Treats of the birth of Bahrām.

He who the pearls strings of the treasury of secrets*523 thus displays the store of pearls:
The heavens have a balance with two scales—in one are stones, and in the other pearls.
(And) from this balance the two-coloured world*524 at times obtains the pearls, at times the stones.
The loins of kings produce the same effect: they give as offspring either stones or pearls.
At times a stone comes from a pearl, at times a ruby from an amber-coloured (stone)*525.
As stone and pearl in their respective fame, so were (King) Yazdijard*526 and King Bahrām.
One struck, the other cherished—strange indeed! It is as rock with ruby, spines with dates*527.
To him whom one had wounded and distressed the other gave a remedy and gifts*528.
When first the dawn of Bahrām, (luminous), carried ill-fame off from the gloomy night*529,
The heaters of the kiln of alchemy sublime*530, those learned in the moon and sun,
Expected that the scales in which they weighed the sky would give but silver half-alloyed*531.
They found indeed in them the purest gold: pearls from the sea came, jewels from the rock*532.
They found, indeed, with promise of success in greatness and in world-illumining:
Pisces ascendant, Jupiter in it, Venus, like ruby joined with ruby, too*533.
The moon with Taurus, Mercury conjoined with Gemini, Mars’ apogee in Leo.
Saturn in strength (too) through Aquarius, giving to foes the measuring of the wind.
The tail of Draco (too) towards Saturn turned, and the sun fallen into Aries.
As Jupiter each star (too) witnessing in favour of its own auspiciousness.
When Bahrām (most) auspiciously was born with such a horoscope as I’ve described,
His father, Yazdijard, whose thoughts were crude, used riper thought, and studying his own,
Saw all matured by him as immature—seed of injustice, work of evil end.
In twenty years before that circumstance some children he had had, but none had lived.
The close observers of the sky ordained that that fair-faced successor (of the king)
Should be from Persia to the Arabs borne, that he amongst the Arabs should be reared;
In hope that from that place he’d fortune gain—From some place every one to honour comes—
In hope that region might bring state to him—although, indeed, ’tis said, “Regions are states*534.
His sire loved rather to preserve his life than keep him as the object of his love*535.
Far from his lands he pitched a tent for him in Yaman’s (broad) domains Canopus-like*536.
He summoned Nu‘mān*537, and the anemone of ruby on the garden he bestowed*538;
That when Nu‘mān strewed flowers, and that shoot grew a Nu‘mānian anemone*539,
(Nu‘mān) might clothe it with the kingly traits, and inculcate the rules of sovereignty.
He took him from the litter of the king, and made his breast a litter for the moon*540.
He held in greater honour than his eyes a fount (of light) more famous than the sun.
When four years passed away Bahrām became a crafty onager, a lion bold.
King Nu‘mān represented to his son*541: O son, my mind is anxious and disturbed;
Because this air is dry, the land is hot, whilst delicate and tender is the prince.
His place of nurture should be one whose head (towering) from earth may touch upon the sky;
That, fostered by the north breeze, on that height he may develop (then) his wings and plumes*542;
That he may have his dwelling in fine air, and (thus) get life-prolonging sleep and rest;
His constitution’s leaven unimpaired by vapours and the dryness of the land.
Then Munẕir went together with his sire, girding his loins to seek for such (a place)*543.
He sought a spacious place, a lofty fort*544, exempt from heat, and free from noxiousness.
Such castle*545 in those regions was not found; and those which were did not (quite) suit their aim.
They sought for masters of the (building) art, prepared the ground too for the work in hand.
Whoe’er proposed to carry out that aim—the plan that he proposed was not approved.
Until at last true tidings reached Nu‘mān that such an artist as would meet his views
Was one most famous from the land of Rūm*546, a cunning man who’d turn stone into wax*547.
One quick and dexterous, skilled in finest work; one of the race of Sām*548, his name Simnār.
All lands had witnessed his supremacy, and by all eyes (too) it had been approved.
In Egypt and in Syria he had built buildings not few, each perfect of its kind.
Although a builder, as all knew, he was of thousand ornamentists master too*549.
The Grecians were the Hindūs*550 of his art; the Chinese chippings of his chisel gleaned.
With judgment and discernment joined to this the stars he’d studied, taken altitudes.
His glance had spun a web across the sky from out the astro­labian spider’s mouth*551.
Like Roman Pliny*552 he had judgment keen, formed tables, and solved talismans as well*553.
Acquainted with the veiled ones of the sky, the moon’s night raids, the sun’s hostility*554.
The ordering of this business might be found in him, he (only) such a robe could weave.
With clay so (grand) a dome would he construct that it would snatch lamps from the stars away.
When Nu‘mān’s heart in that desire and quest grew ardent from the fire of (famed) Simnār*555,
He sent, and from that country summoned him: enticed him e’en by Grecian wiles from Greece.
When Simnār came to Nu‘mān, Nu‘mān’s wish for the affair increased from one to seven.
He asked him to accomplish the design, and then prepared all needed for his work*556.
All instruments and gear that were required for such a dome were fittingly prepared.
The worker’s hands then iron-like became*557; for years he worked upon the edifice;
Till finally with golden-fingered hand he made of clay*558 and stone a silver house.
A citadel whose towers reached the moon; the cynosure of all, both white and black.
A house in ornament and gilding rich; fire-hued, adorned as Simnār could adorn.
A sphere with legs drawn under restfully whilst the nine spheres flew round it (in their course)*559.
A pole formed after those of south and north*560; the Zeuxian work of countless fantasies*561.
The sight of it as sleep to the fatigued; its deckings water to the thirsty soul.
If on it light was scattered by the sun, the ḥūrī with her head-dress hid her eyes*562.
In comfort ’twas like paradise, within; and outside, in adorn­ment like the sky.
Its roof from glue and milk rubbed on had gained the power of reflection mirror-like*563.
For more or less time*564 in a day and night it took (in turn) three colours like a bride*565.
From the three-coloured silk which circles round*566 it gained three hues: blue, yellow, white (in turn).
At dawn (first) from the blue-robed sky it dressed in robes blue-coloured like the atmosphere.
When from obscurity the sun came forth, its countenance turned yellow like the sun.
When clouds inveiled the sun it (then) became in subtile beauty like a silver cloud.
(Wrapped) in the veil of concord with the air, it showed by turns the Greek’s and Ethiop’s look*567.
When Simnār to an end had brought the work; more beautiful had made it than was asked,
Its splendour rose above the lofty sky; the sun from his Khavarnaq splendour stole.
Nu‘mān gave him good tidings of reward so great that for its half he had not hoped:
Of which were camel-loads of purest gold, and precious stores of jewels and of musk:
More than could be computed, so that he might be of use, too, at another time—
If you withhold the firewood from the fire, the meat remains uncooked upon the spit*568.
The giving hand, to “dirams” a distress, is usher of the court of noble traits*569.—
The builder (then) who found such kindness (shown) and hope­fully heard promises of (wealth),
Said, If before this business I had known of (all) that which the king has promised me,
The adornments of this dome of Chinese work I had made somewhat better in these bounds*570:
I should have taken still more trouble here, so that the king more treasure might bestow:
I should have built a house whose brilliancy would, whilst it lasted, day to day increase.
Nu‘mān replied, Should you receive more pay, could you here­after build a better (house)?
He answered, At your wish when I designed*571, I’d make such that this by it would be naught.
’Twould have a hundred hues, this has (but) three; ’twould be of rubies*572, this is (but) of stone.
This shows itself possessor of one dome*573, but that would, like the sky*574, have seven domes.
The face of Nu‘mān fired up at these words; he burnt the store of kind and human thought.—
The monarch is a fire from whose (fierce) light that one is safe who sees it from afar:
In nature rose-bush, which is, when it blooms, roses before you, in your bosom thorns*575.
The king too, (one may say), is like the vine, which does not twist round that which is afar,
But that round which it twists with (seeming) love it tears up root and branch and brings to naught*576.—
Said Nu‘mān, If he’s left with gold and power, he’ll (no doubt) elsewhere build a better house.
(Thus thinking), he gave orders to his slaves to throw him from the roof with no delay.
So that they tore that cypress from the root; they blinded him, and threw him from the fort.—
The worker see—how earth, which blood devours, parted him from the object of his work*577!
He raised a castle in some years aloft, and fortune threw him from it in a trice.
He made a fire and fell into the smoke; he went late on the roof, and fell down soon.
His falling he foresaw not when he raised that building higher than a hundred ells*578.
If he had been aware of his own tomb*579, three ells he’d not exceeded by a span.
’Tis well to raise the throne-steps not so high that you’d be fractured if you fell from them.—
By that exalted building Nu‘mān’s name through highness flung (its) lasso round the moon.
The people called him sorcerer supreme; the earth entitled him “Khavarnaq’s Lord”.