In the name of the great God, the justice-dispenser,
Who gave us a share of all His knowledge:

The Lord, the victual-giver, the hand-seizer,
For the protection-seeker is no help of His door:

The enkindler of the gleaming constellation;
The illuminator of man from the dark dust:

Powerful and wise in every existence;
The sin-forgiver of much fit to be forgiven (much sin).


From Him, every moment, comes strength to the soul;
Another form of decoration (of genius) to the wise:

Before this one,—He brings distress, in such a way
That he beholds not (even) a loaf of bread in his store.

Into that one's hand,—He casts the mountain of trea­sure,—
The mountain-weigher (God) gives things unweighed.

Neither committed sin that one who suffered sorrow;
Nor strove that one who found treasure.

Whatever He pleases, He does; over Him is no com­mand:
For life-giving and slaying are to Him—one.


It is not possible to turn one's head from His order;
Save Him,—how can one find a ruler?

The blessing of God be on that slave
Who to every castaway (powerless one) is as a castaway (a (humble one).

What profit is there (in being humble) when this tribe (of castaways) truth not recognizing,
Measures praise (kindness) with curse (baseness)?

In the place where the enemy is bloody,
To exhibit gentleness is weakness.

That savage lion (Rustam) expressed a true saying,
Namely:—“With inferiors, be not inferior.”


O child!—thou, immature and crude of judgment,
Strike not the fist on the lion (Dárá), war-tried.

In strife with me, thy ally, where?
Thy army, where? and thy army-holder, where?

Thou art like the (powerless) scorpion; (yet) thou adoptest snakishness (maliciousness),
Since thou seekest battle with the dragon (the bloody Dárá).


“Afrín” signifies—nekoi kardan.

“Nafrín” signifies—badí rasánídan.

Displaying humility to inferiors, although deserving of God's mercy, is not profitable. For this tribe of inferiors take goodness (the mark of humility) for badness.

Whoever shows kindness, they say:—This is an enemy conquered before us—now let us slay him.


Khúní” may signify—lá,iḳ-i-kushtan.


The sages have said:—Exercise not such excess in humbleness as may appear abjectness and despicableness in men's eyes; for excess of humility (a token of pride) they have forbidden.

Displaying humility to that dependant who, at the time of humility, is ill-wishing and bloody is not good.

The savage lion may signify—'Alí Murtaạ.


This may be rendered:—

Since thou art the scorpion, snake-nature adopting (on thy part is like this—)

That thou shouldst seek contest with the dragon.

If thou abandon this nature of the snakes,—(well);
If not—I and the sword, (both) like the dragon, (are ready).

With the sharp sword, I will give thee such punishment,
That thou shalt seek either death or flight from me.


By the flashing fire, by the book, Usta, and (its explana­tion), Zand;
By the shining sun, by the high heavens;

By God, whose enemy is Ahriman;
By Zardusht, who is the enemy of Ahriman—

(I swear) that I will leave trace neither of Rúm, nor of the people of Rúm;
I will become fire-scatterer on (destroy) the head of both.

From the dust of the army I bring into Rúm,—
I will make the fountain of the resplendent sun dark to thee.

From the man of Rúm (Sikandar) and his army,—what issues?
With the hoof of war-steeds I will take his country.


I have assumed—thou bringest all the iron (steel-clad warriors, sword-possessing) from Rúm.
In our fire-place, whether iron or wax, what matter?

If thou bring armour and helmet in ass-loads,
Where are thy means of (resisting) a single willow-leaf arrow of mine.


When Nímrúd threw Abraham into the fire he recited the Usta (Avastá abastá). See Sale's “Ḳurán,” chapter xxi.


“Mándan” here signifies—guzáshtan.

Perhaps the arrows of my warriors of Yaghmá,
Thou hast not experienced that thou art fierce for strife with me.

Where is thy head (thou hast it not), which thou mayst present to Dárá?
If thou display humility before Dárá,—well.

O ruler of the men of Rum! for thee it is necessary
That thou shouldst, slave-like, bind thy loins in service:


Shouldst break the bow, shouldst shred the feathers from the arrow;
Shouldst fold up the chain-armour in a silken cloth.

Otherwise I will give thy ear such a twist,
That thou mayst know that thou art nothing, and less than nothing!

Beware of my anger—liver-raging;
Be not safe on account of my carelessness (in not seizing thee before).

Beware! Look not (with contempt) at the sleeping hare (Dárá);
For just so much as it sleeps it runs at the time of action.


“Sar-bakhsh” signifies—hișșa,e kalán.

“Dárá” is here used in the sense of—wa'-i-mahar-i-maua'-i-mimar, establishing the stage of the occurrence of battle.

The first line may be:—

Where is thy resource (of war) that especially thou makest war with Dárá?


Khwáb-i-khar-gosh” signifies — khwáb-i-ghaflat; khwáb-i-girán; khwáb-i-az fareb.

It describes great carelessness that makes man like the sleeping hare, void of fear of the enemy.

When the hare, through fear, creeps into its form, it causes its ears to fall down over its closed eyes, and says:—“None can behold me!”

Behold how the lion of the sphere (the sun) seized the world,
As it seized the hare (the constellation of Cancer) together with the moon of the sphere.


O one of raw nature! with thee I can
Display ripeness of judgment; (and) become peace-seeker.

But (in regard to peace-making) this proverb is true:— that the king,—
If at the time of contempt (weakness before the enemy) he fall into the well (and die)—it is well.

Give the tribute; take away from us malice;
Draw not the pen upon (efface not) the ancient usage (of tribute sending).

It is not proper, every year, to stitch fur garments (to live at ease);
It is proper, once, to sell silk and cotton (to suffer hard. ship).

Make not a breach in our ancient Kayán family;
Thou art in the breach (of destruction); exercise not bold­ness.


“Shír-i-gardún” signifies—the constellation of Leo, the sun's mansion.

Khar-gosh,” in the Rúmish tongue, signifies—the constellation of Cancer, the moon's mansion.

The couplet means:—

Even so will I seize thee and thy house (the country of Rúm).

The couplet may be rendered:—

Behold how seized the world—the lion of the sphere (the sun),

That chose (the sleep of) carelessness with (as regards) the moon of the sphere.

In the day the sun allows no interference (on the part of the moon or the stars) with its splendour. It is said—“to seize the world.”

At night the sun allows the moon and the stars to shine. It is then said—“to be careless regarding them.”


If the whole year one stitches fur garments and sells silk and cotton thread,—one will, in the hot season, suffer. Don't act in this way.



Make not a breach in thy ancient family;

Thou art in the place (of despicableness); exercise not boldness.


Bring me not to that (point of rage),—that I should move from (my) place;
The gnat's wing has no standing (power) with the elephant's foot.

Be happy in the country (of Rúm), God-given;
Make not the scratching (of avarice) with (us) lions of iron claw.

A crow heard (from the birds) about the proud gait of the partridge;
He forgot his own (manner of) walking (and learned not the gait).

Prepare the assembly (of council of thy chiefs); for the stars (of thy fortune) have descended (to adversity);
The angel (of death) has opened the door (of calamity) of the sky (over thy head).

I know not—the crown of Kay Khusrau,
From whose head it will take freshness (of renown).


For whom Time will display concordance;
With whose life the star (of Fortune) will sport.

On account of the dust of injury which thou castest against the sky (myself),
Thou castest destruction upon thy own head and eyes.

I am chief; other chiefs—my hand and foot:
Why is it necessary to shatter thy own head?


If talásh be read for tarásh, we have:—

With iron claw seek not lions.


Since thou hast made a design against me, lofty as the sky,—thou hast cast dust upon the sky; an act that is the cause of ruin to thy own head and eyes.


Thou (Sikandar) art a limb of the limbs of this kingdom of which I am supreme. Hence, it may be said that thou breakest thy own head.

Thou strikest the blow at thy own limbs;
Thou rudely aimest the axe at thy own foot.

Youthful pride brings thee to that (indeed)
That thy neck will be scratched with my sword.


My opposition made low not only thee;
Many the warriors that it has shattered.

Of the monarchs of Persia—me befits
The throne of Kay Ká,us, and the crown of Jamshíd.

In hardship (the rain of sword and arrow)-enduring, I am hard as iron;
Since I am of the back-bone of the kings of brazen body (Bahman and Isfandiyár).

How may that old wolf (Dárá) fear the rain (of calamity),
When he puts on the fur coat (of adversity) in place of the silk (of prosperity)?

From the holder (of fortune), one cannot take fortune;
It is not possible to buy diadem and throne.


If (when) Isfandiyár (of brazen body) took his chattels from the world (died)
He entrusted his written pedigree to (King) Bahman:


“Tesha bar pá,e khud zadan” is a proverb uttered when a person strenuously desires his own ill.


“Gurg-i-pír” is the old wolf experienced in the adversity of Time.

“Gurg-i-bárán dída” signifies—one who has experienced “the wolf of rain,” the heat and cold, the smiles and frowns of fortune.

It is said—that wolves greatly fear rain; indeed, to such a degree that they consider the falling of a single drop of rain upon the body the cause of destruction. In the rainy season they get themselves into the caves of mountains.

Dárá here alludes to himself, who had witnessed many great battles.


Of Gushtasp (Darius Hytaspis) Isfandiyár (Xerxes, B.C. 486) was the son, and Bahman (Artaxerxes Longimanus, B.C. 465) the grandson.

The empire fell not to a stranger.

And if (when) Bahman passed from sovereignty (died),
World-sovereignty fell to me,—

Save me,—who, at the time of battle, has
The heart (courage) of Bahman, and the strength of Isfan-diyár?

The arm of Bahman comes to me,
Who am Isfandiyár of brazen body!

I am one of distinguished race; others, inferior (without lineage);
Who can bring disaster to the descent of the Kayán kings?


Thou art mistaken in the estimate of thyself;
For thou hast not measured (essayed) the arm of Bah-man (that I possess).

I am the lord of territory by (right of) my own lineage;
Be not rebellious towards thy own lord.

Be now penitent, since when the work (of battle) passes (from the hand),
Penitence is at that time of no avail.

Display not insolence, though thou art bold;
Place not rudely thy foot in the lion's jaw:

Abandon harshness; incline to gentleness;
Take (move) me not from my place, that thou mayst remain in thy place.


(In return) for severity (on thy part),—I will take thy country in rapine;
For entreaty,—I will give thee another country.

From being possessed of majesty,—I am that ponderous mountain;
For I possess an unknown tardiness in motion.


“Kám-i-shír” may signify—a swelling sea in which a ship founders.


“Áhista” signifies—what one is not acquainted with; good; much. They say:—Fulán kas áhista gurekht.

If the array of the army become my enemy,
If it be the mountain of iron,—I will shatter it.

Move me not, so that thy land may move not;
This, verily, I say to the; this, verily, I repeat.

When the reader of the letter of the monarch (Dárá)
Finished the letter, picture-like (with varied phrases and dread significations),


Sikandar ordered that he (the secretary) should use despatch;
Should write an answer suitable to that written.

The secretary, the pen-striker, took up the pen;
He illumined the whole of the letter with the treasure and jewels (of eloquence):

Wrote an answer so precious
That the lofty sky kissed his hands (in thanks).

When the letter, heart-cherishing, was sealed,—
He gave it to the arriver (Dárá's messenger) that he might take it back.

(Dárá's) secretary came and opened the letter;
He opened a hundred treasures of jewels (of subtleties) as to each point.


From beginning to end he read out the letter;
Adorned, speech within speech, like pearls.

Come, cup-bearer!—for the repelling of headache (careless­ness of God),
Bring the remedy for the heart of the sorrowful.


In moving the mountain the earth trembles.


“Dar giriftan.” See canto xxxviii. couplet 19.


Observe the force of—rasánanda.

By that wine, by which I show gladness,
I will renew youth, although I am old.


In some copies:—

Give me the wine (of senselessness), that I may display intoxica­tion;

That with that water (wine) I may practise fire-worshipping (evoke love to God).