A night, like the morning, with the jewel (of Divine splendour) adorned;
With so many morning prayers (from God) desired.

From the luminous moon-light, the world shining;
From the Earth's navel musk (darkness of night) poured out (dissipated).

The market of dust (the world) became void of clamour;
The ear reposed from the clamour of the bells (of the Kafila).

The night guardians with sleep intoxicated become;
The true morning head to the water lowered (not dawned).


I,—from the work of the world (sleeping) hand uplifted;
With the chain of thought, foot-bound become:

(In intense thought), heart expanded, but eye stitched;
For keeping the path (of thought), heart kindled,


Morning prayers are especially agreeable to God—so says the glorious Korán.

“Jaras” signifies—zangalah-i-buzurg, a large globular bell, which they fasten to the neck; it is sometimes called—dará.

All the animals had gone to sleep, and the sound of the ḳáfila-bell reached not the ear. Or, the market of the world had become void of the noise of men. Because, in the very early morning, all are in the sweet sleep of carelessness; and even the hour-bell is silent.

In the country, guards fasten to the waist bells, the noise of which serves to keep them alert and vigilant. In Canto xix., couplet 50, we have—

“From his waist the watchman of the sky (Saturn) suspended

“A golden bell, for the guarding of the King.”


“Șubh-i-ṣádiḳ” signifies—the true dawn.

“Șubh-i-kázib” signifies—the false dawn.

“Sar ba áb faro burdan” signifies—ghota zadan; ná padíd shudan. The length of the night was such that it might be said—the true dawn appeared not.


Dil kushádan va dída bastan are necessary for contemplation.

“Ráh dáshtan” signifies—safr kardan va muntair búdan; khașș kardan-i-ráh bará,e ámadan va shudan.

On this account,—How is it proper for me to make a game-receptacle (work of lustrous verse)?
To cast a prey (the subject of verse) into that receptacle?

My head cast (on the knee) like one distraught;
Like the pillow of asses in the ass-picture:

My head found a place on the top of the knee;
Earth (the knee) beneath my head (lowered in thought); sky (the head) beneath my foot (of thought):


(By reason of perturbation) in the pulse of my limbs, ease none;
My head (in intensity of thought) the foot of my chair (of thought) become:

In motion of thought, road travelling to the upper world,
From side to side (the whole body) a round revolver become:


“Matrah” signifies—anything with which they make a prey of animals. Some say it is a large net; others, a bag in which hunters put the birds which they have caught. This word is not given in Johnson-Richardson's Dictionary.


In some cases, sarún occurs in place of saram. It means a horn, but here signifies the buttocks of men or of animals.

“Gorín-nigár” is a picture-gallery, in which they paint the forms of asses and other animals. The custom of sitting of asses is in this wise —When they come from the grazing-place to the sleeping-place, they make a circle. Then one sits down, and another (placing his head on the knee of the first) sleeps; and so for the rest.

In the Gorín-nigár, they paint the picture in this very way. Niámí compares his own state to that of the asses in the ass-picture.

The difficulty is that here he places his head on his own knee; whereas, in the ass-picture, the asses place their heads on one another's knees.

It is said that the ass places his head on his own knee, and not on that of another.

“Ásíma” comes from—sám, ásám, ásáma.


Although earth was beneath my head, and by reason of abjectness and lowness apparently the head-pillow,—yet the sky was beneath my foot. I had really brought the lofty world into my possession; then the sky was beneath my head.


By intensity of thought, true moderate motion had gone out of my pulse in such a way that a state of perturbation appeared; and my head had become lowered to such a degree that you may say it was beneath my foot.


“Gírd-gard” signifies—mudawwar-gardanda, a round revolver.

“Gard-gard” signifies—revolving, revolving=much revolving.

So they say: kháir-i-dostán bágh-bágh shiguft.

Sometimes, in thought, I was head-on-knee; sometimes, from this side to that side rolling, rolling, (I had) gone.

(Apparently), my body in the corner (of retirement) left;
(Really), to the plain of the Soul (the upper world) road-provision taken up:

Sometimes, example (counsel)-accepting from the unread tablet;
Sometimes, lesson-taking from the books of the ancients.

Like a candle, fire (by intensity of thought) fell into my garden (of the brain);
My (burning) garden (brain) became my fiery mark.


(The brain) the melter, like wax in the sun;
By such a piece of wax (consuming thought, the path of) sleep, closed to my eye.

From me (from seeing my state) the Magicians learned,
Since by their own wax, they stitched up (prevented) the sleep (of men).

In those contemplative paths (of verse),
The pure (whole) brain in my head became perturbed.


Apparently, I had placed my gross body in a corner; really, I had become a traveller to the Upper World, whence, as stated in the tra­ditions, poets bring weighed subtleties.


From the books of unskilful poets that obtained not currency, I took warning, saying:—“Why should I waste time like them in uttering idle tales? I will utter weighed words that shall pierce the soul.”

The unread tablet may signify—the work of a poet devoid of skill, or that of a new poet yet unread, but worthy of being read.


If mom-i-man be read for “mom-i-khud,” the second line (the cause of the first) will be—

Since with my wax (my brain, the melter) they (Fate and Destiny) stitched up (prevented) my sleep …

Magicians close the path of sleep to a man, by making his effigy in wax, sticking it hot into his eye, and uttering an enchantment over it.

When mom-i-khud is read, the second line qualifies the first.


“Andeshnák” signifies—that stage of thought when it reaches far distant places.

From the agitation (sleep) of the brain, came mine a dream;
In that dream, I beheld a beautiful garden (the lustrous verse of the Sikandar Náma),

From which variegated garden I kept plucking the date (of subtlety);
And of it kept giving to whomsoever I saw.


The date-gatherer (Nizami) came (awoke) from sweet sleep:
—A brain, full of fire (verse); a mouth, full of water (haste to write the verse).

At the first prayer (dawn), the mu,azzin exclaimed:
“Pure is the Living-One, who never dies!”

—A sudden cry (on hearing this prayer) issued from me;
For I was full of thought (grief), and void of myself—

When the morning of happiness appeared in proper time,
I became alive (returned to sense) like the wind in the morning time.

I lit up a candle (of the lustrous verse beheld in the dream) night-illuminating;
And, like the candle, burned with the thought (of establish­ing the verse).


This Sikandar Náma is a manaví, which means—a ballad, a romance or an epic in rhyme, such that each mira (line) rhymes with its fellow but the same rhyme runs not through the whole of the poem.


My brain (from the fire of desire) was hot; and my mouth (from envy) full of water—from the dates which I had seen in my dream.


The mu,azzin of the masjid, before morning, in the streets of the city, with a lofty voice, exclaims: so that morning risers become awake.

In some places, the mu,azzin, from the pulpit of the masjid, with a loud voice, utters: … so that sleepers, becoming awake, may hear and afterwards recite that glorious prayer of grace.


Those sick for God fall into ecstasy on hearing His name.


“Pagah” is the antithesis of begáh.


My heart engaged with the tongue, in word-cherishing,
—Like (the angel) Harut and (the woman) Zuhra, in sorcery—

Saying: “How is it proper to sit so long without employ­ment?”
Again, I may bring a fresh mode (the versification of this book) to my hand;

May bring a strange (new) note into song;
May give blessing to the souls of former ones (Kings con­temporary with Sikandar).


Zuhra was a singer, who, from desire of the great name of God, went in the garment of a harlot, to every Faḳír, and to everyone perfect in the knowledge of God. In the time of David, when the angels accused men of disobedience, God, out of the perfection of sovereignty and compassion, said: “In mankind, passion and lust are the cause of sin; if these possessed you, the same result would follow.”

The angels replied: “This would never be.”

An order was immediately passed for bringing an angel, distinguished for good qualities. They brought the angels, Hárút and Márút. The great Creator, with His perfect power, having occupied Himself with their temperament, and made over to them the decision of the dispute,— dismissed them to the earth and taught them the great name of God.

Those two angels, by the power of that great name, kept coming and going.

Zuhra, on hearing of this circumstance, came to them, and they became enamoured of her. Going to her house, they drank wine; worshipped her idol; slew her husband; and taught her the great name of God.

Zuhra, having washed and changed her garments, recited the great name; and, by its blessing, ascended to the sky, where she mingled her splendour with the star, Venus (Zuhra). The two angels, becoming captives to the wrath of God (on account of their passion for Zuhra), were confined, head downwards, in the pit of the city of Bábil (Babylon), where they taught men sorcery.

According to the manawí of Maulaví Rúm, the two angels said to God: “If we two may go to the earth, we will restrain mankind from iniquity, and prosperity will, assuredly, appear.”

See Genesis vi. 2, 4; “The Loves of the Angels,” by Moore; “Heaven and Earth,” by Byron; “Spanish Ballads,” by Lockhart.


Some say that the second line means—the blessing of a certain king belonging to the race of past kings.

May bring forth a lamp (a book) from a spark (the tale of a past King);
May produce a tree from a grain (the tale of Sikandar).

So that whoever casts down (obtains) the fruit (of pleasure) from this tree (of verse),
May say to the Planter (Nizami): “O fortunate One!”


On the condition that—a mere handful of mean ones (unskilful poets, my contemporaries)
Steal not the household furniture (verses) of their neigh­bours.

I have assumed—I am chief of those of quick understanding (poets);
(That) I am the great king of those jewel-selling (poets);

(That) all (the poets of my time) are grape-gatherers (cottagers); and I (am) the grain-sower (the wealthy villager);
All, house-deckers (helpers); and I, the house-holder (the master).

In these four sides (the market of retribution, the world) how may I plant my goods (of poetry)?
For I am not safe from the robbers of the road (pla­giarists).

In these four sides (the market of the World), who has a shop (of verse),
That has not a breach from many directions?


Like the river, why fear I the robber of a drop (the sun),
When more than that, the cloud (of Divine Bounty) gives me reward?


Niámí refers to plagiarists.


“Giriftan” here signifies—farẓ kardan. It is often so used.

Khána-pardáz” signifies—khadim; khálí kunanda,e khána,e khud; kharáb kunanda,e khána.


In the East, markets are usually so arranged that the streets form a cross; at the place of intersection is an open spot or square for the punishing of malefactors and the issuing of the orders of the Sulán. Thus at Kandahar the bázár is called chár-sú.


“Abr” may signify—Niámí's genius; the sun.

If thou light up a hundred lamps (of poetry) like the moon,
On them will be the name (mark) of robbery from the sun (Nizami).


It is well known that the moon's light is derived from the sun.