Bahrām sits on Friday in the White Dome, and the daughter of the king of the Seventh Clime tells him a story.

On Friday when this willow arched and high whitened (its) mansion through the (rising) sun*1777,
The king adorned with ornaments of white, went forth in pride and joy to the White Dome.
Venus upon the Sign of the Fifth Clime*1778 played the five turns in honour of the king*1779.
Until the Greeks attacked the Ethiop van*1780, the king indulged in pleasure without stint.
When night with sky-prepared collyrium*1781 gave bright­ness to the eyes of moon and stars,
He, from that loving soul-caressing bride, associate of the night, born of the dawn,
Requested that with dulcet fluted tones she would evoke the echoes of her Dome.
When she, that fair one, blessings had invoked both on the king and on his lofty throne,—
Such blessings as increase prosperity, and may become so great a throne and crown,—
She said, Since you demand a pleasing tale, this one occurs to me of those I know.


Thus said my mother, a true, worthy dame,—old women may be wolves, a lamb was she,—
Once an acquaintance, one of my own age, took me as guest,— her tray be ever filled!
A well-replenished tray for us she set;—the foods! what shall I say, when limitless?
Lamb, birds, ‘Irāqian cumin-flavoured meat, round bread­cakes, and thin flour and butter cakes.
Some species of “ḥalvā”*1782 which have no name: some with pistachios, some with almonds dressed.
Fruits, fine and delicate, to charm the taste; apples from Isfahan, and grapes from Rai.
Speak not of pomegranate, the drinker’s fruit; pomegranate-bosoms filled the house entire.
When in a measure we had eaten food, we set out to regale ourselves with wine.
With constant laughter sociably we mixed; I and some story-tellers of my kind.
Each one told some event about herself, of something singular or paralleled.
Till came the turn to one of silvery breast, honey in milk, and milk on sugar poured;
A heart-beguiler such that when she spoke the birds and fish were by her accents lulled.
She from cornelian loosed a honey-fount*1783, she made her lovers cry out and lament*1784.
She said, There was a youth of honeyed speech, who scattered sugar through his grace of thought.
A Jesus when his knowledge he displayed; a Joseph when assemblies he illumed*1785.
Able in knowledge and accomplishments, his lively appre­hension best of all.
He had a pleasant garden like Iram*1786, of equal beauty were the gardens round.
The earth with scent of roses (was) perfumed; its fruits were like the fruits of paradise.
The cypress like an emerald palace (rose); a dove (was) on the throne of every branch.
Therein, not Kausar’s stream*1787, but that in which was life, a fountain of Life’s Water*1788 (flowed).
All hearts were centred in its pomegranates; its roses had no mediating thorns.
If in the garden there were any thorn, it was to guard it from the evil eye*1789.
Water beneath the (fresh) young cypresses; around the flowing waters verdant growth.
Unnumbered birds upraising voices (sweet) in choral symphony throughout the air
In cypress-trees fixed (raptured) to the spot, moved everyone endued with heart to song.
As an encompassing protecting line were raised by its four walls four heads of glass*1790;
And by (these) structures, towering to the moon, the evil eye to it no access gained.
It ranged its cypresses, sowed jessamine; it pounded musk, steeped (all) in ambergris.
On every rich man’s heart (there was) a brand from wish to have such garden for his own.
The young man every week by way of rest for recreation to the garden went.
One day at time of mid-day prayer he went to view the garden and its (leafy) groves.
He found the garden shut, stones at the gate; the gard’ner soothed to slumber by the harp.
Sweet singers giving voice to dulcet song—may praise and blessing on such voices rest!
The garden tuneful with melodious tones, the charmers striving for their best effects.
(Swaying) in dancing movements every tree; bereft of heart the fruits, of life the leaves.
The master when he heard the songs of love, losing all self-possession tore his robes.
He had no self-control to turn away, nor any key with which to unlock the gate.
He knocked much at the gate, no answer came;—the cypress dancing, and the rose asleep.
The garden he encompassed all around; in all the garden he could find no way.
When he could gain no access by his gate, he tore some stone out from the garden-wall.
He went inside to have a look around; with earnest observation to inspect;
To hear the melody of song, and make (his wish) to see the garden his excuse;
To see how stood the garden, whence the sounds, and what had happened to the gardener.
Of all those roses who illumed the place, who in the garden present were that day,
Two jasmine-bosomed ones of silvery limbs were keeping order at the garden-gate;
So that no alien’s eyes should (dare to) gaze upon those (radiant) Moons of ḥūrī face.
(Then) when the master entered by the hole, the girls found him devoid of shame and rude.
They raised (their) plectrums up and wounded him; they took him for a thief and bound him (tight).
The man this ignominy suffered:—why? through (fear of) being charged with an offence.
After ill-treating him with nails and fists, they roughly (then) exclaimed against him (thus):
You through whose brand the garden (is) displeased, were there no guard what gain could gardens show*1791?
A thief who into others’ garden goes,—in beating him the gardener does well.
We, who have somewhat wounded you with sticks,—’tis well that we have tied you hand and foot.
Then too, perverse and stupid-minded man, you leave the gate and enter through the wall!
The man replied, The garden is my own; (but) of my branding is this brand on me*1792.
A gate at hand, wide as a lion’s mouth, I leave the gate, and enter by a hole.
Whoever comes into his land like this, his land will too fall surely to the ground.
When the girls saw his nature they inquired into the features of the garden (claimed).
They found him in (his) evidence correct; anger subsided, litigation fled.
The master of the garden (better) known,—the heart of each was drawn to love of him.
For he was handsome, young, and eloquent;—a woman’s lost who sees such (qualities).
They judged it well to be at peace with him, because they found him of congenial kind.
They were rejoiced to have him as a friend, and set to work to free him (from his bonds).
They loosened from his hands and feet the bonds, and planted kisses on his hands and feet.
Many apologies they made to him, and in attention to his business joined.
Then with excuse might turn a foe to friend,—repair the breach (too) in the garden-wall,—
They brought some brambles and closed up the breach, and (thus) escaped the night-attack of thieves.
With blandishments they sat before the youth, and offering explanations (of the case),
Said, In this garden (green), a flowery Spring,—may the proprietor enjoy its fruits!—
A feast there is by heart-ensnarers given, beauties of moon-like face, in nature kind.
All the (most) lovely women in the town, whose beauty (seen) gives light unto the eyes,
Have in the garden all together joined, tapers and pictures void of smoke and flaw.
As an excuse for having used you ill, (and) having (thus) cast dust upon our lot,—
Rise and step out a little while with us, that you may gain your wish from which you please.
Go to some nook (well) out of sight, and from the strewing of the roses gain some joy*1793.
Any fair one on whom you fix your heart, to whom you give your love, whom you approve,
We will (at once) bring to your secret nook, that on your threshold she may place her head.
Those accents falling on the master’s ears, his dormant passions (woke and) cried aloud.
Though in his nature he had continence, passion was to his nature not unknown.
A man, his human nature was beguiled*1794: a man, he could not women’s wiles resist.
With those of jasmine bosom, silver form, he went, (indulging) in the highest hope.—
Before those beauties of the heavenly fort*1795 there was a lofty upper room of bricks.
The master entered it and closed the door, and the (two) guides retired (then) from his side.
In the front centre of the room there was a hole, and through it shone a beam of light;
And owing to this hole the master’s eye beheld a narrow source and spacious stream*1796.
In the plantation of the garden was a lawn full of the forms of cypress-grove*1797.
Each beauty there, enlivening the heart, upraised her voice in sweet commingled sound.
In gardens pomegranates and apples too fail not, still less when gard’ners use them well.
(But when) a dragon in their treasure lurks, their oranges are shrivelled, hard and dry*1798.
Beauties of silver limb, pomegranate breast, were strewing roses upon every side.
Light to the eyes were all the honey-lipped, sweeter than (all) the ripe fruits (of the place).
Pomegranate breasts and chins like apples there he saw, and other apples held as naught*1799.
A stream flowed over it like (sparkling) tears; in it were fish untouched by injury.
And by that stream of surface fresh and bright the jasmine, lily, and narcissus grew.
Those beauties, velvet-cheeked, came (towards the stream); they saw a spacious basin towering high.
The heat of the sun’s (rays) had heated them; the sun-like water had been found by them.
They came with mien seductive to the stream, untying as they came their wrapper bands.
Their robes they took off and unveiled themselves, and showed like pearls in water by their grace.
They cast the water on their silvery necks, (sometimes) in blackness silver they concealed*1800.
Together in the water moon and fish; confused with one another moon and fish*1801.
When the moon into water “dirams” pours*1802, where there is any fish it darts (below);
(But) those Moons in their heart-entrancing grace made the fish rise for (him), the master*1803, (there).
With hands joined in a ring they danced awhile, mocking the jasmine (in their loveliness).
Awhile in ranks opposed they scattered pearls*1804; made pomegranate and orange valued high*1805.
One came and made another fear a snake: A snake! she cried, whilst throwing out a curl.
Una dum alteri crurem natesque ostenderet dixit, Montem vide, et fissum terræ motu solum.
Columns in Bīstūn (columnless) they raised*1806; killing Farhād with the sharp axe (of love)*1807.
The milky stream which Shīrīns’s palace had*1808, in that delightful, pleasant basin rose.
The master saw; no self-control remained; but what avail? he had no friend or help.
He was as thirsty man to reason lost who water sees he has no power to reach;
Or epileptic who the new moon sees, and now jumps up and now sits down again.
He looked towards every cypress statured (belle); a Resurrection, ne’er a stature saw*1809.
His veins, full-blooded, through their ferment drew from his whole being cries and clamour loud.
Standing (there) like a thief concealed (from sight);—that which you know in such state as you know*1810,—
His bird through aperture, his snake through hole*1811, wished among (them) audaciously to dart.
The fair-faced washed the roses’ faces clear, and looked like jasmine in silk rosy vests.
They put on silken robes of azure hue, and (in their brightness) (seemed to) upbraid the moon.
With them, the loveliest player of the harp, was one of Grecian face and Ethiop locks*1812.
A sun with full chin like a crescent moon, her lips by none e’er tasted (honeyed) dates.
Her glances sharper than an arrow’s point, than sugar-candy sweeter still her smiles.
Like laden cypress pomegranates were dipped in water, water dipped in pomegranates*1813.
With one lure she would capture thousand hearts; whoever saw her died before her (face).
Whenever she began to touch the strings, love woke alert, and intellect was dimmed*1814.
The master with that charmer of the world more charmed afar than watchmen are with light.
Although each one was (like) a (radiant) moon, in that assembly she was like a queen.
The ascetic in his heart strayed from the path: the laxness see! fine moral usages*1815!
After a time those two musk-deer=eyed belles, who (when) in anger had the lightning’s fire,—
Who roused the musk-deer in that (new) Khoten, and showed the musk-deer to the cheeta swift*1816,
Advanced to speak (with him) in honeyed tones, their muslin veiling crowns of majesty.
They saw the master in the curtained place; as keepers of the curtain questioned him*1817.
Said they, To which of all these lovely ones of ḥūrī race does (most) incline your heart?
The beauty there who pleased the master most, he pointed out to those two lovely ones.
Ere he had spoken out (they both) sprang up: as deer, nay rather raging lions, sped.
That beauty, fairy-born, with many a wile, with words sung to the harp they led away,
In manner such, that no one might suspect, that might not peril, but advance the affair.
When they had brought the marvel to the room,—the marvel see! they closed the door of heaven*1818.
Although he knew not he was mate for her, she mate for him, and easy his emprise,
(’Twas so), for those fair harpers who had sped, had harmonized his business like a harp*1819.
Those stores of grace and beauty had (before) told her in detail all the master’s case.
That charming one, endowed with fairy face, had fixed her heart on him (as yet) unseen.
His beauty when she saw him, drew from her iron from silver,— silver which was gold*1820.
The master, lost to self-control through love, addressed the cypress straight in chiding tones*1821.
He asked, What is your name? Fortune, she said. Said he, Where is your place? She said, The throne.
What is your curtain*1822? Music, answered she. And what your business? Coquetry, she said.
He said, What is your source? She answered, Light. He said, The evil eye be far from you!
A kiss you’ll give, said he? Sixty, she said. He said, Come, is it time? She said, It is.
Said he, Shall you be gained? She answered, Soon. He said, Was this in view? She said, It was.
The master’s heart with strong emotion stirred, he lost (all) bashfulness and diffidence.
He seized the lovely charmer’s harp-like locks, embraced her tightly, strained as his heart-strings.
He kissed and tasted (lips as) sugar (sweet), (gave kisses) one to ten, till ten times ten.
The kisses were as fire to stir (his) heart; the (fervent) heat gave keenness to his aim.
He wished to taste the sweetness of the spring, and from the fount of life to take the seal*1823.
When at the onager the lion sprang, and drew it forcibly beneath its claws,—
The place was weak*1824, and, suffering violence, breaches were opened in its (loosening) bricks.
The chamber was an old one and came down,—let not the business of the good end ill!
Both this and that one by a hair escaped; this to one side, that to another sprang.
That they should not be seen upon that road, they went some distance from that fruitful tract.
The man retired from it, and in (his) pain went to a quiet place and suffered grief.
The girl went (then) and with her comrades sat, with wrinkled brow like those who suffer pain.
She set before (her mind her) past distress; (took up her) harp (and) put (it) on her lap.
When she brought out the sweet plaint of the harp, with plaints she drove her lovers (all) distraught*1825.
She said, Be salutation from my harp by the strings’ dulcet plaint to lovers given.
She touched the strings and thus began to sing: The Judas’ tree had come, the flowers bloomed;
The cypress had drawn out its lofty form, the rose’s smile displayed a box of sweets.
The nightingale arrived, sat on (its) branch; the day of making love had (brightly) dawned.
The gard’ner*1826 to the garden fragrance gave; joyous he came and on its beauties gazed.
He saw a cup of wine*1827 and took it up, (but then) there fell a stone which broke the cup*1828.
You who have pillaged me of all I had*1829,—only by you can my affairs come right.
Although I am ashamed of what I’ve done, my heart to separation is averse.
Her mode of music gave her confidants full information of her secret thought.
They went away oppressed with anxious care; they (went and) sought the master (who had gone).
The master, like a slave who butter steals, had naught but shame to follow on the feast.
He crept behind a narrow river’s bank, ’neath cypress, willow, box, and poplar-tree.
Confounded at his injudicious plans,—the yellow wall-flow’r*1830 from his lilies sprang*1831.
They sought to know that which he had in mind; and he told all to those two confidants.
Those secret agents felt it due from them to bring the loved one to the lover (there).
(Thence) they returned, and opened out the way*1832; (so) the rose-water to the rose they sent*1833.
That friendly one, sweet songstress, came (to him), renewing for (her) lover love once more.
The master took her hand and (then) advanced unto a certain place that he thought fit.
Branch upon branch the branches of the trees, forming aloft innumerable thrones.
He sped beneath the branch of a high tree; with joy of heart he made a pleasant seat.
With love he drew the heart-ensnarer close: close to his bosom as the heart it held:
A cypress free with graceful, swaying gait, one like the jasmine on Sāmānian rug*1834.
He took her to his bosom and rejoiced; the cypress made a compact with the rose*1835.
The moon-faced beauty on the master’s breast, he well inclined, all self-restraint deposed,
His piece on house-securing all intent, his partner prompt to carry off the stakes*1836,
He was all eagerness to take the fort, and quench with water all the fire of love.—
It chanced a field-mouse (near) had seen some gourds suspended from the lofty branch (above).
It flew up to the string like any bird, and cut the string which held them with its teeth.
Such a calamity fell on the ground!—each gourd in figure like a kettle-drum.
The noise of such a drum went many miles;—a drum,—what drum? the drum to sound retreat.
The noise, disturbing, with continued clash, tore from the panther’s claws the deer away*1837.
The master thought the inspector*1838 with a stick, the censor*1839 with a stone had come to attack.
Leaving his shoes behind, he ran away; he went about his business once again.
That idol also went with thousand fears back to her intimates in music skilled.
A short time after she unveiled her heart, joining the music of the harp to song.
She (thus) sang, Lovers on a time have said, A lover went to visit her he loved.
He wished to the extent of (his) desire by union with her happiness to gain,
To take her to his arms as love dictates:—sweet in the arms of cypress the red rose!
Then through her (swelling) bosom and her chin, an apple eat, pomegranate from her breast.
Ad locum ubi thesaurus asservatur manus protendere voluit, ut thesauri portam aperiret;
Saccharum cum saccharo indurato miscere voluit, et salice rubra tulipæ sanguinem effundere—
(When) suddenly a tumult brought distress, so that so fine an entertainment failed.
It is not well you offer me false tones; I will not cease to play true tones for you.
O you whose every throw has been unfair, as one who throws with fairness make a throw.
A moth is left (here) anxious for the light; a thirsty one far from the fount of life.
(When) this ode had been sung her confidants, as sympathizers, understood (its aim).
They went with deprecation to the youth, and found him stretched at full length (on the ground).
They found him lying, resting on the ground, (greatly) abashed and (much) distressed in heart.
With kindly treatment (then) and friendliness the cause of such dejection they inquired*1840.
Questioned about his state, he told the tale: (even) in hell ’twould raise a bitter sigh.
(Then) those devisers by device, their own, gave him deliverance from his gloomy thoughts.
From his contracted heart they loosed the bonds, heartened one out of heart by promises.
Be in this business more expert, (said they); you love, ’tis true, (but) be more loving still.
At the due time make such a place your nest that (no) calamity may fly to it.
We surely from afar will hold the place, (and) we will guard the road like sentinels.
Then for the business they returned again to her of cypress form and rose-like cheeks.
So that once more she went with charming gait; she found the master (soon), and soothed his heart.
She came, relieved him of his load of grief; the master, seeing this, lost mastership*1841.
He seized her ringlets like a drunken man; and in the garden sought a quiet nook.
There was a distant corner of the place, a heap of jasmine (there) a dome of light.
(The jasmine) raised its standard to a wall*1842; above there was a wood, below, a cave*1843.
The master found no better place*1844 than that, (so) in it he prepared a pleasant couch*1845.
He plucked the jasmine and arranged it well, (then) brought his love in comfort to the place.
Pudore omisso ejus strophii ligamentun, pariterque vestimenti alterius de quo mentionem facere non licet ligamentum solvit.
He drew a heap of roses to his breast, blanched almonds sugar-coated (sweet to taste).
Specillo pixi qua collyrium conditur nondum immisso,—the curved dome*1846 played (them) still another trick.
Some foxes in recesses of the cave had come together in pursuit of game.
A wolf had followed close and barred their road, to separate each from the other one.
The foxes knowing that he fed on all,—a terrible and great calamity,—
(With terror) took to flight, the wolf behind, their only road across the master’s bed.
They started up to do as best they could,—in front the foxes, and the wolf behind.
The master’s court*1847 had fallen all away, he saw a (hostile) camp, and bounded off.
Truly he knew not what had happened there; covered with dust he ran from side to side;
His heart in sore anxiety and pain to know how (best) to quit the garden soon.
(Then) met him (there) those two of cypress form, who pome­granates, narcissi, had bestowed*1848,—
They grasping his beloved by her skirt,—she pearl-like ’twixt two water-dragons placed.
They shouted at her, What deceit is this? What demon this among your qualities?
How long will you disturb and vex the youth, killing with rancour him who loves you (so)?
No person on a stranger, (sure), would play, with show of sympathy, a trick like this!
This night how often have you left him (thus)! How much deceit and fraud have you employed!
She offered pleas and swore (that they were true); they would not listen to the truth from her.
Till in distress the master came to them; he saw the dawn between a pair of shears*1849;
Covered with shame at their severe reproofs, receiving blows from this one, slaps from that.
He said, Beware (now)! Take your hands from her! Do not distress (my) friend who is distressed.
Since from a (radiant) Moon no sin has come, (so) must you sing a better air to her.
If in such want of faith be any sin, hands should be laid on those ashamed (of it)*1850.
Her nature is quite pure of any sin; any offence committed is from me.
The clever and sharp-witted of the world are all devoted servants of the pure*1851.
The grace of God had given my affairs immunity from harm and from mischance.
And all those harms which broke my spirit (so), (which came and) heaped mischance upon mischance,—
Since (my good) fate had given me continence,—they gave me freedom from so ill an act*1852.
He whom the demon brings not to his aims is good in grain, naught that is good does ill.
(But) he who puts his heart on action base,—saving your presence,—base of birth is he.
A beauty with so fairy-like a face,—no person can refrain from loving her:
(No man), especially, who has some youth, the feelings of a man, some love in him.
But still when chastity protects the road, one cannot (think of) going to meet sin.
No one can eat fruit from the fruitful tree on which a single evil eye may look*1853:
The eyes of hundred kinds of beasts of prey*1854 (were) on us, hence our business turned out ill.
What’s gone has gone, of that I will not speak; thus will I spoil not that which (still) I have.
I now repent of (all) both hid and clear, and from the Ruler of the world accept
That if He grant me still a time to live,—since she of sugar lips receives her slave,—
As lawful wife I’ll take her as my bride, treat her with more devotion than before.
The agents seeing how it was with him, were awed at his God-fearing piety.
They put their heads before him on the ground; they said, Be blessings on a faith so pure:
(Faith) in which seeds of goodness have been sown, and which from evil disposition ’s kept.
How many are the griefs which seemed as griefs! they were thought griefs, but comforts were in fact.
How many too the pains which come on man, and still a remedy is in the pain.
The lovely ones put coquetry aside, confounded at the puppet-playing sphere*1855.
When from the mountain rose the fount of light, it banished from the world the evil eye.
Dawn, like the spider of the astrolabe, unto the world’s pole spun (its) gossamer*1856.
Bearing a lamp*1857 a breeze arose and bore the gard’ner from the garden to the town.
The master raised (his) standard in control, released from that subjection and those bonds*1858.
From last night’s fire of love-essays his heart was cauldron-like to ebullition brought.
When to the town he came, he sought (at once to carry out) in faithfulness his aim.
The Moon of last night he induced to come, assigned the portion*1859 as the law commands.
Margaritam imperforatam coralio perforavit: experrectus est gallus, piscis requievit*1860.—
If (in the world) you look from bird to fish*1861,—this same affection will be (found) in all.
Good fortune his to find a limpid stream! he drank of (water) lawful then to him.
Pure as the (radiant) sun he found a spring, bright, clear as jasmine, and, as silver, white.
In whiteness is the (bright) light of the day; by whiteness too the moon illumes the world.
In colour is an artificial taint, except in whiteness, which is pure, unstained.
Man when bestained is in a hopeless state; whiteness, the sign is of his purity.
(Then) when in adoration men engage, it is the mode that they should dress in white*1862.
She, jasmine-bosomed, ending thus her words, the monarch gave her place upon his breast.
Thus many a night in comfort and in joy he went and tarried in the Domes (in turn).
The sky, constructor of the (lofty) domes*1863, opened the doors of the Seven Domes to him.