When day bound the gold-shoe (morning-light) to the black steed (of dark night),
The king, world-illuminating, came to the saddle.

He prepared the means (of proceeding) according to the usage of messengers;
(And) went messenger-like towards the graceful one (Núshába).

When he came opposite to the hall of the court,
He rested awhile from that journeying.

In it (the hall) he beheld a court, sky-like,
Its ground-kiss (of obeisance) both of earth and of heaven.


The attendants obtained news of him;
Hastened to their own lady,


Shabdez was the name of Shírín's horse (born of a horse of stone), which she gave to Khusrau Parvíz (A.D. 591).


The doors appeared to be in the sky.

Represented, saying:—“From the court of the king of Rúm,
“From whom this land and clime gained prosperity,

“A messenger possessed of judgment and sense has arrived;
“A message-bringer, silent, like the angel (before delivering his message):

“From head to foot, a form possessed of wisdom;
“In his countenance, divine majesty.”

Núshába prepared the palace;
Illuminated the iron road (difficult of access to man) with gold (woven-stuff).


Those of Parí-face, with a hundred ornaments,—
That heart-enchanting one drew up rank upon rank:

Fixed the jewel in the musky noose (the black ringlet);
Let (it) down over the bejewelled silk (of her garments):

Came like the garden-peacock with splendour,
Gleaming and laughing like the illumined lamp:

State on a royal throne,—
A perfumed orange (ball) held in her hand:

Directed that they should perform the ceremonial;
Should bring the messenger into the hall.


The officials of the palace-court,
Performed the order.

The messenger (Sikandar) entered boldly (unlike an am­bassador) by the door;
Went, like the proudly-moving lion, towards the throne:


“Dar giriftan.” See canto xxvii. couplet 71; xxxvi. 37; xxxviii. 9.


King's used to hold in the hand a perfumed ball (lakhlakha; dast-afshár).

Unloosed his girdle and sword;
Offered no prayer for her according to the usage of messengers:

Glanced secretly at that decorated palace;
Beheld an abode of paradise-nature, enchanting.

Full of húrs, adorned like Paradise,
Earth's surface became of ambergris-nature (perfumed).


From the many necks and ears of the jewel-bearers (women),
The beholder's eye became jewel-scattering (full of the forms of jewels).

From the sparkler, the cornelian; and the gleamer, the ruby,
The shoe-nail of the proud mover became fiery.

Perhaps the mine and the sea hastened together;
(And) there cast all their jewels.

The clever woman—by his pomp and dignity,
In that manner (of coming)—became fearful of him,

Saying:—“This man, affairs-understanding, of deliberate judgment,
“Why performs he not the usage of service?


“It is necessary to make investigation regarding him,
“Since he has no fear of us.”

From head to foot she glanced at the monarch;
Struck the proof of the pure gold (Sikandar) on the touch­stone (of her glance).


In the king's presence messengers went through the forms of suppli­cation (niyáz); of humility (khuú'); and of eye-lowering (khushú').


The second line may be:—

The beholder's eye became jewel (tear)-scattering.



Of the proud mover the shoe-nail became fiery (a) agitated with love (b) red.

When she clearly saw, she recognized him;
She made his place of ease on her throne:

Learned from the king that he was Sikandar;
Was worthy of throne-sitting.

For the victoriousness of the seven azure spheres,
She gave much praise to the world-king:


Concealed her face, but displayed shame at him;
Displayed first the example of modesty:

Unfolded to him nothing of his royalty,
Saying:—“The key to thy lock (of disguise) is ours.”

Sikandar, with the custom of messengers,
Preserved the usage of the noble:

Caused first a blessing (salutation) continuously to reach her;
Discovered truly in regard to himself the part of a messenger:

Accepted after that the representation as to the message,
Saying:—“The world-king, the ruler of good fame (Sikandar),


“Thus he spoke, saying:—O lady! name-seeking,
“The ball (of superiority)-taker from the renowned ones of the world.

“What chanced that thou turnedst the rein from us,
“That thou hastenedest not one day towards us?

“What weakness beheldst thou, that thou becamest self-willed?
“What injustice did I, that thou becamest an enemy?

“Where a sword sharper than my sword;
“(Where an arrow) more fire-exciting than my arrow,

“That from me thou takest shelter with that one (the swordsman and the arrow-caster)?
“Best indeed that thou shouldst turn thy head towards the king (Sikandar).


“Shouldst make thy foot dusty in going to my court;
“Shouldst display fear of my wrath.

“When I found the path to this thy kingdom,
“Over it, I cast the shadow of empire.

“Why boundest thou not thy girdle (in service) at my court;
“Why turnedest thou thy face from my path?

“Thou offerest me adornment with wine-cup and fruit;
“Offerest me deceit with sweetmeat and ruddy wine.

“Whatever thou didst at first (send) was accepted;
“Now meet me (at court) with true judgment.


“Beholding thee with wisdom and judgment,—to me
“Is more auspicious than the magnificence of the (bird) Humá.

“Act so that to-morrow, at assembly-time,
“Thou mayst move proudly towards the monarch's assembly.”

When the monarch finished his own message,
He cast forward his head in hope of the reply.

In replying, the wise woman
Took off the fastening from the closed cornelian (the ruddy silent lip),


“Mai-khána” here signifies—drinking utensils.

If one offers hospitality, it is said that one offers the requisites of wine-drinking (mai-khána); animals of the chase (shikár-khána); horses (pá,e gáh-i-aspán).


The first line may be:—

Whatever (crime) thou didst at first was accepted (pardoned).

Saying:—“O brave monarch! praise be to thee!
“For thou thyself, like the lion, presentest thy own message.


“O hero! thus it comes to my heart
“That, with this pomp of Khusraus,

“Thou art not a legate; thou art a noble king;
“Thou art not the sent; thou art the sender!

“Thy message (sharp) like the sword strikes the neck;
“Boldness whose—that on me he should strike this sword?

“But when the king displays sword-playing (by delivering his own message harshly),
“His sword's point displays exaltation (reveals his majesty).

“Of Sikandar's sword why urgest thou words?
“Thou art Sikandar; devise thy own remedy (for escape)!


“Thou summonest me, and thou thyself comest into the net;
“Glance more maturely, for immaturely thou camest.

“My good fortune sent thee to me;
“O excellent my fortune, fortune-considering!”

The world-possessor said:—“O lady of throne!
“Make not inquiry (vain imaginings), save to the com­mand (the limit) of (thy own) fortune.

“Sikandar is the ocean, and I am the rivulet of water:
“Impute not shadow (of imperfection) to the sun!

“How mayst thou place me in the proof (balance) of one,
“Whose guards,—many like me thou mayst find.


“Make free thy heart from disloyalty (in thinking to capture Sikandar);
“And than this, think the king better.

“How sayst thou:—Sikandar is so friendless
“That he himself alone is the bearer of his own message?

“At his court,—more than that are the (wise) men,
“That for him it should be necessary to make foot-toil (in coming).”

Again the wise Núshába
Took off the lock from her own sweet lip,

Saying:—“Be not deceiving beyond this;
“Be not a companion to shamelessness (falsehood):

“Bring not contention into this matter;
“For known is thy name by (thy) renown (majesty).

“Thy embassage is great, and thy name great;
“Conceal not the lion in the wolf's hide.

“Not that power is the messenger's,
“That with us he should use breath with violence:

“Should not diminish his own arrogance;
“Should not bend (his back) in my presence:

“Should come with savageness and bloodthirstiness—
“Save the monarch—whose is this power?


“Besides this, ours are hidden traces
“By which the concealed secret comes to my hand.”

The bold king gave her an answer like this,
Saying:—“The message of the lion comes not from the (weak) fox.


“Bad 'ahdí” may signify—ḳarár-dádí.

“If I am in thy eyes one renowned,
“I am not Sikandar; I am the messenger from him.

“With the messenger of the great,—mine what business?
“Interference finds no path within this screen (of embassage).

“If a harshness be underlying this message,
“Thou knowest,—and that one (Sikandar) who painted this picture (of the message).


“If—in respect to ambassadorship I came boldly,
“I came not from the fox, but from the lion.

“In the regulations of kings and the observances of the Kayán kings (of whom thou boastest),
“Message-bearers are safe from harm.

“Since I made clear to thee the king's message,
“Strike not the ward of the lock upon the key.

“Please utter my answer in secret (or quietly) to me,
“That I may travel back the path to my house.”

Núshába—enraged at that lion-heart,
That concealed the sun beneath the clay,


Let loose kindliness (or fear), and became ardent;
Spoke sharply in regard to the king's answer,

Saying:—“What profit is thy striving with me;
“Thy concealing the sun's face with the clay (of dis­guise)?”


As Sikandar with savageness gave it,—just so I deliver it.


The second line may be:—

Thou knowest (the grandeur of thyself) and of that one (Sikandar) who …


It is proper to strike the key against the ward (parra) of the lock, not the ward against the key. Then make not me a messenger, a prisoner, for that is contrary to order.


Khurshed zer-i-gul poshídan” signifies—unexpectedly to refuse a thing.

She ordered that a damsel, running, should bring
A piece of silk, upon it forms of kings (embroidered).

A corner of a piece of that silk,
She gave to him, saying:—“Take this picture in thy hand.

“Behold the trace of whose face is this?
“In this workshop (the painted silk), for what purpose is this?


“If it be thy form,—strive not so much:
“Hide not the sky with thy own eye-brow.

“If it be not,—abandon (anxiety), for thou hast escaped from sorrow;
“Take an answer, also a magnificent present (to Sikandar).”

Sikandar agreed to her command;
He opened out Núshába's silk:

In it, he beheld precisely his own form;
Saw the country in the enemy's power.

Contention in that matter was not right;
He refrained altogether from an answer:


Feared, and the colour of his face became like straw;
Took his shelter in the keeper (God) of himself.

When Núshába perceived that that fierce lion
Trembled, she came from beneath (the assumption of) severity.

To him she spoke, saying:—“O prosperous king!
“Time brings much pastime (contrariety) like this.

“Be not anxious; consider my love great;
“Consider this house (the kingdom) also thy own house.

“I am a slave-girl, thy attendant;
“Am a slave to thee both here (in this house) and also there (in thy house).


“I showed first to thee thy picture on that account,
“That my painting might be true (certified) as to thee.

“Although I am woman, I am not of woman-nature.
“I am not void of knowledge of the business of the world:

“Am the lion-woman, if thou be the lion-man;
“At the time of conflict, whether male or female—what matter?

“When I rage through wrath, like the angry cloud,
“I excite fire in the water from the lightning (flash) of the sword.

“Bring the buttocks of lions to the brand (the sword's flash);
“Illumine the lamp with crocodile's fat.


“Draw me not from love to battle with thee;
“Express not reproach to thy own captive (lover):

“Plant not the thorn (in thy path of love) that thou mayst not fall upon the thorn (of sadness);
“Be the liberator (of me from straitness of heart) that thou mayst be safe (from captivity of heart).

“At the time when thou becomest superior to me,
“Thou wilt have given a reply (only) to a widow-woman.

“At the time of wrath, if I prevail over thee,
“I become the thrower of the stander (in battle) on earth's surface (the chess-board).

“In this contest,—like the fox and the wolf,
“Will issue—thou of little worth, I of great value.


“Charb hastan” signifies—ghálib ámadan.

“Ḳá,im-andáz” signifies—an unequalled chess-player; one who defeats his rival in the plenitude of his power; ghálib va ḳá,im dáranda.


“Thus it has come from the old chiefs,
“Namely—Wrestle not with one non-understanding.

“For if he leap up, he may display superiority over thee;
“May strive mightily that he may overthrow thee.

“Although my person is of the city-residents,
“My heart is not careless of the kings of the time.

“From Hindústán to the confines of Rúm;
“From the land of Irán to the cultivated confines of the earth,—

“I have sent to every territory
“One intelligence-recognising and picture-painting,


“For the reason that of kings, world-seizing,
“Should on silk express the form of each,

“The form-delineator of every country,
“And bring at last the painting to me.

“When near to me they (the damsels) bring the form,
“At it, my subtle judgment looks.

“Of that picture inscribed on my heart, I desire the trace
“From everyone who possesses the nature of this secret.

“When they say,—it is the picture of a certain king,
“I accept (the fact) that that picture is a true picture.


“Then from the nail of the foot to the crown of the head
“On every form, I establish my sight.


If be read for , the first line will be:—

From Hindústán to the plain of Rúm.

If tá ba ábád búm be read for tá ba aḳșá,e búm, the second line will be:—

From the Irán land to the land of the ḳa'ba (Arabia).


The couplet is in some copies:—

The writing of that picture I with soul desire

From everyone who has the nature of this picture.

“Of everyone years-experienced and everyone youthful,
“I take reckoning according to his value.

“Every picture by this estimation, bad or good,
“I recognise; for I am physiognomy-understanding:

“Am not, night and day, destitute of remedy-devising (work);
“Am not, with myself, in sport behind this screen (of purity):

“I cause to move the scale of resolution;
“(And) esteem Khusraus (save thee) of light weight.


“From every picture which I obtained on silk,
“Thy form was agreeable to me;

“For while the soul gives acquaintance with love,
“It gives evidence as to the majesty of the Khusrau.”

When she uttered this speech to the bold Sikandar,
She descendedfrom the precious throne.

On this throne she left the king;
For of one throne two kings cannot be.

Seest thou not—at chess are two kings,
Who heap up grief on every heart?


When from her own throne the Parí-faced one
Descended and performed service,

She sate, bride-like, on a chair of gold,
Became custom-observer (servant) of the monarch (Sikandar).

From shame of that moon (Núshába), like the crocodile (in boldness), the king
Passed from colour to colour like shot silk.


Núshába imputes unsound judgment to Sikandar in coming unpro tected to a strange house. Otherwise:—

Make my soul the scale of resolution;

Esteem Khusraus (thee included) of light weight.

To his heart, thus he spoke:—“If this work-understander be woman,
“Her heart is illumined with manly skill.

“That woman who does such worthy deeds,
“Over her, the angel utters praises.


“But it is not proper that woman should be bold;
“For the rage of the female lion is very great.—

“Of women,—the scale (of boldness) should be the striker of the stone (the scale of lightness);
“Of men,—the weight (of force) should be the shatterer of the scale (of boldness of women).

“That woman, best who is hidden within the screen (“parda”);
“For, the note out of melody (“be parda”) is the scream.

“If the qualities of woman ( zan) had been good,
“Of woman, the name would have been (ma-zan, strike not), not (zan, strike).

To the councillor, how well said Jámshíd—
“Either the screen (the harám) or the tomb is the best place for woman.


“Of the woman (out of the screen), be not sure, saying— the woman is chaste,
“For the ass (woman) tied up (is) best, though the thief (the adulterer) be an acquaintance.”


Woman, of little reason, excites through her boldness much strife in the world.


“Sang-zan” signifies—a balance of which one end is too light. The balance of women, in whom justice and rectitude exist not, is even so.

The great ones have said:—

The skill of man is the defect of woman;

The defect of woman is the skill of man.

The worth of woman is in her softness and bashfulness; of man, in his hardness.

Again (to his heart) Sikandar said:—“What is this loss of self-possession?
“In this screen, entreaty (for release) is foolishness.

“In the bitterness (of Time), give sweetness to reflection (take warning);
“Forget the fallen (captive) body (for God will give release).

“In place of the kind heart-ravisher like this,
“Who is lovely of disposition and sweet of tongue,

“If thou hadst found a malicious enemy,
“Save head-severing, what wouldst thou have spun (reaped)?


“If I withdraw myself from this place,
“I will preserve the extent of my own work:

“Will not again clothe the face like strangers;
“Will not pursue the path and usage of the foolish:

“(And) will loose the fettered (distressed) heart from fetters.
“Why should I cast frown (grief) on frown (grief)?

“When the ant falls into the polished cup,
“Design, not force, is necessary for the liberator.

“I will employ patience in this toil and trouble;
“Thou mayst say it (this captivity) is a phantom which I behold in a dream.


“I have heard that one rope-bound towards the gibbet
“Went, freshness on his (face) like the early spring.


If in a state of grief a difficulty is brought to the heart,—grief is increased.


In a polished basin the ant is liberated by being given a piece of straw, not by force nor by grasping with the hand. For, on account of his smallness and feebleness, such force would cause his destruction.

“One of the kind ones asked him,
“Saying:—Why art thou joyous, and of little grief?

“He gave a reply like this, saying:—Life of this (short) duration (since I shall soon be hung),—
“How can I pass it in grief?

“He was in this sentiment when God gave him release;
“Gave his face the lightness (of joy) in that darkness (of death).”

—Of many locks, whose key thou findest not,
The opener (joy) suddenly appears.—


To himself, he said much on this matter;
At last, he gave his body in surrender (to God).

When Taham-Tan alone makes the foray,
The hand of the demon becomes long (powerful) against him.

When the singer utters a song out of melody,
The sound of the (musical) string laughs at his (throat-) noise.

When, after a while, he soothed the ear of his body,
He put down the fire of anger from ebullition:

Considered patience to be his own remedy (for grief);
Lowered his head in submission to fortune.


Núshába, like servants, loin-girt,
Ordered that those Parí-faced ones

Should place a tray of every kind of equipage;
Should make ready victuals of sorts.


This may be uttered by Sikandar or by Niámí.


This refers to Rustam's Haft-khwán, or Seven Stages; or to his slaying the Dev Akhván. See the Sháh-Náma, by Firdausí. In W. Ouseley's “Oriental Collections,” 1797, vol. ii. No. 1. p. 45, a picture of the Dev-i-Sapíd is given.

The damsels, (adorned) candle-like, arose;
Set (each) in order a royal tray:

Placed food beyond limit;
Of every cooked lamb, some kinds:

The pan-cake, a thin cake, round in form,
From the circuit of the royal pavilion to the circuit of the street (so many were the cakes):


Verily, the pellet, sugar-mixed,
Sprinkled like sesame-seed, on those round cakes:

Victuals, delicious, ambergris in nature,
Gave idea of the foods of Paradise.

From the hump of the ox and the fish (heaped up) like the mountain,
The ox and the fish beneath the earth became distressed.

The table-cloth of variegated appearance with fowl and lamb,
Flying in joy like the bird.

Spiced birds fattened in the house (at home) and luscious pickles,
With almonds and pistachio-nuts, kernels extracted.


The first line may be:—

The thin pan-cake, a cake round in form.


“Kursa” signifies—small balls of fruit like the almond, which, scraped and mixed with sugar, they sprinkle (in place of sesame seed) on loaves of bread.


“Ibá” signifies—spoon-meat, soup, &c.


“Kohá” (kohán) signifies—an ox-hump.

“Kohá,e máhí” signifies—the flesh on the back of a fish, which is best.


“Mașús” signifies—the flesh of home-fowls, or of young pigeons, dressed with vinegar, their interiors being filled with hot condiments (adviya,e garm), such as parsley (karafs), rue (sadáb), almonds (bádám), pistachio nuts (pista). Thus prepared, they are reserved till needed.

The second line means—almonds and pistachio nuts were put into the spiced birds.


From much fragrant, pure wine,
Was many a weak brain which came to its place (regained strength).

Of the dry sweetmeat and the moist sweetmeat,
The bags of sugar disgusted (envious).

The draught,—rose-watered and rose-sugared,
Rose-conserve-scattering from its fragrant breath.

Apart,—for the Khusrau of good fortune,
The cloth of gold cast on the table:

A tray, gleaming like the sun arranged;
On it, four cups of pure crystal.


One full of gold, and the other of ruby;
The third full of cornelian, and the fourth of pearl.

When at the table, victual-spread, the hands became extended (for food),
The mouth opened a path to the food.

To the king, Núshába said:—“Extend thy hand;
“Of these victuals that are before thee, eat.”

To Núshába the king spoke, saying:—“O simple heart!
“Express not the wrong note (jest not with me) so that thou mayst not be shamed (by my reply).

“In this my dish (cup) of cornelian and tray of gold,
“All is stone. How may I eat stone?


“How devours a man stone?
“Where desires man's nature this usage?

“Bring a kind of food which one can eat,
“To which one can extend the hand with pleasure.”


“Fuḳḳá'” signifies—a drink of water, barley, and dried grapes; or beer. Here it means—sharbat.

Núshába laughed in the king's face,
Saying:—“When to the throat no path is the stone's,

“For the stone (wealth) unfit for food, why
“Makest thou boasts unfit to be made?

“How is it proper to exalt the head for a substance,
“From which one cannot prepare sustenance (for the body)?


“Like the thing unfit to be eaten is this mean stone;
“Regarding it, why should we strive like the mean folk?

“In this path (of life) which is not free from the stone (of the grave),
“Why is it necessary to lay stone on stone (to heap jewel on jewel)?

“Those who took up this stone (the jewel)
“Enjoyed not; and left (it after death) like the stone.

“If thou be not the man stone-essaying (foolish),
“Be the light stone (the light weight void of the load of jewels) that thou mayst remain in thy place.”

From the reproaching of that pleasant-speaking woman,
The king performed hand-washing at the uneaten food-tray.


To Núshába he said:—“O potentate of ladies!
“Better than lion-men with sense and power,

“Thou utteredest the pleasing speech that—the jewel-worshipper (the lover of the world)
“Acquires naught save stone from the jewel;

“But then this point would have been true
“That the speaker (Núshába) should not first have sought the jewel (Sikandar).


That thou mayst remain in thy place (free from regret at leaving them at the time of death).

“If a jewel be mine on the cap (the crown),
“A monarch's crown should not be void of gems.

“Thine, are the cup and the tray full of jewels:
“Behold for whom reproach is fit!


“Why is it necessary to gather jewels to the extent of a tray full,
“To teach me jewel-scattering (the casting aside the love of jewels)?

“To cast dust in the jeweller's eye (to blind him),—
“Thy whole house full of (valuable) cornelians worthy of a Sikandar?

“But since from my own judgment I see
“Thy words are in their own appointed place,—

“A thousand praises,—on the woman of good judgment,
“Who becomes for me the guide to manliness (the abandoning of the love of wealth)!

“O foreseeing lady! by thy counsel,
“The gold coin (of wealth) like gold I cast on the earth (both valueless).”


When Núshába heard that praise,
She made the earth cornelian-clad (of roseate hue) with her (rosy) lip.

She ordered that they should bring trays of food;
Verily, the victual-holders (platters) dust-unseen.

First from all portions she took a taste;
The Khusrau at that activity (in bringing the victuals and tasting them) was amazed.


Núshába first tasted the food to see whether it was good, and to prove that it was not poisoned.

She rested not from attendance until the king
Desisted from eating and went his way.

At the time of his departing, she made a covenant with him
That he would not use exertion to Núshába's injury.


The king directed so that the treaty was written;
He gave it to her, and went towards his own assembly from Paradise (Núshába's dwelling).

When Sikandar returned to his place from that city (of Núshába's),
He regarded the treachery from the sky, the victory from God.

Because fear was his at that escape,
He offered a hundred times thanks to the Deliverer (God).

When night took away the ball (of superiority) from the luminous day,
A lamp (the moon) was illumined and a candle (the sun) expired.

In place of that golden ball of the sphere (the sun),
Many a silvern ball (star) which displayed its face.


The king accomplished the repose of sleep;
Closed the two folds of his eyes in that place of four walls (night).

Rested until the early morning dawned;
The whiteness (of day) in the blackness (of night) appeared.


“Chár díwar” signifies—night divided into four watches.

“Do lakht” signifies—the two folds of the eye; the two folds of a door.

The second line may be:—

Established sleep for a period of two watches within the four walls (of the tent).

The king raised his head from sweet sleep;
Prepared an assembly like the morning-time.

In his hand the golden orange like the sun;
With it, he shattered the head of the orange of the sky (made the moon void of light).

The Parí-faced one (Núshába) of sweet portion (of life)
Went forth with auspicious omen (the covenant with Sikandar) from her city,


Like a resplendent moon, which at even-time,
When it becomes full, issues from the east,

Damsels like the Pleiades around her,
From the crown of her head to the skirt begemmed.

Behind her, moving the moon-faced ones,
A hundred like Venus (in beauty) in (subject to) one finger of hers.

When the Parí-faced one (Núshába) beheld the king's camp,
She beheld dependants and pavilions, world within world.

From the many three-cornered, painted silk banners of golden standard,
The atmosphere became roseate, and the plain violet (with shade).


From the many guard-tents, golden-painted,
She found no path to the monarch's door:


The second line may be:—

Each one from the crown of her head to the skirt begemmed.


If șad dur dar be read for șad dar, the second line may be:—

(a) A hundred like Venus (in beauty) to the degree of (the beauty of) one finger of hers.

(b) Like Venus, a hundred pearls upon her finger (-ring).

Sought the place and came to the king's court;
Beheld a guard-tent on the summit of the moon:

An audience-hall pitched with silk tent-ropes,
Its pillars of gold, its pegs of pure silver:

Alighted from her steed, and sought admittance;
Desired (to perform) the ground-kiss (of obeisance) of the king, the world-possessor.

The guards of the court opened the path to her;
She entered the monarch's guard-tent:


Beheld, in the place before the throne, the chiefs,
Head-lowered in the shadow of one crown;

(And) the crown-possessors of the time, closely crowded,
Before the world-seeker of victorious fortune,—

To such a degree that from exceeding glory of the light and splendour (of the court)
The boldness of the man-beholder became water:

All (the chiefs) matched with (like) the wall-picture;
Neither the power of motion nor the power of speech.

When the bride of the fortress (Núshába) beheld that fortress (the crowd of standing nobles),
She trembled at that court of narrow (difficult) entrance.


She gave the ground-kiss and began (to utter) praise;
At her, those lion-men amazed.

The Khusrau ordered that—of pure gold
A chair like the sun they should bring.


“Ḳamar dar ḳamar” signifies—height above height; conjoined; belt on belt (fully accoutred).


“Tang-bar” signifies—a person or a thing that gives not access to everyone. They give not admittance to everyone at the king's court.

Núshába is called the bride of the fortress, because she never went outside its precincts: the bride of the fortress (of the sky) is the sun.

Upon it, he caused the world-bride to sit,—
The other brides above her head.

He inquired (after her health) and displayed much courtesy;
Exhibited gladness at her coming.

When the heart of the sitter (Núshába) came to its place,
The sign passed to the chamberlain to this purpose,


That the table-decker should bring the food-tray (of fruit and potables);
Should bring into the assembly agreeable food.

First, with (large cups of) sharbat of sweet nature,
The earth became like the (land of the) fountains of Paradise.

Of that fountain (large cup) of sweet rose-water, a stream (a draught),
Unseen in dream, either by Khusrau Parvíz or by (his lady) Shírín.


“Ráh-náma” signifies—the official who conducted Núshába to Sikandar's tent and showed her her seat. Some erroneously say it means—vazír.


“Sálar-i-khwán” signifies—bakávul (steward) va cháshní-gír (taster).


In the supplemental volumes to the works of Sir W. Jones, 1801, vol. i. p. 161, it is said:—

Forty pounds of fresh roses (stems cut close) are put in a still with sixty pounds of water. When the water grows hot and fumes begin to rise, the cap of the still is put on and the pipe fixed to the receiver. As the impregnated fluid begins to go over into the refrigerator and the still is hot,—the fire is reduced.

The distillation continues till thirty pounds of water pass over in four or five hours.

This rose-water is poured on forty pounds of fresh roses and the distillation continued till fifteen or twenty pounds of rose-water, highly scented, pass over.

It is then poured into pans and left exposed to the fresh air for a night. In the morning the 'ir, congealed on the top of the water, is collected and poured into a vial. The remaining rose-fluid is used for fresh distillation.

The quantity of 'ir that can be obtained depends on the quality of the roses and on the skill of the distiller.

Tachenius obtained half an ounce of 'ir from a hundred pounds of roses; Hamberg, one ounce; and Hoffman, two ounces.

In Kashmír they distil with the roses a sweet-scented grass, that gives to the 'ir a clear green colour. If sandal wood be used, its odour will be perceived, and its essential oil will not congeal in that cold at which the pure rose-ir does.

At that time, when they ungrudgingly (without delay) placed the tray (of victuals),
The dust of ambergris inclined to the cloud.

Of every delicacy which enters calculation,
A mountain (in abundance) poured down on every side.


A thin cake of twice-sifted flour,
(Pure) like the moon's beams resplendent with light:

Verily, the soft (thick) cake like floss silk,
From which the kidney of the cake-cooker (through excessive toil) became cooked (consumed):

Spoon-meats of different kinds, more than a hundred sorts;
They placed in front in golden trays.

Of the various eatables of the world, was not one
Of which something eatable was not on that tray.

When they had eaten as much as was agreeable,
They unloosed the fastening from the cup and the wine-flagon;


Drank pure wine—until mid-day,
Like wine in the flagon, became the fire-kindler (in the sky).


“Gard-i-'ambar” signifies—'ambar-súda.

From the motion of the attendants the finely ground ambergris mixed with the victuals ascended to the cloud.


“Do parvezaní” signifies—that twice sifted.

Harír” signifies—nán-roghan, flour mixed with milk and oil.


When a match is applied to pure wine it ignites.

Until mid-day became as hot as the wine of the flagon was hot in the bodies of the drinkers.

Joy expanded the countenances of the wine-worshippers (drinkers);
Expanded the face of those intoxicated by the power of wine.

Those of fairy form, with that heart ravishingness,
Sate until night (engaged) in vocal and instrumental music.

When night desired that it might bring the army from grief,
The temperament (of man) brought its head to the sleeping-place.

To those dolls (lovely ones), the chief of the age (Sikandar) spoke,
Saying:—“To night it is unnecessary (for you) to go to the city.


“This is the command—that, to-morrow, early in the morning,
“We will make a banquet from the fish (beneath the earth) to the moon (in the sky).

“According to the custom of Fírídún and the usage of Kay Khusrau (Cyrus),
“We will take justice (the desire) of our heart from music and wine.

“Perhaps when fire (ruddy wine) leaps (runs over) from the cup,
“Our work (of feasting) may be perfected with that raw blood (pure unperfumed wine):

“We may for a time lay aside earth's business;
“May cherish (enjoy) life with the cherished coral (the ruddy wine):


The second line may be:—

The face of those intoxicated expanded with the power of the wine.

“May with wine become illumined (flushed) like the rose;
“May by that wine-flagon bring forth the sweat (of shame) from the rose:


“May with a draught (of sprinkled wine) make the earth perfumed;
“May make a great piece of (perfumed) clay moist for the head-washing of an intoxicated one (withered and stained).”

The Parí-born ones kissed the dust,—
Parí-like both gladdened and abashed.

At the monarch's banquet Núshába, the illuminator,
More resplendent than Venus in the morning time.

When (the bride of) night put on the jewels prepared with ambergris (the musky locks of darkness),
It opened the head of the musk-bladder (and produced darkness).

Of the musky locks of that heart-alluring (feast-night)— the king
Prepared a noose, ambergris-scattering.


With that musky noose (dark night)—the moon and Jupiter (the damsels of fairy form),
He brought down from the lofty sphere (and detained for his night-feast).


May with wine (rose-water sprinkling) become illumined like the rose;

May bring forth sweat (of freshness) from this flagon of clay (the body of dust).


The first line may be:—

Of the musky locks of those heart-allurers (the damsels),—the king.


The first line may be:—

With the musky noose (tresses of the damsels), the moon and Jupiter (jewels and pearls).

That heart-enchanting night was the night of the feast;
Parí-forms, Parí-like, splendour-displaying (in bejewelled garments),

That perhaps they may enkindle (incite) a ruddy fire (a great carouse);
May place the horse-shoe in the fire for the purpose of (inciting) the king (to carouse).

The monarch directed them to kindle the fire (the drinking of ruddy wine);
To burn (fuel of) sweet fragrance according to the usage of fire-worshippers.

From the wine-cup such a fire burned,
That in it the chattels (of sense) of the wine-bibbers burned.


In music, and wine, and other pastimes,
He (Sikandar) continued to pass the night with joy.

When they rubbed vermilion (the crepuscule) on the azure sky,
The black, swift camel (night) brought forth the yellow fox (the rising sun).

Again, (the king's) joy came into action;
The royal carpet became pearl-studded.

Again, the king's meadow (banquet) became fresh with the box-tree and the cypress (the damsels of Parí-form);
The partridge and the pheasant (the damsels) came into graceful motion.

Those of Parí-form became singers,
—The lovely ones of sun-face were of new order (adorned) on the sixteenth day of the month Mihr (September).


From much (drinking of the) amber-like (ruddy) wine-cup, heart-exhilarating,
They scattered amber (ruddiness) on the face of day.

Come, cup-bearer! bring a cup of wine (of senselessness);
Bring a message (of its coming) from the red rose (the ruddy wine).

Make my countenance like (ruddy) wine with that (ruddy) wine (of senselessness);
Make my colour ruddy with the red rose (the ruddy wine).


“Mihr” may signify—wine; or a mistress of sunlike face.

“Mihr-gán.” See Richardson's Dictionary, under the head—máh.

The second line may be:—

The sun was of new order (adorned) in the autumn-month September (when its warmth in the east is agreeable, and when feasting is pleasant).


Into the wine-cup they cast roses.