Bahrām goes to the chase and the officer entertains him.

One day Bahrām descending from the throne, went off to hunt the quarry on the plain*918.
When near the village where the officer possessed that lofty*919 belvedere he passed,
He saw an excellent, delightful place, with verdure upon verdure, shade on shade.
He asked and said, To whom belongs this land, (and) where (too) is the owner of this place?
The officer was by his stirrup then; when from the king he heard such-like address,
He kissed the ground, and showed (him) reverence; he said, O king, who cherish (all your) slaves,
Your slave has an estate*920 which is your gift; its charm is from the vase whence flows your wine*921.
(So) if the monarch should approve the place, and will exalt his lowly, humble slave,
(If) waiving forms, according to his mode, the practice of his blest and happy mind,
He’ll bow his head to this small, narrow door, (his) officer will be o’er all upraised.
I have—’twas given me by the monarch’s grace—a house whose head arises to the moon.
Around it garden upon garden lies—the Garden their apprentice, heaven their slave*922.
If on its summit you will drink of wine, the stars will kiss the earth before its door*923.
The monarch’s fragrance will perfume*924 the house; my bees, my cows, will honey give and milk.
When the king saw that in sincerity he spoke such words as might an officer,
He said, Command is yours, do (what’s required) by such time as I come back from the chase*925.
The officer (then humbly) kissed the ground, (and) went and cleaned the mirrors (all) from rust*926;
With carpets made the belvedere like heaven, (and) well disposed all ornaments required.
The monarch’s canopy, when from the chase he came, again reached the moon’s apogee*927.
The host then (came and) from his choicest rolls,—both stuffs of Rūm and China’s finest goods,—
Layer on layer of (these) gorgeous stuffs, in whose resplendence heart and brain rejoiced,—
He threw beneath the monarch’s Khatlian steed*928, with sundry other tasteful things as well.
Ascending to the terrace, sixty steps, the king saw an arched room unique in height*929.
It threw Khavarnaq’s face upon the ground*930; it spread a carpet on the azure sphere*931.
The host (then) came and gave what was required of incense, sherbet, rose-water, and food.
When with the palatable food he’d done, the king sought wine, began a joyous bout.
When sundry cups of wine the king had drunk, the perspiration started from his brow*932.
He said, O host, who own (this) golden house, your place is pleasant, and your means are good*933.
But this high palace (here) of sixty steps, around whose head the sky its lasso whirls*934,—
When sixty years have now passed over you, how can you walk up to the top of it*935?
The officer replied, The King live aye! His wine be Kausar, ḥūrīs give the cup*936!
This is in me no wonder, I’m a man; how should I (then) be wearied by such steps?
The wonder this, that there’s a moon-like girl, soft, dainty as the king’s ermine and silk,
Who puts a mount-like ox upon her back, and brings it hither at the feeding-time.
She bears it sixty steps up at a stretch*937, not resting (on the way) at any step.
An ox! What ox? An elephant, a load which ne’er an elephant would bear a mile.
God witness! in this land no one could (lift and) poise it for a moment from the ground.
Then (if) a woman bears it to a height of sixty steps, is it not marvellous?
After the officer had told this tale, the king bit with his teeth his finger-tips*938.
He said, How can a thing of this kind be? It cannot; if it be, ’tis sorcery.
This business I, in truth, shall not believe, until with my own eyes I see it (done).
Then of (his) host, (the officer), he asked that he should prove the claim his words set forth.
The host heard this; he went below and told to her who bore the ox the lion’s case*939.
She, silver-limbed, who’d reckoned on the time*940, ere that she’d for the affair assigned a term,
With Chinese girls’ adornments decked herself, gave drunk narcissus’ languor to the rose*941.
She set off fittingly the moon with musk*942, and taught her roguish glances magic arts.
She put seduction’s stibium to her eyes; she covered petulance with coquetry*943;
Gave to the cypress-tree a rosy hue; and to the tulip gave the reed’s (straight) form*944;
The silver cypress she adorned with pearls; attached the pleiads’ cluster to the moon*945;
Like lovers’ apple into halves she cut a ruby casket by the finest pearls*946;
Crowned, head and neck, with ambergris was she*947; a double chin as collar reached her lobes.
(A king whose throne is made of ivory plates cannot dispense with either throne or crown)*948.
The Ethiops, her locks, her Hindū moles, both stood upon one side (prepared) for war*949.
Her beauty spots upon cornelian lips affixed an Ethiop seal unto her dates*950.
Her face had fastened with most lustrous pearls a veil of (radiant) stars around the moon*951.
The pearls, her ears, to which (fine) pearls were hung, rendered the market of her lovers brisk*952.
The moon she fastened in a camphor veil*953, like to the Syrian rose in jasmine (placed).
When, led by coquetry, this fortnight’s moon had well disposed the seven needful things*954,
Like a full moon she went up to the ox—the moon when she’s in Taurus is in strength*955.
Her head she lowered and raised up the ox—See how an ox had honour (from her act)*956!
When step by step she’d run up to the roof, she went (then) to the foot of Bahrām’s throne.
She stood on foot, the ox upon her neck; the lion*957, when he saw the ox, was moved.
In wonder lost, he thought what may this be? Interest of his? What interest he knew not.
The moon (then) put the ox down from (her) neck; with coquetry the lion she addressed.
She said, The present which I (now) submit, (unaided) all alone, by (my own) strength—
Who in the world by strength and cleverness from (this) high room could carry to the ground*958?
The king replied, This is not (from) your strength, but from your having practised from the first.
Little by little, during many years, you have prepared*959 (for it) by exercise;
So that without (the slightest) toil or pain you can at present weigh it in your scales*960.
The beauty, silver-formed, bowed low to him, with invocation true to what was due*961.
She said, The king owes much (for having said), The ox is practice, the wild ass is not*962.
I who (can) carry to the roof an ox—for “practice” only credit has been given*963.
Why when you hit a little onager, should no one use the expression “practice” too?
The monarch understood his Turk’s reproach; like Hindū acting, he rushed up to her*964.
The moon he (then) unveiled, and when he saw, with tears he scattered pearls upon the moon*965.
Embracing her, forgiveness he besought; that rose rose-water from narcissi poured*966.
He emptied (then) the house of bad and good*967, designing with the girl to have some speech.
Then said he, If the house became your jail, I ask your pardon thousand times as much*968.
If I did light a fire through self-conceit, ’twas I was burnt, whilst you’ve remained intact*969.
When from disturbers, all, the place was freed, he made “Disturbance” near him settle down*970.
Fitna sat down, and (then) began to speak, saying, O King, who set disturbance down*971,
You who destroyed me by disunion erst, and by your love renewed have made me live,
You have from me no further cause of grief—grief would cast down a mountain from its base.
My life was willing from the love I had to fall a sacrifice to love (for you)*972.
When in the chase the monarch with a shaft pinned the wild ass’s hoof and ear as one,
Not earth (indeed), but heaven kissed his hand when (from) the thumbstall he let loose (the shaft)*973.
(But) I (by being) tardy in applause, drove from the king the evil eye away.
Whene’er the eye approves of anyone, that one is injured by the evil eye*974.
I (seemed) in fault*975, for Draco of the sky effected that my love appeared as hate*976.
These words impressed the monarch so that they affected through his heart his inmost soul.
(The king) replied, In truth you speak the truth, (for) sundry things attest your loyalty:
Such love and kindness (as you showed) at first, and such excuses (as you make) at last.
A thousand blessings on that jewel be, which in its nature manifests such worth!
Without the officer’s protecting care, this jewel had been fractured by a stone.
(The king then) called the officer (to him), embraced him*977, and brought gladness to his heart.
He gave to him most rare and splendid gifts; he gave a thousand in return for one.
After (bestowing) numerous fine things, he gave him Rai, with other honours too.
He went (then) to the town, rejoicings made, he made the usual offerings at his feast*978.
The priests he summoned as the laws prescribed, and had the moon united to himself.
In sport and pleasure and luxurious ease for long from this time forth he lived with her.