O world-experienced old villager (Nizámí)! bring (utter)
Words cherished, heart-pleasing,—

When came the Khusrau from Chín to Rús?
Where carried him this stubborn steed (the blue sky)?

What sport displayed the sphere again to him?
What sorcery displayed the world to him?

The narrator (Nizámí), the banker, the jewel-seller,
Filled the ear of speech (this tale, like a bride) with the jewel (the ear-ring of lustrous verse),


Saying:—When the army of Rúm witnessed the agitating (for plunder) on the part of the Russians,
It considered the world (ugly) like the peacock, feathers plucked out.

At the king's order they upreared the standard,
And made their abode in that spacious plain.

It (the army) took not its side to the couch (slept not);
(But) counted the stars in fortune-seeking.

When the earth folded up the carpet of black silk (the darkness of night),
The morning appeared with the sword (the effulgent rays) and the basin (the sun).

With (notwithstanding) that sword that appeared gleaming from the basin,
The sun became head-lowered (conquered) by the sword (the peak) of the mountain.


From the dark screen of the cloud (the darkness of the mountain-shadow), came forth
A mountain (a number) of swords (effulgent rays) from every sword (top) of the mountain.

Not two armies, I say; two seas of blood—
Greater in greatness than the sand of the sea.

They (the two armies) hastened to the design of blood­shedding;
Upraised together the sword and the standard:

In that place straitened (by the multitude of the two armies), spacious to the extent of two plains,
They pressed the foot like the mountain of steel.

In that battle-field, the general of the battle-field
Arrayed the army at the king's (Sikandar's) order:


“Tegh va tasht” (kingly requisites) are introduced out of respect to the Russians.


Through the sword's gleam the sun became lowered of head (abashed) and descended.


With that sword (the luminosity of day) that from the basin (the sun) appeared gleaming

The sun became lowered to the mountain-top.


The Russians occupied the mountains. When the morning appeared many swords flashed into view from the mountain-top.


With those steel-clad of diamond sword
Brought forth a cloud (of dust) to the resplendent sun:

Separately, with the horsemen of each contingent (of the Irán army),
Upreared a fortification like the mountain (in massiveness and firmness).

Daválí and the warriors of the Irán land
Displayed hot fury towards the right wing:

Kadr Khán and those of Faghfúr all together
Uplifted the standard on the left wing.

The wing—the royal slaves, with the poplar (arrow),
Ranks arrayed for slaying without mercy,


(Was) in front of the elephant (Sikandar's steed), steel-wearing;
In rear of the elephant (were) the warriors, thunder-shouting.

The king of elephant-body, possessed of a thousand hopes (born of his courage and of the bravery of his troops),
Bound his loins on the back of a white elephant (given by Kaid).

On the other side the Russians, red of face,
Illuminators, like the place of adoration (the fire) of the Magi.

The right (wing), arrayed with the men of Khazrán;
From the left, the shout of the men of Purtás excited.

In rear, the men of Alán; on the wing the tribe of Isú,
The casting of the (enemy's) head (slaying) rendered lawful (obligatory) to themselves.



Of the steel-clad ones of diamond sword,

He (the general) brought a cloud to the resplendent sun.


The second line hints at—the men of Alán freely giving their own head (life) in battle with the enemy.


In the centre, the Russian (general), the malice-seeker,
Breast-washed of love for Sikandar.

On both sides,—the army, rank-arrayed;
Earth (dust)-uplifted like the sky:

The great brazen bells came into agitation;
(And) expressed clamour like the sick Hindú:

From the sphere-splitting roaring of the (Rúmish) drum,
Contortion fell upon earth's navel:

Verily, the Turkí reed, scream brought forth,
Brought force into the Turkán's arm.


Of Arab steeds,—the (shrill) neighing, the earth-splitter,
Caused injury to reach the earth as far as the fish (beneath the earth).

A cudgel, a great mace, seven times heated (for the sake of hardness and heaviness),
Brought forth shouting from the bull of the sphere (Taurus).

The sword (of Indian steel), in lustre like silver,
Brought forth blood-drops from the silver (the polish of its surface).

The poplar-arrow of three feathers made passage through iron,
As the fowl of two feathers (wings) over the meadow.

From the spear, the surface of the dust became the cane­brake;
From the iron maces, the low earth became the mountain:


The second line may mean—that the plateau of the battle-field was as lofty as the sky.


For brazen, read Russian.

The clamour of the black iron bell is likened to the lamenting of the sick black man (the Hindú).


“Bar afganda” signifies—dar uftáda, dar afganda shuda.


“Josh” may signify—halḳa.


The spear-point opened a fountain of blood from the stone (the warrior's body);
In it, a hundred forests of the arrow of the white poplar sprung:

From the screaming of the drum in the hide of the wolf,
Great became the desire for a little tumult:

The (sharp) spear-point making play at (splitting) a hair,
Making pure (washing) the enemy's face with blood:

The arrow made of white poplar,—its fruit all the red rose (blood);
The rose (the drop) of blood dropping from its thorn (the point):

The crocodiles of the swords, cuirass-cleaving,
Made the neck long for neck-slaying (striking).


Through the bringing forth of tumult of the tribe (the army) of Russia,
The headstrong steed became the obedient galloper beneath the lions (the horse-soldiers).

From the body of the mountain-seam, vapour expanded,
(Thereat) trembling fallen on the limbs of the earth.

With (in the opinion of) the meanest Russian was not worth—
There a straw—the bravery (of the men of Rúm).


The tone of a drum of wolfish hide is high.


“Namází kardan-i-rú,e” signifies—pák kardan-i-rú,e.


The restive horse becomes quiet in the presence of the lion.


This couplet is placed sometimes after couplet 38, sometimes after couplet 39.

The first line will then be:—

(a) The poplar arrow (or the crocodile of the sword) with its point ripped the mountain-seam.

(b) The poplar arrow (or the crocodile of the sword) let forth vapour from the mountain-seam.


“Filáús” signifies—Firáús, a place, the people of which are celebrated for wisdom.

Verily, the men of Rúm, standard exalted,
Cast fire into (set fire to) water with the sharp sword of Indian steel.

The throat of the (vast) atmosphere was choked (with dust). O wonder!
Constriction of the breath seized the (great) world's palate (the atmosphere).


Neither,—on the earth a foot (of power) to the runner,
Nor,—in the air a place for the flyer (the bird).

From the Russians, forth to the battle-place came
A lion (a warrior) of Purtás of brazen helmet.

He moved like a mountain on the back of the wind (the fleet steed);
Behold the wonder that the mountain stood on the wind!

He sought a warrior and swaggered;
He praised himself as one renowned,

Saying:—“Of the people of Purtás in this (their) raw hide (of the weak body),
“The back became strong by my being a (valiant) Purtásí.


“I rend panthers on the mountain summit;
“Devour crocodiles on the river-bank:

“Filáúsí” signifies—a dának (dáng), less in value than a diram.

“Filáúní” signifies—bravery. It is the agent to the verb “was not worth.”

“Filáúsí” and “Filáúní” have each two yá,es; the first yá,e mașdar, the second yá,e nisbat.



Saying:—In this (my) raw hide (of apparel) to the people of Purás

Is joy (in consequence of my bravery) at my being a Purásí.

The first line may be:—

Saying:—Of the people of Purás in this their raw hide (of apparel).

“Have, like lions, formed my nature for conflict;
“Have not, like foxes, cherished my tail (chosen deceit):

“Am rough with claw; am hard with force;
“Rend in attack the flank of the male wild ass.

“All raw blood is my drinking;
“All raw hide is my clothing.

“My spear enters the navel from the side;
“I utter not a lie.—Behold the field of battle!


“Comes an army from Chín and Rúm,—(it will not conquer me);
“For the fire becomes an illuminator by wax (the soft enemy).

“May God not pity (pardon) that guide (to my desire),
“Who displays in the day of blood pity for me.”

From the centre of the king's army, before that savage hawk,
One cuirass-clad went forth galloping:

For contest-making, they unfolded their claws;
For a while, in that action they exercised delay.

From the sword of the wrathful Purtásí,
The brave Rúmí came to the dust.


Another Rúmí went and also experienced the dust (of destruction);
For he found the Purtásí very skilful.


“Dumba parwarda” may signify—ease chosen, deceit practised; for dum dádan signifies—to deceive.


The hide of the wild ass is very tough.


This man of Purás, thirsty for blood, calls his opponent who indulges his desire for blood—a guide to his desire; and his opponent's coming to slaughter—a gift. If, then, he waver in coming to battle, the Purásí says:—“May God not pardon him!”

Thus, until to the number of seventy men
Of the men of Rúm came to the sword in conflict.

A prince there was, Hindí by name;
Many heads severed with the keen sword of Indian steel.

Against that rending wolf, like the raging lion
He raged, the steel sword in hand.

They, strength-essaying, made many an assault;
The fortune of neither came from its footing.


When the prince became firm in endeavour,
—The sword of Indian steel upraised to the shoulder,—

He so drove the cutting diamond (the sword)
That he cast the head of Purtás beneath the hoof (of his steed).

Of the Russian army, a lion of distraught head,
A Russian shield attached to his neck,

Came into battle, swaggering;
In regard to his opponent's blood, designing:

From Hindí he suffered such a sword-blow
That the Russian shield became independent of (apart from) him.


Immediately in anger came another Russian;
He also fell while they bring the eyes together.

Thus, until mid-day he slew several warriors;
Like the fierce panther, deer-pursuing.

The spirit of the Russians became confined;
No other warrior came to conflict (with him).

Hindí turned the rein to the place of repose,—
Head to girdle, stained with blood and sweat.

When the king beheld him thus (a warrior), he honoured him;
Prepared for him a dress of honour worthy of himself.


On both sides, the armies dismounted;
(And) established the advanced guards on the guard-place.