The passing of Bahrām from the transitory temple by the decree of the All-wise King.

He who joins rubies to this string of pearls*1990, who’s filled with gems the ears of (all) the world,
Says, When the Seven Domes, by wine and cup*1991, had given forth their echoes to Bahrām,
His intellect within the dome, his brain, thus gave him knowledge of this moving dome*1992:
From idol-temples of that dome, the world, move far—May far perdition be from you!
The dome, his brain, was heated (by the thought)*1993; he turned from fiction and deceitful tales.
Perceiving that this joy-effacing dome*1994 destroys (in season) every dome (on earth),
The Seven Domes he gave up to the heavens*1995, and by that other dome he took his way*1996.
A dome which does not fall through transientness; on which the raptured till the Last Day rest.
He summoned seven priests, the sons of priests, (and) to the priests resigned the Seven Domes.
Soon every one of them he set on fire: that is, he made a fire-temple of each.
When sixty years the cypress-tree had reached, and jasmine after violets sprang up*1997,
He took to worship with sincerity, and from the worship of himself refrained.
One day, retiring from (his) throne and crown, he went off with his nobles to the chase.
Amongst such prey, the hunting of the king was swift pursuit (there) of the prey, himself.
(His) guards dispersed about on every side, each one brought down the wild-ass and gazelle.
Each wishing for the wild-ass of the plains; he seeking for the tomb of solitude*1998.
He sought a tomb, to be his dwelling-place; as game he brought down vices—from himself*1999.
Wild-ass, gazelle seek not from this salt plain*2000; vice its gazelle, its wild-ass is the tomb*2001.
At last a wild-ass from the desert side came and passed on before the wild-ass king*2002.
The king knew well that one of angel-kind was (come) to guide him on the road to heaven.
He spurred his horse against the onager, and roused the mettle of his fiery steed.
After the game he took his rapid course across the plain and through the desert tracts.
His helper, of set purpose, drew him on*2003; two slave-boys, only, followed in his tracks.
In that drear waste a cave (with water) lay sweet as an ice-well in the summer-time.
(And) like a well it had (too) a deep chasm, unto the mouth of which no one could gain*2004.
The ass sprang quick and boldly through the cave, the monarch like a lion at its heels.
Into the cave so deep the horseman rode: consigned the kingly treasure to the cave.
Behind the curtain which the cavern formed the king became the Loved One’s confidant*2005.
The two young slaves, to wait upon the king, took up their post beside the cavern’s mouth.
No way for them to creep into the cave, no power or will to go back to the chase.
With bitter sighs expectant they remained, looking all round for traces of the guards.
When after that a good time had elapsed, from every side the (royal) guards arrived.
They sought the monarch, and beheld a cave; the jewel (hidden) in the serpent’s brain*2006.
The (two) young slaves related (to the guards) all that these knew not of the monarch’s case.
How, when (the king) was making for (his) prey, he spurred (his) horse into that narrow pass.
To this assertion no one would assent, no one gave credit to such words as these.
They all said, This is (but) an evil dream; the speech of those below the age of sense.
King Bahrām with (his) calmness and good sense,—how should he enter into this defile?
The elephant, they knew not, dead asleep, had had a dream and gone to Hindustan*2007.
(Though) Fate had chained the king of mighty frame, Fate’s check to king and castle he’d o’ercome*2008.
To make them show (where was) the ruling prince, with heavy strokes they beat the poor young slaves.
And from the sighs of those pain-stricken boys a smoke-like vapour issued from the cave.
A cry arose, The king is in the cave; go back again, the king is occupied.
The noble guards as toilers (then) became, the cave they entered seeking for the king.
The cavern had no outlet, none was seen; many the spiders, but no fly appeared.
They washed it with their tears a hundred times; more than a hundred times they sought for him.
When in the cave they could not see the king, like snakes they drew up at the mouth of it*2009.
The eyes (of all) with (bitter) tears bedewed, they told the mother of the king the news.
His mother came as one consumed with grief, as one to whom a son like that was lost.
She sought the king, like other people not, for she sought with (her) soul, and they with eyes.
She sought the rose, found thorns her bosom-friend; the more she sought, the less her hopes became*2010.
In heaps she poured out money mountain-high for multitudes of men to dig the ground.
She dug a pit, but found the treasure not; she did not find her Joseph in the pit.
Through the ground dug up by the mother-queen that land abounds in fissures till this day.
Those who are learned and who know the place call it the sepulchre of Bahrām Gūr.
They dug the ground up (there) for forty days;—how many such grave-diggers in the world!
The ground though to the water-level dug, that treasure none saw (even) in a dream.
He who has all that’s worth upon the heavens,—’tis (a) hard (task) to seek him out on earth.
The body and the bones are (found) on earth; the heavenly part is found upon the heavens.
Each body ’neath the sky has mothers (twain): one, of the blood, the other one, the earth.
The first one fosters it with tender care; the second takes it back again from her.
Yet of these mothers of (the king) Bahrām, his mother, earth, was kinder of the two;
For taking him, she gave him back no more; in this no helper could afford (them) help*2011.
Through grief at mother earth’s oppressive act, the mother, by blood-ties, was well-nigh lost.
Fevered and chafing through her (troubled) brain, she heard this utterance of a voice from heaven:
You, thoughtless, raging like a beast of prey, seeking to find a saint of the unseen,
God to your custody consigned a charge, (and) when the term arrived required it back.
Kill not yourself as one devoid of sense in (your) farewell to any trust consigned*2012.
Go back again, and do the work you have; indulge no longer in protracted grief.
When from the heavenly voice she heard the address, she tore the love of Bahrām from her (heart).
She went, and on the interests of his son employed the heart which she had pledged to him*2013.
She gave his heir his diadem and throne;—none who has been an heir of his has died*2014.—
You who have given news of Bahrām Gūr, desist from this, (and) look to Bahrām’s tomb*2015.
Not only lost to us is Bahrām Gūr; his sepulchre can also not be seen.
Why look to this that masterfully once he named the onager “the branded one”?
Think not how first the onager was marked; think rather how at last the tomb marked him.
Though thousand asses’ legs he broke, at last he was not saved the trampling of the tomb*2016.
This house of dust, (the world), two doors contains: by one it brings, and by the other takes.
(O you), three ells of dust, one ell your breadth, four jars within a dyer’s workshop, you*2017
Whatever food your stomach may digest the humours to their own complexion bring.
(Your body) is from toes to neck and ears, from these four humours clothed with borrowed things.
On such complexions offering transient things why fix your heart, for you must give (them) back?
Those absent ones, whose faces are concealed, are saved from such-like aptitudes and means.
Until the Day of Judgment shall arrive to unveil those hidden faces to the view,
The way is one of fear, the night, of risks, the guard asleep*2018, the robber on the road,
The earthy abject ones get earth enough; the yielding are kept down by (many) hands*2019.
Since you, at least, above (these) hands arise, why let your heart bleed under every hand*2020?
Rise, if you wish the sky to be subdued, step to the heights and flee from earth away.
Ever advance, and in no way look back, that to the earth you fall not from the sky.
The stars celestial are your shoulder-belt; (these stars) what are they all? They are your means.
Your field surrounds the narrow bounds of all; (all) these designs are on your canvas limned*2021.
Each one from you (its) picture has derived; why take you (then) an omen by each one?
That which they do,—you are yourself that light; that which they suffer,—you are far from it*2022.
Save one line which supports you, central dot*2023, those other letters, all, are of your book*2024.
You are the guardian angel of God’s praise; the signs which to the Maker lead you know.
Contemplate goodness, that you be not bad; with beasts consort not, that you be not one.
To judge of good and ill belongs to you; to get the aid of reason is your wish*2025.
Knock at a door where is no want of bread, or, (if you can), become as no one is*2026.
The eyes when they would estimate the Light, far from the heavens and the angels fall*2027.
This (nether) earth is taster of the heavens*2028; man is a guest by angels (entertained)*2029.
Turn from this market-place of grief your face; how long with earth, air, fire, and water deal*2030?
A chamber with four flues (emitting smoke), how should it not distress the heart and eyes*2031?
A thing of two doors*2032 like the robbers’ street; a bag like that of tricksters’ instruments*2033.
Before without the village you are put*2034, load with your goods and chattels ox and ass*2035.
By the soul travel, valueless the frame; load lightly (too), for restive is the horse*2036.
The dead (in heart) who is in evil plight,—his soul has towards the body been inclined.
But he who knows what is the soul’s first source,—his soul without (his) body can exist*2037.
Take care you do not think, O caviller, this world is (all), those other things are naught*2038.
The length and breadth of being are wide-spread; but we have nothing in our view but thorns*2039.
There are created things remote from these, not cognizant of darkness or of light*2040:
Created beings numerous, no doubt, but the Creator is no more than One.
One Pen alone designed when things began these seven tablets with their fourfold make*2041.
A hundred though they were, not seven and four, they (still) would be from one controlling hand.
(From) the first point (to) the last circle, all from One has come, and all to One returns.
Dualities and their division spurn; look to the One, and see their source in One.
From One has come first each duality, and when the latter goes the One remains.
Whoever comes into this transient house, must very soon go back (from it again).
Move warily in it, for it is keen; ’tis slow to take, but (can be) quick to kill*2042.
Though in (its) rule it does not persecute the weak, in its account no one’s forgot*2043.
If you work out no end of clever schemes, more than your destined lot you’ll not enjoy.
The sky (above us) has an ice-bound tank*2044; how long seek profit from this ice? how long*2045?
(Exposed) to air through which you may be frozen, seek you to be alive before you die.
Take joyously advantage of your life to (gain) the objects of That World of yours*2046;
So that you grieve not from whate’er you be cut off by the sharp sword which aims at life*2047.
From this world, ere you die, withdraw your soul, that you may save your soul from (fear of) death*2048.
Despise possessions, (and) think not of food; so, you may be in safety from the world.
Man’s safety (in the world) lies in two things: to give abundantly and sparely eat.
Whoe’er to power and greatness makes his way, has been through these two fame-bestowers famed*2049.
No greedy eater has attained to rank*2050; position none have gained who little give.
The inspector-censor’s scourge, which shames, is used on villagers who give too little curds*2051.
In such a village*2052 he (alone) is graced who to (high) price prefers integrity*2053.
Special or mean, here many are like you; this world’s to no one specially confined*2054.
How on that office should you fix (your) heart which bears in it the seeds of your discharge?
Beneath the heavens every structure (built),—cast dust upon it, for it is but dust.
Pass from (this) place of snares and be not slow; its high seats are your cross, (so) be not bold*2055.
If you’d go living to the cross*2056,—enough that a Messiah living went to it.
If one of earth should reach the highest sky, the earth again would draw him down to earth*2057.
If one should raise (his) crown up to the heavens*2058, (and make) the Seven Climes*2059 pay tribute (too),
One night you suddenly shall see him dead, humbled, and bearing (naught but) pain away*2060.
The earth’s not free from rude oppressive acts*2061; not free from serpents are its treasuries.
Where is a date that is without a spine*2062? Or snake-stone antidote without a snake*2063?
Each good and ill on earth has as its law, that balm with poison mix, with poison balm.
Who is there drinks a draught of honey-wine*2064 that for it has not suffered from the sting?
The world’s (sweet) honey and precedent sting are in one insect’s mouth and tail contained*2065.
Within the veils of dark and light not far from Jesus’ sun the cowries of the ass*2066.
Who is it raises on the earth (his) throne that is not pressed down by the earth at last?