701. Kisrá was the generic name of the Persian kings of the Sāsānian dynasty. It is said to be the Arabic form of the Persian Khusrau (Chosroës). The princess in question was of course not the daughter of the king then living, but was of the royal House.

Kai-Kā‘ūs was the second king of the second dynasty, the Kayānian.

Persia would come within Jurjānī’s Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Climes, for the definitions of which see Note 207.

The Burhān-i Qāṭi‘ in its enumeration of the Seven Climes does not mention Persia generally, but only ‘Irāq and Khurāsān, which it assigns to the Fourth Clime, in dependence upon the sun.

702. Bast in the first hemistich is used apparently in the sense of basta. Az yak dast, “all together”; but the expression means possibly “by one hand”.

703. The eyes were supposed to see by a light of their own.

704. A young man with an incipient moustache is called ṭūṭī-khaṭ, i.e., “with a moustache like a parrot’s feathers.” The comparison has possibly reference to the colour, since dark green is apparently confused with black, the word sabz meaning both. “Sugar” means the “lips”.

Hence the meaning is simply “He had an incipient moustache”.

705. Galia, i.e., galia moschata (see Note 146), being of dark colour is compared here with incipient whiskers and beard.

“His moon” means “his face”. The sense is that he had incipient whiskers and beard.

706. Dabīr means “a writer”, but the same word is sometimes used to describe either writing or painting. Cf., e.g., nigāshtan.

707. Lit., “hair by hair,” mūy ba-mūy.

708. i.e., he is both brave and strong, and also cunning.

709. “Diamond” in the first hemistich and “iron” in the second mean “sword”.

710. “His sight”; lit., “his place of sight,” nazar-gāh. The word means also “a hall of public audience”. The “light” means here also Bahrām; but see Note 703.

711. See Note 536.

712. Az sar-ī dānish-u kifāyat-i khvīsh. The translation seems a little strained, but it is rather unsatisfactory to refer “the knowledge and competence” to Munẕir when the object seems to be to compliment Bahrām. Besides this, kifāyat, in addition to its other senses, has that of “being one’s equal in position”.

713. i.e., he grew weary of it perforce, having reached his appointed time.

714. The city as opposed to the troops means the civilians.

715. “Valour”; lit., “sword.”

716. i.e., he had no claim to being near the direct line of descent, and was only a distant relative. This, of course, is a historical fact. See Canon Rawlinson’s Seventh Oriental Monarchy.

717. A belt, says the Bahār-i ‘Ajam, set with seven jewels in connexion with the seven planets, and peculiar to the Kayānian dynasty. The jewels, presumably, would be each one of the colour attributed to the sphere of the corresponding planet.

718. i.e., he substituted mourning for festive garments.

Nīl, “indigo, dark blue, black,” and sabz, “green, blue, black,” are both mourning colours.

Fīrūza, “turquoise,” the word used here, means light blue, but that colour was also used as mourning as is evident from this distich and from the termination of the story told in the Blue Dome. Red is a festive colour. Cf. jāma-yi ‘īd, “a red dress,” lit., “a festive garment.”

719. The sword is likened to a lion’s claws.

720. i.e., whatever natural advantages they have, they are all dependent upon, and look for my bounty.

721. i.e., if I do anything but try gently to convince them of their ill-conduct, leaving them then to their conscience, it will be a species of oppression.

722. An allusion to the poetry of Firdausī.

723. The “other bard” is Firdausī.

724. i.e., I am still inspired by the poetic spirit, but he has been withdrawn from it by death.

725. i.e., by appropriating his thought.

726. Lit., “the New Year’s breeze”; but the New Year in Persia begins on March the 21st, when the vernal breezes and showers bring out the blossoms and verdure which are all fresh and new, not old things patched up.

727. The Author is alluding here to the mode of treating a subject.

The first hemistich should refer more to the unity of the treasure than to that of the road, because the number of roads would not affect the position, which is the possession of the treasure, however reached.

728. i.e., of composing eloquent poetry.

729. Lit., “it is not my stipulation to repeat.”

730. i.e., I know how to treat the subject in a superior manner.

731. “Two workers”; lit., “two embroiderers, lace- or fringe-workers, ornamentists, or painters,” du muṭarriz. But the sense here is practically “two workers in fine diction”, or more particularly, “two historians,” i.e., historians of the achievements of kings, the earlier being Firdausī, and the later, Nizāmī.

732. Lit., “have made old coins new.”

733. i.e., Firdausī improved upon his predecessors, and Nizāmī improved upon Firdausī.

734. Lit., “silver in the assaying, or according to the standard.”

735. Lit., “The joiner of the set (of parts) of this high throne thus gives a part to the set.”

“The set.” The word is ‘aqd, which means in Persian “a cluster, series, row, or set (of things)” which go to form a whole. Cf. the line of Ḥāfiz:

ki bar nazm-ī tu afshānad falak ‘aqd-ī suraiyā-rā:

“that on thy verse the sky may pour the cluster of the pleiades.”

736. “He actively prepared”; lit., “he opened his wings, and bound his waist.”

All the editions I have consulted except I.O. MS. 1168 read, dar gushād, “opened the door (to hospitality),” but this does not contrast so well with bast miyān, “bound up (his) waist.”

1168 has bar gushād, which I have interpreted as par gushād. Bar gushād, with the sense of “opened his breast”, may, however, very probably be correct, and employed in the sense of bāzū gushād, “opened his arms,” which, pace the dictionaries, sometimes means “prepared for action”. (Cf. the Shāh-nāma.)

The Kayānian kings were those of the second Persian dynasty.

737. “Down to Aden in Yaman”: Az Yaman tā ‘Adan.

“In” is probably the sense here of az, which, as a preposition, generally means “from” or “of”, and occasionally “for”, or “in the way of”. (See also Note 1068.) Unless the Author by Yaman means its capital Ṣan‘ā, which is scarcely probable.

In any case the Author is mistaken, since the Munẕir-Nu‘mān dynasty, as before mentioned, did not rule over Yaman. (See Note 537.)

738. “Iron-strong”; lit., “iron-chewing,” an epithet usually applied to a spirited, powerful horse.

739. i.e., the perspiration of the troops from their exertions and rapid course was so copious that it reached the legendary Fish which was supposed to support the Ox on which the earth was imagined to rest; whilst the dust raised by them reached the moon.

Gard, “dust,” as applied to the moon, has also the sense of “beams”. (For the “Fish”, see also Notes 1,060 and 1,416.)

740. Lit., “the drummer had a plectrum (applied) to (his ears.”

741. The plain and mountain are likened to pots boiling up against the seven skies, which are likened by the Author to their covers or lids.

742. “The monarch of the world”; i.e., the usurper.

“A young dragon”; i.e., Bahrām.

743. “The heavens,” and “Canopus” mean Bahrām.

744. i.e., as an onager into the grave.

745. “Lay the dust”; i.e., calm disturbances.

746. i.e., to the court of the king whom they had elected.

747. “Expressed their views”; lit., “offered opinions.”

748. “They spurned (all) arrogance away”; i.e., they were influenced only by motives of prudence and expediency.

749. Lit., “Their deliberations ended in this (resolution).”

750. I.O. MS. 1491,

pūst vā kard dāna-rā kishtand,

vā kard probably a mistake for vā-karda.

The B. ed. of 1328 has,

pūst bar kanda dāna-rā kishtand.

If these be correct, the sense would presumably be, “they wrote in a way calculated to produce a quick and satisfactory result”; or possibly, “they wrote with extreme foresight and care.”

But I.O. MS. 1168 reads,

pūst nā-kanda dāna-rā kishtand,

which might give the sense, “they wrote in a natural, plain, and straightforward manner.” But the first might possibly signify, “they wrote without disguise,” (cf. pūst bāz kardan), and the second the opposite of this.