1,251. “Pictures”; i.e., beauties.

1,252. Every picture; i.e., every beauty.

1,253. Khūzistān (Susiana), is, or was, famous for its sugar-canes, the sweetness of which is here compared to its disadvantage with the sweetness of the ruby lips of the beauties. The sense of the hemistich is that their sugary lips would compensate for the destruction of all Khūzistān with its sugar-canes.

1,254. i.e., the queen of the beauties approached.

1,255. “The sky was lost to view”; i.e., all the heavenly bodies at night were eclipsed by its light.

The “sun”, of course, means the queen of the beauties.

1,256. i.e., the attendant beauties.

1,257. “Each honeyed one”; lit., “every piece of sugar,” i.e., every beauty.

1,258. “Straight cypresses”; i.e., girls of tall and slender form.

1,259. i.e., as a beautiful bride with all her adornments sits on the bridal throne to await the bridegroom.

1,260. “A resurrection rose”; i.e., “a great commotion arose” on account of the beauty she displayed.

1,261. “With Ethiop troops behind and Greek before.” The Ethiop troops are an allusion to her black hair, and the Greek to her complexion.

1,262. “Two-hued dawn.” An allusion to the appearance of the sky at early dawn when dark streaks are set, as it were, against light. The sense of the distich is that the white and pink of her face were antagonistic to and set off the black of her hair.

1,263. “Narrow of eyes,” an epithet often applied to a beauty, especially to one of Chinese Turkistan.

1,264. “Each cypress”; i.e., each beauty, who was as an earth-born human being compared with her, who was of light, the constitution of the angels.

1,265. i.e., inflaming the world with her beauty as a red rose does.

1,266. “Bird of paradise”; lit., “peacock.”

1,267. “The throne where sat the bride,” jilva-gāh-i ‘arūs; i.e., the throne on which the bride dressed in all her finery awaits the bridegroom.

1,268. i.e., should be in the best and nearest place, not in the outer places. The guest should be muqarrab, a close intimate.

1,269. “The moon’s in concord with the Pleiades.

By this is presumably meant that the moon is in or with the Pleiades, the third of the 28 lunar “mansions”. If Parvīn, “the Pleiades,” has the same meanings as its Arabic equivalent Suraiyā, I should assume the real sense to be that she, “the moon,” is in concord with her lover, “a lustrous gem,” gauhar-i ābdār.

But since the Pleiades are a part of the sign Taurus, the sense might be that the moon is in Taurus. The effect of this is that the moon, which is receptive, would take the qualities attributed to that sign, and that those subject to this influence would be fearless and strong of will, firm and determined, and also affectionate, loving and of keen desire. The former qualities would help such persons in the pursuit of the object of the latter.

If the hemistich has any sense in this connexion, it must be from the fairy-queen’s ascribing this astrological influence to herself with regard to her lover. (See also Note 533.)

1,270. Bilqīs is the name given to the Queen of Sheba, who was supposed to be a wife of Solomon’s. The mention of dīvs or demons is from the fact that they were supposed to have been in subjection to Solomon. (See also Notes 272 and 1,407.)

1,271. This must mean either that he put his arm round her, or that being seated near her he had her, in a way, in his possession.

1,272. “Gaiety was left without a plea”; lit., “excuses came into a remainder for gaiety.” The meaning is that gaiety had no excuses to offer for absence when the music began after the banquet. In other words, gaiety had to be present. (See also for the same idiom the distich to which Note 1,970 is appended.)

1,273. “A pearl was bored by every unbored Pearl”; i.e., every virgin chanted verse.

1,274. “The dance a square oped, and a circle closed”; i.e., a square was cleared for the dance, and the dancers circled round with hands joined. (Cf. daṣt-band.) Another sense of “setting open a square” would be “giving rise to enjoyment and hilarity” (cf. maidān gushāda yāftan); but the first sense is more in harmony with the second clause of the hemistich.

1,275. “They fashioned tapers”; i.e., they were in their slender, upright figures themselves as tapers.

1,276. “Name”; i.e., fame.

1,277. “Turk”; i.e., a beauty.

1,278. Turk-tāz, “predatory raid,” deriving its name from the raids of the Turks, means also amorous blandishments, which are a species of predatory raid upon the lover.

1,279. i.e., he is as a Turkish raid in assailing her with his love.

1,280. i.e., let us drink wine and make love, and throw aloes-wood (which is dark like Hindūs) upon the fire for perfume.

1,281. “The Magian wine.” Mugh-kada, “a Magian temple,” means also “a tavern”, a sense attached to the term possibly through Muslim contempt.

May-i Mughāna means therefore “Magian wine”, or “wine of the tavern”.

1,282. i.e., let them both be properly served and enjoyed. Khvān, a tray for food, means also a smaller tray upon which dessert fruit and sweets are taken round to the guests to change the taste and be partaken of with wine.

1,283. i.e., do not attempt impossibilities.

1,284. Hindū has also the sense of “slave”, and since it means “black” too, it is used appropriately in connexion with “moles”, which are black.

1,285. The scent of the candles is likened to ambergris, the fire of them to rubies.

1,286. “With rose-decked willow white”; lit., “roses in the willow,” is an allusion to her pink and white skin.

1,287. “Vested”; lit., “in a tunic.” For the “tunic”, qabā, see Note 1,200. The “crown”, as referred to the rose, means most probably its stamens.

1,288. Farẓ-i Īzid means the divine ordinances, the ordinances enjoined by God Himself, in contradistinction to those based upon the precepts or practice of Muḥammad, namely the Sunna.

1,289. Sarāy, the old Mongol capital on the banks of the Volga. Ṣādiq Iṣfahānī says, “the capital of the Qipchāq Plain.” This was north of the Caspian.

1,290. “Like a yellow rose”; i.e., pallid with regret at the absence of the beauties and from the effects of the wine-drinking.

1,291. i.e., presumably, on rose-petals blown down and scattered about.

1,292. “Its musk-pod opened out”; i.e., either “displayed darkness” or “diffused perfume”.

1,293. “Bringing galia”; lit., “rubbing galia moschata”; i.e., “scattering scent.” (For galia moschata see Note 1,183.)

1,294. “Scattered pearls”; lit., “became possessed of a pearl-shell”; i.e., displayed those pearls, the moon and stars.

1,295. “That jasmine sowed, this planted violets”; i.e., the breeze diffused such fragrance as that of the jasmine, and the water brought out such perfume as that of violets.

1,296. “Laid down its head”; i.e., was hopeless of competing with the fragrance of that evening.

1,297. Lit., “The puppets full of gaiety returned, the sky again became a puppet-player.” The sky is called a puppet-player because by means of the puppets, the planets, which it exhibits, it plays with the fortunes of men. Here, however, the immediate sense is that the sky or fortune played upon men through the puppets, the beauties.

1,298. Yaghmā is said to be the name of a city in Turkistan which was famous for the beauty of its inhabitants.

1,299. Lit., “came into the head”; but the idiom may also be rendered, “reached the highest pitch.”

1,300. “Love was associated with the wine”; lit., “love joined hands with the wine”; i.e., love went on pari passu with the wine.