1,451. The Author means possibly, “in order that I may not become moved out of myself and absolutely distraught, for I am now in a mood for it.”

1,452. “Of every kind”; lit., “both fit and unfit to be spoken.”

1,453. The “water” and “iron” are apparently allusions to the coldness and hardness of heart of the slave-girl. The sense is presumably that the fire in the king’s heart should warm and soften that of the girl, but that even if it did not (see the next distich), his mind is so set on her that the pain of the love for her is preferable to him to his remedy of intimacy with the other girl.

1,454. Lit., “the old woman was a smoke-raiser in the midst.” Dūd-afgan, lit., “a caster or raiser of smoke,” means “a sorcerer or sorceress who by burning aloes-wood, frankin­cense, wild rue-seed, and a species of bdellium raises incense and smoke, and by this and an incantation summons genii to do his or her bidding” (Burhān-i Qāṭi‘).

Dūd, “smoke,” means also “affliction”, a sense which is applicable also in the hemistich.

1,455. “The old dame’s cold,” bardu ’l-‘ajūz, is the name given to a period of cold weather lasting from about the 7th to the 14th of March, so that the sun enters Aries, and the New Year and Spring in Persia begin about a week after the cessation of this cold. By the sun’s entering Aries it is meant that the Spring of happy days is beginning for the king.

1,456. “Delight.” This sense of nāz is not given in the dictionaries, but it is established by many passages in this poem and other Persian writings.

1,457. “The lily-finder.” An allusion to the slave-girl as having a lily-white bosom.

“Unto the lily-scented cypress-tree”; i.e., to herself.

1,458. As usual, “the Chinese form, figure, or beauty,” naqsh-i Chīn, means a beauty of Chinese Turkistan. It is often, like “Turk”, applied as a compliment to any beauty.

1,459. “Ḥalvā, a certain sweet dish prepared in many varieties with sesame oil, various cereals, and syrup or honey” (Redhouse).

Saffron is sometimes added, principally because it is supposed to possess stimulant, exhilarating, cordial, and antispasmodic properties.

The Author by saying that the pleasure of ḥalvā dressed with saffron comes from yellowness means of course that it comes from the yellow ingredient saffron, but it may be noticed that most of the ingredients of the dish are yellow.

1,460. “Its yellow veil”; i.e., the material of which it is made.

1,461. A reference to the golden calf. See the Qur’ān, ii., 48, 88; iv., 152; vii., 146, and xx., 90. The meaning is that the real value of the calf was in its gold.

1,462. “Yellow ochre,” ṭīn-i aṣfar, or gil-i zard, is hydrated oxide of iron more or less mixed with clay, in which state it occurs naturally. Having when taken blood-enriching properties, it is stimulant and exhilarating. It is consequently, as the Author says, precious like gold because it is a source of joy.

1,463. i.e., he prepared to set out with great pomp.

Sar-sabz, translated “fortune-favoured”, means in the first place “verdant, green”, the colour on this occasion of the royal canopy or umbrella.

1,464. Lit., “The king was lighted up like a green candle”; but bar-afrūkhta means also “bright, rejoicing”.

1,465. The angels are supposed to be clothed in green.

1,466. “The garden of the stars” means the sky.

“This verdure emerald-hued” is also the sky, part of which near sunset inclines to green. By “vernal blooms” are meant, as generally, “white blossoms.” The sense of the distich is, “When the stars studded the sky with their white or silvery orbs”; i.e., when the stars came out (and it was night).

1,467. “Green-throned”; i.e., possibly, “seated in the heavens” (see Note 1,466), but may be either a compliment to the lady as one fit to be in the heavens with the ḥūrīs (cf. Notes 1,192, and 1,795), or a reference to her being on a green throne in the Green Dome.

1,468. More literally, “to open the sack and disclose the sugar.”

1,469. i.e., began to disclose what was in her mind to the wise and powerful king.

1,470. Kings lived much in tents both for war and also for the chase.

1,471. “Gate” means the king’s court, since the king sat at the gate to administer justice. The crown and throne may be said to be the threshold of the king’s Gate or court, since they are symbols of his power, and it is through that power that the people may expect justice at his Gate or court.

The meaning of the second hemistich of the next distich is that the king’s sovereign power is upheld by his justice, symbolized here by his Gate or court.

1,472. Lit., “she let flow a spring of sugar from cornelian”; but ‘aqīq, “cornelian,” means also a “channel, watercourse, or ravine”.

1,473. Rūm, a name formerly applied to the lower Roman empire and Asia Minor. It is now applied by the Persians to the Ottoman empire.

1,474. Lit., “in a wrapper of raw, undressed (stuff).”

1,475. Cf. the third and fourth distichs of this story.

1,476. i.e., she was like a rose in face. With the rose is contrasted the cypress to which her stature is likened.

1,477. “One of fair face washed with the pheasant’s blood.” This, I think, is as near as one can get to the Persian Shusta-rūy-ī, valī ba-khūn-i taẕarv, which rendered literally is “One of washed face, but (washed) with the pheasant’s blood”.

“The pheasant’s blood” is of course an allusion to the rosiness of her face.

1,478. i.e., disturbance of heart and trouble amongst her lovers.

1,479. Lit., “the showing through (of her face),” ‘aks having that sense here.

Aks means “reflection” as in a mirror, and also “the appearance of a thing through a transparent or translucent substance”.

1,480. “More dusky”; lit., “more ambergris-diffusing”; but this perfume, though greyish, is generally used as an equivalent of musk, and referred as often to blackness of colour as to sweetness of scent.

1,481. “More dusky”; lit., “more infidel or impious,” nā-musulmāntar. Nā-musulmān is equivalent to kāfir, which besides its literal meaning has also the sense of “black”.

1,482. “A lonely wanderer” is a term applied to the moon as moving in solitary, unequalled grandeur among the stars. It is applied here in a similar way to the girl as one unequalled among others.

1,483. Expresses his mental condition after awaking from his stupefaction.

1,484. Lit., “and if I become patient, cold,—where are patience, coldness?”

1,485. Lit., “may make this business easy for me.”

1,486. Lit., “if any (thing) more or less should come to any grain.” Kam-u bīsh, “less or more,” generally used adverbially, occurs sometimes as a noun. (See quotations in Vullers.)

1,487. Lit., “the bottle in which urine is tested.”

1,488. The allusion in the first hemistich is to the sorcerer’s practice of writing or cutting on a horse-shoe the name of a person he wishes to bring under his control, putting the shoe into the fire, and reciting the appropriate spell. By this means the person is perturbed and drawn under the sorcerer’s influence.

In the second hemistich the “amber’s power” is its electrical or attracting power, and “pearl and ruby” are allusions to the teeth and lips of a beauty. Thus the sense of the distich is that Malīkhā can by his magic power draw people under his influence as well as a beauty can by her charms.

It is possible that there may be a sub-allusion to the pale yellow colour of amber, so that we might have the secondary sense, that his magic power can make people perturbed and pale as well as the charms of a beauty can her lovers.

1,489. In the second hemistich there is a jeu de mots which is lost in translation. A “pied snake” is mār-i pīsa(h), and “palm-fibre rope” is pīs-rasan. The Persian word pīs, besides its more usual senses of “leprous, white, pied”, means also “the dwarf palm-tree”, khurmā-yi Abū Jahl, of the fibrous bark of which ropes are made. From this last meaning of pīs, taken in its literal sense of “the palm-tree of Abū Jahl”, it may be assumed that its fibrous bark is taken to be the masad mentioned in the Qur’ān as the fibrous bark from which the rope for the neck of Abū Jahl’s wife was made.

Abū Jahl was Muḥammad’s uncle and enemy, and he and his wife Umm Jamīl are bitterly cursed in the Qur’ān, sūra cxi.

1,490. The sense of talisman here is an image prepared with magic arts attached to a buried treasure to prevent any unauthorized person from finding and taking it. This is a particular application of its general sense of such an image fixed in the ground for the purpose of preventing people from going beyond a certain limit.

The word talisman sometimes also signifies an amulet against enchantment or fascination, and sometimes a spell or charm to effect some purpose.

Finally, any mechanism that appears mysterious or is not understood may be called a talisman. (See Nizāmī’s Sikandar-nāma-yi Baḥrī; see also Note 553.)

1,491. “Skilled master,” faḥl . . ustādī. Faḥl is sometimes prefixed to a noun adjectivally in the sense of “unusually fine of its kind”. So, we might say, faḥl baṣal, “a fine, large onion.”

1,492. “Frigid”; lit., “raw, unburnt,” as opposed to “burning” applied to “smoke” in the preceding distich.

1,493. i.e., one should not live in the state of abject ignorance of the ox or ass.

1,494. More literally, “how long will you fashion things to the Pen?” By “the Pen” is probably meant “the Pen with which God is said to have pre-recorded the actions of men”. “The Prophet (has) said (that) the first thing which God created was the Pen (Qalam), and that it wrote down the quantity of every individual thing to be created, all that was and all that will be to all eternity (see the Mishkát).” (Hughes’s Dictionary of Islām.) In Ṣūfī phraseology “the Pen” signifies the Universal Intellect, and the expression quoted from Hughes is tantamount to that in another Tradition: Auwalu mā khalaqa ’llāhu ’l-‘Aql, “The first thing which God created was the Intellect.”

The ‘Aql corresponds with the “” of St. John.

The “Pen” might also mean simply what is written or recorded in theological books, naql, “relation,” as opposed to “reason, intellect”. (Cf. the word ḥujjat, “argument, reason, proof,” in the first hemistich.)

1,495. Lit., “I am not without knowledge of the secrets of affairs.”

1,496. I have translated on the supposition that na-bāyad raft, “one should not go,” is the reading intended, though raft is not a perfect rhyme to guft in the first hemistich.

The perfect rhyme ruft does not make so good sense, but if it were adopted, the second hemistich would signify, “one should not sweep the path of one’s own fancy and conceit”; i.e., one should not allow a clean and clear path for one’s own fancy and conceit.

1,497. “Yon side of the Veil” is the spiritual world, the Universal Spirit, which embraces the prototypes of all things of the phenomenal world and their relations of cause and effect to one another.

The distich means that, as we cannot reach the spiritual world and understand its prototypes and their relations, we cannot understand the pictures or reflexions of those prototypes and their relations in this phenomenal world.

This must be taken with limitations, since the Ṣūfī saint is supposed to have reached the position of Universal Spirit, and to grasp all things and relations by intuition, and not by discursive reasoning.

1,498. i.e., though we may strive to get at the meaning of things and their relations in this world, our conclusions will not be unattended by some error. Therefore no trust can be placed in our reading of these pictures of the phenomenal world. (See the previous distich.)

1,499. i.e., at the Resurrection the truth will be known.

In the second hemistich ghalaṭ bāzand is used, I think, in the sense of taghlīṭ kunand, “they will lead into error,” or “accuse of error”. It should be added that bākhtan, “to play,” means also “to give”, so that ghalaṭ bākhtan may signify ghalaṭ dādan, “to lead into error,” and, if my conjecture have support, “to accuse of error.”

1,500. ‘Azīmat, “a sacred incantation, spell, or amulet” —often composed of verses of the Qur’ān—which compels demons (dīvs) to attend on and obey the person who recites or writes it.