When Sikandar (son) of Faylikús became free
As to the booty of Purtás and the plunder of Russia,—

In that quarter he sought out an abiding place
That might keep the dweller vigorous:

Its tree,—more delighting than the Túbá (tree of Paradise);
Its grass,—more sharp of tongue (blade) than the lily.

In it, limpid waters running,—
Pleasant-tasting like wine,—if it be lawful wine (of Paradise, not of earth):


In its vicinity, forests of white poplar,
Branch with branch tightly intertwined:

Its trees (in amplitude) greater than fifty arsh,
Obtained nutriment from water and air.

When a place of this sort came to his hand,
To him, in that happy place abiding came.

“Nishistan” signifies—búdan; mándan.

The arsh=the distance from the finger-tip to the elbow.

On it, he spread a carpet of Rúm;
He continued to sport with those of fresh face.

When the kings sate at the king's banquet,
The circle of the banquet-place became adorned.


The king ordered that the treasure-bearers
Should give an idea of the computation of the booty.

Regarding that treasure which was stuffed mountain on mountain,
From Russia and Purtás and other confederations,—

The secretaries should exercise inquiry;
Should bring it into reckoning less or more.

To the monarch's door, the booty-draggers
Drew plunder beyond computation.

They opened the fastened treasuries,
From (seeing) which ease of hearts arises.


The wealth in the treasury was not to that degree (little)
That its reckoning was clear:

Gold of the mine (pure), and silver reduced by mercury (pure),
Which gave want of splendour to the moon's splendour:

Emeralds in ass-loads; enamel in “mans”;
Leaves (shields) of gold and war-garments of hard hide:


The silver reduced by mercury is purer than the silver of the mine, and is very brilliant.


“Zabarjad” may signify—the best kinds of emerald, very green, lustrous, and easily shattered; and mína—the inferior kinds of emerald.

An ass-load=700 lbs.

700 lbs of grain was, in 1829, worth 1 tumán=20 shillings.—Malcolm's “History of Persia,” vol. ii. p. 356.

In his “Notices of Persian Poets,” 1846, p. 371, Sir Gore Ouseley says:—1 tumán=£2 10s.

Of fine linen, weighing a miskál (a piece), house-woven,
Like the mountain of Káf, mountain heaped on mountain,

Garments, gold-woven, unstitched;
Shields like the resplendent constellation.


The fur of the glossy beaver in ass-loads;
The black sable fur also beyond computation:

Of the fur of the ermine not so many (few) loads tied up,
That it is possible to narrate—how much:

The gleaming fur of the red fox;
Verily, colts of horses, shoe-unseen (newly-born):

Garments of the soft belly-skin, bed-chamber illuminating;
(In colour) like the (black) mole of night fallen on the face of (the bright) day:

Besides these articles, much treasure,
From the reckoning of which the mind comes to sorrow.


When the king glanced at that furry stuff (of various kinds),
He beheld the spring (the glory) of Iram in the banquet-place;

Recognized each article to the extent of its value;
Knew what (garment) it was proper to make with every kind of article:


If tegh-dár (signifying—having a long line) be read in place of áb­dár, the first line will be better.


“Band” signifies—a load that a man can carry a stage on his back.


“Washḳ” signifies—a beast having fur of white colour with black spots like the fox in Turkistán.

The first line may be:—

The belly-skin of the washḳ …

The second line means—the piebald steed of time (represented by)— dark night and bright day.


Observe that khud in the first line is used as ash.

Beheld, far from reflection, a great mass heaped up
Of the (skin of the) heads of the ermine and the boneless heads of the sable,

Old become, and from them the hair fallen;
From the most suitable place suspended (so that the stench might be wafted away).

When for a while he looked at those skins,
That heaped up skin,—he knew not for what it was.


He asked, saying:—“These old hides,
“From their intrinsic and innate quality,—for what deco­ration (of garment) are they fit?”

To him, a Russian gave a delightful reply,
Saying:—“All this brain (wealth previously mentioned) is produced from this skin.

“Look not with contempt at this dry skin,
“Which is the most resplendent (current) coin of this territory.

“In my opinion, this ignoble hide
“Is more precious than much soft hair (delicate fur).

“Everything furry which here appears
“It is possible to purchase with this hairless hide.


“If the silver (the coin) of every country,—in impress
“Changes (like changing Time) in every coinage (on the accession of a new sovereign),

“No coin is ours save this hair (the hairless hide of the ermine and of the sable);
“Of this hair, (the currency to the extent of) a single hair becomes not less.”


“Lafch” (lafcha; nafkh) signifies—the skin of the head and the flesh without bones.

At that fear (of the king of Russia), surprise came to the king (Sikandar, and he said):—
“How became this multitude (the Russians) slave to the order (as to the currency of hides, at the bidding of) the Russian king?”

To the sage he spoke, saying:—“In royalty,
“Governing makes the king's hand strong.

“Behold to what extent governing produces reverence
“When it makes hide like this better than silver (inasmuch as it never becomes dull in the market)!


“In this territory, of whatever I have seen,
“This (governing) is best; and of this I have approved.

“If this jewel (of Kintál's governing) had not been this people's
“None would have bound his loins (in obedience) to a person's (a chief's) order.

“None (of the chiefs of Russia) has kingly qualities;
“With this one quality only (of governing on Kintál's part), they (the chiefs) are king (through the awe inspired by him).”

When the king became possessed of plunder through his superiority (in battle),
He reckoned thanks for treasure gain.

To the world-creator a full thanks (-giving),
He offered; then asked for the cup.


Through the pleasant music and the wine, pleasant-tasting,
He came into motion like the spring-cloud.

To the chiefs of the army who endured toil (in battle with the Russians),
He gave dínárs and treasure in ass-loads.

He made them rich by gold-casting
By preparing a dress of honour anew every moment.

Of the army there remained not even a camel-leader,
On whom was not a long piece of brocade.

He summoned the man, tongue-bound,
The desert one of broken bonds (who had broken Sikandar's bonds).


The desert one, mountain-wandering, entered;
He performed, like other persons, obeisance to the king.

At the head and feet of that animal,—the king
Gazed much for warning's sake (for he possessed not man's qualities) and shook his head (in sorrow).

Of the decoration of jewel, and gold, and silver,—
A magnificent present he gave to that animal.

He accepted them not, for the reason that of treasure and requisitions
Is no need to the desert ones.

He cast a sheep's head before the king,
(And) showed to him:—for me, a sheep (for milk and flesh) is necessary.


The king—of those sheep (with milk) fit for fattening (one's self);
And of those (without milk) that were fit for eating,—

Ordered them to give to him without counting;
The desert one took, and offered him thanks:

Placed the herd numerous beyond limit before him;
Came with joy to his own dwelling (a mountain near the land of Darkness).

In that place abounding with birds, pleasant and heart-opening;
To the king it appeared pleasant, because it was a delight­ful place.

He drank pure wine to the sound of music;
The sky caused blessing every moment to reach him.


When he became greatly intoxicated with wine, pleasant-tasting,
The rose (of his cheek), with water of rose-colour (wine), brought forth sweat.

He called the king of the Russians to him;
Established a place more worthy of him:

Cast the iron (fetter) from his feet and hands;
Prepared a dress of honour of gold-woven stuff:

Placed in his ear the ring as a mark of servitude;
Forgot as regards him the passed malice:

The other fettered ones (the chiefs of Russia) from the tyranny of bonds
He adorned with dresses of honour and rendered estimable:


He ordered that they (the Russians attending on Kintál) should bring Núshába;
Alone he drank not such pure wine.

At the king's order, a Russian (a noble) hastened
He caused the moon (Núshába) to reach the sun (Sikandar);

Verily, the dolls (the lovely women, her attendants) tyranny-experienced (through captivity);
(And) verily, the approved decoration (of garment) and the gold (of adornment as before).

He adorned Núshába like the spring,
With bejewelled clothing:

Gave to her much treasure from the plunder of Russia;
Arrayed her again like the bride:


Drank wine some nights with her in pleasure;
When the time of joyousness became full (ended),

Over her, he gave power to Daválí;
On it (that power), Daválí's leathern belt was knotted.

When he gave them the jewelled decoration
He gave them the repose of wife and of husband:

Sent them without injury to Burda'
That they might loftily uprear that town (the capital of Burda').

For the edifices in that place of ruin (through the attacks of the Russians),
He gave them much treasure besides road-requisites.


When he made this arrangement with suitableness,
He favoured, one by one, the chiefs of the army (of Daválí and of Núshába).

The king of Russia also, with collar and crown,
He released, and imposed tribute upon him.

When the Russian brought his chattels to his own city
He again became joyous with the crown and the throne:

Turned not after that his head from his justice;
Drank wine every year to his memory.

Night and day, in that place abounding in birds, the Khusrau
Enjoyed sometimes pleasure, sometimes hunting.


Beneath the straight cypress, and the willow, and the poplar,
He drank red wine to the sound of the harp:

Enjoyed happiness when he beheld his heart happy;
Increased heart-happiness by that state of heart-happiness (through wine and music).

Youth, and royalty, and lofty fortune,—
Why may not the wise man's heart be happy?

Come, cup-bearer! (the promise of union with God),—that water, the fire of fancy (the ruddy wine of sense­lessness),
Cast upon this amber-like (yellow) earthernware (my body weak and withered with old age and from not beholding God's majesty):

A water, pleasant-tasting,—by which, from this obscure dust (my body),
It is possible to wash sorrow entirely away.