O king! O monarch! O world-ruler!
O thou of sky-exaltation, Jupiter (the auspicious) in sem­blance!

Where,—the banquet of Kay Khusrau and his chattels (of pomp)?
(Where),—Sikandar, who ascended his throne?

When that constellation (Sikandar) moved from his own mansion (expired),
Thou art the pomp-possessor of those Khusraus!

Thine is world-possessing and order-giving;
By thy soul (I swear)—if thou place thy heart on the world.


The second line agrees not with couplet 6. It may be:—

Up to the end (only of thy life)—if thou place thy heart on the world.


Although the world is in the die (impress) of thy name,
Although the earth is happy in thy repose,—

Place not thy heart on this heart-ravishing world of revo­lution;
For the sky accords not with friends.

Behold the world! towards its own friends (the rich),
What unkindness (breach of faith) it brings:

By (giving) a throne which it (the world) adorned,
What sport it showed to those throne-seizers:

By (giving) a cup (of wealth), with which it made joyous one intoxicated,
What tyranny it showed those former cup-holders.


Thou art like Kay Khusrau of seven climes,
Thou art Sikandar, the territory-seizer!

In the mirror and the cup (the way and fashion) of both of those kings,
Thus best,—that by both (the mirror and the cup) thou shouldst see a path (to God).

For every matter for which to-day thou exercisest judg­ment,
To-morrow (the Judgment Day) thou wilt achieve the reward.

That crown-bestower art thou, who of that crown-possessor (thy father)
Becamest the token of the throne of chiefs.

Display thou gladness, although the joyous drinkers (thy ancestors) have departed;
Thou art possessed of crown, although crown-possessors have departed.


The poet deters Nașratu-d-Dín from seeking the ease of the world, and persuades him to prepare himself for the next world.


In this variegated garden (of the world) like the partridge and the pheasant,—
In the parterre, will remain neither the rose nor the cypress.

If king Ikhtisás (thy father) were the straight cypress,
Thou art the green token in this rose-garden.

If he (Ikhtisás) kept me (Nizámí) prosperous by fortune,
(And) caused me to reach from the earth to the lofty sphere,—

Higher and better than that thou keptest me;
Leftest not shut the door of the garden (of bounty).

The sky, while it is the earth-ortrayer (beautifier with vegetation),
May it not close the door of happiness against thee!


Of the beneficent ones (the kings, thy ancestors), the lords of (my) time,—for me
Thou art left remaining. Mayst thou remain!

What said I? and in what am I engaged?—(the tale of Sikandar).
Where was my steed (of speech)? where galloped I?

When Sikandar beheld that throne and that cup,
He saw not a throne fit for ease (for death occurred to him).

A throne (on earth) that is apart from him (the dead Kay Khusrau) of heaven,
Is the prison-placer of the life (of the beholder embittered by the thought of death).

He summoned the learned Balínás;
Placed him near to the cup, world-displaying:


Desired thought from him, as to the usage of the cup,
That he may seek out fully its mystery.


The tale of Sikandar is here resumed.

When the sage glanced into the hollow cup,
He read, letter by letter, its inscriptions.

Within the cup, at that place where was the (turquoise) studding,
Some (seven) lines were continuously written.

Much, they regarded that inscription;
They recognized it not;—a secret calculation, it was.


The first line may be:—

When the sage deeply looked into the cup.


The seven lines were:—

When the cup was filled up to the line named, it was given to:—

(1) kha-i-jaur the line of violence the man whom the king wished to make greatly intoxicated
(2) kha-i-jaur Baghdád the line of Baghdád the man of Baghdád
(3) kha-i-jaur Basrah the line of Basrah the man of Basrah
(4) kha-i-jaur azraḳ the blue line the man of Zang
kha-i-jaur siyáh the black line the man of Zang
kha-i-jaur shab the night line the man of Zang
(5) kha-i-jaur ashk the line of tears the man of music (the minstrel)
kha-i-jaur rámishgar the line of the minstrel the man of music (the minstrel)
kha-i-jaur khaar the line of danger the man of music (the minstrel)
(6) kha-i-jaur kásah-gar the line of the potter the man of cups (the pot­ter)
(7) kha-i-jaur farúdína the line of the lowest the man of service (the attendant)

It is supposed that this cup was used to measure out wine to the drinkers.

Sir W. Ouseley, in his “Travels in the East,” vol. ii. p. 399, says:—

Jamshíd's magic cup at Istakhr could hold two “mans.”

In the “Indian Antiquary,” January, 1874, is an account of an Arabic talismanic medicine cup; and in that of February, 1874, of an Arabic talismanic cup.

Sir W. Ouseley, in his “Travels in the East,” 1819, vol. ii. p. 380, says:—

The “man” of Tabríz in general use=7 1/4 lbs.

The “Burhán-i-Ḳai'” says:—

1 man of Tabríz = 40 astár
1 astár = 6 dának (dáng)
1 dának = 8 ẖabba
1 ẖabba = 1 barley grain

The monarch and the sage, his instructor,
Took record of the numbers of the lines.


In the end (after viewing the fortress of Sarír), when the king from that land and clime
Inclined towards the clime of Rúm,

The rounded astrolabe, which the sage (Balínás) made,
He prepared, according to the rules of that royal cup.

When the world-king found the path to that cup,
He found ease, for a while, in that throne-place.

So the sage (Balínás) he spoke, saying:—“On the throne of the king (Kay Khusrau),
“I desire that none should make his place of ease.”

Over that throne the sage established a tilism,
So that whoever should sit on that throne,


If he should choose a little delay,
The throne of ruby hue would cast him off.

I have heard that that long lasting (casting off) motion
Remains yet in place in that throne.

When the king renewed the custom of Kay Khusrau (by sitting on the throne and drinking the cup),
Like Kay Khusrau (who sought the cave) he resolved to go to the gate (of the fortress of Sarír):


Balínás. See canto xxxii. couplet 81; Kitáb Balínás, Bibliotheque Orientale; “Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale,” p. 107, by M. De Sacy; “Historia Dynastiarum” (Arabic text of), by Gregory Abú-l-Faraje, published with a Latin version, by Pococke, 1663, p. 119; “The Life of Apollonius Tyanensis,” by Gottfr. Olearius (Leps. 1709, folio, pp. 112, 130, 147, etc.); Gibbon's “Roman Empire,” chap. ii. note 63.


(astrolabe) is said to be derived from or , a line or a scale, and , the sun.

Went forth from seeing the throne and the cup;
Took his way towards Kay Khusrau's cave (in the moun­tain outside of the fortress)—

The guard of the fortress endured great grief (from there being no road),
So that he might take the king towards that cave.


When the king went near to that narrow cave,
The feet of the wind-footed steeds came against the stone (of obstruction, and fell).

Because (the custom of) travelling was taken up from that road,
Choked with the thorn and with the bramble.

The displayer of the cave spoke to the king,
Saying:—“Behold Kay Khusrau sleeps in this cave!

“It is a road—with lightning scorched;
“Loin on loin stitched (full of turns) on account of its windings.

“In rapine, take not the treasure (the secret) of such a cave;
“On such a work (as entering the cave), reflect awhile.


“Suppose—its road travelled with the nail and with the tooth (with great difficulty);
“Suppose—a sleeping (dead) one (thyself) like Kay Khusrau:

“To seek the cause of the concealed mysteries,
“Makes long the seeker's work—(nay, causes destruc­tion).


The second line may be:—

Filled with many large stones.



Suppose—its road swept with the nail and with the tooth;

Suppose—(a great one) like Kay Khusrau sleeping there.

“From this cave it is proper to turn the rein;
“In this cave, one may find the dragon.”

From his speech Sikandar turned his face;
Hastened on foot towards the Khusrau's cave,

The guide (the guard) moving in front, and the sage in rear;
Two slaves with him, and no other person.


By degrees, by those difficult passages,
He brought the chattels (of his person) within the fore-part of the cave.

When the treasure (the view of the interior) of the cave came to his hand,
The man, God-worshipping (Sikandar) became affrighted.

He beheld an old fissure (an interior cave) in the middle of the rock;
Towards that breach, a road narrow and fine.

The monarch went with difficulty into that cave;
Perhaps he may find a sign of his friend of the cave (Kay Khusrau).

When a moment passed that fire appeared,
Which was the threatener of burning of whoever arrived there.


To the sage he said:—“Whence are these sparks?
“Whence in this narrow cave is this vapour?”


Some say that the God-worshipping man is the sage.


Sir W. Ouseley, in his “Travels in the East,” 1819, vol. ii. p. 459, says:—

The cave of Iskandriya is in a dependency of Ázarbíjan, a hundred feet above the village of Iskandriya, at the mountain Shibib. It is said to have been made by Aristotle for a treasury. The vapour appears to be carbonic acid gas.

In the Memoir of Sir Gore Ouseley prefixed to his “Notices of Persian Poets,” 1846, p. xcvii., is given a description of a remarkable cave at Murdí on the road between Tehrán and Tabríz.

The sage glanced into the narrow cave,
(To see) why fire issued from the hard rock.

Within it (the second cave), he beheld a deep burning pit,—
From which pit, a strange light burned.

None was acquainted with that splendour,
Since towards it no path was the searcher's.

He sought much the path to (the cause of) that light;
For him, the luminous path (of the cause) became not true.


The bold man bound a cord to his waist;
Went down below into that fiery pit:

Sought the trace of that gleaming fire—
How it gives light from that pit.

Scattered,—nay the fire was collected:
When he looked within,—it was a sulphur mine (the appearance without the reality of fire)!

He signalled so that he drew him from the pit;
He came and uttered prayer for the king's life,

Saying:—“It is necessary to make haste with despatch;
“For fire, not water, comes from this pit.


“Within it (the pit), the mine of sulphur is enkindled;
“Its borders are consumed with its sulphur.”

He explained—he who (Kay Khusrau) sleeps in this pit
Concealed the alchemy (of his body) in the sulphur of that (mine).

The monarch invoked a blessing on that cave;
Went forth and sprinkled perfume on the fire (the sulphur-mine).


Kay Khusrau being an infidel, it was not proper to ask pardon from God for him. Sikandar did so through kindness.

When he came forth from the cave and sought the path,
No path became true for him.

I heard that a cloud from the deep ocean
Came to the zenith and poured down snow.


With that snow, headship-holding (prevailing) in the world,
From the road (to the cave) to the slope (the mountain-top) filled.

In that snow, Sikandar remained head-revolving;
He shed drops (tears), blood-like, from his eye-lids.

The dwellers of that fortress learned the news;
Hastened towards the fissure of (the narrow path to) the cave:

Beat the road with sticks and blows;
Swept away the snow by art.

By that remedy-devising, the king from the cave-corner
Came forth and went to the mountainous country (where was the fortress of Sarír).


When this fresh peacock (spangled sky of night), splendour displaying,
Snatched the white bone (day) from the Humá (the sun),

The auspicious-maker of the crown-place of the throne (of Kay Khusrau)
Descended from the throne-place of the fortress of Sarír.

Returned towards his own tent;
His lofty star again became concordant.


It is said that the peacock snatches bones from the Humá.

The second line may be:—

Snatched the white bone (the sun) from the Humá (the sky of day of one colour).

Rested from that journeying and burning;
(From) experiencing fear at it, (and from) the toil of journeying.

That body which experienced all burning and toiling
Found the ease of sleep at the pillow-place.


He slept when ease appeared;
He reposed until the true dawn appeared.

When the second morning struck its head against the heavens,
(And) the crepuscule struck the glass of ruddy wine on the dust (disappeared):

(And) this azure basin (of the firmament) adorned
Earth's soil with yellow herbs (the yellow effulgence of the morning sun),—

The king ordered them to prepare a banquet;
To call for wine, and the musician, and sweetmeats, and the tray (of food):

He invited the king, Sarírí, to the feast;
Made him sit in the best of places:


Took red wine in the hand with him;
Thus,—until from the wine of that day they became intoxicated.

The hand of the lord of the marches (Sikandar) came to munificence;
He opened the door of treasure to the host (Sarírí):

Made him rich by giving the collar and the crown;
Gave him both the crown of gold and also the throne of ivory:


The Persian text of the second line is incorrect.



A coat of silk bestudded with jewels;
Like the Pleiades,—with jewel-bearing, precious.

A cup of turquoise, a great orange displaying (round in form and beautiful),
Which was the receptacle of half an orange:


A wine-goblet (capable of holding half an orange) of ruby, encrusted with gold,
Better than the pomegranate-grain (in beauteousness),— like the fresh pomegranate (in ruddiness)!

A chess-board of ruby and of emerald;
A set of pieces of cornelian, red and yellow:

A large table of gleaming crystal,
(Lustrous) like the fresh wild rose on the summit of the verdant bough;

A swift steed, the halter bejewelled;
All the saddle and furniture (rein and chest-band) begemmed:

A hundred camels, strong of back, rubbed of leg,
Sweated (through fatness) beneath heavy loads:


Of small packages which were on the loads,
The jewels were in “mans”; the gold (was) in ass-loads:

Special garments for each one (with Sarírí);
Many silken garments of Báwul of the gold-drawer;

With many curiosities, and dresses of honour, and rarities,
The throne (the kingdom) of Sarírí became adorned.

For that wealth, Sarírí kissed the king's hand;
(And) went towards his own drum-place.


Báwul (Bábul) is near Kúfa in 'Iráḳ.

The monarch beat the drum (of departure) and urged the army;
Caused his standard-point to reach the sphere.


Came to the plain from that mountain;
Travelled the earth towards the deep ocean:

Hunted a week in that plain;
Resolved after a week to march.

Come, cup-bearer! bring that golden cup,
Which remains a token of Firídún and Jamshíd (people of God).

Give pure wine to the lover of pure (wine);
By intoxication one can effect this sleep (of senselessness).