A speech-weigher (a poet) came, the balance (of verse) in hand,
He continued shattering the coin (of verse) gold-encrusted (base-uttered).


In Niámí's time a poet (a master of verse) came from some place, and according to the rules (scale) of verse assayed the poetry of poets; corrected the inflation and exaggeration; and discriminated between the base and the pure.

I interfered not in regard to that coin (of verse);
For I knew of that silver (of defect) within the gold (of my own verse).

If my finger make criticism,
I know no one who will do the work of a scribe (before me).

But when my back (reliance on outward and inward excel­lence) became strong,
My finger became not the criticiser of any.


With malevolence I look at none (of my calumniators);
For I also have many enemies.

My path (of life) is all poison-drinking (calumny-enduring);
Skill-seeking, and defect-concealing.

On that road (of holy travellers) which I first made for myself,
I kept my foot true to the end.

(Through austerity) I gave to this leather (the skin of my body) such a tanning (dressing of purity),
That it should turn away (from me) the rage and the love (of men).

From the pure Omnipotent I desire to that degree,
That at the last I may not wander from the path.


The representer (Nizámí) of the picture (the Sikandar-Náma), representation-receiving (written),
—For, as regards redelineation, the picture has no help—


This alludes to Niámí's good disposition in not revealing the defects of others.

If he had interfered (criticised), the defect of the coin (of speech) would have become known.


From my being acquainted with the rules of verse, none will be able (through fear) to take up the pen to write.


The second line means—that, in all conditions, Niámí was contented.


The path is described in couplet 6.


The second line is a parenthesis.

Delineates the picture in this way, that when the King of Rúm (Sikandar)
Expressed the picture (of dominion) like wax on the country of the world,

The country became full of renown by his justice;
The crown and throne of his father became fresh by him.

Of his father, every custom that he had witnessed,
—Whatever was acceptable to his judgment,—he practised.

Verily, he kept in place (preserved) the old treaty;
Kept on foot (confirmed) former works (of the peasantry).


Gave that very treasure and gold to Dárá;
Pressed his foot on (remained firm to) that ancient treaty (of sending tribute).

Of the order-bearers (attendants) of King Faylikús,
None in that administration (of sovereignty) were refractory with him.

For than his father, he was a greater befriender of the friend;
For enemy-slaying,—his sword, sharper.

Of such sort he became that in force his arm
Weighed none (of the warriors of the world) in its balance (of equality).

When he used to twist his limbs in strife,
He would fix a knot on the lion's ear (overpower him).


Of the sphere (the powerful) bow he used to make the weak (practising) bow,
In every circling used to cast (fire) the arrow:


An impression on soft wax is truly impressed. Sikandar stamped his will on the world as though it were wax.


“Dost angez” signifies—sarfaráz kunánda,e dost.


It is difficult to fire an arrow when circling on horseback, hence the mention.

“Charkh kamán” signifies—a powerful bow, such as is used on a rampart; the mansion of Saggitarius; a bow having rings, that, without a chain, cannot be strung.

The first line means:—

Sikandar drew with ease the powerful bow.

If Kushádan be read for kabáda in the first line:—

(Without the chain) Sikandar used to draw the bow having rings.

If kushtaní be read for gashtaní in the second line:—

At every object worthy of being slain he used to cast (fire) the arrow.

Used to hunt the lion in the wild-beast place,
Of the wild ass and stag (slain by him) reckoning used to be his:

Snatched superiority from the bold ones;
Became, by superior wisdom, chief of the wise ones.

When his beard drove the pen (wrote) on the sun (the cheek),
And raised a marginal line of pure musk:

The sky (the world's work-shop) on account of that (newly) up-reared encircling (black) beard,
Poured the sweat (of envy) of the blackness of Ethiopia.


He brought (into consideration) before himself the calcula­tion of world-conquering;
Considered the world weak in his hand.

Both sense of heart was his and also force of arm:
With (the aid of) these two, one may sit on the throne.

In every work in which he sought reputation,
As to it, the sky also gave him power.

By that cypress (Sikandar), newly-risen, all Rúm
Became adorned with the odoriferous herbs of the freshness (of justice).

Of his justice,—in every house (of Rúm) a great picture fixed;
A tale to every country reached.


In every house, in honour of Sikandar (not for worship, as in the time of Pharaoh), they wrote books and painted pictures.


Of his justice in every house (of Rúm) a picture (a laudatory song) established.


Sometimes he laid (his newly-found) mystery (of philosophy) before the assembly (of sages);
Sometimes unfolded the knot (of difficulty) by the mystery (aspect) of the stars:

Took wine in the assembly with the young men (of his own age and station);
Sought in private those knowing (holy) affairs (holy men).

Through liberality he did to the men (of Rum) not that
Which enters into man's idea.

He delivered not judgment for the harassing of a person;
Planted not his foot beyond the line of justice:

Surrendered the tribute to the merchants;
Sought not the tax from the citizen-residents:


Took away the fear (of tyranny) from the villager's place of administration;
Took off (surrendered) the dirham (of taxation) in respect to those without property:

Kept building cities, and scattering gold;
Plucking up every thorn (of tyranny) and planting the rose (of justice):

The fame of his renown reached to every quarter;
The perfume of his garden (of sovereignty) reached to Egypt and Ethiopia.

Like the flashing lightning, his two hands out-stretched;
One became the sword-striker; the other, the crown-bestower.


In Sikandar's time wine-drinking was lawful.


In some copies, between couplets 37 and 38, the following couplet occurs:—

He appointed a vice-regent in every territory;
He exercised sovereign sway in every region.

“Nám-dágh” is like—alif-dágh; la'l-dágh; khanjar-dágh.

Best indeed that balance that has two extremes (scale­pans);
One the place of the weight (the iron sword); the other, the place of the gold (reward).


In every matter which is necessary for fortune
He was like iron (hard) with iron (one of hard face); like gold (soft) with gold (one of laughing face).

He became an administrator of justice in such a way that (the men of) every land and clime
Used to utter this speech:—“O happy land of Rúm!”

Aristo—who was the minister of the court,
Was in every good and bad matter the king's confidant.

By the deliberation of the wise minister, Sikandar
Became in a short time world-seizer.

A minister like this! A monarch like that!
How may not the world take ease like that!


Every deed of kings world-seeking
Acquires grandeur by the judgment of the ministers.

Malik-Sháh, and Mahmúd, and Naushiraván (all just monarchs)
—Who took the ball (of superiority) from all Khusraus—

Were accepters of the counsel of ministers
(So) that they became of the number of world-seizers.


Malik Sháh (who died A.D. 1092, at the age of 38 years) was the father of Sinjar, King of Khurásán.

Mahmúd (A.D. 997) was the son of Sabuktagín (A.D. 976), who was in Khurásán just like Naushíraván the Just.

Naushíraván (A.D. 561), in whose time the prophet Muhammad was born (A.D. 570), was the son of Ḳubád, King of Irán. See the Sháh-Náma.

Our king (Nasratu-d-dín), who shattered the malevolent one.
Took the ball from (conquered) the world by the counsel of the ministers.

Though the foot—mine and thine—becomes sluggish,
It is necessary that the king's person should remain perfect.


God forbid that foot-stumbling (error) should reach the king;
That the (people of the) country should become distraught of brain (harassed)!

When the evil eye (misfortune) sports with (fascinates) the king,
The demon makes partnership with calamity (of Time).

The world is justice-seeker; and the king, hand-seizer (helper);
For the world is no help as regards the justice-bringer (ruler).

May light be, by the master of the world (the king), for the world!
May the evil eye be far in that sovereignty!

Come, cup-bearer! that wine, soul-refreshing,
Give me; for I have sorrow, soul-gnawing.


Perhaps, when by that draught I gather joy,
I may roll up the carpet of some grief.


From not listening to the counsel of the ministers.


“Dáwan” signifies—dád-áwár.