He made mention of the world Creator,
Without recollection of whom let not the people be!

A God,—from whom hopefulness is (mine);
From whom happiness is in the heart of man:

In helplessness, the remedy of our work;
In water and in fire, our Preserver:

When He brings pardon, He shows the path to the treasure;
When He brings mercy, He relieves from sorrow:


Of the world was no preparer of its chattels;
By His command this decoration was painted:

An approved person who is at His command,
On him praise, for he is the praise-utterer (of God)!

When the reed finished the beginning of the letter (the praise of God),
It cast speech (writing) on the tongue of (that uttered by) the king,

Saying:—“From the bold-hearted Sikandar, this letter
“To the Khákán—may he be the adorer of Sikandar!

“By the order of the Possessor of the azure sphere (God),
“May blessing be from us on the life of the Khákán!


“May that Khusrau, crown-bestowing, know so much,
“How we urged the steed into this land:

“Not for battle came we from the Persian land;
“As the guest of the Khákán of Chín we came.

“With that (desire of) heart that, in the way of obedience,
“He (the Khákán) may show attention to the guest (Sikandar).

“If the lofty sun in your city
“Hastens from the east towards the west,

“Behold! that sun am I that—by the road,
“Led the army from west to east.


“I seized with the sword black (the west, Ethiopia) to white (the east, Irán);
“Gave ungrudgingly to those asking (for empire):

“Resolved to go to Chín from the confines of Abyssinia;
“Hastened to the east land from the west:


“Ba mihmán.” See canto liii. couplet 2; liv. 18, 13, 24; lxxii. 27.

“From the low (the west, or setting)-place of the lofty sun
“Caused the noose (of capture) to reach to its place of splendour (the east, or rising-place):

“Planted the musk-willow (black of wood, sweet of smell) in Hindústán;
“Will plant the white lily of the valley in Chín.

“If thou fear my cutting sword,
“Turn not thy head from my order.


“But if thou turn thy judgment and sense from my command,
“The revolving sphere will cause thy ear to turn (chastise thee).

“Bring me not to that point where this fierce lion (Sikandar)
“Comes boldly for the hunting of wild asses (the men of Chín).

“Turn the lion's foot from this garden (of Chín);
“Remind not the elephant of Hindústán (lest thy destruc­tion be great).

“They bring down calamity upon their own head,
“Who before those intoxicated (Sikandar and his army) employ the song (of war).

“Behold, in the battle-day, from my sword,
“What a river of blood went to the desert of Zang:


“How I quenched the arrogance of Dárá;
“What I did in respect to the ignoble Fúr!


In a foreign country, when the elephant remembers his own country (India), he becomes distraught, and lays in ruin men and houses.


The intoxicated ones rise and make the singer's head void of brain.


Fúr was probably Porus, as in Pahlaví f and p are the same.

Plutarch says:—

Porus was four cubits and a palm high; and though the elephant he

“By the power of fortune, other kings—
“How I brought down headlong from crown and throne.

“If Firídún should now come to me,—
“To me he would even so become captive.

“In every land and clime which I assaulted,—
“I made the land void of the stranger.

“That one who for me displayed well-wishing,
“From me no ill-wishing was his.


“When I give anyone my protection,
“As to that covenant I become not covenant-breaker.

“When my tongue (the heart) becomes the guide to the covenant,
“From beyond the agreement and compact, I take not my head.

“In Yaghmá and Chín I bring not distress on that account,
“That I may acquire the women of Yaghmá and of Chín.

“Mine, indeed, are many pearls of the river (lovely women),
“Slaves of Chín and of Yaghmá.

rode was one of the largest, his stature and bulk were such that he appeared but proportionably mounted. This elephant, during the whole battle, gave extraordinary proofs of his sagacity and care of the king's person. As long as that prince was able to fight, he defended him with great courage and repulsed all assailants; and when he perceived him ready to sink under the multitude of darts and the wounds with which he was covered, to prevent his falling off he kneeled down in the softest manner, and with his trunk gently drew every dart out of his body.

When Porus was taken prisoner, Sikandar asked him how he desired to be treated. He answered:—“Like a king.” “And have you nothing else to request?” replied Sikandar. “No,” said he; “everything is comprehended in the word king!”

According to Persian authors, Fúr (Porus) was slain; according to Greek authors he was taken captive and re-instated.

“To descend from the sky to the earth
“Is much better than (to go) from Irán to Chín (for the path is long and difficult).


“Instead of sending food and treasure,
“Why becamest thou fury-essayer with lions?

“O soldier of Chín! What hast thou in thy brain,
“That thou openest the lamp (thyself) to the cold boisterous wind (Sikandar's army)?

“For what is—thy alighting at (my) roadside;
“Thy arraying the army like Sikandar's wall?

“If thou prepared the design of contest with us,
“Thou castedst fire upon a thorn.

“If thou came out for the sake of meeting me,
“If thou came apology-maker,—where is thy apology?


“Give information, that I may know thy reckoning,
“Whether in the snake-basket (thy brain) is the snake (of war) or the jewel of the snake's head (peace).


The second line may be:—

Thou art the thorn; thou art cast on the fire.

In this case, andákhtí is intransitive.


“Pesh iḳbál” signifies—peshwá, peshbáz, istiḳbál, istiḳbál kunanda.

The full sentence is:—

Pesh iḳbal-i-man ba istiḳbál ámadí.

See canto 1. couplet 30.


Snake-stones, said to be capable of overpowering poison, are of three kinds:—

The first is a phosphate of lime, with carbonate of lime and traces of carbon, like a calcined bone. It is small, round or oval, nearly white at the circumference, black or brown at the centre, polished, easily cut with a knife, used as a neck-ornament, emits an earthy smell when breathed on, and adheres to a moist surface.

The second is a carbonate of lime coloured with vegetable matter. It is small, oval, smooth, and shining, black externally, grey internally, and has no earthy smell nor adherent power.

The third is a bezoar (Persian, pá zuùr, pád-zahr, bád-zuhr, the

“The army have, through my waiting, come into agitation (for war with thee);
“Have, through my shortcoming (delay) come to shouting (for the plunder of thy land).

repeller of poison). It is cylindrical, slightly curved, shining, hard, brittle, dark green, emits the odour of musk, has no adherent power.

In 1662 some specimens were brought from India by three Franciscan friars, and lodged in the museum of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Some were sent at the same time to Sir Robert Moray by Philiberti Vernati.

In the “Philosophical Transactions,” 1665, Thevenot says:—

In East India and in China is found in the head of a hairy serpent a stone that heals the bitings of the same serpent, that else would kill in twenty-four hours. The stone is round, white in the centre, blue or greenish about the edges. Being applied to the wound, it adheres until it has sucked the poison. Washing it in milk restores it to its natural condition.

Solimis, in his chapter on Ethiopia, Philostratus, Pliny—all speak of it.

The gem is evidently the carbuncle, and probably the snake-stone of modern travellers.

In Sanscrit (in the Characa Susruta) it is often mentioned as Serpa-maní (the snake-gem) and garamani (poison-stone).

The author of the “Ikhtiyár Badá,í” calls the stone—bád-zuhr, and says:—It is found in the head of the asai (viper); the author of the “Tuhfatu-l-Muminín” calls it—hájaru-l-hayyat, or már-muhra; the Arabs call it—hajaru-s-samm.

Ibn Talmíz, or Haybátu-'lláh (a Christian physician at the court of 'Abasside Khalífa Muttaki, in the tenth century), and the author of the medical work, “Al Mughní” (the Satisfier), say—that Aristotle spoke of the bezoar stone being brought from India and China.

According to our medical writers, the bezoar was introduced to the knowledge of Europe by Arabic writers.

Oriental writers speak of two kinds of bezoar:—

(a) The mineral procured (according to Talmíz) from India and China; (according to Abú Hinduya) from the mountain Zaravand, in Kirmán.

(b) The organs found (according to the Tuhfatu-l-Muminín) in the stomach of animals of the goat kind; it is called—hajaru-t-tís.

See the Khwașșu-l-Ihjár and the Ikhtiyárát-i-badá,í.

Fontána (quoting Redí and Valisnieri, the Italian naturalists) says that the snake-stone has no ethcacy in curing the bite of vipers.

Snake-stones have been considered to be specimens of Serpentine, the origin of which term has not been satisfactorily determined.—“Asiatic Researches, vol. xiii. p. 317; xiv. 182; xvi. 382.

In the life of Apollonius Tyanœus (Persian, Balínás), B.C. 3-A.D. 98,

“My lions (warriors) have beheld the deer (the sluggish army) of Chín;
“Fat deer like these, seldom have they seen.

are some marvellous stories of huge Indian serpents, which the Indians destroy as follows:—

They spread a silken robe, inwoven with golden letters, before the entrance of the serpent's cave, and those letters, being magical, bring on sleep, so that the eyes of the scrpent (although exceedingly hard, sounding like brass when it moves) are overcome. Then with powerful incantations they so allure it as to be able to cast over it the magical robe, which induces sound sleep.

Rushing on it, the Indians cut off its head with an iron axe, and take out certain stones found therein; for the heads of the mountain-serpents are said to contain small stones, very beautiful, and endowed with a peculiar lustre and wonderful virtues. Such a stone was in the ring that Gyges is said to have possessed that conferred invisibility.

Bábú Ráj Chandra Sandal, of Banáras, says:—

In Bengal it is a belief that the cobra bears a diamond, learned men imagining that, as it lives a long life, time matures its carbon to a diamond.

In his Manual of Kurg, p. 166, the Rev. G. Richter says:—

The cobra lives a thousand years. After passing the meridian of its life, its body shrinks and brightens till it gleams like silver and measures three feet at the age of six hundred years; still later, it shines like gold and is only a foot in length; at last it shrinks to the size of a finger; the same day it flies in the air, dies, and sinks to the ground, where it disappears.

The spot is called náka, and is marked by a stone enclosure. Should anyone unawares set foot on it, he will be attacked by an incurable disease and rot away by degrees.

When the stone is taken from the reptile's head, he is no longer venomous. The stone is dark of colour, shining, the shape of a horse­bean, sometimes pale and semi-transparent, made of sandarach, or false amber. Though adhering for a time to bites, it has no curative properties.

The American Indian tribes believe that in the mountains is a secret valley, inhabited by the chiefs of the rattlesnake tribe, which grow to the size of large trees and bear on their foreheads brilliant gems. They are called—“the kind old kings,” “the bright old inhabitants,”—as the cobra is—“the good snake.”

In Peru is an animal called the carbunculo, that appears only at night. When pursued, a valve opens in its forehead and a brilliant object (a gem?) becomes visible, dispelling the darkness, and dazzling pursuers.

In Cyprus and the adjacent isles and coasts false precious stones, said

“My lions have severed the chain;
“My bold ones are resolute as to blood.

“The arrow-feather and the sharp spear-point (of my army)
“Rend the quiver in pieces through clamour (for flight).


“The eye of the spear-point is (expectant) on the path of this enemy;
“If there,—(with thee be) one ‘man,’ our mace is a hundred ‘mans.’

“When my soldier-slaves take aim
“With a single arrow, defeat comes to an army.

“If he were the Khusrau Shist Mírán,
“Even he would be the butt of these aim-takers.

“When my smoke (the army) passed over a tribe (a kingdom),
“If it were (adorned as) the painting of Chín, it became the desert-smoke (dispersed).

“When I abandon friendship and peace,
“Me,—God forbid I should through fear drink a drop of water (delay).

to have been taken out of the head of the kouphí, are fabricated by Jews; they are worn as amulets to protect the wearers from the bite of venomous animals.

Shakespeare (“As You Like It,” Act II., Scene I.) says:—

(The toad) ugly and venomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

The “Indian Antiquary,” February, 1875.


“Ham-amáj” signifies—ham-nishín.

Hence the couplet may be:—

If he were the Khusrau of sixty amírs,

He would even be the fellow-sitter with these aim-takers (slaves of mine).

Shist Mírán was a famous warrior under Afrásiyáb, the King of Túrán.


With a slight alteration, the second line will be:—

If I drink water (delay) on account of anyone,—be not water (honour) mine!


“My spear devours the dragon, just as
“The deluge of fire consumes grass.

“If in conflict with me be the deep ocean,—
“From the ocean, I will with the sword bring forth the dust (of destruction).

“When my arrow makes passage through the brave (the warriors),
“Of the flanks of lions it makes the butt.

“And if the mountain be (in conflict with me) I will cause it to move;
“I will clothe (conceal) it with the rust of iron (the darkness of my war-weapons).

“I shatter the elephant in wrestling;
“Am the king of elephant-body (robust); nay—the elephant-overthrower!


“To devour the buttocks of the wild ass or the haunch of the deer (such are the men of Chín),
“Has no weight with the rending lion (Sikandar).

“When the royal white falcon and the sea-hawk set to work,
“They give the prey of birds to the fishes.

“Ye are the fishes, footless, handless;
“In my mouth (is) the dragon like the crocodile.


The second line may be:—

(Its) iron (hardness) I will clothe with rust (the devourer of iron).

If faroshánam be read for bi poshánam:—

I will put it away (destroy it) with the rust of iron.


As the leavings of falcons, after much preying on birds, fall into the river,—so will your corpses, O men of Chín!

Otherwise—From fear of me ye will flee from the plain and be drowned in the river, as fall birds from fear of the falcon.


The second line may be:—

My dragon (body)—as regards the mouth (is) the crocodile (ready to devour you).

“Even so the dogs that gnaw the bone
“(Easily) devour bread with teeth like the sword.

“Since thou art malice-bearing, I will display revenge-taking;
“Be friendly;—I will display friendliness.


“In every place where my power presses its foot (is firm),
“Victory is mine and superiority.

“If to thee,—the jewel (peace) be needful; or if the crocodile (war),
“From my sea both may come to thy grasp.

“Perhaps thou beheldest not my uplifted sword,—
“On it, a crocodile and a (jewel-) lustre diffused?

“I am that treasure and that crocodile-form;
“For in my cup is the poison (of the crocodile of war) and the antidote (of the treasure of peace).

“Near (with) thee,—that treasure (peace) and that dragon (war);
“Give me tidings—which thing fetches the price (or is bought by thee).


“If thou come, I will bring thy body within silk (the dress of honour);
“But if not, I will bring thy head within bonds.

“I have displayed to thee savageness and gentleness;
“With these two I have tried thee.

“If thou (by journeying) make thy foot dusty at my door,
“I will pass like the sun (splendour-giving) over the soil of Chín.

“But if not, I will by way of revenge cast
“All the dust of Chín into the sea of Chín.

“When thou readest this letter thou shouldst not make delay;
“Show me the sign of peace or of war.


“Thou shouldst not exercise carelessness; for the fierce river
“Is in tumult, like the cloud, torrent-shedding.”

A man, tongue-knowing, man-understanding,
Who possessed fear of none,—he summoned;

And sent, so that he took the precious letter;
And gave it with Sikandar's seal to the Khákán.

When the Khákán read the king's order,
He wished to fall from the summit of his place.

Fear came into his heart through that awe;
For he was intelligent of temperament and the recognizer of the intelligent.


A fancy of two forms closed the path against him (the Khákán),
Namely:—Shall I strike at the king (in battle); or shall I go to the king?

—The having two forms (of thought) brings torment to thought;
Brings the head of the remedier to the sleep (of grief).—

Come, cup-bearer! that wine (of senselessness) like rose­water
Sprinkle on me, that I may come from the sleep (of care­lessness of God).


The first line may be:—

A fancy of two forms; to it he (the Kháḳán) closed the path.