In this happy section (chapter)—from new to old,
I sing the song of the villager's (the fire-worshipper's) history.

The village-narrator thus wrote,
Saying:—The first night of the month (Urdíbihisht),

Sikandar gathered resolution for (going) to the Darkness;
For in the Darkness the heart comes to its place (of tranquillity).


The first line may be:—

At this happy time (Urdíbihisht, the second spring month, when the sun is in Taurus) from new to old.

Alluding to Khizr of verdant foot, the time is said to be happy.


In the darkness of the house is—the answer of prayer to those praying; and the sight of God's majesty to those sitting in retirement. Pious men (ahl-i-dil) sit in the dark corner, for in darkness is freedom from the dangers and the temptations of l??st and Satan.

Poets have a disengaged heart in retirement, where they bring to view wondrous subtleties of verse.

Seest thou not that from this lock (the sky) of golden key (the sun)
They (Fate and Destiny) bring apparent the jewel (the stars) out of the Darkness?


That one who makes the water of life his own place,
If before himself he bring a veil (of darkness),—'tis proper:

The sitter,—at the reservoir of the (deep) water-pool (of life)?
Yes; for he has no help as to the veil (of concealment from men's eyes).

When Sikandar made the resolution of (going to) the Zulmát,
He inclined to the abandoning of important affairs (world-seizing):

Loosed the rein towards the Dark Land;
Became concealed like the moon (eclipsed) in the mouth of Draco:



Seest thou not that from this lock of golden key (the mine)

They (the delvers of the mine) bring to view the jewel from the darkness (of mountain-caves)?

The first line may be:—

Seest thou not that from this lock (the sun) of golden key (efful­gent rays).



That one who makes the water of life (the view of God's majesty) his dwelling,—

If he bring before himself the veil (of concealment from men, heart-disturbing), it is well.


If az nílí hijábí be read for bale kaz hijábí, the couplet will be:—

The sitter (the pearl-diver) at the reservoir of the deep water-pool

Has no help of the black veil (the loin-garment).


See cauto xxviii. couplet 22.

Gave the order in that new road (of journeying) in such a way
That the prophet Khizr was leader.


The grey (khatlán) steed, the hastener (given by the Khákán of Chín), which he had beneath him,—
To him, he gave, because he (Khizr) had the boldness of the lion:

For the reason that by it he might make an incursion;
Might employ means (of going) towards that drinking-water (the water of life):

Gave him a jewel, which, within the (dark) cave (the Dark Land),
Would become luminous for water-proving.

To him he spoke, saying:—“Of this road, before and behind,
“Thou art the leader; none is before thee.

“Alone make the rein of hastening in every direction;
“Unfold thy vision with sensible brainedness.


“Wherever the water of life reveals (its) splendour,
“—For the gleaming jewel utters not a lie—

“Drink; when thou hast drunk with auspiciousness,
“Point out to me so that thou mayst enjoy profit (wealth and dignity) from me.”

At his order Khizr, moving with greenness,
At the vanguard (in front), took up the step (proceeded quickly);


See Sale's Ḳurán, chap. xviii. Khizr, whether a prophet or a slave of God, obtained spiritual blessing by drinking of the water of life.


The first line may be:—

Wherever it (the jewel) brings forth (its own) splendour,—(is) the water of life.


Khará” signifies—verdure or the sky. Hence, khará-khirám may signify—moving with loftiness on the khatlán steed.

Fell (advanced) to one side from the path of the army;
Opened the glances of resolution in every direction.

When he sought much for the water in concealment,
The lip of the thirsty one (Khizr) became not mated with the water.


The jewel, the illuminator, shone in his hand;
Khizr looked down; what he sought, he found.

That fountain appeared like silver,
Like a silver stream which strains from the middle of the rock (the mountain-mine).

Not a fountain,—which is far from this speech;
But if, verily, it were,—it was a fountain of light (not of water).

How is the star in the morning-time?
As the morning star is in the morning,—even so it (the fountain) was.

How is the undiminished moon at night?
So it (the fountain) was that it was greater (in effulgence) than the (full) moon.


As to motion, not a moment was it ease-taker,
Like mercury in the hand of the paralytic old man.

On account of the purity of its nature, I know not
What comparison I may make of its form.

Not from every jewel come that light and luminosity;
One can call it both (luminous, moving) water, also the sun (fire).


Since in the darkness Khizr could not see far,—he kept looking at the jewel in his head.


“Pálúdan” signifies—either șáf kardan or șáf shudan.

When Khizr caught acquaintance with (beheld) the fountain,—
By it, his eye caught illumination.

He alighted and quickly plucked off his garments;
Bathed head and body in that pure fountain:


Drank of it as much as befitted;
And became fit for eternal life:

Verily, he washed that grey steed and made him sated;
Put pure wine (the water of life) into the pure silver (the grey steed):

Sate on the grey steed, the desert-traveller;
Kept his eye on that drinking-water,

So that when the king should come,—with gladsomeness
He might say:—“Behold the water of life!”

When he looked (for the twinkling of an eye) into the fountain,
From his eye that fountain became hidden.


Through intelligence Khizr knew
That Sikandar would be void (of a share) of the fountain.

On account of his (Sikandar's) disappointment,—not (on account of) his anger,
He Khizr became, like the fountain, concealed from his eye.

As to this account, the old men of Rúm
Have recited this tale in another way,

Saying:—Ilyás (Elias) was fellow-traveller with Khizr,
To that fountain which was on the path.


Note.—Bar kár shudan.


Prophets have no fear of anyone's wrath.


See Sale's Ḳurán, chap. xviii. p. 223.

When they came,—with mutual salutation,
They descended into that water of the fountain.


At that fountain-head they spread the table-cloth;
For a fountain renders food pleasant-tasting.

On that bread, which was more fragrant than musk,
Was a dry salted fish.

From the hand of one of those two of auspicious beauty (externally and internally),
The fish fell into the limpid water.

In the water of turquoise colour, the endeavourer
Endeavoured that he might bring the fish to his grasp.

When the fish came into his hand it was alive;
To the inquirer,—happy was the omen!


He knew that that fountain, soul-refreshing,
Came his guide to the water of life.

He drank the water of life with joy;
Obtained everlasting permanency in life:

Verily, he acquainted his friend;
So that he also drank water of that drinking-water.

—A wonder it was not that water having the essence of the water of life
Should make a dead (salted) fish alive.—

A wonder it was as regards that dead (salted) fish,
That it showed the path to the fountain of life.


Of the fish and that water, jewel-scattering,
The Arabic history (the Kurán) gave another account,


For the tale of Moses and the Dead Fish, see Sale's Ḳurán, chap. xviii.

Namely:—The water of life was of another place (outside of the Zulmát):
The fire-worshipper (the Persian) and the Rúmish historian missed the path (of true narrative).

—If there be a (luminous) water (internal purity, the real water of life) in this dark dust (the dusty body),
Of wandering in error from its fountain (the apparent water of life)—what fear?—

When Ilyás and Khizr found the drinking-water,
They turned from those thirsty ones (Sikandar and his followers).

From the moistening of the palate by that event
One (Khizr) went to the sea; the other (Ilyás) went to the desert.


From one fountain (the water of life), their grains (ever­lasting life) sprouted;
Their mill-house (the place of moving and resting) became two fountains (abodes,—the sea and the desert).

In the hope of the water of life, Sikandar
Exercised firmness in toil and hardship (on the path to the Zulmát):

Sought freshness (pleasant life in youth) from the fountain (of the water of life) for himself;
For verdure grows more succulent by the fountain:

Consumed forty days in searching for the fountain (of the water of life);
On it,—he cast his shadow (came near to it); and (deprived of the luminosity of the water) remained in the shade (the Dark Land).



Namely,—the water of life was of another place (the knowledge of God);

The fire-worshipper and the Rúmish historian missed the path (of knowledge).

By God's grace, internal purity is rarely denied to the striver; but Destiny decrees whether the apparent water of life shall be one's share, or not.

—Perhaps in his straitened heart he possessed great ardour,
That he preserved his resolution (of going) to the fountain and the shade (the Zulmát).


From the (luminous) fountain, not shade arrives, but light;
But the shade (of kindness and joy) seldom falls far from the fountain:

If the luminous fountain, shade-possessing, had been proper
To the sun's fountain,—where the shade?

Since the fountain (of water) became pleasant-tasting through (receiving the rays of) the sun,
Why went that fountain (of the water of life) beneath the shade (the Zulmát)?

Yes; for the fountain the shade is better than the sun;
For that (the sun) is the burner (the heater of the fountain), and this (the shade) is cool (the cooler of the fountain).—

See couplet 1 for the fire-worshipper; couplet 37 for the Rúmish historian.

The water of life maintains life for ever, but changes not the state of the body. Thus, Khizr, who drank it when old, is still old.

The water of life signifies—fai-i-azalíy, va 'ilm-i-ladaní, va șafá,e báin.


Couplets 59-63 are uttered by Niámí.


Shade from a fountain falls on none, for it is not a gross body.


From the fountain (of the water of life) not shade arrives, but light (from its luminosity);

But the shade (of lasting life) is far from the fountain.

Since in couplet 59 the words chashna, a fountain, and saya, shade, are coupled by,, couplet 60 cannot be rendered as follows:—

From the fountain not shade arrives, but light (from its sparkling water);

Yet the shade (of trees, water-loving) is seldom far from the fountain.

In that place of shade (the Zulmát), the Khusrau was dejected,
—To him, the day become dark like the shade.—


In the hope of that, that he might drink the water of life.
—Everyone whom thou seest suffer griefs of soul (saying:— May my life be long!)—

From that road which became life (long time)-expending,
When at last he became hopeless of returning,

In that grief how he might use design
By which he might deliver himself from that shade (the Zulmát),

An angel came before him on the road:
Rubbed his own hand on his hand,

(And) said:—“The world altogether,—the whole, thou seizedst;
“Thy brain became not sated of vain fancies (long life for the enjoyment of unprofitable lust):”


Gave him a stone less than a groat,
Saying:—“Keep this stone dear to thyself.

“Of the tumult of so much desire, verily,
“Thou mayst become sated only with something equal in weight to this.”

From him, the monarch took the stone;
From him, the deliverer of the stone became concealed.

Into that darkness he went hastening,
Fear (of destruction) in the heart and blindness (by dark­ness) in the vision.


As rendered, the second line is uttered by Niámí; but properly the whole of the couplet is his utterance.


The second line represents the state of Sikandar. It may, however, describe the darkness (tíragí), which should then be written khíragí (a state of bewilderment).

From a corner a celestial messenger gave voice,
Saying:—“Destiny (eternity without beginning) gave back to everyone the (predestined) writing (of acquisition of desire).


“When Sikandar sought he found not the water of life;
“To Khizr the water of life, unsought, arrived.

“Sikandar uses haste to the Darkness (unsuccessfulness);
“Khizr finds the path of luminousness (successfulness) to the water (of life).”

Another angelic messenger spoke, saying:—“O Rúmí!
“When this stone-soil (the Zulmát) became an illuminator (by reason of its jewels),

“Regretful becomes he who takes it up;
“More regretful, he who (takes up and) lets it go.”

Of it, into his chattels everyone cast
To the extent of his own fate and fortune.


In secret (in the Zulmát), the king beheld many a wonder,
Out of which (wonders) it is not possible to utter one in ten.

The tale of (the description of) Saráfíl and the sound of (the description of) his trumpet
I uttered not; for the path (of speech) went far from the path (of reason).


In some copies o occurs in place of ráh, the second line will then be:—

(a) I uttered not; for it (the description of Saráfíl and of his trumpet) went far from the path of my description.

(b) I uttered not; for he (Sikandar) went far from the path (of army).

In Captain Macan's Persian text of the Sháh-Náma, by Firdausí, p. 1341, canto dc. couplets 54-60, Sikandar's interview with Saráfíl, on going into the Darkness, is given.

Of the angels that surround God's throne are four of the highest dignity—Gabriel (Jibrá,il, Sarosh, Raván-bakhsh, Rúhu-'l-ḳuds), the angel of revelation, who communicated the Ḳurán to Muhammad, and who promised the Virgin Mary “a Holy Son”; Michael (Michá,il, Bihtar), the friend of the Jews; enmity against either him or Gabriel involves enmity against God; Azrael (Azrá,il, Murdád), the angel of death, the death-giver, who separates men's souls and bodies; Isráfíl, the blower of the two trumpets on the last day; besides Al Mu'aḳḳibat, “the succeeders,” who attend on every man to observe his actions, and Azazíl (Iblís, Shaián), Satan.

When the other speaker (Firdausí) opened that mine (related the tale of Saráfíl),
One cannot lay another foundation (account).

When the king obtained not knowledge of the fountain (of life),
He hastened towards the fountain of luminousness (the light outside of the Zulmát).

At the king's order, the army also
Took up the road for returning.


On the road, that very exertion which was formerly was renewed;
That very mare which was (before) became guide.

When again forty days passed from reckoning,
The marge of that darkness appeared.

The sun came forth from beneath the cloud;
In torment the Khusrau's limbs, through want of the water (of life).

He strove for what was not his fortune;
When fortune is not,—striving, what profit?

It is improper to run behind fortune;
Sit thou! that fortune herself may appear.


One sows the seed; another reaps;
Happy that one who hears this speech.


Couplets 88 to 96 are uttered by Niámí.

It is improper to sow always for one's self,
For victual-devourers are beyond limit.

From the garden which the forerunners (ancients) sowed
The fruit,—the after-comers took up.

When some things have become sown for our sake,
We also should sow for others' sake.

When we look at the sown-field of the world,
We are all the husbandmen of the village (of the world) of (for) each other.


Come, cup-bearer! that wine which is heart-alluring
Give me; for wine is pleasant in youth.

Perhaps, when I make my mouth moist with that wine,
By it I may make my own fortune more youthful.


So that the after-comers reap the fruit of the toil of the forerunners.