The sky makes its camel (steed) swift-moving, for that reason,
That it renews every day and night its sport (from the accidents of Time).

It (the sky) makes, in every age, peace; and again war;
Displays a form (the affairs of the world) in another way;

All existing things that were from the first,
Are not these (which thou seest), if thou seek truly.

Also from the protecting care of the Omnipotent,
The form of every picture (of existence) becomes of another kind.


If the head of our work come to the sleep (of non­existence),
Think not that this house (of the world) becomes desolate (void of workers).

Many the persons,—who are lost (in death) from the earth's surface,
Still verily, the world is the world.

What (provision for the path of death) may we make when those concordant (helpers) have departed?
Intimate companions have gone; friends departed.

In thy season (of leisure), prepare provisions (the worship of God and good deeds) for the path (of death);
For friends (children) remain not behind with friends (the father and mother).

Although he goes very badly,—in the end
The lame ass goes to his own stable.


The speaker of (former) Time (the historian) so represented,
That the throne of kings becomes not the place of violence (for the people depose him).

Sikandar, who seized the country of the world,
Took up (but) little,—the pursuit of his own pleasure:

Sought the world's peace by that sovreignty;
The sky on that account gave him that aid (for world-seizing.

Is the world needful to thee? Do the work of that king (Nasratu-d-Din);
Do that (peace-seeking) indeed that he did; (aught else) avoid.

When he became successful in the country of the regions round about,
Time also turned to his desire.


Ethiopia to Khurásán; from Chín to Ghúr—
Turned without struggle to his order.

Messengers hastened to every territory;
All (the kings) made (their) coin in his name.


In the first line, if badí bad be read for bad-i-bad, we have:—

If thou thyself be bad (provisionless), the end goes bad;

The lame ass (incapable of burden-bearing) goes to his own stable (and dies fodderless).


The “Indian Antiquary,” of the 6th of December, 1872, gives an interesting Persian map of the world divided into seven climes (Kishwar).

In the Vendidad (Vida,e-vidáta), the earth is made of seven kishwars (in Greek, “klima,” inclination, climate).

Zakhryah Kazvíní, in his 'Ajabu-l-baladán, assumes every climate to be 235 farsakhs broad. He makes:—

1 farsakh= 12,000 cubits 25 farsakhs= 1 degree
1 cubit = 24 fingers 1 climate = 235 farsakhs= 9° 4' broad
1 finger = 7 barley-grains, or 1 climate = 285 farsakhs= 11° 4' broad

Other writers say that there was a difference of time equal to half an hour between each climate.

To ascertain the latitude of a place it was necessary to know only its longest day, thus:—

The longest day of a place=15 hours; deduct 12; difference 3. Then the place will be in 3 hrs. ÷ ⁄12; hr.=6th climate.

Ptolemy, A.D. 200, made the whole world, 60° N. to 20° S. latitude, to consist of seventeen climates.

In the desert of Khif cháḳ the people have no chance of afternoon prayers, for a period of forty days. The Darkness, or Dark-Land, is in the 6th climate.

Although the world-possesser had the lion's heart,
(And) held the whole world beneath (the sway of) his sword,

In that land and clime (of Irán) no faith was his;
For the safety-place of the Rúmi is Rúm.

One night, when the sky had a suitable fortune,
—From which fortune a computation (of the future) came truly,—


He (Sikandar) sent, and summoned his own minister (Aristotle);
He uttered to him words buried (in his own heart),

Saying:—“Since the country of Irán has come to my grasp,
“I desire not to be foot-bound in one place.

“Like the sky, I am inclined to wandering;
“My heart desires only world-wandering.

“I will see what (wonder) there is in the dust of the world;
“Who, on the horizons, is more powerful than I?

“From illumined judgment, I consider it right
“That, when I hasten around the world,


“I should send my gold and jewels to Rúm;
“For in that land and clime is permanence.

“It is not proper that our work (of government) should become dull;
“—Not always comes the pitcher safe from the water.—

“(That) the enemy should seize our throne,
“(And) our chattles go in the plunder of the enemy.

“As regards the world, many are such head-aches (from suffering defeat and losing wealth);
“And many are dangers of this kind in the path (of the world).

“If thou also go back to Greece,—
“It will be approved by the understanding and judgment.


“Thou mayst indeed keep the country (of Rúm) far from calamity;
“For, as to light, the moon is the sun's deputy.

“Roshanak also, who is our lady,
“Take; so that the administration of that country may be true and proper:

“With judgment, of which (thy) wisdom is the minister,
“Thou mayst preserve the rank of the good and the bad:

“Mayst exercise vice-regency (in the protection) of religion and justice,
“Mayst bring to memory only goodness of me.

“I have preferred thee to the great ones;
“Of them, I have with my eyes beheld thy greatness.”


The wise minister, by his own judgment,
Spoke to his own work-orderer (Sikandar), thus,

Saying:—“May the world-king be order-issuer!
“(Obedient) to thy order, the judgment of those work-knowing!


“Ba,” in the words ba yád, may be considered redundant.

Evil governors tyrannise over the peasantry and say:—As regards this tyranny we are helpless; for thus is the king's order.”

“May the king's power from age to age increase!
“May profit be relation to (connected with) his wish!

“The calculation which (his) lofty judgment made (is from foresight);
“No one with foresight experiences injury.

“For the happy work which the king has ordered,
“I bind my loins and turn not my head from the path.


“But it is necessary that the king in his own administra­tion
“Should make inquiry according to his own ability.

“When the end of journeying comes to him;
“(And) the need of returning to his own country (Rúm) comes to him,

“He should not keep his head burdened with order-giving,
“He should entrust the world to order-bearers (viceroys).

“It is not possible to hold the world with one body;
“To guard the whole world by one's self.

“The world has many divisions of country;
“And of them, everyone takes a share.


“When thou makest the division-enjoyers (the governors) obedient to thyself,
“Behold thy own name concerned in that division.

“When the territory-holder goes within thy order (is submissive),
“Extremity to extremity, the world is thine.

“When the house (land) of (thy) enemies becomes thy property;
“In it, let not go wholly thy rein (dwell not).


For revenue therefrom will reach thee.

“Exercise little sitting (dwelling) in this foreign land (of Irán),
“In it, make not thyself foot-bound.

“Thou art able neither to hold this property,
“Nor also to consign it to (thy) heirs.


“For many are the claims to the property of this house (the enemy's territory);
“The excuse of gaining his own property is everyone's.

“For the sake of sovereignty in this land,—
“To none of the men of Rúm give the chieftainship.

“The land of 'Ajam is the burial (dwelling)-place of Kay;
“In it, the foreign foot is the wild foot (whose owner they will expel or slay).

“In these years, while thou art safe from injury,
“Bring forth from the world the name of a great king.

“When thou returnest to thy own country,
“Make not to thyself the short work (of world-subduing) long (by tarrying in the conquered country).


“Illumine (with favour) the faces of the princes (of Dárá's house),
“So that the sky may become victorious for thee.

“Send a king to every country;
“Send the seeker of one place to (another) place.

“Make the territories (of Irán) captive to kings;
“Make one in every direction the territory-holder.

“For another time I fear the men of Irán
“Will bind their loins on account of Dárá's blood:


As long as opposition exists a king's name becomes not great.

“Will bring the army to Greece and Rúm,
“And ruin will come upon that land and clime.


“When they each one separately exercise sovereignty,
“They will with one another exercise revengefulness.

“Through the business of their own country, each one
“Will not have sufficient leisure (to turn) against us.

“When the enemy brings forth his hand to plunder,
“In this way it is proper to close the path.

“Excite not further malice against any land;
“Draw not the desire of the revenge-seekers (the Persians) towards Rúm.

“Strive not as regards the blood-shedding of kings,
“So that thou mayst not bring into ferment the blood of tumult.


“Of the blood of those neck-exalting,—think not that
“There remains no trace like the (red wood) khún-i-Siyawash.

“Draw not the sword pitilessly for anyone's blood,
“Thine also is the blood (of slaughter) with the sword of the sphere.

“How well that wise man uttered a saying:—
“—Injury comes not to the non-injurer.

“Be little injuring;—for from every scar and pain
“Little injury, experiences the man little injuring.


Afrásiyáb, the King of Túrán, who slew Siyawash, the father of Kay Khusrau (Cyrus, B.C. 558), was himself slain by Gúdarz (Nabu-kudur-uzur, B.C. 602).

The red wood,—khún-i-Siyawash or baḳam—that sprang from the blood of Siyawash, is a mark of the tyranny exercised against him.


The sphere is the revenge-taker of the slaughterers of the guiltless,

“Thou desirest not little thyself; take not a person's little;
“Cause not a person to die (slay not); and ever (thyself) die not (be not slain).”


When the minister showed the path in this wise,
The speech became effective; the king agreed.

When the sphere opened the cover (the darkness of night) of the silvern basin (the true dawn),
The black crow (the darkness of night) laid the golden egg (the sun).

—Perhaps the old fire-priest of those of former times,
With this platter and egg (sport and sorcery), uttered this tale (of Sikandar's sending Roshanak to Rúm).

The world-possessor ordered that the vazír should come;
Should sit on his steed for the purpose of journeying.

Whatever of the Persian library there was,
He so ordered that they should bring—


Hidden words (occult treaties) on every subject,
A book on every science (of philosophy of the ancients) prepared.

He sent them to the interpreter in Greece;
The interpreter wrote them from the one (the Persian) tongue into the other (the Greek).


“asht va kháya” is a pastime. They fill an egg (kháya)-shell with mercury, and sealing up the orifice, place it on a platter (asht) in the sun. When the platter gets hot the egg ascends. Hence, asht va kháya signifies—bází, sport, and afsún, sorcery.

Some say that asht (the earth) and kháya (the sky) are the place of deceit of man. The second line will then be:—

Uttered this tale of the place of deceit (the world).

Perhaps dígar should be read for magar.

When the order came to the king's minister
That he should, two horses apiece, take the path to Rúm;

Should take Roshanak bedecked,
Verily, the books and the jewels and the property,

They (Aristotle, Roshanak, and her attendants) left the place, according to the king's order;
They took the path to the Greek land.


By the world-king, Roshanak possessed the burden (of the womb);
The shell had the royal pearl in its interior.

When the cavalcade entered the Greek land,
The precious jewel (Roshanak) became heavy of burden.

When it became nine months the jewel-mine (Roshanak) was opened;
The world laid the new jewel (Sikandar's son) on the jewel (Sikandar).

After cradle-kissing, they (the bringers of glad tidings) appointed him a name,
Iskandarús, by Sikandar's order.

Aristotle, who was the minister of the court,
Was the viceroy in the Greek-land.


In gladdening and feeding, the king-born one (Iskandarús),
He like his own life kept tending,—

With caresses and with kindnesses—his pictured (lovely) face;
With skill and with sense,—his heart of new order (fresh and young).


The first line may be:—

When by the king's deliberation the order came.


The second line will be, if púr be read for bar:—

The world established the new bejewelled jewel (Sikandar's son).


See canto xv. couplet 30.

He kept nurturing and cherishing him,
Making heart and soul a ransom for him.

—Suppose a hundred lovely sons like this (world-) nurtured,
(Suppose) them, in the end, dust-swallowed (in the grave) —(what then)?

Come, cup-bearer! that wine, which is the grief-remover,
Give to one like me, who is grief-sufferer (a holy traveller).


Perhaps it may give the perfume of ease to my soul;
May give me respite from the trouble of Time.


No dependence is to be placed on the world.


The wine of senselessness is in truth the rapture of union with the Friend (God).