A day more joyous than the fresh spring,
A day,—most choice of time,

The Khákán of Chín was the king's guest;
Two suns, fellow-sitting with each another.

Of Rúm, and of Irán, and of Chín, and of Zang,—
They drew close the two ranks.

With wine, the assembly and the face adorned;
From the face of the world (Sikandar's guests) dust (vexation) risen (and departed).


In that joyousness,—with delight and wine,
The wave (of speech) of the jewel-seller (the sage) reached the lip (of utterance).


“Munáira” signifies—disputing to ascertain the truth.

“Mujádila” signifies—disputing to maintain one's opinion, right or wrong.

“Ba mihmán.” See canto liv. couplets 13, 18, 24; lxvii. 155; lxxii. 27.


The second line may be:—

The wave, jewel-selling (the singer's lustrous speech), reached the lip.

Speech of the work of those work-knowing (traders),— passed,
Namely:—“Of the world, who are most talented?

“Of every country of the age, what is the (rare) land-produce?
“Of trades in every country, what (commodity) is the most choice?”

One said:—“Enchantment and sorcery
“Spring from Hindústán,—if thou wilt look.”

Another said:—“To men of ill-fortune (sorcerers),
“Sorceries hard to be borne arrive from Babylon.”


A third spoke, saying:—“At the time of meeting (of men of the world), there come
“Song from Khurásán, and music (of silk stringed instru­ments) from 'Irák.”

To the extent of his ability, each one (of that assembly, all fellow-countrymen) displayed
An example (a proof) from the picture of his own compass (special skill).

At length, on that it was agreed
That they should make a dome like the arch of the eye­brow:

Between the two eye-brows (the arches) of the lofty dome
The pourtrayer should lower a veil:

In this corner,—the Rúmí should practise his handicraft;
In that corner,—the Chíní paint his picture.


They should not view each other's decoration (the painting of the picture),
Until the time of claim should come to an end.


The second line may be:—

That they should make an arch like the matchless eye-brow.

When they should be disengaged from that work,
The veil should be cast down (removed) from the midst.

They (the spectators) will consider which of the two forms (pictures)
Is the most beautiful,—when it becomes finished.

In secret, the workers sate
In that two-fold arch like the double arch (of the eye­brows).

In a little while, they finished the work;
They cast up the veil from those two forms.


Of the two arzhangs (the two bepainted wall-surfaces), the form was one;
Both as to drawing and as to colour,—no difference.

At that work (of exact) similarity, the beholder remained astonished;
Was altogether dejected at the wonder.

Saying:—“How have these two form-fashioners (the painters) made
“The painting of the two arzhangs (the two bepainted wall-surfaces) in one way?”

When the king sate between the two forms,
He carefully looked at this and at that:

Recognized them not from each other;
Carried not his foot within the screen of their mystery:


“Andákhta gardídan” signifies—dúr shudan.

See couplets 19 and 35.


The second line may be:—

Double (the men of Rúm and of Chín) like the arch in that double arch.


“Arzhang” here means—the paper or the board (nigár-náma) on which the painters of Chín paint. See canto xxvi. couplet 157.


By looking, much he sought the mystery of that (exact similarity);
To him, the state of the case went not truly.

Yes; between them was a difference;
For this took (reflection), and that showed (the cause of reflection).

When the sage (Balínás) beheld those two idol-houses (the painted walls),
To the sage that (similarity of) painting appeared strange.

He summoned truthfulness, and so hastened (in thought)
That he found out the end of the thread (the concealed state) of that picture.

He ordered,—so that the people of Rúm hastened;
(And) placed again a veil between the two pictures.


When that veil intervened between the two walls,
One was desponding (obscure), and the other was gleaming.

The delineations of the Rúmí departed not from water (lustre) and colour;
Blight (obscurity) fell upon the mirror (the polished wall-surface) of the Chíní.

When the wall of the men of Chín became void of decora­tion,
At that matter the monarch was astonied.

He again drew away the veil from between;
Verily, the first appearance appeared.

He knew that that enkindled arch
Had by polishing acquired the delineation of the picture.


The men of Chín polished their wall-surface, so that it reflected the picture drawn by the men of Rúm on the other wall.


At that time when they prepared the work,
They cast up the veil in the middle.

The Rúmí was firm as to painting;
The Chíní made (decorated the wall of) the house by polishing.

Every picture of which that side (the wall-surface of the Rúmí) became the accepter,
This side (the wall-surface of the Chíní) became the accepter by polishing.

In that contest of skill, on that the decision passed
That to both was aid from the vision (of the under­standing).

No one knows how to draw a picture like the Rúmí;
Who is bold of hand against the polishing of the men of Chín?


I have heard that, by reason of his painting, Mání
Went as a prophet from Kay (in Khurásán) to Chín.

When the men of Chín obtained news of him,
They hastened beforehand on that road (by which he was coming).

A gleaming reservoir of pure crystal,
Like the reservoir of water, they established on that road.

The depictings of the writer's (painter's) reed
Stirred up the wave on that water-pool,

Like a piece of water that the wind makes restless,
Fold on fold (wave on wave) it (the wave) goes to the marge.


Verily, the herbage that sprouted on the brink of the reservoir,
On that reservoir they cunningly established with verdure.


The story of Mání extends from couplets 40-55, assigning his wondrous painting as a proof of his being a prophet.

When Mání arrived from the far desert,
He possessed a heart impatient through thirst:

Went, thirsty for that water, towards the pool;
Opened the head of the dry (empty) water-bottle.

When he struck the water-bottle on the stone-built reservoir—
That water-bottle was earthenware—it at once broke.

Mání knew that on his path
That reservoir of the men of Chín was his well (of calamity).


He brought forth a reed possessed of decoration and beauty;
Struck the reed on that reservoir, Mání-deceiving;

Figured with that reed, order-accepting,
A dead dog on the surface of the water-pool.

In it, wriggling beyond conception,—a worm,
At which terror would come to the heart of the thirsty one.

For that reason that when the thirsty one on that reservoir of water
Should behold a dead dog, he should not display haste (towards it).

When in the soil of Chín became spread this news,
That—Mání had impressed the prohibiter (the dead dog) on that pool,


Through the many sorceries of his wisdom,
To it (his wisdom) and his picture,—they inclined.


The first line may, with a little change, be:—

(a) Thirsty and head-uplifted, he went towards the pool.

(b) Thirsty, lip open, he went towards the pool.

Behold how again I have urged (my steed of speech)!
Where I exalted the head of my speech!

The world-possessor with the king of Chín some days
Was music-kindler with (by means of) the gleaming wine.

Time to time their love increased;
The world praised both that one and this one.

One day he spoke to him saying:—“I desire
“—If the sky bring not before me foot-turning (from the true path),—


“That I may return to my own country;
“May make an expedition from Chín to Rúm.”

The Khákán of Chín gave him an answer like this,
Saying:—“Earth's seven territories have become thy kingdom.

“Wherever thou wishest, proceed proudly with fortune's aid;
“Wherever thou makest thy abode thou art the point of adoration.

“Wherever the king's cavalcade hastens,
“From us slaves,—service-performing.”

On account of the Khákán's skill and his vigilance,
The king was astounded at his fidelity (which was great).


Every moment with the chief of Chín the king's assembly
Became more resplendent than the sun and the moon.


The couplet may be:—

(Turning) from the Khákán's skill and his vigilance,
The king was astounded at his fidelity.

The second line may be:—

The king was astounded, (saying:—“With all this,) fidelity is his.”

The Khákán—for order-accepting loin-girt,
An attendant, a ring in his ear (verily, a slave),—

Caused food, according to his own usage (during the whole of Sikandar's sojourn), to reach the king;
Caused himself by that love to reach the moon.

Although the king held him higher (in honour),
He became, time to time, more his slave.

—When the monarch gives (lofty) rank to man,
It is improper that he should take account of himself.


In the highest rank he should display humility;
Should, verily, make claim to inferiority.—

Towards the men of Chín the king displayed that of honour,
As the April-rain does to the shell (by filling it with pearls).

Of clothing of Baghdád and Rúm,
Which was precious in that land and clime,

He displayed to the king of Chín such resources (of wealth)
As was not in the power of any other king.

Through the many royal tables, victual-spread, which he established in Chín,
He loosed the frown from the forehead of the men of Chín.


In Chín was none of the people
Who put not on (stuffs) silken or satin.


“Maula” may come from—málik (a lord), or from mamlúk (a purchased slave).


He should consider himself small before the king; and, notwith­standing the loftiness of his rank, should display homage and reverence.

When, through goodness, the king made
The eye-brow open for those of narrow eyes,

Their affection was (close) like the king's eye-brow,
Their oath by the king's eye and head.

They all fixed their head on the line of his order;
They expressed the breath of love for the king.

Come, cup-bearer! make my neck free (from the grief of separation);
Pour the tears of the goblet (of the wine of senselessness) upon my skirt,


That tear (wine) which, by its great purity,
Washes down the stain (of carelessness of God) from the skirt.