O world-tried old man (Nizámí)! bring wild rue (of devo­tion, calamity-repelling);
Cast it on the fire in the Amír's (Nizámí's) bed-chamber.

Because I practise the magician's trade (of pleasant repose);
I entertain fear of the evil eye (of the envious one).

But when (in eloquence) I consume the wild rue out of (my own) heart,
How will the evil eye (of the envious) cause injury to reach me?

In this path (of ease of life) the dangers of robbers are many;
That one who knows not this path (of ease),—how happy of state is he!


“Amír” may refer to—Nașratu-d-Dín.

“Chashmak-zan” here signifies—sáhir.


In the bed-chamber of Nașratu-d-Dín, burn wild rue; for I have a wonderful art. In his name I compose a book, and I fear the eye-wound (the evil eye) of envious men. God forbid that it should reach me! See couplet 91.


“Dil” here signifies—the black point of the heart called—suwaydá.

Niámí requires to burn no rue save that of his heart.

When the black point of the heart of the holy man is consumed, God comprehends his existence, and his heart is the mirror of the Divine splendour.


Fear of the sun is not the poor man's fortune; fearless he eats his daily food.

What a life (of ease) it is which,—with so many dangers (of the world),
It is necessary to pass in the sorcery (of danger-repelling)!

Best,—if we place our foot beyond (abandon) this ladder-step (of ease of life);
If we place the cover on this cauldron full of blood (this pleasant but dangerous thoroughfare).

The narrator (Nizámí) of former tales
Speaks of epochs anterior to his own time, in such a way

That,—when the religion of the rustic (the ignorant one) sate on the fire (became ruined),
Fire expired, and the fire-worshipper burned (with grief).

Sikandar ordered that the men of Irán
Should unloose the girdle (of service) as regards fire-worshipping:


Should renew that same old religion (of Ibráhím);
Should incline towards the religion of the Khusrau (Sikandar):

Should consign the chattels (the cord, &c.) of the fire-worshippers to the fire;
Should take hard measures against the idol-temple.


“Afsún-garí” may signify—shá, 'irí.


Best,—that I abandon this book and the praise of the king; and place the cover of silence on the mouth of the cauldron full of blood— my heart raging to reveal the mysteries of God.


“Bar átash nishastan” signifies—kharáb shudan.

Fire-worshipping is the act of ignorant ones and those of little wisdom.

When Dárá, the ignorant one, whose God was his belly, died—fire-worshipping died.

It appears that formerly the religion of Ibráhím prevailed in Persia.

They say that Ibrábím and Sikandar were of the same religion—Islám. See canto xxii. couplet 6; xxix. 8; xl. 3.

See Clarke's translation of the “Bustán of Sa'dí,” chapter ii. couplet 37—The story of Ibráhím entertaining the Gabr (Guebre).

In that age (of Kayán kings), so the custom was
That a teacher (fire-priest) used to be in the fire-temple:

Used to make the great treasures in it secure (by burying);
To none was power over those treasures.

The rich man who had no inheritance-enjoyer (heir)
Gave up his own wealth to the fire-temple.


The custom by which grief comes to the world,
—Every fire-temple was a (useless) house of (buried) treasure.

When Sikandar made waste those foundations (fire-temples full of treasure),
He caused the treasure (to his court) to flow like the sea­water.

Of the fire-temple by which he used to pass
He used to dig out the foundations; used to take away the treasure.

Another custom was this—that the fire-worshipper
Sate every year with new brides,

At the Nau-roz of Jamshíd and the festival of Saddah,
—When the regulations of the fire-temple were renewed—


Apparently in every city the Persians appointed a man to pursue the rich who were heirless, so that in their own lifetime they involuntarily gave up their property to the fire-temple, and after that lived in poverty.


The nau-roz of fire-worshippers is of two kinds.

One day is called—nau-roz-i-kúchak va șághir va 'ámma, the first of the month Farwardín (March), when the sun is in Aries, the beginning of the spring harvest.

On this day God created Ádam and the world and ordered the planets to revolve.

The other day is called the—nau-roz-i-buzurg va khașṣa va jamshíd, the sixth of the month Farwardín.

On the first of the month Farwardín, Jamshíd (B.C. 800) arrived at Tabríz (called by Arabs—Ázarbíján, and by Persians—Ázarabád), and wished to celebrate the nau-roz.

He sate on a canopied throne with various jewels, set upon a lofty place, turned towards the east; and kept a bejewelled crown on his head.

When from the east the sun arose and shone on that crown and throne, the effulgence appeared excessive, and men from beholding it became pleased, and, adding the word shíd (meaning shu'á', splendour) to the word jam, called him Jamshíd, or jam șáhib-i-shíd.

And when the sixth day of Farwardín arrived, he made a great feast and sate on the golden throne, and gave access to high and low, and established good customs.

Every year, from nau-roz-i-kúchak to nau-roz-i-buzurg, the kings of Irán used to accomplish men's needs, release prisoners, and engage in mirth.

“Jashn” signifies—shádí va mihmání.

“Sadd” is the name of an 'idd (festival), now called Șadd, established by Kayumars, occurring on the tenth day of the month Bahman (January), when they kindle many fires; and the kings and amírs, seizing birds and animals of the desert, and tying bundles of dry grass to their feet and setting them on fire—let them loose, and thus set fire to mountain and plain.

When the hundred sons of Kayumars reached maturity, Kayumars made them kad-khudá (house-holders), and ordered them to kindle a great fire, and the kindling of the fire he called—jashan-i-sadda, or the festival named after the house-holding of his one hundred sons.

From the tenth day of Bahman to the nau-roz-i-buzurg is a period of fifty nights and fifty days.

For further informatīon, see Mirkkhond's “History of the Kings of Persia” (by Shea), p. 105; Malcolm's “History of Persia,” vol. i. p. 11; Richardson's “Persian Dictionary,” dissertation, p. 52.


Brides, husband-unseen (virgin), from every side,
Used to hasten out of the house into the street (to sit with the fire-priests):

Face adorned, hands decorated,
Used to run with wantonness from every direction:

Like the fire-worshipper, red wine uplifted;
In memory of the fire-worshippers, neck-exalted.

From the (book) Barzín of the villager (the fire-worshipper) and the sorcery of the Zand,
A smoke (of the sigh of love for the brides) brought forth to the lofty sky.

All their occupation—sauciness and heart-ravishingness;
Sometimes idly-talking, sometimes sorcery-practising.


Save the sorcery (of the Zand), they lighted not a lamp (of work);
Save enchantingness, they learned not anything.

A ringlet let fall, curl within curl;
One a foot-beater (a dancer), the other a hand-striker (a cymbal-player).

Like the straight cypress, a handful of roses in the hand,
—Beautiful was the straight cypress, rose in the hand!—


Barzín is the name of one of the fire-priests, who in the city of Balkh built a great fire-temple, called Ázar-i-Barzín.

In the Rashídí, it is said that the men of Fárs had formerly seven fire-temples, each dedicated to one of the seven planets.

Their names are—Ázar-i-mihr; Ázar-i-nosh; Ázar-i-khurdád; Ázar-i-ábtín; Ázar-i-bahrám; Ázar-i-Zartusht; Ázar-i-Barzín.

One day, when Kay Khusrau was riding, a terrible sound came from the sky, such that he fell from his horse; and the líghtning struck the saddle (zín) of the horse.

At that place, in thanks for his safety, Kay Khusrau built a fire-temple and called it—Ázar-i-zín.

Otherwise—The brides used to utter sorceries and to perform fire-worshipping, so that the smoke of their fire-kindling and tumult of sorcery-casting reached to the sky.


They used sometimes to tell each other tales, and sometimes to utter sorceries of the Zand, and thus kept the hearts of their lovers restless.


The lamp is mentioned, as sorcery is usually worked at night.

The sorcery may be that of sauciness and heart-takingness.


The flowerless cypress is decorated with handfuls of roses fastened to the branches.

The customs of the damsels of Irán on the nau-roz-i-Jamshíd and at the feast of Sadda have (couplets 19-27) been described.

The second line is uttered by Niámí.

In the beginning of the year, when from the vault swift-moving,
It used to be the Nau-roz-i-kúchak as regards the world's reckoning.

One day only from street and building was,—theirs
The wide plain for the desire (recreation) of their own heart.


Each one separately used to prepare an assembly;
And thence many calamities (of love) used to arise.

When the necklace of sovereignty (of the empires of Rúm and Persia) became one,
The world's market became void of calamity.

By one king, the throne is lofty;
When the king is increased (in number), the country suffers injury.

One crowned one is better than a hundred,
As rain when excessive is bad.

The king of sound judgment gave the order of such a kind
That none should perform the rites of the fire-worshippers.


That precious (beauteous) brides, face-unseen,
Should display the face only to the mother, or to the husband.

He shattered every form of enchantment;
Made the fire-worshippers wanderers from the idol-temple:


On this day the brides went not to the fire-temple.


The thread of sovereignty of the world was of two strands—one Dárá's and the other Sikandar's. Now all the world became as one thread or under one king (Sikandar).


Kings are likened to the rain of mercy or of justice.

Hanífí” signifies—of Abraham.

Haníf” signifies—pák-dín, a title of Ibráhím.

Washed the world from polluted religions (of infidelity);
Preserved the true religion (of Islám or of Ibráhím) for the people.

In the Irán land, by such great support,
No fire at all of the fire-worshipper remained.

Again for those Magians, treasure-weighing,
None amassed treasure in the fire-temple (now destroyed).


All the lovely ones, face like the pomegranate-flower (ruddy and beauteous),
Abandoned love for the rose-bed of fire (the fire-temple).

When the king cleansed the custom of fire from the world,
He brought forth the smoke (of destruction) from the fire-worshipper:

Ordered that the men of the Time
Should have no occupation save God-worshipping:

Should use protection for the religion of Abraham;
Should all turn the back upon the (worship of) the sun and the moon.

When the country passed into the property of that treasure-giver (Sikandar),
He urged his steed into the plain of amplitude (of ease).


Became in joyousness victory's partner;
In that way as the pleasant speaker (Firdausí) has said.


The seven sacred books of the world are—The Bible (date of Moses), B.C. 1500; the Zand Avesta of the Magians, B.C. 1200; the Three Vedas of the Hindús, B.C. 1100; the Five Kings (Webs) of the Chinese, B.C. 1100; the Try Pitikes of the Buddhists, B.C. 600; the Kurán of the Muhammadans, A.D. 700; the Eddis of the Scandinavians, A.D. 1300 (first published).

And if it be necessary for thee that in a new way
Thou shouldst hear from me the wonderful tale in another way,

Pluck out the old cotton (of the former tale of Dárá's being slain) from thy ear;
For it makes the new brocade (of verse of the second tale) tattered-clad (void of freshness).

In that way, as from many watchful brains,
I have heard sweet discourse on this matter:

Have also had many histories;
Have left no word (of them) unread:


Have gathered together that collected treasure (of histories of Sikandar),
The scattered parts of leaves:

From that alchemy of hidden words
I have raised a wonderful treasure-casket (a wondrous tale).


“Ramz” signifies—riwáyat-i-gharíb.


The first history relates to—Dárá's being slain, and the second to— Sikandar's going to Bábil (Babylon) and Ázarbíjan.

Considering the first tale uttered, hear now the new tale from me.


“Shíva” signifies—Sikandar's going into Dárá's country after slaying him.

After slaying the enemy, it was the custom of kings to travel over his country, to view his cities, and to establish a fresh coinage.


“Páraganda” here signifies—the scattered writings of which the names of the writers were unknown.

Niámí compared them with other writings and credited them.


“Kímiyá” siguifies—the tale written in histories and on scattered (unknown) leaves.

“Poshída haraf” signifies—zer-i-parda haraf, written by others in the tongue of the Magians.

Then that book and scattered (unknown) leaves reached the stage of alchemy (kímiyá).

These histories were written in tongues other than the tongue of Párs.

Verily, the speaker in the language of Fars, the wise old man (Firdausí),
Thus spoke, and his words became heart-pleasing,

That—when the king took the crown and the throne from Dárá,
He urged forth his steed from the compass of Mosul:

Came first, Venus-like, to Bábil (Babylon);
Washed the earth of that place of sorcerers:


Ordered that the fire appertaining to fire-worshipping,
They should quench with skill and wisdom:

Should make wet (wash) the sorcery-book of Zand;
Or otherwise place it in the prison of the library (of the Magians).

He showed the path (of religion) to the people by the path of the ancestor (Abraham),
Wiped the soot and smoke of fire (-worshipping) from their hearts:

And thence with the design of the free
Came to the fire-temple of Ázar-ábád (Tabríz).

In every place in which he saw fire,—quickly
He both quenched the fire and washed (effaced) the Zand.


In that place (Tabríz), was a fire built round with stone,
Which the fire-worshipper used to call—“wisdom-consumer.”


Sikandar is likened to Venus on account of his splendour and good fortune. See canto v. couplet 25.


The book-house (where books of religions other than Islám were placed) is called the prison, because they used to put in it the old and the useless books.

In this case they were there put so that none should read them.


“Ázarbíjan” signifies—Ázarabád, a place possessing many fire-temples, the modern Tabríz (“tab,” fever; “ríz,” dispersing).


Khirad-soz” signifies—that which consumes the wisdom of the devotee, making him careless to all external to itself.

It may signify—that to which wisdom cannot attain.

Khudí-soz” signifies—self-consuming. Much dwelling in the fire-temple repelled egotism (khudí) and lust.

For it, were a hundred priests of the fire-temple with collar of gold,
For fire-worshipping, girdle above girdle (numerous).

He ordered so that that fire of ancient years,
They extinguished and made altogether (dead) coal.

When he quenched the fire of that place,
He moved the army towards Sipahán.

In that lovely decorated city,
Which was possessed of heart-happiness and prosperous­ness,


The monarch's heart assumed gladness;
With gladness he pursued his heart's desire (of destroying fire-temples):

Extinguished many a fire of the fire-worshipper;
Made bent (in reverence to Islám) the back of many a fire-worshipper.

The old idol temple was as a Chinese idol (full of decora­tion);
Much more pleasant than the garden in the fresh spring.

According to the regulations of Zartusht and the custom of the Magian,
Several brides,—in attendance in that building.


“Herbud” signifies—the muwakkal-i-átash kada. It is compounded of—her (in Fárs), fire, and bud, signifying háfi, protector.


Isfahán was celebrated for—turquoises, black lead, ambergris, and sword-steel.


In the Rashídí, bahár is simply the name of an idol temple; but it is said to be an idol temple in Sipahán, in which lived the girl, Ázar Humayún, of the descendants of Sám.

Sám may be the son of Núh, or the grandfather of Rustám.

All—the calamity of the eye and the torment of the heart;
The foot (of the heart) of every rose descended in the clay (of love).


Among them a girl, a sorceress of the lineage of Sám (son of Núh);
The father named her—“Ázar-Humáyún.”

When that heart-ravisher uttered sorceries,
She used to take sense from the heart; patience from souls.

By (her) sorcery, from Zuhra (sorceress though she was) the heart was gone (in love);
Like Hárút, a hundred were dead (a sacrifice) for her.

Sikandar ordered them to hasten
Against that building that it might become ruined.

The woman (Azar-Humáyún), a sorceress, out of her own form,
Appeared a great dragon in that crowd (of temple-destroyers).


When the people beheld the fiery dragon,
They released their hearts from (desire of extinguishing) the fire:

Became crippled from fear of it;
Went flying to Sikandar,

Saying:—“In the fire-temple is a dragon,
“Like the bomb, fire-setting to men.


The first gul may be written gil, signifying—clay (the body).

The foot (of the heart) of every body …


This may be rendered:—

When the people beheld that dragon, fire-setter,

On suffering its fire they let go their heart from the fire (of courage).


Observe the force of the first shudand.

“That one who passes by that dragon,
“She immediately either slays (with fiery breath) or devours.”

The king—of the secret of that hidden craft (by which a woman becomes a dragon)
Asked his minister (Aristo); and the minister replied,


“Balínás knows secrects in such a way
“That over deeds he is master of sorcery.”

To Balínás the king said:—“This form,
“How shows the dragon to me?”

The sage replied:—“A form like this
“Knows only how to practise sorcery.


This may be rendered:—

To Balínás the king uttered this matter (and asked):—
How appears this malevolent one (the dragon) to us?

Balínás, in the Dictionary, Haft Ḳúlzun; Bilínás and Bilínús, in the Dictionary, Farhang-i-Shu'úrí of Constantinople.

He is called—in the first, the companion of Alexander and a magi­cian; in the second, a sage, the disciple of Hermes, versed in the know­ledge of the nature of things, of talismans, and of astrology.

Some have thought Bilínás to be Pliny.

The Persians and the Arabians cannot represent in a more faithful manner the name of the Latin naturalist; they cannot introduce a strange name beginning with two consonants without giving to the first of those consonants the same vowel as the second, or without preceding it with an alif .

But it may be observed that they wrote:—

, Flátún, Aflátún (Plato).
, Sikandar, Iskandar (Alexander).

Baron de Sacy considers the name to be that of Apollonius of Tyana, and he bases his opinion on the following passage:—

“I was an orphan of , in great indigence, and destitute of every- thing.”

Apollonius of Tyana in Kappodocia, born three or four years before the Christian era, was one of the followers of the philosophy of Pytha­goras. Euthydemus, the Phœnician, taught him—at first at Tarsus, and later at Ægos—grammar, rhetoric, and philosophic doctrines. Euxenus taught him the philosophy of Pythagoras. He died A.D. 97.

See Canto xliii., couplet 29.

“If the king desire, I will hasten,
“I will bring the dragon's head within the tent-rope (a noose).”

The world-possessor said:—“This thy terrible one,
Against it,—if thou canst, employ a remedy.”


The wise man went towards the fire-temple;
He beheld the black dragon, head upreared.

When that dragon looked at Balínás,
It saw the path of the glass phial (of sorcery) against the diamond (the shatterer).

That helpless sorceress evoked
Many (kinds of) sorceries, man-entangling,

Every enchantment which was ineffective,
Turned back its head (injuriously) to its own enchantress.

The wise, sensible man, by artifices,
Made captive the enchantment of the scatterer (of sorcery).


At the time when came to hand, that fortune,
By which he could bring defeat upon the great en­chantress,

He ordered that they should bring a little rue;
He cast it on that dragon, like water on fire:

Stopped her pastime with one enchantment (one throw of the rue);
Destroyed her sorcery-making (the assuming of the dragon-form).


“Patiyára” signifies—jádu va amr-i-muhíb va makrúh.


In the East, rue is used for easing women at the time of parturition and for repelling enchantments. See couplet 1.

When the girl saw that that sage (Balínás) was such a one,
She unloosed the fastening from the art of sorcery of that transformation (into a dragon);

Fell at his feet and besought protection;
Sought, in peace, access to the world-king.


When Balínás beheld the countenance of that moon,
He saw the path of his own desire (love) to her:

Gave her security in his own protection;
Gave her escape from those enchantress slayers.

Ordered so that they kindled the fire;
Burned the fire-temple in that fire:

Took the Pari-faced one to the king,
Saying:—“This moon was the black dragon!

“She is a woman, work-knowing, and very wise (in sorcery),
“The ear of the sky twisted by her sorcery!


“She draws up well-water from the abyss (root) of the earth;
“Brings down the moon from the sky:

“Washes blackness (in auspiciousness) from the face of (inauspicious) Saturn;
“Ascends a lofty citadel (the sky) by a thread of hair.

“As to beauty, what shall I say?—a Parí form?
“(Nay); no daughter of a Parí was like this!

“The ringlet-tip (made) of a circle of pure musk (black),—
“The cord placed on the neck of the sun (her resplendent face).


“Nírang” signifies—the art of sorcery—the dragon-appearance.

“Sihr” signifies—the dragon-making of the girl.


As the tree sucks up by its root.


Her ringlet-tip (made) of a circle of musk
Placed a cord on the neck of (made captive) the sun.

“By the king's fortune, I closed her path of enchantment;
“I shattered entirely her name and fame (in sorcery).


“She became weak, and entered my protection;
“If the Khusrau make her my mistress,—it is well.

“And if she be meet for the king's service,
“She is for me both sovereign and also sister.”

When the king beheld the cheek of that heart-ravisher,
A moon, adorned with gold and jewels,

He gave (her) to Balínás, saying:—“She is submissive to thee;
“She is fit to drink the wine of thy cup.

“But, be not secure of her sorcery;
“Be not careless of her craft and skill:”


Balínás, in thanks for the king's surrender,
Rubbed his face on the road-dust.

He made the Parí-faced one the lady of his house,
The Parí rendered many of this sort (of the house of Balínás) distraught.

He learned from her all sorceries;
On that account, his name became:—“Balínás, the magician.”

—Whether a magician, or one star-understanding,
Thou shouldst not shut out from thyself the fear of death.—

Those two together practised enchantment-devising;
They concealed no secret from themselves.


Come, cup-bearer! that stream of Paradise,
Cast into that cup of fire-nature.


The second line may be uttered by Niámí.


The stream of Paradise signifies—the delight of beholding the majesty of God Most High.

The cup of fire-nature signifies—the cup of senselessness which is mixed with the fire of Divine love.

From that water (the stream of Paradise) and fire (the desired cup) turn not away my head;
Give to me; for from that water I take fire.


If taram be written for baram, we have:—

Put not far from me that stream of Paradise and cup of fire-nature Nay; give me the cup of the relish of beholding God Most High. For from this water and fire I am fresh.

For kazo read kazán.