A humble address.

O you, whose crown has Fortune as its slave, and by whose crown and throne the world’s alive,—
To guard you, night is a black sentinel, having the drum, the moon, attached to him*277.
Like a free-lance, with sword-belt fastened on*278, the dawn beside your stirrup gently breathes*279.
Of Dīlam’s crown the wearer, slave to you, from plants beside your gate has musky scent*280.
The Grecian, day, would Ethiop be like night, if from the office of “sarhang” dismissed*281.
In every cloth which the sky spreads it has from (the king’s) government two loaves as pay*282.
He whom you pay the least has for his food the planets as a mouthful on his plate.
The signet-ring of heavenly furtherance upon you puts the seal of sovereignty*283.
The (lofty) sky, of which the sun’s a work, is as the smallest belt around your waist*284.
The moon, which of the heavenly sphere has made a golden throne, has made it like your throne*285.
The water of the spring, which is (so) pure, is, like tears, turbid when compared with you*286.
The ruby ’s as a potsherd next your sword*287; the mount before your patience, light of weight*288.
The kings who (now) are (rulers) of the world have (truly) fashioned in their hands a cloud*289;
Except your cloud, which is an April cloud, those other clouds are clouds of winter time*290.
They give much pain before they lay a cloth; they take a life before they give a loaf*291.
You summon late (’tis true), but cherish quick the man on whom (your) shadow you may cast*292.
The worth of men of talent he may know who many works of talent has perused.
(But) he who knows not talent from defect,—how should the talented have gain from him?
From your existence*293 sovereignty has rank; on all sides there are writings in your praise.
Your fortune lives for ever in the work of scout to generosity’s domains*294.
The splendour which you’ve given to State and Faith—not such from April has the garden gained.
The world entire is body, Persia, heart,—the writer shames not at this parallel;
For since that land’s the heart of (all) the earth—the heart is better than the body, sure*295.
Of these dominions which the rulers have—the best of places to the best accrue.
This parable applies to you, the heart, for your dominion is the heart of realms*296.
You, famed as like Sikandar, king, and Khiẓr*297, you, whose control through knowledge, justice, shines,—
An iron mirror if Sikandar made, and if by Khiẓr the Stream of Life was found*298,
Your breast a mirror is of intellect*299; the Stream of Life is (found) within your heart.
Every domain which has a king like you—may God from every evil keep it safe!
From the good fortune which you have*300 you’re called the fortune-favoured of the Seven Climes*301.
Through you the Fifth Clime is in prosperous state; through you the other Six are joyful (too)*302.
By reason of your kindness every land is wishful to be subject to your rule.
Four (previous) kings have had four ornaments; in this you are a fifth—Be you long-lived!
In Aristotle Alexander had one from whom precious sciences he learnt*303.
The court of Nūshīrvān*304 was heaven, since he had
Buzurjmihr, of the world best gift*305.
Parvīz*306 a Bārbad had, a minstrel famed,*307 who’d play not hundred but a myriad airs.
(And fourth), that king whose name was Malik Shāh*308 had in Nizām*309 a pious (minister).
(But) you, who have a better crown than they, have a Nizāmī, great in eloquence.
O you, through whom Nizāmī has a name, though whom his name’s in orderly estate*310,—
Though other rulers, through a vain desire*311, make boast of giving of their treasured store,
They (only) scatter seed in brackish ground, and into blind eyes put collyrium.
To scatter seed in salt and brackish ground no fruit produces saving penitence.
A tree should be implanted in such ground as will bring fruit like that of paradise.
When the cupbearer to the earth gives wine, how can the peasant’s name remain (in mind)*312?
Save you, who have in justice, learning, too, a sacred shrine, who’s generous towards himself*313?
Since I’ve, in truth, been able to infer that those possessed of learning you protect*314;
That wily men’s deceit you favour not, reject the imposture of satiric rogues*315,
This picture from the eternal studio, Leo ascendant, I’ve attached to you*316.
How fortunate that person who may bring such produce to your house from grain you give*317!
(Such produce) as, so long as it subsist, may ever open with your name its leaves.
Not (produce) such as in an age or two the lofty sphere may cancel with a pen*318.
Now, in the cycle of seven thousand, work so perfect in Seven Pictures I’ve prepared*319:
Its sweetness is to brighten up your soul—may it agree! enjoy it, ’tis your food.
To fashion it I’ve cared with endless zeal, and made it then devote itself to you.
Upraised the skies by kinship to the king, akin to angels as the sky his mind!
How can I reach the sky? I’m of the earth. How can I reach the angels? I’m a man.
By using this (sweet) sugar-reed I wished out of earth’s blackness to make verdure grow*320;
To make sweetmeats (to take) upon the road, that I might offer sweetmeats to your feast.
If to strew sugar I’m not privileged, I’m by my vigils the king’s guard (at least).
The king’s a sun illumining the world; my eyes like founts of water have become*321.
Although the sun on water may be cast, water cannot be cast upon the sun.
If eyes agree not with the fount (of light), (still) with its image they may fancies raise*322.
What does not in the monarch’s store exist except this coin, fresh comer from the road*323?
Give it some power by your horse’s hoofs, that by your means its rank may be upraised*324.
The mountain-field whose cupbearer’s the cloud, cares not the water of the well to drink*325.
The field (high) o’er whose head the cloud shall pass—how should it not drink water from the well*326?
I, who require the water from that hand*327, have to (all) other waters closed my mouth.
’Tis injuring the pearl if I appraise; I’ll let it e’en be put before the king.
If you, as “Zuhra”, hear my newest song, as the new moon you’ll make me pointed out*328.
But if you think the picture’s very small—the wind has borne off many such a flower*329.
(Long) life be yours, for justice and the Faith are yours; God give you that, for you have these.
Whate’er is to your state agreeable—may that thing (ever) keep good faith with you!
And all that from your favour falls afar*330—from you and your dominion be it far!
As long as in the sky the sun may shine, your friend be prosperous, your foe be blind!
Your foes so (placed), that, with afflicted heart, they beat their heads with stone, stone with their heads!
(Of all) you have precedence, may you have than all more learning (too), and longer life!
In every circumstance decadence’ hand be distant from the frontiers of your state!