When the Sultán of night took the umbrella (of darkness) over his head,
The quarters of the world took the colour of amber (darkness).

The stars scattered a treasure of gold (the light of the constellations), in such a way
That earth's cradle urged the ox to the treasure.

Sikandar made his temperament ardent by the wine-cup;
Made the earth ruby-shedding (ruddy) with wine:

Sate from even-time till early morn;
Caused the cup of Jamshíd to circulate in memory of Jamshíd:


In the path of sleep (the enemy to watchfulness), calthrops strewn;
The gallop and the assault (of the Khákán) forgotten:

The heart fearless become of the enemy's action;
Neither solicitude for (the posting of the advanced guard of) the army, nor the challenge of the sentinel.

He urged (circulated) the royal morning draught until the morning;
Kept the night awake till night remained not.

When the sphere pierced (strung) the unpierced ruby (the rays of the crepuscule),
The world became matched with the crown of ruby (the rising sun).

A watchman in the morning entered by the door,
Saying:—“Why is the king altogether careless?


“Behold! from afar the Khákán of Chín has arrived,
“In such a way that the earth trembles beneath him:

“The army world within world arrayed;
“With clarion and drum, noise excited:

“From the many feet of elephants which distressed the road,
“Dust ascended to the surface of the sun and the moon.

“An army which, if he seek much,
“No one will see so numerous in one place.

“All, war-weapons taken up,
“Like a river filled with iron.


“The king seated on a terrible elephant;
“From us to him, are not more than two miles.”


“Șabúh” signifies—the morning draught; ghiyúḳ, the evening draught.

When the king (Sikandar) obtained intelligence of this deceit (on the Khákán's part),
He descended from the royal throne:

State on the excellent steed, the road-traveller;
Arrayed the army according to the order of battle:

Made his belt tight for battle with the Khákán;
For he reckoned not his covenant true:

Ordered so that they beat the drum;
And fixed the frown on the eye-brow against the men of Chín.


He arrayed the army like the lofty mountain,—
With the sword, and the mace, and the bow, and the noose.

Van-guard to rear-guard,—with (composed of) the arrow and the sword,
A mountain (each) produced from the sea to the cloud.

When the Khákán obtained news of his action,—
That Sikandar came for contest with him,

He came forth from the troop of the centre-place:
Said with a loud voice:—“Which is the king?

“Say ye—that (for combat) he should turn the rein towards me;
“Should not keep concealed his face from my face.”


When Sikandar heard the Chíní voice,
He drew together in folds the (battle) garment of quilted silk:

Urged forth his own (steed), the elephant-overthrower;
Hurled the castle (his own steed) against the enemy's bishop (the Khákán's elephant):

Opened his tongue in execration of the Turkáns,
Saying:—“Without (hidden) calamity no Turk is born of his mother.

“Seek not from the Chíní aught save the frown on the eye-brow (the vexation of the heart):
“They observe not the treaty of men.

“True speech uttered the ancients;
“Treaty-faith exists not among the men of Chín.


“No one seeks manliness from the Chíní;
“For, save his form, that pertaining to man is not theirs.

“They have all chosen narrow-eyedness (shamelessness);
“They have beheld (experienced) openness of the eyes (shamefacedness) in other persons.

“Otherwise, after such amity,
“Why tookest thou up the path of hatred?

“First, in that friendship-seeking,—what was there?
“At last, in this hostility-displaying,—what advantage?

“Mine,—the heart was one, and covenant one;
“Truthfulness great; treachery little (none).


“Not (mine),—the intelligence that your love was hate;
“That the heart of the soldier of Chín was full of twist and turn.

“If the soldier of Chín had kept faith,
“He would (like the faith-keeping Sikandar) have kept the world beneath the fold (the skirt) of his garment.


Turkáns are the people of Turkistán.


See canto lv. couplet 43.


“Tang chashmí” signifies—zisht-síratí va bad-'ahdí.

“Farrákhí chashm” signifies—khúsh-khúe va wafá dárí.

Tatars and Chinese have narrow eyes.

See canto lxvii. couplet 46.

“Like the demon, thou madest me bound to the covenant;
“Thou now raisest the cry for treaty-breaking.

“If thy form became the mountain of steel;
“And if thy army became the tribe of Ya,júj,

“From Ya,júj, steel-devouring, would not move
“On his place Sikandar, like Sikandar's wall:


“The pheasant (the prey of the falcon), whose time (life) comes to an end,
“To it,—the (vain) idea comes of hunting the royal white falcon.

“When the locust (young and vigorous) prepared the red wing of flight,
“It gave back to the sparrow a written order for its blood.

“If thou bring forth thy head (in arrogance), I will seize the crown;
“But if thou offer apology, I will accept (the apology for) the crime.

“In my quiver—are the olive-oil and the bee;
“Are, like the bee, both the sweet and also the sting.”


One of Solomon's attendants, a beloved one, was sick unto death. The demon in the prison sent a petition, saying:—“If you will release me awhile, I will cure the sick one.”

Solomon, binding him with an oath, gave him his freedom, of which the demon took advantage to stir up disturbance, to overturn and to set fire to cities.


Kha ba khún dádan” signifies—to be content with being slaughtered. See canto li. couplet 101.


Olive-oil is used for assuaging the pain caused by the sting of the bee or the wasp.

The first line may be:—

In my quiver are the decoration (of pardon) and the arrow (of wrath).

The army-holder of Chín spoke, saying:—“O monarch!
“I have not turned my neck from thy protection (covenant):


“I am that very protection-seeker that I was at first;
“In oath firm, in treaty perfect.

“When I became the accepter of thy covenant,
“I bind not the girdle (for action) save at thy order.

“As to this movement, this was my purpose,
“That thou mightest make the censer (thy heart) sweet-smelling with my aloe (of friendship).

“Thou knowest not that I—endowed with such power
“That I arrayed my army on the revolving sphere,—

“Am not so feeble and day-blind (ignorant)
“That, void of power and force, I turn back from war.


“With this array of army like the mountain which thou beholdest,
“I am not distressed by the boiling sea (Sikandar's army).

“But fortune is thine ally;
“The earth is thy slave; and the sky, attendant.

“Strife with the lord of fortune
“Brings the striver's head from the throne.

“The sky assists the king:
“Me,—how may strife reach the sky?”

When he said this he descended from the elephant's back,
(And) went towards the city (the camp) of the king like the river Nile (submissively).


When the king (Sikandar) saw that that Khusrau, apology-making,
Went on foot before him,


The second line may be:—

The sky,—how may my strife reach?

He drew forth for his sake a steed,
From head to crupper hidden under gold trappings:

When he gave to him prosperity (by seating him) on the steed,
He gave him greatness by moving alongside with him:

Gave him many other things besides this;
Remitted to him also that one year's revenue.

When the king, the Khákán, became the king's free slave,
Enmity departed from the households (the two camps).


In that broad place the two armies became one;
The opinion of the two army-shatterers became one.

They cast off arms from the body, and sweat from the face;
They commingled in trafficing and bargaining.

The army-holder of Chín every moment from the country of Chín
Sent much food to the monarch.

So that, in the place of the king's sitters, completely
Sufficient was that food in the morning and evening.

Music and wine and the cup kept being theirs;
Near to each other verily ease, theirs.


When they were disengaged from wine,—in hunting,
They made prey together in one place.

Without each other, wine they (Sikandar and the Khákán) drank not;
Each one free (from the society of the other was) in torment with himself.


The agent to the verb drank may be—“each noble one.”

The second line may be:—

Each noble one (of both armies) in his own freedom (from the bond of egotism, khudí, and selfishness, khud-dárí).

Come, cup-bearer! that wine which is soul-cherishing
Give me; because it is, like life, necessary for me.

It may, perhaps, make anew the withered life;
May bring into agitation (of freshness) that withered blood (of old age).