1,151. Lit., “he had knowledge of a concealed calculation”; i.e., he already had knowledge through Simnār’s formula or communication of what fate had in store for him, so that the words of Shīda had an effect upon him as harmonizing with and confirming that communication.

1,152. “He gave no answer for a few short days.”

The B. ed. of 1328:—

rūzakī chand-rā na-dād javāb.

I.O. MS. 402 has:—

rūzakī chand az-ān na-dād javāb.

I.O. MS. 1168 reads:—

pai bar andākhtan na-dīd ṣavāb, “he did not think it advisable to throw away the tracks”; i.e., I suppose, “to wander at random without proper consideration of the way.”

1,153. Bahrām is the Persian name of Mars as well as that of the king.

1,154. It is not clearly stated, but it seems that this astrologer was not Shīda.

1,155. i.e., had made them as he had promised a kind of parallel to the seven skies.

1,156. “Seven skies”; i.e., the seven domed houses of the palace.

1,157. “That wondrous man”; lit., “that skilful or dexterous one of creation,” ān ṣin‘-i (or ṣun‘-i) āfarīnish.

1,158. Āmul, a town in Māzandarān. There is also a town of the same name on the Oxus.

1,159. i.e., my action is no more from lavishness than Nu‘mān’s was from greed. The action of each was fated.

1,160. i.e., is roasted or parched with thirst. (For kabāb see Notes 568 and 1,340.)

1,161. “Submission,” ‘ājizī, the reading of I.O. MS. 1491.

I.O. MSS. 777 and 1168; the I.O. B. ed. and the B. ed. of 1328 read khāmushī, “silence.”

1,162. “The crown of Kai-Qubād”; i.e., the royal crown of Persia. Kai-Qubād was the first king of the second or Kayānian dynasty of Persia.

“Kai-Khusrau’s crown”; i.e., again, simply, the royal crown of Persia.

Kai-Khusrau was the third of the same dynasty.

1,163. Bīstūn (Behistun), the name of the mountain which Farhād cut through at the command of Shīrīn.

“The whole of the sculpture at Bīstūn,” says Sir John Malcolm, “is ascribed to the chisel of Farhād. He was promised, we are told in Persian romance, that if he cut through the rock, and brought a stream that flowed on the other side of the hill to the valley, the lovely Shīrīn should be his reward. The same story adds that he was on the point of completing his labour when Khusrau (the king), fearing to lose his mistress, sent an old woman to inform Farhād that the fair object of his desire was dead. He was at work on one of the highest parts of the rock when he heard the mournful intelligence. He immediately cast himself headlong, and was dashed in pieces.”

By Bīstūn is meant here apparently the seven-domed building, constructed, presumably, of stone or marble, and adorned with sculptured work. (See also Notes 1,165, 1,234, and 1,555.)

1,164. “Fled”; i.e., the work of Farhād could not compete with this sculpture-adorned stone-palace.

1,165. The popular etymology of Bīstūn is “columnless”, as if from bī-sutūn.

The old Persian form was Bāgastāna, i.e., “Place of the gods.” Bāga is said by the Encyclopœdia of Islām to have been particu­larly Mithras. (See also Notes 1,163, 1,234, and 1,555.)

1,166. “In those walls”; i.e., presumably, in the walls which surrounded the seven-domed building.

1,167. i.e., the walls were so high that they were as a rampart round the heavens.

1,168. i.e., the domes were not only made of the same colour as the spheres of the planets, but presumably by astrological arts they had in their natures something analogous to the natures of the planets.

1,169. Lit., “of Saturn’s kind.”

1,170. Māya, “essence,” is used here in the sense of gauhar.

1,171. Lit., “And that to which Mars attached a circuit, or a collar, or possessions.”

1,172. “Turquoise,” fīrūza; “felicity,” fīrūzī.

1,173. Lit., “towards or to whose tower.”

1,174. “Through the moon’s aspect throve in verdancy.”

The sphere of the moon was supposed to be green. The word sar-sabzī means both “greenness, verdancy” and “thriving, prosperity”, and it has these two senses here.

In this and the preceding six distichs the colour of each dome is described as being the same as that of the sphere of the planet upon the temperament of which it is said to have been fashioned.

From the third, fourth, and seventh of these distichs it would seem to be implied that each planet revolved round the particular dome under whose auspices it was.

1,175. “Had covenants from them”; i.e., were protected by and dependent upon them.

1,176. Lit., “(were) on their bridal seats.”

1,177. Lit., “a different palace.”

1,178. “Her sweetness”; lit., “her ḥalvā.” (For ḥalvā, see Note 1,459.)

1,179. The “rose-garden”, so qualified, is the world.

1,180. “This two days’ abiding-place”; i.e., the world.

1,181. According to the Burhān-i Qāṭi‘ Shammās was the name of the man who first instituted fire-worship. Hence, the Shammāsian temple is the fire-temple, and the reference is either to its brightness, or to the white robes of the priests.

1,182. ‘Abbāsian means “black”, that being the colour affected by the Abbāside Khalifs of Baghdād, who reigned from A.H. 132 to A.H. 656 (A.D. 749 to A.D. 1258).

1,183. Galia; i.e., galia moschata, a composition of musk, ambergris, camphor, and oil of ben-nuts. Dark or black things are often compared with it on account of its dark colour.

1,184. “Scattering scent”; lit., “making scent.”

1,185. “Black musk” means the darkness of the sky at night, which envelops the moon, here likened to white silk (robes).

1,186. “That Cashmerian early Spring”; i.e., the Indian princess.

1,187. “Perfume”; i.e., utterance as sweet as the perfume of the morning breeze.

1,188. “A case of pearls”; i.e., her mouth.

1,189. “The five turns of music.” It was the custom to play music or beat a drum five times a day before the palace of a king, prince, or governor.

1,190. “The moon’s throne”; lit., “the four-cushioned seat of the moon,” which probably means simply a cushioned seat or throne fit for a king. It might have reference to the four phases of the moon.

1,191. “Sugar” means her lips, and “aloes-wood” her words; but sugar and aloes-wood are sometimes mixed together and burnt as a perfume.

1,192. Simply a compliment to the lady, by which she is, by implication, likened to the ḥūrīs. (Cf. Note 1,795.)

1,193. Lit., “become an associate or friend to us with the story.”

1,194. Lit., “and become a whitewasher or a whitesmith for this black.”

1,195. It is implied that the king behaved so well to the slave-girl that though he is dead, and she is in a position to express a true opinion, she has nothing but good to say of him.

1,196. i.e., it was a very lofty room.

1,197. Lit., “Whoever came he held (his) reins, and received him as a visitor to himself.”

1,198. Sīmurgh is the name of a fabulous bird whose abode was supposed to be Mount Alburz. It is celebrated in the Shāh-nāma as the foster-father and teacher of Zāl, the father of Rustam, the great Persian hero.

In Ṣūfī terminology (cf. especially the Manṭiqu ’ṭ-Ṭair of ‘Aṭṭār) it represents the Divine Essence. (See also Notes 1,208 and 1,558.)

1,199. ‘Anqā, the name of a fabulous bird said by the dictionaries to be the Sīmurgh (see the last Note), but in Ṣūfī phraseology it signifies “matter” in the philosophical sense of the word; i.e., the substratum of all material objects. In the Ṣūfī sense, therefore, it is the direct opposite to Sīmurgh. (Cf. ‘Abdu ’r-Razzāq’s Dictionary of the Technical Terms of the Ṣūfīs, and the Enneads of Plotinus.)

1,200. The “tunic”, qabā, either long or short, is an outer garment open in front.

The “gown”, pīrāhan, is an inner long garment which covers the whole body.