Bahrām Gūr rebukes the Persians.

One day with an ascendant auguring good (King) Bahrām took his place upon the throne*1029.
Where’er there was a king or emperor, a giver or a holder of the crown—
All (there), beneath the foot of the king’s throne, were drawn up like the stars before the moon.
The king the sabre’s keenness gave his tongue: he said, O brave commander*1030, leaders all,
The army is required for peace and war; without it man and beast would be alike.
Which of you is it that in any fight has shown such manliness as man should show?
I who have chosen you from (all) the world—in what engage­ment have I seen you (fight)?
Has such work been achieved by any one as is achieved by brave and cunning men?
In times of injury*1031 upon what foe has come affliction from your sabres’ point?
Whom have I seen that has advanced, or bound a foe, or subjugated any land?
One boasts he has the nature of Īraj*1032, another claims Arash’s excellence*1033.
This man’s (forsooth) a Gīv*1034, that a Rustam*1035; this one and that from “lion”*1036 take a name.
I saw no one (of you) make any fight, or any work do at the time for work.
This army which from battle sought escape—I name no person in particular—
’Twas more agreeable for each to say in secret, Oh, alas! our king’s asleep.
He drinks of wine, and calls no one to mind—no one with such a king would be content.—
Though I drink wine, I drink not so that I, through drunkenness, have no care for the world.
If from a ḥūrī’s hand I drink a draught, my sword’s not distant from a stream of blood.
I’m like the lightning when the cloud pours forth—one hand holds wine, the other holds the sword*1037.
By wine I grace the business of the feast, (but) business to the sword I give as well.
My sleep’s deceptive even as a hare’s, it lets me see the foe although I sleep*1038.
My drunkenness and laughter when explained are, that, the elephant’s, the lion’s, this*1039.
The lion when he laughs sheds blood, (and) who would not flee from a drunken elephant*1040?
Fools when in drink are unaware (of things); the sensible are not so in (their) cups.
The man who is not low in intellect may drink of wine, but he would not be drunk.
Whenever I incline my thoughts to wine, I bring the Qaiṣar’s crown beneath my feet*1041.
When upon wine my mind becomes keen-set, I put the wine-jar on my foeman’s head*1042.
When I engage in (drinking) wine I pour into friend’s sleeves the treasures of Qārūn*1043.
The liver of (my) foes, whose hearts I pierce, (e’en) as “kabābs”*1044 I put upon a spit.
What do my (faithful friends), well-wishers, think? (Think they) the heavenly planets do not work?
Though I be drunk and sleep, fortune, awake, is (busied) with some work (in my behalf).
Despite the sleep (in) which I was (immersed), behold how I disturbed the khāqān’s sleep!
In spite of such persistence in (my) faults*1045, see how I carried off the Hindū’s things*1046!
The man who through his weakness does not sleep at night upon his watch is (but) a dog.
The lion though he’s bold can enter not the dragon’s door though in his cave he sleep.
When (thus) the king had spoken out his thoughts, the nobles’ faces brightened like a rose.
They laid (their) heads before him on the ground; (and) humbly gave him answer in this wise:
That which the king has to his servants said may serve as an adornment to the wise.
We’ve made it all for body and for soul an amulet, a ring too for our ears*1047.
God placed the crown upon the monarch’s head; the efforts of the people are (but) wind.
The princes who have reigned have striven much to make themselves as equals to the king.
With you (there) none became kings, they all fell upon (their) heads, but none came to the head*1048.
That which we slaves have witnessed from the king no one from white or black has witnessed (e’er)*1049.
He has bound demons, and burnt dragons too, killed elephants, transfixed rhinoceri.
Pass lions by, what game indeed are they? (such and) all usual game are marks for shafts*1050.
But when we reckon, there is none save him to turn the neck of the rhinoceros*1051.
Now does he make the leopard’s spots his mark; now from the mouth of crocodile draws teeth.
At times brings wrinkles on to India’s brow*1052; at times by a Hindū routs China’s troops*1053.
Now from the faghfūr*1054 does he snatch the crown; now does he from the Qaiṣar tribute take.
Though lion-quellers have been numerous, who through the mouth have strained the lion’s brains—
See how a lion with three hundred men subdued three hundred thousand enemies!
Before us lies the story of past kings—their enmity and con­quests (in the world)—
If each of them acquired some fame it was through a whole army in a length of time.
In such a fight, against so many men, no one could do what (King Bahrām) has done.
Whene’er they make out an account of kings, they as a thousand count a King Bahrām.
Each one of them has his own special stamp, (but) Bahrām is the whole world in himself.
When he brings down his mace on any head, he splits the helmet on the head in two*1055.
If (the king’s) sabre strike upon hard stone, the stone is shivered into bits like sand.
The snake-stone, his lance-head, of poison cures*1056; the dragon, too, his bridle, stops the way*1057.
(Lo)! every body which opposes him, e’en as a candle is consumed by Fate.
The head which sallies forth against his sword—from that head surely comes the scent of blood.
His drunkenness points to sobriety, his sleep is not sleep, it is wakefulness.
And at the time when he partakes of wine, he drinks of wine, his enemy gets drunk.
He is more full of learning than all men; nay, both more learned and more powerful.
He in the world alone is versed in things; he needs not anyone’s experience.
As long as earth has place beneath the sky, over the sky may his command have power!
May equity be centred in his court! The rose, prosperity, be on his crown*1058!
The earth a refuge in his shadow find! The sky be ’neath the foot of his (high) throne!
When the vazīrs had spoken (their) address—bored pearls*1059 before his ruby-brilliant face—
King Nu‘mān from amongst those present rose, adorned the banquet of the king with praise.
He said, Wherever the king’s throne arrives, be it the Fish, it reaches to the moon*1060.
Who should make the relations of the crown to the king’s head (to be) or true or false*1061?
’Tis God who put upon your head the crown—may it thrive through your fortune-favoured head!
We who are (humble) servants of your court, are chiefs through the protection*1062 of your crown.
Whatever we possess we have from you; you have control of all that we possess*1063.
Arab or Persian, if ’tis your command, we will devote our heads as humble slaves.
A long time now it is that I have served at the king’s court with (all the) art (I have).
Since I’ve become exalted at his court; found in his path the path of sustenance,
If he will deign to hold me (now) excused, with (his) permission I will go back home.
I’ll rest a little from the journey’s toil, and when the king commands, I will return.
But truly whilst I live I’ll not renounce the monarch’s service, worship of (his) throne.
The king commanded that the treasurer should weigh out gems and treasure (from his store);
Should bring out presents suited to a king: Egyptian, Moorish, and ‘Ummānian*1064.
The men engaged upon the business set (before him) load on load of treasured store:
Ass-loads of gold, in bushels pods of musk, with several troops of slave-boys and of girls;
Precious dress-stuffs of highest quality, so many one could not how many say;
Horses of Arab race in Persia bred, swimmers of streams, and coursers of the hills;
Both Indian sabres and Davidian mail*1065: his lavishness sailed over Ararat*1066;
More pearls and rubies than could pearl-sellers or ruby-experts estimate or think.
From his own head a jewelled crown (he gave), with dress worth more than Shushtar’s revenue*1067.
In Yaman down to Aden, land he gave; such gifts made (Nu‘mān’s) face bright as the moon*1068.
Nu‘mān and Munẕir with such bounteous gifts departed from the king in pomp and state.
The king indulged in pleasure and delights, for he was wearied with the march and fight.
He ordered each one’s business, such as ’twas; then he engaged in managing his own.
To his heart’s wish he settled it at ease, wine in his hand, his foes beneath his feet.
The story of that master he recalled*1069 who formerly had left him that account.
That inner room of the Seven Portraits too, the envy rather of the Seven Climes*1070.
The love those girls of ḥūrī form displayed sowed in his heart the seed of love (for them).
His furnace, those seven alchemies at hand, no longer with the seven fusings worked*1071.
The first girl (there) was of Kayānian race; her father had departed from the world.
He asked for her with more than thousand gifts, and e’en through (shining) virtues gained a pearl*1072.
Sending a courier to the khāqān then—partly in amity, in part with threats—
He asked him for his daughter with the crown and treasure, tribute for seven years besides.
The khāqān give his daughter, tribute too, a load of “dīnārs”*1073 and a store of gems.
And then he made an inroad into Rūm, and poured into that land and country fire*1074.
Through fear the Qaiṣar acquiesced at once; with deprecation gave his daughter too.
Then sending to the king of Barbary—with gold of Barbary*1075, the crown, and throne,
He gained possession of his daughter (fair)—see how he used astuteness (in his quest)!
Then the straight cypress from that garden borne, he went thence to the realm of Hindustan.
With sense and judgment he demanded (there) the daughter of the Rāy*1076, and gained his wish.
His courier went and asked from Khvārazm a lovely girl fit to adorn a feast.
He wrote to Ṣaqlāb, and demanded there a beauty as a drop of water bright.
When from the rulers of the Seven Climes*1077 he had received seven girls like precious pearls,
He gave his heart exclusively*1078 to joy; did justice to gay living and to youth.