When the army of the morning brought forth the standard,
The world drew the pen upon (effaced) the word night

From the sun's effulgence,—earth's brain (earthy ones,— creatures possessed of soul)
Came from sleep (awoke) to the phrenzy of madness.

The bird of the morning-time (the cock) uttered the crow,
Like the phrenzied at light, or the epileptic at the demon.


The Persians call the epileptic boy—dev-kulúkh, the demon's clod.

In tumult, the king raised his head from sleep;
He made the pure heart free from thought (not of God):


Came to the prayer-place; made supplication;
Essayed the tongue in thanks:

In that contest (with the Russians),—from his own aid-giver (God)
Desired sometimes power (victory); sometimes (inward) aid (without which man's power is useless).

When for a while he rolled on the surface of the dust,
He bound his loins and opened the skirt of his armour (to bestride his steed).

His throne, they placed on the elephant's back;
Two miles around him they drew the sword.

In that spacious battle-field, the river of majesty,—
Out of the wave of the army, he raised a citadel (lofty and firm) like the mountain.


According to the regulation of former days, the army,—
The commander, world-illuminating (Sikandar), arrayed.

Left and right, around that citadel,
With steel they bound the dust on the road.

On the other side, the Russian, head-exalting,
Arrayed the army according to regulation and order.

The Russian bells went sounding;
The brain from anger's flame went boiling.

From the flashing of the sword-point and the lighting of the spear,
The head went from the (true) path, and the hand from the rein.


At the time of battle an elephant furnished with a throne used to accompany the king.


The twanging of the bow passed into the brain of the mountain;
Against every crowd,—the arrow whizzing-making.

From the steeliness (the hardness and the heaviness) of the mace of the neck-slayers,
The brains poured forth from the mouth.

At the tyranny (the heavy beating) of the mace of the elephant-overthrowers (of both armies),
(Even) the (merciless) sky (kept) casting its garment in the jar of indigo (in mourning).

Terror at the damascene (on the surface of the uplifted swords), like the wings of the ant,
Emptied power from the wings of the eagles.

From the inverted small cup (below the spear-head) the spear-head (imbrued with blood)
Poured down upon its tassel (the tail of the mountain-ox)— the cup of blood:


With blood (red) like cornelian, the hoof of the wind-fleet steeds,
Immersed in blood up to the saddle-cloth:


“Fasháfash” signifies—the noise of arrows cast one after the other.



From the inverted small cup (man's head),—the spear-head
Poured down the cup of blood on the tassel (man's hair).

The tassel (parcham) is placed below the ball of the spear (ásak) of the spear-head (sar-i-neza). When the spear is lowered to thrust, the tassel hanging over the ásak gives the appearance of a cup brimming over with blood.


The spear-head from the inverted cup,—
The cup of blood poured down by (means of) the tassel.

Couplet 18 describes repeated blows of the sword; couplet 19 those of the spear.

The spear (-point, driven) on the (boss of the) shield (was like) the kindled constellation;
The shield (pressed) within shield,—the army stitched together:

From the many iron javelins that went to the destruction (of warriors),
The blood (of the javelin-wound) and the dust (of the earth) established a tomb (brick-made) over those slain:

The point-brandishing of the sword, the neck-traverser,
Produced the tulip-bed (the bloody heads of men) from the stream of blood;

Like the needle, the spear stitched the chest (of man);
(And) learned severing from the forked arrow:


From every hand (the warriors of both armies),—a dagger in haste (for blood-shedding),
Like the dragon, head brought forth from sleep.

From the many slain round about the road
The battle-field became (strait) like the market of the place of assembling (the judgment place).

In every direction the Rúmí, hate-displayer,
Brought forth the Resurrection Day from the Russians.

The armies of (ruddy) Rúm and (yellow) Russia com­mingled;
In ruddiness and whiteness like the face of a bride.

In that battle, Sikandar, like the raging elephant,
A warrior's war-weapon in his hand.


In some copies the first line is:—

Spear within spear (uplifted)—the constellation kindled.


In some copies the couplet is:—

From the needle, the spear-point stitched (or stitching);
From the forked arrow, shearing—learned.


The steel-clad elephant—how is he?
The roar from the raging lion—how issues it?

Resembled that elephant, and that lion—the king,
Who closed the path against the elephant and the male lion.

Every sword-possessor, with whom he met,—
He loosed, with one sword (blow), his head from his body.

His umbrella (the emblem of majesty), black-clad like the raiment of the house of 'Abbás,
Cast the stone (of fracture) on the goblet of the men of Purtás (and shattered them).

By the force of his (sword-) arm and the (sword-) blow (while standing in) the stirrup,
He cast, left and right, countless heads.


In place, both his foot and also his army,—
When will his star (the standard of victory) ascend from the mountain (the lofty army)?

The balance of the sun (the astrolabe) of the sage (Balínás) towards the sun.
For horoscope-taking, like the (swift-moving) moon in quickness.

When fortune appeared in victoriousness,
(And) Time made the king's sword the key (of victory),


“Báz khurdan” signifies—sáz kardan; muḳábil shudan.


“Riḳab afgandan” signifies—rawán kardan, as Niámí says:—“Riḳáb afshánd sue ḳișr-i-Shírín.”

The first line may be:—

By the force of his (sword-) arm and the blow of the stirrup (supporting the spurred heel against the horse's flanks).

“Rikábí” (or zer-rikábí) signifies—a sword fastened to the horse's flank.

“Zakhm-i-rikáb” may signify—hurling blows with force. Because at the time of delivering a sword-blow the warrior places his feet firmly in the stirrups.

He said to the king:—“Strike! for aid is thine:
“In this strife power is thine.”

The Khusrau, like the river Nile moved;
He cast the enemy's head at the elephant's foot:


Against the Russian (Kintál) he made an assault,
Like the savage dragon, mouth-opened.

The king's victory brought forth its hand (appeared);
Defeat came to Kintál, the Russian.

When he broke them (the Russian warriors) by breaking them small,
He took them in one assault from his own place.

By the curl of the noose, the king of elephant-form
Brought Kintál into bonds.

Flight fell upon the enemy;
Time gave sovereignty to the king of the world (Sikandar);


(And) from the many cast heads of the Russians
Made a field of red wood (bakam) with the slain.

They poured many a stream of blood from the Russian;
They took, and slew, and grappled.


If kísh be read for kushta, and gashtí for kishtí, the second line will be:—

The red wood (bakam) used (through fear) to be void of its (ruddy) nature, (saying:—Let not the Rúmí spill my blood as he spills that of the Russian).

If kish (signifying—arrow-casting) be read for kushtá, the second line will be:—

(Time) made a field of red wood (baḳam) with arrow-casting.

If the second line be:—

Niḳm kíshí az kísh pardákhta,

it will read:—

(Sikandar) emptied vengeance-seeking from their nature (or religion).

The steel-clad elephant,—how
Became it captive,—the swordsmen a-shouting?

The rest became slain by the sword and the arrow;
Of slaying calamity (the Russians, calamity-exciting), was no help.

A few escaped without chattels and means;
Those flying went back towards Russia.


Not so much treasure reached the Khusrau
That a computation of it may appear.

Of silver and gold, and beaver, and ruby, and pearl,
Many trays, each a camel-load, became full.

When the king became successful over the enemy,
He became, from the prosperity of his work, like the painting.

He alighted from the grey khutlán steed of stately gait,
For whatever was his purpose he saw complete.

In thanks to God he rubbed his face in the dust,
Saying:—“From God came victory. Dust was he!”


When he uttered praise of his own Ruler (God),
Verily, he gave treasures to the Darvesh:

Beheld the world a place void of the enemy;
Turned his pleasure to ease and music.

Come, cup-bearer! that cup jewel-scattering (bring);
Scatter a jewel (the wine of senselessness) on my composi­tion (body).


The text being erroneous, this couplet should be:—

Of the lions of Purás and of the Russian land,
A hundred thousand swordsmen became captive.


The text being erroneous, the second line should be:—

Ox-hides, (each) a camel-load, became full.

By it my soul (rust-eaten with carelessness) may, perhaps, become fresh (and lustrous);
For the rust (blight) of the jewel departs by the (rubbing of the) jewel.