251. “To have a bright, white, or red face” is “to enjoy honour”; “to have a black face” is “to be disgraced”.

i.e., the king’s friends derive lustre from his glory as the moon from the sun; but his enemies are scorched black by it.

252. “A gold-shod sun” means “the king”.

Sang means “rock or stone”, but it signifies also “weight, authority, dignity, splendour”, so that the sense is that as the sun lends grandeur to the mountain by gilding it, and furthers the growth of the rubies (as he is supposed to do) in the rock of the mine, so the king’s shining qualities produce brilliant results, and give brightness and prosperity to all his subjects.

The rhetorical merit lies, however, in the idea of the giving of rock to the mountain, so I have translated literally. One might almost combine the two meanings by saying “has given ‘weight’ to the mount, and rubies to the mine”.

253. i.e., the jewels of the mine are excelled by his brilliant qualities, and he is far superior to the mine in showing forth qualities so brilliant.

254. His “onyx” is his “eye”, which apparently means here his watchfulness and his all-pervading influence and power, which make all things flourishing. This sense is conveyed by the image that his “onyx” gives pearls to the sea, the strewer of pearls, and rubies to the mount, the strewer of rubies.

255. “Both Abodes”; i.e., heaven and earth.

He receives God’s Law and administers it to his people.

256. i.e., his two sons.

257. i.e., devoted to the study of theology.

258. Farīdūn, the name of the sixth king of the first dynasty of Persian kings, the Pīshdādian. He was famous for his wisdom and learning.

259. Kai-Khusrau was the third of the second or Kayānian dynasty of Persian kings. He was celebrated as a warrior.

The second hemistich is, literally, “opening the stirrup in Kai-Khusrau-ishness.”

260. “Power or authority,” naqsh, which here is equivalent to istiqrār-i ḥukm va-tamkīn-i haibat dar dilhā, “the fixing of one’s authority and the establishing of reverence in the hearts (of people).”

261. i.e., he having devoted himself to the study of religious and spiritual matters.

262. Aḥmad means “most praised”, and by praising his pursuits the Author introduces his name in poetical style. His name Aḥmad (twice), because it is his real name, and may also on account of his pursuits be attributed to him in its sense of “most praised”.

263. The words Aḥmad and Muḥammad both come from the Arabic root ḥamd, “praising,” so that the two forms which are of common origin differ only specifically from each other without being generically or essentially different. The genus is one, the species are two.

The distich is, however, susceptible of another interpretation, namely, “In two copies, the original of which is the same, there is the writing of Aḥmad and that of Muḥammad.” Or, again, “there is the stamp of each”; Aḥmad and Muḥammad being in the first case the copyists, and in the second case the two names.

In the latter case the sense would be that two copyists making a copy each from the same original would differ in minor particulars as the two names differ, though their sense is essentially the same; i.e., “most praised.”

264. i.e., they do not differ.

265. i.e., for his mastery of theological and spiritual subjects.

266. i.e., religion and spirituality strengthen him.

267. “The azure throne”; i.e., “the sky.”

268. i.e., May he be furthered and supported in his sovereignty by these two sons.

269. i.e., brighter than the day.

270. This would depend, I suppose, upon the way in which he spends the night. Cf. the succeeding distich.

271. By “that one of Aḥmad’s race (who is) veiled by the curtain of his night” is meant the king’s wife.

272. Bilqīs is the name given to the Queen of Sheba supposed to be one of Solomon’s wives. It means here the wife of the king, as Solomon means the king. (See also Notes 1,270 and 1,407.)

273. “The celestial sires” are “the seven or nine heavens”. “Existence’ mothers” are “the four elements”.

By “her being the seal of the mothers of existence”, i.e., of the four elements, is meant “her reaching the perfection or acme of existence which is composed of the four elements”.

274. Khiẓr is the name of a prophet who found and drank of the Water of Life. He has been confused with the vazīr of Alexander, with Elias, and also with St. George.

The Water of Life was supposed to be in the darkness, zulmat or (plural) zulumāt.

The origin of the legend may probably be traced back to the Chaldean epic of the progress of the sun through the seasons. In the winter he dies, as it were, in the darkness of storms and rains, from which he emerges to life again in the Spring. (See also Notes 1,201, 1,562, and 1,698.)

275. i.e., May the king’s protection abide by that Rose and Rose-garden, his wife!

“Rose-garden” is a name given to a slave-girl, kanīz.

276. i.e., he had that quality as a pre-existent, immaterial soul in the spiritual world. The doctrine of the pre-existence of souls is taught both by the Qur’ān and also by the Traditions.

277. Jalājil, rendered here “drum”, means primarily “small bells”, and is the Arabic broken plural of juljul. Such bells were fastened by couriers to their waists. But the word signifies also “a small round drum or tambourine with bells set round the rim”, and such, before the invention of fire-arms, were most probably carried at the waist by sentinels to give the alarm.

278. By “sword-belt” is meant the white streak of the dawn.

279. “Beside your stirrup gently breathes”; i.e., attends you as a servant attends his master at his stirrup.

280. Dīlam was formerly an independent province of Persia forming part of the modern Gīlān. Its capital was also called Dīlam. As it was a westerly district, the sense of “the wearer of Dīlam’s crown” may possibly be “the lord of the western sun”, which would be “the evening”.

I.O. MS. 1168 reads Shām-i Dīlam-kulah, “The evening with the crown of Dīlam,” instead of Shāh-i Dīlam-kulah. (See also Note 1,884.)

Many plants have a stronger scent in the evening.

281. Sarhang, the most usual sense of which is “a general, a military leader” (in modern Persian, “a Lieut.-Colonel”), means here either “a prefect” or “a censor-inspector”, muḥtasib. The muḥtasib was a police official who was charged with the inspection of weights, measures, and provisions, and was empowered to punish gambling, drinking, etc. Since the day on account of its brightness may be said, in a way, to be a searcher out of offences, the Author likens it to a sarhang, i.e., here, a muḥtasib.

The Author implies that the king is so great that the white-faced (in another sense honourable) day is his sarhang, and that if dismissed from that office it would become black-faced (in another sense dishonoured) night.

282. The sky is supposed to spread itself for the king’s benefit as a cloth, and to receive as its pay from the king two loaves, namely, the sun and the moon.

283. Lit., “To the signet-ring of the divine aid there is a sealing of sovereignty (more lit., to sovereignty) upon you.” i.e. by the divine aid you have become the highest exponent of sovereignty.

284. An allusion to the greatness of the king, enhanced by the previous allusion to the greatness of the sky.

285. i.e., has fashioned it upon the model of your throne. The sky is thus a throne imitated from the king’s throne. It is a golden throne presumably by reason of the stars. The king in his brilliance is as the moon.

286. “Turbid”; lit., “earthy.”

287. The Author is alluding to the scintillations of the king’s sword, which are, he implies, more brilliant than rubies.

288. i.e., the king’s long-suffering is more steady and immovable than the mountain.

289. The “cloud” is often taken as an image of generosity. Here it probably means that which is to foster the plant of the poet’s genius.

290. The April cloud fosters all the beautiful plants of Spring. The cold, wintry clouds produce no good effect.

291. i.e., the encouragement given by those other kings is absolutely inadequate: they give much pain and almost deprive of life before they give even a slight reward.

292. “(Your) shadow”; i.e., “(your) protection.”

293. “Your existence”; lit., “your creation.”

294. i.e., your fortune always exists as a guard or custodian of the realm of generosity. Or, your fortune looks after the realm of generosity.

295. The sense is apparently, “since Persia is the heart of the earth, Persia is the best part of the earth, because it is certain that the heart is better than the body.”

296. The Author means presumably that as the king’s dominion is the heart, i.e., the best of dominions, and the best ruler has the best place, therefore the king is the heart (of rulers), i.e., the best of rulers.

The difficulty of fixing the exact sense is that mamlakat and vilāyat both mean “realm” and also “rule”, being equivalent in fact to the word “dominion”. But in the preceding distich vilāyat has evidently the concrete sense of “realm”, and if in the present distich we give it the abstract sense of “rule”, I cannot see the raison d’ctre of the preceding distich. Or, if there be one, the Author proves only that the king rules Persia because, his rule being the best, he is the best ruler, and therefore rules the best place. But the logic seems peculiar.

297. See Notes 274, 1,201, 1,562, and 1,698.

298. “The mirror of Alexander,” Āyina-yi Sikandarī, was said to have been constructed by Aristotle and placed in the light­house at Alexandria to give knowledge of occidental affairs.

But under the word jām we have jām-i Jam (Jamshīd), “the cup or mirror of Jam, Solomon, or Alexander,” which, according to the Eastern fabulists, represented the whole world, (whence it is also called jām-i jahān-namā, or jām-i gītī-namā, “a mirror showing the universe”).

299. “A mirror of intellect.” This I take to be the sense of gauhar-āyīna, lit., “a pearl- or gem-mirror,” but also “an intellect-mirror”, since gauhar means also “intellect, wisdom”.

300. “Which you have”; lit., “which is in your head.”