When the vigilance of fortune became guide,
Sikandar came forth from the Darkness.

For him, that mare displayed guidance, in such a way
That (going either) left or right (of the former road) occurred not.

To that line (the straight path) which she passed the first day,—
To it, like the compass, she returned in the end.


After motion the compass returns to the same point (the magnetic north).

When fortune became concordant for the king,
He found out the path forth to the illumined world:


Came, rein-turned, towards the army (left at the mountain-pass, at Bulghár),
Object sought, not gained:

Fell into distress on account of that toil (in traversing the Dark Land):
Because only by fate one can find daily food.

Though he found not the road to the water of life, he grieved not;
For he died not like the other animals (through exceeding desire for water) on that road to the water of life.

Be not ungrateful when a grief comes;
Than it, be afraid of grief more intense.

To go naked (of foot) from desert to desert (void of the water of the river)
Is better than (clothed of foot) to be drowned in the water of the river.


By severe head-pain is the head harassed;
(But) not to such a degree as by the wound of the sword and the mace:

Many a work which is more difficult than (other) work;
Easy of body that one who is the stouter of heart.

When the army beheld its own road-brought stones,
They placed in front the stone road-brought,

All the stones were red rubies,
The light from which was food for the eye.

Of one,—with few jewels the heart, in sorrow;
Of another,—with want of jewels the breath, cold.


Regretful became that one who left a residue (took up little);
More regretful that one who indeed took not up.

When the king rested one or two days from haste (of journeying),
He took as before (going into the Dark Land) justice from food and sleep.

The circumstance came to his memory,—of that small stone
Which that angel (Saráfíl) gave secretly to him.

He called for the scale and made proof of it (by weighing);
Its load was greater than many weights.

It went beyond the “miskál”; exceeded the “man”;
Uplifted (in the scale-pan) many (heavy) stones of (taken from) the mountain and the plain.


With (the aid of) a hundred men, they erected a great scale;
Into it (the single scale-pan), they cast the counter-weight of the (small) stone (placed as a cannon-ball at one end).

It came more than a hundred mountain-fragments;
At its weighing everyone was astonied.

I have heard that Khizr came and spoke from afar,
Saying:—“Make ye this (small) stone mated (balanced) with dust (in the single scale-pan).”


He ate varied articles of food, and enjoyed sweet sleep at ease.


In some copies the first line is:—

Ba șadd man kipání bar afrákhtand.

They set up a great pair of scales (a steel-yard) up to (capable of weighing) a hundred “mans.”

“Kappán” (Ḳabbán; Arabic, Ḳusás) is a curved wooden scale having one scale-pan, capable of weighing fifty astar. At the other end is a great stone or ball by which they weigh the load.

When with it they associated a handful of dust,—
With its (dust-) counter-weight, the weight (of the small stone) came true.

From that delightful example (God-given) the king became informed
That—dust is (my body); and the dust (of the grave) makes it sated of brain.


One day with the chiefs of the army
The king prepared an assembly like Heaven:

Slaves of golden girdle around the throne,
Like silver pillars around the golden tree.

All the crown-possessors of earth's surface
Two knee-sitting at that foot (of the throne) like shade (head-lowered).

Of every custom which was heart-accepting,
Of the revolution of the old sphere,—speech passed:

Of the Darkness of the water of life,—much
Speech within speech passed on everyone's part,


Namely—if that water be beneath the Darkness,
How comes it not to the seeker's (Sikandar's) hand?

And if that water be not in the dark soil,
Why is not its name (effaced) out of the books?

On this point (the existence or the non-existence of the water of life) passed excellent words,
From which illumination comes to the brain.


“Yáz kardan.” See canto lxiv. couplet 104.


The second line may be:—

That it (the small stone) is dust; and the (handful of) dust makes it sated of brain.


In some copies the second line is:—

Became two knee-sitting at that foot of the throne.

Two knee-sitting. See canto lxxii. couplet 6.

Of the old men of that land of strange soil
An old man to the sage of Rúm thus spoke,

Saying:—“The king, the world-seizer, the world-wanderer,
“Who became region-wanderer, like the (wandering) sky,


“If he seek the water of life, for the purpose
“That he may obtain safety from Death's grasp,

“In this land (outside of the mountains of Zulmát), is a city sufficiently prosperous,
“In which no one ever dies.

“In that city, a mountain loftily extended;
“By it,—the men of the city become city-bound (so that they cannot on that side move out).

“At every period of time, issues from the mountain—a noise,
“At which awe comes to the hearer.

“It calls one of the men by name,
“Saying:—O certain one! arise; move proudly towards the height!


“The hearer at that sound (of death) causing order to be accepted,
“Becomes not a moment ease-taker:

“Hastens from the low ground to the height;
“No answer comes from him (the ascender) to the inquirer.

“He becomes invisible behind the mountain;
“Of that difficulty none knows the key.


The first line may be:—

At that sound,—the hearer, order-accepting.

“If the king desire his body safe from death,
“It is doubtless proper to go to that city.”

At the speech of the man, wisdom-weigher, the king
Was astonied; and fell into torrent and toil.


His heart became resolute for deed-essaying;
His judgment became in that resolve quick-rising (ardent).

Of the sages of the army, he ordered that
The head of some individuals should come to the road (going to that city):

Should bring their resting-place into that place;
Should bring the truth of the speech (of the old man) to the king.

By way of admonition he said to them:—“At the voice of the mountain
“It is not proper that any of this troop should move.

“If it reveal the name or the title (of one of them),
“At that speech they should become skirt-withdrawers (shunners).


“When the way of answer becomes long (with delay),— perhaps
“The mystery may issue from beneath (behind) that (mountain-) screen.”

The counsel-accepters of the king's counsel
Sought the road to the deathless city:

Hastened with joy into that city;
Made a place of ease in a pleasant place.

The news of the city, known and unknown,
Was such as that venerable old man said.


The second line may be:—

Deathless, sought the road to the city.

At every period of time, a voice from the mountain
Used to reach the name of one of that region.


When the hearer used to hear his own name,
He used with pleasure to hasten towards that mountain:

Used to become so impatient in running
That he would not go far from that path for (to avoid) the sword.

The king's guards devised schemes (for discovery);
(But) they recognized not the notes of that sound.

When the sphere, the revolver, for a while revolved,
The sun travelled some stages (the sun passed from mansion to mansion).

Of the king's footmen, Time's revolution
Became teacher of one for going (to the mountain).


Of those mystery-seeking, secretly-examining (unknown to the people of the city),
The hidden voice called one to the mountain.

That one who heard his own name quickly arose;
Went with ample stride towards the hidden voice of the mountain.

With the hand his friends seized his skirt,
Saying:—“Exercise delay for a while in running.

“It is not proper that the runner should be distraught;
“The secret of this screen may, perhaps, be revealed.”

The hastener considered not (their holding him) profitable to himself;
He expressed a cry; and displayed anger:


Something which was of use uttered he,
In moving become like the restless sky:

Freed himself by much artifice and violence;
Became a wanderer from them like the flying ant.

At him,—his friends were astonied;
From him,—everyone took warning,

Saying:—“In this expedition (to the city) wiser (more determined to disobey the mountain-voice) than we,—
“Behold how he went from us and unfolded not the mystery!”

When over this event some time passed,
(And) the sun shone on mountain and plain,


Again the turn reached another friend;
He also in a moment became invisible.

The few men who were left
Read not one letter of that tablet (the mountain) of mystery.

They became fearers of that matter;
For the sky assisted none (of those sent, to return from the mountain).

Through their own roadless state (of ignorance of that mystery) they came to the road (of returning, or of confessing);
And came from that city to the king.

They represented the state, saying:—“Many of us
“Went towards the mountain; none returned.


“Neither was there (even) a little delay at the time of going;
“Nor also was there hope of returning.

“We know not what the sound of that note is;
“Who is the player of the instrument of that note,

“When we recognized not the mystery of that sound,
“From that sound,—behold we hastened!

“Some of us prepared for (agreed with the order of) the mountain;
“From that mountain, a sound came not back.

“When we saw that they took (to) the mountain (retire­ment-choosing),
“We took (to) the plain; we came,—this troop.


“Like this is the vault (of the sky) quickly-revolving,
“On account of which, they (in death) take sometimes (to) the mountain, sometimes (to) the plain.”

When Sikandar heard the mystery of the guards,
He beheld a road,—its returning invisible.

Then to him, used to come the wish by that road (of death),—
That (back) by it one departed (in death) had returned.

Through anger at that matter he remained disquieted;
Because no one read the lettering of that tale (of mystery).

He learned that that sudden departing
Is for that one to whom the world (time) comes to an end.


He uttered a proverb:—“Everyone who was born died;
“From death's grasp, none saved his life.

“When they (the asses) have no power with (against) the wild ass catchers,
“The asses (men) come on their own feet to the grave.”

To suffer the arrow (decreed by fate),—sometimes the bold eagle
Comes on its own wing (of its own free will) from sublimity (the sky) to profundity (the earth).


This hints at the falling of the eagle by an arrow feathered with eagles' feathers.

Come, cup-bearer! take up quickly that wine;
For without wine it is improper to show gladness.

Give me help with one draught of that wine;
Give me escape from the grasp of (spiritual) death (through carelessness of God).