
In her impatience then Zuleikha knew,
A night in which destruction* came to view.
Her charmer absent and her lover far*,
No light at home, at night nor moon nor star.
When one loved face gives not the house its light,
A thousand torches cannot make it bright.
From grief of heart no slumber closed her eye,
The heart shed blood-tears, and she raised the cry:
“What Joseph's state this night I cannot tell,
“Nor who is pledged to do him service well;
“Beneath his foot who may have spread the bed,
“Or on the pillow who arranged his head;
“Who lights the candle by his pillow side,
“What hand to smooth it may so gently glide;
“Who from his waist the girdle may have loosed,
“Or told the stories that his sleep induced—
“Does the air of the prison suit him yet?
“Like a bird is he tamed down in the net?
“Is his rose as fresh as it was of old?
“Do his spikenard locks still retain their fold?
“Has the air robbed his fair rose of its bloom?
“Is the spikenard dead and without perfume?
“Does his heart, like the rosebud, tightly close,
“Or smiles wreath his lip as the opening rose?”
Thus in every form her anguish she told,
Until the first watch of the night was old.
Then to wait no strength in her heart remained:
Her stream of patience no water retained.
Sharp fire of longing fell on her. With eyes
Full of blood to her nurse she cried: “Arise!
“Let us now at once to the prison go;
“Let us secretly enter that house of woe.
“In the jail's corner concealed let me be,
“That thence that moon of the jail I may see.
“In a jail where abides that glorious cheek,
“No jail, but a bright new spring we shall seek.
“In gardens opes the lover's heart with glee,
“And in the jail this rosebud blooms for me.”
Like a graceful cypress her way did she find,—
Limping, her nurse, like a shadow, behind.
Like night-wandering moon to the jail she came,
And secretly called the jailor by name.
The door she beckoned him open ajar;
Thence he showed her that shining moon afar.
She saw from afar his carpet of prayer:
A sun overwhelmed with light, he was there.
At times as a candle he stood erect—
In his face the pris'ners a light detect.
Sometimes his body, like the new moon bent,
A ray of brilliance to his pallet lent.
At times to ask for pardon bending low,
As the fresh rose-branch nightly breezes blow.
Now in humiliation on his breast,
He sat like violet with head depressed—
Far from herself, yet was she near to him,
She sat concealed within a corner dim.
Wailing in heart and soul with sorrow new,
Her eye her jess'mine changed to tulip's hue.
With pearly teeth she bit her ruby lip,
And from her verdant palm the dates would strip.
With eyes that shed blood till her tears were red,
Burst from her heart her secret, as she said:
“O thou of all fair ones the lamp and eye,
“Their hearts' wish to all who in sorrow lie,
“Thy love has lit a fierce fire in my soul:
“Thy love my being is consuming whole.
“Thy union on my fire no water throws:
“Thy water quenches not my heart that glows.
“Thy sword, with cruelty my breast that tears,
“Brings to my heart no anguish and no cares.
“For me oppressed dost thou no pity know:
“Alas thy mercy! my repulsion woe!
“Each moment by new sorrow am I torn:
“Would that my mother me had never borne!
“And when my mother bore me, on my head
“Would that my nurse her shadow had not laid!
“Or of pure milk had given not enough,
“Or savage, mixed it with some pois'nous stuff!”
Of her own state these words Zuleikha said:
From self-possession was not Joseph led.
He never moved by the breadth of a hair,
Or else no sign of his feeling was there.
Like the morn rising, as the night passed by,
In tears dissolved became Zuleikha's sky.
The royal drum's sound echoed through the air:
Muazzins* called aloud to morning prayer.
The dog wound his tail round his own neck tight,
His breath released from his barking at night.
The cock arose from his sleep, and, head high,
Gave out from his throat his resounding cry.
Gath'ring her skirt, Zuleikha passed away—
In reverence kissed the threshold as it lay.
And whilst that moon was hidden in the jail,
Her coming to the jail would never fail.
For the food of her soul she would come and go,
And no other road would her spirit know.
No garden to any attraction lent,
As that jail tow'rds which her sore heart was bent.
Yes, he whose love is in prison confined,
Except in that jail no comfort can find.