Hopeless lovers are ne'er content: the pow'r
Of longing increases from hour to hour.
Never long* at rest in the same desire,
And ever looking for something that's high'r.
Smelling the rose, he would have it in view,
And when he has seen he would pluck it, too.
Zuleikha, who sat by the road at first,
For the luck to see him was now athirst.
One night before that idol she lay,
To worship which had been ever her way.
“O thou tow'rds whose beauty I pray,” she said:
“And in whose worship I lay down my head;
“Long with my soul to worship thee I stand.
“The jewel of my sight has left my hand.
“Look with thy own eye on my sore disgrace;
“Light to my eye again give in thy grace.
“Apart from Joseph how long must I be?
“Give me my eye that I his face may see.
“I have at any time, in any place,
“But one desire, and that to see his face.
“As thou art able, grant me my behest;
“Give me my wish: do what to thee seems best.
“Such hardship on my soul impose not still:
“My life with such ill fortune do not fill.
“What life is this that not to be is best?
“To tread annihilation's road is best.”
Dust on her head she strewed, as thus she said,
And moistened the dust with the tears she shed.
Mounted his Eastern throne the sun one day,
And rose the sound of Joseph's piebald's neigh.
Zuleikha, as a beggar clad, appeared,
And on a narrow place stood as he neared,
After the mode of beggars, with her cry
In lamentation raised her voice on high.
On every side to the heavens there rise
“Stand out of the road,” the heralds' cries.
There falls on the ear from many a place
The neighing of horses the road that pace.
In that confusion no one saw her state.
(How she then was may no one contemplate!)
Her hopeless heart in many fragments torn,
From street of pleasure wandering forlorn,
She walked, and from her pained heart uttered cries,
And scattered round the hot fire of her sighs:
Back to her house of trouble when she came,
For each reed-handful she brought many a flame.
Out of its place then that stone idol brought,
She with tongue loosened consolation sought.
“O stone, thou of my dignity the cup,
“With stone my ev'ry road that blockest up,
“Thou to my heart dost narrow fortune's road:
“'Twere best if on that heart I stones should load.
“In worship when I fall before thy face,
“Upon a painful road myself I place.
“Each wish with weeping I from thee demand,
“And of the hope of both worlds wash my hand.
“Far from thy shame, O stone, then would I fly:
“Broken with stones thy power, thou shalt lie.”
With the hard stone she wounded, as she spoke,
And like the friend of God the idol broke.
She broke the idol in her active mood,
And in good order thence her matters stood.
And when in breaking she had done her part,
With tears and blood she purified her heart.
Upon the ground she humbly rubbed her face,
And wept and wailed before the throne of Grace.
“O, thou with love who dost the wretched view,
“Idols, their worshippers and makers, too,
“Did not the image Thy own face reflect,
“Who to an idol would e'er show respect?
“With love dost Thou the idol-maker move,
“And thus his idol carving dost approve.
“Before an idol he who falls in prayer
“Will say that in the idol God is there.
“O God, to idols when I turn my face,
“'Tis on myself, O God, I bring disgrace.
“That wrong with Thy own favour pardon Thou:
“The sin that I have done oh! pardon now.
“On sin's road grievously I went astray,
“And Thou my gem of sight didst take away.
“Off me hast Thou the dust of error swept;
“Oh; now restore me that which Thou hast kept.
“Be my heart healed of the scar of regret,
“I may pluck flow'rs from Joseph's garden yet.”
And when that king of Egypt turned and went,
Once more upon his road she made lament.
“All pure is He a slave Who makes a king,
“And round his head shame's shadow, too, can bring;
“Who on the slave's head, poor and broken down,
“Of royal pomp and honour sets the crown.”
And when this found a place in Joseph's ear,
Joseph became beside himself with fear—
He told his chamberlain: “In these her prayers
“She from my soul all strength and power bears.
“Of audience bring her to my private hall,
“My friends alone where I together call,
“That I may ask a little of her woes,
“Ask of her fortune 'midst her ruin's throes.
“Since of that rosary the sound I heard,
“My heart within me wondrously is stirred.
“If to her skirt there cling not grievous pain,
“Why should her saying such influence gain?”
Two hundred souls I offer to that king,
Men's sighs or looks who can to judgment bring—
To know pure justice-seekers does not fail,
Of erring ones discerns the lying tale—
Who, as the prelude to the dawn is true,
Gives to the liar the reward that's due.
Who, of the modern days unlike the king,
In hope of gold will not excuses bring;
No tyrant looking for a piece of gold,
Who hundreds' hands beneath a stone would hold,
With gold who hundreds would to honour bring,
To whom oppression is a futile thing.