From his justice is the goodness of the wise man (being contented);
The shelter of God is his shelter-place.

That one who in this country (of justice) is not contented,
Is not wise in the opinion of the wise.

Wisdom is a good neighbour; on that account it is bad
That it should be the neighbour of the street of the foolish.

When thou expressest breath in the street of the foolish,—
Best,—if thou utter little of the tale of wisdom,


In this village (of the world) his house prosperous made that one
Who made his neck free from chieftainship.

If thou also lay down the neck-load (of chieftainship) from thy shoulder,
Thou wilt utter no cry on account of the neck-strikers (tyrants) of the earth.

Be (contented), river-like, with thy own fortune;
Fashion out thy own profit by thy own nature.

Until the day of death, in hospitality to thyself,
Be that tree leaf-making of itself (and beg not of others).


The man covetous of the world makes his own reason (that was his good neighbour) of bad repute.


At the time of rain the river mounts in waves and causes profit (water) to reach to the other streams; even so is the state of the contented man at the time of plenteousness.


“Káz” signifies—kásh.

By tyranny become not gross with the wealth of others; for it will be agreeable neither in this world nor in the next; thou wilt give back to them their rights.

When the silkworm devours the victuals (mulberry-leaves) of men,
Its body becomes all thick like the finger; and it vomits back (as silk) the food eaten.


Of the sages (fire-worshippers) an old man, the narrator,
Made representation from the sages, thus:—

That when the King of Rúm came arrayed,—
In his hand both the sword, and also wealth,

The news became ardent (instant) in every land and clime
That forth from Rúm had come the dragon (Sikandar);

Head-uplifted for conflict with Dárá;
Prepared—every weapon of contest.

By these glad tidings it was the feast of Nau-roz for the world (of Irán);
For Dárá's injustice was world-consuming.


By him, the land and the army altogether
Became distressed by reason of his oppression.

For Dárá-reverencing the disposition (of the people) risen (and departed);
With love for Sikandar the heart was adorned.

When Dárá, of river heart (full of power and resource), knew
That the wave of Sikandar's army surpassed the (wave of the) sea,

Of old men, illumined of soul and opinion-expressing,
He secretly prepared an assembly.


See canto xxii. couplet 12.


Dárá has the epithet “daryá,e dil” by way of comparison to the idea in the second line; otherwise, it is inappropriate.

Of everyone versed in affairs, with true judgment,
He sought out a remedy in regard to that contest.


How he might bring defeat to the enemy (Sikandar);
How he might make the power (the calamity) of the sky foot-bound (captive):

From the road-guide (councillor) what sorcery should he learn,
That he might issue (safe) from the action with Sikandar.

Since he had seen him (Sikandar) victorious in battle,
He had feared his (Sikandar's) battle-winning,

None devised his (Dárá's) remedy in that matter;
No comforter suffered grief for him.

When they had discovered that he was arrogant;
Was in passion hot (for tyranny) like fire,


Would listen to the words of none,—
They were altogether silent in respect of that matter (of counselling).

In descent from the wrestler Zanga (son of) Shávarán (of Irán)
There was a chief renowned among the renowned:

Firáburz by name—in pomp and power,
Whose body was like a cuirass; (and) whose arm, a mace.

In that assembly-place he was for (effecting) a treaty (by obsequiousness):
He was versed in affairs of the ancients.


The agent to the verb (had seen) is the word none in couplet 23.


“Shávarán” may also signify—the name of a town near Ganja (Niámí's birthplace). It is doubtful whether it here means the name of a town or the name of a person.


“Firáburz” is compounded of—firá, lofty or tall; burz, loftiness, tallness.


“Bay'at” signifies—'ahd bastan; tadbír.

He uttered praises on the king and on the king's as­sembly,
Saying:—Prosperous be throne and crown by thee!


Be void—neither the world of thy name,
Nor the revolution (of the sky) of thy ease!

My deceased grandfather of former times
Spoke to me of his own counsel, thus,

Saying:—“When Kay Khusrau made the resolution of (going to) the cave (in Mount Alburz),
“He gave by means of that bejewelled cup (world-displaying) intelligence,

“That not long hence,—in the constellation of our (Kayán) empire (of Irán),
“The star would descend from the culminating to the setting point:

“(That) an arrogant one would come forth from Rúm;
“Would set fire to every fire-temple:


“Would bring within his power all the country of Persia;
“Would exercise sitting on the throne of the Kayán kings.

“Would seize the world; but also would not remain in place;
“Would also, in the end, one day fall from his feet (in death)!


See the Sháh-Náma.

The jewelled cup is not that of Jamshíd, but that of Kay Khusrau (Cyrus, B.C. 558).

“áli'” signifies—burj, a constellation.


“Tá na der” is said to be contrary to idiom. It should be—tá ba der, signifying—ba'd-i-der.


Apparently fire-worshipping was practised in the time of Kay Khusrau (Cyrus, B.C. 558), or before the time of Zardusht, who is said to have lived in the time of Gushtasp (B.C. 519).


Here ends the counsel of Zanga, son of Shávarán; Firáburz now speaks.

“God forbid—that this man of Rúmish descent (Sikandar)
“Should fall into that form! Let it never be!

“Best,—if the king (Dárá) write on ice (efface) his (Sikandar's) name,
“And permit him no repose in this land.

“It is not proper that by him (Sikandar) thy empire (of Irán) should be distressed,
“For the poor man (Sikandar) strives mightily for trea­sure.


“Send him some charm that he may submit;
“That he may content himself with one (country of) Rúm only.

“A pleasant deceit is better than unpleasant anger;
“It is better to scatter water (to quench malice) than fire (of war).

“Rely not on the force of thy own arm;
“Preserve the weight (the respect) of thy own balance (of dignity).

“Bring him not to such a point of rage that he gather malice;
“The (contemptible) bitter tincture assaults (destroys) the (hard) iron.

“If lionish ferocity fall from (fail) the lion,
“The refractory mule brings low his brain.


“It is proper to hold the world by administration;
“Thence to exalt the standard.


See couplets 32 and 33.


Kazo may refer to Dárá.


See canto xix. couplet 159.

“Bring him forth (cast him down) from the claim of equality;
“If he obtain this rank (of equality) he will exercise sovereignty.

“Every grain that is of equal weight with gold,
“They bring it into reckoning by the scale of gold.

“Many a terrible rending lion—
“That comes to the dust from a thorn (spear)-point.

“When thou exercisest ardent malice with a vile scorpion (Sikandar),
“Consider it not small (contemptible) if thou practice cautiousness.


“Think of that little gnat, sting-possessing,
“That said to the mighty Nimrúd:—Hold thy head in front (lowered in respect, for I shall slay thee)!

“World (-sovereignty) is that one's who in strife
“Put the mark of the man on (esteemed as a brave man) any (mean) man.

“The hungered one—when he devours roast meat with the lion,
“Uses haste for the fattest morsels.


“Ham-'iyár” signifies—ham-wazn.


Preserve thyself and give Sikandar something, and thence raise the standard (of march); for in contest thy reputation is nothing. If thou prevail it is no great matter, for Sikandar's father was thy tributary. If thou suffer defeat, thy want of manliness becomes evident.


Thus they say:—This grain is one or two misḳáls of gold; or this gold is so many grains. Then the grain and the gold are of one price.


Nimrúd (Izdhubar). See “History of Babylonia,” by the Reverend A. H. Sayce, p. 55-62; the Bible, Genesis x. 8-12; Ezekiel viii. 14; B.C. 600; the “Five Ancient Monarchies of the East,” by G. Rawlinson.


The hungered one who sits down to meat with the lion gathers many fat morsels and takes no care of life. This is Sikandar's state as to thee: be cautious.

“If (although) the wife's son be the stranger (a former husband),
“When he becomes in dress like (his step-father) he becomes his garment-plucker.

“When the (father's) garment befits the son's stature,
“It is not proper again to look for the son's love.


“When the grass brings forth its stature loftily,
“From it, is injury to the straight cypress (that lacks moisture drunk by the grass).

“It is improper to pass by (ignore) the advice of the great (the sages);
“It is impossible to fold up (ignore) the leaf of speech (counsel).

“For when time is tried (by warring with Sikandar),
“The counsel of the instructor (myself) will come to thy memory.

“The counsel-accepter, who listened to counsel,
“Brings the key of the door of remedy in his hand.”

The king (Dárá), at the advice of that old man (Firáburz) of clear brain,
Trembled at the circumstance of that foot-stumble (Sikandar's coming to Rúm).

If serí be read for shírí, the couplet will mean:—

When men sit down to eat, he who is hungry snatches the fattest morsels from before the sated one and eats them. This is the state of the army of Sikandar and Dárá.


When the son becomes equal in stature to his step-father (so that the garments of the son and of the step-father are alike), he takes his garment and puts it on his own person. When the step-son (or son) becomes equal in stature to his father; it is necessary for the father to restrain his own love for him, and to put him far from himself. Otherwise he (the step-son) will be his garment-plucker.

Since this is the case with a son, what hope is there that it is not proper to view Sikandar with the eye of avoidance?


But, he extinguished not the hot fire (of rage);
He considered peace as the essence of smallness (mean­ness).

At the words of the counsellor (Firáburz) he became angry;
Writhed, snake-like, on the surface of the dust:

Expressed a frown on his meeting eye-brow;
Unloosed latent anger from its knot:

Looked at him, as the dragon at the deer,
With such anger that weight (in terror) would fall (depart) from a stone,

Saying:—“In me, what soft iron (languor) hast thou seen,
“That thou hast approved of his (Sikandar's) steel (vigour)?


“Showest thou me the courage of the man of Rúm (Sikandar)?
“Stoppest thou the way of the smith's furnace (Dárá's wrath) with wax (Sikandar)?

“Makest thou the wind stationary with the grass-blade?
“Causest thou steel to fear the willow?

“Eagles in sport, and partridges in battle,—
“The head of the delicate ones (the partridges) comes against the stone (and is shattered).


The second line may be:—

With such anger that dignity fell from (left) him.


“Bar áwardan” may signify—band kardan (as in the text); or afrokhtan, when the second line will be:—

Bringest thou forth (kindlest thou) the furnace (Dárá's wrath) with wax?


They have,—eagles with partridges, sport; partridges with eagles, strife. It is certain that Sikandar is tender of body and I inured to toil.

“Why should I bind my loins (in attendance) in the ranks of such a person,
“When I have many loin-girt ones (attendants) like him (Sikandar)?

“Who knew that this boy of tender years
“Would become so malevolent with those great (in years)?


“In the first cup (of association) he brings trouble before me;
“He puts away my dignity and his own shame (and fear­lessly approaches).

“Shall I so guide dishonour to myself,
“That I should (as to) display weakness before the weak?

“If indeed he become drowned in (drenched with) the snake's poison,
“The crocodile (Dárá) will not ask protection from the frog!

“To me, this unmanly one (Sikandar) displays boldness,
“Like the wild ass moving proudly against the fierce lion.

“But his (the ass's) head will come from sleep (awake) at that time
“When the lion shall have eaten roast-meat from his body.


Between couplets 69 and 74 copies vary greatly.


The first line may be rendered:—

If indeed he (the frog) become drowned in (drenched with) the snake's poison.

For the repelling of poison the frog is useful.

In the second line, if kafash be read for wazagh, we have:—

If the snake be drenched with poison,
The crocodile seeks not safety from his (poison) foam.

In the second line, if kashf be read for wazagh, we have:—

If he (the tortoise) be drenched with snake poison,
The crocodile will not seek protection from the tortoise.


“Gurázanda” signifies—khiráman.


“Heavy and hard may be the bird's egg;
“But not like the anvil and the hammer of the black­smiths.

“From the men of Rúm whence arises that power
“By which they may bring forth the bark (of the body) from the salt water (Dárá's army)?

“May cause confusion to the throne of the sun (Dárá)?
“May lust for the place of Jamshíd?

“May bring forth the standard from the plunder of Irán;
“May carry away the throne of Kay Khusrau, and the cup of Jamshíd!

“It is necessary to establish the usage of grandeur of the Kayán kings;
“It is necessary to plant my foot in a manner worthy of myself.


“Whose vile dog is the powerless fox,
“That he should cause injury to reach the raging lion?

“Victuals for foxes are (the leavings) of lions;
“So long as the atmosphere weeps (rains) not, the earth smiles (blossoms) not.

“Thou indeed well knowest that with this (mighty) grandeur
“I experience not distress on account of one Rúmish child.

“On the throne-place of the Kayán kings, the sitter
“I am:—crown on the head; sword-belt on the waist.

“To whom the power that by speech (of war),
“He should seek from me the place of my ancestors?


The first line may be rendered:—

Who is the vile dog and who is the powerless fox?

Muslims consider the dog very unclean.


“The crown of the Kayán kings also befits the Kayán;
“How may the body (Sikandar) of the men of Rúm creep into this silk (of the Kayán)?

“I will give him (the Rúmish child, Sikandar) to the power of intoxicated (fearless) slaves;
“I will break him with shepherds' sticks (as they chastise a child).

“The lion that exhibits weakness towards the dog,—
“With him, the old ass displays restiveness.

“The eagle that takes flight (in fear) from the gnat
“If falling (disaster) occur to him,—say:—Rise not (in flight)!

“The panther that fears the old fox,—
“His brain will burn with the arrow's (fatal) phrenzy.


“To-morrow, thou wilt see how I of elephant-strength
“Will give his head to the hoof of the steed.

“The tribute-bringer, who is weak,—
“How is he equal with one of lofty crown?

“The empty-handed one, who displays (apes) property-possessing,
“Is like the halting one, who makes (attempts) expe­dition (and falls).

“I, descended from the seed of (King) Bahman, and the backbone of Kay—
“How shall I fear the man of Rúm of sluggish foot?

“Of the brazen body—the armour of Isfandiyár,
“I am a token on his golden throne.


Compare sazídan with—rást shudan barchíze, in couplet 54; and darkhurd-i-chíze búdan, in couplet 106.


“Bar ma khez” signifies—an imprecation; khufta básh; parwáz ma kun.


“Tez” should be read for tír, an arrow.


Isfandiyár—whose body was invulnerable by virtue of an amulet given him by Zartusht—was the son of Gushtasp (Darius Hystaspis, B.C. 521).


“If he should return to his former way (of giving tribute),
“The illumined day will not become dark for him.

“But, if he bring the bark (of his body) to my sea (of troops),
“He will behold a head (his own) fallen at my feet.

“I will give him an answer, in bitterness, like the salt sea;
“I will take him from the dust (and) give him to the water (to drown).

“I will shed the water (of honour) of that obstinate cloud (Sikandar), in such a way
“That he will not again bring his hand against the sun (Dárá).

“When the striver is a (mere) villager,
“The destroying (of him) is better than the applying of the preserving substance.


“Better that the ass should have the pack-saddle than the gold-saddle;
“So that he may carry easily the chattels of the ass-owner.

“I have made that prey (Sikandar) lofty of head,
“I will bring back his neck into the noose.

“O withered, year-devoured brain! do thou
“Turn away from insolence to Khusraus.


Isfandiyár (Xerxes, B.C. 486) was the son of Gushtasp (Darius Hystaspis, B.C. 519). By virtue of an amulet fastened on his arm by Zoroaster, neither sword nor arrow could injure his body. Hence he was called—“Rú,in tan,” brazen of body. See Malcolm's “History of Persia,” and Mirkhond's “History of the Early Kings of Persia” (trans­lated by Shea), pp. 283-330.


“Abr-i-'áșí” signifies—a (rebellious) cloud that brings its (hand of) shade against the sun and conceals it.

“Dast bar aftáb áwardan” signifies—displaying superiority over the sun and concealing it.

“It is not fit—to exercise this activity (of insolence);
“To cast a noose about a mountain (to snatch it from its base).

“To lift up a lump in the desert,
“To teach the sky the art of government.


“Save to the extent of thy own power,—stretch not forth thy foot (of speech);
“For the place of every jewel (of speech) is apparent.

“The coat that fits not thy stature
“Is verily stolen property.

“The languor of old age takes thee from thy footing;
“Thy becoming old takes judgment from thy head.

“When the old man becomes vexed (bent) as to his back,
“Best,—that he take in his hand the staff (of submissive­ness) rather than the spear (of fierceness).

“Of old age, the mark is the stumbling foot (sin);
“Forgetfulness of the work (of the kingly assembly) comes to the brain.


“Of old men two things are possessed of suitableness;
“One, being in the tomb; the other, in prayer.

“To young men, war-tried,—the world
“Let go; drag down thy old foot (sit down; choose retirement).

“How can the powerless body practise horsemanship?
“What aid can broken weapons give?


“Kamand ba koh andákhtan” signifies—sá'í be fá,ida kardan, to strive fruitlessly; for no one can with a noose move a mountain from its place.

“Chábuk” signifies—shá,ista; bar justa.


The sky is the guardian of the world.


“Sitúdan” signifies—maḳbarat (pl. maḳábir), a mark set up by fire-worshippers in token of the dead.

“The soldier that is young (is) better than that old man,
“Who, when the sword and arrow arrive, makes suppli­cation.

“In season, it is proper to utter one's words;
“Since, out of season, the pomegranate-tree brings not forth fruit.


“The cock that utters a crow out of season,
“His head, early in the morning, it is proper to cut off.

“Practise tongue-holding (from foolish speech) that, in the end, thou mayst bring thy head to safety.
“Best,—the tongue dry (silent), or the throat-place wet (bloody)?

“That tongueless head (the dumb animal), that is wet with the blood (of the knife of slaughter),
“Is better than the tongue (of man) that is limitless (in foolish speech).

“Keep the tongue within thy own palate,
“Express not the breath save at its own proper time.

“Best is the tongue that exercises (the power of) keeping itself within the jaws;
“When its time arrives, it exercises the power (of speech and attains its object).


“The tongue (needle) of the balance that is of straight name
“Is on that account that it departs not from the jaws of the balance.


“Kám-dárí” may signify—the preserving of intention. That is—the tongue awaits the time of uttering its purpose and indulges not in foolish speech.


They call the needle of the balance,—rást, straight, when vertical; kaj, oblique, when inclined.

“When it (the balance-needle) advances one pace out of its jaws,
“It becomes head-lowered (despicable), in every direction that it moves.

“Many words that are fit to be hidden
“It is proper to unfold in another tongue (so that every­one may not understand).

“A person who, in speaking, is hard-striving (violent),
“(His speech) comes not to the hearer's ear.

“Best,—that with lord of the crown and the throne,— speech
“Weighed (soft) they should utter; hard, they should not utter.”


When in this way the king (Dárá) displayed much severity,
That old man (Firáburz) became penitent, and became apology-desiring.

Many are the dangers in the service of kings;
For no one has relationship to the king.

In favour, they give treasuries;
In anger, they split the chests (of men).

When with anger they enkindle the face,
They use not pity towards their own son.

Verily,—connection with them is fire.
—It is pleasant to look upon the fire from afar.


Advice is agreeable to the king,
If he make the path (of its coming, the heart) void of pride.


“Ba zabán-i-dígar” signifies—(it is proper to express it) by a phrase not susceptible of criticism.


Couplets 125–132 are uttered by Niámí.

Counselling with the lord of force (the king in wrath)
Is like seed scattered on the unfruitful soil.—

When that advice-offerer (Firáburz) knew
That by his advice the monarch had become angry,

He laid the basis of speech of another kind;
With sweet flattery he extolled the king,

Saying:—“Verily, thou art the possessor (the king) of Time!
“The enemy, what is he? for thou (only) art the pos­sessor.


“Who is Sikandar that he should gather an army;
“Should take the cup (of sovereignty) from the possessor of empire?

“For thee the sky has stitched this cap (of sovereignty);
“The star (of fortune) has kindled thy lamp (of life).

“A clod of earth which fights with the mountain,
“From it, one can, with a single stone, bring forth the dust (of destruction).

“For much time (two or three months), the pumpkin-tree
“Makes claim to equality with the plane-tree.

“When (being of full age) it becomes sated with the small water-wheel of the vine,
“It comes down (to the earth),—the cord bound about its neck.


Couplets 138 and 139 form a ḳit'a band.

They plant the pumpkin (of short life) near to the plane-tree (of long life, a thousand years).

The pumpkin represents Sikandar's youth (twenty-four years of age); and the plane-tree Dárá's age (forty-eight years).


When the pumpkin, becoming sated of the water of the water-wheel, reaches the top of the plane-tree and finds no support for ascending further, it first hangs head downwards from the tree-top with the cord of its own stem about its neck; and secondly, when the cord of vegetable matter rots, it falls to the earth and becomes despicable.

This is Sikandar's state.


“He (Sikandar) is the pumpkin-tree, neck-exalted;
“The rope (of exaltation) made of a (mere) grass-blade.

“The rope quickly rots, for it is grass;
“His (Sikandar's) bucket will, next time, fall into the well (of calamity).

“When the sun brings his torch into the garden (of the world),
“The lamp dies as a moth before him.

“The lame fox at the time of contest,—
“How will he plant his foot against the panther?

“Place on one side the frown (of anger) from thy eye­brow;
“Because, for the bow, the knot at the notch (the bow-horn),—best.


“Perform the administration of the world with delibera­tion;
“For haste, in action, is of no use.

“If, in haste, thou hadst not enkindled the lamp,
“Thou wouldst have scorched neither thyself nor the moth.

“The leaven has come, and the fire (is) within the oven;
“From the bread to the mouth the path is not long.

“Patience brings the key of difficulties;
“No one saw the patient one regretful.

“Well, it is not to play chess badly:
“To urge the steed (the knight) in gallop against the ele­phant (the bishop).


When the leaven is ready and the oven full of fire there is no delay in preparing bread. Even so, when Sikandar is ready for battle, there is no need of haste; he himself will come into thy power.


“Many a musical instrument—that from (enduring) the plectrum (of the beginner) broke,
“In order that the playing of a single instrument might come (truly) to hand.

“Thou art the king! I estimate thy dignity, greater (than that of other kings);
“How may I reckon thee in comparison with others?”

In (paying) reverence to Dárá, the world-experienced one (Firáburz)
Mentioned many matters of this sort.

The world-possessor, Dárá, of perturbed brain,
Became not soft of heart (deliberate) by these pleasant words.

In that fierceness in fire-kindling,
By which (Dárá's) train of speech wished to consume (in confusion),


He ordered that the court-scribe should come;
Should bring into use musk (ink) on silk (smooth paper).

The scribe, the writer came like the bird;
Wrote whatever Dárá mentioned to him;

Made the reed to move to the black stone (the ink-pot);
Took away the reputation of (the painters) Mání and Arzhang:


“Rúd” relates to the instrument (sáz), not to the wire (tár). If rúd meant tár, the verb gusistan, or gusilídan, instead of shikastan, would be used.

Since the simple action of playing a stringed instrument is not hastily acquired,—how may victory in battle (that is a great matter) come with haste to the hand? It is proper to act with deliberation.


What dependence has thy exalted rank on that of Sikandar?

“Maghz-i-sukhan sokhtan” signifies—be intiámí sukhan guftan.

In anger words issue not, according to one's desire, from the tongue.

They wrap fresh musk in silk so that its fragrance is slowly diffused.


In the reign of Sháhpúr I. (A.D. 240) appeared a Persian painter named Mání, who called himself the Paraclete, or Comforter, promised by Jesus Christ, and gained many converts, even among the Christian patriarchs and bishops. Forced by Sháhpúr to fly from Persia, he went into Turkistán, and did not return till the reign of Bahrám, son of Hurmuz (Hormazd, A.D. 273), who put him and nearly all his followers to death.

Wrote a letter of beautiful form,—
In beauty, in the fashion of the garden of paradise.

The words (contents of that letter) more steel (harder) than the sword;
The tongue (purport) of harder basis than the word.


When the delightful epistle was completed,
On it the royal seal was impressed.

The arriver of kings' letters
Came running from Dárá to Sikandar:

He gave the letter to him. When he opened the seal
The scribe came, and began to read.

O cup-bearer! give that cup of Jamshíd,
The resplendent sun (in) the dark night,

The wine, from the splendour of which the night of crow (dark)-face
Makes the stars cornelian (luminous) on the firmament.


Come, cup-bearer! bring that water of immortality;
Bring the wine of soul-ease to my soul.

The skin of the impostor was stripped off the body and hung up at the gate of the city of Sháhpúr, near Kazerún, in Fárs.

While in Turkistán he drew a number of singular figures and put them into a book called the “Artang,” which he said he had received from the angels in Heaven, where, during his exile (he declared) he had been.

“Arzhang,” or “artang,” signifies—Mání's picture-gallery; and also the name of a painter, unequalled in skill, from Chín.


The student should note the force of rasánanda.


It is believed that couplets 163 to the end should be omitted.

Give wine that imparts deliciousness to my soul;
And, if I remain not (die),—it will point me out.