O lofty sun! draw forth the standard (from Aries);
O cloud of black silk! be proudly moving:

O heart of thunder! like the monarch's drum, roar;
O lip of lightning! like the morning-time, laugh (flash):

O air! rain (shed) the pure drop;
O oyster! seize, (and) make that drop the pearl:

O pearl! come forth from the bottom of thy own sea;
Make thy abode in the crown of the king's head.


That king, who is desirous of its ascent (the pearl ?? speech),
His ground kiss is its (poetry's) royal pearl.

In all matters of the royal splendour of Sikandar, one??
To whom the pomp of Sikandar returned.


Ra'd is the angel who drives the cloud.


In Aries, the sun's power is greatest.

As much labour is required to produce the pearl worthy of ?? king's crown—so much effort to prepare the pearl of verse worthy of ?? king's praise.



That king who is desirous of his (Nașratu-d-dín's) lofty rank,—

His ground kiss (before Nașratu-d-dín) is his (own) royal pearl.

Earth, alive-keeper (by justice); sky, alive-maker (by the worship of God);
World-seizer and enemy-overthrower;

The Prince of the West in manliness,
The Kadr-Khan of the East in learnedness—

Nasratu-d-din! world-champion, who is
Conqueror, like the sky, over his enemies.


The enemy late-thinking (unwise); but he foreseeing (wise);
The enemy, of little love; but he, of great hate.

Lord of the sword, and the throne, and the crown;
The three-time striker, and the five-time shelterer (of Islam).

With manliness,—he urged his (chosen) steed,
Both throne-adorner, and also crown-bestower.

By the custom, which was the regulation of kings,—
The key was of iron; the treasure, of gold.


Nașratu-d-dín kept living—the earth, by justice and liberality; and the sky, by devotion to God.

The deeds of holy men take slaves to the sky; hence, the sky becomes prosperous and populous.


Ḳadr-Khán was the title of the King of Samarḳand and of Chin.

Famed are the people—of the west for manliness, and of the east for learnedness.


In past times they used to strike the drum three times (in the morn­ing, at noon, and in the evening) at the king's door.

“Panj-naubat” signifies—the five loud calls to prayer that are the pillows of the Islám faith. See canto iii. couplet 11.

“Si naubat” may signify—the three seasons of boyhood, youth, and old age.

The second line may then mean:—

Sovereignty is preserved to him (Nașratu-d-dín) from boyhood to old age.


“Rustam-rikábí” signifies—mardánagí.

“Rikábí” signifies—sawárí.

Except him (Nasratu-d-din),—who illumines (polishes) the iron of the sword;
Who makes the key of gold, and the treasure of iron (the sword).


Like the water of the Euphrates, openly favouring (the friend);
Like the fountain-head of the Nile, secretly consuming (the enemy);

If he cast his shadow (of anger) on the sun (the enemy),
He casts water on (quenches) that fire-fountain (the sun).

And if he give a portion to the new moon (the friend),
He gives complete freedom from the deficiency (of light) of her perfection.

If a person should reckon up his rewards,
—In order that he may offer thanks for much bounty,

By his (the person's) thanks, that favour becomes greater;
How may a benefactor be greater than this (Nasratu-d-dín)?


Like the sky,—against whomsoever he binds his loin (for battle),
He hurls, like the earth, his (the opponent's) shield on the water.

In (at the time of) confusion (of battle) like the cloud (filling the air and rising), he scatters
The mountain-peak with his sword-point.


The king gives gold to the warriors, and keeps iron weapons of war in the treasury.


The water of the Euphrates is so clear that anything at the bottom may be seen.

The water of the Nile, in which Fara'un and his host were drowned without a trace being left, is said to consume secretly.


“Badán tá” signifies—bará,e án.


“Sipar-i-kase bar áb afgandan” signifies—subduing a person.

Whatever (dexterity) he displayed at the time of battle,
Neither Rustan nor Isfandiyar displayed.

The peace of the world appeared that night,
When from his birth the true morning (of prosperity) blossomed.

Wherever his decorated grey horse planted his hoof,
The earth obtained verdure from his pace (of justice).


In every circle (enceinte of the fortress of infidelity) against which he made assault
He loosed (subdued) the heart (citadel) of its compass-line (the enceinte of the fortress).

At that dwelling, to which he urged his steed,
The earth cast up the treasure of Kárún (on account of his liberality).

On that fort, where he raised his standard,
He suspended the commandant's head from the fort.

If others (kings of the world),—whose origin is human,—
Are altogether men, he is altogether manliness (gene­rosity).


For an account of Rustam and Isfandiyar (Xerxes ?), son of Gushtasp (Darius Hystaspis, B.C. 521), see Clarke's translation of the Sháh-Náma, by Firdausí; also Mirkhond's history of the early kings of Persia.


Khing” signifies—white. When a white horse inclines to:—

greenness they call him—sabz khing.
bayness they call him—surkh khing.
whiteness (absolutely) they call him—nuḳra khing.

“Dá,íra” signifies—mahúṭa,e hiṣár, or the enceinte of a fort.

“Purkár” signifies—a compass, or the curved line made by the compass.

“Purkár kha” signifies—the compass-line, or the enceinte of a fort.

“Gira” signifies—the metal stud (centre) on which one leg of the compass firmly stands while the other revolves; or the heart (citadel) of of the enceinte.


Say some that Ḳárún was the son of the sister of Múșạ (Moses); others that he was the son of the uncle of Múșạ. He had forty treasure-houses.

Any great treasure is called—ganj-i-kárún or ganj-i-raván.

I know none of the men, (my) acquaintances,
On whom, on account of that manliness, (the obligation of) thanks is not.


On account of the great favour and grace which they (the men of the world) have derived from him,
They have called him—“the Benefactor of the World!”

If a corpse raise its head from the grave,
Commotion will seize all the city and market.

From the king's justice thousands of hearts dead (through injustice)
Become alive; but the enemy appears not in the road (of obedience).

Like 'Isa (Jesus), he made many dead (through injustice) alive;
He enslaved the people by such a nature (of justice).

The world—like the ruined (worked out) jewel-mine,
Fell, by this sun (Nasratu-d-dín), into prosperity (became full of jewels).


Earth was a hell (scorched) without sowing or sown-field,
It became by such a (rain-bearing) cloud (Nasratu-d-din) green, like Paradise.

Of every favour (God-given) that comes anew to him,
He gives, grain by grain, the share (according to the need) of the askers.

Since wisdom takes up the trace of (pursues) every goodness,
How may the (people of the) world take away his good memory from the world?


“Rú-shinás” signifies—ashná; ma'rúf.


Produced is—the jewel in the mine by the sun's rays; and the joy­ousness of the earth by the rain-cloud.



Like wisdom, he takes up the trace of (pursues) every goodness;

How may the people of the world take away from the world the memory of the good (man)?

I say not—thou art like the ocean, one of great shadow (pomp),
For, verily, thou art like the mine of great value (never empty).

Bravo! a court that, like the sun,
Causes the tent ropes to reach from east to west.


Of the ocean by reason of its depth,—the waters are unmoved.

In this book are two couplets very similar to those by Firdausí.


The couplets by Niámí are:—

Zahe bárgáhe ki chún áftáb!
Az mashriḳ ba maghrib rasánad anáb.—Canto xi. couplet 39.

Panáh-i-bulandí va pasti tú,í
Hama nístand ánchi hastí tú,í.—Canto i. couplet 2.

The couplets by Firdausí are:—

Yake khaima,e dásht afrásíyáb
Az mashriḳ ba maghrib kashída anáb.

Jahán rá bulandí va pastí tú,í
Na dánam chi harchi hastí tú,í.

The verses by Niámí exceed in eloquence those by Firdausí.

Taki Ouhdí and Daulat Sháh both relate the following anecdote:—

Shaikh Abú-l-Kásim Gúrgání refused to say prayers at the tomb of Firdausí, because in his Sháh-Náma he had praised and celebrated the infidel worshippers and the Magians. On the same night, in a vision, he saw the poet, seated on one of the highest stations in Paradise, attended by angels, jinns, and húrís.

Abú-l-Kásim asked by what means he had obtained such an exalted destiny. He replied—by virtue of one couplet in the Sháh-Náma in praise of the Unity of God.

The height and the depth of the world Thou art;

I know not what Thou art—whatever is, Thou art.

The next morning the holy man rose, repaired to Firdausí's tomb, and, shedding tears of repentance, uttered prayers with earnest zeal before the assembled inhabitants of the city (ús).

The couplet just quoted has been referred to by almost all Firdausí's biographers, including Captain Turner Macan, in whose Persian text of the Sháh-Náma it does not, however, occur.

Sir Gore Ouseley, in his “Notices of Persian Poets,” (page 94), con­siders it to be an interpolation.

Out of seven copies of the Sháh-Náma examined in the council-room of the Shá?? of Persia by Sir Gore Ouseley and the ministers of the Sháh, only one copy, written about A.D. 1817 by Farju-llah Khán, contained the passage in the Tauhíd (the Praise of the Unity of God).


If from the Tuba tree (in Paradise) arrives
In every palace a branch of amber-nature,

East to west, by his beneficence arrives
Bounty to every house from his tray.

His name fell fitly to (befitted) a Kay Khusrau,
His mothers' lineage traced direct to a Kay Kubad!

In every valley to which he turned his rein,
The hyssop (through his liberality) found dirams in its skirt.

Through his treasure (of liberality), the earth stitched up (filled) a purse (of gold);
The jessamine collected silver; and the sunflower gold.


In it, a groat—where a treasure place,
In which is not something from his treasure?

Since by his crown the country became lofty,
By that crown may his head be victorious!

Bravo! the Khizr and the Sikandar of created beings;
For thou hast both territory and also the water of life!


In the chronicles, it is stated—that in Paradise a branch of amber, native of the great úba tree, whose root is in the abode of the prophet Muhammad,—reaches to every dwelling, so that the inhabitants of Paradise delight themselves with it. The branches are laden with pome­granates, dates, grapes and other fruits unknown to mortals. If a man desire any kind of fruit it will immediately be presented to him; or, if he choose flesh, birds ready dressed will be set before him. So great is the extent of the tree that a wind-fleet steed could not gallop from one end of its shade to the other in a hundred years. Beneath it are two fountains of Salsabíl (pure water) and of Kausar.


On account of Nașratu-d-dín's liberality, you may call him Kay-Khusrau (Cyrus, B.C. 558) the Second, or the renowned son of Kay Ḳubád. See the Sháh-Náma.


“Dirmana” signifies—a bitter grass whose flower is like round white dirams. In Khurásán it is the forage of horses.


Sikandar possessed empire; Khizr, the water of life.

Naṣratu-d-dín, through his liberality, made alive hearts dead through injustice.

Thou art like Sikandar, the king, a territory-conquerer;
Thou art like Khizr, a guide to those fallen from the path (of religion);

Thou hast all things that are needful;
One thing thou hast not—and that is, thy equal!


When thou castest thy reckoning (desire) towards the hunting of lions,
With a single arrow (Mercury), thou overthrowest two forms (Gemini).

When, in the strife of elephants, thou loosenest the noose,
Thou makest captive the King of Kannauj (the master of elephants).

If the lion, at the time of rage, overthrow the wild ass,
Thou overthrowest the lion,—nay, (even) Bahram Gor (the lion overthrower).

What fortune,—that is not in the shackle of thy work (the servant of the work of thy house)?
What purpose,—that is not in thy bosom (acquired)?

Many a stiff neck of shagreen (grained) leather (ass-hide)
That became (by thy sword) soft like thy stirrup-leather.


“Píl-band” is a chess-term, meaning checkmate to the king—by the bishop (píl) and two pawns (piyáda). See canto xix. couplet 153.

The town of Ḳannauj is on the banks of the Ganges, fifty miles from Cawnpúr. The King of Kannauj was Porus (Fúr), who, in the battle of the Hydaspes, B.C. 327, with Sikandar, used two hundred war-elephants.


Bahrám Gor, (Varahrán the Fifth of Roman history, A.D. 420) was one of the best monarchs who ever ruled Persia.

In a vale between Shíráz and Isfahán, called “the Vale of Horses,” from having been from the earliest times the hunting ground of the nobles of Persia, Bahrám, while pursuing the wild ass (gor), leaped with his horse into a pool, and (in spite of all search) was never seen again.

In A.D. 1810, encamped near the springs of this valley, Sir John Malcolm lost a trooper of the 16th Dragoons, a good swimmer, who was drowned in the spring supposed to be that in which Bahrám was lost. The body of the trooper, being near the edge, was recovered.

Bahrám, firing at a lion that had made a wild ass its prey, the arrow passed through the back of the lion and of the ass, and entered the earth. He was afterwards called Bahrám Gor.


When thou enterest upon wrath—from thee are safe two persons—
One, the soft neck (the submissive one); the other, the pierced ear (the slave).

The enemy, by apology, takes his own life (in safety) from thee;
Thy judgment, in this manner, enjoys the world.

When Time revolved around the world (passed),
Six tokens of six kings remained—

From Kayumars, universe-seizing,—the crown;
From Jamshid, the sword; from Firidun, the throne:

From Kay-Khusrau, that cup (the future state of the) world-displaying,
In which the judgment of the stars found a place:


The lustrous (iron) mirror, the illuminator;
The exemplar of the history (time) of Sikandar:

Verily the seal-ring, ruby studded (having a ruby seal-stone),
Illuminated with the seal of Sulaimán.

Six kings, in this manner, are in thy sway;
Thy name of six letters is (my) evidence of the matter.


Kayumars, the first of the offspring of Ádam, is considered the first king of the Pesh-dádian dynasty. See the Sháh-Náma.

Gív-murs (ancient), Kayumars (modern) signifies—the living word; for gív means—goyá; and murs means—Zinda.

The Zínatu-l-tawárikh says that, in Syriac, the word signifies—hayy náiḳ, the living word.


The cup giving intelligence of the future state of the world, by which they viewed the mystery of the seven skies, and learned the judgment of the stars.


Sikandar's mirrors were of three kinds:—

The mirror of the stars; the mirror of the seasons; the Sikandriya mirror that gave intelligence of the coming of the Europeans.


Ikhtisán may be the name of Nașratu-d-dín, of his father, or of his grandfather, as (at the end of this book) Niámí says.

In the name Nașratu-d-dín the letters pronounced are six in number (since are not pronounced). Taking the first letters of the six endowments, couplets 58-62, we have:—

from akhlíl, the crown,
from khátim, the seal of Sulaimán,
from tegh, the sword,
from sarír, the throne,
from á,ina, the mirror of fame,
from puyala, the cup-displaying.

If the last letter were , not , these six letters would form the word:—, Ikhtisán.

Besides this I also behold six qualities of thine;
From which mayst thou, month and year, (continually) be prosperous!

One—that, from prepared treasure,
Thou givest wishes, unasked:


The second,—showing generosity beyond computation;
Not seeking back a return from the grateful one:

The third—with compassion adorning (comforting) the heart (of the one tyranny-stricken);
Seeking the heart-justice (revenge) of the one tyranny-stricken:

The fourth,—planting the standard on the Pleiades,
Army alone striking, like the sun (against the army of the darkness of night):

The fifth,—verily, of the offender, forgiveness-seeking,
Pardoning the crime by way of clemency:

The sixth,—preserving compact and agreement,
And not putting fidelity from memory:


May the six sides (of the world) never be without splendour from thee!
May separation never be from these six qualities!

For the flight of (thy) fortune, two falcons of use,—
One, in the treasury; the other, in the hunting-field:

Two snakes, for thy sake, treasure-weighing,—
One, the snake of (possessing) the stone (in its head); the other, the snake (-guardian) of the treasure.

Come cup-bearer! that cup of harmless wine,
That gives tidings of grace to the heart,

Give me, that one moment I may be merry of head;
By this austerity how long shall I be distressed?


“Sháhín” signifies—a royal white falcon (bahrí); the beam of a pair of scales; and one of the two stars of the constellation of the eagle.

One sháhín (scale) is required to weigh treasure to beggars; another sháhín (falcon) to pursue birds in the field, so that lawful and pure food may be provided thee.


“Már-i-muhra” signifies—a deadly snake, in whose head is found a precious shining stone, green or ashey in colour, an antidote to poison. The phrase means—auspicious fortune; for the acquisition of the stone is highly auspicious.

“Már-i-ganj” signifies—perfect wisdom; the sword. Over every treasure, for the preserving of it, dwells a deadly black snake—so that men may not easily obtain the treasure.