The preface to good fortune's morn, one night,
Than blessing more the day that renders bright,—
The “Night of Pow'r”* an image of its might,
The full-moon night a charter of its light;
Its jet-black tresses even Huris* slight;
Its forehead's white star is a light on light.
The Zephyr combed its locks of spikenard hue,
Its air made droplets of the tears of dew.
With fixed stars' nail the planets' sphere that whirled
Had closed ill-fortune's gates against the world.
The wolf and sheep had both together slept,
And company the deer and lion kept.
The lip as smiling morn was with delight;
The day of trouble fled away all night.
Before that night the lamp* that men beheld,
By men in honour worthy to be held,
Since fortune by his foes from him was kept,
In Ummeháni's* house of wealth he slept.
To rest a pillow on the ground he laid,
A cradle for that tender life the earth he made.
His heart awake, his eye in sleep so sweet
As fortune's eye in dream might never meet.
Sudden the mighty Námus* entered in,
More quick in movement than this peacock green.*
“Arise,” he rubbed him with his wing, and said:
“Thy dream to-night has thee to fortune led.
Out of this sleeping-place thy baggage bear,
Lively who hast earth's fortune in thy care—
Thy road to heaven I have now prepared
To bring Burák,* the lightning-paced, have cared.”
Wind-like upon the face of earth he scours,
Like the blessed Humá* in the air he tow'rs.
With philosophic wisdom he moves round the heav'n,
To him to mete earth as geometer is giv'n.
Upon his reins none lays his hand as yet,
And in his stirrup no foot has been set.
From idols as the heart away that flies,
The scar of trouble never saw his thighs.
Did he a stable want wherein to feed,
The heav'ns were busy to supply his need.
His tender back from saddle's pain is free;
And pain from none his saddle's back may see.
Religion's lord when from this fortune's place
He tow'rds the narrow saddle moved with grace,
Of holy ones in heav'n the voice was raised:
“Who made his slave ascend His name be praised!”*
From Mecca whilst Burak in lightning pace
Struck with his hoof dirams* on the Aksa's* face.
A half or less than half a moment stayed,
A door-ring with his hoof's round cup he made.*
In that mosque chief of prophets* he became,
Leader in rank of former ones of fame.
As thence he mounted tow'rds the heav'n blue
The moon a halo round about him threw;
Then slavery's brand upon its brow it laid,
And in this wise his name more perfect made.
Then higher rising still, upon the head
Of Mercury* the choicest gifts he shed.
Thence as he rose to Zuhrah* further on,
The border of his truth she seized upon.
To wash his foot with this rose-water pure,
Did the fourth heaven bring him out an ewer.*
To the fifth heaven when his steed attained,
Mars kissed its hoof and profit thence obtained,
From his red lip on Jove* then pearls he shed,
And filled his hand* full of the gems he spread.
When his shoes rubbed upon the seventh sphere,
Were Saturn's* difficulties all made clear.
Thence on the Sidrah's* branch would he alight,
And Gabriel's wing was weary with its flight.
To the eighth heaven as he then moved on,
Through him the fixed star's eye more brightly shone.
The Pleiads and the Daughters of the Bier*
In verse and prose ring out his praises here.
Glad at his face's light, the Eagle,* too,
Like to the moth, around him circling flew.
With joy at his fair cypress-form as well
Down at his feet the Lyre* as shadow fell.
In pleasing thought to the Atlas* sphere he flew,
Himself down at his feet then Atlas threw.
To aid, Saráfil,* from his ambush sprung,
A room of green* as litter round him flung.
And when the green had honour from him known,
Quickly there took him from its hand the Throne.*
Left with this sphere his body as a rag,*
To robeless nothingness he raised his flag.
His draughtsman from the board he saved with force:*
Beyond the narrow space he leapt his horse.
From this low vestibule they bore his clay
Upon that lofty shrine his hand to lay.
He found a place from all space that was freed,
To body not forbid, nor soul indeed.
Of fate antiquity washed off the rust;*
The possible by need aside was thrust.*
But he remained free from constraint of all,*
Free both of what is great and what is small.
He saw what was beyond the bounds of sight.
Ask me no farther of what took place that night.
No question is there there of “how?” “how long?”
Hold back from what is one or more thy tongue.
There words unspoken by a voice he heard,
Mystery on mystery, secret word on word.
Nor tongue nor palate is of it aware,
Nor speech nor explanation is there there.
The soul's ear had but wind to understand;
To reach its sense the heart was short of hand.
Too narrow for it wisdom's clothes became,
And in its desert learning's steed grew lame.
Too high for sight or hearing to attain,
From speaking of it must the tongue refrain.
Place no foot, Jámi, thou beyond thy bound;
Withdraw from this soul-wearing ocean's round.
Words in this martyrs' place speak none at all:
Place seals upon thy words, for God knows all.