Come; so that we may wash our hands of (abandon) injustice (engendered by the acquisition of worldly delights);
For without (practising) justice one cannot escape from the unjust one.

Wherefore attach we the heart year and month (perpetu­ally) to the world,
That is both the house-demon (of this world) and the ghúl (traitor) of the path (to the future world)?

The world suddenly takes from thee its own loan (of wealth);
It sends in a draught (a small quantity); it takes away in a goblet.

Like the rain, which little by little becomes prepared (from the vapours of the sea),
It becomes a torrent, and then goes to the ocean.


Enjoy; so that we may enjoy happily whatever we possess,
How long is it necessary to put diram on diram?


Note the meanings given to bedád in the three places.

Who is not just,—with him others practise not justice.


“Dev-i-khána” signifies—a dev that lives in the house and alarms its dwellers. See canto xviii. couplet 52.

For an exhaustive account of jinns, devs, and others, see Richardson's “Persian Dictionary,” 1829, dissertation, p. 46; Lane's “Arabian Nights,” notes to the introduction, vol. i. No. 21; Sale's translation of the Ḳurán, suras xv. verse 27; li. 5, 6; lxxii. 6-14; xlvi. 30; lxvii. 6; xxxiv. 11, 12; D'Herbelôt, art. “Ginn” (Jinn).

Suppose,—the crocodile (of death) passage made over us;
Suppose,—all the unenjoyed wealth enjoyed.

With that treasure which Kárún acquired,—
Behold, how in the end he sate (in despicability) in the dust!

From that golden ingot of Shudád (of the tribe) of 'Ád,
What issued, save miserable death?

In this variegated garden (of the world) sprang not a tree (a man)
That remained secure from the blows of the axe-man (death).


The describer of the decoration of crown and throne (Sikandar)
Thus spoke, saying:—That king of victorious fortune,

One day, free of heart and happy of state,
Was tranquil as to the desires of Time.

The sages wise of heart before him;
The wise man, his friend; wisdom, relation.

Pure wine in the royal cup,
He sometimes filled; sometimes emptied.


Kárún (Korah) was, at the prayer of Moses, swallowed by the earth. See Sale's Ḳurán, chapter xxviii.


Shudad, an infidel monarch who laid claim to godhead, prepared in this world the garden of 'I'ram, like Paradise. The buildings were composed of golden bricks and of various jewels; and in place of the húr and the ghulám (of the heavenly Paradise) were girls and beautiful boys.

At the moment of entering the garden,—by God's decree he died portionless and went to hell. See canto viii. couplet 64.


“Shád-bahar” signifies—khúsh-dil; khúsh-hál.

The meaning of shád is truly—bisiyár, as in—shád-khwár, signifying —bisiyár-khuranda; shád-kám, signifying—kase ki kám bisiyár orá háșil báshad; shád-khwáb, signifying—bisiyár-khwáb; khwáb-i-shírín kunanda.


The wise man may be—Aristotle, or one of the sages in the first line.

Regarding every modulation that came from the sound of the harp,
The speech (of Sikandar) passed much in restricted (diffi­cult) modes.


In every draught of wine that the king poured (on the dust),
In it, the geometrician (musician) planted a great tree (pleasantry).

The head of the brain of the hearer (the courtier) heavy,—
With the drinking of wine and (hearing) the minstrel's strains (of stringed instruments).

Flashing went the wine (circulating) like the lightning's gleam;
The goblet sugar-scattering; and the wine immortality-bestowing:

The tears (dregs) of the goblet and the lament of the arganún
Caused the torrent of blood (instead of tears) to flow from the rivers (eyes of men).

O excellent! the plectrum, that from its sugar-like (sweet) sound,
By it,—a dry river-bed becomes the wet river-bed.


“Nama” signifies—a tone of melody, maḳám-i-naghma.

“Nisbat” signifies—the mingling together of one tone (maḳám) with another.

For Sikandar the hearing of music was not play and pastime, but the solving of the subtleties of mathematics (the mother of the science of music).


For niyoshandagán in the first line read niyoshanda rá.


The arganún was invented by Plato.

When a thousand men and women, old and young, play different flutes (pipes, mazámír) with different notes all at once, they call it the arganún.

From drinking pure wine and hearing the sound of the arganún, the eyes of the revellers become red and waterful.


The second line may be rendered:—

(a) A dry musical string becomes by it the wet (fresh) musical string.

(b) A dry eye becomes by it the eye full of water.


At that banquet adorned like Paradise,
More rose (joy)-scattering than the month of April,

Sikandar, world-seeker, of auspicious throne,
Seated like the full moon in the sky.

One sent from Dárá came,
An orator and a noble one of illumined mind.

He made obeisance (to Sikandar) like Khusrau-worshippers;
Praised him and also his own monarch (Dárá).

When he had uttered praises on the world-warrior (Sikandar),
He delivered to him the words heard (by him from Dárá):


Brought him first blessing from Dárá,
Sought back the ancient tribute (at present) ungiven,

Saying:—“Of the bejewelled throne and crown, how is it that
“Thou hast withheld the tribute from our court?

“What weakness sawest thou in our affairs (of sove­reignty)
“That thou tookest thy head from the line of our compass (order)?

“Execute that ancient usage;
“Exercise not arrogance, that thou mayst not reap injury.”


Ardibihisht is the month (April), the second Persian month, when the sun is in Taurus.

“Urd” signifies—like. The second line may therefore be rendered:— More rose-scattering than the month, like Paradise.


For inspiring awe, the description comes before the word to be described.


“Kar bastan” signifies—'amal kardan.

Sikandar burned with warmth (of passion) in such a way
That his tongue burned (became speechless) from the fire (of fury) of his heart.


The bow-corner of his eye-brow took curvature (gathered);
By his wrath he (Sikandar) caught the speaker's breath.

At the messenger, way-experienced, he looked in such a way
That his (the messenger's) brain from heart-agitation became distressed.

When his (Sikandar's) tongue was disturbed by passion,
(Wrathful) speeches, unfit to be uttered, were uttered.

Awhile in reply he was a slow riser,
After that he made his tongue like the sharp sword.

Awhile he uttered words, hard (but not foolish),
As speaks (befits) the Lord of the sword and the throne.


“He whose judgment in wisdom is lofty
“Utters not unprofitable (abusive) words.

“The tongue that in the heat of passion exercises patience
“Puts distance from its own distance-maker (severer, or enemy).



At the hot (utterance of the messenger) Sikandar burned,
With the fire of his own heart he consumed his (the messenger's) tongue (silenced him).


Otherwise, the second line may be:—

Through his (Sikandar's) wrath the breath of the speaker (Sikandar) caught.


Instead of ki goyad the words chu goyad sometimes occur.

“Chu” (chi) stands for chunánchi.


Sikandar's speech begins—(if ki goyad be read in couplet 34) with the second line of couplet 34; (if chu goyad be read in couplet 34) with the first line of couplet 35, and ends with couplet 39.


“Dúrí kun” signifies—one of hard tongue, whose tongue (by the decision of the law) is cut out so that it falls far from his mouth. Thus they say:—“Abuse is the slaughterer of the tongue.”

“Although speech be excellent as regards him,
“Not speaking is even better than speaking to him.

“How well said the learned man ('Alí Murtaza), far­seeing:—
“The tongue is of flesh, and the sword of iron!

“That one is not kind to himself
“Who utters whatever comes to his tongue.”


The relater, the old man, the Kayán-worshipper (Dárá's ambassador),
Made representation of that event (of tribute-sending) in this way,

Saying:—“When of jewels and swords and crowns,
“Tribute used to go to Dárá from Greece (in the time of Faylikús),

“The bejewelled treasury, end invisible (limitless as to wealth),—in it
“Used to be an egg of gold, god-created:

The second line may then be:—

The tongue shuns its own far-putter (severer).

“Dúrí-kun” may signify—enemy.

The tongue that, at the time of anger, exercises patience and utters not foolishness, chooses distance from its enemy and allows him not to approach.

Distance from one's enemy is the cause of safety and ease.


Whoever was silent escaped in safety from calamity.


The tongue is fleshy that it may slip and fall in every direction, and revolve about speech, bad or good. The sword is made equal to the tongue for punishment and requital. If speech to the good of man be uttered, well; if not, it makes the speaker food for the sword.

If, be omitted in the second line, we have:—

The master of the fleshy tongue is master of the iron sword.

We are master of our unspoken words; our spoken words are master of us.


Fayliḳús, who reigned twelve years, used to send every year, as tribute to Dárá, one thousand golden eggs, each weighing forty misḳáls, made (soft like wax) in the country of Egypt. See canto xv. couplet 30.

“A royal carpet embroidered,
“That used to renew the beholder's joy.”

When the messenger made his tongue (like) the sword of steel,
He made mention of the tribute, grown old (long sent).


The bold monarch (Sikandar) shouted at him,
Saying:—“One cannot take plunder (prey) from the savage male lion.

“Time has established customs of another kind;
“That bird (Faylikús) that laid the golden egg has departed (to the next world).

“The heavens have rolled up that old carpet;
“Another carpet (of tribute refusing) has become fresh for the kingdom.

“The jewel springs not every year from the stone;
“The world makes sometimes peace, sometimes war.

“Bring not forth thy breath (breathe not) in arrogance;
“Utter words to me only with the sword (of war).


“For thee,—that is sufficient (tribute) that my sword
“Brings not thy throne beneath my sway.

“When (content) with that cup (the small country of Rúm) which I took up, I
“Left to thee the rein (of sovereignty) of the world (of Irán).


Dáráb Akbar (Darius Nothus), from excess of love, named Dárá Așghár (Darius Codomannus) his heir. Now Dárá was altogether a tyrant; and many of his great men, flying from his kingdom, wrote letters to Sikandar and ??esented the subduing of 'Ajam easy in his sight. Thereupon Sikandar ceased to send the tribute.


See couplet 42.


Firídún, who lived about B.C. 750, had three sons, Salam, Túr, and I'rij; the two former by the daughter of uhhák, and the latter by Irán-dukht, a princess of Persia.

“For the reason that thou hast a great treasure (the tribute of Irán) like that,
“Leave me in a narrow corner (of the country) like this.

“Bring me not to that—that I should resolve (on war);
“Should bring (wage) battle against thee for equality:

“Should lay on one side love and peace;
“Should bring hot anger into action.


“Perhaps the king (Dárá) knows not in the day of battle,—
“How many heads I cut off in the confines of Zang?

After these three princes had been married to the three daughters of Sarv, King of Yaman, Firídún gave—to Salam, Rúm and Khavar, or the countries comprehended in Modern Turkey; to Túr, the Túrán land, or Tartary, now called Turkistán; to I'rij, I'rán, the fairest land and the seat of royalty.

Eastern authors consider Túrán to be the Persian name for all the countries between the Jaxartes and the Oxus on one side, and the Caspian and the boundaries of China on the other.

In Pahlaví the word írán is the plural of ír, or the country of believers; it may be called Persia, or all the countries east of the Tigris—Assyria Proper, Media, Parthia, Persia, and Hycania (Mazandaran). An-írán signifies—unbelievers.

Fars proper was, under Firídún and the great kings of Persia, but a province of the empire.

In Pahlaví, khavar signifies—east.

Vaux, in his “History of Persia,” p. 9, says:—

The early Persian traditions, preserved in the first two chapters of the Vendidád, A.D. 226 (Vidaé-vadáta, the law against demons, the only complete one of the twenty-one books of the Zand-Avesta), say that the original seat of the Persian race was a beautiful country called Erienne Veedjo, the first creation of Ormuzd, the spirit of good,—with a climate of seven months of summer and five of winter.

The original situation of Erienne (Irán) would be to the north of the western Himálayas. See “Science of Language,” by Max Müller, pp. 204, 238.

The first line may mean:—

(Sufficient also) that when I took up (began) assaulting the world …


“Baham pechagí” signifies—barábarí, muḳábila.

“How far in one assault I assaulted;
“The heads of how many arrogant ones (of Zang) I hurled down?

“That one who gives presents of collar and crown (to monarch-peers),
“When sends he tribute like tributaries?

“It is proper to ask of me a limit (of territory), not gold (tribute);
“To adorn speech (in addressing me) like Egyptian (coined) gold!

“Behold my power—how far it extends!
“With this grandeur (of mine) it is proper to ask favour from me.


“Excite not strife; increase not malice;
“Bring not desolation into the Irán land.

“Thy country—tranquil, stainless (untaxed), sorrowless,—
“Exercise not ingratitude as to that wealth and treasure.

“Perturb not Time by wilfulness;
“Draw the pen upon (efface) the crude idea (of tribute asking).

“Ask not from me what comes not thine;
“Be so with me as king with king!”

When Dárá's messenger heard this matter,
He forgot his own words (of Dárá's message yet unsaid).


“Armaghán” is—a present to an equal; “khiráj”—tribute to a superior.


“Zar-i-misrí” signifies—zar-i-maskúk.

“Misr” signifies—Egypt; kahira, or any large city.

The limit of territory may signify—the limit that Sikandar chose to place on his own dominions; or the grant of territory (jágír) given out of bounty for services rendered.


Towards the king (Dárá) he went bearing the stain (of grief) upon the heart,
A hastener, like lightning, fire-scattering.

He uttered low the rough message,
On (hearing) which the head of the cypress-tree (Dárá) became bent (in grief).

When Dárá heard Sikandar's answer,
He heaved a sigh (of grief and anger) from his liver,

Saying:—“To the coinless one (Sikandar) belongs what power
“That he should be coin-utterer equal to (one bearing) the name of Dárá?”

He made mention of many matters (regarding Sikandar) with fury,
At which the face of the hearers (courtiers) became yellow (pale with fear).


He laughed, and in that anger-laughter said:—
“Ah, woe to the action of the lofty sky!

“Behold the sky,—what tyranny it displays,
“Since Sikandar entertains a design (of war) against Dárá!

“Sikandar!—not if he were himself the mountain Káf;
“Who is he that he should become opponent with me?


The cypress tree, tall and straight, may mean—the cypress itself, and not Dárá.


“Dúr-básh” signifies—áh, a sigh.

See canto viii. couplet 17.


“Be-sikka” signifies—a king who coins not his own money impressed with his own name. Many petty kings used their neighbours' coinage; one worthless and void of respect.


There are three kinds of laughter—shakr-khanda, the laughter of lovely ones and of pleasure; rísh-khanda, the laughter of ridicule; zuhr-khanda, the laughter of anger.

“In contest with the eagle,—such a gnat (Sikandar),
“Regard less than the drop in the presence of the ocean-water.”

To his court a swift messenger,
He sent; and became eyes (expectant) on his path (of returning).


To the messenger he gave,—a ball and a chaugán (bat);
A measure full of the grain sesame, uncounted:

Taught him the mystical meaning of that gift,
—The king's heart became happy by that arrangement.

The messenger, swift of foot, went towards Rúm,
Taking with himself the message from Dárá.

When he came from the (far) road to the King of Rúm,
He became the burner (anxious to deliver his message) like fire from wax.

Head-lowered in the place of obeisance,
He made him (Sikandar) the mark of homage.


The first knot (subtle speech) that he loosed from speech,
The beginning of speech he began with smoothness (well-prepared flattery),

Saying:—“Order-givers (kings) are the lords of life;
“Sent ones are the slaves of command.


“Ḳafíz” is a measure=12 sá'=84 lbs. or, it may be, 64 lbs.


“Ta'biya” signifies—arranging and making ready the army in its place; but here it means—the hidden signification of the present.


The second line may be:—

(a) Sikandar's court became pleasing to the messenger.

(b) From envy of Sikandar's court the messenger became hot (of temper).


The mark of homage is—the placing of the hands on the chest and on the head, and the kissing of the earth.

“The monarch of illumined judgment,—what orders he me,
“That I may perform the order of the order-giver (Dárá)?”

Sikandar knew that that one, apology-seeking,
Brought from the king (Dárá) a rough message.

With contemptuous rebuke, he said:—“Relate the mes­sage.”
The message-bringer loosed his purpose from its fastening.


The articles which he had in his own pack
He brought forth, and one by one held before him (Sikandar).

When he had placed the things brought before Sikandar,
He opened his tongue in respect to Dárá's message.

First he entered upon (the matter) of the ball and chaugán,
Saying:—“Thou art a child; play properly (practice) with this.

“And if the desire of contest come to thee,
“Thy heart from foolishness will come to sorrow.”

He scattered that very sesame-seed, uncounted,
Saying:—“I will urge against thee an army greater than this.”


Sikandar, world-ruler, sensible,
Saw in these portents a great victory.

He uttered a proverb:—“Whatever flies before (the chaugán),
“One can draw to one's self by the chaugán.


If áwarad nazd-i-sháh be substituted for árad az nazd-i-shah, the second line will be:—

Brought to the king (Sikandar) a rough message.


“Azband kushádan kám” signifies—adá kardan-i-mudd'á.


The articles are—the ball, the bat, and the measure of seed.

“Perhaps for that reason the king (Dárá) gave the changán to me,
“That I may draw the country to myself from him?

“Verily, the man form-recognizing (the geometrician) the ball,
“Places in his imagination as the form of the earth.

“Since the king has given to us the ball of the earth,
“I will by this ball take the ball (of superiority) from him.”


When in this way he (Sikandar) made that explanation (of the chaugán and ball),
He came to the sesame-seed in that matter.

He poured down the sesame in the palace court-yard;
He summoned the birds,—sesame-seizing.

In a moment the birds hastened to it;
They cleared the earth (the court-yard) of the sesame-seed.

He said:—“In this (sesame-devouring) is an answer, path-showing (clear),
“As (the clear) oil that issues from the sesame-seed.

“For if the king (Dárá) raised an army of (as numerous as) sesame-seed,
“My army came—the bird sesame-devouring.”


After that, a measure of small mustard-seed
He gave, in return for the sesame, to the messenger,


In some copies, akhtar-shimás occurs. It here signifies—fál-gír, a lot-taker.

In former days fortune-tellers used to understand the portents of the stars.


“Supandán” (sipand) signifies—khardil, mustard, a pungent seed used for affections of the eye, and seldom devoured by birds.

It means—Dárá's army will not find mine weak.

Saying:—“If the king lead an army of that number (numerous as the sesame-seed),
“Know my army also (to be) in this fashion.”

When the messenger experienced an answer hard like this,
He bound up his chattels on the back of his ass (and departed).

He caused the answer from Sikandar to reach Dárá,—
An answer throat-seizing (choking) like pure (deadly) poison.

He (the messenger) was enraged with that flippancy (of answer) of the king's (Sikandar),
For he regarded the enemy's (Sikandar's) argument strong.


In that quarrel the world-possessor, Dárá,
Sought assistance from the men of Irán;

From China, and Khwárazm, and Ghuznin, and Ghúr,
The ground became of iron from the hoof of the war-steed.

He (Dárá) collected an army like the mountain of Káf,
All stone-wearing (with the hoof of the steed) and iron-cleaving (with spear and arrow).

When the general took up the computation of the army,
(His) reason became astonied at the numbering.

Of fighting horsemen, skilful (firm) of stirrup,
Nine hundred thousand came into (his) reckoning.


When the world-seeker (Dárá) beheld that by his (count­less) army
His country kept raising the wave of the sea.


“Rikabí” signifies—horsemanship.

He urged an army like fire (the desolator) towards Rúm;
Wherever he went he called the owl for that (prosperous) land (now desolate),

He entered (the land of) Arman like the raging sea;
By the dust of his army, the foot of the wind became sluggish.

Ground above ground (height above height, stage to stage), as far as the confines of Rúm,
The sea raged (at being drunk up); the land trembled (with its load).

The herbage on the earth became like lost treasure,
By reason of the (stamping of the) horses of steel-hoof.


If the king's foot acts like the sun (in diffusing light),
Wherever it turns (shines) it makes ruin.

Come, cup-bearer! that clear wine (of senselessness) soul-giving.
Pour out, lightning like (quickly) to thy heart's desire.

(If) I drink it (and die through rapture) it is heart (life)-giving;
(If) it indeed devour (overpower) me,—the dust (of the grave) becomes my food (I die).


“Búm khwándan” signifies—kharáb sákhtan.

The owl, a filthy bird, delights in desolate ruined places.

The second line may be:—

Wherever he went, he called that land,—desolate.


By reason of the dust and smoke the wind had not the power of motion to and fro.


Instead of “púlád sum,” in some copies the following expressions occur—paikána sum, a horse whose hoof is like an arrow in hardness and sharpness; khusída sum, or khushída sum, a hardened hoof.

It is considered proper for a horse to have a hard hoof.


If I drink this wine my heart becomes illumined, and if the wine overpower me, then I become non-existent.

The first line refers to the next world, the second to this.

The holy traveller's drinking the wine of senselessness signifies—his being alive in the rapture of senselessness and of beholding the majesty of God.

The couplet shows that, in both states,—whether he devours the wine or the wine devours (masters) him—perfect profit is the holy traveller's.