Warner, Arthur George and Warner, Edmond;
The Shahnama of Firdausi
(London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Truebner and Co) 1909.
Par. 1 |p15 The Prelude THIS much achieved, the poet will present Another tale of yore - how Kai Khusrau Sat on the throne and sent an armament Against Turan. Thus, if God's grace allow Me life and health, shall I one story more Leave to the world from this famed book of lore. |p16 When in the garth a cypress sendeth off A shoot, whose green top mounteth palace-high, The tree rejoiceth in the height thereof, Its prudent carriage, and prosperity, The heart of fortune nourisheth the shoot, And all the world partaketh of the fruit. If sovereignty to native worth be due The wearer of the crown must needs do right; Three aspects of the matter let us view, And presently a fourth will come in sight Accomplishment thou wilt not fail to find With high birth and with native worth combined. Such are the three, and all in one content, For save in company with native worth How can there ever be accomplishment, And, lacking that, what scion of high birth Hast thou beheld? High birth the father's seed Produceth, which may well fair fruitage breed. Accomplishment thou learnest painfully From others, at the cost of many a groan, While native worth is greatest of the three - A robe of honour given by God alone. To these be wisdom added, that which will Discriminate for thee 'twixt good and ill. When any man possesseth all the four He hath repose from travail, greed, and grief, But not from death; that is an evil, sore Beyond all others; there is no relief. Now Kai Khusrau possessed all four, and he Was fashioned thus by heaven's destiny. |p17 Par. 2 How the Nobles did Homage to Kai Khusrau When Kai Khusrau acceded, and the world Had been apprised, he sat upon the throne Of king of kings and donned the crown of greatness. He meted justice out to each, uprooting Injustice from the earth. Then all the nobles, Possessed of crowns and sprung of royal race, With foreign monarchs, potentates, and magnates, Resorted to Khusrau: there was no head Not taken in his toils. He cultivated Waste lands and freed the mourners' hearts from woe; The moisture rained down from the clouds in spring, And cleansed the face of earth from rust and sorrow; 'Twas decked like Paradise with goodly havings By reason of his justice and his bounty. The world was full of happiness and peace, The hands of Ahriman were barred from ill, While envoys came from all the provinces, From every man of name and potentate. When tidings had been carried to Nimruz, And reached the chief, the Lustre of the earth:- "The glorious prince is seated on the throne, And hath his foot upon the sky of power," He summoned his retainers from all sides To go to offer homage to the Shah, Departing on the journey in great state And much content with Zal the son of Sam The son of Nariman, and all the nobles, Both great and little of Kabul - a host Which made the desert as 'twere ebony What while the tymbals split the leopards' ears. Zal with an escort led the way; behind Came Rustam followed by the violet flag. |p18 When tidings reached the Shah: "The loyal Rustam Is on his way," the people as one man Arose prepared to go to welcome him. The Shah was glad and bade the courier: "Take Thy pleasure here, for Rustam reared my father, And all eyes recognise his excellence." The monarch ordered Giv, Gudarz, and Tus To set forth with the tymbals and the pipes, The drums beat at the portal of the Shah, And all the warriors assumed their helms. From every quarter of the land all went With flag and kettledrum to welcome Rustam; While those in chief command with many troops Went forward two days' journey to receive him. As soon as Rustam's standard came in sight, And when the host's dust mounted o'er the sun, Shouts rose with sound of trump and kettledrum, And from the centre Giv, Gudarz, and Tus Approached in haste the elephantine chieftain, And gave him salutations joyfully. All three of them embraced him; he meanwhile - The lion-queller - asked about the Shah. From Rustam they proceeded next to Zal, The son of Sam, with open hearts and happy, Then turned to Faramarz, rejoiced to see him. Thence they approached the Shah, approached to gaze Upon the glorious crown. Now when Khusrau Beheld the elephantine warrior Tears trickled from his eyelids down his cheeks. Descending from the throne he greeted Rustam, Who kissed the ground. The Shah said: "Paladin! Live ever glad and happy, for thou art The foster-sire of Siyawush and likewise Art of all men most wise and reticent." He clasped upon his breast the head of Zal, And sorrowed for his own sire's sake the while, |p19 Then seated both chiefs on the royal throne, And blessed them in God's name. When Rustam marked From head to foot the person of the Shah, And how he sat, held converse, and advised, The hero's cheek flushed up and his heart ached, So much reminded him of Siyawush. He thus addressed the world's king: "To the world Thou art, O Shah! the memory of thy sire. I have not seen a king with Grace like thine, Or one so like thy father." When they rose They had the tables spread and wine prepared. Khusrau slept not till night was far advanced, But held more converse touching what had chanced. Par. 3 How Kai Khusrau made a Progress through his Realm When Sol had drawn its shining scimitar, And dark night's head had vanished, rose the blare Of trumpets from the court-gate, and such chiefs As Tus, Gudarz, and valiant Giv, Gurgin, Ruhham the Lion, Gustaham, and others, Came to the Shah in that famed audience-hall. Now when they had assembled at his throne He said to them: "I purpose to survey The glorious realm and marches of Iran. Go we in hunting wise and fleet a while In happiness." The nobles all agreed. The monarch of the world went forth to hunt With Rustam, that illustrious paladin, With Giv, Gudarz son of Kishwad, Shapur, Bahram, a wielder of the scimitar, |p20 Gurgin, Bizhan expert in archery, Farhad and Zanga son of Shawaran, And one among the fighting-men, Guraza - A host that darkened both the sun and moon With helmets, maces, coats of mail, and casques. The tracks and trackless waste were like a field Of battle with the corpses of the game. Khusrau passed through the country of Iran, And subsidised and peopled all the lands That then were uninhabited or ravaged, Or ruined by misgovernment; he found No toil injustice or munificence. He tarried in each city and set up His throne as fitted fortune's favourite, Called for his purse and cup, and with dinars Decked all the world; then sought another city, Conveying with him crown and throne and wine, Until with all the great men and the nobles He reached at length Tzar Abadagan; Then quaffing wine, and urging on his steed, Approached the temple of Azargashasp, Prayed in that Fane of Fire and praised the Maker. He left in state to go back to Kaus, With whom they sat - a merry company - Not ceasing for a moment from their mirth Till to their heads the sparkling liquor rose, And all went eagerly to seek repose. Par. 4 How Kai Khusrau sware to Kai Kaus to take Vengeance on Afrasiyab When morn brought forth bright day, and scattered gems Upon the dusky ground; the world-lord sat |p21 With Kai Kaus - both noble, prosperous Shahs - With Zal and valiant Rustam. Kai Kaus Discoursed at large on matters great and small, And, first, in speaking of Afrasiyab, Bathed both his cheeks with blood-drops from his eyes, Recounting what that king had perpetrated On Siyawush, and how he had sent up Dust from Iran, how many paladins Had died, and how their wives and children suffered, Thus saying: "Thou beholdest many cities Waste in Iran, wrecked by Afrasiyab. Since every needful, God-sent gift is thine - Men, knowledge, might of hand, Grace, majesty, And favouring stars - and thou in every point Of native worth art raised o'er other kings, I claim of thee an oath, and thou must keep it, That vengeance on Afrasiyab shall fill Thy heart, and thou shalt not allay that flame, Regardless of his kinship with thy mother, And heeding not what any one may urge. Thou shalt not be seduced by wealth or power, Howe'er thou be exalted or abased, Nor shalt thou turn aside to treat with him For mace or sword or throne or diadem. I will declare the sanction of thine oath - One binding on thy wisdom and thy soul Swear by the righteous Judge of sun and moon, By crown, throne, casque, and signet, by the justice Of Faridun and by his precedent, The blood of Siyawush, thy life, O Shah The Grace, and by the favouring stars divine, That thou wilt never turn aside to ill, Wilt ask no arbiter but sword and mace, And rise above thyself in thy resolve." Whenas the youthful monarch heard the words He turned both face and soul toward the Fire, |p22 And took an oath: "By God, the Lord of all, By day resplendent and night azure-dim, By sun and moon, by throne and casque and signet, By sword and by the Shah's own diadem, I never will incline toward amity For him, or dream of looking on his face." This they recorded in the olden tongue With scented ink upon a royal roll, And Zal and Rustam signed as witnesses, And likewise all the other mighty men. The written oath attested in due form Was put for safety into Rustam's hands. When this was done they called for wine and feast, And held a session of another kind; The nobles passed a week with harp and wine Within the hall of Kai Kaus. Khusrau Upon the eighth day bathed, composed himself, Then sought the place of prayer, and, in the presence Of circling heaven's Lord, adored the Maker. That night until the rising of the sun He cried aloud with eyes fulfilled with tears, And said: "O righteous Judge, the only God, The World-lord, the Sustainer, and the Guide Thus didst deliver me, a hostless boy, Out of the Dragon's breath. Afrasiyab Thou knowest reckless, not afraid to injure; His curse is on the waste and peopled lands; Revenge against him filleth guiltless hearts. He hath poured fire upon these goodly coasts, Hath sifted o'er the brave the dust of woe, Unjustly shed the blood of Siyawush Upon the earth, and rent our souls thereby. The hearts of kings are filled with dread of him; His throne and diadem are this world's bane. Thou knowest that he is of evil nature, And both a miscreant and sorcerer." |p23 He laid his cheek full oft upon the ground, And uttered praises to the Lord of all. Departing thence he went back to the throne, And thus harangued the exalted paladins: - "O ye my men of name, my gallant hearts, And swordsmen! I have ridden through Iran, But, from the temple of Akzargashasp To this place, seen not any one heart-glad, Possessed of riches or of lands in culture. All have been injured by Afrasiyab, All hearts are filled with blood, all eyes with tears. I am the first whose liver thus he wounded, So that my soul and body smart through him, And next there is that noble Shah - my grandsire - Who from his heart still heaveth chilly sighs, While men and women groan throughout Iran At massacre and pillage, war and raid. So now if ye are all my trusty friends, Devoted to me in your hearts indeed, I will make ready to avenge my father, And turn this evil from the Iranians. If ye will, all of you, renew the fight, Strive, and contend like pards, so too will I; Plains in the battles of the brave shall turn To mountailis, and for all the blood shed there Afrasiyab the criminal shall be Responsible. If any of our host Shall fall, their place is Paradise above. What say ye then? What answer do ye give? Advise me well. Afrasiyab, ye know, Began the wrong. Requital should not rest." The chiefs prepared to answer and arose With rancour in their hearts. They said: "O Shah! Keep thy heart glad and ever free from care. Our bodies and our souls are wholly thine, And thine our grief and joy, our loss and gain. |p24 We all of us are mother-born to die, And all of us, though free men, are thy slaves." Whenas he heard this answer from the throng, From Tus, Gudarz, and elephantine Rustam, The Shah's cheek grew as red as cercis-bloom, For he was young in person and in fortune. He called down blessings on the company; "May earth be peopled by the brave," said he. Par. 5 How Kai Khusrau numbered the Paladins With matters in this stay the sky revolved Till Sol appeared in Virgo; then the Shah Called all the archimages of the realm, And spake to them at large in fitting terms. He closed the door of audience for two sennights, And had the muster-roll compiled afresh. He bade the commissaries to call over The names of great and small, and had them written In solemn form befitting paladins. The kin of Kai Kaus five score and ten - Chiefs of the host - came first upon the list, And at their head was Fariburz the son Of Kai Kaus - the new Shah's kinsman. Next He chose him eighty scions of Naudar, All armed with maces and all warriors. Their leader was Zarasp the general, Who used to make their welfare his concern In everything - a crown of kings, the son Of Tus - the lord of iron mace, of scimitar, And drum. Gudarz son of Kishwad came next, Whose counsels were the safeguard of the host. His sons and grandsons numbered seventy-eight - Brave mountaineers and horsemen of the plain; |p25 They carried Kawa's standard and illumed The throne and fortune of the Kaian race. The seed of Gazhdaham were sixty-three, And great men all; their chief was Gustaham. The kinsmen of Milad - a hundred horsemen - Had for their chief victorious Gurgin. Tawaba's kindred numbered eighty-five Brave cavaliers, the wardens of the treasure, While Barta was the warden over them, And most illustrious of them all in fight. Next three and thirty scions of Pashang, Brave men, who bore the double-headed dart In battle-time, their chieftain was Rivniz - A mighty man both valiant and discreet, Who used to go before the drums in war, The warriors' warden, son-in-law to Tus. The kinsmen of Barzin, three score and ten In sum, all Lions on the day of battle, Had over them Farhad, himself an Anvil Of steel in fight. Guniza led in person His kinsmen - five score and five warriors. Apart from these, the lords and paladins, The princes and the mighty men of worship, Were more than any archimage could reckon, So many were the chiefs with Grace and glory! They wrote upon the monarch's muster-roll The names of all efficients, and the Shah Bade them to quit the city and march out Toward the wastes and plains. He said to them:- "About the ending of the month must rise The clarion-blast and sound of Indian bells, And all must march with joy against Turan." They bent their heads before him to the ground, And all called blessings down upon him, saying:- "O Shah possessed of Grace divine and glory, Who givest lustre to the crown and girdle! |p26 We all are slaves, thine is the sovereignty, From Aries to Pisces all for thee." Par. 6 How Kai Khusrau bestowed Treasures upon the Paladins Wherever there were horses running wild Their keepers drove them to the camp in herds. The Shah commanded: "Let the lasso-throwers - The warriors brazen-bodied in the fight - Catch these swift Arab chargers in the noose." Anon the conquering world-lord took his seat With mace in hand upon the throne of gold, Unlocked his treasury of dinars, and said:- "The treasures of the great should not be hidden. In times of strife and fighting for revenge They look with scorn on treasure and dinars; So all our wealth and thrones will we bestow Upon the brave, to make our Tree fruit sunward, And why delay since treasure helpeth them?" A hundred pieces of brocade of Rum With jewelled patterns on a golden ground, With beaver-skins, gold raiment, and a goblet Of royal gems - he had these brought. "Behold," Said he, "the price set on the worthless bead Of that fierce Dragon, murderous Palashan, Now made commander by Afrasiyab That he may slumber while that chieftain watcheth. Who in our camp will bring his head and sword And steed to dust upon the day of battle?" Bizhan the son of Giv sprang to his feet Forthwith, he undertook to slay that Dragon, And carried off the stuffs and cup of gold, |p27 With all the jewels, blessing Kai Khusrau, And saying: "May this crowned head live for ever!" Then went back to his seat retaining still The goblet with the jewels in his hand. The Shah then bade his treasurer to bring Two hundred robes of gold embroidery With beaver-skins, brocade, rich painted silk, And two slaves rosy-cheeked with girded loins, And thus he said: "These presents will I give, And will confer more favours on, the man That bringeth unto me, or to the chieftains Assembled here, the crown worn by Tazhav, Which crown Afrasiyab set on his head, And hailed him as a high-born son-in-law." Again Bizhan the son of Giv arose, Who had a hand far reaching in the fight, And seized upon the presents and the slaves While all assembled wondered; he exclaimed:- "May earth be prosperous under Kai Khusrau! " Then sat down gladly giving many thanks. The Shah commanded and the treasurer Brought out ten slave-boys with their girdles on, Ten steeds of rapid pace with golden bridles, And ten veiled maidens in their bravery; The watchful ruler of the people said:- "steeds and all these Beauties are for one Who, when Tazhav hath fled, need not possess A lion's heart. Tazhav hath by his side In battle one whose voice would tame a leopard, A slave with cheeks like spring, of cypress-stature, With reed-like waist and with a pheasant's gait, A Moon-face, Ispanwi by name, a Jasmine In visage, heart-alluring, breathing musk. Her captor must not, strike her with the sword, For swords are not for such a cheek as hers, |p28 But noose her waist and take her to his bosom." Bizhan smote on his breast and volunteered Again. He drew anigh the all-conquering Shah, Began to laud the monarch of the world, And supplicate the Maker. The great king Rejoiced in him and spake thus: "Famous chief! May paladin like thee ne'er help our foes, Ne'er may thine ardent soul and body part!" Then said the world-lord to the treasurer:- BringBring forth ten golden beakers from the hoard, And let them put pastilles therein; bring also Ten goblets of pure silver brimmed with jewels, One topaz goblet filled with musk, and one Of turquoise, one of lapis-lazuli, With emeralds and carnelians showered therein, Mixed with rose-water and with musk; ten boy-slaves With belts, and ten fine steeds with golden bridles. These are," he said, "for him who, having strength To fight Tazhav upon the day of battle, Shall bear his head off from the stricken field, And bring it to the warriors of the host." Then Giv son of Gudarz smote on his breast, And undertook to fight that paladin, Whereat they brought those noble slaves and gifts, And set them in array in front of him. He called down many blessings on the Shah, And said: "May crown and signet ne'er lack thee." The Shah commanded then the treasurer:- SetSet out ten golden trays before the throne, And mix in them dinars and musk and jewels; Set too ten Fairy-faced with crowns and girdles, Two hundred beaver-skins, brocade of gold, Ten girdles, and a royal diadem. This is for him," he said, "that grudgeth not His labour for the sake of fame and treasure. Let such depart hence to the Kasa rud, |p29 And there salute the soul of Siyawush. He will behold a mighty pile of fire-wood, Whose height is greater than ten lassos' length. It is a pile raised by Afrasiyab Upon the spot whereat he crossed the river. He wished that none should pass there from Iran Turan-ward. Some bold warrior must go hence, And make the Kasa rud a sheet of flame, So that if e'er it be the scene of fight The wood may prove no cover for the foe." Again Giv spake: "This is my quarry; mine Shall be the task to set the pile a-blaze. I fear not combat if the foe shall come, But will invite the vultures to a feast." The Shah bestowed on Giv those goods as well, And said to him: "Famed chieftain of the host! May this bright crown ne'er lack thy sword. So be it. Oh! may the Brahman never lack the Idol! " He ordered: "Let the treasurer produce Forthwith a hundred divers-hued brocades," Chose from his hoards a hundred lustrous pearls - "All drops of water frozen," thou wouldst say - And brought out from the women's bower five handmaids, Whose heads and tresses were concealed by crowns. He said: "This is a present meet for one Whose wisdom is the king of his pure mind - A daring, prudent man and eloquent, Who turneth not from lions in the fight - If he will carry to Afrasiyab A message, weeping not for dread of him, And will convey his answer back to me. Who of this noble company will dare?" Gurgin son of Milad held forth his hand, And gat him ready for that enterprise. The Shah bestowed on him the slaves, the robes |p30 Of gold-embroidery, and royal gems. He called down blessings on the Shah and said:- May May wisdom wed the soul of Kai Khusrau! " Whenas earth's face grew black as raven's plumes, And when night's Lamp rose o'er the hills, the Shah Went to his palace, and his mighty men Departed, each one to his home again. Par. 7 How Kai Khusrau sent Rustam to the Land of Hind When daylight made the hills like sandarac, And cockcrows reached the clouds, the matchless Rustam With Faramarz and with Zawara came Before the Shah to speak about Iran, The crown, the state, and matters great and small. Then Rustam said: "Illustrious, glorious Shah! There is a district in Zabulistan, That formed a portion of the realm of Tur Till Minuchihr drave all the Turkmans out. It is a goodly and a glorious land; But when Kaus grew hoar and spiritless, When fame, the Grace, and prowess quitted him, Turanians seized it and Iranians ceased Therein. The folk now carry to Turan Both toll and tribute, heeding not the Shah. The march is full of elephants and treasure. The innocent are troubled by this folk With constant pillage, massacre, and raid, And all the insolency of Turan. Now that the kingship of Iran is thine, Thine from the ant's foot to the lion's claws, |p31 'Twere well to send a valiant paladin, And mighty host, to make this people bring Their tribute to the Shah and look to him. This region ours we can defeat Turin." The Shah said: "Live for ever! Thou art right. Take order for sufficiency of troops, Selecting all the famous warriors, For since the district marcheth with thine own Its purchase will be worthy of thy fame. Commit a mighty host to Farimarz, As many warriors as shall suffice. The business will succeed with him; his hook Will catch the crocodiles." The paladin With flushing cheeks called many a blessing down Upon the Shah, who bade the chamberlain To spread the board, bring wine, call minstrelsy, And listened spell-bound to their melody. Par. 8 How Kai Khusrau reviewed the Host When bright Sol rose above the hills, and when The minstrels tired of song, the kettledrums Clanged at the court-gate and the troops drew up Before the palace. On the elephants They bound the tymbals and the trumpets blared. Upon one elephant they set a throne; That royal Tree bore fruit; the Shah came forth, And took his seat, crowned with a jewelled casque. He wore a torque of royal gems and held An ox-head mace. Two earrings, decked with pearls And precious stones, depended from his ears; His bracelets were of jewels set in gold; His belt was pearls and gold and emeralds. |p32 His elephant with golden bells and bridle Proceeded to the centre of the host. He had with him the ball within the cup; The shouting of the army rose to Saturn; The earth grew black and heaven azure-dim With all the swords and maces, drums and dust; Thou wouldst have said: "The sun is in a net," Or " Water hath o'erwhelmed the arching sky! " The clearest sight could not behold the world, Or gaze upon the sky and stars for spears; Thou wouldst have said: "The billows of the sea Are rising," as the host marched troop by troop. They brought the camp-enclosure from the palace Forth to the plain, and shoutings frayed the skies. The custom was that when that famous Shah Upon his elephant let fall the ball Within the cup, and girt his loins, no place Remained for any one throughout the realm Save at the Shah's own gate. Such was the token To all his realm of that famed king of chief's. The Shah remained upon his elephant On that broad plain to see the troops march past. First to defile before the world's new lord Was Fariburz with golden boots, with mace, And sword. Behind him was his flag sun-blazoned. He rode a chestnut steed, his lasso coiled Was in the saddle-straps. He passed along In pride with Grace and lustre, his retainers Were buried in their gold and silver trappings. The world-lord blessed him, saying: "May the greatness And Grace of heroes ever be thine own, Thy fortune triumph in each enterprise, Thy whole existence be a New Year's Day; May health be thine in all thy goings forth, And no infirmity on thy return." |p33 Behind him was Gudarz son of Kishwad, Whose counsel brought the world prosperity. A lion clutching mace and scimitar Was charged upon the flag that followed him. Upon his left hand marched the brave Ruhham, And on his right the noble Giv; Shidush Behind him bore the banner lion-charged, Which threw a violet lustre on the ground, While thousands of exalted warriors followed, All cavaliers and armed with lengthy lances. Behind Giv and accompanied by troops His sable banner came charged with a wolf, While of Ruhham, that man of high ambition, The flag rose cloudward tiger-charged. These sons And grandsons of Gudarz were seventy-eight In number, and they crowded that broad plain, Each followed by his flag distinct in hue - All valiant men with swords and golden boots. "The whole world," thou hadst said, "is 'neath Gudarz, The chiefs' heads are beneath his scimitar." He called down blessings on the crown and throne As he approached; the Shah returned the blessings On him, on Giv, and all his warriors. The next behind Gudarz was Gustaham, The son of Gazhdaham the vigilant; His weapon in the battle was a spear, His comrades were a bow and poplar arrows; And when a shaft went flying from his arm 'Twould pierce a rock or anvil to the core. He was attended by a mighty host With maces, scimitars, and rich array. His banner blazoned with a moon waved o'er him, And raised its head resplendent to the clouds. He called down benedictions on the Shah, Who gloried in him. Next came shrewd Ashkash, |p34 Endowed with prudent heart and ready brain. His troops were from Baluchistan and Kutch, And very rams to fight. No one had seen Their backs in battle or one finger mailless; Their banner was a pard with claws projecting. Ashkash felicitated Kai Khusrau At large upon the happy turn of fortune. Meanwhile the Shah upon his elephant Surveyed the troops, whose ranks stretched out two miles, And in abundant satisfaction blessed His sleepless fortune and his glorious land. Behind Ashkash was well approved Farhad, Who tendered all the troops, and everywhere Was like their foster-father in the fight. He had a banner charged with a gazelle, Whose shadow fell upon him as he rode. His troops were all equipped with Indian swords, With Turkman armour and with Sughdian saddles. They all were princely scions of Kubad, And all were dowered with God's Grace and with justice; The face of each was like the shining moon, And like the shining sun in battlefield. Farhad beheld the throne's new occupant, And called down blessings on the youthful Shah. Guraza, eldest offspring of Givgan, Came next accompanied by all his kin, A favourite in whom the Shah rejoiced. Upon his saddle was a lasso coiled; He bore a banner blazoned with a boar; His troops were warriors and lasso-flingers. These cavaliers and heroes of the plain Saluted many times and then marched past. Behind him Zanga son of Shawaran |p35 Came rushing with his gallant hearts and chieftains. Behind him was his flag charged with an eagle, And as a moving mountain so moved he. Ofttimes he called down blessings on the Shah, His mien and stature, sword and signet-ring. All that were from the country of Baghdad Were armed with lances and steel swords, and marched Beneath the eagle while their general Himself was seated on an elephant. Behind him was the valiant Farimarz Of noble stature, Grace, and majesty, With tymbals, elephants, and many troops, All eager for the fray, and mighty men Brought from Kashmir, Kabulistan, Nimruz, All noble and the lustre of the world. He had a banner like his valiant sire's - That Rustam who could be surpassed by none - With seven heads, "The heads as of a dragon That had escaped from bonds," thou wouldst have said. In favour like a fruitful tree he came, And uttered many a blessing on the Shah, Who with a heart that joyed at Faramarz Gave him much prudent rede and said to him:- "The nursling of the elephantine chief Will be pre-eminent among the people. Thou art the son of wary-hearted Rustam, Thou art from Zal - Sam's son - and Nariman. Now is the land of Hindustan thine own, All from Kannuj up to Sistan is thine; So bear thyself that harm may not befall Him that assayeth not to fight with thee. In every place be thou the poor man's friend, Be noble unto those of thine own kin, See heedfully what friends thou hast, and who Are men of wisdom and can soothe thy griefs, |p36 Give, entertain, and never say: 'To-morrow.' How know'st thou what to-morrow will bring forth? I have bestowed on thee this kingship. Hold it. Make no war anywhere in wantonness, Be not in youth acquisitive of treasure, Aggrieve not any that hath not grieved thee, And trust not thou this treacherous dwelling-place; Tis sandarac and ebony by turns. Thy duty is to leave a noble name, And mayst thou never have a sorry heart. For thee and me alike the day will pass, And turning heaven reckon up thy breaths. Thou need'st a happy heart, a body hale; Consider if a third thing is to seek. May He who made the world be gracious to thee, And smoke fill thy foes' hearts." The chief, on hearing The words of this new master of the world, Dismounted from his fleet steed, and invoked Full many a blessing on the young Shah, saying:- "Mayst thou wax even as the new moon waxeth." He kissed the ground and, having done obeisance, Turned and departed on his longsome journey, While matchless Rustam, with his brain distraught At losing Faramarz, accompanied His son two leagues, instructing him withal In warfare, feast, and wisdom, wishing him A life of joy; then sadly turned and went Back from the desert to the tent-enclosure. The Shah got off his lusty elephant, And, mounting on a rapid-footed steed, Withdrew in state to his pavilion, With aching heart and deeply pondering. When Rustam had returned the wine was brought; Khusrau filled up a mighty bowl, and said:- "Mirth as thy mate sufficeth, and no sage |p37 Will name to-morrow. Where are Tur and Salm And Faridun? All lost and one with dust! We go about and toil and gather wealth, Yet frustrate all the wishes of our hearts, Since in the end the dust will be our share, And not one of us will escape that day. Fleet we the darksome night with goblets brimmed, And when day cometh with its measured steps We will command that Tus shall blow the trumpet, That tymbal, kettledrum, and clarion sound; Then shall we see o'er whom the turning sky Will stretch its hand in love in this campaign. And yet what profit is our toil to us Since from the first what is to be will be? We shall be quit alike of good and ill; Why should a wise man gorge himself with care? Still by the aid of Him who made us all I will take vengeance for my father's fall" THE STORY OF FARUD THE SON OF SIYAWUSH Par. 9 The Prelude Let no king, great and warlike though he be, Intrust his army to an enemy, One from whose eyelids tears of envy pour, Tears such as leeches know no drugs to cure; For such a man, if of a noble race, Will chafe to be denied the highest place, To be a slave with wish insatiate, |p38 And only speak as others may dictate. No wisdom can the monarch's heart attend Who calleth such a man as this a friend, For if heaven hostile to his wishes prove, And hath no blessing for him in its love, He will be prone to act no friendly part; The thwarted wish will rankle in his heart. No sage would reckon him a man at all That hath not wisdom for his pedestal, And thou wilt see, when thou shalt hear this tale, How far an evil nature may prevail. Par. 10 How Tus went to Turkistan When Sol arose in all its majesty, And sat upon its lofty eminence, Ascendant in the Sign of Aries, While all the world became like golden wine, The tymbals sounded from the court of Tus With blare of trump and roll of kettledrum. The battle-shout went up throughout the realm, The air was full of war-cries, earth of turmoil. The neighs and the shouts frayed Luna from her course, While from the clash of arms and trumpeting Of elephants thou wouldst have said: "The Nile Hath overflowed the world!" The air was yellow, Red, blue, and violet as Kawa's standard 'Mid cavaliers - the kinsmen of Gudarz - Waved. Kai Khusrau with crown and mace and trumpets Came to the entering in of his pavilion. Tus with the golden boots and Kawa's flag Set forth and with the great men that wore torques |p39 And crowns - the aspiring kindred of Naudar - Went proudly from the host before Khusrau. The banner o'er them bore an elephant, Its golden staff-head rising to the clouds. They went together, like a darksome mountain, And sun and moon ceased shining. When they carne With flags and helms in haste before the Shah He bade the chieftain Tus present to him The warriors of distinction in the host, And thus addressed them: "Tus is chief; he hath The flag of Kawa; do as he commandeth." Then in their sight he gave his signet-ring To Tus, and said: "He is your chief and leader." To Tus himself he said: "Be true to me, And mark mine institutions and commands No one must be molested on the march, Such is the custom of my crown and throne. Let no cold blast befall the husbandman, Or artisan, or one that armeth not Against thee; strive but with antagonists. Refrain from troubling those who are at ease Since all will have to quit this Wayside Inn. Thou shalt on no account pass by Kalat, For, if thou dost, things will go hard with thee. To Siyawush (his soul be as the sun, His place all hopeful in the other world!) The daughter of Piran once bare a child' But little shown in public by his sire. He is my brother and resembleth me. He is a youth of mine own age, high-fortuned, And liveth with his mother at Kalat; A world-lord he who hath the Grace and troops. He knoweth no Iranian e'en by name, And from that quarter thou must turn thy bridle, For he hath troops and famous men of war |p40 Upon a mountain steep and hard to reach. He is a brave and warlike cavalier, Great through his native worth and famed of person, And therefore thou must take the desert-road It is not well to touch the claws of lions." Tus answered: "In thy counsels is success, By that way which thou biddest will I go, For good alone must come of thy behest." He then departed quickly, and the Shah Returned with loyal Rustam to the throne, Where sitting with that elephantine hero, The lords, archmages, and the stainless princes, He spake at large about Afrasiyab, His own heart's anguish and his father's wrongs. Tus for his part with all his warriors Came to a place where two roads met; the one Went through a desert dry and waterless, The other by Kalat and toward Charam. The elephants and kettledrums were halted Till Tus the general should come up, that so The host might take the road that pleased him best. When Tus had at his leisure reached the chiefs He spake about the waterless, hot road; Then to Gudarz: "Although this arid waste Yield ambergris for dust and musk for soil, Still on a long and toilsome march we need Repose and water. Our best route will be Kalat, Charam, encamping at Mayam, With streams and fertile country on both sides Why choose a desert and its miseries? I went along that way in former times, When Gazhdaham was leader of the host, And never saw so troublesome a road Although the ups and downs are few enough. 'Tis best to march along the other route, And measure not the desert and its leagues." |p41 Gudarz replied: "The noble Shah made thee Commander of this host; lead as he bade; Make not the troops' march grievous. They should not By disobedience to the great king's orders Be injured thus." Tus said: "O famous warrior Think not such things; this will not vex the Shah, And therefore need not be a grief to thee." He spake and bade the army to proceed, And march toward Kalat and to Charam; And, since Khusrau's commands he minded not, See what a Tempest proved at last his lot! Par. 11 How Farud heard of the Comming of Tus News reached Farud: "The bright sun's face is darkened By dust raised by the feet of elephants And camels; earth is like the river Nile. Thy brother's army marcheth from Iran Against Turan for vengeance, purposing To take the road that leadeth to Kalat. I know not where their battlefield will be." The inexperienced youth on hearing this Grew very sore of heart and dark of soul. He came down from the hold, unbarred the gate, And going forth surveyed the lofty mountain. At his command they brought in all the camels, The sheep, and horses; none remained on waste Or hill; he drove them all toward Mount Sapad And toward Ambuh, returned, secured the gate, And mounted on a rapid-footed steed. When from Mayam the sound of drums arose, And from Charam dust-clouds like ebony, |p42 Jarira, gazing from the castle-roof, Felt her heart throb in terror of that host. To her, his mother, came the young Farud, And said: "O chief of ladies! from Iran A host hath come with elephants and tymbals, And Tus the general is in command. What sayest thou? What is the course to take? We must prevent him from attacking us." Jarira said to him: "O warrior Be all thy days as fortunate as this Thy brother is the new Shah of Iran A world-lord shrewd is Kai Khusrau, and he Well knoweth both thy name and native worth. One father's blood and bone are in you both, And Siyawush was peerless in the world. Well may the age applaud him! At the outset Piran gave me to him; he would not else Have sought a Turkman spouse. Thus thy descent On both sides is illustrious and royal. Now, since thy brother seeketh to avenge, And vindicate, the soul of Siyawush, Thou shouldst be foremost in the race for vengeance, In making ready and exacting it. Don Ruman mail and go with raging heart, And shouts of battle ringing in thy head, For, since he seeketh vengeance on your grandsire, Thy part should be revenge, not policy, In that this grief may well make leopards wail, And crocodiles come groaning from the river. The birds too and the fishes in the water Call curses down upon Afrasiyab, For in the whole world not one sovereign That girdeth girdle is like Siyawush In prowess, manhood, fortune, and high birth, In glory, weight, intelligence, and justice. Thou art the son of that world-famous chief, |p43 Art of the Kaian seed and look'st it too! Thou must gird up thy loins then to avenge Thy sire and prove thy birth and native worth. See who the leader is of yonder host, Show hospitality, invite - the lords, And set upon the tables wine and gifts Of scimitars, of helmets, of horse-armour, Of coats of mail, and Indian swords. Thy brother Is wealth sufficient for thee in this world. Shall such just vengeance fall to aliens? At this conjuncture lead his troops thyself, New in revenge as he is new in reign." Farud said: "Which of them must I address Since I must have some helper 'mid these men, These men so haughty on the day of battle, Because I know not one of them by name? How shall I send them greeting and a message?" Jarira answered: "In the dust afar Raised by the host look for two cavaliers, Bahram and Zanga son of Shawaran. Search for the blazons of these two great heroes, For thou and I have nothing hid from them. Oh! may thy head and name survive for ever, And may the soul of Siyawush be bright He and these twain were never separable, They were his lords, he was their over-lord. Go with Tukhar, but with no further escort, And do not in thy heart misprize my words When thou shalt ask about the chiefs and warriors The brave Tukhar will point them out, for he, Well knowing all the Iranians, great and small, Will show thee sheep and shepherds." "Noble lady!" Replied Farud, "thy rede enlighteneth Thy kin and folk." A watchman from the look-out |p44 Came, told Farud about that host, and said:- "The mountains, vales, and plains are filled with troops, And thou wouldst say: 'The sun is put in duress!' The expanse of rock up to the castle-door Is all flag, elephant, and warrior!" Par. 12 How Farud and Tukhar went to view the Host Tukhar departed with Farud - a youth Whom fortune had abandoned. Whensoever The sky above us is untowardly No gentleness or rage availeth thee. They chose the summit of a lofty mountain, Commanding all the army of Iran, And marvelled at the troops and their equipment. The youth said to his confidant Tukhar:- "Conceal not aught of what I ask of thee. Tell me the names of all that thou beholdest - The man of rank, the bearer of the flag, The lord of partisan and golden boot - All whom thou recognisest of Iran." The Iranian host defiled between two mountains, And what with golden helm and golden shield, With golden ax and golden partisan, Thou wouldst have said: "No gold is left unmined, A cloud hath risen and rained jewelry!" The roar of kettledrums along the pass Affrayed the vultures as they flew o'erhead, While thirty thousand sword and buckler men Marched bravely on in all points dight for war. Now when Tukhar had scanned the host, the prince Began to question him. That expert answered:- "I will clear up what is obscure to thee: Know that yon flag charged with an elephant, |p45 Those horsemen, and those blue steel scimitars, Belong to noble Tus the general - A bad opponent when he seeketh vengeance. Behind him is another standard bearing A blazing sun: 'tis that of Fariburz, Son of Kaus, a general, thine uncle, A man of Grace and purpose. Next to him There is a mighty flag, its charge a moon, With many valiant warriors. The chief Call Gustaham the son of Gazhdaham, Whom no two-headed dart or club affrayeth. Next yon tall flag charged with an onager, Encompassed by a band of warriors, Is over Zanga son of Shawaran, Whose troops are mighty men. The flag behind That hath a moon on red, with musk-black fringes, Belongeth to Giv's son Bizhan who spurteth Blood to the sky. The flag charged with a tiger - One that would make a mighty lion burst, And, thou wouldst say, is leaping from its field - Is borne by brave Shidush, while that behind him, Whose blazon is a wild boar, 'One to bring,' As that wouldst say, 'the heavens to the shears,' Pertaineth to a brave chief hight Guraza, Who counteth it but sport to fight a lion. The next flag blazoned with a buffalo, With cavaliers behind and chiefs in front, Is famed Farhad's, the choicest of the chiefs Thou wouldest say: 'His stature is sky-high.' The banner with a wolf for its device Betokeneth the valiant chieftain Giv. The banner with the lion wrought in gold Is floating o'er Gudarz son of Kishwad. The streaming standard blazoned with a pard Precedeth proud, imperious Rivniz. The banner that is charged with a gazelle |p46 Belongeth to Nastuh son of Gudarz, And to his troops; that with the mountain-sheep Pertaineth to another son - Bahram. They all are lion-men - brave cavaliers; To name each one were tedious." Thus he told The blazons of the chiefs to prince Farud, Who viewed all, great and small. His heart grew glad, His cheek flushed, and he spake thus to Tukhar "We shall take vengeance for my sire with ease! I will not leave in Chin or in Machin A cavalier, when battling for revenge, But catch the Dragon and reduce their throne To straits." Now when the Iranians had descried Farud upon the mountain with Tukhar, Tus the commander was incensed, and caused The drums and elephants to halt. He said:- "We need an enterprising cavalier To hasten to the mountain-top to learn Who these two warriors are and wherefore there. If they be ours let him bestow on them Two hundred lashes on their heads, if foes Bind them and drag them hither faces downward; If they be slain still let him drag them hither Along the dust and have no fear of any, While if they shall prove spies, who want to take The number of our forces secretly, Let him cleave both asunder on the spot, Then fling them down the mountain and return; But if a countless host be ambushed there, Whereof a straggling few have shown themselves, Let him return and give the intelligence To us forthwith, and we will drive them thence." |p47 Par. 13 How Bahram came to Farud upon the Mountain Bahram son of Gudarz said to the chief:- "This matter shall not be concealed from us. I will go forth to do as thou hast said, And scale the mountain-top." He struck his steed, And went full of surmise toward the height. Farud said to Tukhar: "Who is this man That cometh hither with such insolence? Good sooth! he taketh no account of us At all, but cometh up the steep apace! He rideth a bay charger with a lasso Hung in his saddle-straps." The counsellor Replied: "He is not one to treat with rudeness. I know him not by token or by name, But take him for a kinsman of Gudarz. When Kai Khusrau departed from Turan He took a helmet of Afrasiyab's; It is methinketh on that horseman's head, And he hath royal mail to correspond. He must be of the kindred of Gudarz; So let us ope our lips and question him." Bahrflm, when he came nearer to the crest, Cried as a cloud might thunder: "Who art thou Upon the mountain-top? Dost thou not see Yon countless host, or hear their clamouring And din of drums? Or art thou not afraid Of Tus their watchful leader?" Then the prince:- "Thou wast not rudely treated: be not rude. Good words, O veteran! Let no harsh challenge Pollute thy lips. Thou art no warlike lion, |p48 And I am not a desert-onager; We are not to be treated in this fashion. Thou art in no way my superior In courage or in manliness or strength, While as for head, foot, hand, heart, brain, and wits, Tongue speaking fluently and eyes and ears - See if I too possess them and, if so, Forbear to threaten in thy foolishness. If thou wilt answer I will ask thee somewhat, And shall rejoice if thou advise me well." Bahram said: "Ask away! Thou art in heaven And I am on the earth." "Who is your leader," Inquired Farud, "and wherefore make ye war?" Bahram said: "Tus is leader for he hath The drums and Kawa's flag. Of warriors There are Gudarz, Ruhham, and Giv, Shidush, Gurgin, Farhad the valiant, Gustaham, With Zanga son of Shawaran, and chief Of all the clan of fighting-men - Guraza. " Farud returned: "Why nam'st thou not Bahram, And leavest thus the matter incomplete? In him of all the offspring of Gudarz We most rejoice, and yet thou nam'st him not!" Bahram replied to him: "O lion-man! Who spake to thee in such wise of Bahram?" Farud said: "From my mother heard I of him. She said to me: 'Now when the host approacheth Meet it and summon forth Bahram, and also A noble, Zanga son of Shawaran, Because they are thy father's foster-brothers, And thou mayst well inquire for news of them."' Then thus Bahram: "O fortune's favourite! So thou art Fruit of that Imperial Tree! Thou art Farud, young prince! Live long and happy! " He answered: "Yea, I am indeed Farud |p49 The fallen Cypress hath put forth a Shoot." Bahram rejoined: "Display to me thy person, Display to me the mark of Siyawush." Thereat Farud showed to Bahram his arm. A mole of ambergris on rosy flesh Was there - a picture such as none on earth Could skill to limn with compasses from Chin. Bahram perceived: "He cometh from Kubad Through Siyawush," then blessed him, did obeisance, And scaled the lofty steep. The prince dismounted, Sat on a rock, rejoicing, and thus said:- "Exalted, shrewd, and Lion of the fight! Were my two eyes to see my sire alive In sooth it would not be a greater joy To me than to behold thee glad and happy, Accomplished, wary, and a paladin. I came upon this mountain-top to ask About the heroes of the Iranian host, And learn who are their chief and men of name. I will provide a feast such as I can, Will entertain their paladin with joy, Give many gifts of horses, maces, belts, And scimitars, then march forth seared of heart Before the host against Turan for vengeance. The quest befitteth me who am fierce fire When mounted on my saddle in the combat. Be pleased to ask the paladin to come With glad heart to the mountain, there to spend A week that we may well advise together. Upon the eighth day, when the tymbal soundeth, And Tus the general mounteth on his steed, I will make ready to avenge my father, And, in the anguish of my heart, provide A conflict which shall teach the warrior-lion, |p50 While vultures' feathers testify aloft, That 'tis no common noble of the world Who girdeth him for vengeance such as this." Bahram replied: "O prince young and accomplished, And valiant cavalier! I will report Thy words to Tus, and kiss his hand while urging Compliance. Still our chieftain is not wise, His head and brains brook not good counselling. He is accomplished, rich, and nobly born, But nameth not the Shah. When Giv brought home That glorious one, Tus was provoked with him, Gudarz, and Giv, supported Fariburz, And said: 'I am descended from Naudar The kingship of the world is rightly mine.' He very well may disregard my words, And in his anger quarrel with myself. If any one but I shall come to thee Let him not look upon thy head and helmet. Tus said to me: 'See who is on the summit, But ask him not what he is doing there. To talk with sword and mace will be enough, For why should any one be there to-day?' When he is calm I will return to thee With good news and conduct thee to our host, Rejoicing; but if any one approach Except myself put little faith in him. More than a single horseman will not come To thee, such is our noble leader's rule. Consider well what is the wisest course, Take refuge in the hold and quit this spot." Farud took from his belt a turquoise mace With golden haft. "Accept of this," he said, "A keepsake from me; it will prove of service. If Tus the general be well-disposed We will have merry hearts and great content, |p51 And I will furnish further other things, Steeds, sells, gold, crowns, and royal signet-rings." Par. 14 How Bahram went back to Tus Bahram returning said to Tus: "May wisdom And thy pure soul be mates! This is Farud, The son of guiltless, murdered Siyawush! He showed to me the mark which all the race Inherit from Kaus and Kai Kubad." The overbearing general replied:- "The host, the trumpets, and the drums are mine. My words to thee were: 'Bring the man to me, Ask him no questions.' If he be a king Who then am I, and wherefore am I here With this array? A man of Turkman race, Like some black raven on the mountain there, Is hindering the progress of the troops! Among the froward offspring of Gudarz I can see naught but mischief to the host. Thou wast afraid of one unskilful horseman! It was no savage Lion on the height. He saw our host, and duped thee. Thou hast gone Both up and down for naught!" Then to the chiefs:- "O men of name and slayers of the foe! I need some noble and aspiring man To face the height and Turkman, to behead him, And bring his head to me before the host." Rivniz girt up his loins for that encounter, Which cost his life. Then said Bahram to Tus:- O paladin! stain not thy soul so rashly. Revere the Ruler of the sun and moon Respect the Shah, for yonder is his kinsman - A famous horseman and a warrior; |p52 And even if a hundred cavaliers Should go against him to the mountain-top They would not 'scape his clutches with their lives Thou wilt but bring glad hearts to misery." This angered Tus, who would not be advised, But bade some chiefs to hasten to the mountain, And many valiant men rushed forth and raised Their heads to make an onslaught on Farud, But "Hold not," thus spake brave Bahram to them, "This matter lightly; he on yonder height Is of Khusrau's own kin, one hair of whom Is better than a hundred paladins. He that ne'er saw the face of Siyawush Will find repose in gazing on his son." Now when Bahram told of Farud the men That had set forth retraced their steps again. Par. 15 How Rivniz was slain by Farud Then for the second time the son-in-law Of Tus came forth - the laughing-stock of heaven - And left the road that leadeth to Charam For Mount Sapad, his fierce heart set on outrage. Farud descried him from the mountain-top, And, drawing from its case his royal bow, Said to Tukhar the veteran: "Tus hath spurned The message, for a horseman not Bahram Hath come! My heart is confident but heavy. See if thou canst remember who he is. Why is he clad in mail from head to foot?' Tukhar replied: "A valiant cavalier, Rivniz by name. He is an only son With forty sisters like the jocund spring. He is unscrupulous, sly, plausible, |p53 Accomplished, young, and son-in-law to Tus." Farud returned: "Such talk is not for war-time. If he approach for combat I will send him To sleep upon his sisters' skirts. If merely Mine arrow make him feel its wind in passing, And he surviveth, hold me not a man. Which shall mine arrow slay - the horse or rider? How sayest thou, O veteran Tukhar?" Tukhar replied: "The time for strife hath come. Loose at the man; perchance the heart of Tus May be perturbed for him. Tus knoweth not Thy resolution for thou soughtest peace; If he attacketh thee in wantonness He will but bring disgrace upon thy brother." When sword in hand Rivniz drew nigh, Farud Strung his curved bow, shot down a poplar shaft, And pinned the Ruman helmet to the head Of him that came. He fell. His fleet steed left him. Rivniz came headlong to the dust. When Tus, The general, beheld this from Mayam The mountain disappeared before his eyes! Now wisdom hath a saw in this regard:- "Man's evil nature is its own reward." Par. 16 How Zarasp was slain by Farud Then Tus said to Zarasp: "Let thy heart flame As 'twere Azargashasp, don horsemen's armour, And take good heed of thine own life and person. Thou mayst perchance avenge this noble chief, Or if not I myself will seek for vengeance." Zarasp departed and assumed his helm. With vengeful heart and windy pate he went |p54 Toward Mount Sapad, like some fierce, vengeful lion, And scaled the mountain, with uplifted head, Loud shouts, fierce gestures, and impetuous heart. Farud, that raging Lion, told Tukhar: "Another challenger is on his way; See now who this Iranian horseman is That cometh galloping upon the mountain." Tukhar declared at once: "It is the son Of Tus, by name Zarasp, who wheeleth not His charger from an elephant of war. His sister was the consort of Rivniz. This atheling hath come for vengeance too! As soon as he can see thine arm and casque Let loose a poplar shaft that he may come Down from his charger headlong to the dust. Sure am I that the heart of Tus will be As 'twere a leaf in winter at his death, And that insensate chief will understand That we are not here to be sport for him." When in the sight of all the Iranian host Zarasp drew near upon the mountain-top, The valorous Farud urged on his charger, Shot at Zarasp and pinned him through the mail And loins against the saddle. His spirit flamed Upon the point. He fell. His windfoot steed Abandoned him and galloped back full speed. Par. 17 How Tus fought with Farud A shout ascended from the Iranian host, And all the warriors put on their helms. Tus with a full heart and with weeping eyes Donned his cuirass in haste. He greatly mourned Those gallant chiefs and trembled like a leaf. |p55 He mounted on his saddle and appeared As 'twere the mountain-mass that men up pile Upon the back of lusty elephants, And turned his charger's reins toward Farud With heart revengeful and with head a-fume. Tukhar the spokesman said: "A Mountain cometh In fury toward the height. 'Tis Tus the chief Contend not with the veteran Crocodile. Secure thee in the hold and wait on fortune. Expect no merrymake since thou hast slain Alike his son and son-in-law in battle." The young Farud, wroth with Tukhar, replied:- "When war and strife confront us what care I For Tas or elephant or mighty lion, For warrior-leopard or for tiger? These But give a man the heart to fight, and serve not To scatter earth upon the raging fire." Then said Tukhar the much-experienced: "Kings Despise not counsel. Iron though thou be, And able to uproot a mount of flint, Yet art thou but a single cavalier; And thirty thousand warriors of Inin Will come against thee to the mountain-top. No strong-hold will be left here, stone or dust They will sweep all away, and furthermore If evil by this means shall come to Tas His downfall will cause sorrow to Khusrau, And so defeat the vengeance for thy sire - A breach which nevermore will be repaired. Why combat with a Lion in thy rage? Go to the hold and fight not foolishly." This, which he should have spoken at the first, He left unsaid till then; so to Farud All through this worthless, foolish minister Resulted battle and the loss of life. The youth had eighty moon-faced female slaves |p56 At home who stood upon the roof to watch him, And babbled ceaselessly. He could not brook The thought of a retreat before their eyes, But raised his reins and rushing on like wind Set to his string another poplar shaft; But first Tukhar said: "If thou meanest fight, The best for thee, or else thou mayest not conquer The noble Tus, will be to overthrow His steed, for monarchs do not war afoot, However much they may be put to it; Besides one wooden arrow from a bow Will never set a period to his life, And when the general shall reach the summit His warriors will follow, and thou hast not The power to oppose; thou hast not looked His arrows in the face." The youth attended To what Tukhar said, strung his bow, and shot. The poplar arrow struck the general's steed - A bow-shot worthy of a cavalier - The charger came down headlong and expired While Tus both raged and blustered. He returned To camp, his buckler hanging from his neck, On foot, all dusty, and distraught in mind, Farud the while with gibes pursuing him:- "What ailed the noble paladin, and how Will he proceed amid the ranks of war Who cannot fight a single horseman here?" The women-slaves began to laugh, and sent Their peals of laughter through the sky. They cried:- "The old man staggereth down the mountain-slope, Affrighted at the arrows of a youth!" When Tus descended from the height the chiefs, Full of concern, approached him, did obeisance, And said: "O famous paladin of earth What can be better than thy safe return? |p57 We have no cause to bathe our cheeks in tears." The noble Giv was grievously distressed Because the valiant general had come back Afoot, and said: "This youth exceedeth bounds In turning thus our chieftains' faces pale What though he be a king and weareth earrings, Is he to flout so great a host as this? It is not right that we should acquiesce In his pretensions thus. If Tus displayed Some hastiness, Farud hath filled the world With tumult. We would die for Siyawush, But we must not forget this injury. Farud hath given to the winds Zarasp, That noble cavalier sprung from Naudar! The body of Rivniz is drowned in blood! What further shame is ours? Farud, though he Jamshid's own son, Kubad's own marrow, be, Hath made a new departure witlessly." Par. 10 How Giv fought with Farud Giv spake, armed in hot haste, and came forth proudly Like wild sheep on the mountain. Seeing him Farud heaved from his breast a chilly sigh, And said: "This warrior-host discerneth not Between uphill and down! Each combatant Is braver than the last - the crown of hosts - But wit is lacking in their paladin; A witless head is like a soulless body. I fear me they will fail in their revenge Unless Khusrau himself invade Turan; Then back to back will we avenge our sire, And haply get our foes within our clutches. Now tell me who this noble horseman is, |p58 Whose hand and brand will shortly ask for tears?" Thereat Tukhar glanced at the plain below, And said to him: "It is the raging Dragon, Whose neezings make birds topple from the air, Who put Piran thy grandsire's hands in bonds, And brake two Turkman hosts! He hath unfathered Full many a little child. His foot hath been On many a river, mount, and wilderness. Full many a father too hath he unsonned, And treadeth underfoot the lion's neck. 'Twas he that bare thy brother to Iran, And crossed Jihun although he saw no boat. They call him Giv - a very Elephant Or river Nile upon the day of battle. When thou shalt set thy thumbstall to the bow-string Thy poplar arrow will not pierce his mail, Because he weareth that of Siyawush; So draw thy bow and let the arrow fly Against his steed. The great beast may be wounded, And Giv the rider may return afoot With shield on neck as did their general." The brave prince bent his bow until the top Was at his shoulder, shot, and struck Giv's charger Upon the breast. Giv came down and retreated. Then from the battlements of Mount Sapad A shout rose. Giv's brain shrank before the jeers, But all the mighty men approached him, saying:- "Praise be to God, exalted warrior Because the horse is hurt and thou art not, Nor art thou captured but can'st go again." Bizhan the warrior came to Giv like wind, And uttered words most unacceptable:- "My father - lion-quelling paladin, Whose might is greater than an elephant's |p59 Why did a single horseman see thy back? Thy hand was wont to be the heart of fight, But now because a Turkman shot thy steed Thou wentest reeling like a drunken man! " Giv answered saying: "Since my horse was wounded I should have forfeited my life to him Immediately." He spake in savage tones, Which when Bizhan perceived he showed his back, And Giv in fury at his levity Lashed at Bizhan's head with a riding-whip, And said: "Did no one ever teach thee this - That circumspection is required in war? Thou hast no wisdom, providence, or brains, And may he cease to be that nurtured thee." Bizhan was pained because his sire was wroth, And swore an oath before the Almighty Judge:- "I will not take the saddle off my steed Until I have avenged Zarasp or perished." Departing with a heart oppressed by care, And head all vengeance, unto Gustaham He spake thus: "Let me have a steed of thine - A handy one, such as will climb with ease The mountain-side - so that I may assume My mail that one of us may seem a man. A Turkman hath ascended to the heights, So as to draw the eyes of all the host, And I desire to go and fight with him Because my soul is darkened by his deeds." But Gustaham: "This is not well. Climb not The height so rashly. When we have to march The world will be all ups and downs and waste. Now of my horses fit to carry armour I have but two remaining, and if he Destroy one I shall not obtain another To take its place in action, strength, and size. |p60 Zarasp - a world-lord - with Rivniz, and Tus, Who holdeth all the world of no account, And thine own sire, that hunter of fierce lions, Who recketh not how heaven's wheel may turn, Have all retreated from him with sore hearts; None made a fight against that Mount of Flint. Would that we had a vulture's wings or eagle's, For none will get inside the hold afoot! " Bizhan replied to him: "Break not my heart, Break not mine arms and shoulders too just now, For I have sworn a great oath by the moon, The world's Judge, and the Shah's own diadem, That if I am not slain I will not ride Back from the mountain but avenge Zarasp." Then Gustaham replied: "This is not good, For wisdom doth not recognise such fierceness." Bizhan responded: "I will go afoot, And so avenge Zarasp: I need no horse." Then answered Gustaham: "I would not have A single hair to perish from thy head; And if I had a hundred thousand steeds, Whose manes and tails were full of royal gems, I would not keep them or my treasure, life, Or iron mace or falchion back from thee. Go thou, inspect my horses each in turn, And take whichever of them thou preferrest. Bid that be saddled. If 'tis slain so be it." He had one charger that was like a wolf, Long in the barrel, tall, and spirited They mailed it for the brave, young atheling. Giv, mindful of Farud's deeds, fumed at heart Thereat, then sent and summoned Gustaham, And uttered many a saw concerning youth. He sent Bizhan the mail of Siyawush, Besides a royal helmet of his own. When Gustaham had brought the mail Bizhan |p61 Incased himself as quick as dust and went To Mount Sapad as one on vengeance bent. Par. 19 How Bizhan fought with Farud Farud said to Tukhir: "Another chief Hath come! Look forth, see who he is, and who Will weep for him." That man of words replied:- There There is not one to match him in Iran, For he is Giv's son and a valiant hero Victorious like a lion in all combats. Giv hath no other son, and this is dearer To him than life and wealth. Direct thy hand Against the steed, and break not the Shah's heart. Bizhan too hath the mail, and Giv hath linked The gorget of the helm, of Siyawush Thereto. These neither double-headed dart Nor shaft can pierce. Bizhan may fight afoot. Thou wilt not shine as his antagonist; He graspeth, look! a sword of adamant." Farud's shaft struck the charger of Bizhan Thou wouldst have said: "It had no life." It fell, And when Bizhan had disengaged himself He made toward the summit, sword in hand, And shouted: "O thou valiant cavalier! Remain and see now how a Lion fighteth, And realise how heroes though unhorsed Will still advance to battle with the sword. Thou shalt behold it if thou wilt await me, For thou shalt never think of fighting more." Farud above was angered too because Bizhan withdrew not, and again that Lion Discharged a shaft. Bizhan the brave held up |p62 His shield above his head. The arrow pierced The shield but missed the mail. Bizhan sped on, And, when he reached the summit, drew his sword. Farud the noble turned away from him; The ramparts rang with cries. Bizhan pursued Apace, sharp sword in hand, and gashed the bards Upon the noble steed which came to dust. Farud howbeit gained the castle-gate, The garrison secured it with all speed, And showered many stones down from the walls Upon Bizhan, who knew that 'twas no spot To loiter at. He cried: "O famous one! Hast thou - a warrior and cavalier - Thus turned from one on foot and felt no shame? Woe for the heart and hand of brave Farud!" He left the scene of combat, came to Tus, And said: "To fight so brave a warrior Would need a famous lion of the desert, And if a mount of flint should turn to water In strife with him the chieftain need not marvel: Imagination boggleth at such prowess!" The general 'Tus swore by the Lord of all "I will send up this hold's dust to the sun. To avenge beloved Zarasp the cavalier I will attack without delay, will make This Turkman wretch a corpse, and with his gore Engrain the stones like coral to the core." Par. 20 How Farud was slain Now when the shining sun had disappeared, And dark night led its host across the sky, The daughter of Piran approached her son - Farud - with anxious mind and aching heart, |p63 And lay down near her darling, but all night Remained the spouse of grief and misery. She dreamed that from the lofty castle rose A flame in front of him she loved so well, Illuming Mount Sapad and burning all The castle and the women-slaves. She woke In pain, her soul in anguish and dismay, Went out upon the wall and looking round Saw all the mountain filled with mail and spears. Her cheek flushed up and fuming at the heart She hastened to Farud, and cried to him:- "Awake from slumber, O my son! the stars Are bringing down disaster on our heads The mountain is all foes, the castle-gate All spears and mail!" He said: "Why such to-do? If life is o'er for me, and thou canst count not On further respite for me, mine own sire Was slain in youth, my life is wrecked like his. Gurwi's hand put a period to his days, And now Bizhan is eager for my death; Yet will I struggle, perish wretchedly, And not ask quarter of the Iranians." He gave out mail and maces to the troops, He placed a splendid helm upon his head, And with a Ruman breastplate girt about him Came with a royal bow grasped in his hand. Now when the shining sun displayed its face, And proudly mounted to the vault of heaven, The war-cries of the chieftains rose on all sides, While massive maces whirled amid the din Of clarions, tymbals, pipes, and Indian bells. Farud descended from the castle-ramparts With all his gallant Turkmans. Through the dust Raised by the horsemen, and the feathered shafts, The mountain-top was like a sea of pitch. |p64 There was no level ground or room to fight; The rocks and stones played havoc with the steeds, While shouts ascended as the armies strove. Tus ready armed for battle, grasping shield And trenchant falchion, led the way in person, Escorted by the chieftains of the host Afoot. Thus they attacked till noon was high, And then the troops of brave Farud were thinned, The hills and valleys had been filled with slain, The youth's good fortune had abandoned him. The Iranians marvelled at him, none had seen So fierce a Lion, but as battle pressed him He saw his fortune adverse; of the Turkmans No cavalier remained with him; he fought Alone; he turned and fled down toward the hold. Ruhham sought with Bizhan to intercept him They charged him from above and from below. When on the lower ground Bizhan appeared, With stirrups firmly pressed and reins held loose, The youth espied the helm, drew out his mace, And went like some fierce lion at his foe, Not knowing what the vaulted sky decreed. He thought to strike Bizhan upon the head, And smash both head and helmet with one buffet. Bizhan was staggered by the young man's stroke, And lost both sense and power. Ruhham behind Saw this and shouted, clutched his Indian sword, And struck the lion-man upon the shoulder; His hand fell useless. Wounded he cried out, And urged his steed which, as he neared the hold, Bizhan came up and houghed. Farud himself Afoot with certain of his followers, Thus stricken in the battles of the brave, Reached and secured with speed the castle-gate. Woe for the heart and name of brave Farud His mother and the slaves drew near, embraced him, |p65 And sadly laid him on his ivory throne His day, his season for the crown, were over. His mother and the female slaves plucked out The scented tresses of their musky hair, While the beloved Farud plucked out their lives The throne was strewn with hair, the house all sorrow. Then with a faint glance and a sigh he turned Toward his mother and the slaves, and said, With one last effort to unclose his lips:- "It is no marvel that ye pluck your hair; The Iranians will come with girded loins To sack the hold and make my slave-girls captive, Make castle, castle-wall, and rampart waste. Let all whose hearts and cheeks burn for my life Go fling themselves down from the battlements That none may be the portion of Bizhan. I follow soon because he severeth My blameless life and is, in this my day Of youth, my death." He spake, his cheeks grew wan, His spirit soared away 'mid grief and anguish. As 'twere a conjurer this drunken sky Deludeth us with tricks - threescore and ten - At whiles employing blast or cloud and then The sword or dagger or the agency Of some unworthy wight. At whiles to one Plunged in calamity 'twill grant relief, At whiles allot crown, treasury, and throne, At whiles chain, dungeon, bitterness, and grief Man must accept his lot whate'er it be; Mine own affliction is my poverty. The man of wisdom, had he died at birth, Had suffered not the heat and cold of earth, But, living after birth, bath want and stress, Constrained to weep a life of wretchedness. |p66 Woe for his heart, his usance, and intents! His pillow is the dust in all events. Par. 21 How Jarira slew herself Now when in failure thus had passed away Farud, the hapless and inglorious son Of Siyawush, the slave-girls scaled the roof, And dashed them to the ground. Jarira kindled A pyre and burned the treasures. Sword in hand She locked the stable of the Arab steeds, Hamstrung, and ripped them up. All blood and sweat She sought the couch of glorious Farud, Upon whose coverlet a dagger lay, And, having pressed her cheeks upon his face, Ripped up herself and died upon his breast. The Iranians forced the portal of the hold, Prepared for pillaging, but when Bahram Approached those walls his heart was rent with sorrow. He sought the couch of glorious Farud, With cheeks all tears and heart a-fume, and thus Addressed the Iranians: "Here is one by far More wretched and dishonoured than his sire, For Siyawush did not destroy his slaves, Nor was his mother slain upon his couch, Though round him likewise all his palace flamed, And all his home and goods were razed and burned. Still heaven's hands are long enough to reach The wicked, and it turneth not in love O'er men unjust. Shall ye not shame before Khusrau who, charging Tus so earnestly, Sent you to take revenge for Siyawush, And gave you much advice and parting-counsel? |p67 When he shall hear about his brother's death He will cut short respect and clemency, And for Ruhham and passionate Bizhan The world will have but little pleasure left" With that came Tus the general with the drums Along the road that leadeth to Kalat, While with him were the chiefs Gudarz and Giv, And therewithal a host of warriors. The general marched along to Mount Sapad, Advancing swiftly and without remorse; But when he reached the throne where wretchedly The poor, slain man lay pillowed with his mother, While on one hand beside the pillow sat, All tears and wrath, Bahram, and on the other, With all the men of battle crowding round About him, Zanga son of Shawaran, While tree-like on the ivory throne the hero - A moon in face, a teak in stature, slept - A Siyawush upon his throne of gold - With coat of mail and helmet, mace and girdle, While Giv, Gudarz, the other men of name And gallant chiefs, bewailed him bitterly, Then Tus poured out his heart's blood down his cheeks In anguish for Farud and his own son, While Giv, Gudarz, and all the warriors With sighs and tears turned and upbraided him:- "Thy fury beareth thee remorse as fruit Sow not the seeds of fury in the garden. Thus in thy haste and fury hast thou given At youth of Kaian stock with all his Grace, His stature, form, and bearing to the wind, Hast given Zarasp, that chief sprung from Naudar, And given too - that victim of thy rage - Rivniz! Ill fortune bath left naught undone! But parts and wisdom in the passionate Are like a sword that groweth blunt with rust." |p68 While thus they spake Tus wept; his rage and fury Abated; he replied: "From evil fortune No lack of toil and moil befalleth man." He gave directions to his men to build Upon the mountain-top a royal charnel Wherein they placed a throne of gold, the mail, Sword, mace, and girdle, then prepared the corpse, Requiring roses, camphor, musk and wine, And with the camphor they embalmed his head, His body with rose-water, musk, and gums. They set him on the throne and left him there; That famed, accomplished, lion-hearted man Thus passed away. Beside the prince they set Rivniz and great Zarasp, while Tus, with beard Like camphor, shed a stream of tears of blood. 'Tis always thus! However long we stay Proud Elephant and Lion must away! The hearts of stone and anvil quake with fear Of death; no root and leaf escape it here. Par. 22 How Tus led the Host to the Kasa Rud, and how Palashan was slain by Bizhan When Tus the general had made an end Of fighting with Farud, and left the heights, He halted at Charam three days. The blare Of trumpets rose upon the fourth; then Tus Led forth the host and sounded pipe and tymbal, While all the earth from mountain unto mountain Turned ebon. Whatso Turkman troops he saw He slew and flung them down upon the road, Left all the marches neither woof nor warp, And thus proceeded to the Kasa rud, Where he encamped the army: all the earth |p69 Was covered by his tents. "Troops from Iran Are at the Kasa rud! " Such tidings reached Turan, and from the Turkmans there came forth Shrewd Palashan, a youthful warrior, The leader of their host, to view the foe, And count the camp-enclosures and the flags. Within the lines there was a rising ground On one side, and unoccupied by troops There Giv was sitting with Bizhan, conversing On matters great and small. Appeared the flag Of Palashan, come from the Turkman host, Upon the road, whereat the gallant Giv Unsheathed his sword. "I will go forth," quoth he, "Behead, or bring him captive to our folk." Bizhan said: "Man of name! the Shah bestowed A robe of honour on me for this end; According to his order I must gird Myself to fight the warrior Palashan." "Haste not to battle with this savage Lion," Giv answered. "God forbid that thou shouldst fight him, And straiten mine own day. A Lion he, This desert is his feeding-ground, he preyeth On none but warriors." Bizhan replied:- Oh Oh! put me not to shame before the world-lord By speaking thus, but let me have the armour Of Siyawush. Be mine to hunt this Leopard." Then gallant Giv gave him the coat of mail. Bizhan, when he had made the buckles fast, Bestrode a rapid charger, and rode off Upon the desert with a spear in hand. Now Palashan, who had brought down a deer, Was roasting some kabab upon a fire, And eating with his bow upon his arm, |p70 The while his horse was ranging free to graze It saw afar the charger of Bizhan, Neighed loudly, and ran in; so Palashan Knew that a horseman came prepared for fight, And shouted to Bizhan: "I fling down lions, And fetter divs. Declare thy name; thy star Shall weep for thee." He said: "Bizhan am I - A brazen-bodied div when fight is toward. My grandsire is a Lion of the fray, My sire is gallant Giv, and thou shalt see My prowess. This brave day, when battle breatheth, Thou, like a carrion wolf upon the mountains, Eat'st ashes, smoke, and blood! How cometh it That thou art leading troops upon the waste?" He answered not but gave his mighty steed The rein. The warriors closed, the dark dust flew. Their spear-points brake; both took their scimitars, Which shivered with their strokes. The riders shook Like leaves upon a tree, the steeds were drowned In sweat, and staggered. Then the noble Lions, The combatants, drew forth their heavy maces. Thus went it till Bizhan with mace on shoulder Sent up a shout, struck valiant Palashan Upon the waist, and brake his spine. His corpse, All helmed and mailed, fell headlong from his charger. Bizhan, dismounting with the speed of dust, Cut off the warrior's head and carried it Together with the arms and steed to Giv, Who had been troubled o'er the fight, and thought:- "How will the wind of battle blow to-day?" And groaned and fidgeted upon the watch Until Bizhan's dust rose upon the road. The youth came bringing head and mail and charger, |p71 And placed them all before his sire who cried:- "For ever be victorious, O my son!" They went with joy toward the chief's pavilion, And brought to him the breastplate, helmet, steed, And head of Palashan. Tus gladdened so That thou hadst said: "He will pour out his soul." "Son of the Backbone of the host," said he, "Head of the famed of our Shah's diadem! Live ever joyfully, aspiring still, And banished far from thee be foeman's ill." Par. 23 How the Iranians suffered in a Snowstorm Thereafter tidings reached Afrasiyab:- "The marches of Turan are like a sea A host hath reached the Kasa rud, and earth Is blackened in revenge for Siyawush." The king said to Piran: "Khusrau hath made His object clear; perchance we may prevent him By marching forth with flags and drums in force; If not the army from Iran will come, And we shall see not shining sun or moon. Go gather troops together from all quarters; Few words are needed." On the Iranian side A tempest rose and none took thought of fight; A dense cloud came like flying dust, their lips Congealed with cold, the tents and camp-enclosures Were turned to ice, snow carpeted the mountains, And for a sennight's space earth disappeared. There was but little food or rest or sleep Thou wouldst have said: "Earth's face is turned to stone." They slew and ate their horses. Multitudes |p72 Of men and cattle perished. None at last Possessed a charger. When the eighth day came The sun prevailed, the earth was like a sea, The troops were mustered, and Tus spake of fight; He said: "The host hath suffered greatly here; 'Tis well that we proceed upon our march. Cursed be these fields and fells, all from Kalat And Mount Sapad down to the Kasa rud! " Then from the warrior-throng thus spake Bahram:- "I needs must tell the general my mind Concerning this. Thou makest us keep silence! Thou fightest with the son of Siyawush! I told thee: 'Do not so: it is not right.' See what a loss hath followed and what ill May yet confront thee, for the buffalo Is still within its hide!" "Azargashasp Is not more famed than was Zarasp the brave," Said Tus, "nor was Farud slain innocent. 'Twas written thus, and what hath been hath been. Look through the host and see whom thou canst find In courage and in aspect like Rivniz, Through whom my cup was filled with wine and milk. His form was youthful but his words were sage. Now let us speak no further of the past, Or whether he was justly slain or not; And since Giv took a present from the Shah That he might set that mass of faggots blazing, Which now is in the way, 'tis time to do it, And light up heaven with the conflagration; Thus we may gain a passage for the troops." Giv said to him: "This will not be a toil, Or, if it be, a toil not unrequited." Bizhan was grieved: "I cannot give," he said, "Consent to this. Thou rearedst me in stress And hardihood, without a chiding word |p73 It must not be that I a youth sit still, While thou an old man girdest up thy loins." Giv said: "My son! I took this enterprise Upon my shoulders; 'tis the time for arms, Not for indulgence and decrepitude. Be not in dudgeon at my going, I Can burn a flinty mountain with my breath." He passed the Kasa rud albeit with stress, The world for warp and woof had ice and snow, And when he reached the barricade of faggots Its length and breadth were more than he could tell; He used a javelin-point to kindle fire, Threw it upon the mass and burned the pile. For three weeks conflagration, wind, and smoke Allowed no passage through the burning mass, But when the fourth week came the army went Across the river for the fire was spent. Par. 24 How Bahram captured Kabuda Tus, when the host was mustered, left the fire For Giravgard. They marched in fair array, Camped on the hills and plains, took due precautions, And hurried out the scouts on every side. Tazhav the cavalier - one used to fight With lions-dwelt at Giravgard and kept The herds there, driving them from hill to hill. News came: "A host hath come forth from Iran The cattle must be driven out of reach." He sent a warrior with all dispatch To tell a herdsman of Afrasiyab's - Kabuda hight, an able man withal, And there was need for his ability:- "Depart at dark and keep thyself unseen; |p74 Observe how large the Iranian army is, And see whose are the standards and the crowns. My purpose is to make a night-attack, And fill the mountains and the plains with blood." When it was dark Kabuda drew anigh, Like some black div, the army of Iran. That night Bahram, whose lasso snared the heads Of elephants, was on the outpost-guard, And, when Kabuda's charger neighed, Bahram Pricked up his ears, sat firm, and strung his bow; Then urged his mighty charger from the spot. Without a word he let an arrow fly, Though darkness hid Kabuda from his sight, And struck the royal herdsman on the belt; His face turned black; and falling from his steed He begged for life. Bahram said: "Tell me truly Who sent thee hither? Whom wouldst thou attack?" Kabuda said: "If thou wilt grant me quarter I will reply to all thy questioning My master is Tazhav. I am his servant, And sent by him; so put the not to death, And I will guide thee to his dwelling-place." Bahram replied: "Know that Tazhav to me Is as a bullock to a rending lion." He cut Kabuda's head off with a dagger, Secured it to his royal saddle-straps, Took it to camp and flung it down in scorn As that of one unfamed, no cavalier To fight. The voice of chanticleer and lark Arose, and yet Kabuda came not back Tazhav the warrior was sad at heart, Aware that evil had befallen him; Then summoned all the troops that were about Available, and promptly led them out. |p75 Par. 25 How the Iranians fought with Tazhav Now when the sun had set up on the plain Its standard, and its sword had turned the rear Of night to violet, Tazhav the chieftain Led forth his men. Shouts from the look-out reached The Iranians: "From Turan a host bath come To fight. Their leader is a Crocodile With flag in hand." Then from the nobles Giv Went forth to him, escorted by a troop Of valiant warriors, fiercely asked his name, And said: "O lover of the fray? hast come With such a force as this to meet the claws Of Crocodiles?" The bold Tazhav replied:- "A lusty heart and lion's claws are mine. Tazhav am I, I fling down men and pluck The heads of valiant Lions from their trunks. By birth and worth I am Iranian, Sprung from the warriors and the Lions' seed. Now I am marchlord of the country round - A chosen chief, the king's own son-in-law." Giv said: "Nay say not so, 'twill dim thy glory. Would any leave Iran and settle here Unless he lived on blood or colocynth? If thou art marchlord and king's son-in-law How is it that thou hast not mightier powers? With such a band as this seek not the fray, Nor go with vehemence against the brave; For I who speak - a hero worshipful And famous - trample on the heads of marchlords. If thou with all thy troops wilt do my bidding, And hence depart Irinward to the Shah, |p76 Go first of all to Tus our general, Apply to him, and hearken to his words. I will take care that thou shalt have a gift From him - goods, slaves, and steeds caparisoned. This seemeth well to me, O prudent man! What say'st thou? Shall I have to fight to-day?" Tazhav the traitor said: "O gallant one! None lowereth my flag. Now I have here The throne and signet, horses, flocks, and soldiers; Moreover in Iran no person dreameth Of such a king as is Afrasiyab. Slaves too have I, and herds of wind-foot steeds, Which wander over mountain, vale, and plain. Look not upon my little band but me, And at the mace upon my saddle-bow, For I will maul thy troops to-day till thou Repent thy coming." Then Bizhan exclaimed:- O famous chief-engrosser of the fight, Exalted and shrewd-hearted paladin In age thou art not as thou wast in youth. Why givest thou this counsel to Tazhav? Why so much love and amity for him? Our business is to draw the sword and mace, And to cut out these peoples' hearts and brains." He urged his steed; the battle-cry went up; They laid upon their shoulders sword and mace. A cloud of murky dust rose in the midst So that the sun became invisible, The world grew gloomy as a winter's cloud, And men beheld not shining star or moon. Bold Giv who used to rob the sky of lustre Was in the midst, Bizhan the deft of hand, Who dallied not in action, led the van. Tazhav, who wont to fight the rending lion, And wore his crown, opposed them with Arzhang |p77 To help him and Mardwi the Lion - two That wearied not of fight yet gat small fruit That day, for brave Arzhang withdrew himself, The more part of the Turkman troops were slain, And froward fortune turned its head away. Tazhiv the valiant fled. That famous Lion, Bizhan, pursued him, shouting eagerly, And with a spear in hand. Thou wouldst have said:- "It is a maddened, roaring elephant! " One spear-blow struck Tazhav upon the waist, And all his lustihood departed from him. The man reeled, but the Ruman coat of mail Gave not, nor did the fastenings of it break. Bizhan flung down his spear and made a clutch, Like leopard springing at a mountain-sheep, And then, as falcon bindeth lark, snatched off That crown of great price which Afrasiyab Had set upon his head, a crown that never Was absent from his thoughts and from his dreams. He urged his steed toward the castle-gate, Pursued thus by Bizhan at lightning-speed, And, when he neared the castle, Ispanwi Came wailing with her face suffused with tears, And cried out loudly to him: "O Tazhav! Where are thy host, thy mettle, and thy might That thou shouldst turn thy back upon me thus, And leave me in this castle shamefully? Give me a seat behind thee; let me not Be left inside the castle for the foe." The heart of proud Tazhav was set on fire, And his cheeks flamed. She mounted swift as wind Behind him on his steed and clasped his waist.. He rushed along like dust with Ispanwi; They made toward Turan. The charger sped Awhile till man and beast were both fordone, And then Tazhav addressed his handmaid, saying:- |p78 "O my fair mate! here is a grievous case! My charger is exhausted with this work, Foes are behind, in front is a ravine, And though we race Bizhan some distance yet Still they will have their will of us at last; So as they are not enemies to thee Remain behind while I urge on my horse." Then Ispanwi alighted from the steed Tazhav's face was all tears at losing her, Yet sped he on to reach Afrasiyab, And all the while Bizhan was in pursuit, Who when he spied the moon-faced Ispanwi, Her musky hair descending to her feet, Came to her, took her with all gentleness, Made room for her behind him, and returned Toward the army of the paladin. He reached the entrance of the tent of Tus, Rejoicing, whence arose the sound of drums, Because Bizhan, that horseman brave and wary, Was coming with his quarry from the fight. Tus and the chiefs - those lovers of the fray - Then set themselves to pillaging the hold, And afterward they went to seek the herds That roamed about the desert of Turan. They took, as warriors are wont, their lassos, And quickly furnished all the host with steeds, While in the palace whence Tazhav had fled Were fierce Iranian horsemen lodged instead. Par. 26 How Afrasiyab had Tidings of Tus and his Host Now when Tazhav with wet eyes and in dudgeon Came to the presence of Afrasiyab He spake thus: "Tus the general arrived, |p79 And brought a host with trump and kettledrum, While as for Palashan and other nobles, Their heads were brought down to the dust in anguish. The foeman fired the marches and the fields, Destroying all the herds." Afrasiyab Was grieved thereat and sought a remedy. He spake thus to Piran the son of Wisa:- "I bade thee: 'Gather troops from every side,' But thou hast loitered through old age or sloth, Or disaffection; many of our kin Are slain, and watchful fortune's face is from us; But now we may not tarry, for the world Hath grown strait even to the vigilant!" Then all in haste Piran the general Went from the presence of Afrasiyab, Called up the troops from all the provinces, Served arms out, paid the soldiers, and marched forth. The frontier passed he gave each man his post, The right wing to Barman and to Tazhav - Two cavaliers whose strength was that of lions - The left wing to the valiant Nastihan - One in whose clutches lions were as lambs. The world was filled with blast of clarions, And clang of cymbals and of Indian bells, Air was a blaze of or, gules, and purpure With all the spears and divers-coloured flags, While what with troops, steeds, elephants, and camels There was no passage left 'twixt sea and sea. Piran went forth in haste. Afrasiyab Departed from his palace to the plains, And numbered all the army man by man To see how many noble warriors There were. He made the total five score thousand - All lion-men and wielders of the sword - Then bright. and glad oft blessed Pinan, and said:- |p80 "Thou settest forth with joy to victory Ne'er may thine eye behold the bale of time." The army marched along troop after troop, No plain was visible or sea or height; Piran commanded: "Quit the accustomed route, Take the short road; the foeman must not hear Of these my noble and illustrious troops, So may I bring this great host like a mountain Down unawares upon yon army's head." He sent intelligencers out forthwith, And shrewdly sought to learn how matters stood; Then, stubbornly proceeding on his march, Advanced toward Giravgard prepared for battle. The chiefs reported what the spies announced:- "Tus the commander tarrieth where he was No sound of drums hath risen from the troops, For all of them are drinking themselves drunk, And wine is in their hands both day and night. He hath no mounted outpost on the road, Not reeking of the army of TL╠ran." Piran, when he had heard this, called the chiefs, Spake unto them at large about the foe, And said thus: "Never in the fight have we Held such a vantage o'er the enemy!" Par. 27 How Piran made a Night-attack on the Iranians Out of that noble host Piran made choice Of thirty thousand horse with scimitars, Who marched at dead of night; no tymbal sounded, No trumpet blared, none raised the battle-cry. Now when the wary chief led forth his troops Seven leagues remained betwixt them and the foe, And first they came upon the Iranians' herds |p81 At large upon the desert of Turan, Took many beasts and bore them off withal - Mishap unparalleled! The overseers And herdsmen were all slain, the Iranians' fortune Had grown averse. Thence like a murky cloud The Turkmans marched upon the Iranian host - All drunken and disposed in groups unarmed; Howbeit Giv was in his tent alert, Gudarz the chieftain sober. Then arose The war-cry with the crash of battle-axes, And Giv - that fight-engrosser - was astound. There stood in front of his pavilion A steed caparisoned in battle-gear. The gallant hero lion-like arrayed His body in the mail of Siyawush, And, raging like a leopard at himself In shame for his own indolence and sloth, "Up! Up! " quoth he. "How is it that to-night My brain is filled with fumes instead of war?" Then having mounted rushed forth like a blast. He saw the heaven dark with night and dust, And entering the chief's pavilion Exclaimed: "Up! Up! The enemy hath come While we - the warriors of the Shah - are sleeping!" Departing thence he visited his sire, An ox-head mace in hand. As quick as smoke He went about the host, awoke the sober, And chode Bizhan: "Is this the place for wine Or fighting?" The Iranians were hemmed in, The war-cry rose, the tumult dazed the drunken, A cloud ascended and its rain was arrows. Soft pillows were beneath the drunkards' heads, Above were sword, hot mace, and scimitar. Now when dawn showed forth from the Sign of Leo, And gallant Giv surveyed the host, he saw |p82 The waste all covered with Iranian slain, And watchful fortune's head averse from them. Gudarz too looked about on every side; The foemen's number grew continually; Against the little force there ranged itself A host like ants and locusts. Tus too looked, And saw no fighting-men save Giv, Gudarz, And other cavaliers all sore bestead. The flags were rent, the kettledrums o'erturned, And the survivors' cheeks like ebony, For sires had lost their sons and sons their sires, And that great host was utterly o'erthrown, Since so the swiftly circling vault, which now Affordeth pleasure and now pain, decreed. Unable to resist they turned their backs, Abandoning their camp in their confusion, Disorganised, without their drums and baggage, And sorely stricken both on left and right. On this wise fared they toward the Kasa rud - A strengthless mob. With vengeful souls and tongues All jeers the Turkman horsemen followed Tus, And thou hadst said that maces from the clouds Rained in the rear on hauberk, helm, and mail. None made a stand, the warriors took refuge Among the mountains, foundered like their steeds, And had no spirit, strength, or staying power. Now at the heights the Turkman host turned back, Exhausted by the fight and long pursuit, And Tus no farther feared the foe's assault. The Iranian troops bewailed their many lost, Who if they lived were wounded or in bonds - Alike a cause for tears. No crown or throne Remained, no tent, no steed, no warrior; The land was barren and provided nothing, While nobody went forth to seek the wounded. |p83 The son bewailed the father bitterly, And burned in anguish for the suffering. The use and custom of the world is this To keep back from thee what its purpose is. Its juggling tricks behind a veil are done, It acteth harshly and capriciously, While in greed's grip we travail long, and none Can tell appearance from reality. From wind thour camest and to dust wilt go What They will do to thee how canst thou know? The more part of the Iranian troops were slain, The rest had come back wounded; at their beds No leeches were, but grief and tears of blood. Tus battle-maddened was beside himself, So to Gudarz the hoary veteran, Deprived of child and grandchild, home and land , There came the other veteran warriors With broken hearts to seek his leadership. He placed a watchman on a mountain-top To keep his eyes intently on the foe, While outposts went their rounds on every side To find perchance a cure for this distress. He bade a noble of the Iranians To girdle up his loins to give the Shah The news of what the captain of the host Had done, and how, by their ill day opprest, They had small profit from their vengeance-quest. |p84 Par. 28 How Kai Khusrau recalled Tus The courier carried to the Shah the tidings Of that eclipse of fortune. Brave Khusrau Was troubled when he heard, his bosom throbbed With grief. To anguish at his brother's case Was added anguish on the troops' account. That night he uttered malisons on Tus Till cock-crow. Summoning a prudent scribe, And pouring out the fulness of his heart, He wrote a letter in a wrathful strain, With eyes all tears in mourning for his brother, To Fariburz the son of Shah Kaus - A letter for the chieftains of the host. First in the letter came the praise of Him, Who made both earth and time, thus: "In the name Of Him Who is the Lord of sun and moon, And giveth power alike to good and bad From Him come triumph and defeat, from Him Both good and bad get might and their desire.. He fashioned the world and place and time, He fashioned ant's foot and massy mountain, And hath bestowed life, lustihood, and wisdom, High throne and majesty and diadem. No man can free himself from that control.; The lot of one is Grace and throne, another's Misfortune, want, grief, suffering, and hardship; Yet see I that All-holy God is just In everything, from yonder shining sun To darksome dust. Tus with the flag of Kawa, And forty warriors wearing golden boots, I sent out with a host against TlirAn, And, first fruit of revenge, my brother perished! |p85 Let not Iran have such another chief! Let not the host have such another leader! Alas! Alas! my brother, young Farud - The head of nobles and the stay of heroes! I was in tears of anguish for my sire, A long while was I burning in that sorrow, And now my brother is the cause of tears! I know not who are friends and who are foes. 'Go not,' I said to Tus, 'toward Charam; Breathe not upon Kalat or Mount Sapad, Because Farud is with his mother there. He is a warrior of royal race; He knoweth not this army whence it is, And if they be Iranian troops or what; He will come forth to stop the way and stake His head upon the issue of a fight.' Alas! that warrior of royal birth Whom wretched Tus hath given to the wind! If he had been commander heretofore It had been evil hap for Shah Kaus, And furthermore he slumbereth in battle, And only rouseth to sit down to drink. There is no prowess in his neighbourhood, And may a soul so darkened cease to be! When thou shalt read this letter stir thyself; Put far away from thee food, rest, and sleep; Send 'Tus back with all speed, observe mine orders, And heed not other counsels. Thou art chief, The captain of the host; 'tis thine to wear The golden boots and hold the flag of Kiwa. Illustrious Gudarz will counsel thee In all; haste not to fight, keep far from wine, Abstain from slumber, seek not at the first To fight through anger, tarry as thou art Until the wounded are restored to health; Then Giv will lead thy van for he possesseth |p86 Grace, stature, and the clutches of a leopard; Bring from all sides material for the war, And God forfend thou think of banqueting! " They sealed this letter with the Shah's own signet, Who thus enjoined the messenger: "Depart Upon the road; repose not night or day, And take another horse at every stage." So sped the messenger until he came To Fariburz and gave him the dispatch, Who summoned Tus and Giv and all the chiefs, Spake of the past, read the Shah's letter to them, And then a new Tree fruited in the world. The nobles and the Lions of Iran All called a blessing down upon the Shah, The leader Tus gave up the royal standard, The drums, the elephants, and golden boots To Fariburz, and said to him: "They come As worthy comrades to a worthy man. May fortune always give thee victory, Be every day of thine a New Year's Day." Then Tus took all the kindred of Naudar, Those warlike cavaliers and their command, And making no delay upon the road Came from the field of battle to the Shah, And kissed the ground before him, while Khusrau Vouchsafed not so much as to look at him, And only spake to utter malisons, Disgraced Tus in the presence of the court, And said at last: "Thou man of evil mark Let thy name cease among the illustrious. Dost thou not fear the holy Lord of earth? Hast thou no awe or reverence for heroes? I gave to thee a royal helm and girdle, And sent thee forth to fight against the foe. Did not I say: 'Go not toward Charam'? Yet didst thou go and give my heart to sorrow, |p87 Didst first of all take vengeance on myself, And minishedst the race of Siyawush! My noble brother - brave Farud - whose peer The age had not thou slowest, and to fight With him 'twould need a host of men like thee! Thereafter when thou wentest to the fray Thou wast absorbed in minstrelsy and feasting! Thou hast no place among the throng of men, The things for thee are chains and straps and madhouse; Nor hast thou business with the men of rank, Because thou hast no wise considerance. Thy white beard and descent from Minuchihr Have given thee hope of life; else had I bidden One of thine enemies to be thy headsman. Go! Let a prison be thy home henceforth, And let thine evil nature be thy jailor." He drave Tus out, put him in bonds, and tore The root of gladness from his bosom's core. Par. 29 How Fariburz asked a Truce of Piran So Fariburz, since he was paladin As well as prince, assumed the casque and bade Ruhham display his name and native worth By going from the mountain to Piran To treat with him: "Go to Piran," he said, "Convey to him a friendly embassage, And say: 'The process of the turning sky Hath been fraught ever thus with hate and love It lifteth one to heaven on high, another It maketh vile, sad, and calamitous, Him specially that seeketh warriors' hurt. Now night-attacks are not the wont of heroes And mighty men that brandish massive maces. |p88 If thou wilt cease from arms we too will cease; If thou preferrest war then we will fight, But let there be a one month's armistice In order that the wounded may recruit.'" The brave Ruhham went out from Fariburz, And took with him the message and the letter. He went his way, the Turkman outposts saw him, And asked him who he was and whence he came. Ruhham replied: "A warrior am I, A man of prowess, weight, and watchfulness - The bearer of a message to Piran From Fariburz the son of Shah Kaus." A horseman of the outpost went like dust To tell the tidings, and thus spake: "Ruhham, Son of Gudarz, hath come to see the chief." Piran commanded him to be brought in, And treated with all honour and respect. The eloquent Ruhham approached in dread Of what the foe might purpose, but Piran, On seeing him, received him graciously, And placed him on the throne. Ruhham then told His business, and Piran said: "'Tis no trifle; Ye stirred up strife; we marked no sloth in Tus; He crossed the border like a savage wolf, And slaughtered great and small remorselessly. What multitudes he slew or carried off! Our country's weal and woe were one to him. Still now, although they took us unaware, The Iranians are repaid for their ill deeds; So if thou art the captain of the host Demand of me according as thou needest. If thou wilt have a month of armistice None of our horsemen shall go forth to fight. If thou wilt fight I too am fain for war; Prepare and set the battle in array. If ye will use the month that we accord |p89 In marching from the frontiers of Turan, And in a swift retreat to your own borders, Ye will behold your reputation saved; But if not we will close with you in fight; Ask not for any armistice henceforth." He gave a robe of honour to Ruhham, One suited to a man of his repute, And brave Ruhham conveyed to Fariburz A letter like the one that he had brought. When Fariburz had gained a month's delay He clutched in all directions like a lion. They loosed the fastenings of the money-bags, They gathered bows and lassos from all sides; They went about, reorganised the host, And partially regained what had been lost. Par. 30 How the Iranians were defeated by the Turkmans When with the ending of the month came war, For they observed their compact honourably, The soldiers' shouts went up on every side, And all set forward to the battlefield; The din of trumpet, drum, and bell shook heaven, While what with chargers' crests, reins, hands, and swords, Bows, battle-ages, lances, maces, bucklers, And lassos, gnats could find no way. "The world," Thou wouldst have said, "is in the Dragon's maw, Or heaven level with earth! " Upon the right Was Giv son of Gudarz, an archimage And marchlord, on the left the skilled Ashkash, Who shed blood in a river when he fought; Before the standard at the army's centre |p90 Was Fariburz, the son of Shah Kaus, With men of battle. He harangued his troops, And said: "Till now our prowess hath been hidden, But we will fight to-day as lions fight,. And make the world too narrow for our foes; Else will our maces and our Ruman casques Laugh at the host for this disgrace for ever." They made a heavy rain of arrows fall Like autumn tempests beating on a tree. For arrows and the dust of shouting troops No bird had room to fly, the falchions shone Like diamonds and flamed amid the dust. Thou wouldst have said: "Earth is a negro's face; The stars are warriors' hearts." The multitudes Of maces, spears, and trenchant scimitars Brought Doomsday on the world. Giv from the centre Advanced with lips a-foam and raised his war-cry. He with the noble kinsmen of Gudarz, With whom the issue lay for good or ill, Strove with their spears and arrows, showering sparks From steel. Gudarz fought fiercely with Piran, And slew nine hundred of his kin. Lahhak And Farshidward saw how their mighty host Was going up in dust and charged on Giv, Upon his mace-men and his valiant troops. Shafts fell in showers from the chieftains' bows Upon those famous warriors clad in mail Till none could see the surface of the ground, Earth was so hidden by the mass of slain, While no man turned his back upon another Or left his post. At length Human spake thus To Farshidward: "We must attack the centre, And, routing Fariburz, deprive the host Of his support; it will be easy then To beat the right wing and to seize the baggage." They fell upon the centre, Fariburz |p91 Fled from Human, the fighting line was broken, The haughty chiefs gave way, each took his course, Not one Iranian warrior stood his ground. They saw the drums and standard in position No more, and so with eyes bedimmed with fighting They turned their backs upon the enemy, And in that action only grasped the wind. The tymbals, spears, and standard were o'erthrown, Men could not tell the stirrup from the rein, For they had lost all stomach for the fight; The mountains and the plains were drenched with blood. Then Fariburz, as foes were gathering On every side, made for the mountain-skirt With those Iranians whose life was whole, Although for such a life one needs 'must weep. Gudarz and Giv with many warriors Of fame among the troops still held their own; But when Gudarz observed the centre bare, No flag of Fariburz, no chiefs or troops, He turned with heart afire as if to flee 'Twas Doomsday for the kindred of Gudarz. Giv said to him: "O ancient general: Much hast thou seen of mace, and sparth, and arrow, And if thy purpose is to flee Pinin I needs must scatter dust upon my head. Of chieftains and of veteran warriors There will remain not one alive on earth. For thee and me there is no cure for dying. Death is the very last calamity, And, since our rugged hour hath come upon us, The foe should see thy face and not thy back. I will not quit my post, let us not shame Thy father's dust. Hast thou heard never then This ancient saying from some man of lore:- 'When buttressed bacX to back two brethren stand A mountain-mass is but as dust in hand'? |p92 Thou art alive with seventy valiant sons, And thou hast many Elephants and Lions Among thy kindred. Break we with our swords The foe's heart and uproot him though a Mountain." Gudarz, when he had heard the words of Giv, And marked the helmed heads of his warrior-kin, Repented of his cautious redo and took A firmer stand. Guraza, Gustaham, With Barta and brave Zanga came to them, And made a compact by a binding oath:- "Though maces stream with blood we will not quit This field, but, back to back, strive to retrieve Our honour lost." They took their stand and plied The mace. Full many a noble foe was slain, But fortune favoured not the Iranians. Then old Gudarz said to Bizhan: "Depart Hence quickly, take with thee thy mace, and arrows, Direct thy horse's reins toward Fariburz, And bring me Kawa's standard. It may be That Fariburz will come with it himself, And flush the face of earth with violet." Bizhan on hearing this urged on his steed, Came like Azargashasp to Fariburz, And said to him: "Why art thou hiding here? Employ thy reins as warriors use to do, And stay no longer on the mountain-top; But if thou wilt not come entrust to me The flag and horsemen with their blue steel swords." But Fariburz, no mate for wisdom then, Cried out: "Away! Thou art in action rash And new to war. The Shah gave me the standard, The host, crown, throne, and leadership. This flag - Becometh not Bizhan the son of Giv, Or any other warrior in the world." Bizhan laid hand upon his blue steel sword, |p93 Struck at the standard, clove it in the midst, Seized half thereof and, rushing from the throng, Made off to bear the banner to the host. Now, when the Turkmans saw it on the way, A band of lion-hearted warriors Went toward Bizhan and drew their iron sparths, And blue steel swords, to fight for Kawa's standard. Then spake Human: "Yon is the violet flag Wherein is all the virtue of Iran; If we can take it we shall make the world Strait to the Shah." Bizhan strung up his bow As quick as dust, discharged a shower of arrows Upon his foes, and, as he drove them back, Prepared a banquet for the ravening wolf. The cavaliers hard by said unto Giv And Gustaham: "The Turkmans are retreating; Perchance Bizhan is coming with the standard." The brave chiefs of the Iranian host advancing With massive maces slew the Turkman horse In numbers. Famed Bizhan arrived apace, And thence the chieftains held the ground for him Up to the host. Like lion fierce he came With Kawa's flag, the soldiers gathered round it, And air grew violet - dim with horsemen's dust. Once more the ininian host advanced to fight, And in the foremost rank Rivniz was slain, Who was as dear as life to Kai Kaus, A younger son, a prince who wore a crown, Beloved by Fariburz. When that head fell Full many a noble hero rent his clothes, And Giv exclaimed: "Chiefs, valiant warriors! Upon this field of battle Fariburz, The son of Shah Kaus, esteemed Rivniz Above all else. The grandson and the son Of old Kaus - Farud the son of Siyawush |p94 And now Rivniz - have perished all in vain! What greater wonder hath the world in store? We must not let his crown fall to the foe Amid the ranks of war, for that would be Disgrace upon disgrace through it and through The slaughter of Rivniz." Now brave Piran, The noble chieftain, heard the words of Giv, And o'er that crown the battle rose afresh. On both sides many fell and fortune quitted The Irlinians, yet Bahram the warrior Charged lion-like the foe and carried off The crown upon his spear-point, while both hosts Stood wondering, the Iranians full of joy At rescuing that crown so late assumed. The combat waxed more fierce, none turned aside, They raged and smote each other on the head Until the day grew dark, and eyes were baffled. Eight of the kinsmen of Gudarz survived; The rest had fallen on the battlefield. Of Giv's seed there had perished five and twenty - Men who were fit for diadem and treasure - With seventy of the offspring of Kaus, All cavaliers and Lions in the fight, Besides Rivniz that crowned warrior, No unit merely in the reckoning. Nine hundred horsemen, kinsmen of Piran, Were missing in the battle on that day, While of the lineage of Afrasiyab The fortunes of three hundred slept, howbeit The field, the day, and therewithal the standard - The lustre of the world - were with Piran 'Twas not the Iranians' day for combating; Their combat-seeking ended in mishap, |p95 They turned their faces from the battlefield, Abandoning the wounded to their fate. Now Gustaham had had his .charger killed As fortune turned away, and he in mail Went spear in hand afoot like one bemused. Bizhan, approaching him as day grew dark, Said to him: "Ho! Get up and ride behind me There is none dearer to me than thyself." So both of them bestrode a single charger. When day was done they sought the mountain-skirt, Abandoning the battle in a rout. The Turkman cavaliers, with joyful hearts Released from travail and anxiety, Returned to their own camp with haughty mien And fit for fight, while on the Iranian side The ears were deafened by heart-rending cries, As all mourned on the mountain friend or kinsman. Such is the process of this ancient sky! Turn as it may there is no remedy, And still it turneth o'er us loving none, But treating friend and enemy as one, Well may it be a cause of dread to all Whose fortune's head is bending to a fall! Par. 31 How Bahram returned to look for his whip on the Battlefield That night, when both the armies were at rest, Bahram came to his sire in haste and said:- "O mine illustrious sire and worshipful! When I retrieved that crown, and raised it cloudward Upon my spear, I lost a whip of mine. Those villain Turkmans, when they pick it up, Will break their jests upon the great Bahram; The world will be all ebon in mine eyes. |p96 The Turkman general will use a whip That hath my name inscribed upon the leather. I will go quickly and recover it However great and long the toil may be. Doth this ill come upon me from the stars That my renown may go down to the dust?" Said old Gudarz: "O son! thou wilt but end Thy fortunes. Wilt thou face the foemen's breath So madly for a stick bound round with leather?" Giv said: "My brother! go not forth. New whips Have I in plenty - one whose haft is gold And silver, two with handles of fine pearls And other genes. When Farangis unlocked The treasury and gave so many arms And belts to me I took this whip and breastplate; The rest I left unheeded in Turan. Moreover Shah Kaus bestowed upon me A whip resplendent as the moon with jewels, And five I have besides of golden work Inwrought with royal gems, and all the seven Will I bestow upon thee. Go not forth And wantonly provoke a new engagement." Said brave Bahram to Giv: "I cannot hold This shame of small account. Your talk is all Of colour and design, mine of a name Now wedded to disgrace. I will recover My whip or, by endeavouring this, will bring Mine own head to the shears." Bahram misread God's purpose, and his fortune proved averse. The fool is all agog to take his leap Just when his fortune falleth into sleep! Bahram pricked forth by moonlight to the field, And bitterly bewailed the slain, those luckless And heart-seared ones. The body of Rivniz |p97 Was whelmed in blood and dust, his tunic rent. BahrAm the Lion wept for him and cried:- "Alas! O young and valiant cavalier! Men slain like thee are but a pinch of dust! For nobles palaces, for thee a trench!" Among his brethren flung on that broad plain He roamed. One, stricken by the scimitar, Of all those chiefs still lived. He marked Bahram, Wailed, asked his name, and said: "O Lion! I live, Though flung among the slain, and I have craved For two days bread and water and a robe To sleep upon! " Bahram made haste to him With loving spirit and a kinsman's heart, Began to weep and lacerate his cheeks, Rent his own raiment into strips to bind The wounds, and said: "Fear not; 'tis but a scratch, And merely needeth binding. Thou shalt go, When I have bound it, to the host again, And speedily recover of thy hurts." He thus restored one that was lost but knew not That he himself was doomed to lose his way. He said: "Stay here, youth: till I hurry back. While I was fighting for the crown I dropped My whip; when I have found it I will come, And take thee to the army with all speed." Thence hasting to the centre of the field He searched about until he found the whip, Which was amid a heap of wounded men With much dust showered thereon and blood withal. Alighting from his steed he took it up, And heard the sound of neighing. His steed likewise Perceived the neighing of some mares, became As nimble as Azargashasp, rushed off, And turned its head toward them while Bahram In dudgeon followed after in his tunic |p98 And helmet, with the sweat upon his face With hurrying, until he reached the horse And, having caught it, mounted carrying In hand an Indian sword; but, when he spurred, The steed moved not a foot. Both man and horse Were covered o'er with dust and sweat. Bahram Was so chagrined that with his scimitar He slew the steed. Thence to the battlefield He went as swift as wind. There all the plain Was covered with the dead, and all the ground Like cercis-bloom. "How can we make our way Upon the plain," he said, "without a horse?" The foe grew ware of him and from the centre There hasted forth a hundred cavaliers To capture him and from the battlefield Convey him to Pinin. Bahram the Lion Strung up his bow and showered shafts upon them - A hero's shafts - so who could bide about him? He slew or wounded most of them and sprang Like some fierce lion at his enemies. The rest withdrew and sought Piran, exclaiming:- "Behold a Lion both in pluck and might, Who though afoot will do his kind in fight! " Par. 32 How Bahram was slain by Tazhav The troops on their return informed Piran Of that youth's deeds, and much talk passed thereon. Piran inquired: "Who is this man? What name Hath he among the noble?" One replied:- "Bahram the lion-queller, the host's lustre." Piran said to Ruin: "Arise. Bahram Can not escape. If thou canst take him living |p99 The age will rest from strife. Take troops enough, For he is famed and valiant." Hearing this Ruin went off on hostile thoughts intent. Bahram perceived him quick as dust and showered Shafts on him, sitting on a mound the while, A Lion bold with shield before his head. Ruin son of Piran was arrow-pierced, The others lost all keenness for the fight. They came disheartened to the paladin, Full of concern and dudgeon, saying thus:- None None ever fought so, and we have not seen In any stream so fierce a crocodile." Piran was sore distraught at this account, And trembled like the leaf upon the tree; Then mounting on his fiery steed went forth, Accompanied by many warriors, And coming to Bahram said: "Famous chief Why is it that thou combatest afoot? When thou wast in Turan with Siyawush Thou usedst to be prudent, shrewd, reserved We should eat bread and salt together, we Should sit together and become fast friends. With such high lineage and native worth, Such lion-manhood and exceeding prowess, Thy head must not be levelled with the dust, And kin and country sorrow for thy sake. Come let us make a covenant by oath On such wise as shall satisfy thy heart; Then will I make affinity with thee And, having made it, will advance thee more. Thou canst not fight against these famous troops On foot! Be not a traitor to thyself." Bahram said: "Paladin wise, shrewd, and ardent, My lips have tasted nothing for three days, |p100 And day and night have I been combating; But Yet I must resume the fight forthwith Unless thou wilt provide me with a steed To bear me back to the Iranians, - Back to the old Gudarz son of Kishwad." Piran said: "Know'st thou not, O atheling! That I can countenance no such design? What I suggested is the better course Thou art a brave man; act not recklessly. Consider that the horsemen of our host Hold it no small dishonour to themselves That many of the scions of the great - Men who wore diadems, well skilled in war - Were killed or wounded by thee in the fight, And smirched with dust. Who will approach Iran Now but with tingling in his blood and brain? If there were no fear of Afrasiyab, And that his heart would be enraged at me, I would, O youth! provide thee with a steed To bear thee homeward to the paladin." He spake thus, turned about, and went his way, Love in his heart but prudence in his head, While from the host Tazhav - a man whose might Surpassed an elephant's - came forth to meet him, And asked him what had passed. Piran replied:- "There is no warrior equal to Bahrim. I gave him out of kindness much good counsel, Showed him his course, and proffered goodly league; Mine offers found no access to his heart; He fain would go back to the Ininian host." Tazhav replied: "Love will not win his soul; Now I will go and if I capture him Afoot will put him 'neath the stones forthwith." He hurried to the field impetuously, Where brave Bahram was all alone in arms, And, when he saw Bahram with spear in hand, |p101 Cried loudly like a furious elephant, And said to him: "Thou wilt not get away In this fight from these famous warriors. Dost thou expect to go back to Iran? Dost thou expect to lift thy head on high? Thou hast cut off our princes' heads. Abide, For now thine own time draweth to a head." He bade his mates: "Lay on and give it him With arrow, double-headed dart, and dagger." The troops closed in a body on Bahram, All who were chief among the valiant men, While he the hero having strung his bow Dimmed with his shafts the brightness of the sky. When arrows failed he took his spear in hand, Till plain and hill were like a sea of gore, And when the spear was cloven he.still shed blood With mace and sword like raindrops from a cloud. The fight continued on this wise: Bahram Was wounded by the shafts of his brave foes, And, when the hero's strength and vigour failed, Tazhav came up and struck him from behind A sword-cut on the shoulder. Brave Bahram Fell from the hillock on his face; the hand That used to wield the sword was smitten off; He ceased from combating and all was over. E'en fell Tazhav grew hot of heart for him, And, as in shame and grief he turned his reins, He felt the warm blood tingling in his veins. Par. 33 How Giv slew Tazhav in Revenge for Bahram When bright Sol showed its back, Giv, heart-oppressed About his brother, spake thus to Bizhan:- "Joy of my heart! my brother cometh not! |p102 We must go forth and ascertain his case; Let us not have to sorrow for the slain." The valiant pair departed swift as dust Toward the battlefield - the place of strife. They sought him everywhere and, having found him, Rushed anxiously toward him, shedding tears Of blood. He lay - a wreck of gore and dust; One hand was severed; all was over with him. The gallant Giv fell from his charger's back, And roared out like a lion. At the sound Bahram moved, turned, and gaining consciousness Spake thus to Giv: "O seeker after fame! When thou hast shrouded me upon my bier Avenge me on Tazhav; that Bull may not Withstand the Lion. From the first Piran, The son of Wisa, proved a friend to me, Unlike the chiefs of Chin who sought revenge, And then Tazhav, the injurious, gave these wounds, Forgetting birth and rank." Giv, when Bahram Had spoken this, wept tears of gall and said:- "I swear by God the Judge Omnipotent, By white day and by azure night that till I shall avenge Bahram my head shall see No covering save a Ruman helm." All vengeance And grief he mounted, Indian sword in hand. Now when the world's face dusked Tazhav returned From outpost duty. Spying him afar Brave Giv rode toward him with a freer breath On seeing him thus parted from the host, No chiefs or warriors near. Giv loosed his lasso, And caught the foe about the waist forthwith, Then placed the lasso 'neath his thigh, wheeled round, And lightly dragged Tazhav from saddle-back, Flung him to earth disgraced and all forlorn, |p103 And springing from the saddle bound his hands. Giv, mounting, like a madman haled Tazhav Along the ground who begged for mercy, saying:- "No fight is left in me, thou valiant man! What have I done that of this countless host Thou givest me to-night a glimpse of Hell?" Giv struck him with the whip two hundred times Across the head, and answered thus: "No words! Dost thou not know, thou wretch! that thou hast set A fresh tree in the garden of revenge - One that will reach to heaven, one whose trunk Is fed on blood while daggers are its fruit? Since thou must hunt Bahram thou shalt explore The Crocodile's strait gullet, for the ill That robbed Bahram of life wrung Giv's heart too." "Thou art the eagle and the lark am I," Tazhav replied. "I bore Bahram no grudge, Nor caused his death; the cavaliers of Chin Had slain him ere I came." "Pernicious wretch: " Said Giv, "spare thine excuse and futile words." Giv dragged him to Bahram, the wounded Lion. And said: "Behold this faithless head'; I pay The savage with the meed of savagery. I thank the Maker, the Omnipotent, That fate hath granted to me time enough To take thy foeman's life before thine eyes." Tazhav begged quarter, saying: "That hath been Which was to be. How will it profit thee To take my head?" Then wallowing in the dust Before Bahram he cried: "O noble man! I will be thy soul's slave and wait upon The keeper of thy tomb." Then said Bahram To Giv: "WHower liveth hath to die. |p104 Though he hath done me hurt he need not taste The pangs of death, so spare his guilty head That he may keep my memory alive." But Giv, who saw his brother with such wounds, And him that did the hurt a captive, seized Tazhav's beard with a shout and headed him As 'twere a lark! Bahram wept blood and marvelled At heaven's processes, then raised a cry Whose like, so strange it was, none ever heard:- "If I shall slay, or thou slay in my presence, My brothers or my kinsmen will be slain!" This said, the brave Bahnim gave up the ghost. 'Tis ever thus with this world! He that would Obtain the reins must bathe his hands in blood, Slay or be slain! Shun thou ambition's mood. Brave Giv wailed o'er Bahrhm and strewed dark dust On his own head, then, having bound his brother Upon Tazhav's steed, mounted presently. He brought the body from the battlefield, And had a royal sepulchre prepared. He filled the skull with spicery and musk, Enwrapped the corpse in silk of Chin, and set it In royal state upon an ivory throne To sleep, suspending over it a crown, And painting the tomb's portal red and blue Thou wouldst have said: "Bahram hath never been." The famous warriors were absorbed in grief For fortune changed, and for Bahram their chief. Par. 34 How the Iranians went back to Khusrau When bright Sol topped the mountains, and the head And crown of white day showed, the scattered troops Began to gather, and their converse ran:- "Full many of the Iranian host are slain.' |p105 Our leader's fortune hath deserted him, So mighty were the Turkmans' hands in fight! The army must not tarry longer here We verily must go before the Shah, And see how fortune turneth. If his heart Be not intent on war then thou and I Have no occasion to exert ourselves. The sires have lost their sons, the sons their sires, And most are wounded or in sore distress; But if the Shah shall bid us to engage, And shall equip a noble host, then we Will march, our hearts filled with revenge and strife, And make the world too narrow for our foes." Thus minded they retreated from those marches, Their eyes surcharged with tears, their hearts with anguish, As brother sorrowed over brother's blood, And sighs were on their tongues for kinsmen slain. They marched together to the Kasa rud, Farewelling with their tongues their fallen friends. The scouts that went forth from the Turkman host Saw none remaining on the battlefield, And tidings reached Pinin the son of Wisa:- "The land is cleared of the Ininians." Pinin, on hearing this, without delay Sent forth spies secretly on every side And, being certified that that proud foe Was gone indeed, released his heart from care. He set forth with an escort at the dawn, And went about to view the battlefield. The plain and mountains, valleys and ravines, Had tents and tent-enclosures numberless. He gave them to the soldiers, marched away, And marvelled at the process of the world One day a rise, another day a fall, Now all is gladness and then terror all, |p106 In sooth our best course is the cup to raise That maketh earth look bright, and fleet the days. Piran sent one to tell Afrasiyab, Who heard and joyed released from care and trouble. The multitude light-hearted in their gladness Adorned the road whereby Piran must pass; They decorated all the roofs and doors, And poured out drachms in showers upon his head. As soon as he approached Afrasiyab The king went forth with gifts to welcome him, And called down many a blessing on him, saying:- "Thou hast no peer among the paladins." Then from the palace of Afrasiyab For two weeks rose the sounds of harp and rebeck, While on the third Piran resolved to go Rejoicing to his home. The Turkman king Made ready presents for him: thou wouldst be Impatient if I told of the dinars, The royal jewels, belts of gold with gems, The Arab steeds with golden furniture, The Indian scimitars with golden sheaths, The splendid throne of teak and ivory, The couch of turquoise and the amber crown, The girls from Chin, the boys from Rum, with beakers Of turquoise filled with musk and spicery. This wealth Afrasiyab sent to Piran, And added many other gifts beside, While as the general left the royal presence The king addressed him thus: "My loyal hero! Be prudent, keep the fellowship of priests, And guard the army from the enemy. Dispatch in all directions trusty men To act as spies and privily withal, For Kai Khusrau is now possessed of wealth; Beneficence and justice deck his land. Since noble lineage and crown and throne |p107 Are thine desire not any good beside. Be not secure because the foe hath gone, But seek fresh tidings as occasion serveth. Thy soul will suffer if thou sleep'st at ease So long as Rustam is the paladin - The only man that giveth me concern - For his whole business is to seek revenge. I fear that he will rouse himself and lead The armies of Iran against Turan." Piran, as captain of the host and kinsman, Accepted all the counsel of the king, And set forth with his troops toward Khutan. Now that the story of Farud is ended Hear the campaign wherein Kamus contended. |p110 Par. 1 The Prelude In His name Who is Lord of moon and sun, The name revealed by wisdom to the heart, The Lord of being and uprightness - One That brooketh not perverseness on thy part - The Lord of Saturn, Mars, and Sol, from Whom Our gospel are, our hopes, and dread of doom! I know not how to praise Him though in thought I pour my soul. He fashioned space and time; The emmet's foot with proofs of Him is fraught. From yonder circling sun to earthly grime, Bright fire, air, water, all are witnesses, And give thy soul assurance, that He is. Let it be throe the Maker to revere, Who hath no need of aught, no need of crown And throne, of minister and treasurer, Of less or more, of fortune's smile or frown; Yet, though He needeth naught, His slaves are we, And bow before His bidding and decree. Since He created wisdom and the mind, Past doubt, and set the heaven and stars on high, In Him supreme the sole Creator find, And Source of happiness and misery, Of night and day, of circling sphere above, Of food and sleep, of anger and of love. Of Rustam's wondrous deeds there is no scant, His legend in the hearts of all is rife; A crocodile in water, elephant On land, wise, shrewd of heart, a man of strife, |p111 Consummate both in war and valiancy, A man of knowledge, wit, and weight was he. His battle with Kamus I next present In mine own words but based on document, So turn now to the rustic minstrel's lay, Mark what that man world-proven hath to say. Par. 2 How Khusrau reviled Tus The troops with Fariburz, Gudarz, and Giv - The chatterer of hosts - went to Iran In grief with tearful cheeks. When they had reached The road toward Charam and had Kalat Above, the waters of Mayam below, They spake about the conflict with Farud, And all their gain was anguish and remorse. Fear of the Shah filled every heart with pain, For they were guilty and their eyes wept blood. They came before Khusrau with souls abashed, With wounded livers, and as men in fault For having slain their monarch's blameless brother, And yielded crown and signet to the foe; They came with hearts seared and with folded arms, As slaves are wont, before their sovereign. Khusrau regarded them with angry looks; His heart was full of pain, his eyes of tears, And thus he spake to God: "O righteous Judge Thou gayest to me fortune, throne, and prowess, But now I shame before Thee. Thou dost know, Far better than I know, the why and how Of things, or else I should command to set A thousand stakes forthwith upon the open, And Tus and all that carried arms with him |p112 Should be impaled. I mourned my father's death, My heart was filled with sorrow, pain, and trouble, And now there is new vengeance for Farud, For I must needs smite off' the head of Tus. I said: 'Avoid Kalat, avoid Charam, Though people should shower drachms upon thy herd, Because Farud is with his mother there. He is a hero of the Kaian race - A warrior! Should he know vile Tus or why The army marched? Of course he would attack, And from the mountain slaughter many chiefs. Why did inhuman and insensate Tus March in such haste against that hold? Good sooth The Master of the sky no longer favoureth Him and the host. The kindred of Gudarz Fared ill through him. Be he, his elephants, And drums accursed. I gave him robes of honour And gifts, and sent him forth to fight - my brother Away with chief's like Tus son of Naudar! May no such paladins be generals Alas! alas! the son of Siyawush - Farud - with that stout heart, that mace and sword, Who, like his sire, was slain though innocent, Slain by my general and by my troops None know I worse than Tus, and he is ripe For chain and pit. Brainless and veinless too The wretch is as a dog to me." He writhed With stricken liver to avenge his brother And father's blood, dismissed the troops disgraced, Wept his heart's blood, and shut to them - the door Of audience, being wounded to the soul With anguish for Farud. The warriors Went sad and sorry to the court of Rustam, And thus excused themselves: "God willed it so! Who wished to fight Farud? Still when the son. |p113 Of Tus was slain the chieftains' heads grew dark At that disgrace and, when his son-in-law Rivniz fell too, misfortune's worst was done. Who knew the name and bearings of Farud, And wished to wound him through our monarch's heart? Plead with the Shah. Perchance he will refrain From vengeance on the host. Was not Rivniz, The son of Kai Kaus, slain grievously . In fight as well - a younger son and warrior, Dear to the father of moon-faced Khusrau? Such is the issue that all battles have, To this a crown, to that a narrow grave! " Par. 3 How Khusrau pardoned the Iranians When Sol had gilt earth's face, and darksome night Was taken in the toils, shouts rose before The palace portal and the peerless Rustam Came to the Shah, and said: "O great Khusrau! Throne, crown, and signet-ring rejoice in thee. The Shah is wroth with Tus and with the host; But pardon their wrong-doing for my sake. When Tus beheld his son and son-in-law Both slaughtered, prudence left his brain and heart, For first, he is not wise but choleric, And next, a son's life is no light concern; So when Rivniz was slain before his face, And that proud cavalier Zarasp withal, No wonder if he blazed. The Shah should not Take vengeance on him. Then again the host Was ill disposed toward thy glorious brother Because he had not visited the Shah. Know that the date when each must die is fixed, |p114 And be not grieved hereat. Our spirit passeth, Or else is made to pass. Three hundred spells Will not delay it." Kai Khusrau replied:- O paladin! I sorrowed for this youth, But now thy rede is solace to my soul, Though still I ache at heart." Then Rustam kissed The ground before the monarch of the world. So when the sun had shot its rays on high, And hastened to ascend upon its curve, When it had rent its turquoise robes of gloom, So that its ruddy, shining form showed through, The general, Giv, and other warriors Approached the Shah with blessings, and Tus said:- "Live fortunate till time shall be no more. Be earth the basis of thy crown and throne, And heaven the guardian of thy Grace and fortune. My heart is sorrowful, my liver wounded With pain for my misdeed, my mind is full Of shame, my tongue is all excuse, my soul All fault, I burn as 'twere Akzargashasp In anguish for the pure souls of Farud And of Zarasp. If I am guiltier Than others I am writhing for my deed. When valued with Bahram and with Rivniz Mine own life is not worth a single mite; So if the Shah will cease from wrath with me, And with this noble but offending host, I will go forth to cancel this disgrace, And will exalt our fallen heads anew; I will share all the army's toils myself, Be it to keep my life or lose my head. Henceforth I will not look at throne and crown, My head shall see naught but a helm of Rum." The monarch graciously received these words; |p115 His heart grew fresh as roses in the spring. He counselled much with Rustam, with the chiefs And warriors, then sent Tus 'gainst Turan With elephants and shawms and kettledrums. The company dispersed without delay, And Rustam also homeward took his way. Par. 4 How Khusrau sent Tus to Turan When bright Sol showed, and when from night's bent bow Dawn brake, Tus with the great men of the host Came to Khusrau who said: "Trace of this feud Is never lost. Begun by Salm and Tur It had fresh impulse given by Minuchihr, But never was a Shah so shamed as I, Or earth so glutted with his warriors' gore! The hills have girt them with Gudarzians' blood For whom weep bird and fish by land and sea. O'er the Turanians' waste the Iranians' hands And feet and trunks lie scattered! Are your counsels Auspicious? Are ye all heart-stirred to vengeance?" The gallant warriors, with folded arms Before that sunlike and aspiring one, All kissed the ground together - warriors, Such as Ruhham, Gurgin, Gudarz, and Tus, Kharrad and Zanga son of Shawaran, Bizhan and Giv and other men of might. They said: "Well starred, good-hearted Shah who hast The heart withal to pluck out lions' hearts! We all of us are slaves of thine and hang Our heads in reverence, O Shah! before thee, If now the Shah so biddeth we will all |p116 Pour out our souls in fight, nor shall he mark Aught ill from us if sun and moon shall lour not." Khusrau then summoned Giv and seated him Upon the throne of greatness, praised him much, Bestowing many a gift and mark of favour, And said: "Thou seekest toil on mine account, But sharest not my treasures. Tus though leader Must not employ the drums and elephants Against thy counsel rashly. Didst not see How in Bahram's case (may his soul rejoice!) Great skill in warfare fashioned for itself A dark, strait dwelling through the quest of fame And ill advice? Brief though our sojourn be Fame should remain behind us, not disgrace:' Khusrau gave money, called the commissaries, Spake much with Tus, and sought a lucky day According to the stars for setting forth. The chieftain Tus then came as general, Received the standard, elephants, and drums, And did obeisance while the soldiers shouted. The earth heaved underneath the chargers' tramp; A dust-cloud gathered from the horses' hoofs; The trumpet's blast went up. What with the mass Of mail and Kawa's flag earth's face all turned To violet. "The sun," thou wouldst have said, "Is quenched, the sky and stars are all asleep." The Shah abode upon the plain with mace And elephant till Tus the general Had passed, who on an elephant outspread A turquoise litter and thus Shahd-ward sped. |p117 Par. 5 The Message of Piran to the Army of Iran A cameleer bore blast-like to Piran This message: "I have reached the river Shahd In arms and ready to contend with thee." Piran, on hearing this, was sorely grieved That, 'gainst his will, he needs must pack the loads, And went forth with his chiefs - choice cavaliers And brave - to learn about the Irainian host, How many chiefs, and who, were there with Tus. He drew his troops up on his side the stream, And sent a greeting to the Iranian chief. He said: "I everywhere showed kindliness To Farangis and to the Shah. I cried, And seethed as on fierce fire, for Siyawush; But now the antidote doth bear the bane, I share in all these ills." Tus was distressed, Grieved at the words and sufferings of Piran, And said: "Go to Piran of ardent soul, And say: 'If thou speak'st sooth we have no quarrel. Drop fealty, abandon thy surroundings, And bar this door of fear and road of loss. Go to the Shah alone, he will requite thee, Give thee a royal crown and paladinship. When he recalleth thy good deeds thy pangs Will pain him to the heart. Gudarz and Giv And other chieftains, nobles shrewd of heart, Agree herein."' The envoy went like wind Back to Piran and told what he had heard From Tus and from Gudarz of ardent soul. Piran made answer: "I by night and day Will ope my lips to praise the chieftain Tus. |p118 I will go over, taking of my kin Those who are wise and list to mine advice, And send them, bag and baggage, to Iran. An honoured head is more than crown and throne." He did not purpose acting in this way, But sought to gain occasion by delay. Par. 6 How Afrasiyab sent an Army to Piran Piran dispatched a camel-post by night To tell Afrasiyab: "Troops have arrived With shawms and tymbals from Iran, commanded By Giv, Gudarz, and Tus, whom I have duped And much advised with. Choose a warrior-host Or else the war will be inglorious. We may uproot the foe and fire their land, Else in their vengeance for prince Siyawush The Iranian army ne'er will rest from strife." Afrasiyab thereat convoked his captains, Told what had chanced, and said: "Prepare for war." Afrasiyab arrayed a power that dimmed The eye of Sol; that host, so great that earth Was hidden, on the tenth day reached Piran, Who having victualled and disposed the troops, And loaded up the baggage, marched in haste, Regarding not his promise, to the Shahd. A scout came in to Tus and said to him:- "Bind thou the drums upon the elephants Because Piran, perceiving downfall nigh, Spake guilefully. We see the tyrant's standard And army drawn up on the river-bank." Tus put his battle in array. They ranged The elephants and tymbals on the plain. The two lines, like two mountains, clashed in fight - |p119 The Iranian horsemen and the Turkman troops. The dust-clouds of the hosts so dimmed the sun That fire rose from the stream - the flash of sword, Of dart and javelin - and thou hadst said:- "Earth planted air with tulips! " With the stir Of horsemen with their golden belts, and all The golden helmets and the golden shields, A cloud in hue like sandarach arose, And earth became like ebony with dust. The horsemen's heads beneath the mighty maces Seemed anvils 'neath smiths' hammers. Thou hadst said:- The The river is a wine-press running blood, The air is like a reed-bed with the spears!" Then many heads were caught in lasso-coils, Then many an honoured form was cast away. The shroud was mail, the pillow blood and dust; The bosom had been hacked by scimitars. Earth was a cercis-bloom, air ebony; The din of tymbals filled the starry heaven. What though the ambitious man a crown may gain. Or but the battle's surge of blood and dust, Yet from this world of ours depart he must, Whate'er his portion - antidote or bane. I wot not of the end but, this I know, It is a cause for tears to have to go. Par. 7 How Tus slew Arzhang There was a famous Turkman named Arzhang, One whose renown in warfare reached the clouds. He sent the dust up from the battlefield, And challenged the Iranians. Tus from far Saw him and shouted, drew his sword and asked |p120 That son of Zira: "What name bearest thou? Who is thy fellow in the Turkman host?" He said: "Arzhang am I, a warrior - A noble Lion who can bide his time. Now will I make the earth quake under thee, And cast thy head upon the field of fight." Tus, hearing but disdaining all reply, Smote with the glittering falchion in his hand That chieftain on the helm, and thou hadst said:- "His body never bore a head at all!" Piran grieved sorely and the Turkman host, And none came forth, but all the warriors And chieftains of Turan drew scimitar And massive mace, and shouted to each other, Those Lions: "Let us charge and make the world Strait to the heart of Us." Then said Human:- "To-day we will prepare. Be not cast down. If any noble of the Irainians Shall come to challenge us we will dispatch A man to fight him and will mark the issue, But not provoke them rashly. What we need Is respite for a day, but when the host Is stirring, and the tymbals sound in camp, Then from beyond the stream be onslaught made With mace in hand if God and fortune aid." Par. 8 How Human fought with Tus Human bestrode and spurred his eagle-steed. Thou wouldst have said: "He is an iron wall, Or Mount Alburz in mail! " He came before The host to fight and grasped a glittering spear. Tus too advanced; earth rang with clarion-blare. |p121 "And so from luckless Wisa," he exclaimed, "A miserable Tree like this up-springeth! Hast thou indeed come forth to fight since thou Hast come forth mounted and with spear in hand? By the Shah's life and head I would oppose thee Without my breastplate, mace, and Ruman casque, Just like a pard that clutcheth at its prey Among the mountains. Thou shaft see how heroes Fight if thou venturest." Human replied:- Be not o'er-weening for it is not good. Though fate hath come upon one luckless chief, And by thy hand, hold not the rest in scorn. Arzhang had deemed himself no man at all If matched with me upon the day of battle. But have the Iranian warriors no shame? Doth not the warm blood boil in any breast In that their leader hath to champion them? Have their hands failed to fight? Where are Bizhan And Giv - those noble ones - and where Gudarz, Son of Kishwad, that taker of the world? If thou art paladin why hast thou left The centre for the field? The wise will own not Thy kinship and the sane will hold thee mad. Go, hold up Kiwa's standard; generals Come not to fight in person. Look for one On whom the Shah bestowed a robe of honour, Some warrior in quest of crown and signet, And order him to battle with the Lion, And bring the hand of the high-handed down. Ill would befall this noble host of thine If thou Overt slain by me, thy troops become Abandoned, spiritless, and, if they lived, Discomfited. Save Rustam son of Zal, And Sam the cavalier, I see no noble Like thee within Iran whose ancestors |p122 Were men renowned and Shahs. No need of army If thou wilt fight in person! Go thy way That some aspirant from the host may face me; Besides, if thou wilt list to true advice, Wherein my soul and heart confirm my tongue, The bravest smart when they encounter me." Tus said: "Exalted man! I am the leader, But am withal a horseman of the fray. Thou art a leader of the Turkman troops Thyself! Why then hast thou come on the field? If thy heart will accept advice of mine Seek, 'tis my counsel, for a league with me. Come with the noble captain of thy host Before the Shah because, while one surviveth, These troops will rest no jot from this revenge. Give not thyself thus madly to the wind, And may my counsel ne'er recur to thee. Leave those who should be slain to fight with us, For not one guilty shall escape our vengeance, So act the wise man's part. The Shah directed:- 'Harm not Piran. He is my foster-sire, Experienced, and my friend. Strive not with him Unjustly, wantonly, and fee that he Hear throe advice.'" Human said: "Right or wrong, When bidden by a king of glorious race, We must go forth: we have no remedy, But must surrender all our heart to him. Piran himself desireth not this strife, For he is noble, good, and generous." While Tus was parleying, the face of Giv Resembled sandarach, he left the host Like wind, "O Tus of glorious race!" he cried, "A wily Turkman with his lips afoam Hath come between the lines; why should he speak So long with thee apart? Seek not the door |p123 Of peace, speak only with thy scimitar." Human, on hearing, raged and said to Giv Of sleepless fortune: "Wretchedest of all The free! perish Gudarz son of Kishwad Upon the day of battle at Laidan Thou sawest me with Indian sword in hand Where not one of his seed survived that read not The inscription thereupon. For thee, thy fortune Is like the face of ╔lhriman, and mourning Is ever in thy house. If Tus slay me Men still will use the mace and kettledrum. Piran is living and Afrasiyab, Who will avenge me promptly, but if Tus Shall perish by my hand none of his troops Will reach Iran. Bewail thy brothers' pangs, Why railest thou at Tus son of Naudar?" " What wrath is this?" said Tus, "I am thy foe; Come let us wheel about, begin the encounter, And bend our brows in battle." Then Human:- "All heads beneath a crown or helm must die. Since death must come 'tis best upon the field, And by the hand of some skilled cavalier, A leader, prince, and ardent warrior." Then, grasping each his massive mace, they charged. Earth reeled, day darkened, and a dust-cloud gathered Above the scene of strife. Thou wouldst have said:- "The night hath come on them by day, the sun - The lustre of the world - is blotted out!" Those mighty maces clashed and bent like bows Of Chach, the ring of steel rose to the sky, The wind of that contention reached the Shahd! Thou wouldst have said: "Stone heads are in those helms, Those warriors' blows have blackened death's own face!" They took in hand their Indian scimitars, |p124 And sent sparks streaming out of stone and steel Till with the chieftains' might the trenchant blades First bent, then shivered. Dust-smirched and athirst Each warrior clutched the other's leathern belt, And pressed with all his weight. upon the stirrups, But neither came to dust. Human's belt snapped. He leapt upon a fresh steed while Tus took His quiver, strung his bow, and set thereon A poplar arrow. He began to shower His shafts upon his noble foe and wheeled To left and right as horsemen use to do. The points of steel and eagle-plumes bedimmed The mid-day sun, the world became as 'twere Night's second watch, its face like diamonds. Pierced by a poplar shaft Human's steed fell; He raised his shield to save his face and head. On seeing him afoot upon the field, And holding not his own, the Turkman chiefs Brought him a noble mount, but when Human Had seated him upon the bark-lined saddle, With Indian sword in hand, the men of name And warriors all drew near to him and said:- "It groweth dark, there is no time, and strife Is over for the day. May evil eyes Be far from thee and fighting end in feast." Hurnan the warrior turned his rein (Tus raising His own lance to him), left the field, and sought Piran. A shout rose from the Turkman host "How didst thou fare when face to face with Tus, O warrior? Our hearts were full for thee! God only knoweth what we felt! " That Lion Replied: "O brave and veteran warriors! The day will bring us triumph, we shall take Yon shining flag, all joy will be your portion, And I shall have the stars of heaven for mine." |p125 Tus for his part was shouting through the night Till cock-crow: "Is Human the man for me? A raging lion should my foeman be." Par. 9 How the Iranians and Turainians fought the second Time Now when high heaven had made its Crown of Jet, And flung Pastilles on Lapislazuli, The pickets hurried forth on every side, And set the watch around the camps, but when Sol showed in Cancer, and the world became Fair as a Ruman's face, from both the camps The sound of tymbals rose, the world was filled With the blare of clarions, air was thick with flags, Which gleamed red, yellow, black, and violet, The warriors bared their weapons, and rode forth To battle. Thou hadst said: "Heaven, earth, and time Don iron," while the radiant sun was veiled By dust of caracoling cavaliers, And, what with neigh of steeds and din of drums, Heaven kissed the earth. Human the chieftain wheeled Before the ranks, a shining dart in hand, And cried: "When I shall raise the battle-shout, Urge on my charger and seethe up with rage, Then draw ye forth your falchions as one man, And hold your shields of Chin above your heads. See nothing but your horses' crests and reins, I want no bow, I want no lance's point, But armed with sword and club and massive mace, As is the use and wont of warriors, Throw down your reins upon your horses' necks, And give and take the buffets as they come." This said, the gallant horseman lion-like Went to Piran: "O paladin!" he cried, |p126 "Unlock the weapons of our warriors, Keep not dinars within the treasury, And hoard not arms. If we prevail to-day Thy heart shall pluck the fruit of favouring stars." On his side Tus arrayed his host as 'twere The eye of chanticleer. The warriors blessed him, And hailed him as the paladin of earth, Who triumphed in the battle, and whose valour Sent dust up from Human. Then to Gudarz, Son of Kishw tid, said Tus: "Let all wot well That if we march forth, and our foes prevail, Our trust must be in God, not in ourselves; He may assist us, else the day is lost. At present let the chief's with golden boots Remain with Kawa's standard. Let none quit The mountain; this is not the day and season For strife and stir. Good Booth! the enemy Out-number us two hundred times or more!" Gudarz replied: "If God will but avert Our evil day the fact of more or less hnporteth not. Daunt not the Iranians, For if the sky turn over us for ill To wait is no avail. Array the host; Dash not our souls with what may be." So Tus, The chieftain, put the battle in array - Men, drums, and elephants of war; the footmen Went with the baggage to the heights, Gudarz Was on the right, Ruhham shared with Gurgin The left, the troops were ranked, anon the sky Shook with the roar of drum and clarion, The heart of circling heaven was rent, the sun Was choked with dust, none saw the ground beneath him, The murky clouds rained showers of diamonds, Fire flashed from helm and sword, the spear-heads gleamed, |p127 And massive maces whirled. Thou wouldst have said:- "The air is mace and iron, and the earth Horseshoes and mail." The plains and dales ran blood, And swords were lamps that lit a world of night. No one knew head from foot, such was the din Of drum and clarion! Tus said to Gudarz:- "Night cometh and the astrologer bath told me:- 'To-day until the night's third watch is passed The warriors from their scimitars will pour Blood on the field, like rain from some dark cloud; But victory, I fear me, in the end Will rest with our revengeful foes.'" Shidush, Ruhham, Giv, Gustaham, Kharrad, Farhad, And brave Barzin came forth between the hosts, Came liver-wounded, eager for revenge, Like troops of divs upon a murky night, While in all quarters din assailed the clouds. Human on his side mountain-huge led forth His army troop on troop, and none could tell, Amid the mass of maces, mallets, swords, And spears, the stirrups from the reins. He said:- "Our work to-day must not be like the fight Of yesterday, but we must sweep the earth Of foemen lest they seek revenge hereafter:" Then Tus advanced with foot-men, elephants, And kettledrums, while spear-men, pavisers, And javelin-men drew up before the horse-men. "Leave not your posts," he said, "and hold your shields And spears in front of you, and we will see The massive mace-play of their chivalry." |p128 Par. 10 How the Turanians used Sorcery against the Host of Iran Among the Turkmans there was one Bazur By name, adept in magic, versed in guile. And sorcery, and learned in the tongues Of Chin and ancient Persia. To that warlock Piran said: "Scale the mountain-top and send Snow, cold, and blast upon the Iranians." That sorcerer sped thither, and forthwith Came snow and storm. The Iranian spearmen's hands Failed in the snow and stress. Amid the tumult And icy blast the warriors' war-cry rose, And arrows rained. "Let all the army charge," Piran bade. "While their hands freeze to their spears None can show prowess." With a shout Humdn Charged like a lusty div. They slaughtered so That 'twixt the lines there was a sea of gore, The vales and wastes were filled with snow and blood, The horsemen of Iran were overthrown, Till corpses left no room to wheel; the ground Was blocked by snow and fallen. Tus the leader And other chiefs cried bitterly to heaven:- "O Higher than all knowledge, sense, and reason, Not at, or in, but everywhere! we all Are Thy transgressing slaves and in our straits Appeal to Thee, for Thou wilt help the helpless, And art the Lord of fire and icy blast. Deliver us from this excessive cold; We look for aid to Thee and Thee alone." A sage approached Ruhham and showed the height Where bold Bazur was stationed with his spells. Ruhham wheeled round and quitting field and host, And girding up his mail-skirts to his waist, |p129 Clomb to the mountain-top. The warlock saw him, And, grasping a steel mace of Chin, advanced To fight. Ruhham, approaching, quickly drew His trenchant scimitar and hacked away The warlock's hand. Like Doomsday came a blast, And swept the murk from heaven. Staying thus The sorcerer's hand the brave Ruhham descended, Regained the plain, and mounted while the air Resumed its azure vault and radiant sun. Ruhham said to his sire: "'Twas sorcerer's work, And how he played the mischief as we fought!" The Shah's troops saw the field a sea oi' blood Strewn with Iranian heads and headless trunks. Then spake Gudarz to Us: "No need have we For elephant or drum-beat. Let us all Draw sword and charge, and slay or else be slain. Good Booth: our time is coming to an end; This is no day for lasso, shaft, or bow." Tus said: "O thou experienced veteran! The sky is ridded of that icy blast. Why should our heads be scattered to the winds, Now that the Helper giveth Grace and strength? Expose not thou thyself, for in this strife Our warriors will avail to do our will. Go not to meet thy fate or recklessly Advance against our foes but tarry thou With Kaiwa's standard at the army's centre, And blue steel sword in hand. Bizhan and Giv Together lead the right; upon the left Is Gustaham; Ruhham is with Shidush Before the lines; GurAza's lips are foaming For vengeance. If I shall be slain, retreat Back to the Shah, but death is nobler far For me than shame and every foeman's jeers.' Such is the world, all anguish and all woe Seek not addition if thou canst forbear, |p130 For that will bite thee some day and will ne'er Prolong existence for thee here below. Again arose the blast of clarions, The clangour of the gongs and Indian bells. What with the din of warlike cavaliers, The gleam of sword and crash of battle-ax, What with darts, maces, shafts, and javelins, The earth became as 'twere a sea of pitch. The plain was filled with trunkless heads and arms, The crashing of the maces filled all ears, But, since the face of cruel fortune loured The Iranian warriors showed the foe their backs. Then Tus, Gudarz, and gallant Giv, Shidush, Bizhan, and lion-like Ruhham all took Their lives in hand and went in quest of fame Before the embattled lines. All those with Tus, The nobles and the chiefs, poured out their blood Before the host, but those behind them fled. Then said an archmage to that warrior-chief:- "The army is no longer at thy back The foe must not surround thee and destroy Both host and general." Tus said to Giv:- "Our soldiers' brains and wisdom are no mates Since they have left us thus, and in their folly Turned from the fight; go thou and rally them; Protest our foemen's jeers, our monarch's shame." Giv went; the host returned; the plain and desert Seemed filled with slain. Then Tus addressed the captains:- This This is a struggle and a strife of chiefs But since the cheek of day is darkling now, And all the land is like a sea of blood, Seek we a resting-place if night can rest. Our slain perchance a bed of sand may have, And coverlet of earth by way of grave." |p131 Par. 11 How the Iranians retreated to Mount Hamawan The Irainians drew back with heads abashed And livers wounded for their friends, and when The moon rose o'er the mountains as it were A king triumphant on his turquoise throne, Piran the chieftain called his warriors, And said: "Not many of the foe remain, And, when the Topaz Sea shall dash its waves Upon the Realm of Lapislazuli, I will destroy those that survive and make The Shah's heart writhe." The troops went off rejoicing, And all the night before the tent-enclosure Sat sleepless through the sounds of harp and rebeck; But for their part the Iranians mourned, the sires Lamented for their sons, the killed and wounded Hid all the plain, earth ran with great men's blood. To right and left the field was strewn with hands And feet unsortable. All night men raised Their stricken friends, bound up and stitched their wounds, Left strangers to their fate, and burned the slain. Full many of the kindred of Gudarz Were hurt or killed or captive. At the news He wailed, earth shook beneath the Iranians' cries, The chiefs all rent their raiment, he himself Cast dust upon his head, exclaiming: "None With hoary head bath seen such ills as mine! Why must I still survive with my white hairs Now that so many of my sons are laid In dust? Since that dark day when I was born I have not doffed my tunic. When I went With heroes and my cavaliers to war |p132 My grandsons and my sons supported me, But none of them surviveth our first fight Upon Turanian soil! May be my sun Was once for all extinguished with Bahrdm, And hence I see so many chieftains slain." Tus, hearing of Gudarz, wept tears of blood, And turned as pale as sandarach. He raised A bitter Magian cry: "Had not Naudar, That holy man," he said, "set in life's garth My feet and roots then travail, pain, and grief, Woe for the dead and anguish in the strife, Had ne'er been mine, for since I girt my loins My heart hath oft been pierced though I survive. Now where there is a pit inter the slain, Restore each trunk its head, and bear the baggage Toward Mount Hamawan. Take all the army, The tents, and tent-enclosures to the mountain. We will dispatch the Shah a camel-post; His heart will burn and he will send us troops. I purposed when I sent the cavalier To carry news of us before the battle, That Kai Khusrau should send the son of Zal To lead the reinforcements to the field." He loaded up and, thinking of the slain With anguish, called his men to horse again. Par. 12 How the Host of Turan beleaguered Mount Hanaawan Now when the bright sun showed its crown, and strewed The Ivory Throne with Camphor, Tus, good Booth! What while the foe were sleeping with fatigue, Had marched ten leagues, and fared thus day and night With heart all sorrow and unbroken fast. He reached Mount Hamawan and ranked his troops |p133 Upon its outskirts. Every eye was bloodshot, Their hearts were seared, their souls like ravens' plumes With anguish. Then spake Tus to Giv and said:- "O full of wisdom and illustrious chief! For three days we have marched with neither food Nor sleep! Come eat a little and repose At ease without thy mail; Piran no doubt Will follow us anon intent on fight. Go to the mount thyself, and leave behind The freshest of our soldiers with Bizhan:' Giv bare the wounded, weary of the world And sick of life, up to the mountain-hold, And chose the freshest of his troops for duty. "This mountain-top," he said, "must be our home. We must recruit." The outpost-guards descended To hold the approaches that no foe might pass, And, what with challenges and sound of gongs, Thou wouldst have said: "The stones and rocks cry out!" Now when the sun rose o'er the mountain-tops The Turkmans' hearts were full of eagerness. A sound rose from Pirain's pavilion As of an earthquake. He led forth the host Like fire, and told Human: "The contest surely Will soon be over. All their cavaliers Are slain or, being wounded, cannot fight." He beat the drums; a shout rose from the waste; He led in person. When they reached the field They only found a camp without an army, And one who went to spy came to Piran, And said: "There is not an Iranian here! " A shout of triumph rose, the troops awaited The orders of Piran who thus addressed The wise men: "Sages famed and worshipful! What shall we do now that our foes have fled?" |p134 The horsemen of the host, both old and young, Wroth with the paladin, exclaimed: "The Iranians Have fled defeated, and the battlefield Is full of dust and blood! This is no time To fear them. We should follow up the foe. Strange if thou partest with thy wits and wisdom The fugitive from wind plunged into water, And we had better hasten than delay." Piran replied: "In war the foot of haste Is feebler than delay's. A sea-like host Is gathering before Afrasiyab; Let us delay till that great power with all' Its warriors and fighting-men shall come; Then will we leave none living in Iran Such is the counsel of the wise. Enough. Human said to Piran: "O paladin! Vex not thy soul so much on this account. A host - all paladins and cavaliers, Brave men who wield the lasso and the sword - Have left their ground, their tents, and tent-enclosures, Abandoned all and fled. Be sure of this, That they were forced to flee and once for all Show us their backs. We will not let them reach Khusrau and muster at his court afresh; Then from Zabulistan will Rustam march Upon us, this delay cause fearful loss. Now is the time for me to fall on them, And put in practice ruse and artifice. We have the certainty of laying hands Upon Gudarz and Tus the general, The royal standard, elephants, and drums Shall we do better by delaying here?" Piran replied: "Be still thus shrewd and ardent. So do because thy star and rede are good, And heaven's vault is not so high as thou." He set forth with his army in pursuit, |p135 And bade Lahhak: "Now tarry not but ply The rein with ten score cavaliers and loose not The girdle from thy loins till thou bast seen Where the Irzinians are." He went like wind, And took no thought of rest and food. At midnight The Irinian outpost-guards caught sight of him Upon the dusky plain, and from the mountain Rose shout and sound of gong. 'Twas not the time, He saw, to tarry, went back to Piran, And gave him tidings of the Iranian host "'Tis on Mount Hamawan with front well guarded." Piran said to Human: "Ply rein and stirrup In haste, take with thee cavaliers enough, Take nobles, warriors, and men of name, For with their flag and troops the Irainians Have taken refuge on Mount Hamawan. This war involveth further toil, so sharpen Thy wits to find a remedy; if thou Canst capture Kaiwa's legacy - his standard - Then daylight will be darkened to our foes. If thou prevailest cleave the flag and staff To pieces with thy trenchant scimitar. Lo, I will follow after thee like wind, And dally not." Human chose thirty thousand Turanian horse with shields and scimitars. Now, when the shining sun displayed the face That filleth earth with love, that army's dust Appeared afar and from the look-out rose The watchman's shout: "An army from Turan Appeareth! Upward to the darksorne clouds Its dust ascendeth!" Tus, on hearing this, Assumed his mail, rose din of trump and drum, And all the Iranian chivalry in mass |p136 Ranged on the mountain's foot. Whenas Human Beheld that mighty army brandishing Sword, mace, and spear, and raging like fierce lions With Kawa's standard in their midst, he shouted Thus to Gudarz and Tus: "Ye left Iran With elephants and drums to be avenged Upon Turan and to invade our coasts; , Now to the mountain have ye fled like game, In utter rout and all fordone with fight! Feel ye no shame hereat and no disgrace? Are food and rest and sleep in rocks and stones? To-morrow, when the sun shall top the hills, Will I turn this thy stronghold to a sea. Will bring thee from this lofty mountain down, Will make thy hands fast in the lasso's coils, And send thee to Afrasiyab, deprived Of provand, rest, and sleep, and thou shaft know That this thy shift is but a shiftless one, And one to be deplored." He sent Piran A camel-post full speed. "What sort of fight Did we expect?" he said. "Our thoughts were other, And we made ready to attack the foe, But all the mount is troops and kettledrums, The standards wave behind Gudarz and Tus! Take. order that as soon as bright day shineth, And when the world's Light showeth in the sky, Thou mayst be here with troops in war-array, And make the plain's face dark with hosts of men.' The message roused Piran; no time was lost; That night he marched on with a sea-like host. |p137 Par. 13 How Piran went in Pursuit of the Iranians to Mount Hamawan When Sol, aweary of its veil of gloom, Had bursten through it and come forth, Piran; The leader, reached Mount Hamawan, and earth Was hidden by the dust of troops. "Abide," Thus said he to Human, "here where thou art; Set not the troops in motion for a while. I will hold parley with the Iranian leader, And say: 'Why hast thou set up Kawa's standard?' Who told him of Mount Hamiwan and now When there what hopeth he?" In hate and vengeance He came anear the Iranian host and cried:- "Illustrious Tus, the lord of elephant, Of mace and kettledrum! five months have passed Since thou provokedst war, and on the field The noblest kinsmen of Gudarz lie headless, While thou hast fled, thy soldiers panting after, And like a mountain-sheep hast taken refuge, Full of revenge and rancour, in the heights! But thou wilt surely come within the toils:' Exalted Tus replied: "I mock thy falsehoods. Thou didst set wreak afoot among the mighty Throughout the world for Siyawush. Hast thou No shame of thy vain words? Hot though they be They will not bring me to those toils of throe. Ne'er may the world possess a paladin Like thee among the men of might and name. Thou by an oath didst ruin Siyawush, And wreck earth with his blood, thou madest him Stay in Turan; now war and vengeance stay In earth through him. Alas! for that great prince |p138 And noble man whose face once gladdened all Thou by this practice, such deceit and lies, Wilt gain no lustre in a true man's sight. We could not forage on the battlefield, And therefore have I marched to Hamawan. News now hath reached the monarch of the world, Who with his mighty men will come anon. The great men of the host have gathered - Zal And Rustam of the elephantine form; And when the Shah is fairly on the march I will not leave Turan field, fell, or crop. Since thou art here behold a task for men This is no time for ruse and ambuscade." Piran on that sent forward troops to seize The approaches, and the army mountain-like Moved, troop on troop, upon that mountain-skirt. Piran, when thus the foemen's foraging Was straitened, laid his plans. " We," said Human, "Must get possession of the mountain's foot, And I will deal so that the Iranians Shall never gird themselves for vengeance more." Piran replied: "The wind is in our face, And none would think of fighting with it so; But as they have not room for foraging, And nobody would guard a barren rock, They will no longer heed their general; With warlike eyes grown dim the troops will come To seek not fight but quarter; 'tis a day For grace and not for setting in array." |p139 Par. 14 How the Iranians made a Night-attack Gudarz and Tus suspected this; the chiefs Were in dismay. Said old Gudarz to Tus "We must fight now. If we have three days' provand We have not more, and not one road is open We have no tents, no huts, no baggage-train, And this great host will starve! So, when the sun Is wan of face and night's dark veil is seen, Choose we brave cavaliers, descend the heights, And try our fortune in a night-attack, To perish one by one, or else to gain The hero's crown. Such is the end of battles! One hath the dust, another rank and glory:' Tus hearkened to Gudarz; his heart was full Of pain and of the ancient feud. He bode Till night appeared. The sun set; all was dark. When one watch passed, and men had fallen silent, Tus made him ready, called the men of action, Gave one wing to Bizhan, one to Shidush And bold Kharrad; the glorious Hag he gave To Gustaham with much advice and counsel, Then, shouldering with Giv, Ruhham, and others The massive mace, made for Piran and shocked Like fire the Turkman centre. All the field Grew like a sea of blood, a mighty shout Rose from the host, the standard of Piran Was cloven, and his troops were panic-stricken. Human, when he had heard that cry, bestrode His Arab black, came up, saw many slain, And many turning from the fight dismayed, Wept tears of blood upon his breast, and shouted:- "Was there no outpost here? Had ye no stomach For fight? We are three hundred to their one; |p140 It is ill sleeping on the field of battle! He! out with sword and mace, and up with shield Of Chin. Now that the moon o'er yonder height Is drawing forth its sword, cut off the foe On every side and let none, combatant Or laggard, 'scape." Arose the clarions' blast, The warriors pressed forward, and surrounded The Iranian cavaliers like savage lions. Sparks flashed from helm and sword: thou wouldst have said:- The The sky is raining maces from the clouds!" Night, scimitars, and dust concealed the stars And shining moon. Thou'dst said: "The Iranians Are walled by coats of mail and in a murk As of a sea of pitch! " Then to his men Human exclaimed: "Enough! slay not the chiefs; Bring me them captive and not arrow-pierced." They shouted back: "Their plight is hopeless now. Lay on, lay on with mace and javelin, And crown these chieftains' heads with crowns of blood." Then Tus said to Ruhham and Giv: "Good Booth! Our lives are but a jest! Unless the Almighty Shall save our souls and bodies from this scath We are but poised upon an eagle's wings, Or struggling in the waters of the deep!" Like savage lions leaping from their lairs They charged together, while the sound of drum And pipe and clang of Indian bells and gongs Rose from the foe, men could not see their reins, The horses' crests, or spear-points at their eyes. "Ye have no room," exclaimed Hu man, "for fight Or flight, and evil fortune Brave you forth, That ill might reach the guilty." 'Mid such strife Abode that warrior - three with paltry powers! |p141 Much thought they then of Rustam, everywhere The prowest in the fray, and of Shidush, Bizhan, and Gustaham, of great and small; "Good Booth! " said they, "one of the Iranian host Would help us here! We came not to a fight, But madly to the maw of crocodiles! Woe to the throne and portal of the Shah, For they will capture us anon! Great Rustam And Zal are in Zabulistan! Iran Will be destroyed! " The din of mace and drum Reached the Iranian host, and Giv and Tus Returned not! Said Shidush and Gustaham, The Lion: "Tus is long engaged!" Guraza Said to Bizhan: "Our leader's task is long! " Anon the din of drums rose from the plain, Air turned pitch-dark and earth to ebony. The warriors made toward the voice of Tus. The field ran blood. As they came up behind All drew their massive maces. Tus, aware That succour had arrived, roared tymbal-like, Loosed rein, and pressed his stirrups, for he felt His fortune rising, while Ruhham and Giv, Cheered by the voice of brave Bizhan, became Like lions. Thus they fought till break of day, Until the world's Light shone above the mountains, Then they recalled the host and drew it off Toward the rocky heights. The chieftain Tus Harangued the troops: "From set of sun to drum-beat Far from the noble be the evil eye, And may our fighting end in festival. I never heard of warriors displaying Such gallantry as I have seen in you. My first prayer is that Holy God will keep Afar from us the eyes of evil ones. |p142 He is my refuge evermore and He Will take you out of this. I trust withal In Him that presently and swift as smoke An army may come up to our support. Assuredly my speedy camel-post Hath reached ere now the monarch of the world. My letter will inflame his heart anew, The elephantine chief will come to aid us, And with a noble company of Lions. We shall return in triumph, well content, And eager to behold Khusrau again. We will report to that triumphant world-king All that hath passed in public and in private, And through his kindness and his satisfaction Obtain, each one of us, the fruits of fortune." Both hosts ceased fighting, breathed themselves, and left The battle drawn. On both sides scouts advanced Upon that plain of valiant warriors. Human came forth, saw corpses block the road, And thus addressed Piran: "Withdraw to-day; The battle hath not answered our desires, But when our warriors, approvers horsemen, And men have rested I will make a fight Such as the sun and moon ne'er saw." They went, Their converse done, each on his schemes intent. Par. 15 How Kai Klausrau had Tidings of his Host News reached Khusrau: "Piran hath gained the day, Tus hath retired upon Mount Hamawan, And many a chieftain of the host is missing.. |p143 The portal of the palace of Gudarz, Son of Kishwdd, is void of men of war And chiefs. The very stars are wailing them, The rose no longer groweth in the garden, The world through them is filled with dust and blood, And Tus' high star hath fallen! " Kai Khusrau, The famous, heard, and his heart quaked. He bade The elephantine Rustam come to court, And with his host. The sages and the archmages, Famed and experienced of Iran, all came; Khusrau, the chief of chieftains, loosed his tongue, Told how the host had fought, and said to Rustam:- "Exalted one' our ancient state, I fear, Is tottering, whereat my heart is full Of dread. Thou fosterest the crown and throne, World-ruling fortune hath its light from thee, The heart of heaven is on thy sabre's point, And under thee are sky and time and earth. Thou didst dig out the White Div's heart and brain The age's hopes are based upon thy love, Earth is the servant of thy charger's dust, And time to thee is like a loving mother. The sun is set a-burning by thy sword, And Venus weepeth at that mace of throe. Thy plumed and pointed shafts make lions weary Of fighting with thee on their day of bale. Since thou hast been a man and worn a helm No foe hath cast his eye upon Iran. Now Tus, Gudarz, and Giv and other chiefs, With many of the warriors of this land, Have with full hearts and eyes that flowed with tears Fled from the soldiers of Afrasiyab. Full many of the kindred of Gudarz Fell on the day of fight and sleep in dust. Those of the army that escaped with life |p144 Are broken-hearted on Mount Hamawan; Their heads are lifted heavenward; they pray The Almighty, who is Lord of time and place, That elephantine Rustam may perchance Come to them in God's strength at my command. As I perused the letter in the night I shed my heart's blood freely on my cheeks. I told the thing to no one for three days Save only unto God the Succourer, But now, because the matter bath surpassed All bounds, my heart is full of care therefor. Thou art the hope of host and general Mayst thou be sound in health and bright in mind; May thy head flourish and thy heart rejoice, Be thy pure person free from hurt of foe. Ask me for plenty of whate'er thou wilt, Of steeds, of arms, of treasure, and of troops. Go with good counsels and a joyful heart So great a work must not be slackly done." The hero answered: "May the signet-ring And crown ne'er lack thee. Heaven remembereth not A king like thee for Grace, for stature, justice, And rede. Khusrau bath heard that ever since Kubad assumed the imperial diadem I have been girded in Iranian quarrels, And have not sat at rest a single day. Mine have been waste, gloom, lion, elephant, Enchanters, lusty dragons, mighty men Both of Turan and of Mazandaran, Dark nights, and massive maces, and withal Long journeyings and thirsts, for I preferred The door of travail to the stead of ease. So many toils and hardships have I seen That I have never asked a day of pleasure. Thou art the world's king, and a slave am I Girt to perform thy bests. Let not the Shah |p145 Grieve for the slain, but let thy foes look wan. With belted waist will I draw near to Tus, And gird me to avenge the Iranians, For liver-wounded have I been and girt With mourning for the scions of Gudarz." When Kai Khusrau heard Rustam's words he wept, And said: "Without thee I desire not life, Or majesty or crown or royal throne. Now be the welkin in thy lasso's noose, And crowned heads in thy bonds." The treasurer Unlocked the royal hoard of jewels, crowns, Dinars, helms, lassos, bows, and belts, oped too The sacks of drachms. The Shah gave all to Rustam, Thus saying: "O illustrious warrior! Go with the mace-men of Zabulistan, And mighty men and warriors of Kabul, Swift as the blast, not tarrying thyself Or bidding others tarry. From the host Choose thirty thousand swordsmen dight for war, And give to Fariburz son of Kaus Some troops to go on first and seek revenge." The peerless Rustam kissed the ground and said:- "The bridle and the stirrups are my mates. We will urge on the chiefs; far be repose And idleness from us." He paid the troops, Went forth upon the plain, prepared for war, And said to Fariburz: "Lead forth at dawn, Conduct the van, and sleep not day or night Until thou come to Tus the general. Say to him: 'Risk not fight, use guile, gain time, And be not rash. Lo! like a blast I come, Not dallying upon the road. Gurgin, Son of Milad, approved in war, will know What to advise thy host in weal and woe."' |p146 Par. 16 How Fariburz asked to Wife Faranflis, the Mother of Kai Khusrau "O warrior, distributor of crowns, Lord of the breastplate, battle-ax, and Rakhsh! " Said Fariburz, "I have a secret wish That I can tell to no one in the world Except to thee, O paladin of earth, Who well deservest ring and crown and signet, And art the stay and refuge of the host! In thee the warriors exalt their helms. Know great one of Ira,n! and may God bless thee, That I and noble Siyawush were brothers, rind one in blood. 'Tis fit that I should take His widow as my wife, exalted chief! Urge this upon the Shah, and thou wilt set A crown upon my head." Then Rustam answered:- "'Tis throe to bid. I will achieve thy wish." The elephantine chief went in and said:- O O famed Khusrau! I have a thing to ask That will exalt my head above the moon, And I will ask it with the monarch's leave, For God approveth. Love and justice reach All men through thee, twin-visaged like the sky. Now Fariburz among the chiefs and princes Hath not a peer; withal for rede and prowess I do not see his match, and he desireth This of the Shah - the place of Siyawush, So that, when he is marching to avenge His brother's blood, the guardian of his house And wealth, the confidant in all his cares, May be the daughter of Afrasiyab, None else, they twain to be as sun and moon." |p147 Khusrau on hearing gave consent and said:- O famous man! the feet of fortune trample All that reject thy counsel. Naught but good Will come from words of throe. Live ever glorious! I cannot urge this, as thou know'st. Such speech To her would be misplaced, but I will give My mother, if she will consent to listen, The counsels most conformable with wisdom." They went together to the moonlike dame - The peerless Rustam and benignant Shah, Who said to her: "Thou memory of my sire, In good and ill my refuge! I may govern, But thou art Shah to me. Thou know'st the toil And travail of the army in this war, How many of our mighty men have perished In battle with furan! I mean to send A host with Rustam son of Zal as chief, While Fariburz will lead the van, and Rustam Himself be champion. He would have thee be The wife of Fariburz. What is thy pleasure Therein? Be greatness and all good thy mates." On hearing this she thought about old times, Distressed and vexed at heart; at length in tears She said: "I blame not Rustam; if I did It would be misplaced now, for only heaven Can say him nay when he requesteth aught." Then Rustam said to her: "O dame of dames, Extolled for spotless worth! Oh! may thy foes All perish! Thou, may be, wilt hear my counsel. Thou knowest that a woman cannot rest Without a spouse, the young without the young, And best of all a mate of Kaian race, For man is for the woman's sake, and she Is far more eager than her spouse for her. Victorious Fariburz son of Kaus, Fit for the crown, the lustre of the throne, |p148 The brother and the peer of Siyawush, Is ruler of the more part of Iran; The peopled land and desert both are his. By leave, advice, and order of the Shah Do I approve thee as the prince's spouse. What sayest thou? Is he approved by thee? Doth Fariburz appear a fitting mate? Thou wilt do well to hearken to my words Heed what I tell thee and the Shah's advice." The Shah of ladies held her peace awhile In grief, ashamed to speak before her son, Then sighing deeply answered Rustam thus:- "O full of prowess, leader of the folk Although there is none like him in Iran He cannot take the place of Siyawush; Yet is my tongue, as thou mayst say, in fetters By reason of thy words, O paladin! What doth the famous monarch now command? I must be girded to perform his will." Thus, blushing like the roses in the spring, The monarch's mother gave consent. The matter, Since Rustam was so instant; was soon sped They called the archmages and drew up the contract. Then Fariburz became Shah's sire-in-law, And being franked by Kai Khusrau and Rustam Increased his quality and dignity, And gained a robe of honour and new crown. Three days prepared, the fourth achieved, the business, Then Rustam with his gallant warriors Fared toward the plain, while Fariburz with troops Went in advance, resplendent as a star In heaven. Arose the din of clarions, |p149 And matchless Rustam led his army forth. The Shah, the world-lord, with his mind all care, Fared with him for two leagues, while Rustam turned Two stages into one upon his way, And rested not at all by night or day. Par. 17 How Tus saw Siyawush in a Dream One night, about the hour of drum-beat, Tus, Heart-seared and full of trouble, slept and dreamed That from the deep a radiant lustre rose About an ivory throne, and Siyawush Thereon with Grace and crown, with smiling lips And tongue fair-spoken, turned a sun-like face Upon him. "stay the Iranians here," he said, "For thou shall conquer in the fight. Lament not The kindred of Gudarz, for there is here A rosary all new, and we will quaff; How long we wot not, underneath its blooms." With joyful heart released from pain and grief Tus woke. Then to Gudarz: "World-paladin! I have beheld a vision in my sleep! Take note that Rustam like a rushing wind Will come anon!" He bade the pipes to sound, The troops upon the mountain left their posts, The warriors of Iran girt up their loins, And set up Kawa's standard, while Piran Upon the other side led forth his powers; The dust-clouds dimmed the sun; its eye was dazed By warriors' shouts and by the rain of arrows. The two hosts met, but not a champion showed Before the lines. Human said to Piran:- "We must attack. Why hesitate? The troops |p150 Are not out hunting. Man and beast bear weight." Piran said: "Peace! 'Tis not the time for haste Or argument. Yestreen from yonder lines, And unawares, three with a paltry force Assailed us, hungry lions they, we sheep Whom cold is driving from the mountain-tops. I found the whole plain. like a stream of blood, And famous heads laid low. The Iranians hold A barren rock, their chargers sniff at thorns Like musk. Wait till they burn upon the crags, And die resourceless. Leave no way to pass, Side, front, or rear-ward. Since without your fighting The foe will come to hand, why change delay For haste? Why should we fight? Ten horse will serve As scouts upon the plain. Wait we until Our foes lack food and drink, and ask for quarter. Unless they can subsist on thorns and flints When provand faileth they will take to them And die." They left the field, went to their tents, And scouts were posted while the warriors loosed Their belts and turned to sleep and banqueting. The chieftain Tus went also to his camp, With full heart and with cheeks of ebony, And thus addressed Gudarz: "Affairs grow dark; The fortunes of the Iranians are distraught. Troops compass us, our beasts' feed is all thorny, And food is not o'er-plenteous with the host Unsheathe at dawn. Rank on the mountain-skirts. If our good star prove helpful it will give us Our will upon our foes, while if the Judge Of heaven shall end us with the scimitar, No more or less can hap than His decree, So measure not your breaths in your dismay. Death too with high renown is goodlier |p151 Than life with fear and overthrow." They closed With what their fortune-favoured chief proposed. Par. 18 Afrasiyab sent the Khan and Kamus to help Piran When from the sign of Cancer Sol reached out, And rent the musk-hued Veil, a messenger Came from the monarch to Piran and said:- "Troops throng from every side - a host whose dust Would make a desert of the sea of Chin Upon the battle-day. A chief is there From Ma wara 'u'n-Nahr; his head is raised O'er circling heaven; a hundred lions' strength Is his; he quelleth mighty elephants! In height a cypress and in looks a moon, A potentate whose toys are crowns and thrones, Kamus, this chief of chiefs, will have his will Upon Gudarz and Tus. The troops comprise All those that dwell 'twixt Sipanjab and Rum. I reckon first the Khan of Chin, whose crown Is heaven, his throne the earth, next brave Manshur, Whose falchion layeth warriors' heads in dust, And next Kaimus, the swordsman of Kashain, Whose eyes ne'er saw defeat. His works all prosper; When he is wroth he bringeth blast and snow." Piran harangued the army of Turan, And said: "Ye chiefs and warriors of the king Rejoice ye, young and old! at this good news, dent by the king, and be ye bright of soul; Now must we wash the trouble from our hearts I will not leave Irun field, fell, or crop. The pains and troubles of the king are over In seeking vengeance and arraying troops, |p152 And ye shall see Afrasiyab supreme By land and sea, at home and in Iran." From those approaching powers fresh messengers Kept coming to the captain of the host With joyful news: "O famous paladin Live glad and bright of soul for evermore. Be thy heart joyful to behold these kings, And may thy soul cease troubling. From Kashmir All, till thou comest to the river Shahd, Is elephants and litters, flags and troops, While from Saklab Kundur the lion-man Is coming with that warring Heaven Biward Of Kait, with Garcha from Sagsar, Shangul From Hind. Flags fill the air and swords the earth. Chaghan hath sent Fartus, the Light of hosts, Gahan hath sent Gahar, who scorcheth heroes, With Shamiran of Shakn, first of the age, Who scattereth poison with his spear and sword. Now lift thy head and take thy pleasure here, For this glad news would make an old man young." Piran laughed out with all his heart and soul, Thou wouldst have said: "He that was dead reviveth! " Thus spake he to Htiman: "I will go forth To meet them. They have had a longsome march, Equipped for fight and full of care. They hold Their heads as high as loth Afrasiyab, For they have treasure, lustre, throne, and state. I will go forth and see what men they are, How many, with what chiefs and warriors, Will do obeisance to the Khan of Chin, And kiss the ground before his throne withal I will behold Kamus, the exalted one, And find Tus an opponent in Shangul. Returning hither I will gird myself To rob the Iranians of the breath of life, And, if they cannot hold their own, will make |p153 Day dark and strait to them. I will secure With heavy bonds about their feet and necks Those that survive among the Iranian chiefs, And then dispatch them to Afrasiyab, Not taking rest or sleep till it be done, Behead the common soldiers that I capture, Burn them, commit their ashes to the winds, And take no thought about the place again. Then will I part our army into three, And darken the Iranian monarch's day. I will dispatch one army unto Balkh, And make day bitter to the Iranians, Another to Kabulistan and bring Kabul the ashes of Zabulistan, And lead the third compact of mighty Turkmans And Lions 'gainst Iran. I will spare none, Not women, little children, young or old, But overthrow Iran, both field and fell. May not a hand or foot be left to them! But till I order matters seek not fight." Thus spake Piran and went with wreakful heart; Thou wouldst have said: "His very skin hath burst." Human said to the troops: "Away with care! - For two days let us labour but to keep Watch on Mount Hamawan, for fear our foes Steal off by night just when our flags will fill Completely road, plain, valley, stream, and hill." Par. 19 How the Khan of Chin came to Hairtawan Piran on reaching his allies beheld The plains and valleys full of horses' hoofs. The tents and tent-enclosures filled the world With red and yellow, blue and violet. |p154 Amidmost each enclosure was a standard Wrought of brocade of Chin and painted silk. He stood amazed and asked himself in wonder:- "Is this a paradise, or banquet-hall, The starry heaven, or orbit of the moon?" He came afoot and kissed the ground before The Khan, who, seeing him, embraced him, marvelled At such a chest and neck, much greeted him, Made much of him, set him upon the throne, And said: "Oh! well is me that I should sit In such good spirits by the paladin! " He then asked: "Of the army of Iran Who hath the signet, and who hath the crown? What troops have they? Who are their warriors, And wherefore sit they on the mountain-top?" Piran replied: "O monarch! live for ever, And may the Maker bless thee who hast joyed Thy slave's heart with thy questions. Through thy fortune I am both well and happy, and my soul Desireth but the dust upon thy feet. The king inquireth of the Iranians They have no signet, diadem, or throne, And, having longed for war beyond all measure, Are left with only rocks to gaze upon; For foiled, dishonoured, and reduced in strength, They went in full flight to Mount Hamawan. Their general is Tus, a man of valour, Who feareth not a lion in the field. Their chieftains are Gudarz son of Kishwid, Giv, and Ruhham - all men of noble birth. Now by the fortune of the illustrious Khan, This is the last host that their chief shall see. They come not on the plain at battle-time, And save the flinty rocks have naught to hand." The Khan said: "Stay, and bring thy comrades too. |p155 Content of heart to-day will we quaff wine, And not anticipate." He decked the tents Like gardens in the spring: "Tis Paradise," Thou wouldst have said, "for colour and device." Par. 20 How the Iranians tool Counsel how to act Now when Sol mounted to the vault of heaven The hearts of Tus and of Gudarz grew troubled:- "Why are the Turkmans still to-day? Are they At counsel or bemused? But be they sad Or glad I look for ill! Know that if aid Hath come to them ill hap hath come to us! Consider all the Iranian troops as slain Or, if still living, fleeing from the fight. If Rustam cometh not upon the field Disaster will befall us from yon host, And we shall have no sepulture, no grave, But horses' hoofs will trample on our heads! " Giv said to Tus: "O general of the Shah What aileth thee to think upon mishap? We need not look for ill; God is thy Helper; We are His worshippers, and have broadcast Much seed of good. Such fortune hath the Shah, The lord of scimitar and throne and crown, That God will not withdraw His help from'us, And leave our enemies to work their will. With Rustam's coming all our soldiers' cares Will end. Let no man cease to trust in God Though day should turn to night. Let not thy heart Be straitened needlessly because our foes Forbear to fight one day: they have not shut Heaven's door on us. Fear not the foe's designs. |p156 If God most high ordaineth loss for us (quit vain imaginings for come it will. Let us construct a trench before the host, As warriors rise, then draw the sword, provoke A fight and slay our foes; we shall no doubt Perceive their aims and lay their secret bare. News from Iran will come and there will be Light on the boughs of our tall Cypress-tree." Par. 21 How Gudarz had Tidings of the Coming of Rustam Gudarz departed from the host and clomb The mountain-summit. From the look-out came A grievous cry: "The Iranian warriors Are ruined now! As yon bright sun declined The whole world eastward grew as dark as night With dust, which standard-bearing elephants Sent up, and through that dust the shining sun Was lustreless! " Gudarz heard that and cried:- Dark Dark earth is my sole hiding-place! " His cheeks Became as pitch, and like one arrow-pierced He cried: "My share is ever strife and battle, My lot ill-hap and bane for antidote. I had a host of sons and grandsons, men Reputed in the land, but all were slain For Siyawush, and all my luck hath gone! I hope no more from life, my day is dark! Would that my mother had not brought me forth, High heaven ne'er turned o'er me!" To the watch He said: "Long-sighted man and bright of mind! Look forth upon the hosts and see who cometh. |p157 Where is the banner of the Iranian chief? Look to our left and right." The watchman answered:- "I see no movement and reconnaissance On our side, but on theirs all is astir; Of us thou wouldest say: 'They are asleep.'" Thereat the paladin shed bitter tears, And cried in sorrow: "Saddle me my steed, Axed for the future make my bed of brick! I go to fill mine eyes and arms once more, Emrace Shidush, Bizhan, Ruhham, and Giv, Those brave, impetuous cavaliers, kiss each Farewell upon the cheek and shower tears." His gallant bay was saddled when there came The watchman's shout: "Rejoice, world-paladin! And banish care, for on the road that leadeth Toward Iran a black, day-darkening dust Ariseth; many standards like the moon Are lifted from the centre of a host; The first one bath a wolf, a moon the next, The third a dragon with a lion's head In gold upon the staff!" "Then live for ever, And may the evil eye be far from thee!" Gudarz exclaimed. "When what thou utterest To such good purpose shall be brought to pass I will bestow on thee such varied treasures That thou shaft have no need to toil henceforth. Hereafter, when we go back to Iran, . Some day, and to the monarch of the brave, I will forthwith present thee at his throne, And lift thy head above the nobles there. Now prithee leave thy look-out-post, approach Our generals, and tell what thou hast seen; Be quick; use whom thou wilt upon the road." "I may not leave the look-out for the host," |p158 The watchman said, "but when 'tis grown so dark That I can see no longer I will carry, Like the Simurgh, the tidings to the troops Down from my station here." The paladin Rejoined: "Be shrewd of heart and bright of soul. Look forth from this high mountain yet again, And see how soon they will be here." He answered:- Yon Yon host will reach Mount Hamawan to-morrow At dawn." The paladin conceived such joy As would have brought a corpse to life. Piran, For his part, swift as flying dust-clouds led Those reinforcements to the battlefield. A horseman went on first to tell at large The joyful news which when Human had heard He laughed and said: "Now surely sleepless fortune Is with us." From the field a shout of joy Rose cloud-ward from the army of Turan. The Iranian nobles full of care and pain, With faces sallow and with livid lips, Dispersed themselves upon the mountain-side To give their last instructions. Everywhere Groups gathered and bewailed themselves, and said:- "Woe for these warriors of royal race, Who are forgotten by the Iranians, For now the lions' maws will be their tombs, And earth be saturate with heroes' blood! " The chief bespake Bizhan: "Arise, explore This secret, scale the mountain-top and mark The character and number of this host. See by what road they are approaching us, |p159 What camp-enclosures and what thrones they have." Bizhan the son of Giv then went apart, And climbed the mountain's solitary peak, Saw flags and horsemen, elephants and troops On all sides, ran back to the general, With heart all pain and soul all care, and said:- "Earth's surface bath become like indigo, So many are the troops and elephants! The flags and spears pass count, the sun is dim In heaven with dust, the troops are countless, boundless, The ear is deafened by their kettledrums." Tus listened, sad at heart and face all tears, Then called to him the captains, sorely grieved About his men, and said: "Time showeth me Naught but the woes of war. I have experienced Full many a rise and fall, but never fear Like this. We have but one resource: although Our arms and troops are few we will get ready, Attack to-night, and make earth a Jihun With blood. If we shall perish in the fray There will be generals while there are kings Men shall not say: 'He died ingloriously,' Although they have to lay me in the dust." The leaders present all agreed thereto. Now when the face of earth became like pitch, When Venus, Mars, and Mercury were hidden, And when the moon rose from the Sign of Pisces, And to the navel rent the robe of night, The watchman with a face like sandarach Ran in to Tus and said: "O General! The Shah hath sent an army from Iran! " The leader Us laughed with the other chiefs, And said: "O men of name and warriors We need not now seek fight since aid hath come, We have our times for haste and for delay. The elephantine hero by God's strength |p160 Will come to our assistance with this host; Then on the Turkmans will we satisfy Our lust, and our renown shall reach the sun." They thought no more about a night-attack; The troops and leader joyed; the watchman made Their spirits bright again, and young and old Told those glad tidings. Tus sent forth his scouts, Shouts and the clang of bells rose from the mount, And all the folk, grown happy and soul-bright, Talked of the chief of paladins all night. Par. 22 How the Khan of Chin went to reconnoitre the Army of Iran Whenas the sun arrayed its host in heaven, And black night disappeared, the Khan of Chin Assembled the Turanian chiefs and warriors, And thus addressed Piran: "We will not fight To-day, and we do need a day's repose, But, while our proud chiefs and man-slaying horsemen Rest from the travail of the tedious road, And from their hurried march o'er hill and dale, I will survey the Iranians - how they fare Upon the field." Piran replied: "The Khan Is a wise king and worshipful, so let him Do what he will to-day for he is leader." There rose a clamour from the camp-enclosure With sounds of kettledrum and clarion. They mounted seats upon five elephants, Housed with brocade of Chin of turquoise hue, And broidered with gold thread. The seats themselves Were gemmed with emeralds, the fittings golden, The saddle-flaps were made of leopard-skin, |p161 And golden were bells, gongs, and rattle-boxes. The drivers' heads were decked with crowns, and all Wore torques and ear-rings. With so many flags Of painted silk the air was yellow, red, And violet like some bazar in Chin. The troops marched to the field as if to keep A feast, the earth was beauteous as the eye Of chanticleer with trappings, colours, drums, And pipes. The kings set forth, the air was filled With blare of clarions, the spearpoints gleamed, The plain was black with troops. Tus from afar Saw them and ranged in line what men he had, The warriors of Iran girt up their loins, And Giv brought Kawa's standard. From the plain Of battle to the summit of the mount The army of Iran stood troop on troop. Now when Kamus went forward with Manshur, Biward, Shangul the prescient, and the Khan To view Mount Hamawan, they never thought To face a foe, but when the Khan afar Looked forth and heard the Iranian horsemen's war-cry It pleased him and he said: "Behold a host Of men - o'erthrowing, warlike cavaliers Piran the chieftain told us otherwise, But brave men's qualities should not be hidden. The chieftain masketh the pit's mouth with brambles, And thither will his horse speed at the chase. What better is it vainly to besmirch The foemen's prowess on the day of fight? I have not looked on cavaliers and chiefs So stamped with chivalry and manliness." " Men reek not of so few," Piran replied, "Upon a field like this." " But," said the Khan, "What shall we do?" Piran said: "Thou hast fared |p162 Far over hill and dale. Let us remain Three days to rest the troops. I will divide The host; the day of fight and fear is over. Half of our warlike, glorious cavaliers Shall fall upon the foe from dawn till noon With double-pointed dart, sword, bow, and mace; And then till night ariseth from the hills The other half shall strive. At dark will I Bring up the rested troops and press the foe; We will not let them have a moment's peace - We and our eager cavaliers in arms." Kamus replied: "Not good! No such delay For me! With all these men and such strife toward Why seek so long a respite? Let us both Attack and straiten dale and height for them. Hence we will march upon Iran, will leave not Throne, crown, or diadem, lay waste all fields And fells, and act as warriors and Lions. No women, little children, old or young, No Shah, or man of rank or paladin Will I leave in Inin, no field or fell, No hall or palace or four-footed beast. Why should we pass so many evil days To get but care and grief and needless pain? But ope not to our foes a door to-night To get away. As soon as morning breatheth The troops must move. I with the king of Hind Will bear my flag up yonder height. To-morrow Thou shaft behold a heap of corpses there To make the Iranians weep that look thereon." The Khan said to Piran: "There is no course Save this: he is a peerless general." The nobles all agreed to what Kimus, The conqueror of Lions, had proposed. The conference being o'er they went their way, And passed all night in ordering their array. |p163 Par. 23 How Fariburz reached Mount Hamazvan Whenas the sun had pitched a camp-enclosure Of gold brocade upon the azure realm A loud cry from the look-out reached Gudarz "O captain of the host! the troops have come! They are at band; Their dust hath dimmed the day:" Gudarz sprang up, had his swift charger brought, And rode toward that dark dust with anxious heart. He came. When near to them he spied the flag Of Fariburz the chief, who led the van, The well approven and the new Shah's kinsman.' Then old Gudarz alighted as withal" Did Fariburz the wise, the army's Lustre. The twain embraced. Gudarz wept tears of blood Upon his breast. "Old chief," said Fariburz, "Still forced to fight! revenge for Siyawush Hath cost thee dear! Alas! those cavaliers Gudarzian' May much good news of them Still reach thee, may the fortune of the foe Be over-turned! Praise to the Lord of sun And moon that I have seen thee safe and sound." Gudarz wept blood for those that slept in dust. "Observe," he made reply, "how evil fortune Is ever bringing evil on my head! No son or grandson hath survived this strife, No soldiers, flags, and kettledrums are left But I dismiss all thought of conflicts past; Now is the time for fighting and emprise. The troops on plain and dale have made earth like A raven's wing, so many are they, and all The host of Tus is as the one black hair |p164 Upon a white bull by comparison! The wastes and settlements of Chin, Saklab, Of Rum and Hind, can have no creature left! All must have girt themselves to fight with us But till thou tellest me where Rustam is My back will not be straightened from its griefs." " He is behind me," Fariburz replied, "Intent on war. All through the night till dawn He marcheth with all speed. Now where shall I Encamp and whither lead this little band?" Gudarz made answer: "What did Rustam say? His words should be reported." Fariburz Replied: "Illustrious one! the peerless Rustam Bade us not fight. 'Stay on the field,' he said. 'Ye must not show yourselves before the host, But take your ease until my flag appeareth. "' Then Fariburz, Gudarz in company, Marched toward Mount Hamawan right speedily. Par. 24 How Piran took Counsel with the Khan of Chin When from his look-out the Turanian watch Espied these troops he went back to the host. "Gird all your loins for fight," he told Piran, "For from Iran an army bath arrived, Advancing o'er the plain! " The general Went to the Khan of Chin, and said: "An army Is coming from Iran, how great I know not, Or who the leader is. What shall we do?" Kamus said: "Keep thyself to throe own force. Thou bast the warriors of Afrasiyab - An army like the waters of the sea - |p165 Yet what hast thou accomplished in five months Against a foe so small? Now that the earth Is full of troops led by the Khan, Manshur, And me, let us display our prowess; thou Hast locked the door but we will bring the key. Although the world's face be as silk of Chin With soldiers from Kabul, Zabul, and Hind, Yet, should I fight alone, the Irai,nians Were nothing. Thou wilt say of them: 'They are not.' Thou wouldest scare me with illustrious Rustam; Him will I slaughter first; if once I catch him His name shall not be talked of any more. Thou art oppressed and fearful of this host Approaching from Sistan, but once behold My hand in battle, when the dust-cloud riseth Upon the plain, and thou wilt recognise A hero in the world, what brave men are, And what fight is." Piran said: "Live for ever! May evil's hand be always far from thee. Enough! may what thou sayest be fulfilled, And no one prove thine equal." Said the Khan:- "Thou bast allowed Kamus to lead the attack; He will perform his word, for he hath Mountains As his allies and Elephants for mates. Daunt not the troops, for these Irinians Are no great matter, and I will not leave One noble in Iran, but send up dust From hill and vale; as for the men of worship, I will dispatch them to Afrasiyab In heavy fetters and behead the rest. We will not leave Iran a leaf, a tree, A Shah, a palace or a crown or throne." Piran with smiles did reverence to the chiefs, |p166 And to the Khan of Chin, then went rejoicing Back to the camp, where all the nobles sought him, Such as Hurnzin, Lahhak, and Farshidward - Great men and Lions on the day of battle. "A host," they said, "arriveth from Iran, Led by a sable flag; a noted scout Went forth to spy and is but now returned. They say 'tis Fariburz son of Kaus, A noble, loyal soldier." Said Piran:- "Let us dismiss our cares. In Rustam's absence We need not be afraid of Fariburz; His breath is no cure for a bane like this. But though according to Kamus indeed The elephantine Rustam is no man In war, God grant he come not though Kamus Be such a Crocodile!" Human replied: - "Why lost thou keep thy spirit dark with care? This is not he, or army from SistAn Here are the blood and dust of Fariburz." Piran said: "I have given u.p the throne And state in dudgeon with the sun and moon, For when I heard that from Iran a host Marched, and was coming to this battlefield, My brain went, anguish filled my soul and head, And from my heart I drew a chilly sigh." Kulbad said: "Why this grief? What need is there To weep because of Rustam or of Tus? With all our soldiers, maces, elephants, And scimitars we block the wind itself. Why fear then Rustam, Tus, and Kai Khusrau? What are the Iranians but as dust to us? They were dispersed in flight from yonder field, And straggled to their tents." Anon Tus heard:- |p167 The land is full of beat of kettledrum, And elephantine Rustam hath arrived With Fariburz and soldiers from Iran." He bade bring forth the drums, Mount Hamawan, Wherefrom shouts rose, grew ebon with dark dust, And earth shook underneath the trampling steeds. Then Tus harangued the troops, he spake at large About Mazandaran, what Rustam did In battle with the divs, and how he triumphed. The soldiers called down' blessings on their chief, They said: "Be ware of heart and bright of mind. We may pour out our souls at this good news, Which easeth them. When peerless Rustam cometh Yon host will not withstand the Crocodile. Then will we battle on this mount forthwith To cast this shame off from the Iranians. The standard of the illustrious Khan, the crown, The golden shields, and throne of ivory, His elephant-attendants' crowns of gold, Their golden girdles and their golden torques, Their golden cymbals and their golden bells, Unmatched on earth, his jewelled parasol Of peacocks' tails, these will we seize, and more, When we arc fighting with our lives at stake." Tus said: "We are exposed to fear and blame; Our foes surround the mount, our nobles' heads Are snared. When Rustam cometh he will speak Upbraidingly, not asking what bath chanced, And say: 'Thou writ a bird caught in a net; The cause was sodden but the fight was raw. As with the general so with the host I have not seen one eager for the fray!' So let us charge like lions, and the foe May yet be shifted on this side the mount." The troops replied to him: "Soar not so high. Refrain from words like these, let none advance |p168 Till Rustam bath surveyed the scene of strife. We will make prayer to God, the Guide to good. By His command, Who holdeth sun and moon, The matchless Rustam will approach this field. Why have disaster for thy star? Bestow Dinars and drachms upon the poor." The troops Raised shouts of joy upon the mountain-top As merrily they sought their place of rest, Each man to spend the night as seemed him best. Par. 25 How Giv and Tus fought with Kurds When Sol laid hand on Taurus, and the larks Began to carol o'er the plain, a shout Ascended from the encampment of Kamus, That man-o'erthrowing chief who led the van. He massed his troops and gave out mail; his heart Was full of fight, his head of vapouring. He changed his robe for armour, donned a helm Instead of crown, a breastplate for a tunic, And chose troops panoplied in steel and iron. The armies' dust began to show itself, Men could not see their way for scimitars And coats of mail. Then from the Iranian look-out A shout rose: "On our side a host hath come; The standard of the elephantine chief Is visible behind it. On the other Turanian troops have clouded all the air. Their leader is a horseman like a rock, And earth is shaken by his charger's hoofs. His mace's head is like a buffalo's; Troops follow him and spearmen lead the way. |p169 Thou well mayst muse at one that shouldereth A mace like that! " On his side Tus sent up The drum-roll to the clouds, he heard the watchman, His soul grew bright, he joyed, while from Gudarz A horseman sped to Fariburz to say:- "The army of Turan arrayed for battle Is near at hand. They must not in full force Assail us scattered thus and overthrow us. Act as thy nature biddeth, for thou art A noble and Shah's son. The dust of Rustam Is rising from the road, and lie is entering The field." Then Fariburz joined force with Tus And Giv. They ranged the host on Hamaw an, And raised the glorious flag. All being ready, Right, left, and centre, rear and baggage-train, The clarions blared and all the host came on As 'twere the starry sky; so when Kamus Advanced to fight he had no need to wait, But, like a river speeding down a height, Led on his troops and fronted Hamawan. Air was like indigo and earth was hidden. When he was near he faced toward the mount, And with his cheeks all smiles addressed his powers:- "It is a coward's business to oppose The Iranians, yet a vast, brave host is here And not Piran, Human, and all that crew! What champion have they to contend with me?" Then shouting to Mount Hamawan he cried:- "Ye lion-men upon the day of battle! Behold my breast, my stature, and my bearing, This arm of mine, this sword and mace! " Then Giv, On hearing, flared up, raged, and drew his sword, But said, when he drew nearer to Kamus:- |p170 "None but a furious elephant can match him! " He took and strung his bow, he called on God, The Giver of all good, and showered arrows From bow like clouds in spring upon Kamus, Who, when he marked Giv's mastery, concealed His own head 'neath his shield, and with his lance Charged wolf-like. Air was full of dust, and earth Of death. On drawing near his foe he speared Giv's waist, who reeled and, as he reeled, Kamus Plucked out his own sword, shouted, raged, proclaimed His name, came grimly on the cavalier, And clave his lance obliquely like a pen. Tus from the centre saw the fight with grief, And thought: "Giv is not man enough; I only Can wield a spear like that." He left the centre With shouts to succour Giv and join the fray. Kamus wheeled, rode between the chiefs, and struck The steed of Tus a sword-blow on the neck; That prince's face became like ebony. The charger fell, the gallant rider rose; Then like a roaring lion took his stand, And on the battlefield with spear afoot Contended with Kamus before the hosts. Two noble warriors fought one cavalier; He of Kashan was still insatiate! Thus, till the sun's place darkened, all the field Was in confusion and, when it grew ebon, Kamus and Tus gave o'er. The hosts again Went to their several camps on mount and plain. Par. 26 The Coming of Rustam Now when heaven's sphere grew void of sun and moon, And when the scouts came forth from both the hosts, |p171 The watcher in the look-out loosed his tongue "The plain is full of dust, the night is dark, The level and the upland ring with cries, And there are many lights among the troops. Good sooth! the elephantine chief hath come, And with an army from Zabul." Gudarz, On hearing this, descended mid the murk The rocks in haste, the dragon-standard shone Though night was dark and earth was violet-dim. He lighted from his steed, while Rustam too Alighted and advanced like rushing wind. The twain embraced and from them both arose A bitter cry o'er those Gudarzian chiefs, And that gain-seeking which had proved a loss. Gudarz said: "Brave, wise, ardent paladin! Both crown and throne receive their light from thee, And what thou utterest is truth indeed. More art thou to the Iranians than father And mother, treasure, throne, and precious stones. Without thee we are fish on land, our heads Are petrified, our bodies in the grave. When I observed thy goodly countenance, Thine eager salutations and thy love, I grieved no longer for the dear ones gone; Through thy good fortune only smiles remained." Then Rustam answered him: "Be glad of heart, And very heedful of thy noble self, Because the world is but deceit and toil, It showeth thee its wealth and that is all. One man is rich, another poor; this man Is honoured, that despised, but all must go, There is no remedy; I know no worse Q Calamity than death, but may that pang Afflict not thee, and may we all die fighting:' |p172 When Tus, Giv, and those valiant warriors, The Iranian cavaliers, had heard the news Of Rustam's coming to Mount Hamawan, And being seen by veteran Gudarz, They went like wind, shouts rose, and clarions blared. The soldiers and the chiefs approached afoot, Their loins were girded but their hearts at ease. They raised a cry of anguish for those slaughtered Amid the dust of fight; the heart of Rustam Was moved; he girt himself anew for vengeance; Then, hearing what had chanced in that campaign, Lamented all the sufferings of the troops, And gave much counsel, saying: "Ye chiefs! to-day A grave strife faceth us, and war's result Is feast to one and funeral to another." That warrior, that Lustre of the world, Set up his camp-enclosure while his powers Encamped behind him on Mount Hamawan, And raised their leader's standard. Mighty Rustam Sat on the throne and all the chiefs assembled. Here sat Gudarz and Giv, there Tus and others, While Rustam, with a lamp in front of him, Discoursed at large of matters great and small, How chiefs and troops had fought, and whether now Bright sun and shining moon would favour them. The chiefs spake to the gallant paladin Of that innumerable host of foes, Spake of Kamus, Shangul, the Khan of Chin, Manshur, and of the warriors of Turan:- "About Kamus himself we cannot speak, For we have had no means of seeing him. He is a Tree whose Fruits are mace and sword, And, though the clouds rained stones upon his head, He would not flee from elephants of war His head is full of wreak, his heart of strife. |p173 Earth is not able to contain Manshur; No warrior ordereth a host like him; And from this mountain to the river Shahd Stretch flags and litters, elephants and troops, Whose helmets and cuirasses pass compute. Grim are the looks of all upon the plain, Which is a mass of tents, around are pitched The tent-enclosures of brocade of Chin, And had the captain and the host not come All had been lost. Praise to the Lord of victory, Who thus bath put a period to our stress Past doubt we live through thee; we,all despaired Of respite." For a while the paladin Grieved for the slain, wept, and grew dark of soul, Then said: "Look from the orbit of the moon Down to the gloomy face of sombre earth; All is distress and anguish, care and toil. Such is the manner of this Wayside Inn, Such is the manner of the circling sky - Whiles strife and poison, and whiles sweets and love' We die by nature or by violence; 'Tis better not to mark the why and how, For all must go as soon as time is up. Blame not the circling of the sky. Now may The all-victorious World-lord be our aid, And may our foemen's fortunes be o'erthrown. Henceforward we will take our full revenge, And rid the world of foes." The mighty men Praised him and said: "Live ever famed and glad With signet, crown, and sword, and never be The court of Kai Khusrau bereaved of thee." |p174 Par. 27 How the Iranians and Turanians arrayed their Hosts When o'er the hills the world-illumer shone, When day seized on the two dark curls of night, And, having cast aside its pitchy weeds, Bit with its teeth the moon's lips till they bled, The sound of drums rose from the camp-enclosures, The warriors came forth. Human the chieftain Went out to reconnoitre every side, And thought: "what reinforcement have the Ininians To need those tents and those pavilions?" He saw a camp-enclosure of brocade Of turquoise hue with many slaves about, And in its front a general's flag and spear It seemed to him that fortune had changed sides. He saw another army's camp-enclosure With flags as bright as moons, for Fariburz, Son of Kaus, with elephants and drums Had pitched near Tus. Human in deep concern Went to Piran and said: "To-day is wedded To heavy toil. The Irinians' cries and clamour Were greater yesternight than heretofore; So went I forth alone from camp at dawn, And viewed the foe on all sides. From Iran A mighty host hath come to succour them. Now one pavilion is of green brocade; Its standard hath a dragon for device, And soldiers from Zabul are round about With bucklers and with falehions of Kabul. I think that Rustam, sent forth by the Shah, Hath come with reinforcements to the field." Piran made answer: "'Tis an evil time! If Rustam taketh part in this campaign He will not spare Kamus, the Khan of Chin, |p175 Shangul or any warrior of Turan." With that he left the camp and going forth Observed the forces of the foe, and thence Came hurrying to Kamus, came to Manshur And to Fartus, and said: "I went this morn, And made the circuit of the Iranian host. Great reinforcements have arrived and chiefs Both numerous and eager for the fray. Methinketh too that elephantine Rustam, Of whom I spake before the company, Hath come to succour them, all bent on vengeance, Straight from the Shah." "O wise one!" said Kamus, "Thy heart produceth naught but ill surmise. Know thou that Kai Khusrau hath come to war, But do not therefore vex thy heart in vain. Why harp so much on Rustam? Name no more Zabulistan. If he beholdeth me With flag in hand his heart will mourn at fight. Go thou, array the host, lead forth the troops, And bring the standards to the battlefield. When I go forth to combat with the host Ye must not loiter. Now shaft thou behold The combating of men. The wilderness Shall be a sea of blood:' The paladin Rejoiced to hear and ceased to fret at Rustam. He came with joyful heart and resolute, And bathed his spirit in the stream of valour. He gave out helms and mail to all the troops, And kept in mind the language of Kamus, Then going to the Khan he kissed the ground, And said to him: "O monarch, live for ever May wisdom feed upon thy thoughts. The way That thou hast trod was long and difficult; Thou boughtest toil, foregoing feasts for us, |p176 And to do reverence to Afrasiyab Hast crossed the sea. Our soldiers' backs are straightened By thee. Now act as native worth requireth, Bedeck the elephants with bells and gongs, And stun the world with blare of clarions. To-day I make the attack; do thou remain At the army's centre with the elephants And kettledrums, keep guard upon my rear, And help to raise my helmet to the clouds. Kamus said thus to me: 'Lead thou the van,' And brandishing his mace swore many oaths, And said: 'I will not fight save with this mace To-day though stones should shower from the clouds.'" The Khan on hearing bade the clarions sound Thou wouldst have said: "The very dust hath feet!" Both earth and heaven shook at the Cymbal-din, And put all love away. He gave command To set a litter on an elephant, And earth's face seemed like indigo. He reached In state the army's centre, and the sky Was like a dark cloud with the flying dust. There was a sound of gongs and Indian bells, And thou hadst said: "Men's hearts are in their mouths!" The many turquoise thrones upon the backs Of elephants and that blue sea of flags Took all the lustre from the eyes of men, And none possessed his soul in quietude. Dust filled the eyes and gullet of the sky Thou wouldst have said: "Its face is smeared with pitch! " Now when the Khan had reached the army's centre The moon went erring from its way in heaven. The right led by Kamus was like a mountain; |p177 They took the baggage-train toward the waste. Piran went toward the left wing, and with him There went Human his brother and Kulbad. When Rustam saw the movements of the Khan He too arrayed his troops, bade Tus bind on The drums and dress the army like the eye Of chanticleer. He said: "We shall behold O'er whom the heaven turneth in its love, What are the revolutions of the sky, And which of these great men hath lived his time. I loitered not, Rakhsh made three stages one, But now his hoofs are tired; he is o'erwrought By march and toil. I dare not tax his strength By going forth myself as challenger; Assist me then to-day and work your will Upon the foe." The captain of the host Struck up the fifes and drums; the war-cry rose, And trumpet-blare. Gudarz drew up the right, And sent the baggage to Mount Hamawan, While Fariburz arrayed the left; the world Seemed all a reed-bed! At the army's centre Was Tus son of Naudar. Earth was all dust, And air all storm, so that the world was hidden; The warriors could not even see themselves The mighty Rustam climbed the heights to view The Khan and army of Turan; he saw A host so mighty that the sea of Rum Seemed but a lump of wax compared to them The troops were from Kashan and Shakn and Wahr, With divers coats of mail and divers helms, Troops from Chaghan and Chin, Saklab and Hind, Gahan and Rum, Sind and the Indus-banks. In every quarter there were alien tongues, Strange flags and meats! What with the elephants, |p178 The adornments of the thrones of ivory, The armlets and tiaras, torques and crowns, The world was like the garth of Paradise - A goodly but terrific spectacle He stood astonied on the height and thought:- "When will the sky show love to us again? What will the next jest of old heaven be?" He gat down from the mount but lost not heart, Went not before the army and its chief, But said: "Since first I girt me ne'er have I Dwelt anywhere a year, and I have seen Full many a host, but greater never saw." He bade advance the drums, and Tus the general Marched from the mountain to the plain to battle, Prepared to dip his wreakful spear in blood. They marched till noon, then ranked them two leagues long, The daylight vanished in the army's dust, The sun divided not 'twixt night and day, The air was dark with spears and javelins, The sun became confounded, and the din Of horsemen and of horses on the plain Rose over Mars and Saturn. Rocks of flint Fled at the horsemen's shouts and crash of axes, Both sword and forearm reddened o'er with blood, The ground groaned underneath the horses' shoes The body of the coward lost all heart, While brave men turned their mail to winding-sheets. Kamus addressed the host: "Since we must tread The sky to-day, bring all your lassos, maces, And swords upon this glorious battlefield. The aspirant's head beneath the stones will lie Unless he quit himself with valiancy." |p179 Par. 28 How Rustam fought with Ashkabus A warrior named Ashkabus, whose voice Was like a kettledrum's, came forth to challenge The Iranians, bent to lay some foeman's head In dust. He cried: "Which of you famous men Will come to fight with me, that I may make His blood to flow in streams?" Ruhham on hearing Sent up his battle-cry, stormed like the sea, Took up his bow - the horseman's ambuscade - And showered arrows on that famous chief, But he was clad in panoply of steel, And arrows were like wind upon his tunic. Ruhham then raised his massive place. The hands Of both grew weary, but Ruhham's mace failed Upon the other's helm, much as he sought To deal a fatal blow, till Ashkabus, His heavy mace in hand, while earth seemed iron And heaven ebony, smote brave Ruhham Upon the helm and smashed it, who thus worsted Wheeled round and sought the heights. Tus at the centre Raged and spurred forth to go at Ashkabus, But matchless Rustam said to him in wrath:- "Ruhham's fit comrade is a bowl of wine. He holdeth swords as playthings in his cups, And vaunteth of himself among the brave; Now whither hath he gone, who was a match For Ashkabus, with cheeks like sandarach? Keep in the army's centre - thy fit place - And I will fight afoot." He slung his bow Upon his arm, stuck arrows in his belt, |p180 And shouted, saying: "O thou man of war Throe adversary cometh: go not back." He of Kashan laughed in astonishment, Then checked his steed and, calling to his foe, Said, laughing still, to him: "What is thy name, And who will mourn thee when thy head is off?" The peerless Rustam answered: "Hapless one! Why askest thou my name among the folk? My mother called me by this name - 'Thy death!' Fate made me for the hammer of thy helm:" He of Kashan replied: "Without a horse Thou givest up thyself to slaughtering! " Then peerless Rustam: "Senseless challenger! Hast thou ne'er seen foot-soldiers lay proud heads Beneath the stones? Do lions, crocodiles, And leopards fight on horseback in thy country? Now I, foot-soldier as I am, will teach Thee how to fight, O mounted warrior Tus for this purpose sent me forth afoot That I might get a horse from Ashkabus. He of Kashan like me will foot it then, And all will laugh at him. Afoot one man Is worth three hundred cavaliers like thee Upon this plain, this day, and in this fight." He of Kashan inquired: "Where are thine arms? I see not aught but mockery and jests." Quoth Rustam: "Thou shah see the bow and arrows Whereby thy life shall end." He marked the pride Of Ashkabus in his fine steed, and shot An arrow at its breast; the charger fell Headforemost. Rustam laughed and cried aloud:- "Sit by thy noble comrade! Prithee nurse Its head and rest thee from the fight awhile." Then Ashkabus, his body quivering, His face like sandarach, strung up his bow, |p181 And showered shafts on Rustam, who exclaimed:- "In vain thou weariest thy wicked soul, Throe arms, and body." Choosing from his girdle A shaft of poplar wood he drew it forth Bright-pointed, feathered with four eagle-plumes; Then took his bow of Chach in hand and set His thurnbstall to the deer-hide string; he straightened His left arm, curved his right; the bent bow sang; The shaft's point reached his ear; the deer-hide hummed; The shaft's point bussed his finger and its notch Was at his back; he loosed and struck the breast Of Ashhabus; the sky kissed Rustam's hand; Then destiny cried: "Take! " and fate cried: "Give!" The heavens cried: "Excellent! " the angels: "Good: " He of Kashan expired, thou wouldst have said:- His His mother never bare him! " Both the hosts Beheld that fight. Kamus marked with the Khan The lofty stature, strength, and fire of Rustam, And, when he had withdrawn, the Khan dispatched A cavalier, who drew the arrow forth All bloody to the plumes! They passed it round And thought it was a spear! The Khan's heart aged When he beheld the feathers and the point. He spake thus to Piran: "Who is this man? What is his name among the Iranian chiefs? 'They are a paltry remnant,' were thy words, 'Not on a par with men of high degree,' Whereas their arrows are like spears! A mountain Hath little heart to fight them; thou didst make The matter small indeed, but throe account Was false throughout! " " None know I of this class, " Piran replied, "within the Iranian host, |p182 None who can send his arrows through a tree-trunk, Nor know I what this miscreant's aims may be. The men possessed of stature, Grace, and prowess Among the Iranian host are Tus and Giv, And in the fight Human bath often made The world as black as ebony to Ttis. I know not who is this Iranian, Or who among our troops will prove his match; But I will go and ask among the tents; We will make out his name at all events." Par. 29 How Piran held Converse concerning the Coming of Rustam Piran went full of care and pale of face To ask the chiefs. Human the valiant said:- Wise Wise men do not depreciate their foes. The nobles of Iran are in good heart; 'They would break iron,' thou may'st say; and now That reinforcements reach them from Iran They raise their war-cry on the battlefield." Piran replied: "Whatever cavalier Shall come forth from Iran to succour Tus We need not fear if Rustam be away. I shall not break my heart about Ruhham Or yet about Gurgin; for be assured That saving Tus they have no warrior; Gurgfn and Fariburz match not Kamus. Each soldier of our host too, with so great A fight in view, will seek his own renown." Thence sped he to Kamus, went to Manshur And to Fartus, and said: "To-day was fought A great fight and a Wolf showed 'mongst the Sheep! See to the cure and who hath shown himself So harmful in the infliction of these wounds." |p183 Kamus replied: "Our fight to-day was such That fame was turned to shame since Ashkabus Was slain therein while Giv and Tits rejoiced. My heart was riven at this man on foot Because our troops were panic-stricken at him. He is the tallest man on earth, we have not One in the host to fight him. Thou didst see His bow; the shaft is here. A savage lion Hath not his strength; he surely is the warrior, The man of Sigz, of whom thou spakest oft, And he hath come upon the field afoot, Come to give succour to the Iranian host." Piran replied:- " He is not like this one, But an exalted cavalier and hero." Kamus, whose wary heart was all intent Upon the matter, said: "Describe to me How fareth on the field that lion-man. What knowledge Bast thou of his height and strength? What language holdeth he with chiefs in fight? What sort of man is he, and what his aspect? On what wise shall I go to combat with him, For if he be the one that hath arrived I take the field myself?" Piran replied:- "Forbid it, heaven! that Rustam should come hither, And purpose fight! Thou wouldest see a hero, Tall as a cypress, and with Grace and beauty, From whom Afrasiyab on many a field Hath turned with tears; a warrior-liege is he, The first to draw the scimitar, and fighteth In wreak for Siyawush his foster-child. No one can wield his arms though many try. In battle, when he girdeth up his loins, His body hath a savage lion's strength. No crocodile can lift his mace when dropped In fight; his bow-string is of lion-hide; |p184 His arrows, shaft and point, weigh ten sitir. If any flint-rock should encounter him 'Twould turn to wax or something softer still. He weareth, when he goeth forth to battle, Chain-mail, and buckleth o'er it his cuirass, And over that a garb of leopard-skin. 'Babr-i-Bayan' he calleth it; 'tis more Than tunic and cuirass to him, not burning With lire and wetting not with water. He Hath wings when wearing it. The steed whereon He rideth is, thou wouldst say, Mount Bistun In motion, ever neighing in the fight, And making sparks fly out of dust and stone; But, wondrous as he is, it well may be That thou wilt hold him not a man in battle, And 'tis not strange that thou art worshipful Who hast such limbs and shoulders, neck and arms." Whenas Kamus, the man so prudent, heard He gave his eyes and ears up to Piran, Whose words in Booth proved grateful. All afire He answered: "Paladin! be shrewd of heart And bright of mind. Propose what oaths thou wilt - Oaths such as kings of wakeful fortune take - And I will swear a greater oath to thee, One that will cheer thy wounded heart, that I, In His strength Who is Master of the sun, Will not take off the saddle from my steed Till I have made thy spirit glad and bright, And this world as a needle's eye to them." Piran called many blessings down on him, And said: "Shrewd-hearted king who sayest Booth! We are in all things subject to thy will, Which leaveth little of the fray to us." Piran then went the circuit of the host, And, visiting the enclosures and the tents, Apprised the Khan and all of these events. |p185 Par. 30 How the Iranians and Turunians set the Battle in Away Whenas the air glowed with the setting sun, And dark night 'gan to stalk athwart the sky, The warriors of the army of Turan, The men of wisdom and the scimitar, Came in a body to the Khan's pavilion, Full of revenge and fight - the lion-man Kamus, the conqueror of elephants, Manshur the brave, the arbiter of battle, With Shamiran from Shakn, Shangul from Hind, The king of Sind and from Saklab Kundur. They all advised at large about the war, And spake much of Iran, till all agreed That they must wash their hands in blood, then parted, Each to his tent, for rest or pleasure there; But when the moon, then slender grown and humped, Left the dark chevelure of gloomy night, And, being in the presence of the sun, Arose with watery looks and bathed its cheeks, The soldiers of both hosts began to stir, And, as their shouts arose, the Khan of Chin Exclaimed: "We must not hesitate to fight As yesterday we did and had to deem Piran - the man most needful - non-existent. Far have we marched with succours to this war, And if we slack to-day as yesterday We shall disgrace our name for manliness. To-morrow too Afrasiyab will praise us, And we may rest. Attack we then in force, And mountain-like advance against our foes; The nobles of ten provinces are here, We must not sleep or feast." The mighty men |p186 Arose and said: "The conduct of the host Is thine to-day. Thine are the realms of Chin And of the Turkmans. Mark thou here to-day How scimitars shall shower from darksome clouds!" On his side Rustam thus harangued the troops:- The The time hath come; if we have lost a few There is but one in several hundred slain; Let not your hearts be straitened; for my part I will not live except with fame and honour. With cheeks like ebony the Turkman troops Withdrew from Ashkabus, so fill ye, all! Your hearts with vengeance, frown, ye cavaliers! For I have put the shoes on Rakhsh to-day, And on him will incarnadine my sword. Be instant for to-day we start afresh, And all the earth is now the treasury Of Kai Khusrau. Arm for the strife. Win crowns And earrings. Purses shall ye have of me, Gifts from Zabul and turbans from Kabul:' The mighty blessed him: "Ne'er may crown and signet Lack thee! " He donned his armour and went forth With confidence upon the battlefield. He put his chain-mail under his cuirass, And over it he donned Babr-i-Bayan. He wore a helmet wrought of steel of Chin - One to make foemen meditate on death. He girded up his loins by God's command, And mounted Rakhsh like some mad elephant. The heavens were confounded at his mien, Earth darkened where his charger's hoofs were seen. |p187 Par. How Alwa was slain by Kamus The drums and trumpets sounded from both hosts, No room remained for guile or grammarye; The mountains and the plains were all a-quake, The earth was troubled by the tramp of steeds. Kamus commanded the Turanian right, Behind him were the mighty elephants And baggage. On the left the lord of Hind Stood clad in mail, a Ruman sword in hand, And in the centre was the Khan of Chin. The sky grew dark, the earth shook. Fariburz, Like Sol irradiant in Aries, Commanded on the left wing of Iran. Gudarz, son of Kishwad, encased in steel, Was on the right, and in the centre Tus, Son of Naudar, in front were drums and clarions. From all parts of the host a shout arose - A shout which rent the ears of elephants - And e'en from water rose the fumes of fire It was a fight surpassing warriors' dreams. The first man that appeared between the lines, His heart's blood all afoam upon his lips, Was that famed chief Kamus accompanied By soldiers, elephants, and kettledrums. He, bearing in his hand an ox-head mace, Cried like a furious elephant trumpeting:- "Where is that man on foot who challengeth Illustrious heroes? Let him come and see A bow and arrow that will cost him life." The gallant warriors - illustrious Tus, Ruhham, and Giv - beheld Kamus, but none Desired to strive with him; the field remained Void of Iranian chiefs; none had the strength |p188 To fight with him for he was like a pard; They were like deer. Yet was there one, Alwa, A Zabuli, who promptly drew his sword. He used to bear the spear and guard the back Of Rustam, was a skilful cavalier, And had with liver-burning toil and trouble Acquired from him the use of arrow, mace, And spear. What said the sage, the eloquent, The ancient man? Now listen and perpend "Let not thy prowess fill thee with conceit, But look well to the ground beneath thy feet; To match a rivulet against the sea Would be a contest of insanity." Now when Alwa adventured on Kamus, Who for his part was eager for the fray, They cleared an ample space. He of Kashan Came wolf-like, with his spear unhorsed his foe With ease, then wheeled his steed and trampled o'er The fallen till the dust was red with gore. Par. 32 How Kamus was slain by Rustam The peerless Rustam grieved about Alwa, Let loose the twisted lasso from its straps, And took his massive mace as for a strife Of chiefs. He roared like some mad elephant As he advanced with lasso on his arm And mace in hand. Kamus said: "Bluster not So much about a thread of sixty coils." " The lion roareth bravely," Rustam said, "On catching sight of game. Thou wast the first To put the girdle on in this dispute, And thou hast slain a noble of Iran. Thou sayest that my lasso is a thread; |p189 Now shalt thou see how tight the knots will hold. Thy fate doth drive thee on, man of Kashan Since here no place is left thee save the dust."\ Kamus the valiant urged his dun steed on, His foe a lasso-bearing Elephant, And let out with his glittering glaive, intent To sever Rustam's head. The point alighted On Rakhsh's neck and clave the battle-mail, But failed to wound. The elephantine hero Coiled, whirled, and flung the lasso round his foe, Then spurred away and made the leather fast Beneath his thigh while Rakhsh flew eagle-like. Kamus undaunted tightly gripped his steed, Pressed firmly on the stirrups, loosed the reins, And sought by force to break the twisted thong, Becoming frantic, but the raw hide held. The elephantine hero, checking Rakhsh, Wheeled, jerked Kamus headforemost to the ground, Came up, secured him in the lasso's coils, And said to him: "Thou art not dangerous now. In vain are all thy charms and spells; thy soul Hath made a fruitless bargain with the Div." He bound his prisoner's hands behind the back, Firm as a rock, then grasped the coils, returned Afoot, his foe beneath his arm, and told The warriors: "This lover of the fray Essayed to match himself with me in strength, But 'tis the wont with this deceitful world At times to elevate, at times bring low. It causeth both our happiness and grief, And one is whiles on earth, whiles in the clouds. Now this illustrious warrior, who ever Was wont to prove the lion's match in fight, Set forth to desolate Iran, to make A den of lions of our fields and fells, And leave behind no palaces or bowers |p190 Of roses in Zabul or in Kabul. He would not lay aside that mace of his Till he had slaughtered Rustam son of Zal; But now his helm and hauberk are his shroud, His crown is dust, and his juppon the grave. On what wise do ye purpose slaying him, Because Kamus the warrior's work is done?" Then Rustam flung Kamus upon the ground Before the chiefs; the warriors left their ranks, They hacked his body with their scimitars, And drenched the stones and dust beneath with blood. Such is the course of heaven and destiny, Now causing joy, then pain and misery All is toil, anguish, trouble, and distress; Thy courage will not make it more or less. Thy body hath a load of guilt to bear, Thy spirit dwelleth in a world of care; And let not bravery thy thoughts elate, For stretched above thee is the hand of Fate. With all thy might incline to virtue's ways, And offer unto God - the Guide - thy praise. The strife with brave Kamus hath reached its goal In death when He that gave took back the soul. Now valour and revenge will fill the scene I tell the battle with the Khan of Chin. |p192 Par. 1 How the Khan of Chin had Tidings of the Slaying of Kamus Now, O enlightened sage! speak but to name God the Sustainer of heaven's circling frame, And Guide to good. Thine end of life will come, And thou wilt rest within the other borne, But first narrate again this tale of yore Told by the rustic minstrel from his store. Anon news reached the Khan: "Kamus is slain Upon the field, and day is turned to gloom And bitterness before the chiefs of Balkh, Kashan, and Shakn." All looked on one another, And asked: "Who can this prowest warrior be? What is his name? Who is he? Who can face him?" Thus to Human the Lion spake, Piran:- "My soul hath had enough of strife to-day. How shall our warriors desire to fight When our brave Crocodile bath just been slain? He was a peerless noble; not a horseman Had form more elephantine, and the man That could in battle bind him with the lasso Might well in days of fight seize by the head An elephant and dash it to the ground." |p193 The troops in sore distress about Kamus Came in a body weeping to the Khan, To whom Piran did reverence sadly, saying:- "O thou exalted o'er yon azure dome Thou bast beheld and heard how we have fared From first to last upon this battlefield. Devise a remedy for our misfortune Thyself without consulting any one. Choose from our army's spies one that can bring Hid things to light and find out who he is - This lion-hearted one for whom our host Hath not a match; then we will all face death, And fight him on the field." The Khan replied:- "'Tis what concerneth me; I fain would know The name of this pernicious paladin, Who taketh Lions in his lasso's coils; But seeing death may not be remedied, And, wishes, prayers, and vigour naught avail, For to that end we all are mother-born, And yield our necks thereto against our wills, While none escapeth turning heaven's decree, Not if he dash to earth an elephant, Let not your hearts be sorrowful for him, Who perished in the twisted lasso's coils, For with my lasso I will bring to earth The man that slew Kamus, and make Iran Run river-like with blood to glut the heart Of king Afrasiyab." He then assembled Full many a noble from the army - swordsmen And bravest of the brave - and said to them:- "As for this warrior with his archery, This lasso-flinging, hero-taking horseman, 'Tis needful that ye spy out where he is Upon the left or right wing of their host; |p194 Inquire withal about his name and land; Then will we do his business out of hand." Par. 2 How Chingish fared with Rustam A lusty cavalier - a faithful liege - By name Chingish - a seeker of renown - A man of valour and adventurous, Stepped forth and volunteered. He thus addressed The Khan: "Exalted! all the world would have Thy love. Though this man be a lion I Will make him lifeless when I take the field, Will fight him single-handed and convert The glory of Iran to infamy. I will be foremost to avenge Kamus,. And thus restore his honour after death." The Khan applauded him. He kissed the ground Before his lord, who said: "Achieve this vengeance, Bring me yon overweening head, and I Will give thee from my hoards so many gems That thou shalt never need to toil again." Chingish spurred forth swift as Azargashasp, Approached the Iranians, drew a poplar arrow, And cried: "This is my field, the heads of nobles Are in my clutch. If that bold lasso-flinger, Who useth sometimes lasso, sometimes shaft, And took Kamus, will come upon the field, His station shall be void." He roamed about, And cried: "Where is that lion-warrior?" Then Rustam with his mace bestirred himself, And straightway mounted Rakhsh. "I am," he said, "That chief-o'erthrowing, Lion-capturer, |p195 I have mace, lasso, and artillery, And now for thee, as for the brave Kamus 'Tis time to rub eyes in the dust." Chingish Rejoined: "What are thy name, thy race, and purpose That I may know whose blood I shed amid The dust of battle?" Rustam answered: "Wretch Ne'er may the tree that taketh thee for fruit Bloom in the garth. To thee my name and spear-point Are death, thy mail and helm thy winding-sheet." That insolent came wind-like, strung his bow, Which seemed a raining cloud, and said to Rustam, His mail-clad opposite: "Stay, valiant horseman Thou shalt have fight enough." The other raised His shield, perceiving that the shafts would pierce His mail. Chingish marked well that elephant-form, Tall as a straight-stemmed cypress in a garden, Beheld that steed - a Hill beneath a Hill And not aweary - thought: "To run away Is better than to bring myself to harm," And spurred his heavy-laden charger on In flight, intending to rejoin his troops; But Rustam, that bold horseman, urged on Rakhsh Like fire and followed up his noble foe. As like a furious elephant he gained Upon Chingish the plain was full of hubbub, And both the armies saw amazedly How Rustam caught the charger of Chingish And held it by the tail until the rider In terror threw himself upon the ground; His helm fell off him and he begged for life, But peerless Rustam stretched him on the dust, Struck off his head, and thought of him no more. The Iranian nobles praised their paladin, |p196 Who, glittering spear in hand, rode to and fro Between the Iranian army and the foe. Par. 3 How the Khan of Chin sent Human to Rustam Much grieved the Khan and raged at that mishap; He said thus to Human: "Now time and place Are straitened to us. Go, for thou art shrewd, And learn the name of yon great paladin." Human replied: "No anvil I or ivory In fight. Kamus the warrior had no peer For valour and discretion, so despise not The cavalier that lassoed him. I go To learn whom God will favour on this field." As swift as wind he went inside his tent, Took other helmet, flag, and horse, and changed The fashion of his mail and shield, then went, And, drawing near to Rustam, paused to scan That hero's neck and limbs, and said: "Renowned one, Brave lasso-flinger, warlike cavalier! By God, I tremble for my monarch's throne When I behold a foeman such as thou art. In this great host I see no valiant noble And chief like thee. One courting such a combat Could make the dust fly from a lion's heart! Tell me about thy country, race, and home, Inform me of thy parentage and name. I have not seen among the Iranian host A man save thee who hath the heart to fight. I love a warrior, and most of all The man that hath the teiliper of a pard; So now if thou wilt let me know thy name, Land, stock, and home, thou wilt confer a favour, For thou wilt ease my heart." |p197 The paladin Said: "Noble warrior of ardent soul! Why tell nQt thy name, country, realm, and home? Why hast thou come with this bland courtesy, And so much talk? If thou desirest peace, Not further loss in war, find him that shed The blood of Siyawush, and so involved us In all the fire of feud. Find in thy host Alike the guilty and the innocent; Find too the men, the steeds caparisoned, And goods which Siyawush took from Iran; Send all to us, and I will wish no longer To fight the Turkmans; ye shall be my friends In all, I will not speed revenge, seek strife, Or lay the heads of nobles in the dust. I will communicate with Kai Khusrau, Will purge his heart and brain of grief and vengeance, And send to hiln the culprits; he may pity them, And pardon their offence. Now will I tell thee Their names, and may their names and schemes both perish! The head of the offence was Garsiwaz, Who sought to trouble and afflict Iran; Next any that thou knowest of Tur's seed That made this Water brackish wantonly, Such as Gurwf the son of Zira, born Unjust and loveless; perish all his race! They did the injury to Siyawush, Which was the key to all these bonds of bale; Next those who wrecked their monarch's brain and heart, And made blood flow like water, also those Who had no quarrel with the Iranians, And yet have taken part in this campaign, The mighty men that are of Wisa's race, Men double-faced and pied to every one, |p198 Such as Huxnan, Lahhak, and Farshidward, Kulbad and Nastihan the lion-man. If ye accomplish this that I demand, And end our quest for vengeance, I will shut The door of our revenge upon thy country; Thou shalt not need to clothe thy breast in mail; But if thou speakest in another sense I will renew our quarrel by fresh wars, And by the life and head of great Khusrau Make reek the marches of Turan. Shangul Shall not survive nor yet the Khan of Chin, Or warrior of the country of Turan. Thou hast essayed me on this battlefield; My way and mode of fight is always this. One of the nobles of Iran am I, Wont to encounter Lions in the fray, And many heads have I removed from bodies Whose only winding-sheet was grimy dust. I ne'er have spoken on this wise before, My purpose first and last hath been revenge; Now therefore hearken to me and embrace These fair proposals." At these words Human Was sore afraid and trembled like a leaf, For hearing Rustam talk in such a strain He saw what vengeance would befall his kin, And answered: "Lion-hearted warrior With strength and form and stature such as thine Thy proper seat is on the Iranian throne. At least thou art a mighty paladin Or some redoubtable Iranian chief. Thou hast inquired about my race and name, But not accorded what I asked of thee. My name is Kuh. A warrior brave am I. My sire is Busipas - the lion - like. I have accompanied this host from far, |p199 And come a soldier to this scene of strife. Now that thou hast my name and race aright I too must ask for thine, which I require That I may make thy wishes known to all. So now if thou wilt let me know thy name' I will return rejoicing to the camp. What thou hast spoken on this battlefield Will I detail in presence of the host, And in the presence of Manshur, the Khan Of Chin, and Turkman warriors and chiefs." But Rustam said to him: "Seek not my name Say what I seemed to thee. My heart is burning With love toward Piran, because the slaughter Of Siyawush hath pierced his liver too; He is the gentlest man in all Turan. Speed him to me forthwith and we will see What time may bring." Human replied: "O great one! Then thou art eager to behold Plran! What knowest thou of him or of Kulbad, Pulad, or of Gurwi the son of Zira?" "Why ask so many questions?" Rustam said. "Try not to make a river run up-hill As for these mighty hosts, dost thou not see That if they fight or not is left to thee?" Par. 4 How Piran took Counsel with Human and the Khan Human withdrew with all his favour changed, And told Piran: "O favourite of fortune! Great ill hath come on us! This lion-heart Is Rustam of Zabul, and we may now Weep for our troops. He talked at large with me, |p200 Recalling what we each had done amiss, And I, my brother! was the first accused. He spake much of revenge for Siyawush, Of past events, of waste and settlement, Of what he purposed and of righteous dealing, About Bahram and those Gudarzians, And all that fell. His love is all for thee Of whom he spake at large with kindliness. He calleth now for thee of all this host; I know not why. Go see him spear in hand, Set like a hill upon another hill, With mail and mace and leopard-skin cuirass, Bestriding his great, furious Elephant. Then wilt thou see that I have told no lies; E'en fire receiveth brightness from his sword. He will not budge without an interview; It is for thy sake that he tarrieth thus. Bespeak him fairly when thou seest him, Draw not thy sword, and act not hastily." Piran replied: "Exalted one! I fear My time hath come. If yonder warrior Be Rustam, then this plain will be a scene Of grief for us. Our fields already burn; I know not what our evil star hath done." He went with tearful eyes before the Khan, Pierced through the liver, angry, seared at heart, And said to him: "O monarch! be not hasty, Because the case is altered with us now. Whenas Kamus the warrior's time had come The thought occurred to me: 'This Iron Wall Is Rustam, with his raw hide lasso-coils.' Afrasiyab may come in all his pomp, But none will dream of seeing Rustam's back; Divs sicken fighting him. What is one man Or one whole plain-full in opposing him? He hath been long lord of Zabulistan, |p201 And foster-sire erewhile to Siyawush, And warreth like a father in his anguish To make the world strait to Afrasiyab; This elephantine one hath summoned me Of all this countless host, I know not why; But I will go and ascertain his will Because my spirit is brought low with care." The Khan said: "Go, say that which must be said With courtesy. If he desireth peace And wealth, why toil our armies on this plain? Agree to give great gifts and then return; 'Tis better not to court so great a fight; But, since he is arrayed in leopard-skin, Good sooth! he may be bent upon a conflict; Then we will battle likewise in full force, And press him closely on the field of strife. Put we our trust in God and war with Rustam With all our strength; his body is not brass And iron, but is blood and hair and flesh, Nor shall we have to fight him in the sky Why burn thy heart with care and grief? Know this, That, even if he feed on stone and iron, Shafts and two-headed darts will pierce him. We Outnumber them three hundred times. 'Tis ill To be in dudgeon on this battlefield. This Zabul, this famous warrior, Outvieth not an elephant in fight, And I will show him with mine own such play That he no more will meet me in the fray." Par. 5 How Piran came to Rustam Piran departed full of pain and fear, Heart-rent at Rustam's doings. He approached |p202 The army of Iran and cried: "O chief, And lover of the fray! I heard that thou Hadst called for me of all this countless host Of Turkmans, and have come forth from my lines To thine to see what thou wouldst have of me." When noble Rustam knew that from the Turkmans A warrior approached he met Piran Before the host, an iron helm on head. "What is thy name, O Turkman! " he demanded, "What is thy will and purpose in this coming?" The other said: "Piran am I, the chief Of yonder chieftains. Thou hast asked Human, The son of Wisa, for me in kind words, Which made my heart yearn toward thee, paladin! Declare to me which of the chiefs thou art." He answered: "I am Rustam of Zabul, My sword is from Kabul, my clothing mail." Piran, on hearing noble Rustam's words, Dismounted and did reverence. Rustam said:- "I greet thee from the bright-souled Sun Khusrau, O paladin! and from his mother too, The daughter of Afrasiyab, who dreameth Of thy love every night." Piran replied:- "I greet thee also, elephantine chief! In God's name and the host's. May He Who giveth All good things bless thee, may thy signet be A passport to the sky. Thanks be to God, My Refuge, that I see thee here. Are Zal, The son of Sam, Zawara, Faramarz, Those men of prudent hearts and prosperous - May this world never know the want of them - Are they in health, good spirits, and estate? Now will I speak unless thou take it ill That subjects should complain of those in power. I planted in the Garden once a Tree, |p203 Whose leaves proved colocynth, whose fruit proved blood, And it hath caused me many grievous tears, For, though 'twas once my treasure and my life, It now hath brought me grief and yieldeth bane Instead of antidote, for Siyawush Esteemed me as his sire and shield from harm, While I gave him my daughter and a province, That he might illustrate my race; but some Have slain him and my daughter cruelly, And haply thou wilt say it served me right. Great are the care, the anguish, and the pains, That I have suffered both from king and people, And God shall be my witness in the world, Although to call the Almighty as a witness Is wrong, and though so long a time hath passed, And I have heard much counsel from the wise, That mourning hath not ceased within my house, And that my soul is still aflame with grief, That I pour out my blood instead of tears, And constantly am in the leech's hands. That act hath ruined me, heaven hath not turned As I could wish; I, since I learned the fate Of Siyawush, have done naught, good or ill, But been between two realms and two great kings In anguish, misery, and impotence. I risked my life for Farangis, whose father Had sought to slay her, but I kept her hidden In mine own house, providing for her there. She in return would have my life, would have Her foemen's heads from me! All grief am I, O paladin! and both sides rail at me. I have no way to flee Afrasiyab, I have no other resting-place or home; I am concerned for treasure, lands, and herds, And see not ńny pretext for departing; |p204 I have my sons and many women-folk, Such are the cares and ties of every one. Whene'er Afrasiyab commandeth war He will not suffer me to close mine eyes; Against my will I must lead forth the host, I may not disobey. The occasion now Is one for pity not for war with me. Had I no other pain and grief at heart About my kin save that Pilsam was slain. But there are many other gallant youths, Who have not had their fill of combating, And seeing that I tremble for my life I speak about my sons and property. By God the Conqueror, O paladin Be not incensed against me, harbour not A grudge against my kin, keep God in mind. Now by the illustrious soul of Siyawush I swear that death is better far for me Than breastplate, sword, and helm, for if our troops Engage thou wilt see mountains of the slain; Yet those from Shakn, Kashan, Saklab, and Hind - The lands between the Indus and this march - Are guiltless of the blood of Siyawush, Though brought as soldiers to this battlefield. Peace bettereth war with me. Be not too hard. Speak out thy mind; thou art more wise than I, And mightier in war and prowess." Rustam Replied not as Piran desired but said:- "Since I and other warriors of the Shah Armed for the field I have seen naught but good From thee - the least injurious of Turkmans. Thou hast done righteously in all and sought To lead Turan aright. The leopard knoweth That war and strife are evils, rocks and mountains |p205 Know that, but when the king of kings is bent On vengeance we must pour the arrows in. On two conditions there may be peace yet; Consider if ye will consent to them One is - that thou shalt send to Kai Khusrau In bonds all those that through the prince's death Insensately have set this scene of strife, Although not authors of the war, and those, The guilty of the blood of that just head, Although they may be not upon the field. The other is - thou shalt prepare thyself, And come with me to our victorious Shah. As to the goods which thou wilt leave behind, And dost esteem so precious, thou shalt have Ten for each one from him, so prate not thou About the baggage of the Turkman host." Piran reflected: "To desert Turan, And go before that king were grave indeed! Again by thus demanding those in fault In wreak for Siyawush he will bring low Afrasiyab's great men - his kith and kin - The man with thrones and treasure, place and power. How could I dare to speak of such a thing? He asketh what is quite preposterous! Human, Kulbad, and Farshidward - the men That brought about the anguish of Gudarz - Are all involved, and this can never be No river in the world can run such water. I must adopt mine own expedient, Take mine own way." He said: "O paladin! Mayst thou be ever young and bright of mind. I will depart and tell this to the chiefs - ManshAr, Shangul, and to the Khan of Chin - And send a cameleer to tell the king Thy words, and rouse him from his slumbering." |p206 Par. 6 How the Turanians took Counsel for Battle with the Iranians Piran departed to the host like wind, Assembled those that were of Wisa's race, And told the secret, saying: "Our fall or rise Hath come, for know ye that this Lion-heart Is Rustam, who hath ta'en the field in grief With chiefs and Lions from Zabulistan And nobles from Kabulistan. With him There are Gudarz and Giv and Tus, and we Must fight, though 'gainst our wills, and be disgraced. Since Rustam is the avenger and the leader No horsemen in the world will hold their own. He seeketh of the Turkmans those in fault, And troubleth not about the innocent. Who to your knowledge is not guilty here, And is not much affected by our king? Behold our country will be desolate, The warriors of Iran will work their will, And all be lost, the young, the old, the monarch, The treasure, army, throne, and diadem. I said to our unjust king: 'Be not thou So fiery and stormful, else some day, And with no warning, thou wilt be consumed, Thy wit be burned and thy heart's eye sewn up.' The imperious monarch brooked not mine advice, Or that of the illustrious company, But made away with noble Siyawush Without consulting with the brave and wise. Thou wilt see nothing left of state or crown, Throne, elephants of war, or diadem; The Iranian king will be rejoiced thereat While grief and pain will be our warriors' portion. Woe for our gallant hearts and this great host, |p207 Endowed with Grace, tall stature, crown, and state! All will be spoiled henceforth before your eyes, None will turn happy from the battlefield, For they will tread us 'neath their horses' hoofs; Our wakeful fortune's light will be bedimmed. My heart is burning for Human, my soul Is flaming for Ruin, for Rustam's heart . Is brimming with revenge for Siyawush For whom his eyebrows are fulfilled with frowns. I will go sadly to the Khan and tell him What this revenge hath cost me." Swift as dust He went with full heart and with lips all sighs, And found the camp-enclosure full of clamour, With bloody tulips set on saffron cheeks, For many of the kindred of Kamus Had come demanding vengeance. They exclaimed. - "Afrasiyab will dream no more of greatness! Why did this king, who hath no man to fight On days of battle, thus begin the feud? We, to avenge Kamus, with tearful eyes Will lead the army of Kashan to Chin, And thence and from Barbar, from the Buzgush, From the Sagsars and from Mazandaran Will we bring mace-armed troops to slaughter Rustam That none may hear his voice. Afrasiyab, If fain for vengeance, must not rest or sleep." Moreover from the kindred of Chingish And Ashkabus a din like beating drums Arose, while all in anguish for their kinsmen Were raining tears of gall on saffron cheeks, And saying midst their tears: "We will not rest Or sleep henceforth till we have fired Sistan, And given its people doleful nights and days, Have set the head of Rustam of Zabul Upon the stake in grief for our great dead, |p208 And, having burned his body, strewn the ashes Before his palace-gate." Piran was dazed, His favour darkened at their lamentations, And thus he said: "Afflicted, helpless men, Possessed by pain and care and fed on grief Ye surely cannot know that your own time Is almost o'er." He sought the Khan and said:- This This little war of ours is growing long. A Crocodile, whose mail is leopard-skin; Hath come up from the river to the fight, For Rustam hath brought troops from every side, And famous chiefs; our toils are thrown away, And unjust deeds receive just punishment. Afrasiyab was so infatuate That Siyawush was murdered by his hand, Urged to it by the insensate Garsiwaz. Now Siyawush was great, a royal prince Brought up by Rustam of Zabulistan, Who fighting to avenge his fosterling Will bring the heavens down. No leopard's claws Or trunk of elephant, no lofty mountain Or river Nile will aught avail with him When he shall take the field before his host. He rideth on a horse that needeth not A ship in seas of blood. We may not reckon This conflict trifling; all have seen his power. A fire hath fallen from azure heaven and caused Our hearts to fume with fear. Convoke the sages, The priests, the great, and find the remedy - A champion competent to take the field: . We may perchance escape these ills and reach Our homes albeit with diminished fortunes. |p209 Men should act fairly ever, not be first To seek a quarrel." Troubled at Piran The Khan invoked the Maker's name and said:- How How shall we act encountered by such hosts?" Then said Shangul: "To what end is this talk, Exalted one? We sped o'er flood and waste From every clime to help Afrasiyab, Receiving gifts and armlets; if we fight not We came like lions and shall go like foxes. We sprang like fearless lions, losing not ' One day upon the march, why such alarm Because one man from Sigz encountereth us? Shame on such talk! Thou must take other order. Grant that he is a furious Elephant, And grappleth Lions on the battle-field, Still, though he slew Kanlus the warrior, We must not hesitate, and since 'tis clear, Because Piran is sleepless with dismay, That some one holdeth Rustam in respect, I now extend my hand as succourer. No Elephant is he or Lion's match, Nor is his prowess as Piran asserteth. We must be firm herein, and not erase All thoughts of vengeance on him from our hearts. Draw we our maces at the dawn, advance Across the plain, make air like clouds in spring, And pour a rain of arrows on the foe; Then through the dust of horse and crash of axes None must know head from foot. Observe me well, And, when I raise the war-cry, charge amain. We are - we warriors and cavaliers - Good sooth! above a hundred thousand strong, And shall we, lifeless though not slain, thus vilely Shrink from one man? When I confront the Sigzian |p210 Send ye the dust-clouds skyward; let none 'scape; A coward's heart is naught." On hearing this, Piran, old as he was, grew young of heart, And said: "Live happy, free from grief and care," While all the nobles and the Khan of Chin Acclaimed the king of Hind. Now when Piran Came to his tent the chiefs resorted thither - Hurrian, Barma,n, and Nastihan, whose minds Were poised 'twixt hope and fear. Human inquired:- "What is thy purpose? Doth it furnish ground For peace, or are the armies to engage?" Piran told what Shangul had said, and how The troops agreed to battle on, whereat Human was sore displeasured and, incensed Against ill-starred Shangul, said to Piran:- "None can escape the sky and what it bringeth." He met Kulbad and said: "Shangul is mad! If Rustam be what I have seen, and heard From chiefs, Shangul, Kundur, Manshur, will not Survive this battlefield, nor will the Khan. Withdraw we for a while and reckon up Our chance of gain or loss. Thou wilt behold Of this unbounded host, whose massive maces Might quell the world, the more part laid to earth With blood-drenched helms and mail for winding-sheet." Kulbad replied: "O wielder of the sword! Keep if thou canst from evil presages, And sadden not the hearts of thine own side; The matter may be other than we think. The better course for thee is not to fret Or worry over ills not come as yet." |p211 Par. 7 How Rustam harangued his Troops On his side Rustam called his mighty men - Tus, Giv, Gudarz, Ruhham, and Fariburz, Kharrad the warrior and Gustaham, Gurgin the veteran, the cavalier, And that illustrious man of war Bizhan. "Ye men of wisdom!" said the peerless chief, Addressing them at large in fitting words,' "Ye archimages wise and shrewd of heart! The man whom God doth render fortunate Is fit for crown and throne; he will possess The world, prevail in war, and will not fear The leopard, elephant, or crocodile. Our strength is all from God, and to what end Are we upon this darksome earth of ours? To think no evil, but to choose the way Of God and wisdom, since the world is no man's, And 'tis not well to take much joy therein; Our worth is based on right and hardihood While knavery involveth harm and loss. Piran was heart-seared when he came to me So hastily, he spake in many words Of his good offices to Siyawush, Of his own travail and anxiety, And how through his entreaties Farangis Escaped the Dragon's breath; and yet withal My heart foreboded that Piran would be Among the first to perish in this war, His son and brother die before his eyes With many of the noblest of his kin, And that Khusrau would slay Afrasiyab Such was my dream. Know that they all will perish Beneath our feet, not one man will survive |p212 Howbeit I would not that this hand of mine Should slay their general; he hath no craft But honesty, and thinketh not of ill. If then he shall accomplish what he said, Be ancient wrongs forgotten; if he yield The culprits and the goods, the strife is done, The war for me is over; in this world To deal uprightly is the best of all things., If from these chiefs with thrones and elephants - An army like the blue sea - he dispatch Both crowns and wealth, I shall not trouble further About the Turkmans. They will all pay tribute Not being able to contend with us, And we will spare their lives because the All-giver Hath taught us wisdom and right ways. The world Is full of treasures, thrones, and crowns: a man Were fortunate indeed to win them all!" Gudarz in hearing this stood up and said To Rustam: "O thou chieftain good and just, The host's support, the adornment of the throne! The crown and throne and helm are bright through thee. Resplendent wisdom is thy capital And provand of thy soul. Peace is no doubt A better thing than war, but mark this well - The ox hath yet his hide. I will repeat To thee a saying of the olden times:- 'The souls of evil men shun righteousness Fen as the shoulders shun the burden's stress.' Piran now giveth pledges in his strait, But some day he will struggle to evade them. The Maker fashioned him a double-dealer, So hearken not to him and 'scape his guile. When first we set the battle in array We held a parley and forwent the fight Because an envoy came to say from him:- |p213 I am averse from strife and battlefield, And, recking not of country and of tents, Have girded up my loins to serve the Shah.' He heard from us much counsel and advice, And said: 'Henceforth is war no mate of mine; I will depart and compass this affair Without delay, announcing to my kin My course herein, for I have throne and treasure And cattle, and for them I will provide.' I said: ' Thy right course is to come at once; Throne, wealth, and goods await thee in Iran; But keep the matter secret that thy fault May not be patent to Afrasiyab.' Piran, when we had spoken, went his way, And all that night companioned with the wind. He sent Afrasiyab a cameleer To say: 'Array thy troops; a host hath come.' Thou wouldst have said that we had held no parle, Because it came to nothing, and Pinin Upon the tenth day led his army forth Toward the plain and filled the world with troops. Just now he set, Oleader of the host! Upon thy path another toy; just now, On seeing thy lasso's coils, he feared for life. Their whole reliance was upon Kamus, And generals like Fartus and like Manshur But since he hath beheld Kamus' fortune Wrecked, and his slaughter in the lasso's coils, Piran now knocketh at the door of peace, Not daring to remain upon the field, And, since he knoweth that his fall is nigh, Employeth colour, stratagem, and guile. As for the criminals, the wealth, and goods, Which I,' he said, 'will gather and surrender,' Thou wilt perceive that when the tymbals sound, And Tus and Fariburz advance to war, |p214 He will in person lead the van and ever Renew the combat. All his words are lies, And Ahriman alone is his fit mate. If thou art deaf to me mark what befell My son Bahram! Piran thus held us back, And set an ambush such that, when the day Of battle came, he showed to us so great A graveyard of Gudarzians that I Must weep blood all my life, and have for leech An Indian sword." Said Rustam: "Be thy words And wisdom wedded. He is as thou sayest. We and that old man differ, 'tis no secret; But, in as much as he hath done us good, I would not fight him to the bitter end. Remember how he acted toward the Shah, And how he mourned the fate of Siyawush. If he should break his word and set on us I have my lasso at my saddle-straps To take fierce Elephants. But I will fancy No ill at first; we may escape a conflict; But, if he should be faithless, he shall find The outcome pain and grief." Gudarz and Tus Praised Rustam, saying: "Sol itself would fail To cozen thee, and in thy presence sleights, Deceptions, falsehoods, and Piran's own words Take on no lustre. May the earth ne'er lack Our monarch's head and crown, and mayst thou hold The chiefest place for ever." Rustam said:- "'Tis dark and now our brains are dazed with talk; Quaff we till midnight, then safeguard our troops, And we shall see what God hath purposed for us." He said moreover to the Iranians:- "To-night as we are drinking I will take |p215 Some happy omen and, when morrow cometh, Will shoulder Sam the cavalier's own mace, Wherewith I fought against Mazandaran, Attack the Crocodile in his own lair, And capture camp-enclosure, crown, tiara, Mace, mighty elephant, and ivory throne These will I bring and give the Iranians, If after all, I gird my loins for war." The noble lieges raised a shout and went For rest and slumber each man to his tent. Par. 8 How the Iranians and Turaians set the Battle in Army Whenas the sun displayed its shining crown The moon appeared as 'twere a silver shield, But terror-stricken at the rising din Declined and hid her face. The tymbals sounded Before the tent of Tus, the world grew ebon With chargers' dust; it filled the air; the ground Turned indigo, and Rustam donned his mail. The army of Iran drew up in line, The sons intent on fight, the sires on vengeance. Gudarz son of Kishwad was on the right In armour, brandishing a mace of steel, While Fariburz was stationed on the left, And washed the vengeance from his chieftains' hearts. Tus son of Shah Naudar was in the centre, And all earth thronged with troops. Then peerless Rustam Advanced to view the opposing chiefs; the Khan, Whose elephants made earth like indigo, Was in the centre, on the right Kundur - A gallant horseman lion-like in battle - |p216 And on the left the veteran Gahar The earth was wounded 'heath the horsemen's hoofs. Piran, upon .his rounds before the host, Approached Shangul, the lover of the fray, And said to him: "O famous man of Hind Folk from Shirwan to Sind perform thy bidding. Thou said'st to me: 'To-morrow with the dawn Will I from all sides lead the host to fight; Then will I challenge Rustam and bring down To dust that head which reacheth to the clouds.'" He answered: "I abide by what I said, Thou shalt see from me neither more nor less. Now will I go before this vanquisher Of chiefs, and nail him through with arrow-points, Avenge Kamus and press the Iranians." With that he made three battles of his host, He beat the drums and dust rose from the plain. They marched, each battle, with huge elephants - An army-front extending o'er two miles. The heads of all the drivers were adorned With gaudy colours; each man wore a crown And earrings, with a gold torque round his neck, And belt of gold about his loins. The beasts Were draped with housings of brocade of Chin Surmounted by a throne and seat of gold. Then there arose the blast of clarions, And all the elephants of war advanced; Upon the right marched thirty thousand men - Illustrious cavaliers armed with the spear - Another thirty thousand on the left With bows and shields of Chin. The elephants Were in the centre with the Khan, a throng That rolled earth's surface as they marched along. |p217 Par. 9 How Rustam reproached Piran Shangul went forth with Indian sword in hand Between the opposing lines; a parasol Of Indian make, compact of eagles' plumes, O'ershadowed him. Around him was an escort Which followed as he willed. On seeing this Piran rejoiced, feared not the fight with Rustam, And thus addressed Human: "To-day will fate Dispose the matter to our hearts' content With this equipment and such cavaliers, Each one so gallant, proud, and lion-like; So go not thou thyself before the line, Think not of fighting this day or the next; Let thy post be behind the Khan of Chin, Because thou need'st not fight, and if moreover He of Zabul, he of the sable standard, Beholdeth thee, our cause is lost. Be ours To note the progress of events, and see What sport our wakeful fortune will afford." Piran went thence toward the Iranian host To where the elephantine hero stood; Dismounted, did obeisance many times, And said: "High heaven taketh Grace from thee. Ne'er may thy days decline! Ne'er may thy face Show grief! When I returned, O paladin! I gave thy message both to old and young. I talked to them of all thine excellence, Though who on earth can praise thee worthily? I spake moreover both of peace and war, Employing every sort of plea. 'But how Can we do this,' they said at last, 'and stay Revenge as thou advisest? We can give As much as he shall ask of gold and treasure, |p218 But as for giving up the guilty folk It may not be. Consider what it meaneth. Whom save the kinsmen of Afrasiyab Know'st thou as guilty? Be not rash in promise, For all the men that Rustam asketh of us Are chiefs - great men with thrones and diadems How shall we or how can we give them up? Demands like these would make a young man gray. When such an army hath arrived from Chin, Saklab, Khatlan, and from our own Piran, How should Afrasiyab desire a peace When he hath brought such hosts o'er sea and land?' I got no lack of blame in their reply, And so I have returned to thee in haste. Now of these troops an army like the sea Is hurriedly preparing for the fight, And know thee not but call thee 'him of Sigz.' The king of Hind is fain to fight with thee With bow and arrow and with Indian sword, But sure am I that in the end this host Will weep because of elephantine Rustam." When Rustam heard this he was very wroth, And said thus to Piran: "Thou luckless one Why hast thou so much guile and subterfuge? Why wilt thou walk upon a precipice? The king of earth hath spoken much to me In public and in private of thy lies. E'en now when I esteemed thee wise and prudent Thou wast but one great lie from head to foot. Thou wallowest recklessly in thine own blood In evil case, but worse awaiteth thee. Although a spot were Hell 'twere Paradise Contrasted with the soil beneath thy feet. 'I prithee leave,' I said, 'this black, bad land, And change it for a settled realm; such life, |p219 As this is wholly worthless, for thy head Is in the Dragon's maw. Thou mayst behold Our gracious, just, young, fair, and courteous Shah.' But eating snakes and wearing leopard-skin Are sweeter than both colour and brocade In thine esteem. None will contest the point, And thou wilt eat of that which thou hast sown." Piran replied: "O fortune's favourite, Thou fruitful, flourishing, and goodly Tree' Who knoweth of such things as well as thou? And may the homage of the chiefs be thine. My heart and spirit are at thy command, My life for thine, I will advise to-night, And will address the assembled host besides." This being said, to join the troops he went With guileful heart and head on vengeance bent. Par. 10 How the Battle was joined Piran departed and the opposing hosts Stood like two glittering mountains on the earth, While Rustam thus harangued the Irtinians:- "My loins' are girt for battle, be it yours To think but of revenge, and let each warrior Frown, for no small strife fronteth us to-day, But one that will appraise both wolf and sheep. The reader of the stars hath said to me:- 'My heart is troubled by this coming fight; 'Twill be betwixt two mountains, troops in mass Will bathe the world in blood, the veteran chiefs Will gather, and the strife unman the world; Then feud will cease to stalk, the steel mace grow Like wax.' Have no misgivings, whosoe'er |p220 May come to fight with me, for I will bind His hands within the twisted lasso's coils Although the starry heavens be his ally. Let no one tremble at yon famous chiefs. If my life endeth on the battlefield, And doubtless I shall not die at a feast, All that thou needest is enduring fame, Thou canst not stay, why make so much ado? Set not thy heart upon this Wayside Inn, Trust not a Hostelry so perilous, Where souls allied to wisdom reckon not Their day as good or ill. E'en lords of crown And treasure may not fix their hearts on this Our Wayside Inn." The troops replied: "Thy hests Are higher than sky and moon, and our keen swords Shall make our fame last till the Judgment Day." The armies closed. "A black cloud," thou lladst said, "Hath risen raining shafts and scimitars, And all the world is like a sea of pitch." The glorious visage of the sun grew dark With eagles' plumes and arrow-heads of steel. Thou wouldst have said: "Amid the cloud of dust The lances' heads have smirched the stars with gore! " What while the ox-head maces crashed around Thou wouldst have said: "The sky is raining stones! " And midst the flashing of the diamond swords:- "A cloud hath risen and its rain is blood! " The briars and dust were drenched with gore and brains, The helms were smashed upon the wearers' heads. Said gray Gudarz: "Since first I girt myself To play the man I have seen no such strife, Or heard of such among the haughty chiefs; Such is the slaughter that one half alone Of men is safe, the other is o'erthrown! " |p221 Par. 11 How Shangul fought with Rustam and fled Shangul came forth before the host and shouted. "I vanquish heroes and I love the fray, And I will see," he said, "what battle-gear Of manliness this man of Sigz possesseth." The voice reached Rustam, who looked forth, beheld him, And said: "Mine one petition to the Maker, Both publicly and privily, hath been That of this mighty host some alien Might have the pluck to challenge me to fight. I will not leave Shangul, the Khan of Chin, Or any warrior of Turan alive." He came and shouted: "Base-born miscreant! Zal named me Rustam; wherefore call'st thou me 'The man of Sigz?' Know that the man of Sigz Will be thy death, thy mail and helm thy shroud." This said, he grasped a life-destroying spear, And urged his heavy mountain of a steed. He charged like wind, loosed his heroic arm, And thrusting with his spear unhorsed Shangul, Dashed him down headlong, and rode over him, Yet harmed him not. Then Rustam quickly drew His scimitar, but from the hostile host Came warriors with swords of tempered steel; Men from Turan, Sakhib, and Hind surrounded The paladin as 'twere an onaaer, And snatched Shangul from that fierce Elephant He 'scaped from Rustam, scathless 'neath his mail, Fled with a care-worn visage to the Khan, And said: "This is no man; he hath no equal On earth; he is a furious Elephant Upon a Mountain; we may fight in mass, |p222 But let not any one attack the Dragon In single combat, for he cannot 'scape." " This morn thy views and words were other," said The Khan, and bade the troops charge mountain-like In full force to hem Rustam in and end His life. That Lion drew his scimitar, And brake the left wing of the host of Chin; Each stroke strewed trunkless heads upon the plain. No mountain could withstand him in the fight, Or elephant his fury. Warriors Beset him till they dimmed the sun above him, While from the many spears, swords, shafts, and maces, Employed against the' lion-taking chief, One would have thought that he was in a reed-bed, And all the realm a winefat running blood. At every blow he sliced a hundred spears, And as an angry lion roared and raged. Behind him came the warriors of Iran With vengeful hearts and eager for the fray. As for the maces, mallets, spears, and swords, Thou wouldst have said: "Hail falleth." Corpses, hands, Heads, coronets, and helmets of the slain Filled all the field, high heaven seemed earth with dust, And many a neck and breast were cloven piecemeal. The troops all cried: "The plain is like a mountain With slain! " The hosts of men from Chin and Shakn, From Hind, Saklab, Hart, and from Pahlav Stretched o'er plain, height, and river, and they all Were smitten by one man! Then to Kulbad Piran turned, saying: "This battlefield hath lost Its charms, for he is irresistible; |p223 There is no leader like him in the world. No sage would credit that one cavalier O'erthrew three hundred thousand warriors. This feud hath brought ill on Afrasiyab; Where will he find repose and rest from Rustam? Good sooth! we shall be blamed when he inquireth Concerning this campaign, and then if he Is wroth our heads will be in jeopardy." Par. 12 How Rustam fought with Sawa Said Rustam to the Iranians: "This fight Hath harmed us not. Now will I take from Chin These elephants, this wealth, these splendid crowns, And thrones, bestow them on Iran and make The day a happy and a glorious one. I want no helper from the Ininians, God and the feet of Rakhsh are help enough. I will not leave a man from Chin, Saklab, And Shakn to set his foot upon the ground, For 'tis our day of victory; high heaven Illumineth our star, but ill betideth The men of evil words and evil deeds. If God affordeth strength my glossy Rakhsh Shall show his mettle, I will make this plain A graveyard, and the fertile land a salt-marsh. Resume ye now your posts, be diligent, And swift as wind. Attend. When I advance Sound gong and bell, and make the whole earth ebon With dust of cavaliers and tymbal-din. Ply ye your ages and your massive maces, Like blacksmiths' hammers on a mass of steel, And fear ye not the numbers of the foe, But make the very water reek to heaven. |p224 Cleave ye the ranks of Chin and of Saklab; Earth must not see the sky. Watch well my helm, And, when I raise the war-cry, charge amain." Thence like a raging elephant, and bearing His ox-head mace and shouting as he went, He sought the foemen's right, and first encountered Kundur. He routed that wing utterly, And many a head and helmet disappeared. A kinsman of Kamus, one Sawa hight, Proud and o'erweening, came to counter Rustam, With Indian sword in hand. He wheeled about In quest of veneance for Kamus and cried:- "O mighty Elephant! now shalt thou mark A wave of Nile! I will avenge Kamus, The hapless: nevermore shalt thou see battle." When Sawa's words reached Rustam he drew forth His massive mace, raised it aloft, and smote His foeman's head and helm. Thou wouldst have said:- "That head hath never even seen its body!" He flung down Sawa, and rode over him Till every trace was lost. The enemy Were panic-struck, the banner of Kashan Was overthrown; none durst withstand him more Because the hoofs of Rakhsh their fruitage bore. Par. 13 How Rustam slew Gahar of Gahan Thence Rustam sought the other wing, while all The foe were in dismay, where stood Gahar The warrior of Gahan, a lion-man Who had a dusky banner. He was wroth |p225 On seeing Rustam's helm, roared lion-like, And said to him: "I will avenge Turan And Chin upon this Sigzian on this field; To fight him is my part among the chiefs A lion's heart and massive mace are mine." He spurred forth to encounter mighty Rustam, But turned like flower of fenugreek on seeing The helm of Rustam close, and thought: "As well Plunge in the river Nile as fight against This furious Elephant! Thou saidst: 'The fight Will profit thee,' but others said: ' Not so.' Both courses are not well. To flee and save One's head is better than to have it trampled By showing prowess." Then he fled toward The centre in the sight of all the troops, While like a tree upon a mountain-top Rose Rustam's standard mid the host. He followed Gahar like dust, earth reddened, air grew dark; He speared and pierced the girdle of his foe, Rent both the corslet and its clasps, then flung him Down as the leafage falleth from a bough Struck by a mighty blast. He overthrew That dusky flag, and thou hadst said: "Gahar - He of Gahan - ne'er lived." The Iranians marked That deed, to right and left the dust of battle Rose, they advanced the drums and glorious standard, Illustrious Gudarz and Tus came on, The trumpets' blare hailed Rustam's victory. "Send me a thousand noble cavaliers," He bade, "and I will take yon elephants, That ivory throne, the gold, torques, pearls, and crouia From him of Chin and give them to Iran, To the victorious monarch of the brave." A thousand warriors of Iran advanced In mail with ox-head maces. Rustam cried, |p226 That they might gird them for revenge: "I swear By our Shah's life and head, the sun and moon, Iran's host, and the dust of Siyawush, That if one flee before the prince of Chin He shall experience bonds, or pit and gibbet, And have a paper cap set on his head." The troops knew Rustam's lion-appetite, Which longed to claw the haunches of the stag, And made toward the Khan, men seared in heart, Whose leader aimed at crowns. He led the charge, Let fleet Rakhsh have the reins, and spurted blood Up to the moon. The stars looked down upon That battlefield whence such a dust-cloud rose That none could see the ground. What with the shouts Of cavaliers and thud of lances none Discerned 'twixt rein and stirrup; thou hadst said:- The sun is veiled, earth tortured 'neath the horsehoofs! " The air grew black, black as an Ethiop's face; They saw no way for slain; mails, helms, and saddles Filled all the field, and heads farewelled their bodies. The horsemen's dust went down the wind, the earth Rang with the clash of steel, and many a chief Exposed his head for glory. Rustam shouted, And thou hadst said: "It is the raging sea! " "These elephants, the bracelets, ivory throne, Crowns, diadems, and torques will in Iran Be worthy Kai Khusrau, the world's young king. What business can ye have with crown and pomp, Who, spite of all your might and toil and prowess, Will only set the shackles on your hands, And bring a twisted lasso round your loins? Then will I send you to the king of earth I will not spare Manshur or yet the Khan Of Chin. I give you life and that is all; |p227 Your crowns and signet-rings are for another; Else with our horse-hoofs I, unless ye yield, Will send dust moonward from this battlefield." Par. 14 How the Khan was taken Prisoner The Khan let loose his tongue, reviling Rustam. "Thou miscreant," he said, "in soul and body For quarter for Irin, its Shah and people, Thou must appeal to me. Thou Sigzian, And vilest of mankind: wouldst seek to make A common soldier of the king of Chin?" They sent a very grievous rain of arrows As when the winds of autumn blast a tree; The air was clothed with eagles' plumes: no warrior Ken dreameth of such strife! Gudarz, beholding That shower of steel, alarmed for Rustam's safety, Said to Ruhham: "O laggard! tarry not, But with two hundred horsemen ply the reins, And with your bows of Chach and poplar shafts Guard in the battle peerless Rustam's back." And then to Giv: "Lead on the host and yield not Before our foes. To-day is not a time For peace and pageant, leisure or repose. Advance toward the right wing with the troops, And find out where Piran is with HLlman. Mark how before the Khan the peerless Rustam Is dashing heaven to earth! Ne'er may the eyes Be blest that curse him on the day of battle." Ruhham raged like a leopard and rushed forth To fight at Rustam's back, who said to him, That Lion: "My Rakhsh, I fear, hath had enough; When he is weary I will go afoot, All blood and sweat. This is a host like ants |p228 And locusts! Fight against the elephants And drivers. We will take them to Khusrau - A novel present from Shingan and Chin." Then from his post he cried: "May Ahriman Wed Turkistan and Chin! He! luckless ones, Resourceless, wretched, fed on grief, and lost! Have ye ne'er heard of Rustam? Or hath wisdom Fled from your brains? He holdeth dragon-men Of no account, and chooseth elephants As opposites. Would ye still fight with me Whose only gifts are mace and scimitar?" He loosed his twisted lasso from its straps, Flung the raw coil upon his saddle-bow, And urged his charger on. A shout arose To split a dragon's ear. Where'er he cast The noose he cleared the ground of mighty men, Yet wished he only to contend with Chin With lasso on his arm and frowning brow. Now every time that Rustam in the fight Unhorsed a chieftain with the coiling noose, The leader Tus sent cloudward from the field The sound of trump and drum, while an Iranian Made fast the prisoner's hands, and took him off' Toward the heights. Now when from elephant-back The Khan saw earth rise like the Nile, and there, Astride a lofty Hill, an Elephant That grasped a lasso made of lion's hide, And brought down vultures from the murky clouds, While stars and moon looked on, he chose a chief, Learned in the Iranian tongue, and said: "Approach Yon lion-man and say: 'Fight not so fiercely. These troops of Chin, of Shakn, Chaghan, and Wahr Have in their hearts no interest in the feud, Nor have the kings of Chin and of Khatlan Thou hast no quarrel with these aliens, But with Afrasiyab, who knoweth not |p229 The fire from water, but hath raised the world, And by this war brought evil on himself. We all of us have greed and long for fame, Yet peace still bettereth war." With fluent tongue And guileful heart the man drew near to Rustam, And said: "O chieftain, lover of the fray! Since fight is over for thee now seek feast. Thou surely harbourest not revenge at heart For what hath passed against the Khan of Chin! Withdraw as he withdraweth, for the strife Is ended now. When - by thy hand Kimus Was slain, the heads of all our chiefs were turned." But Rustam answered thus: "The elephants, The crown, and ivory throne must all be mine. Ye set your faces to lay waste Iran What need is there for talk and blandishments? He knoweth that his host is in my hands, And that I check the ardour of mine own. I spare his own head, but his elephants, Torque, crown, and throne of ivory are mine." The messenger replied: "O lord of Rakhsh ' Spare' not upon the waste the uncaught gazelle! The plain is all men, elephants, and troops. Who hath crown, wealth, and grandeur like the Khan? Who knoweth too the outcome of the day, And who will quit the field with victory?" When Rustam heard he spurred on Rakhsh and cried:- "I vanquish lions and apportion crowns, Am strong, and have a lasso on mine arm. Is this the day for jest, the time for counsel? Whenas the Khan of Chin shall see my lasso, When that fierce Lion shall behold mine armlet, He will be taken and distaste e'en life." He flung the lasso coiled and took the heads |p230 Of cavaliers, neared that white elephant, And then the Khan of Chin, grown desperate, Smote with the goad the creature's head and, roaring Like thunder in the month of Farwardin, Took and hurled forth at Rustam deft of hand A double-headed battle-dart in hope To worst him and to take his noble head; But Rustam, scathless, flung his lasso high, Dragged from his elephant the Khan of Chin Noosed by the neck, and dashed him to the ground, Where others bound his hands and drove him on Toward the Shahd afoot without his crown, His litter, throne, or elephant, and there They made him over to the guards of Tus; That chieftain sent the drum-roll to the sky. This tricky Hostelry is ever so Whiles it exalteth, whiles it layeth low, And thus it will be while the sky doth move - Whiles strife and poison, and whiles sweets and love. Thou raisest one to heaven on high, and one Thou makest vile, afflicted, and fordone; From pit to moon, so dost Thou one elate; From moon to pit, such is another's fate! One hath a throne, one is to fishes hurled In wisdom not caprice, Lord of the world! Thou art the height and depth thereof, I trow Not what Thou art Thyself. Thyself art Thou. Par. 15 How the Host of the Turanians was defeated Then peerless Rustam seized his massive mace, The great and small were all alike to him; The battlefield was such that ant and gnat Had scarcely room to stir on plain and dale; |p231 Blood ran in streams from wounded and from slain Flung headlong down or headless. When the foe's Bright fortune loured 'twas nearly night, there came A blast with murk, light quitted sun and moon, And then the foe, not knowing head from foot, Took to the desert and the longsome road. Piran beheld that fight and fortune grown So gloomy to Manshur, Fartus, the Khan, And Turkman chiefs; saw standards down, the wounded Laid vilely in the dust, and thus he said To Nastihan the warrior and Kulbdd:- "We must lay by two-headed dart and sword." Giv overthrew the sable flag, the foe Dispersing by the roads and pathless tracts. He routed all the right wing, made the dales And plains like feathers of a francolin, And sought upon the army's 'Left and right To find Piran, but when they found him not The warriors returned to vengeful Rustam. The war-steeds were disabled with the work; They all were wounded and fordone with fight. The troops went to the mountain well content With Rustam and his escort at their head, Their bodies injured but their hearts rejoicing About the battle, as is this world's use. The helms and mail were smirched with blood and dust, The horses' bards were riven. Heads, feet, swords, And stirrups were begored, the hills and dales Were hidden by the slain, the troops so masked That none could know another till they bathed. They washed their bodies and forgot their pains Because their foes were bound in heavy chains. |p232 Par. 16 How Rustam divided the Spoil "Disarm," said Rustam to the Iranians. "Before the All-conquering we need not mace, Or belt or treasure. Stoop ye all your heads To darksome dust, then crown them, for the chiefs Are minished not by one for whom our hearts Would now be mourning. When the tidings reached The world's king he repeated them to me Forthwith: 'The chieftain Tus hath gained the mountains, Defeated by Piran and by Huinan!' The Shah's words robbed me of my wits, my brain Seethed for the fray, while for Gudarz, Bahrain, And for Rivniz my heart turned ebon-black. I sped forth from lrAn without delay Intent upon the fight, but when I saw The Khan, the men of name and warriors, Especially Kamus, his Grace and stature, Such shoulders and such limbs, such hands and mace, Why then methought: ' My time is o'er!' For since I girt me as a man I have not looked In my long life on better men or arms Assembled anywhere. I have invaded MAZandaran, a land of divs, where nights Are dark and maces massive, yet my heart Forwent its courage never and I said:- 4 I tender neither heart nor life.' Howbeit In this campaign my days were plunged in gloom, My heart - the lustre of the world - was darkened! If now we fall in sorrrow in the dust Before all-holy God it will be well, For He hath given strength, success, and aid From Saturn and the sun. Long be it so. |p233 God grant that fear may never fall on us! Let men too bear the Shah the news forthwith, Let him adorn his throne, set on his head The royal cap, give great gifts to the poor, And may their blessings be upon his soul. Now put we off our mail and rest in peace. No doubt both grief and longing pass away, And fate is counting up our every breath, But still 'tis good to add up cups of wine, And not to stare at yon unloving sky Quaff we till midnight then, and let our talk Be of the mighty men, with thanks to God, The Conqueror, from whom are manhood, fortune, And prowess; we should not possess our hearts Too much in sorrow and laboriousness In this our Wayside Inn." The nobles blessed him, And said: "May crown and signet lack thee never All honour to the stock, the native worth, And mother that brought forth a son like thee. A man of elephantine Rustam's strain Is more exalted than the turning sky. Thou knowest what thou hast achieved through love For us. Let heaven rejoice because thou livest. We were as good as slain, our days were done, But now we live and light the world through thee." Then having bade to fetch the elephants, Crown, ivory throne, and golden torques, he brought Forth royal wine and goblets, and first gave:- "The monarch of the world," and when he grew Blythe in his cups they parted glad and gay. When Luna rent the robe of night and set Its turquoise throne in heaven the scouts dispersed About the plains and hills, and when the rust Of night's rest passed, when day's bright Falchion showed, |p234 And earth grew jewel-like, the drum-roll rose Before his tent, the chiefs arrived, and Rustam Said: "We have found no traces of Piran Return we to the field and send our troops In quest of him." Bizhan the lion-man Advancing came upon a world of corpses, Of goods, and treasure; all the plain was strewn With wounded men flung down and bound; of others Still living they saw none. Tents and enclosures Filled all the earth, and tidings came to Rustam:- "The foe hath fled the field." Like lion wroth He raged about the lranians' sloth and slackness, And said reviling them: "Hath no one wisdom Paired with his brain? How when two mountains thus Shut in our foes could they escape in mass From us? Did not I say: 'Send forward scouts, And make each gorge and dale like plain and waste?' Ye thought of ease and rest, the foe of toil And march. Slack bodies bring forth care and travail, But he who chooseth labour fruiteth treasure. How can I say: 'I am at ease to-day'? I tremble for Iran." Then leopard-like He raged at Tus and said: "Is this a bedroom? Or battlefield? See to Human, Kubad, Piran, Ruin, and to Pulad thyself Henceforth with thine own host upon this plain We are not of one province, thou and I. If ye have strength fight on your own account, For how should ye have me, when I have gained The victory and its results are spoiled? See from what company the scouts were drawn, |p235 And who is head man of the family, And when thou findest any of those scouts Let him be beaten on the feet and hands With sticks, take what he bath, make fast his feet, Set him upon an elephant and thus Dispatch him to the Shah for execution. The ivory thrones, the jewels, and dinirs, Brocade, crowns, treasure, coronets, and all That they took from us, seach for and bring hither, For there were many kings upon this plain; The most illustrious of the world were here From Chin and from Sakhib, from Hind and Wahr, And all possessed of realms and treasuries. First let us choose a present for the Shah, And then my portion of the spoils and thine." Tus and his warriors went and gathered all The golden girdles and the amber crowns, The ivory thrones and the brocade of Rum, The arrows, the horse-armour, and the bows, The iron maces and the Indian swords, And raised a mountain 'twixt the other two The troops stood round and gazed. Then had an archer, A cavalier, broad-chested, strong, and valiant, Shot a four-feathered arrow o'er the heap, The carry had not reached from end to end! When Rustam saw the spoil he stood amazed, And oft invoking the Creator said:- "Our changeful lifetime giveth feast and fight By turns, transferring wealth from host to host. It giveth now with curses, then with blessings; One gathereth wealth for others to enjoy. Kamus was minded, and the Khan as well, To burn Iran. With these huge elephants, These havings, troops, and stores, their joy was all In them and in their multitudes of men, |p236 And for a while God was not in their thoughts, God who created heaven and earth and time, Much manifest and much mysterious. Their host is not, their goodly wealth is not, Their aims and unjust doings are no more Now will I send the Shah these chosen chiefs From every realm on their huge elephants, Together with these golden thrones and crowns, And goods on lusty camels. I will send Such goods as are most worthy to be sent, And journey hence myself with all dispatch To Gang, for heroes cannot brook delay. To spare the guilty and the murderers Is weakness; let us wash our hands in blood. I will allow the bad no rest but bring The heads of these idolaters to dust, And show to all the way of Holy God." Gudarz replied: "O thou of goodly rede Mayst thou remain till place shall be no more." Then matchless Rustam sought a messenger To bear the first news to the imperious Shah, And chose out Fariburz son of Kaus, Commended by his kinship, and thus said:- "Famed chief, of royal race, thyself a king, Accomplished, understanding, nobly born, Both glad thyself and making others glad! Take up a task. Go, bear to our young Shah My letter, and convey with thee the captives, The camels, and this wealth - all that there is - Torques, treasure, bracelets, crowns, and diadems, The mighty elephants and ivory thrones." "O raging Lion! Fariburz replied, "My loins are girded even now to ride." |p237 Par. 17 How Rustam wrote a Letter to Kai Khusrau Then Rustam summoned an experienced scribe, And wrote a kingly letter in fit terms With ambergris for ink on painted silk; The letter opened with the praise of God, Who is and who will be for evermore, The Maker of the sun and moon and Saturn; Of Grace and crown and might the Artist He; Heaven, earth, and time are His; the soul and wisdom Obey Him. May He bless the Shah, and may The age not have him in remembrance only. I came between two mountains as thou badest The troops of three realms were assembled there. More than a hundred thousand in good sooth Opposed us, men who drew the scimitar - Troops from Kashan and Shakn, from Chin and Hind - A host which stretched from the Indus unto Chin - While from Kashmir to the outskirts of Mount Shahd We saw but litters, tents, and elephants. I feared not for the empire of the Shah, But slew our foes; we fought for forty days; Thou wouldst have said: 'The world is strait to them.' They all were kings with treasures, crowns, and thrones. Now 'twixt the mountains over dale and waste One cannot pass along for blood and slain, And in good sooth for forty leagues the soil Is turned to clay with blood. To tell the whole Were tedious. All the kings that I have bound, Plucked with my lasso from their elephants, Lo: I have sent the Shah, with gifts and jewels King - worthy, but war on myself; perchance Gurwf may meet my sword. His head shall crown My spear in wreak for our Head - Siyawush. |p238 May every tongue be filled with praise of thee, And turning heaven's summit be thine earth." He gave the letter, when it had been sealed, In charge to Fariburz, that royal prince, With captive kings and elephants, and set The spoils upon three thousand camels' backs. So Fariburz son of Kaus went forth Rejoicing, and made speed to reach Khusrau. The elephantine hero, with the chiefs And warriors of the array, saw him off With fond embraces when they said farewell, While tears rained from the eyelids of the prince. Then Rustam, when the dark night's tresses showed, Departed on his way toward the host. They sat with harp and wine and minstrelsy, This reveller with harp and that with pipe, Until they went their ways in full content, Each to his rest. Hued like a gold dinar Sol burst the Veil of Lapis-lazuli, Whereat the clarion's blast rose from the court Before the chief's pavilion. Matchless Rustam, All ready-girded, mounted his swift steed, And bade the soldiers take supplies with them. Their way was hard - the longsome desert route. They marched to war, and matchless Rustam said To Tus and Giv: "Ye gallant chiefs! this time Will I fight strenuously and press the foe. Who knoweth if this crafty roan of Sind Will bring a host from Hind, Saklab, and Chin? But I will so bemuse and daze his wits, And make his body dust upon the tomb Of Siyawush, that Hind, Shingan, Saklab, And Chin shall bless him nevermore." He beat The drums, the dust ascending filled the air, |p239 And earth was full of men, while shouts rose cloudward From those illustrious chieftains keen for fight. They marched two stages from the battlefield Because the ground was blackened with the slain. The chieftain saw a wood and called a halt, And, while his soldiers darkened plain and stream, Indulged in song and wine till some were filled With mirth and pleasure, and some lay bemused, While envoys came from all the districts round, From all the chiefs and men of name, to bring Him presents, arms, and many an offering. Par. 18 How Kai Klausrau made Answer to Rustam's Letter Heaven turned, some days elapsed, and then one went And told the frinian monarch: "Fariburz, Son of Kaus, approacheth." Shah and chiefs Went out to welcome him with trumpets, tymbals, And many troops. When Fariburz drew near, And caught sight of the Shah, he kissed the ground, And offered many praises, saying thus:- "O Shah of goodly fortune! may high heaven Be glad of heart through thee and may the world Thrive through thy justice," then gave Rustam's letter. The king of kings perused it, marvelling At what the chief reported of that fight, Inspected prisoners, camels, elephants, And wounded men, and, having ridden apart, Put off his royal cap, got off his steed, And, wallowing in the dust before his God, Exclaimed: "O holy Ruler of the world! The oppressor wrought on me oppressively, And made me fatherless - all grief and anguish; |p240 But Thou didst free me from my pains and woes, And give me crown and realm. Both earth and time Became my slaves, the world my treasury; I offer thanks to Thee, not to the host, But grant me one thing - spare me Rustam's life." This done, he passed before the elephants, And captives whom he sent to join the wretched In ward, then bade to bear with all dispatch The booty to the treasurer and make ready A pleasant dwelling for the Khan of Chin. He spent a day in writing his response, And set a new Tree in the garth of greatness. He first praised God, the Author of his triumph, "The Master of the sun and turning sky, From Whom are war, alliances, and love, Who hath set up the heaven and graced the earth With night and day, Who giveth unto this So dark a fortune, and to that the throne That he deserveth. Grief and gladness come From Holy God - the Source of courage, awe, And reverence," then said: "O paladin! Be ever pure in body, bright in soul. All that thou spakest of have reached the court - The prisoners, the elephants, the crowns, Brocade of Chin, the thrones of ivory, Arabian steeds, and torques, and diadems, With camels in great plenty, tapestries, And wearing-stuffs, and showers of offerings, To grace our hocktides, feasts, and festivals. What man could wish to meet thee in the fight Unless he was already sick of life? Now of thy toils among Turanian foes, By night and day upon the field, I had Continual news, yet opened not my lips, But night and day before all-holy God Presented broken-hearted my petitions. |p241 He that hath Rustam for his paladin May well continue young; heaven hath no servant Like thee, and may it tender still thy fortune." The gracious letter being done, and sealed By Kai Khusrau, he bade to be prepared A robe of honour, belts, horse-furniture, A hundred crisp-locked slaves with golden girdles, A hundred noble horses with gold trappings, A hundred camels laden with brocade Of Chin, a hundred more with tapestries, Two rings of shining rubies and a crown Of state compact of gold and lustrous pearls, A suit of royal raiment worked in gold, With armlet, torque, and golden belt, and presents - A treasure in themselves for every chief. He sent to Fariburz a blue steel sword, A mace, a golden crown, and golden boots, And bade him go to Rustam and say thus:- "We must not pause to rest or eat or sleep In fighting with Afrasiyab. Perchance Thy lasso yet may take that great king's head." So far Fariburz resumed his journeying, Such was the pleasure of the Iranian king. Par. 19 How Afrasiyab had Tidings of the Case of his Army Thereafter tidings reached Afrasiyab:- "A Flame bath issued from the river Shahd, And in the persons of Kamus, Manshur, And of the Khan, Turan hath been o'erthrown. An army came forth from Iran to war Such as left heaven scarce room to turn. The conflict Continued forty days - days dark as night |p242 Because the horsemen's dust concealed the sun. Our fortune slept, no cavalier of all Our countless host remained still serviceable; Our mighty men and famous paladins Have all been bound in heavy bonds and flung Disgraced upon the backs of elephants Encircled by a host that reached for miles. The Khan of Chin too and the mighty men By thousands have been carried to lrAn; There was no room upon the battlefield To pass along, so many were the slain! Piran, who hath with him a noble army, Hath marched toward Khutan; but none of Chin, Kashan, or Hind is left who hath not read The inscription on the scimitar of Rustam. Now all the marches for two miles and more Are full of blood, the earth is void of chiefs And elephants, while an Ininian host, Led on by matchless Rustam bent on war, Approacheth. If they meet us in the fight Account the hills as plains, the plains as hills." Heart-stricken and astound, Afrasiyab Called all his priests and nobles. "From Inin," He said, "a host hath met our chiefs in battle, Our mighty army with its countless troops And implements of war hath been o'erthrown, While I am prostrate, thou mightst say, with grief Both for Kamus and for the Khan of Chin. Now that so many troops are slain or maimed, The more part of the nobles bound in bonds, What shall we do? What cure shall we apply? We may not treat the matter with light hearts. If Rustam is the chief he will not leave A thorn or weed upon these fields and fells. He was a reed-like stripling when I marched On Rai, yet took me from my saddle so |p243 That warriors wondered. Belt and button broke; I tumbled from his grasp beneath his feet. Such was the prowess that I saw in him! And I have heard reports of his exploits, When single-handed with his massive mace, Against the mighty of Mazandaran, As well as of the havoc wrought by him On our own chiefs in this last battlefield." The nobles rose and said: "Although the famous Of Chin and of Saklab have fought Iran Our realm is scathless and our host intact. Why stimulate the foe by fearing Rustam? We all must die, our loins are girt not loosed, And Rustam, if he trample on our land, Shall pay the penalty, for when we arm For vengeance no Iranian will survive." He heard, preferred those valiant with their tongues, And called to him his chiefs, refrained from sleep, Repose, and feast, unlocked his treasury And gave out pay; his griefs inspired his soul. Earth was so full of troops that one might say:- The The starry sky hath come down to the fray." Par. 20 How Rustam fought with Kafur the Man-eater This coil of ill grew clear as Fariburz, Glad-hearted, with the monarch's robe of honour, And with the crown with earrings, came to Rustam, Whereat that elephantine hero joyed. The great men of the army met and praised The paladin: "May earth be prosperous Through Rustam, be the Shah's life glad, and may Iran still flourish, field and fell, through him." |p244 Thence Rustam led the army on its march, Reached Sughd and spent two sennights there, engaged In bunting onager and quaffing wine, And in such pleasures fleeted time a while. On marching one stage thence he saw a city By name Bidad - a hold inhabited By folk whose only food was human flesh. The lovely there were ever perishing, While at the table of a king so loathly The flesh of growing youths alone was served. Those slaves that were the goodliest, and were Unblemished in their faces and their forms, Supplied the provand for the monarch's board; Such was his food. The peerless Rustam called Three thousand cavaliers all clad in mail On barded steeds and sent them to that hold With Gustaham and two more valiant chiefs; Bizhan the son of Giv was one, Hajir The other - both redoutable in fight. The king's name was Kafur; he held the city By patent. When he heard that from lran A host, led by a famed and warlike chief, Approached, he armed as did his pard-like people, Who were skilled lasso-flingers, cavaliers, And Stones and Anvils in the fray. Kafur Encountered Gustaham; the armies closed; 'Twas such a fight as when a lion chargeth Upon a deer; full many Iranians Were slaughtered and keen fighters turned their heads. When Gustaham saw this, and that the world Was in that curst div's hand, he bade his troops To shower shafts - the horseman's ambuscade. Kafur said to his chiefs: 'No arrow-head Will dent an anvil. Ply sword, mace, and lasso, And take yon leaders' heads within the noose." |p245 Awhile they fought so that the stream flashed fire, And many of the Iranians were slain; A sky of bale turned o'er them. Gustaham Said to Bizhan in haste: "Ride hence. Tell Rustam:- - ' Pause not, but come with ten score cavaliers."' Bizhan the son of Giv went off like wind, And told the matter to the matchless one, Whose stirrups felt his weight as with his men He rode, who heeded neither hill nor dale. He reached the field of battle, as it were A torrent rushing from the gloomy hills, And shouted to Kafur: "Unskilful knave!. Now will I bring thy fighting to an end." Kafur came rushing with a furious charge Against the royal and fruit-bearing Tree, And hurled his sword, as though it were an arrow, To strike the lion-taking chief, but Rustam Received it on his shield and took no harm. Kafur next flung his lasso o'er the son Of Zal, who ducked his head. Then Rustam raised His war-cry like an angry elephant, Whereat Kafur stood still in blank amaze, And Rustam smote his head-piece with the mace, Which smashed together helmet, head, and neck His brains ran down his nostrils, and Kafur The warrior fell. Then Rustam, slaughtering still Without distinction as to great or small, Charged at the castle-gate, but those within Made fast the portal, poured down showers of arrows, And called to him: "O man of strength and sense, Thou Elephant arrayed in leopard's hide! What did thy father name thee at thy birth? 'The lasso-flinger,' or 'The sky of fight' Alas for all thy toil against this city Its name is ' Warstead ' with the knowing ones. When Tur the son of Faridun had left |p246 Iran he called men skilled in every way, And by their aid began to build these walls Of stones and timber, brick and reeds, thus built them By toil and sorcery, expending toil And draining treasury, and gallant men Have striven much to send up dust therefrom, But none hath mastered them or profited. Here are munitions and abundant food, With subterranean ways to bring in more. Though thou mayst toil for years thou wilt get naught But strife, for catapults reach not these walls, Fenced by Tur's magic and the breath of priests." Now Rustam when he heard grew full of thought, His battle-loving heart was like a thicket, Such fighting liked him not, he brought up troops From every side, here was Gudarz, there Tus With trumpets, drums, and elephants behind; The army from Zabul was on the third side, Mail-clad and armed with falchions of Kiiibul. The veteran Rustam took his bow in hand, And all the fortress stood astound at him As he picked off the head of every one Who showed himself above the battlements The shaft-points whispered secrets to those brains - An intercourse that made no harmony. In order to dislodge the garrison He undermined the walls, propped them with posts Smeared with black naphtha and, when half way round, Set them on fire. He brought Tur's ramparts down; The troops advanced on all sides. Rustam bade:- On On to the assault; ply bow and poplar shaft." The brave defenders threw away their lives With one accord to save their treasured wealth, Their children and their country and their kin Far better for them had they ne'er been born! The Iranian warriors advanced on foot, |p247 And took their bows and arrows, and their shields, Advanced supported by the javelin-men, And led on by Bizhan and Gustaham. The raging of the fire and shower of shafts Left no resource but flight, and those that passed The castle-walls fled weeping o'er the plain. Then the besiegers barred the castle-gate And set themselves to pillaging and slaughter. What multitudes they slew! How many old And young they carried captive from the city Much silver, gold, and other precious things, With beasts and slaves - both boys and girls - the Iranians Bore off with them, and marched back to the camp. The matchless Rustam, having bathed and prayed, Said to the Iranians: "God must have in store Still better things than these; give praise to Him For victory and benefits vouchsafed." With one consent the great men laid their faces Upon the ground and offered thanks to God, Then lauded Rustam: "Thine inferior,"' They said, "might sit contented with his fame; Thou with thine elephantine form, thy pluck, And lion's claws hast never fight enough! " The peerless Rustam said: "This strength and Grace Are gifts from God; ye also have your shares, And none can blame the Maker of the world." He bade Giv, with ten thousand buckler-men, On barded steeds to haste and stay the Turkinans From massing on the marches of Khutan. When night revealed its dusky curls, and when The moon's back bent with trouble, Giv departed With those brave cavaliers and spent three days In raiding, then, what time the sun displayed Its crown and mounted on its ivory throne, Returned with many noble warriors captive, |p248 With many fair-cheeked Idols of Taraz, With noble horses, and all kinds of arms. Then Rustam sent a portion to the Shah, And gave the rest as booty to the host. Gudarz, Tus, Giv and Gustaham, Ruhham, Shidush the valiant and Giv's son Bizhan Thereafter rose and lauded him anew. Thus spake Gudarz: "Exalted one! thy love Is needful to the world. We may not open Our lips by night or day henceforward save To praise thee. Live glad and bright-souled for ever, Still old in wisdom and still young in fortune. God gave thee purity of race; like thee No one hath e'er been born of stainless mother. May sire succeed to sire and son to son, This native worth ne'er fail. Thou needest naught, Art favoured by the stars, and chief of nobles. Thy refuge be the Master of the world, Be earth and time thy partisans. WHower Hath travelled o'er earth's surface and beheld The world and peace and battle and revenge, Hath nowhere seen a better host than this, Nor ever heard from time-worn archimages Of such kings, elephants, and ivory thrones, Such men and steeds, such treasure and such crowns, And yet the stars saw it discomfited We pondered but saw none to work our cure Till, as we cried out in the Dragon's breath, Thy bow delivered us. Crown of Iran, The Stay of chieftains, and pre-eminent, Art thou. We are thy lieges. God reward thee, And ever keep the smiles upon thy face. Repay we cannot, we can only praise." Then peerless Rustam lauded them: "May earth," Said he, "be peopled always with the brave. The nobles of Iran are my support - |p249 My bright heart witnesseth to what I say - My cheek is freshened by your goodly faces, My spirit is made radiant by your love." He added: "We will tarry here three days, Rejoicing and illumining the world, But march to battle with Afrasiyab Upon the fourth and set the streams afire." In full assent arose the company, And called for wine and harp and minstrelsy. Par. 21 How Afrasiyab had Tidings of the Coming of Rustam Afrasiyab had tidings: "Rustam cometh To battle swiftly - news that wrung his heart While all his silken raiment turned to thorns. He said: "Who can assay to combat Rustam? Troops are enough, but where is a commander? What man can go and challenge him to battle, For havoc clingeth to his glittering sword?" The host said: "Shun not fight with him so much, For thou art one that in the dust of strife Canst send the wave of carnage to the moon. There is no stint of treasure, arms, and men; Why let the quest of battle grieve thy heart? Be not concerned because thou hast to fight This cavalier; look at our gallant troops! Grant him all iron and brave; he is but one. Enough of him. Prepare the remedy With thine own army, and bring down his head From cloud to dust; that done, we need not fear Shah or Iran. Then Kai Khusrau, his throne, The country of Iran and bough on tree Will cease to flourish. Mark this noble host, These youths war-worthy. We for land and child, |p250 For wife and kindred, will give up our lives Before we yield our country to the foe." Now when Afrasiyab had heard those words He put that ancient battle from his thoughts, Both for his fatherland and his own sake He took a fresh resolve and made reply:- "I will bring forth the implements of war Since matters press, permit not Kai Khusrau To rest upon his throne, glad and rejoicing In fortune, but by long contention bring The head of Rustam of Zabul to dust. I will not spare my grandson or his troops, But lay this quarrel with the scimitar." He gave commandment to array the host, And march forth to new wars. The nobles blessed him, And called the chiefs to vengeance. 'There was one, A man of lion-heart by name Farghar, Quick to discern the cage and shun the springe. The king, who had observed and everywhere Approved his feat of arms, put strangers forth, And said to him: "O noble man! now seek The Iranian host and spy on warlike Rustam. Observe his horsemen's numbers and equipment, And who of ours is acting as their guide. Mark their war-elephants, their warriors, And all about their host both good and bad." Farghar departed to his work as spy Upon the Iranians, while the ambitious king, Absorbed in care, denied himself to strangers, And summoned his son Shida for consult. "O thou," he said, "who art endowed with wisdom! When will thy troops be here to share thy cares? Know that yon countless army, which hath come With all those cavaliers to fight with us, |p251 Is led by Rustam of the lion-heart, Whose scimitar converteth dust to clay. Kamus, Manshur, the Khan of Chin, Gahar, The glorious Fartus, Kundur, Shangul - The king of Hind - an armament that stretched Down to the river Indus from Kashmir - Are slain or captive through the victory Of lion-taking Rustam. Forty days, With lulls at whiles, they fought but Rustam triumphed, Dragged with his lasso from their elephants Our warriors and bound them. Cavaliers And nobles from all climes, the mighty leaders, The arms and ivory throne, steeds, crowns, and camels Dispatched he to Iran, and by that token Is now invading us with his proud chiefs And famous men. I shall not leave my throne, Or much wealth here with fortune so inconstant, But send my treasures, crowns, belts, golden torques, And bucklers to the banks of the Alms This is no time for joyance, harp, and song. I dread deft-handed Rustam, who is safe E'en in the gullet of a crocodile; He is not human on the day of battle, He writheth not when hit nor crieth out For pain, he feareth not spear, sword, and arrow, Or maces raining from this ancient sky He is of brass and iron,' thou wouldst say, 'And not of man's race but an Ahriman!' So mighty are his arms on days of fight That earth's back wearieth with the weight thereof He weareth chain-mail, breast-plate, tiger-skin, And helm; he roareth like a thunder-cloud! Huge elephants sustain not his attack, Or ships upon the azure sea his weapons! The Mountain under him is swift as wind, |p252 And, thou wouldst say, 'begotten by the sky.' Swift as gazelle and terrible as lion It goeth gallantly at height and river, And would, I care affirm, fare like a ship If put upon its mettle. Oft have I Contended with its rider, but his breast-plate Is made of leopard-skin, which foiled my weapon Though I tried ax and arrow many a time; But now by way of proof I will to war Once more to see if fortune favoureth us, And so if God affordeth us His aid, And if high heaven revolveth as we would, We will not leave Iran or Shah: perchance It may be mine to terminate this feud, While should the might of Rustam's hand prevail I will betake me o'er the sea of Chin Betimes and leave these marches of Turan To him." Then Shida answered: "Prudent king Live happily while crown and throne endure. Thou hast Grace, wisdom, lofty mien, high birth, And fortune, heart, and manhood, thou dost need No monitor, yet heed this turn of fate Men like Piran, Human, and Farshidward, Kulbad and Nastihan have had their armour Destroyed, and their hearts shattered, in the fight Thou wouldst have said: 'Their grief hath broken them.' Launch not thy vessel while these war-winds blow, Since thou art ware that this great host hath come. Thou art the warrior-king experienced And tried in war; now by thy life and head, By sun and moon, by throne and cap, I swear This matter of Kamus and of the Khan Hath filled my heart with pain, my head with vengeance. |p253 Our business is to lead the host to Gang, Not contemplating battle but to call An army up from Chin and from Machin, And after that o'erthrow the enemy." When he had spoken he withdrew to rest, Haste in his head and vengeance in his heart. The dark night oped its melancholy eyes, The moon had grown round-shouldered with distress, And all the world resembled sable musk What time Farghir came from the Iranian host. He reached the presence of Afrasiyab By night - the time for quiet and repose - And thus reported: 'From this lofty court I went to Rustam, binder of the Div. I saw a camp-enclosure green and vast With cavaliers resembling ravening wolves. A standard stood erect charged with a dragon; Thou wouldst have said: 'It is alive!' There stood Within the tent a huge, fierce Elephant, Whose girded waist was like a tiger's loins. Before him was a steed, a piebald bay; Thou wouldest say: ' It never taketh rest.' The bridle hung down from the saddle-bow, A coiled hide-lasso from the saddle-straps. The chiefs were such as Tus, Gudarz, and Giv, And Fariburz, Gurgfn, and brave Shidush. Guraza is the scout with Gustaham Accompanied by Giv and by Bizhan." The king grieved at the tidings of Farghar. Then came one to Afrasiyab to say:- "Piran the chieftain hath arrived like dust With great men and with warriors of the fight." The king told what Farghar had said and asked:- "Who is a match for Rustam in the fray?" Piran said: "What resource have we in war Except the quest of glory on the field? |p254 So let us struggle for our fatherland, Our children, and our kin." Afrasiyab Thereat grew instant to engage and bade Piran march forth 'gainst battle-loving Rustam. They left the presence and went forth to war Upon the plain, shouts rose, the tymbals sounded, The troops' dust turned the world to ebony. So mighty was the host that thou hadst said:- "The whole world will be hidden by the dust!" The tymbal-players sent their din on high As elephant on elephant filed by. Par. 22 Afrasiyab's Letter to Puladwand Afrasiyab set forward from his palace, And hasted bent on vengeance to the waste. He gave all needful orders to Piran, And then withdrawing cleared his tent of strangers. They set a scribe before him. "Write," said he, "A letter unto Puladwand and make The matter known. First praise All-holy God, Who stablisheth and over throweth us - The Lord of Saturn and the turning sky, The Lord of Venus and the shining sun. Give praise next to that binder of the strong. - The fortunate chieftain Puladwand, declare What we have suffered from this famous fighter, And these renowned and all-accomplished chiefs, From Tus, Gudarz, and other warriors. Then tell him all about my grandson's case - The master of Iran, the mighty Shah - Whom erst I cherished like dear life itself That no ill blast might reach him. Then proceed:- 'Now, if high heaven taketh side with us, |p255 Let Puladwand come hither. Many troops Brought from the marches of Saklab and Chin Have been o'erthrown and writhe, much field and fell Been harried by the warriors of Iran. Their host is like a moving hill, their chiefs Are such as Rustam who is in command, Gudarz the warrior and Giv and Tus They raise the din of tymbals to the clouds. When Rustam, who alone hath vexed our land, Shall have been slain by thee no host will come Against it. Be thou our deliverer. If by thy hand his term shall reach its end The face of earth will surely be at rest. Then from my populous kingdom will I take But one half of my treasures as my share; The other half, and half my crown, are thine, Since both the fight and toil are thine to-day.'" They sealed the letter with the royal seal, And Shida, as the moon arose in Cancer, Girt up himself in presence of his father , To go grief-laden on the embassage. He came to Puladwand as swift as fire Through apprehension of calamity, Saluted him, delivering the letter And telling Rustam's deeds. Now Puladwand, A king whose aspirations reached high heaven, Lived in the mountain-parts of Chin and had No peer in all the land. He lacked not troops And men of war; he was a Crocodile; His troops were pards. He called his governors And priests, and held discourse with them at large, Told what the letter said and, being a prince Both youthful and imperious, commanded To bear the drums and camp-enclosure forth Upon the plain. He gathered troops and divs. The battle-cry went up. He led the way, |p256 Equipped with shield, with quiver, and with lasso, And followed by his standard. He descended The mountains, crossed the water, and drew near Afrasiyab, at whose gate tymbals sounded, And all went forth to welcome Puladwand. The veteran monarch first embraced the chief, Then spake much of the past, told whence arose The Turkmans' trouble and the remedy. While going to the palace they considered New stratagems. Afrasiyab discussed The waiting and the forward policies, Told of the strife and outcry that had come Upon him through the death of Siyawush,. Told of the Khan, Manshur, and brave Kamus, Recalling what had passed, and said: "My pain Is all through one who weareth leopard-skin. Mine arms are impotent on him and on That hide, that helmet, and that shield of Chin. Plains hast thou trodden and a longsome road Now fashion us a remedy for this." The mind of Puladwand grew full of thought How this knot should be loosed. He made reply:- "We must not hurry in so great a war. This is the self-same Rustam that laid waste And took Mazandaran with his huge mace, Who rent the White Div's side, the liverstead Of Bid, and of Pulad son of Ghundi. I have not prowess to contend with him, Or power enough to frustrate his attack; Still let my body and my soul await Thy will, may wisdom ever be thy guide. Do thou incite the host against his host, Our numbers may bewilder him, and I Will plan a stratagem, for otherwise We have not strength to break his breast and neck." Afrasiyab grew blythe of mind and brought |p257 Bright wine and harp and lyre, When Puladwand Was in his cups he roared out to the king:- "Dark to Jamshid, Zahhak, and Faridun Made I their provand, slumber, and repose! The Brahman hath been frighted at my voice, And this my noble host, and I will hew To pieces with my trenchant sword amain This Zabuli upon the battle-plain! " Par. 23 How Puladwand fought with Giv and Tus As soon as Sol displayed its shining flag, And night's deep violet silk grew safflower-hued, Drums sounded from the portal of the king, The troops' shouts reached the clouds, and Puladwand Of lusty form with lasso on his arm Led on the troops. When both the hosts were ranked The air turned violet-dim, the earth was darkened. Then matchless Rustam donned his tiger-skin, And, mounted on his huge, fierce Elephant, Raged and assailed the right wing of the foe, O'erthrowing many a Turkinan warrior. This Puladwand descried and, having loosed His twisted lasso from the saddle-straps, Encountered Tus like some mad elephant, With lasso on his arm and mace in hand; He seized Tus by the girdle, easily Dismounted him, and dashed him to the ground. Giv, when he looked upon the fight and saw The head of Tus son of Naudar o'erthrown, Urged on Shabdiz, devoting soul and body To fight, and mailed, armed with an ox-head mace, Strove like a savage lion with the div, |p258 Who flung his lasso round his foeman's head. Ruhham was with Bizhan; they both observed The mace, the prowess, and dexterity Of Puladwand, and went to bind his hands With lassos, but that wary warrior Urged on his steed and raised his battle-cry. Those two brave warriors of noble birth, Those haughty Lions casting such long shadows, He flung to earth, and trampled on in scorn, In sight of all the horsemen on the plain, And reaching Kawa's standard clave the staff' Asunder with his sword. The Iranians wailed, No warrior stood his ground upon the field. When Fariburz, Gudarz, and the other chiefs Beheld the traces of that warrior-div They said to Rustam, that avenging one:- "There is not left upon this battlefield A single man of name still in the saddle, Or horseman of the warriors of this host, Whom Puladwand hath brought not to the ground With arrow or with lasso, mace or sword The field of battle is a field of woe, And 'tis for Rustam to deliver us." Anon arose a cry of pain and grief From both the wings and centre; then Gudarz, The man of eld, supposing that Bizhan, The lion-taking chieftain, and Ruhham, His offspring both, had perished in the fight, Cried in his anguish to the righteous Judge:- "I had so many sons and grandsons once That I extolled my head above the sun, But they are slain before me in the wars, So greatly have my day and fortune changed Slain in their youth while I live on hoar-headed "' He doffed his calque, he laid his girdle by, And then began to wail right bitterly. |p259 Par. 24 How Rustam fought with Puladwand Now Rustam when he heard was sorely grieved, He shook as 'twere a bough upon a tree, And drawing near to Puladwand, and seeing His mountain-height grieved for those gallant four Like onagers contending with a lion, Saw one host sorely stricken and the other Unbroken, and he thought: "Our day hath darkened, Our nobles' heads are dazed! Good sooth! the strife Hath turned against us and our fortune sleepeth!" Then gripping with his legs he urged on Rakhsh, And raging challenged Puladwand to fight, Exclaiming: "O thou ill-conditioned div! Thou shalt behold a change of fortune now." The voice of Rustam reached those warriors, And he, perceiving them dismounted, said:- "O Thou Almighty Ruler of the world Thou art above the unseen and the seen. Far rather would I lose mine eyes in battle Than look upon this miserable day, Whereon such cries have risen from Iran, Such from Human, Piran, and yon fierce div! Giv and Ruhham and Tus are all unhorsed, And e'en Bizhan who used to mock at lions! The chargers of the great are pierced with arrows, The riders fight afoot as best they may." Then closing with the div he threw his lasso, But Puladwand, brave horseman though he was, Ducked in alarm, he had had fight enough; But when the cast had failed and he was safe He said to Rustam: "O thou gallant one, Thou veteran Lion and illustrious, Who scarest mighty elephants! ere long |p260 Thou shalt behold the billows of the deep. Consider now the fire of mine attack, My lasso, courage, might, and enterprise. Thou shalt behold no traces of thy Shah, His nobles, or his mighty men henceforth, Or of thy land, unless in dream, for I Will give thine army to Afrasiyab." " How much more shirking, blustering, and guile?" Said Rustam. "Let no warrior play the shrew Or he will give his head up to the winds Assuredly. Though thou be brave and proud Thou art not Sam nor yet stiff-necked Garshasp." Then Puladwand recalled a saw of old:- They who unjustly seek to cause a fight Return with livers pierced and faces white; If friend or foe harm thee 'tis well thou still Do thy devoir alike to good and ill." He thought: "This is that Rustam who o'ercame By night with his huge mace Mazandaran," And then he said: "O man approved in war! Why stand we here so long to no result?" Two mighty Elephants, two warlike Lions, Were they; they wheeled, the dust rose from the waste, And elephantine Rustam with his mace Struck his foe's head: all present heard the crash. Such darkness filled the eyes of PLlhdwand That he relaxed his hold upon his bridle, And, swerving to the right hand in his pain, Exclaimed: "An ill day this!" Now matchless Rustam - Looked for the brains of Puladwand to pour From both his ears but, since he kept his seat, Invoked the Maker of the world and said:- "O Thou exalted over fortune's wheel, The Lord, the All-seeing, and the Nourisher! If I am fighting in an unjust cause |p261 My spirit doteth not upon this world; But if the wrong is with Afrasiyab Deprive me not of strength and skill in arms. It is not meet that thou shouldst loose my soul From bondage by the hand of Puladwand, For if I am to perish by his prowess No warrior will remain throughout Iran, No husbandman and no artificer, No dust, no country, and no field or fell." He said to Puladwand: "What harm hast thou Got from the whirling mace? Thy hands relax Thy sable reins. Down, div! and beg thy life." He said: "Thy mace hath harmed me not." They closed, And Puladwand employed his sword of steel With many a feint and many an artifice, But failed to pierce through Rustam's tiger-skin, Which filled the liver of the div with blood. That fierce one raged at fate because his sword Availed not on his foeman; he was troubled At Rustam's neck and shoulders, and again Spake to him: "Doff this tiger's legacy, This armour, with that sable helm of thine, And put on others. I will do the like, And come with speed." But Rustam said: "Not so. That is no channel for a warrior's stream. I will not change my gear, do thou keep thine." Then both the warriors wheeled till Puladwand, Whose massive mace fell but without eflect On Rustam's tiger-skin and coat of steel, Said: "Wrestling is the test 'twixt man and man. Take we each other by the leathern belt, That we may know which one the will of fate Dismisseth worsted from the battlefield." Then Rustam said: "O ill-conditioned div! |p262 Thou canst not stand a warrior's blow, but like A fox employest craft. What profit is it To have thy head ensnared? Hast wile or spell In wrestling that will free that neck of thine From mine encircling arms?" They made a pact That none should interfere from either side, Then, lighting from their chargers, both the foes Took time wherein to breathe them and repose. Par. 25 The Wrestling of Rustam and Puladwand These two exalted warriors bent on fight Prepared themselves to wrestle, and agreed:- "No one on either side shall intervene." The space between the hosts was half a league. The stars surveyed that fight as Puladwand And matchless Rustam - those grim Lions - closed, Who felt each other, then each warrior Seized his opponent by the leathern belt. When Shida looked on Rustam's chest and neck He drew a deep, cold sigh and thus bespake His sire Afrasiyab: "This mighty man, Whom thou call'st Rustam, binder of the Div, Will by his strength and prowess lay the head Of our brave warrior-div upon the dust, And thou wilt see our soldiers take to flight, So strive not vainly with the turning sky." The sire replied: "My brain is fraught with care On that account, go and observe the prowess Of Puladwand in wrestling. Speak to him In Turkman and advise him. He may get The elephantine Rustam off his feet. Tell Puladwand: 'When thou hast got him down Let thine appeal be to the scimitar."' |p263 But Shida said: "This is not what the king Agreed to in the presence of the host. If thou art rash and breakest covenant Thy warfare will not issue in success. Befoul not this clear stream, else he that loveth Fault-finding will discover cause for blame." Afrasiyab began to chide, becoming In his fierce wrath distrustful of his son, And said to him: "If Pulawand the div. Shall be o'erthrown by this antagonist None will remain alive upon the field; Thou hast a valiant tongue, no prowess else." He plied his reins and came forth lion-like Upon the ground, observed the strife and shouts Like thunder, then he said to Puladwand:- "If thou, exalted Lion ' gett'st him down In wrestling rip him open with thy dagger; We need not boasting but accomplishment." Giv marked the king's wild words and eagerness, Then urging on his charger came in haste, Because the enemy had broken troth, And said to Rustam: "O thou warrior' What orders givest thou thy servants? Speak Observe Afrasiyab, his eagerness, And wild words! He hath come forth to inflame The heart of thine antagonist and prompt him To use his dagger in a wrestling-bout ' " But Rustam said: "A man of war am I, And, when engaged in wrestling, bide my time. What do ye fear? Why ,are your hearts thus rent? Ken now will I bring down from heaven above The head and neck of Puladwand to dust; But if I have not strength of hand therefor What need thus wantonly to break my heart? Although this witless warlock doth transgress |p264 The covenant of God, why should ye fear The breach? He poureth dust on his own head." Then, like a lion, reaching out he clutched The chest and neck of that fierce Crocodile, And, straining hard, uprooted Puladwand, As though he were a plane-tree, from his place, Raised him aloft, dashed him upon the ground, And uttered praises to Almighty God. A shout rose from the army of Iran; The drummers marched out with the kettle-drums; The blast of clarion, the clang of gong And Indian bell ascended to the clouds. Now Rustam thus imagined: "Puladwand Hath not a sound joint in his body left, His bones are broken and his cheeks become The colour of the bloom of fenugreek," So flung his leg across the gallant Rakhsh, And left the Dragon's body as it lay; But, when the lion-clutching hero reached His army, Puladwand glanced arrow-like, And fled with all speed to Afrasiyab With full heart and with tears upon his face. When Rustam saw that Puladwand still lived, And troops were everywhere upon the plain, His heart grew straitened, he led on the host, Called unto him the veteran Gudarz, And ordered: "Let them send a shower of arrows, And make the air as 'twere a cloud in spring." Bizhan was on one wing, Giv on the other With veteran Ruhham and brave Gurgin. Thou wouldst have said: "They have enkindled fire, And with their falchions set the world ablaze! " Then Puladwand said to his troops: "With throne, Renown, and treasure lost, why throw away Our lives or think at all of further strife?" |p265 And, with his very life-cord snapped in twain By Rustam, marched his army from the plain. Par. 26 How Afrasiyab fled from Rustam Piran spake thus unto Afrasiyab:- "The surface of the world is like a sea Did not I say: 'We cannot tarry here Secure from Rustam of the deadly hand?' By murdering the youth beloved by him Thou hast transfixed our hearts with arrow-points. How wilt thou fare? None of thine own remaineth, And Pulidwand the div hath marched away. The horsemen of Iran on barded chargers Exceed in sooth a hundred thousand men; The lion-catching Rustam is their leader, And air is full of arrows, earth of blood. From sea and plain, from mountain and from waste, Our warriors assembled; when men failed We tried the dies. Great were the strife and shouts, But now, since Rustam came, no place is left For thee; the only prudent course is flight. Since thou art here the treasure of the earth Thou shouldst withdraw to further Chin. Leave here Thy troops thus ranged for battle and betake thee, Thou and thy kindred, seaward." The king saw That fight was hopeless, took the advice, and fled. They left his flag but he himself departed, And went in haste toward Machin and Chin. The armies came together face to face, The earth grew like a darksome cloud, anon The peerless Rustam shouted to his host:- "Take not your bows and arrows or your spears, |p266 But battle with the mace and scimitar, And show a prowess worthy of your standing. Is it the time for pards to shun the fray When they perceive the quarry in the lair?" The soldiers left their spears upon the mount, And, shouting, made the dales and plains of fight Impassable with corpses. Half the living Asked quarter, and the others fled pell-mell; There was no shepherd and the flock was scattered; The plain was filled with handless, neckless trunks. Then Rustam spake and said: "Enough are slain. These changes are the lot of all, at whiles Producing bane, at whiles the antidote. Put off your arms and do more good henceforth. Why set your hearts upon this Wayside Inn, Which now is joyful and then sorrowful, Which now assaileth us like Ahriman, And then is like a bride all scent and colour? Choose calm, untroubled lives, for who can say That cursing is a better thing than blessing?" He chose gold, silver, raiment yet unworn, Youths, horses, swords, and casques to send the Shah, Took for himself crowns, musk, and ambergris, And lavished on the troops the residue. He fain had found the monarch of Turan, Path and no path they sought him everywhere. Folk gave no trace of him by land or sea; No tidings reached them of Afrasiyab. The Iranians set themselves to desolate His banquet-houses and his palaces, And Rustam fired his settlements beside; That conflagration blazed up far and wide. |p267 Par. 27 How Rustam returned to the Court of the Shah Before they left Turan they loaded up Crowns, thrones, and precious armour; they had captured So many camels and such herds of horses That none could murmur at the lack of beasts. There rose a shouting and a blare of trumpets, They brought the camel-bells and brazen gongs, And entered on their march toward Iran, A host thus decked with colour and perfume. As soon as news of Rustam reached the Shah A shout came from the city and the court, And cloudward from Iran rose tymbal-din Proclaiming that the lord of mace and mail Had come. One common joy was in the world Among all classes and degrees of men. The Shah's heart grew like Paradise above, He offered praises to Almighty God, Bade bring the elephants, and journeyed forth. The world was decked according to the custoru, Wine, harp, and minstrelsy were in request, The necks of all the elephants that went Were drenched with saffron, musk, and wine. The drivers Wore coronets upon their heads, and earrings Depended from their ears. Men poured down saffron And drachms, and sifted ambergris on musk. When matchless Rustam saw the exalted crown, While all around was echoing applause, He lighted from his steed and did obeisance. Khusrau inquired about the tedious march, Embracing Rustam long and heartily, And, calling many a blessing down on him, Bade him remount and, as they fared together |p268 Hand within hand, said thus: "Why hast thou stayed So long and burnt us through our love of thee?" " Apart from thee," thus Rustam made reply, "Our hearts have not enjoyed a moment's pleasure." They reached at length the palace of the Shah, The far-famed court; there on the golden throne Sat Kai Khusrau with noble Rustam, Tus, Giv, Fariburz, Gudarz, Farhad, Gurgin, And brave Ruhham. The Shah spake of the war, The field, and fighting of the Turkman host. Gud arz replied: "O sire! the tale is long Our first needs are the flagon, wine, and rest, And afterward thou mayest question us." They spread the tables and the Shah said smiling:- Good Good sooth! thou hast been famished by the march." He set wine on the board, called minstrelsy, And then inquired of all that had occurred, About Afrasiyab and Puladwand, The twisted lasso and the wrestling-bout, About the Khan, Kamus, and Ashkabus, And that vast army with its elephants And drums. Gudarz addressed him thus: "O Shah No mother will bring forth a cavalier Like Rustam. Though a div or lion cometh Or dragon, none escapeth his long clutch. A thousand blessings be upon the king, Above all on this famous paladin." The words so pleased Khusrau that thou hadst said:- "He raised his head to Saturn." He rejoined:- "World-conquering paladin, alert and shrewd The man with wisdom for his monitor Is circumspect in time's vicissitudes. Be evil's eye far from this paladin, And may his life be one long festival." |p269 They spent a week with wine in hand. The crown, The throne, and company rejoiced in Rustam, While some to melody of pipe and strings . Sang in heroic strains his combatings. Par. 28 How Rustam went back to Sistan The peerless Rustam tarried with the Shah One month in revelry. At length he said:- "O full of virtues, wearer of the crown The monarch of the world is wise and good, But yet I long to see the face of Zal." The great Shah then unlocked his treasury-door, And of the precious things there stored away Such gifts as jewels, crowns, and finger-rings, Brocade and raiment from Barbar, and slaves, With earrings and with crowns, a hundred steeds And camels, saddled or for porterage, With golden trays of aloes and of musk, Two golden slippers, and a mace to match Inlaid with jewels that a king might wear, Gifts that became a man of such renown, The Shah sent matchless Rustam, and went out Two stages with him on the journey home; And Rustam when the king was wearying Of that long road gat down and homaged him, Bade him farewell, then left Iran behind, And hastened onward to Zabulistan. The world became obedient to the Shah, And settled in accordance to his will. This tale too have I ended and 'tis long - This battle with Kamus - and from my song No jot hath fallen. Had but one word been Left out it would have caused my soul chagrin. |p270 I joyed o'er Puladwand who added not His steel chains to the chains that we have got.' Now hear the battle with Akwan and know How famous Rustam fared against that foe. |p272 Par. 1 The Prelude Be adoration as thy duty, sage! To God the Lord of soul and wisdom raised, Yet let this question thy bright mind engage:- Can any praise Him as He should be praised? All knowledge that we have is feebleness; For such poor weaklings who can tears repress? Philosopher! in vain thou biddest me In many words to make thy path mine own, The best word witnesseth God's unity, Albeit, said or not said, God is One. What things soever pass before thine eyes Accord to this conviction of thy mind, Walk then the beaten track if thou art wise Or else discussion will no limit find. Born, soul and body, in a single breath Of mighty moment is thyself to thee, Yet here thou hast but brief reprieve from death, And in another home thy rest will be. Think first of the Creator then and base Thy worship on the thought well understood That He who keepeth turning heaven in place Is He that is thy Guide to every good. The world is full of wonders to thy view, And none hath means to judge them here below Thy soul is wonderful, thy body too, So let thy first task be thyself to know, And next the sky which turneth over thee |p273 In all its daily mutability. The rustic minstrel's tale of days of old Thou mayest not be willing to receive, For men of wisdom who shall hear it told, And weigh it learnedly, will disbelieve; Yet, if thou wilt the inner meaning scan, Thou wilt accept it and from carping cease, So hear the story of the ancient man Though it may be his words will fail to please. Par. 2 How Khusrau summoned Rustam to fight the Div Arkwan Thus saith the storying minstrel: Kai Khusrau One morn adorned his Rose-bed like the spring. Such chieftains as Gudarz, Tus, Gustaham, Barzin son of Garshasp, sprung from Jamshid, With Giv and with Ruhham the veteran, Gurgin and sage Kharrad sat with the Shah, And drained the goblet to the king of kings Right merrily. One hour of day had passed When there arrived a herdsman from the plain, Who came before Khusrau, first kissed the ground, And then addressed that Shah of glorious race:- "An onager hath come amongst the herds, And seemeth like a div escaped from bond! Thou wouldest say: ' It is a savage lion!' He breaketh our steeds' necks; he is in colour As 'twere the sun itself; thou wouldest say The sky hath washed him in a bath of gold.' Drawn from his neck and reaching to his tail There is a line as black as musk. If thou Wouldst judge by his round haunches and his feet Thou wouldest say: ' He is a noble steed."' Khusrau, aware that 'twas no onager, |p274 For onagers surpass not steeds in strength, And having heard that people near the stream, Where this man used to turn the herds to graze, Made much complaint about Akwan the div, Said to the hind: "This is no onager, And I have knowledge of it. Go thy way." He then addressed the chiefs: "Ye paladins, With Grace and state! we need one lion-fierce Among yourselves to go on this emprise." He scanned the warriors but found none to please him, For only Rustam son of Zal could help In such a cause, and so Khusrau prepared A letter couched in just and loving terms, And gave it to Gurgin son of Milad, To whom he said: "Bear to the son of Zal _ My letter, go like smoke both night and day, And slumber not within Zabulistan. Greet Rustam much and lovingly from me, Say to him: 'Live while heaven itself shall last,' And add when he hath read the letter through:- "My Grace is all from thee, aspiring chief! Show us thy face, arise, and come. When thou Hast read the letter stay not in ZAbul.' " Gurgin departed like a rushing wind, Or onager in terror for its life, And gave the letter when he reached the chieftain, Who heard, obeyed, and went to court in state, There kissed the ground before the throne and blessed The imperial fortunes, saying thus: "O Shah Thou calledst me, and here am I girt up To do thy will. Be might and goodness thine." Khusrau, on seeing Rustam, welcomed him, Gave him a seat upon the royal throne, And afterward spake thus: "O paladin! Mayst thou live ever glad and bright of soul. |p275 This day is blessed since I look on thee My fortunes all depend on thy shrewd mind. A work is toward, O elephantine one! For which I summoned thee of all the mighty, So that, if thou distaste not my command, Thou mayest gird thee to win crown and treasure. A hind hath said: ' An onager hath come Among the herds."' The Shah told o'er the tale, And added: "Now, O matchless one, make ready! And undertake this further enterprise. Go, and in dealing with it have a care, For it may be malicious Ahriman." " Through thy good fortune," Rustam made reply, "Now whether it be lion, div, or dragon, The servant of thy throne is not afraid; It shall not 'scape my scimitar's sharp blade." Par. 3 How Rustam event in Quest of the Div He went forth like a lion to the chase, A lasso on his arm and under him A Dragon, went to where that hind was tending His cattle and that div was roaming loose. Three days he searched the champaign mid the steeds, And on the fourth perceived a Thing careering, And rushing by him like the north wind's blast. It was a glossy beast of golden hue, But with fell mischief 'neath its hide. Then Rustam Spurred fleet-foot Rakhsh but thought as he drew near:- "I need not cast but noose it with my lasso; There is no call to spoil it with the sword; I will convey it living to the Shah. " |p276 So Rustam flung his royal lasso forth, Intent to take the creature by the head. The lusty onager perceived the noose, And vanished instantly. Then Rustam knew:- "This is no onager; I must proceed By craft not force. It is Akwan himself, And I must smite him with a whiff of steel. The sages told me that this is his haunt, But his appearance as an onager Is strange! The scimitar must now avail To make blood overflow that yellow gold." Just then the onager appeared again; Again the chieftain urged his swift career, Strung up his bow and from his wind-like steed Let fly an arrow like Azargashasp, But even as he drew his royal bow - The onager was gone the second time. Then Rustam rode about the open plain A day and night in want of sustenance, And nodding in the saddle, till he found A fountain like rose-water. Lighting there He watered Rakhsh and sank to sleep fordone, But first ungirthed his steed, took off the saddle To use its poplar pummel as his pillow, And spread beside the spring his saddle-cloth For sleep while Rakhsh to pasturage sped forth. Par. 4 How the Div Akwan flung Rustam into the Sea When from afar Akwan saw Rustam sleeping He came as swift as wind, delved round about The place where Rustam lay, and raised it skyward. When Rustam woke from sleep he woke to sorrow, And his wise head was filled with consternation. |p277 He thought: "So this foul div hath laid for me A snare like this! Woe for my strength and courage, My neck, and blows with mace and scimitar' This matter will make desolate the world, Achieving all AfrAsiyab's desire, While Tus, Gudarz, Khusrau, the throne and crown, The elephants and drums, will be no more. Through me the world will suffer, since Akwan Hath spoiled my marketing. Who will take vengeance On this curst div? No one will match him now." Then said Akwan to Rustam in his plight:- Now, Now, elephantine chieftain! take thy choice To fall upon the mountains or the waves; So whither shall I fling thee far from men?" The elephantine hero communed thus:- In In every case naught bettereth artifice. He will do contrary to what I say; He will not recognise an oath or keep A pact. If I say, 'Throw me in the sea,' Then will this evil-natured Ahriman Fling me upon the mountains, dash me there To pieces, and destroy me. I must use Some scheme to make him fling me into water," Then said: "A sage of Chin hath spoken well:- ' Whoe'er is drowned his soul will never see Surush in Paradise, his lot will be To tarry in his place in misery, And not to find a welcome to the sky.' Let me not therefore fall upon the ocean To make the fishes' maws my winding-sheet, But drop me on the mountains that the lions And tigers may behold a brave man's hands.' Akwan at this roared like the sea, and answered:- Now Now will I fling thee to the place wherein Thou wilt be lost for ever to both worlds." And, acting contrary to Rustam's words. |p278 Dropped him upon the sea. As Rustam fell He drew his sword, and when the crocodiles Approached they turned aside from fighting him. He struck out with his feet and his left hand _ While with his right he fought his way along, Not resting for a moment from his toils, But acting as a warrior in all. If valour could avert the fatal day Time had not taken Rustam's stance away, But know that circling time is ever thus - At whiles all sweet, at whiles all venomous. He struggled bravely, reached the shore, beheld The desert, and gave praises to the Maker, Who had delivered thus His slave from ill. He rested, took his armour off, and laid His tiger-skin cuirass beside the stream. Whenas his lasso and his armour dried That savage Lion donned' his coat of mail, And went back to the'stream where he had slept When that malignant div had raged at him; But glossy Rakhsh was nowhere in the mead, And Rustam, wroth and raging at his luck, Went plodding doggedly with reins and saddle In Rakhsh's track till in his quest he came Upon a meadow-land of streams and shaws Well stocked with francolins and cooing doves. The herdsman of Afrasiyab who kept The steeds lay fast asleep within a coppice, While Rakhsh was prancing madly like a div Among the herd and neighing. Rustam cast His royal lasso, caught Rakhsh by the head, Then rubbed the dust away and saddled him, With, thanks to God, the Giver of all good, Put on the bridle, mounted, took in hand His trenchant scimitar, and drove the herd Therewith, still calling on the name of God. |p279 The herdsman, at the tumult, raised his head, Still half asleep, and called the horsemen with him To mount upon their lofty-crested steeds. They took each man his lasso and his bow To learn what foe dared come upon the pasture, And to approach so many cavaliers. These went together hotly in pursuit To strip the warlike Lion of his hide, But Rustam, when he saw them rushing on, Drew quickly from his waist his vengeful sword, Roared like a lion, and proclaimed: "My name Is Rustam son of Zal the son of Sam." He slew the more part with his scimitar, Which when the herdsman saw he showed his back, And fled away with Rustam following, His bow upon his arm slung by its string. Par. 5 How Afrasiyab came to inspect his Steeds, and how Rustam slew the Div Akwan. It happened strangely that Afrasiyab Had sped forth like a blast to view his steeds, And brought with him wine, harps, and warriors To merrymake upon the watered plain Where every year the herdsman loosed the herds. The monarch on arriving saw them not. Then suddenly rose clamour, horse on horse Passed, and Afrasiyab saw far away The dust of Rakhsh, and other noble chargers. The ancient herdsman rushed up franticly In evil plight and wounded by an arrow, Then in amazement told Afrasiyab:- "Though single-handed, Rustam hath borne off Our horse-herds, killed no few of us, and gone! " |p280 The Turkmans clamoured: "He is all alone, And we must arm, for this is past a jest. Have we become so wretched, weak, and frail That one can shed our blood? The very herds Will shame thereat! We cannot let it pass." The monarch with four elephants and troops Went in pursuit of Rustam who, when they Had overtaken him, took from his arm His bow and charged against them furiously. He rained upon them, as the clouds rain hail, Shafts from his bow and strokes from his steel sword. He dropped his arrows and his scimitar, When sixty gallant chiefs had been o'erthrown, And taking up his mace slew forty more. Afrasiyab in dudgeon showed his back While Rustam took the four white elephants. The warriors of TUribn were in despair, For Rustam came behind them with his mace, And, like a cloud in spring, for two leagues onward Rained blows like hail and beat in helms and casques. He turned back, driving off the elephants And herds, and took the baggage-train withal, Yet when he went back to the spring at leisure His valiant heart was ready still for fight! The div Akwan again encountered him, And said: "Art thou not surfeited with strife? Thou hast escaped the ocean and the claws Of crocodiles, and come back to the waste To battle. Now shalt thou behold thy fate, For never shalt thou seek to fight henceforth." The peerless Rustam, hearing what the div Said, roared out like a lion of the fray, Released his twisted lasso from its straps, Flung it, and caught the div about the waist; Then Rustam, turning in his saddle, raised His mace as 'twere the hammer of a smith, |p281 And smote the div like some mad elephant Upon his head and smashed it, brains and neck; The hero lighted, drew his blue steel sword And cut the div's head off, then offered up Thanksgivings to Almighty God through Whom He had achieved the victory that day. Know thou that every one that is the thrall Of ill, and offereth not to God his praise, And whosoever doth transgress the ways Of manhood, is a div, not man at all. The wisdom that rejecteth what I tell May miss the goodly inner sense as well If then a paladin be full of might - A man of lusty limbs and lofty height - Let him, and. not Akwan, thy hero be, And let thy tongue tell tales of chivalry. What sayest thou, O man exceeding old, Experienced much in this world's heat and cold? Who knoweth what vicissitudes will here Betide us often in time's long career, Time which by virtue of its length alone Will bear away all that we call our own? Who knoweth what yon turning vault's decree Assigneth him of war or revelry? Par. 6 How Rustam event back to the Land of Iran When Rustam had cut off the vile div's head He mounted on his elephantine steed, Collected all the herds in front of him, With all the baggage that the Turkmans left, And went off with the elephants and goods, Illustrating the world. When to the Shah Came tidings: "Rustam hath returned in triumph! He girt himself to noose that onager, |p282 But he hath taken div and elephant, The elephant by land, the crocodile By sea: the lions, divs, and warriors That counter him escape not from his sword!" Khusrau prepared to go and welcome Rustam; The warriors put their casques upon their heads, And took the standard of the king of kings With clarions, bells, and mighty elephants. When Rustam saw the exalted monarch's flag Advancing on the way to welcome him He lighted from his steed and kissed the ground Midst shouting troops and din of trump and drum. The chieftains of the army went afoot To him; the king of kings urged on his steed. That chief of chiefs, the crown-bestowing prince, Bade Rustam mount, and thus they reached the .palace With open hearts and mutual good-will. Then Rustam portioned to the Iranians The horse-herds, keeping Rakhsh as his own mount, And sent the elephants to join the Shah's, Since Lions do not fare with elephants. For one week there was feasting in the hall, Wine, harp, and minstrelsy were in request, While Rustam o'er the wine discoursed at large, And told the Shah the story of Akwan:- "I never saw so fine an onager, Such neck and limbs, and such magnificence! But when my scimitar had cleft his hide No friend or foe had pitied him. His head Was like an elephant's, his hair was long, His mouth was full of tusks like some wild boar's, His eyes were white, his lips were black, his form Was ill to see. No camel is so large And strong. The waste became a sea with blood, Which spurted, when I had beheaded him, Up to the welkin and came down like rain!" |p283 Then Kai Khusrau amazed put by his cup, And gave God thanks for such a paladin, Since none had seen such wonders - that a man Such as was Rustam should exist at all In all his manliness and mien and stature. He said: "Unless the Lord had given me A share both in His justice and His love I never should have had a liege like this With whom to hunt down divs and elephants." Thus spent they two weeks joyfully; their talk Was all of wine and banquet. On the third The matchless Rustam purposed to go home Victorious and glad. "I yearn for Zal, The son of Sam," he said, "and such desire May not be blinked, but I will go apace, And come back to the court. We must prepare Fresh vengeance, for revenge for Siyawush Is not thus easily to be forgone By taking steeds and herds." The world's great king Unlocked the portal of his treasury, Brought forth the precious jewels hoarded there, And filled a cup with treasure. Of king's raiment Five changes made throughout of cloth of gold, With golden-girdled slave-boys brought from Rum, And likewise handmaids decked with golden torques, With tapestries and thrones of ivory, Embroideries, dlndrS, and turquoise crowns, All these the Shah sent Rustam, saying: "Take This gift with thee, but stay with us to-day, And afterward make ready to depart." They spent the day together quaffing wine, But Rustam was resolved to go at dawn. The Shah went two days with him and embraced him At parting. Rustam cottoned to the road, Khusrau returned. Well ordered 'neath his signet |p284 The world became as he would have it be. The ancient sky revolveth ever so, At whiles like arrow and at whiles like bow. The matter of Akwan with what befell 'Twixt him and Rustam endeth. Now I tell The conflicts of Bizhan, and thou shalt hear Of strivings that will ask of thee a tear. |p287 Par. 1 The Prelude The night was like jet dipped in pitch, there lent No planet lustre to the firmament, The moon, appearing in her new array In readiness to take her throneward way, Much brightness lost by sojourning below; Her waist was shrunk, her heart was full of woe, Her crown was well-nigh lapis-lazuli; Through rust and dust she journeyed through the sky. Night's retinue had spread out everywhere A carpet black as raven's plumes, the air Was like rust-eaten steel; thou wouldst have cried:- "Its face is smirched with pitch!" On every side, Like some black serpent with its jaws stretched wide, Was very Ahriman, each sigh of whom Was like a negro making charcoal fume. The garden and the stream's lip seemed to be Like billows surging on a pitchy sea O'er which the circling heaven paused wonderingly. The sun had lost its power; thou wouldst have said:- "Earth sleepeth with a pitch-like robe o'erspread." The world's heart trembled at itself; no sounds Were heard but watchmen ringing on their rounds; The birds refrained from song, the beasts were still, The world's lips closed alike for good or ill, And height and depth were lost. Amid the woes Of that long vigil strait at heart I rose. I had one in the house, a loving wight, |p288 To whom I called and bade to bring a light. Descending to the garden presently My darling Idol came and said to me:- "What need for light? Will sleep not visit thee?" I said: "Mine Idol! I am not at one With slumber. Bring a candle like the sun, Set it in front of me, then spread the board, Take up the harp, and let the wine be poured." My darling Idol fetched me lamps a-shine, Fetched quinces, oranges, pomegranates, wine, And one bright goblet fit for king of kings, Then plied at whiles the wine, at whiles the strings. "Harut performed enchantment," thou hadst said, My heart grew victor over drearihead, And it seemed day with me in dark night's stead. Hear what my loving comrade said to me What time the goblet had - joined company. Thus said to me that sun-faced Moon of mine:- "May heaven have joyance of that life of thine. Quaff thou thy wine while from this volume's store I will read out to thee a tale of yore. Or ever part thereof shall reach thine ear Thou wilt admire the process of the Sphere. The theme is love, spell, war, and stratagem, All worthy that a sage should list to them." "O Moon-face!" said I to that Cypress-stem, "Recite, recite," who answered: "That will I, And thou shalt weave it into poetry." I said: "Begin, my fair-faced Moon! to read, And make me love thee more. I may be freed From my distemperature, and sleep betide In musings, darling mate! by thee supplied. Then will I turn the story, every whit, To verse exactly as thou tellest it, And, telling, offer praise to God above, O my discreet companion and my love!" |p289 That darling Idol read the tale to me Out of the book of ancient legendry, So now give ear the while that I rehearse, And exercise thy judgment on my verse. Par. 2 How the Iranians appealed to Khusrau When Kai Khusrau went forth to take revenge, And sought to change the order of the world, The throne and state departed from Tunin, But his throne topped the sun because he leagued Heaven and Iran together, and lavished love Upon the noble race, the age renewed Its youth and bathed his face in loyalty; And though the prudent maketh not his couch A torrent-bed though dry, yet for a while The more part of the world acknowledged him That sought to be avenged for Siyawush. One day he sat carousing in his joy, And drinking to the warriors of the host. His throne was ornate with brocade, a crown Of gems was on his head, and in his hand A jewelled cup of wine. Thus, all enraptured, He listened to the harp. The nobles present Were Fariburz the son of Kai Kaus, And Gustaham, Gudarz son of Kishwad, Gurgin son of Milad, Farhad, and Giv, Shapur the brave, Tus, shatterer of hosts - Head of the scions of Naudar - Kharrad, And bold Bizhan. These loyal paladins Had royal wine in hand. Inside the goblets The wine was like carnelian of Yaman, And in the midst were handfuls of dog-roses. Before Khusrau stood slaves with fairy-faces, |p290 Whose musk-black ringlets fell on skins of jasmine. The banquet-hall was decked, and in the presence Girt for attendance stood the chamberlain. Approaching him discreetly from the curtain An usher said: "Iranians wait without - Chiefs of the march between this and Turan They fain would have an audience of the Shah, For they have travelled far to seek redress." The prudent chamberlain approached the throne, Announced his tidings, sought the royal pleasure, And introduced the envoys in due form. They came before the presence of the Shah With tears and cries for aid; their arms were folded, Their faces swept the ground; as they drew nigh They said: "O Shah triumphant! live for ever, For thou art worthy of unending life. We come for succour from a distant land, Khan-i-Irman, between this and Turan, And bring this message: 'Ever live, O Shah! In every clime the succourer from the evil, O'er all seven climes the king, and in each state The help against the bad. Turan and we Confine, which is a source of bale to us, While toward Iran there was a forest-tract - Our present cause of trouble. What a wealth Of cultivated lands was ours therein, And fruit trees, our chief means of sustenance! Now do us right, O monarch of Iran Because wild boars in numbers numberless, With tusks like elephants', and big as hills, Have seized on all those woods and meads, and put The country of Iran in consternation. What mighty ruin have they brought on us Both in our cattle and our growing crops! The boars delight in rending with their tusks The cultivated trees whereof we speak. |p291 Hard stones will not withstand such tusks, and fortune May be hath utterly abandoned us!" Now when the Shah had heard the suppliants' words He was much grieved and, pitying them, addressed The exalted warriors: "Who among my chiefs And mighty men is eager for renown? Let such depart to yon boar-wasted forest, And, all intent on fame and combating, Behead them with his sword. I will not grudge him My gems and other treasures." At his bidding The treasurer laid upon the dais a salver Of gold whereon they showered mingled gems; They brought ten steeds, whose brand-mark was "Kaus," With golden bridles, trapped them with brocade Of Rum, and called the nobles from the throng. "O men of name and worship!" said earth's king, "What man will make my toil his own and then My treasure his?" None answered him a word Except the son of Giv of glorious race - Bizhan - who stood forth midst the warriors, And called God's blessing down upon the Shah:- "Ne'er may thy palace see another master. And be thy bidding done throughout the world. I will adventure on this enterprise At thy command: I only live for thee." Giv, who was standing by, marked with displeasure His son's words, called down blessings on the Shah. Then took Bizhan to task: "What boyishness Is this, and this conceit of thine own might? A youth may have both wit and native worth, But he must train to win accomplishment; He must exhaust all kinds of good and ill, Must taste of every salt and bitter. Go not |p292 By paths that thou hast never trodden or brag Before the Shah so recklessly." Bizhan, Shrewd, though impulsive, and of sleepless fortune, Replied in anger: "My victorious sire! Impute not weakness to me in thy thoughts, But bear with what I tell thee: I am young In enterprise but I am old in counsel, And I, Bizhan, who am the son of Giv, The army-shatterer, will behead the boars." The Shah rejoiced thereat, invoked God's blessing, Bade him depart, and said: "Thou man of worship! Thou art a buckler ever 'gainst all ill. The lord that hath such lieges as thou art Would be a fool to fear a foe." He then Said to Gurgin son of Milad: "Bizhan Is ignorant of the road toward Irman, So bear him company with mule and steed To show the way and be his help in need." Par. 3 How Bizhan went to fight the wild Boars Bizhan made ready for his setting forth, Girt him, and set a casque upon his head. He took with him Gurgin son of Milad To help in battle and in time of need, And left the court with cheetahs and with hawks To hunt withal upon his longsome journey. Like foaming lion he fared and took the heads From onager and antelope; the plain Was thick with wild sheep torn; their hearts and breasts Felt the warm impress of the cheetah's claws. |p293 His lasso ringed the necks of onagers, He seemed like Tahmuras who bound the Div, While overhead the pheasants clutched by falcons Dyed jasmine-leaves with blood. Thus sped the twain, And thought the road a garden, till they reached The forest that had caused the Shah's concern. Now when Bizhan cast eyes thereon the blood Boiled in him with excitement, while the boars Roamed freely, knowing not: "Bizhan hath mounted." On drawing near the forest to attack He spake thus to Gurgin son of Milad:- "Go thou inside or stand aside, and when I go to shoot the boars seek yonder pool. Then, when a tumult riseth from the wood, Take up thy mace, be ware, and with one blow Behead each boar escaping." But Gurgin, The warrior, answered: "Such was not the compact With our young Shah. Thou hadst the jewels, silver, And gold, and didst adventure for this field; Ask but mine aidance then to show the way." Bizhan heard with amaze, his outlook darkened, But lion-like he went inside the forest; Undaunted strung his bow, roared mightily As 'twere a cloud in spring, and brought the leaves Down like a shower of rain, then sword in hand Like some mad elephant he chased the boars While they rushed at him, tusking up the earth. Then came one boar, a very Ahriman, Whose tushes cut through trees like files through stone, And rent his hauberk while the reek of fight Rose o'er the mead. Bizhan's sword smote the boar And clave its elephantine form. The beasts So fierce before grew fox-like; all were stained With blood from sword-cuts; they had had enough |p294 Of combating. Bizhan cut off their heads, And tied them to his charger's saddle-straps, That he might lay the tusks before the Shah; And furthermore, in order to display His courage to the Iranian chiefs, he flung Some headless trunks, like mountains, on a wain, And buffalos were wearied with the strain. Par. 4 How Gurgin beguiled Bizhan Malevolent Gurgin, the insensate one, Apart drew near the forest sullenly, And all the wood gloomed in his eyes albeit He praised Bizhan and made a show of joy. That matter grieved his heart, he feared disgrace, And Ahriman seduced him. He was fain To do Bizhan a mischief; 'twas his wish, And so ordained. He thought not of the Maker, But he that diggeth pitfalls in the way Hath reason to walk warily himself. Gurgin for his own profit and renown Spread out his nets upon the young man's path, And said: "O paladin, thou Heart of combat, And Soul of wisdom! many an enterprise Like this thou wilt achieve through thy high fortune And God's support. Now I must tell thee somewhat, For I have been here often in past time With Rustam and with Giv and Gustaham, With Gazhdaham and Tus son of Naudar. How many a feat of prowess done by us Hath heaven witnessed on this spacious plain - Feats that have raised our reputations high, And rendered us the dearer to Khusrau There is a pleasure-ground not far away, |p295 And only two days' journey from Turan, Where thou wilt see a plain all red and yellow - One to rejoice a hero's heart, all woods And pleasances and rivulets, a spot Fit for a paladin, with painted silk For soil, and airs musk-laden: thou wouldst say:- Perchance it is rose-water in the streams.' The jasmine-branches bend beneath their burden; The roses, which the pheasants love to haunt, Are there the idols, and their worshippers The bulbuls singing in the cypress-boughs. Now from this present for a little while Yon river's marge will be like Paradise, And on the plain and uplands thou wilt see In merry parties fay-faced damsels sitting. Manizha, daughter of Afrasiyab, Will make that garden radiant as the sun, And with a hundred handmaids - perfect pictures, All daughters of the Turkmans, modest maids, As tall as cypress-trees, with musky hair, And cheeks like roses, dreamy eyes, and wine That savoureth rose-water on their lips - Will set up her pavilion on yon meadows. Thou wilt behold the plain bedecked throughout With riches like an idol-house in Chin. Now if we go toward that pleasure-ground, And hurry o'er the journey in one day, We may bear off some of those fay-faced damsels, And win the approbation of Khusrau." In this wise spake Gurgin. Bizhan was young, And all the paladin was stirred in him. He was a youth and followed youthful fashion, Some whiles pursuing fame and some whiles passion. |p296 Par. 5 How Bizhan went to see Manizha, Daughter of Afrasiyab They set off on the tedious journey, one Led by desire, the other by revenge. Bizhan, the refuge of the host, alighted Between two forests after one day's march.' He and Gurgin enjoyed two days with hawk And cheetah in those meadows of Irman. On hearing that that marriageable maid Had come, and decked the whole waste like the eye Of chanticleer, Gurgin informed Bizhan, And told him of the minstrelsy and feasting, Whereat " Now will I," thus Bizhan responded, "Go forward and examine from a distance The scene and manner of the Turkmans' revels; Then with my polished spear-head lifted skyward Will I turn rein. We shall advise the better, As feeling more assured, when we have seen." He bade the treasurer: "Bring the crown that used, Worn by my sire, to light the banquet-hall, Because our way is banquet-ward. Bring likewise The earrings and the torque that Kai Khusrau Bestowed on me, and Giv's bejewelled armlet." He donned a glittering tunic made in Rum, And stuck an eagle's feather in his crown. They put the saddle on his steed Shabrang While he bade bring the girdle and the signet That marked the paladin, and having mounted Went to the spot in haste. He reached the forest, His heart preoccupied with its desires, He drew anigh that Fair's pavilion, Desire contending in his heart the while, And went beneath a lofty cypress-tree |p297 For shelter from the sun. The plain, with all Its sounds of harp and song gave, thou hadst said, His soul a welcome. When the fair one saw The visage of the chieftain from her tent - The cheeks as 'twere Canopus of Yaman, Or jasmine blossoming mid violets - While on hid head he wore the crown that marked A chief of paladins, and all his breast Blazed with brocade of Rum, the maiden yearned For love of him, who came in quest of love, And sent her nurse as envoy, saying thus:- "Go 'neath the boughs of yonder lofty cypress, And find out who he is - yon moonlike one. Can it be Siyawush returned to life, Or else a fairy? Question him and say:- How How hast thou come and who hath brought thee hither? Art thou of fairy-birth or Siyawush That thou dost fill our hearts with love for thee, For thou hast lit a raging fire of love, Unless the Resurrection be upon us, Because for years have I been holding revel Upon these meads each spring, and we have seen None in this pleasance; but I now see thee, O noble Cypress! and it is enough: Say to him: 'Whether thou art than or fairy Come to our festival. I have not looked On aught resembling thee, O moon-faced one! Inform us of thy name and whence thou comest."' The nurse, when she had come and done obeisance, Gave him Manizha's message, and his cheeks Bloomed like the rose. He saw his wish achieved, And answered thus: "I am not Siyawush, Or fairy-born, sweet-spoken messenger! But from Iran - the country of the free. Bizhan am I, the son of Giv, and came |p298 All keenly thence to battle with wild boars. I took their heads and threw them by the way To bear their tushes to the Shah; but hearing About this pleasance did not hurry back To Giv, son of Gudarz, if so good fortune Might show me though but in a dream the face Of her - the daughter of Afrasiyab; And now I see that all the plain is decked With treasures like an idol-house in Chin. If thou wilt show me kindness I will give thee A crown of gold with earrings and a girdle, And thou shalt lead me to yon lady fair, And bring her heart to love me." She returned. And bore the secret to Manizha's ear:- "His countenance and mien are such and such, In such and such wise hath the Maker made him." Manizha sent an answer back forthwith:- What What seemed a fancy is within thy grasp, For now come to me with thy noble gait, And shed a light on this dark soul of mine. Mine eyes will brighten at the sight of thee, Vale, plain, and tents will turn to rosaries." With neither heart nor ear for aught beside Her words he followed and she acted guide. Par. 6 How Bizhan went to the Tent of Manizha No room was left for further parleying. Forth from beneath the shadow of the cypress Bizhan proceeded hastily afoot Toward Manizha's tent and entered it, |p299 In favour like a stately cypress-tree, Girt with a golden girdle round his loins. Manizha came and clasped him to her breast, Unloosed the royal girdle from his waist, Asked of his journey, equipage, and business, And said: "Who came with thee to fight the boars? Why trouble with a mace, O comely one, Who hast a shape like this, such mien and bearing?" They bathed his feet in musk and pure rose-water, Then hasted to set meat, they spread the board With various viands in profuse abundance, And held high revelry with wine and harp, Excluding every stranger from the tent. The handmaids standing in attendance there Played on the lyre and lute. The ground resembled The colours of a peacock with brocade All dappled with dinars like leopards' backs, While all the tent-enclosure was adorned With musk and jewels, ambergris and gold. Old wine in crystal cups gave to Bizhan New strength, but, when three days and nights had passed In pleasure, sleep and drink prevailed at last. Par. 7 How Manizha carried of Bizhan to her Palace Manizha, when her time for going home Arrived, still longed to gaze upon Bizhan, And, since his face was gloomy, called her handmaids, And bade them mingle with a grateful draught A drug that maketh senseless. This they gave him, And he, bemused already, swallowed it; His head sank down and he was lost to sense. She made a litter to transport the sleeper, |p300 A couch for him on one side, on the other An easy seat for her. She sprinkled camphor Upon his couch, and with rose-water drenched The sandal-wood. On coming near the city She veiled the sleeper in a woman's wrapper, And, entering the palace privily By night, preserved her secret. She prepared A chamber and, impatient for Bizhan To wake, poured in his ear a rousing potion To bring his senses back. He woke and found That jasmine-bosomed beauty in his arms, His head and hers both resting on a pillow, And in the palace of Afrasiyab! Distracted with himself he turned for refuge To God from Ahriman and thus exclaimed:- "As for myself there will be no escaping, O God Almighty! hence. But oh! that Thou Wouldst execute my vengeance on Gurgin, And hear the pains and malisons - that I Invoke on him! He led me into this, Reciting over me a thousand spells." Manizha said to him: "Be of good cheer, And treat all save the present as mere wind. Adventures of all kinds occur to men, And feast and fight by turn." They banqueted; Before them was the gibbet or espousal: They called the rose-cheeked damsels from their bowers, And decked them in brocade of Chin; forthwith These girls with fairy faces took the harp, And fleeted day and night in merriment. Anon the chamberlain got wind thereof, And, since one acting on an idle rumour Will shake the fruit down from the tree of bale, He took upon him to investigate, |p301 Inquiring who the man was, from what country, And what he sought in coming to Turan, So learned the truth and, fearing for his life, Went, as the only way to save himself, Before Afrasiyab and said to him:- "Thy daughter hath a lover from Iran!" The monarch called on God, and thou hadst said:- He He trembled like the willow in a blast." Then from the lashes of his eyes he wiped The tears of blood and raged, and spake this saw:- "One with a daughter in his house to guard May have a crown indeed but is ill-starred." He was confounded at Manizha's deed, Called to him princely Kurakhan and said:- "Advise me in the matter of this wanton." Then Kurakhan: "Examine with more care "If so it be there is no more to say, But hearing is not seeing." Instantly The monarch looked at Garsiwaz and said. - "What we have borne and still bear from Iran! And why doth fortune link in one ill chain Iranian troubles and an evil child? Go take with thee some prudent cavaliers, Keep watch upon the palace-roof and gates - Look well, and any man whom thou shalt see Therein secure with bonds and drag to me." Par. 8 How Garsiwaz brought Bizhan before Afrasiyab As, Garsiwaz approached the gate the sound Of feast and revelry was heard within, The music of the rebeck and the harp Rose from the palace of Afrasiyab. |p302 The cavaliers seized on the roof and gates, And occupied the outlets everywhere. When Garsiwaz found that the palace-portal Was fastened, and heard revels going on, He broke down all obstructions, rushed within, And sought the chamber where the stranger was. Now when he reached the door and saw Bizhan His blood boiled up with rage, for in that chamber There were three hundred handmaids busied all With harp and wine and singing, and among them, With red wine at his lips and making merry, Bizhan! Then Garsiwaz cried out in anguish:- "O reckless and abandoned profligate! Now art thou in the savage Lion's clutch. How wilt thou 'scape with life?" Bizhan writhed, thinking:- How How can I fight unarmed, without Shabrang, Or aught to ride? Luck, sure, hath gone to-day! Where now is Giv son of Gudarz, that I Must throw away my life? I see no helper, But God." He always carried in his boot A blue-steel dagger; this he drew and holding The door exclaimed: "Bizhan am I and sprung From that high chief of paladins and nobles, Kishwad. None e'er shall break my skin unless His body is aweary of its head, And though 'twere Doomsday none should see my back." He cried to Garsiwaz: "Ill fortune thus Hath dealt with me. Thou knowest my forefathers, My monarch, and my rank among the chiefs; If ye will fight am prepared to bathe My hands in blood in battle, and behead Full many a Turkman chief; if thou wilt bear me Before the king I will explain. Do thou |p303 Ask him to spare my life, and make all end In happiness." Then Garsiwaz, perceiving The resolution, the dexterity, And readiness to fight shown by Bizhan, Confirmed a covenant with him by oaths, And courteously advised him, thus obtaining The dagger from him by that covenant, And making him a prisoner by smooth words; Then bound him cheetah-like from head to foot. With fortune gone will prowess aught avail? Thus is it with yon hump-backed sky above, Thou'lt feel its harshness when it looketh love. They carried him with sallow cheeks and eyes Fulfilled with tears before Afrasiyab. The hero, when he came with pinioned arms And bare of head before the sovereign, Did reverence and said: "Vouchsafe, O king! To seek the truth. I came not to this court By any wish of mine; none is to blame. I left Iran to fight against wild boars, And chanced on this Turanian festival. I sent my kindred and my retinue To seek a falcon that had gone astray, And went to sleep beneath a cypress-tree, So that its shade might shield me from the sun. A fairy came. She spread her wings and took me, Still sleeping, in her arms. She left my charger, And bore me where the escort of thy daughter With troops of cavaliers and many litters Passed by upon the plain. Then there appeared Hemmed in by horse a Turkman parasol, And brand-new litter canopied with silk; Within a lovely Idol slept; her crown Was lying on her pillow. Suddenly The fairy called on Ahriman, and, rushing |p304 Like wind among the horsemen, set me down Inside the litter, and recited charms Above the charmer there, that I might sleep Until I reached the palace of the king; So I was not to blame, nor hath Manizha Been smirched by what hath passed. Assuredly That fay had marred my fortune by her spells." Afrasiyab replied: "Thine evil day Hath come apace. Departing from Iran Thou soughtest fight and fame with mace and lasso; Now with hands bound thou tellest women's dreams; Like one bemused, and triest lies upon me To save thy life." Bizhan replied: "O king! Hear what I say to thee and be advised. Boars with their tusks and lions with their claws Are alway fit for fighting; so are heroes That have their scimitars and bows and arrows; But how when one is naked with bound hands, The other in a panoply of steel? How can a lion pounce without sharp claws However fierce? If now the king would see My prowess shown to all, let him provide A horse and massive mace for me, and make Choice of a thousand chieftains from the Turkmans; Then hold me not a man if I leave one Alive of all the thousand on the field." The king regarded him with angry looks At this, then turned to Garsiwaz, and said:- "Dost thou not see that this fell Ahriman Is meditating further ills for me, And not contented with the evil done Would fight'as well? Take him bound hand and foot, Just as he is, and rid the world of him. Command to set a gibbet in the road Before the gate, there hang the wretch alive, |p305 And never speak of him to me again, So that no native of Iran may dare Henceforth to cast an eye upon Turan." They dragged him, stricken to the heart with anguish, His eyes a-stream, forth from Afrasiyab, And, when Bizhan the wretched reached the door, His feet stuck in the mire made by his tears. He said: "If God Almighty hath decreed That I must die in miserable plight I do not fear the dying or the gibbet; My smart is for the warriors of Iran, And royal fathers' blame when I am dead. Alas! mine adversaries will exult, Their lust will all be satisfied upon me. Alas! the king of kings! the looks of Giv! Alas! thus to be parted from the brave! Go, breezes! to the country of Iran, And bear my message to the well-loved Shah. Tell him: 'Bizhan is in an evil case; His body is beneath the Lion's claws.' Say from me to Gudarz son of Kishwad:- 'My glory hath departed through Gurgin He cast me into evil so that now I see not any one to succour me.' And to Gurgin: 'What greeting shall I have From thee, false warrior! beyond the grave?'" Par. 9 How Piran begged Bizhan's Life from Afrasiyab Howbeit God had mercy on his youth, And foiled the king's intent, for as they dug A hole wherein to plant the gallows-tree, Piran, for so it chanced, was seen approaching. Now when he reached the place and saw the road |p306 All occupied by Turkmans under arms, And that a lofty gibbet had been reared, Wherefrom a twisted lasso dangled down, He asked the people: "Wherefore is this gibbet? Who hath incurred the anger of the king?" Then Garsiwaz made answer: "For Bizhan The Iranian, the monarch's enemy." Piran urged on his charger and, when near Bizhan, beheld him stricken to the heart And naked, with his two hands bound behind him Firm as a rock, his mouth parched, his cheeks wan. Piran inquired of him: "How camest thou hither? Thou camest from Iran no doubt for blood." Bizhan related all that he had suffered From his false friend. Piran had pity on him, And weeping bade them leave Bizhan awhile Unhung; he said: "Detain him here that I May have an audience with the sovereign, And show him what will be the happiest course." He galloped palace-ward, approached the king In humble attitude with folded arms, And walking quickly to the throne called down With fervour blessings on Afrasiyab. When, like an honest guide and minister, He stood before the throne, the king knew well That he was standing there to ask a boon, And smiling said to him: "What wouldst thou? Speak. None is more honoured with me than thyself. If thy petition is for gold or jewels, For realm or army, I will not withhold My treasures. "Why hast thou bestowed these pains!" Piran, the loyal, heard and kissed the ground, Leaped up and said: "Sit on the throne for ever, And may good fortune haunt no other place. The monarchs of the earth proclaim thy praises, |p307 The bright sun blesseth thee. Through thy good fortune I need not horses, followers, or power. I ask not for myself, none of thy subjects Hath need to ask; my fortune is thy rule, My stay thy glorious chiefs. Concerned am I Lest any suffer through my reticence, And my good name be lost. Have I not often Advised the king erewhile? But since my words Availed not I have held my peace of late. 'Slay not the son of Kai Kaus,' I said, "Twill make thee enemies of Tus and Rustam, And Siyawush who is of Kaian race Hath girt his loins to serve thee loyally; Peace will be broken and the Iranians Will trample on us with their elephants.' Yet didst thou out of simple wantonness Slay Siyawush, and mingle bane with sweets. It may be that thou hast forgotten Giv, And Rustam the brave chief of paladins. Hast thou not seen what ills the Iranians Have wrought upon the country of Turan By trampling with their beasts the greater part, And turning fortune's stream to bitterness? As yet Zal's sword-point is not worn away Inside its sheath, for Rustam scattereth heads Therewith, and spurteth blood upon the sun. Wilt thou seek war in peace, and wantonly Sniff at the bloom of bane? If thou shalt shed Bizhan's blood in this matter from Turan There will go up a dust-cloud of revenge. Thou. art a wise king; we are only lieges; Ope thy heart's eye, consider how the Shah Requited thee for former injuries. In sooth thou art provoking fresh demands, And bringing into fruit the tree of bale. |p308 We cannot bear, O mighty sovereign, And master of the world! another war. Thou knowest Giv, none better! and brave Rustam, That savage Crocodile, and him who will Come forth to fight us for his grandson's sake, Gudarz, son of Kishwad, whose hand is steel!" As he threw water on the raging fire Afrasiyab replied: "Dost thou not know What he bath done, and brought disgrace upon us Both here and in Iran? Dost thou not see How mine abandoned daughter bath heaped shame Upon my hoary head, and made the names Of all my women-folk the common talk? For this disgrace all lands and mine own troops Will ever make my court their laughing-stock; If he shall live all men will wag their tongues At me, I shall be wretched and despised, And ever from mine eyes shed tears of gall." Piran did reverence ofttimes and replied:- O monarch of good fortune and just speech 'Tis as the king hath said. His only object Is his good name. But let my lord consider The prudent counsel that I offer him. Let us confine Bizhan with heavy chains, Such that he would prefer death on the gibbet; 'Twill be a warning to the Iranians, Who will not strive to injure us hereafter, For no one readeth on the muster-roll The names of captives in thy prison-house." The monarch acted as Piran advised, Perceiving that his heart and tongue agreed. Good ministers with their good counsellings Illume the Grace divine and throne of kings. |p309 Par. 10 How Afrasiyab put Bizhan in Ward Afrasiyab commanded Garsiwaz:- "Prepare a gloomy pit and weighty bonds, Secure with chains Bizhan's hands to a yoke Bridge-like, as Rumans do, from head to foot Chain him and make all sure with heavy rivets; Then throw hirn in the pit head first - no more Of sun and moon for him! Take elephants, And fetch the boulder of the div Akwan, Which God raised from the ocean-depth and cast Upon a wood in Chin. Thus will I be Avenged upon Bizhan. Convey this stone, Which covereth the dungeon of Arzhang, Upon high-crested elephants, and cover Bizhan's, then leave him to go mad with anguish. Take horsemen, sack the palace of that wanton - Manizha, who hath shamed her quality - Deprive her of her fortune, crown, and state, And say to her: 'Thou wretched and accursed, Who art unworthy of the throne and crown! Thou hast abased my head among the kings, And cast my diadem upon the dust.' Then drag her naked to the pit and say:- 'Behold him whom thou sawest on the throne Here in this pit! Thou art his Spring, console him, And wait upon him in his gloomy cell.'" So Garsiwaz departed from the presence. They carried out the monarch's evil purpose; They haled the son of Giv back from the gallows, And bore him to the pit's mouth in his bonds, There fettered him from head to foot in iron, His waist with Ruman chains, his hands with gyves, While smiths with steel and hammers made secura |p310 The massive rivetings, and then they flung him Head-foremost down the pit and set the stone Upon it. Garsiwaz thence led his troop To where the daughter of Afrasiyab Dwelt, gave up all her treasury to spoil, And made a fresh disposal of the wealth. Manizha was reduced to naked feet, Bare head, and single wrap. He hustled her Forth to the pit. Her eyes wept tears of blood; Her cheeks were like the spring. " Behold," he said, "Thy house and home! Henceforth thou art to be This prisoner's drudge!" ' He turned back, and Manizha, The spouse of woe, roamed wailing o'er the plain. Now when a day and night had passed she came With lamentations to the pit, and made A passage large enough to pass one hand. Thereafter when the sun rose o'er the hills She used to gather food at every door By day-long wanderings and pass it through The crevice to Bizhan, and weep. Thus she Lived for a while in abject misery. Par. 11 How Gurgin returned to Iran and lied about Bizhan When one week passed, and still Bizhan returned not, Gurgin began to search on every side In haste and bathed his face in tears of blood. Repenting of his ill intents he sought The place wherein Bizhan had gone astray, Went all about the forest but saw no one, And heard not e'en a twitter from the birds. He sought too in the mead, and all at once |p311 Spied in the distance on the river-bank, With bridle broken and with saddle dragging, With hanging lip and in an angry mood, His comrade's steed, and knew: "Bizhan is sped! He will not live to come back to Iran. By gibbet or by prison or by bonds Ill hath befallen him from Afrasiyab." Repentant and perplexed he flung his lasso, And turning led Bizhan's steed from the meadow Back to his tent where he abode one day, Then, sleepless and unresting, sought Iran. The Shah, on hearing that Gurgin had come Without Bizhan, would fain have been the first To question him, so told not Giv, yet Giv Heard of his brave son's loss, rushed to the street, Pierced to the heart with anguish and with cheeks All tears, and cried: "Bizhan returneth not! I wis not why he stayeth in Iran." Then, vengeful as a crocodile at heart, He gave command to put the poplar saddle Upon Kishwad's own bay, which he was wont To hold reserved against the day of need, And, having mounted, parted like a blast To meet Gurgin and ask him where Bizhan Was, and about the case. "Good sooth!" he thought, "Gurgin hath done him mischief secretly. I will behead Gurgin or see my son." Gurgin on catching sight of Giv dismounted, Ran up to him and, wallowing in the dust With head uncovered and torn cheeks, exclaimed:- "O thou that art the chosen of the host, Chief of Iran and captain of the Shah Why hast thou come to meet me on my way? Why hast thou come thus weeping tears of blood? I shall not wish to live if aught more wretched |p312 Shall now betide me. All ashamed am I To look thee in the face; I too am pouring The hot blood from mine eyes, but be not troubled About his life. No harm hath cbme to him As I will prove to thee." Giv, when he saw His son's horse and Gurgin, all dust and dazed Like one bemused, thus leading it, and when He heard those words, fell from his steed and swooned. His head was hidden by the dust. He rent The raiment that he wore as paladin, Plucked out his hair, and with a cry of anguish Poured dust upon his head. "O Thou," he said, "Who art the Almighty Master of the sky, And hast endowed my heart with sense and love! I hold it good, now that my son is lost, That thou shouldst snap my cord of life and take My spirit to the mansions of the blest Thou knowest best the anguish of my heart. I had no son but him to soothe my griefs Or aid me; now ill hap hath severed us, And I am left thus in the Dragon's maw!" He asked Gurgin again: "How went it all? Hath fate filled up his place or did he will To quit thy sight? What ill befell him? Speak Who flung at him the meshes of the sky? What div encountered him upon the mead? Who murdered him and ruined everything? How didst thou find this charger riderless? Where didst thou quit Bizhan?" Gurgin replied:- "Compose thyself and listen. In respect To fighting with the wild boars in the wood, Know, O thou paladin! and understand, And be for aye the lustre of the throne, |p313 We went to fight the boars and reached Irman. We saw a wood converted to a waste, With trees cut down and trampled pasturage. It was a haunt of boars, the people melted Because of them! We raised our spears in fight, And made a mighty shouting in the wood; Wild boars came charging like so many mountains, Not one by one but everywhere in herds. We battled like two lions, and day failed Before our hearts were satiate of strife. We threw their elephantine carcases In heaps and prized their teeth out. Thence we set Our faces toward Iran and merrily Went after game. An onager was started, And none will see a goodlier sight. Its coat Was like Gulgun's, the charger of Gudarz; Its face was like Farhad's grey Shabahang, With limbs like the Simurgh's, and hoofs like steel. 'Twas like Bizhan's Shabrang in head and ear And tail, its neck was lion-like, its speed Like wind. Thou wouldst have said: ' Its sire is Rakhsh.' Like some tall elephant it charged Bizhan, Who flung his lasso o'er its head. To fling Was one with to be borne away! Off rushed The onager! Bizhan sped after it, And through the beast's pace and the horseman's dust A reek arose, the earth heaved like the sea, The lassoer and onager both vanished. My steed was weary, so I ran o'er hill And plain, but found no traces of Bizhan, Except this steed whose saddle dragged behind. My heart burned at his plight: 'How will he fare In his contention with the onager? ' I tarried long upon the pasture, searching |p314 On all sides for him, and have come back hopeless, For that fierce onager was the White Div!" Shrewd Giv, on hearing, deemed: "Bizhan is sped!" He marked Gurgin's confused account, those eyes That could not look him in the face, those cheeks Grown wan with terror of the Shah, that body A-tremble, and that conscience-stricken heart, And ascertaining that his son was lost, And that the whole account was fraudulent, Was moved by Ahriman to lay Gurgin Dead on the road in vengeance for Bizhan, The well-beloved, although disgrace might follow. Albeit on reflection he perceived That this would leave the matter dark, and said:- "What shall I gain by slaying him save pleasing Malignant Ahriman? How will it aid Bizhan to slay Gurgin? We must employ Another means; revenge is no great task; He is no wall to stop my lance's point; So let us tarry till his guilt is clear Before the Shah." He cried out at Gurgin:- "Thou wicked and injurious Ahriman! Thou hast deprived me of my Sun and Moon - The choicest of the horsemen and my Shah - And set me searching all the world for aid. Where through thy practice, guile, and lies shall I Henceforward find contentment, rest, and sleep? I will not suffer thee to go at large Until I have an audience with the Shah; Then with my poniard will I wreak on thee Revenge for him who was mine Eye to me." |p315 Par. 12 How Giv brought Gurgin before Khusrau With bloodshot eyes and vengeance in his heart Giv went before the Shah, blessed him, and said:- "For ever fleet the world in joy, O king! Thou blessed, well-starred monarch! seest thou not What hath befallen me? I had one son - A youth who was my care both night and day. I wept for fear of danger to him, burned For fear of losing him; and now, O Shah! Gurgin hath come back with an idle tongue, With guilty soul, and evil news of him - My stainless and illustrious minister. Gurgin hath brought a steed in disarray, But not another token of Bizhan! If now my lord will carefully consider My case, and see me righted in the matter, He will do justice for me on Gurgin - The man that put this dust upon my head." The Shah was troubled at Giv's grief, assumed The crown in anger, sat upon the throne With pallid cheeks in sorrow for Bizhan, And said to Giv: "What is Gurgin's account? Where saith he that he left his upright comrade?" Giv told the tale about his gallant son As given by Gurgin. Then said Khusrau:- "Brood not nor fret; Bizhan is safe; be easy And hopeful touching that lost son of thine, For I but now heard from the archimages - The men of wisdom shrewd of heart and famous - That I shall lead the Iranian cavaliers Against Turan anon to seek revenge For Siyawush, and with mine elephants |p316 Destroy that land. Bizhan will take the field And fight like Ahriman. Depart in peace; Good sooth, I greatly long for him. myself." So Giv withdrew in tears, pale and distraught. Gurgln, on coming to the palace-gate, Found it deserted; all the paladins Had gone with Giv lamenting for Bizhan. Gurgin, his wicked soul fulfilled with shame, Went in to audience. Having reached Khusrau He kissed the ground and offered reverence, Then laid the boars' tusks hard as diamonds Before the throne and did obeisance, saying:- "May Kai Khusrau be all victorious, His life like New Year's Day, and may the heads Of all thy foes be severed by the shears, Ken as the heads of these wild boars." The Shah Gazed on the tusks and asked: "How went the journey? Where did Bizhan part company? What evil Hath Ahriman wrought on him?" When Khusrau Spake thus Gurgin stood all confused with tongue That idly blabbed and guilty soul. His cheeks Were pale, he shook in terror of the Shah, And babbled much and incoherently Of forest, onager, and pasturage. Now, when his words accorded not, Khusrau, Perceiving him malicious and confused, Was wroth and drave him out, upbraiding him, And saying: "Hast thou heard not Zal's old saw:- 'To meet the offspring of Gudarz in strife Would put a period to a lion's life?' But for the shame, and that thou wouldest make An evil ending in the sight of God, I would bid Ahriman pluck off thy head, |p317 As 'twere a bird's." Then said he to a smith:- "Forge Forge heavy shackles with the rivets strong." He had Gurgin's feet fettered presently, Because the knave is schooled by bonds, and said To Giv: "Compose thyself. Do thou be instant In seeking for him everywhere, and I Will send out many cavaliers well armed In all directions to obtain some news About him, and be prompt and vigilant; But, if I hear not soon, still keep thy wits And wait for Farwardin, until the sun - The object of our worship - groweth bright. When roses glad the garden, breezes strew The petals o'er thy head, when earth is donning Its robe of green, and zephyrs sigh o'er roses, Then shall my pious prayers rise to Urmuzd - Prayers that our God commandeth. Then will I Call for the cup that mirroreth the world, And stand before God's presence. In that cup I shall behold the seven climes of earth, Both field and fell and all the provinces, Will offer reverence to mine ancestors, My chosen, gracious lords, and thou shalt know Where thy son is. The cup will show me all." Giv was rejoiced, ceased from solicitude, And smiling did obeisance, saying thus:- "May time and earth ne'er be deprived of thee! May heaven above attend thy will, and may No ill befall thee from the evil eye." When Giv had gone the Shah sent cavaliers To search in every quarter for Bizhan; In all Iran and all Turin they sought For traces of him, but discovered naught. |p318 Par. 13 How Kai Khusrau saw Bizhan in the Cup that showed the World When jocund New Year's Day arrived Giv yearned For consultation with that glorious cup, And came, bent double on his son's account But hopeful, to Khusrau who, seeing him With shrunken cheeks and sorely stricken heart, Went and arrayed himself in Ruman garb To seek God's presence. Then before the Maker He cried and ofttimes blessed the Shining One, Imploring of the Succourer succour, strength, And justice on pernicious Ahriman, And, thence returning to his throne, assumed The Kaian crown; took up the cup, and gazed. He saw the seven climes reflected there, And every act and presage of high heaven, Their fashion, cast, and scope; made manifest. From Aries to Pisces he beheld All mirrored in it - Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Leo, Sol and Luna, Mercury, And Venus. In that cup the wizard-king Was wont to see futurity. He scanned The seven climes for traces of Bizhan, And, when he reached the Kargasars, beheld him By God's decree fast, fettered in the pit, And praying in his misery for death, With one, the daughter of a royal race, Attending him. The Shah, with smiles that lighted The daiis, turned his face to Giv and said:- "Bizhan is yet alive; be of good cheer; Thou wilt not mind, I wot, his being chained And prisoned since his life is whole in him, |p319 For he is now a prisoner in Turan, Attended by a maid of noble birth. Yet filled am I with sorrow for his plight, He hath such travail, hardship, and affliction; And both of them are weeping like a cloud When it is springtide, such a life is theirs He hath no hope of seeing kith or kin, But pineth trembling like a willow-bough, Blood in his eyes and anguish in his heart. He calleth on his kinsmen and he weepeth As 'twere a cloud in spring; his life is such That he desireth death! Who will come forward To rescue him, who rise with girded loins? Who is there that will brave the Dragon's breath, Who from this durance liberate Bizhan? None save deft Rustam - he who from the deep Will drag the crocodile. Gird up thy girdle, Haste to Nimruz, and rest not night or day. Bear him my letter and breathe naught hereof. Him will I summon to me, let him know The case, and soon, O Giv! abate thy woe." Par. 14 How Khusrau wrote a Letter to Rustam A scribe was called, the Shah instructed him To write to Rustam as from lord to liege:- "O paladin by birth and worshipful, Exalted o'er the warriors of the world! Thou dost remind me of thine ancestors, And art for ever girdled for the fray. Thou Heart of monarchs and thou Prop of kings, With loins girt up to succour every one! Pards yield them to thy manhood, crocodiles Howl in the deep for fear of thee. Thou cleansedst |p320 The world of the Mazandaranian divs, And torest off the heads of evil men. How many a crowned head hast thou dethroned, And severed from the daiis! Many a foe Is dead through thee, and many a land laid waste. Chief paladin and refuge of the host! Thine influence is mighty with the Shahs; Thou hast o'erthrown all sorcerers with thy mace, And by thy bearing lit the crown of kings. As for Afrasiyab and for the Khan, Thy name is writ in full upon their signets. 'Twould break the heart of any to undo Knots tied by thee while thou undoest all, And art a blessed heaven to the Kaians. God, who hath given thee elephantine might, Breast, arm, and hand, and glorious birth, bestowed them For succouring those that cry, and lifting them From their dark pit. An instance for thine aid, And to a worthy kinsman, hath occurred, Such as no scion of Gudarz before Experienced from div-faced Turanians. Gudarz and Giv both place their trust in thee, Who art a hero now in every land; Thou know'st what place they have in mine esteem, Thou know'st their courage, speech, and prudent counsel; Regard not then this thing as burdensome, And ask whatever men and means thou wilt, Because this family ne'er grieved till now The world hath heard of few more glorious. Giv had not any son excepting this, Who was at once a son and succourer. Giv's influence with me is very great; He hath been both my grandsire's friend and mine; I always find him where I look for him, |p321 And he hath stood by me in weal and woe. When thou hast read my letter tarry not, But rise and come to me with Giv forthwith, That we may take advice that shall result In all points gloriously. I will provide Men, treasure, and all requisites. I swear By thine exalted name and glorious footsteps That thou shalt work thy will upon Turan. Take order for the road: Bizhan will be Delivered haply from captivity." Par. 15 How Giv bore the Letter of Kai Khusrau to Rustam Giv took the letter when the Shah had sealed it, Did reverence and, departing to his house, Prepared to take his journey to Sistan. He mounted all the horsemen of his kin, And, having first commended him to God, Departed through the desert to the Hirmund, As one that rideth post, or like the game That he put up, performing two days' journey In one. With wounded hearts and eager steps The party faced the deserts and the heights. Now when the watchman saw Giv from the look-out He passed the word on to Zabulistan:- "A cavalier with mounted troops hath reached The Hirmund; a standard fluttereth behind him; A falchion of Kabul is in his hand." Zal heard the watchman's shout and bade his steed Be bridled, then pricked forth to meet the comers, Who haply might prove foes, but when he saw Giv's withered face he was astound and hasted, Supposing: "Something hath befallen the Shah Since Giv hath been sent hither from Iran!" |p322 When near at hand the paladin and escort Drew up across the road and greeted Zal, Who asked about the Iranians and the Shah, The chieftains and Turanians. Giv then gave To Zal the greetings of the great - the Shah's And high-born warriors' - and told his anguish For his lost son: "Thou seest me wan, mine insteps All dappled leopard-like with tears of blood!" Then asked where Rustam was, and Zal replied:- "He will return from hunting onager At sunset." " I will go," Giv said, "and see him; I have a letter for him from Khusrau." " Go not," Zal answered, "he will come anon, So till he cometh tarry in the house, And pass one day with us in happiness." Reflecting on the case they reached Zal's palace, And even as Giv entered Rustam came. Giv went to meet him and, on drawing nigh, Dismounted from his horse and did obeisance. His heart was yearning and he wept. When Rustam Saw Giv heart-stricken and in tears he thought:- "Iran then and the Shah - our age's Moon - Have perished!" Lighting and embracing Giv He asked about the wearer of the crown - Khusrau - about Gudarz, Tus, Gustaham, And all the warriors both great and small - Shapur, Ruhham, Bizhan, Farhad, Gurgin, And every one. At mention of Bizhan Giv uttered an involuntary cry, And said to Rustam: "O thou worshipful, The choišest of the princes of the earth! Joy hath returned to me at sight of thee, And through thy kindly greetings and thy words. All those whom thou bast named are well and send |p323 Thee salutation, peace, and messages, Except Bizhan, O champion of the mighty! Who is reported fettered in a dungeon. Now seest thou not what stroke of evil fortune Hath fallen full upon my hoary head? I had but one son in the world, and he Was both a son and upright minister, And I have lost him! None e'er saw our race In such affliction! Ever since have I Been in the saddle, as thou seest me, And speeding like the bright sun, night and day, Just like the mad, to find some trace of him! The Shah hath in his world-reflecting cup .... He stood before the Maker, much imploring And praising on the royal feast - the Urmuzd Of Farwardin - then left the Fane of Fire, Went to his throne, girt up his loins, assumed The crown, and set the shining cup before him. He searched therein past measure for Bizhan, And indicated him as in Turan, In heavy fetters and disastrous plight, And, having thus revealed him by the cup, Sent me to thee in haste. I come in hope, Although my cheeks are pale and dim mine eyes, Because I look to thee alone for aid, Who girdest up thy loins to succour all." Giv spake, the lashes of his eyes were charged With tears of gall, and from his heart he heaved A chilling sigh. When he had given the letter To Rustam he narrated what Gurgin Had done, then bitterly bewailed Bizhan, And poured down tears of blood upon his breast; For he and Rustam had been long akin, That chieftain's daughter was the wife of Giv, While Rustam had Giv's sister for his spouse, And gallant Faramarz by that brave dame. |p324 Bizhan withal, that hero eminent In every company, had for his mother' The daughter of the elephantine Rustam, Who said to Giv: "Be not concerned hereat, Because I will not take from Rakhsh the saddle Till I have clasped Bizhan's hand in mine own, And have demolished all his bonds and prison. By God's strength, since the Shah requireth it, Will I release him from that darksome pit." Par. 16 How Rustam made a Feast for Giv Thence they departed to the hall of Rustam, Discussing as they went what course to take. When Rustam had perused the monarch's letter He was o'erwhelmed at what Khusrau had said, And all the praises that the worldlord Shah Gave to his famous captain of the host. Then Rustam said to Giv: "I will dispatch, And ready me to go as he commandeth. I know how thou hast laboured, thine achievements, And thy concernment in all enterprise. How mighty is thine influence with me, Who hast wooed war on every battlefield, Alike in the revenge for Siyawush, And in the war against Mazandaran Thou hast borne travail too in coming hither, And faring by a route so arduous. I joy exceedingly to look upon thee Although I am concerned about Bizhan. I cannot'bear to see thee in such grief, And fortune-stricken. As the Shah cotnmandeth In this his letter I will take the road, And also out of my concern for thee |p325 Will undertake the matter of Bizhan, Will do my best and, if All-holy God Shall leave my body and my soul together, I will not grudge Bizhan life, troops, and treasure. I gird me in God's strength and by the fortune Of our victorious worldlord. I will rescue Bizhan from bondage and from darksome pit, And will re-seat him on the famous daiis. Abide with me three days in joy, quaff wine, Be free from care, for no division parteth My house from thine, and thou and I are one In treasure, soul, and body." At his words Giv sprang up, kissed his hands and head and feet, Applauded him, and said: "O man of name, Endowed with strength and manhood, worth and fortune! Mayst thou have ever thus the heart and strength Of elephants and archimages' prudence. Thou dost partake all excellence, and so Hast cleansed my heart from rust." When Rustam saw Giv's heart content, and felt himself assured That all would turn out well, he told his steward:- "Set Set out the board and call the chiefs and sages." Then Faramarz, Zawara, Zal, and Giv Sat at the banquet of the valiant chief. Cup-bearers and musicians with their harps Came to the hall of jewelled tracery; The handles of the goblets blushed with wine, The harps descanted and the cups went round. Carousing thus in Rustam's palace Giv Abode three days and made no haste to leave. |p326 Par. 17 How Rustam came to Khusrau The fourth day they prepared to go, 'twas time; So Rustam bade to pack the loads and make All ready for the journey to Iran, While at his gate his noble horsemen gathered, Dight for the road. He came forth, mounted Rakhsh, Girt up his loins, put on a Ruman vest, And hung his grandsire's mace beside the saddle, Intent on feats of arms and strategy. Rakhsh struck the sky above him, but the head Of crown-bestowing Rustam topped the sun. They took their loads up, leaving Faramarz Within Zabul, and Rustam, Giv, and troops - Picked Zabulis, a hundred thousand strong - Set forth upon the march toward Iran All hurried on with vengeance in their hearts. When Rustam reached Iran, and when the throne Of Kai Khusrau was coining into sight, A sweet breeze wafted to him in its love And gaiety the welcome of the sky. Then Giv drew near to Rustam saying thus:- "'Tis fit that I go first and tell the Shah That matchless Rakhsh hath measured all the road." Said Rustam: "Go rejoicing, say to him:- 'Be quit of thy distress.'" When Giv approached The royal presence with much praise and homage The Shah demanded: "Where was Rustam left? How have ye,sped?" Giv answered: "Shah renowned Thy fortune bringeth all things to success. He disobeyed thee not, I found his heart Devoted to thee. When I gave thy letter |p327 He pressed it to his face and eyes, and hitched His reins to mine as should a faithful liege. I have pushed on that I might tell the Shah That matchless Rustam is upon the road." "But," said Khusrau, "where is that Prop of chiefs, That Seed of loyalty? We needs must honour One both so good and faithful." Giv replied:- Two Two stages back; I came on first to tell thee." Then Kai Khusrau gave orders to the sages, The royal princes, and the mighty men, To go forth with the host to welcome Rustam, Who came obedient to the Shah's command. They told Gudarz son of Kishwad, Farhad, And Tus - chief of the offspring of Naudar. The more part of the warriors and nobles, Mace-bearers and foe-slayers, then arose And dight themselves to go and meet the guest, According to the usance of Kaus. The world was azure-dim with horsemen's dust, The standards fluttered, and the chargers neighed. When they drew near to Rustam they dismounted And did obeisance. That chief paladin, Alighting, greeted all the veterans, And asked about the Shah and how things went Beneath resplendent sun and shining moon; Then swiftly as the bright Azargashasp The warriors and Rustam all remounted. He came before that Shah, who loved his lieges, With measured tread and offered reverence, For 'twas his duty to revere and love, Then raised his head, gave praise, and said: "Be thou Associate with the throne throughout thy years, Urmuzd himself be present in this court, Bahman be guardian of thy throne and crown, |p328 May good Ardibihisht, Bahram, and Tir Watch over thee, and may Shahrir endow thee With triumph, fame, Grace, majesty, and prowess. Be thine own sentinel Sapandarmad, May wisdom be the life of thy bright soul; May Dai and Farwardin bless thee, the door Of ill be barred, and may Azar make night As bright as day to thee, thyself rejoice, Thy crown illume the world, and may Aban Make all thine undertakings glorious; Be turning heaven before thee as a slave, And may Murdad protect thy flocks and herds Be ever glad in person and in fortune, May ancestor and issue smile on thee, And may Khurdad spread joy o'er field and fell." When Rustam standing there had offered praise The king of kings accorded him a seat Upon the throne, and said: "Thou art well come; Far be the hand of evil from thy life. Thou art the paladin of this world's Kaians, Who readest others but art read of none, The Kaians' choice, the backbone of the host, The warden of Iran, the army's refuge. Thou hast rejoiced me by the sight of thee, Who art so vigilant and worshipful Zawara, Faramarz, and Zal - are they Hale, happy, and content?" And Rustam answered, Descending from the throne and kissing it:- "O Shah most honoured and of sleepless fortune! Thereby all three are well and happy: blest Indeed is he, - whom thou rememberest." |p329 Par. 18 How Kai Khusrau held Feast with the Paladins The chamberlain threw wide the garden-gate, And made all ready for a royal revel. He gave command to set the golden crown And throne beneath a bower that scattered roses, And laid down court-brocade o'er all the pleasance, Which shone as 'twere a lamp. They had a tree Set up above the Shah's throne to enshadow It and the crown. The stem thereof was silver; The branches were of gold and jewelry, The jewels manifold and clustering, The leaves of emeralds and carnelians, And fruit hung down, like earrings, from the boughs. The fruits were golden oranges and quinces All hollow and all perforate like reeds, And charged with musk worked up with wine that when The Shah set any one upon the throne The breeze might shower musk on him; such showers Descended on the Shah what time he carne, And took his seat upon the throne of gold. All the cup-bearers wearing coronets Of jewels, gold brocade, and robes of Chin, With torques and earrings, stood before the throne, All clad in gold. All hearts were full of mirth. The wine was in their hands, their cheeks were flushed, Though no one was bemused, like cercis-bloom, Or like brocade of Chin. The aloe-wood Burned and the harps descanted. Then the Shah Gave orders to the chamberlain on duty, And said: "Call Tus, Gudarz, and all the chiefs." He ordered Rustam to approach the throne, And sit with him beneath the tree. He said:- |p330 "Thou happy bond 'twixt fortune and ourselves! Thou art a shield betwixt Iran and ill For aye with outstretched wings like the Simurgh, And oft hast toiled for country and for king. Thou knowest how the offspring of Gudarz In peace and war, in profit and in loss, Stand in my presence with their loins girt up, And always are my guides to what is good, While, more than all, Giv shielded me from harm. Such grief ne'er came before upon this house (What greater sorrow than to lose a son?) And wert thou not to undertake the task I see none other helper in the world. Now remedy this matter of Bizhan's, Who hath been ill-entreated by Turan, And take of steeds and armour, men and treasure, Whate'er is needed. Think it not a toil." When Rustam heard he kissed the ground, sprang up, And blessed the Shah: "O thou fair-famed," he said, "Who like the sun art potent everywhere! Be greed and wrath and need afar from thee, And may thy foe's heart burn and agonize. Thou art Shah, lord, and chief above all kings, And monarchs are the dust upon thy feet. The throne, the bright sun, and the shining moon Have never looked on such another Shah. Thou hast discerned between the good and bad, And bound the Dragon with thy charms and chains. My mother gave me birth to toil for thee; Thine own part is enjoyment and repose. I am obedient to the Shah's commands, And go where thou shalt bid. By royal Grace, And by my massive mace, I plucked the heart Out of the divs erst in Mazandaran; E'en so for Giv sake, though the sky should rain Fire on my head, I will not heed and, though |p331 The spear-points reach the lashes of mine eyes, I will not turn rein from Khusrau's behest, But by thy Grace will compass this achievement, And ask for neither chief nor warriors." When Rustam had thus said, Gudarz and Giv With Fariburz, Farhad, the brave Shapur, And other chiefs, invoked on him God's blessing. They took the cup and, pledging Zal and Rustam, Became bemused with wine. Thus revelling The Shah oped festively the door of spring. Par. 19 How Rustam made Petition for Gurgin to the Shah Gurgin heard bruit of Rustam and, aware That thus a key to loose his grief had come, Dispatched this message: "Man of fortune, Grace, And fame, thou Tree of greatness, loyalty, And treasure; Gate of noble men and Bond Of bale! if words of mine afflict thee not I will address thee touching what I did. Mark the behaviour of this hump-backed sky In quenching wantonly the light within me, And pointing out to me the path of darkness! 'Twas written thus, and what hath been bath been. I will lie down in fire before the Shah If I may find forgiveness; all is over With my hoar head if my good name be lost; So, if thou wilt plead for me, I will go, Swift as a mountain-sheep, along with thee, And wallow in the dust before Bizhan If I may win mine unstained honour back." When Rustam heard he heaved a deep, cold sigh; The anguish shown and message sent perturbed him; He grieved at that request so fondly urged, |p332 And bade the envoy: "Go, return, and say:- 'Insensate wretch! hast heard not what the leopard Said by the deep stream to the crocodile:- "' If passion gain the upper hand of wit, Then nobody will 'scape the clutch of it "? The sage that quelleth passion hath a record As of a noble Lion; thine hath been An ancient fox's, yet thou didst o'erlook The snare! I should not grant thy frantic wish That I should bring thy name before Khusrau, Yet, since I see thee in such straits and all Confounded, I will ask him to forgive thee, And lighten thy dark moon. Then, if Bizhan By God the Ruler of the world's command Escape, thou wilt be freed and save thy life From Giv's revenge. Should heaven will otherwise Deem life and person as unworth thy love. First will I go forth on my quest and vengeful In God's strength at the bidding of the Shah, But if I fail that man of prowesrs Giv Will then take wreak on thee for his brave son."' Thus passed a night and day, aind Rustam spake Naught to the Shah, but when upon the morrow The sun displayed its crown and took its seat Upon its silver-sheening ivory throne, Came Rustam flying unto Kai Khusrau To ask a boon of that victorious Shah While speaking of Gurgin, his fallen fortune, And wretched plight. The Shah said: "Chieftain mine! Thou wouldst then break my bonds and break with me, Because I swore by throne, crown, Mars, and Venus, And sun and moon: 'Gurgin shall see but ill From me unless Bizhan be freed from bondage.' Excepting this ask of me what thou wilt Of swords and signet-rings, of thrones and crowns." |p333 He answered: "Virtuous and famous prince! If he intended harm he sufferetb, And is prepared to offer up his life; But if the Shah will not forgive him first He will be outcast from the Faith and honour. WHower turneth from the way of wisdom Will writhe for his ill-doing at the last. Vouchsafe to call to mind Gurgin's exploits, How he hath taken part in every fight, And been a champion with thine ancestors; If for my sake the Shah will pardon him His fortunes may be somewhat brightened yet." The Shah, that Rustam might not plead in vain, Released Gurgin from gloomy pit and chain. Par. 20 How Rustam equipped his Escort The Shah asked Rustam: "When wilt thou depart For this campaign? Demand whate'er thou wilt - Troops, treasure, and companions for the journey. Malevolent Afrasiyab, I fear me, Will not long spare Bizhan. The king is headstrong, And the injurious Div, who taught him magic, Anon will turn his heart aside and prompt him To slay our swordsman." Rustam thus replied:- "I will achieve this enterprise by stealth, For only craft will loosen such a coil. We must not give occasion for alarm, But set off in the guise of merchantmen, And tarry for a while within Turan. This is a case for drawing in the rein, And not a time for maces, swords, and spear-points. I shall require much silver, gold, and gems; |p334 We start in hope but we shall stay in fear. I shall need garments too and carpetings For giving presents and as merchandise." On hearing Rustam's words Khusrau commanded His treasurer to bring him whatsoever His minister directed from the hoards Laid up of yore. The royal treasurer Undid the purses and bestrewed the throne With jewels and dinars. Came matchless Rustam, Inspected all, and chose whate'er was needed. He took ten camel-burdens of dinars, Five score of other ware; he next commanded The chamberlain: "Choose out a thousand horse. Some of the proud and noble lion-men Must also gird themselves - Gurgin and Zanga, The son of Shawaran, next Gustaham, The Falchion of the brave, and fourth Guraza, The sentinel of warriors, throne, and crown, To lead the host, Ruhham, Farbdd, two men Of valour, and Ashkash that lion-hero. These seven warriors must make them ready To overlook the escort and the goods." These, every one in his allotted part, Vied in their preparations for the start. Par. 21 How Rustam went to the City of Khutan to Piran Then Rustam bade those chieftains, those mace-wielders, Those dealers out of death, to gird themselves At dawn what time the officer on duty Came to the gate. At daybreak, when the cock crew, They bound the drums upon the elephants, While Rustam came forth like a lofty cypress, |p335 Mace in his hand and lasso on his saddle. He left the royal portal with his troops, And called down blessings on the land. The chiefs Went first, the soldiers followed, and all took Their lives in hand, their guides were spears and arrows, And every hand had been imbrued in blood. When Rustam reached the marches of Turin He picked out all the chiefs, then bade the troops:- "Abide here cheerfully, move not unless All-holy God deprive me of my life, Be dight for battle and prepared for bloodshed." Thus in those marches of Iran he left them, And went, he and the chiefs, towards Turan. He doffed his mail and donned a merchant's dress, The warriors undid their silver girdles, And he arrayed them all in woollen robes. They fared toward Turan - a caravan All scent and colour. There were eight fine steeds, One Rakhsh, the others were the warriors' mounts, Ten camels bearing bales of jewelry, And five score bearing soldiers' uniforms. The waste rang like the horn of Tahmuras With bells and shouting. Rustam journeyed on Until he reached the city of Piran, For there was one in those TurAnian marches Belonging to that chief, but he himself Was at the chase; his palace was unguarded. Now when he came back from the hunting-field The matchless Rustam saw him on the road, And having covered over with brocade A golden goblet filled with precious stones Gave it and therewitbal two splendid steeds, With saddles made of gold adorned with jewels, To the attendants, and preceding them Strode to Piran's throne swiftly, did obeisance, |p336 And said: "O prince whose fortune and whose prowess Are famous in Iran and in Turan Thy Grace and crown are peerless, for thou art King's minister and glory of the throne." Piran, so God ordained it, knew not Rustam, But questioned him and said: "Whence art thou? Speak! What man art thou and wherefore hast thou come?" He said: "I am thy subject. God assigned me A cistern in thy city. I have measured A long and grievous journey from Iran To traffic in Turan. I sell and buy, And deal in every sort of merchandise. My soul hath good assurance of thy love, Such was the power of hope within my heart! If now the paladin will take me 'neath His wing I will buy cattle and sell jewels. Through thy just dealing none will do me hurt, The cloud-rack of thy love rain gems upon me." Then Rustam offered him before the lords The cup of royal gems, and splendid Arabs With coats too sleek to hold the wind-borne dust. This wealth with many a blessing Rustam gave, And fairly clinched the matter. When Piran Beheld the jewels in the brilliant cup He praised and welcomed Rustam, seating him Upon the turquoise throne, and said: "Depart Content and enter with all confidence, For I will lodge thee near me; be at ease About thy goods, thou hast no foeman here. Go fetch thy wares, seek buyers on all sides, Make my son's house thy home, and be to me As 'twere a kinsman." Rustam answered thus:- "I will abide here with my caravan, O paladin! What goods I have are thine, |p337 And 'twill be well with me be where I may, But in that I have jewels of all kinds, And must not lose one, by thy conquering fortune We will remain outside in great content." Plrdan replied: "Go then and choose thy place, And I will station guards for thy defence." So Rustam chose a house, appointed it, And filled the warehouse with his goods and packs. News spread: "A caravan out of Iran Hath visited the noble paladin," And buyers everywhere pricked up their ears When tidings reached them of those jewel-merchants. Those that would buy brocade or stuffs or gems Departed toward the court-gate of Piran, And when the sun arose the world to grace The warehouse had become a market-place. Par. 22 How Manizha came before Rustam Manizha heard and hurried to the city; Bare-headed, weeping bitterly, she came - That daughter of Afrasiyab - to Rustam, And, wiping from her lashes with her sleeve The tears of blood, blessed, greeted him, and said:- "Enjoy'st thou life and wealth? God grant that thou Mayst ne'er have reason to repent thy toils. May heaven perform thy will, the evil eye Not harm thee, and since thou hast heart of hope May this thy travail not result in loss. May wisdom ever be thy monitor, And may irari be blessed and fortunate. What know'st thou of the warriors of the Shah, Of Giv, Gudarz, and the Iranian host? Have tidings of Bizhan not reached Iran? |p338 Will not his supplications aught avail, That such a youth - a scion of Gudarz - May be released from irons? His feet are galled With fetters and his hands with blacksmiths' rivets! He hath been dragged in chains, made fast in bonds! Poor wretch! his clothes are soaked in his own blood! I get no rest myself for I must beg. His lamentations fill mine eyes with tears." Then Rustam in alarm roared out at her, And drave her forth. "Be off!" he cried. "I know not Khusrau or this young chief. I have no tidings About Gudarz and Giv, and thou hast chattered My wits away." Manizha looked at Rustam, Wept bitterly, and showered tears of blood Upon her bosom in her wretchedness. She said to him: "O chieftain full of wisdom Such heartless words as these become thee not. Drive me not from thee if thou wilt not talk, For I am stricken to the heart with anguish. Is it indeed the custom of Iran To tell the poor no news?" He answered thus:- "What ailed thee, woman, then? Did ihriman Give thee a foretaste of the Day of Doom? Thou didst prevent my trafficking, and therefore I rated thee; but do not take to heart My hastiness, my thoughts were on my trade. Besides I have no home within the land Of Kai Khusrau, I know naught of Gudarz And Giv, and ne'er have travelled in those marches." He bade to give the mendicant such food As was at hand, then questioned her at large:- "Why is't that fortune is so dark with thee? Why ask about the Shah's throne and Iran? Why look upon the road that leadeth thither?" |p339 She said to him: "Why ask about my case, My travail, and my trouble? From the mouth Of yonder pit have I with aching heart Made haste to thee, O noble man! to ask The latest news of Giv and of Gudarz, The warriors, and thou didst shout at me As fighters shout! Fear'st not the Judge of all? The daughter of Afrasiyab am I - Manizha. Never had the sun beheld My form unveiled, but now with eyes all blood, And heart all pain, with sallow cheeks I roam From door to door and gather barley bread, So hath God willed! Can fortune be more wretched? Oh! that Almighty God would end it for me, Because resourceless and in yon deep pit Bizhan beholdeth neither night nor day, Nor sun nor moon, but yoked and riveted In heavy bonds is praying God for death. Hence are my griefs redoubled, hence these tears. Thou mayst, if thou art journeying to Iran, Hear of Gudarz son of Kishwad, or see About the court-gate Giv or gallant Rustam; Then say: 'Bizhan is in a pit and, save Thou comest quickly, all is over with him. If thou wouldst look upon him tarry not, For iron is below him, stone above."' Thus Rustam answered her: "O fair of face! Why rain these tears of love? Why not invite Thy nobles' intercession with thy sire? He may be pitiful, his blood may stir, His liver burn; but for my fear of him I would have furnished thee with countless things." Then said he to the cooks: "Bring forth for her Of every kind of victual that she needeth." He bade them fetch a bird hot from the spit, |p340 And, as he wrapped it in soft bread, slipped in, As with a fairy's touch, his signet-ring, And said: "Convey this to yon pit. A guide Art thou to those who have no help beside." Par. 23 How Bizhan heard of the Coming of Rustam Manizha came back to the pit's mouth, running, The food wrapped in a cloth clasped to her breast, And gave all to Bizhan. He saw amazed, Called to the sun-faced damsel from the pit, And said: "Where didst thou get the food, my love That thou hast speeded thus? How much of toil And hardship hath befallen thee, and all On mine account, my love and succourer!" Manizha answered: "From a caravan. A merchantman - a man possessed of wealth - Caine hither from Iran in search of gain, With merchandise of all kinds great and small - A holy man of Grace and understanding, Who bringeth many jewels of all sorts. He is a man of might and open heart, And hath put up a booth before his house; He gave to me the cloth just as it is 'Pray for me to the Maker,' were his words. 'Go to the dungeon to the man in bonds, And take from time to time what he may need."' Bizhan with hope amid his fears unrolled The good bread, in perplexity began To eat, observed the ring, and read the name, Then burst out laughing in his joy and wonder. It was a turquoise ring with " Rustam "graven |p341 Fine as a hair thereon. Bizhan beholding The fruit upon the tree of faithfulness, And wotting that the key to loose his sorrow Had come, laughed out and that right royally, So that the sound was heard outside the pit. Manizha marvelled when she heard him laugh From that dark dungeon fettered as he was, And said: "The mad will laugh at their own acts!" She paused in sheer amazement, then she said:- O destined to high fortune! why this laughter? Why laugh, for thou discern'st not night from day? What is the mystery? Reveal it! Tell me! Doth better fortune show thee countenance?" Bizhan replied to her: "I am in hope That fortune will undo this grievous coil. Now if with me thou wilt not break thy faith, And make a covenant with me by oath, I will reveal the matter every whit, For 'though for fear of harm one go about To sew up women's lips the words will out."' Manizha hearing this wept bitterly:- "What hath malicious fortune brought," she said, "Upon me? Woe is me! My day is done, My heart is stricken, and mine eyes o'erflow! I gave Bizhan my heart and home and wealth, And now he treateth me with such distrust! My father and my kin abandoned me, I run about unveiled before the folk, I gave withal my treasures up to spoil, My crown, dinars, and jewels, every whit. I did hope in Bizhan but hope no more. My world is darkened and mine eyes are dim, For he concealeth secrets thus from me, But Thou dost know me better, O my God!" Bizhan replied: "'Tis true. Thou hast lost all For me, and I," he added, "needs must tell thee, |p342 O my beloved mate and prudent comrade! 'Tis fit thou counsel me in all, my brain Is void through suffering, so know that he - The jewel-merchant, he whose cook provided The dainty meal for thee - came to Turan On mine account, for else he had no need Of gems. The Maker pitied me, and I Perchance shall see earth's broad expanse. This man Will free me from these longsome griefs and thee From plodding to and fro in heat and anguish. Do thou draw near and say to him in private:- 'O thou the paladin of this world's Kaians, Affectionate of heart and good at need Inform me if thou art the lord of Rakhsh? ' " Manizha left the forest like the wind, And gave the message. Rustam hearing her, Who from afar had come to him for help, Knew that Bizhan had made the secret known To that slim Cypress with the rosy cheeks. He pitied her and said: "My Fair! may God Ne'er take away from thee Bizhan's devotion. What toils must thou have borne these many days That thou hast grown so woe-begone with care! Tell him: 'Yea! God who heareth cries for help Hath given unto thee the lord of Rakhsh, Who from Zabul Iranward, from Iran Turanward, trod the weary way for thee.' When thou hast said this keep the matter secret, And give good ear at night to any sound. Collect dry fuel from the wood to-day And, when night cometh, set the pile ablaze To guide me to the opening of the pit." Manizha, joyful at the words and freed From trouble, hastened to the mountain-top, Where in the pit her lover was confined, |p343 And said: "I have repeated all thy message To that illustrious, glorious one whose steps Are blessed. He answered: 'I indeed am he, Whose name and sign are asked for by Bizhan. O thou who goest with a heart so seared, And washest both thy cheeks with tears of blood! Say: "We are dappled like a pard with galls On hands and girdlestead on thine account, And now that we have certain news of thee Thou shalt behold our deadly falchion's point, Now will I rend the earth beneath my grasp, And fling that seated boulder to the sky."' He said to me: 'As soon as heaven is dark, And night freed from the clutches of the sun, Set thou a fire, as 'twere a mount, ablaze, And make it bright as day about the pit, To guide me on the road."' Bizhan rejoiced, Although a prisoner still, and, looking up To Him, the Almighty Maker of the world, Said: "O compassionate and holy Judge! Thou art my Helper out of every ill. Pierce with Thy shaft my foeman's heart and soul. Now do me right on him that did the wrong.: Thou knowest all my sorrows, pain, and grief. Perchance I may regain my native land, And leave behind me this malignant star! And thou, my toil-worn mate, thou who hast made Life, body, heart, and goods a sacrifice For me, and in thy toil on my behalf Hast counted every trouble as a joy, Hast given up the crown and throne and girdle, Thy parents and thy kindred and thy treasure! If I do but escape this Dragon's clutch, While I am still within the time of youth, |p344 I, like the devotees who worship God, Will run toward thee with mine arms outstretched, And, like a servitor before a king, Gird up my loins to make thee fair return. Bear yet this toil, thy guerdon shall be great In goods and treasure." Bird-like to the boughs She flew for wood, with arms full watched the sun, And thought: "Oh! when will night rise o'er the hills?" When Sol had vanished and dark night had led Its army o'er the mountain-tops what time The world, its features hidden, taketh rest, Manizha went and set a-blaze a fire, That scorched the eye of pitch-black night, and listened To hear the clanging of the kettledrum Which told that Rakhsh the brazen-hoofed had come. Par. 24 How Rustam took Bizhan out of the Pit Then Rustam buckled on his Ruman mail, With prayers for succour and support to Him, Who is the Lord of sun and moon, and said:- "Oh! may the eyes of evil men be blinded, And may I have the strength to save Bizhan." At his command the warriors girt themselves With girdles of revenge, put on their steeds The poplar saddles, and prepared for combat; Then matchless Rustam led them toward the fire. When he approached the boulder of Akwan, Approached that pit of sorrow, smart, and anguish, "Dismount," he told the seven warriors, "And strive to clear the pit's mouth of the stone." They strove in vain and sorely galled their hands. |p345 Now while their sweat ran, for the stone stood still, The lion-chief alighted, hitched his skirt Of mail beneath his belt and, asking strength From God its source, grasped, raised, and hurled the boulder Back to the forest of the land of Chin Earth shook thereat. Then asked he of Bizhan With lamentable cries: "How camest thou To such a luckless plight? Thy portion here Was wont to be all sweetness; why hast thou . Received then from the world a cup of poison?" Bizhan replied: "How fared the paladin Upon the way? Thy greeting reached mine ear, And this world's poison was made sweet to me. Such as thou seest is my dwelling-place, Mine earth is iron and my heaven stone, While through exceeding anguish, hardship, sorrow, And toil I have renounced this Wayside Inn." Said Rustam: "God had pity on thy life, And now, O man wise and magnanimous! There is one thing that I desire of thee Grant pardon to Gurgin son of MilAd For my sake, putting from thee hate and malice." He answered: "O my friend! how shouldst thou know What conflicts have been mine? And know'st thou not, O noble lion-man! that which Gurgin Hath done to me? If I behold him ever My vengeance shall bring Doomsday down on him." " If thou show'st malice and wilt not attend To what I say," said Rustam, "I will leave thee Bound in the pit, and mount, and hie me home." When Rustam's answer reached the captive's ear A wail went up from that strait prison-house As he replied: "The wretchedest am I Of warriors, of my kindred, and my people |p346 I must put up to-day too with the wrong - The great wrong - which Gurgin hath done to me! Yea I will do so and will be content; My heart shall rest from taking vengeance on him." Then Rustam let his lasso down the pit, And drew up thus Bizhan with fettered feet, With naked body, with long hair and nails, And wasted by affliction, pain, and want, His form blood-boltered, and his visage wan By reason of those bonds and rusty fetters. Now Rustam cried aloud when he beheld Bizhan with body hidden by the iron, And putting forth his hands he snapped the chains . And bonds, and freed Bizhan from ring and fetter. They went toward Rustam's house; on one side of him Bizhan rode, on the other side Manizha. The youthful pair sat in their sorry plight, And told their story to the paladin. Then Rustam bade them bathe the young man's head, And clothed him in new robes. - When afterward Gurgin approached and, prone upon the dust, Sought to excuse his evil deeds, and writhed For words so ill-advised, Bizhan condoned The matter. Then they loaded up the camels, And put the saddles on the steeds, while Rustam Assumed his favourite mail and mounted Rakhsh. The warriors drew forth their scimitars And massive maces, sent the baggage on, And dight themselves for strife. Ashkash the shrewd - The army's Ear - went with the baggage-train. Then matchless Rustam bade Bizhan: "Away, And journey with Manizha and Ashkash, For in my vengeance on Afrasiyab To-night I shall not eat, repose, or sleep. Now will I do such exploits at his gate That on the morn his troops shall laugh at him. |p347 Thou hast endured enough with bonds and pit, And shouldst not share the fight." Bizhan said: "Nay, I lead since ye for me renew the fray." Par. 25 How Rustam attacked the Palace of Afrasiyab by Night The baggage thus consigned to shrewd Ashkash, The seven warriors set forth with Rustam. With bridles on their saddle-bows they drew The sword of vengeance. While all slept within He reached the court-gate of Afrasiyab, And, breaking with his hands both bolt and bar, Fierce as a lion flung himself inside. In every quarter sounds of tumult rose, Swords glittered, arrows rained, the chieftains' heads Were all struck off; their hands were filled with dust, Their mouths with blood, while Rustam in the porch Cried: "May sweet sleep distaste thee! For thy bed Thou hadst a throne, Bizhan had but a pit. Didst see an iron wall between us? I Am Rustam of Zabul, the son of Zal, And 'tis no season this for sleep and couching. I have burst through thy prison, door and bar, Where that huge boulder stood on guard for thee. Bizhan is free both head and foot from bonds Let no one thus maltreat a son-in-law! Of fighting and revenge for Siyawush, And dust from Rakhsh's feet upon the plain, Thou hadst enough yet fain wouldst slay Bizhan! I know thy wicked heart and drowsy head." Bizhan too cried: "Dense and malignant Turkman Bethink thee of yon throne, thy glorious seat, And me withal that stood in chains before thee. |p348 I challenged combat leopard-like, but thou Didst bind my hands together firm as rock. Now see me free upon the plain - a man Whom savage lions will not seek to fight." Afrasiyab exclaimed: "Hath sleep enfettered My warriors? Cut off these men's retreat, All ye who seek a signet or a crown! " On all sides was the sound of hurried steps, The bloodshed made a river at the gate, And when a soldier of Turan appeared His place was void forthwith, The Iranians Came seeking vengeance, but Afrasiyab Escaped by flight. The lord of Rakhsh rode in Upon the carpets of brocade. The warriors Took the fair slaves who caught them by the hand Took too the noble steeds with poplar saddles, Whose flaps of pard-skin were beset with gems, Then left the royal palace, packed the baggage, And stayed not in TurAn but hastened on To save the booty and avoid mishap. So spent was Rustam that he scarce endured His helmet, while the horses and their riders Had no pulse left. He sent to bid the host:- "Unsheathe your vengeful scimitars; no doubt The earth will be bedirnmed by horses' hoofs, Because Afrasiyab will gather him A mighty host whose spears will veil the sun." They marched along, those warlike cavaliers, All ready for the fray, with sharpened lances And reins well gathered in. A scout ascended The look-out and from far surveyed the route Whereby the Turkrnan cavaliers would come. Manizha then was sitting in her tent; Before her were her handmaids and her guide, And matchless Rustam spoke to her this saw:- "If musk be poured away the scent will stay." |p349 Such is the fashion of this Wayside Inn, Whiles sweets and smiles, whiles travail and chagrin Par. 26 How Afrasiyab went to fight with Rustam When Sol rose o'er the hills the Turkman horsemen , Prepared to march. The city was astir, And, thou hadst said, a deafening clamour rose. Before the court-gate of Afrasiyab The troops formed rank, the great men loosed their loins, And bowed their heads in dust before the king, Exclaiming: "Things with us have passed all bounds! What must be done? This business of Bizhan Will be a lasting stigma, the Iranians Will call us men no more, but women armed." Thereat Afrasiyab raged like a pard, And bade them fight for shame. He bade Piran To bind the tymbals on, and thus he said:- "This This flouting from Iran is over-much! " The brass blared at the court-gate of the king, The troops were all in motion in Turan, The warriors ranked themselves before the palace, Arose the din of trump and Indian bell, And to the frontier from Turan a host Marched that left earth no surface save the sea. Now when the Iranian watchman from the look-out Saw earth heave ocean-like he came to Rustam, And said: "Make ready, for the world is black With dust of horsemen!" Rustam made reply:- "We fear not, we will strew it on their hands." He left Manizha with the baggage, donned His battle-mail, went to a height, observed |p350 The foe, and roared out like a savage lion. That gallant horseman spake a proverb, saying:- "What doth a fox weigh in a lion's claws?" Then to his valiant warriors he shouted:- The The wage of war confronteth us to-day. Where are the swords and iron-piercing darts? Where are the ox-head maces and the spears? Now is the season to display your prowess, And rank yourselves upon the battlefield." Anon arose a sound of clarions, While matchless Rustam mounted Rakhsh and led His army plainward from the heights what time The foe was seen approaching. Both the hosts Deployed upon that broad expanse and formed Two camps empanoplied. Then Rustam chose His battle-ground, whereat the world grew black With horse-raised dust. Ashkash and Gustaham Were on the right with many cavaliers, Upon the left were Zanga and Ruhham. All rose superior to that conflict. Rustam, The warriors' warden and the host's support, Was at the centre with Bizhan the son Of Giv. Behind the host was Mount Bistun, In front a citadel of scimitars. Afrasiyab, when he beheld that host, With Rustam who was seen commanding it, In dudgeon donned his armour for the battle, And bade his troops to halt. He drew them up In due array against the foe. The earth Was hidden and the air like indigo. The left wing he intrusted to Piran, While brave Human departed to the right; The centre he consigned to Garsiwaz And Shida; he himself o'erlooked the whole. |p351 The matchless Rustam went about the host, And seemed a sable mountain in his mail. He cried: "Thou luckless Turkman, thou disgrace To province, crown, and throne! thou hast no heart To fight like cavaliers, yet shamest not Before thy warriors, but assailest us, And coverest the earth with men and steeds, Though when the armies grapple I shall see Thy back toward the fight. Hast thou not heard Those sayings of old times which Zal repeateth:- 'No lion is affrighted at a plain Of onagers; stars ape the sun in vain; The lusty mountain-sheep if it shall hear A wolf's claws named will shiver, heart and ear; No fox is daring, try he e'er so much, No onagers the lion's claws will touch'? Be never king as light of wit as thou, Or he will give his kingdom to the winds. Upon this plain thou shalt not get away Alive and scathless from my hands to-day." Par. 27 How Afrasiyab was defeated by the Iranians As soon as that grim Turkman heard the words He shook, drew one quick breath, then cried in fury:- "O warriors of TUrAn! are we engaged In banquet, feast, or battle on this field? Ye must endure hard toil in this emprise, For I will give you treasure in return." They shouted when they heard the monarch's words, The sun so gloomed with dust that thou badst said:- "Earth is submerged!" Upon the elephants The drums were beaten, horns and trumpets blown. The warriors with their breastplates formed a wall |p352 Of iron on the battlefield. The plain Shook and the hills re-echoed with the shouts Raised by the cavaliers upon both sides; The trenchant swords flashed mid the clouds of dust; Thou wouldst have said: "The Day of Doom hath come! " Steel sparths descended like a storm of hail Upon the coats of mail, the helms, and casques, While at the gleam of Rustam's dragon-flag The bright sun's face grew azure-dim; he veiled The air with arrows, "Smearing," thou hadst said, "The sun with pitch." Where'er he urged on Rakhsh He trampled on the heads of cavaliers. Grasped in his hand he bore an ox-head mace, And seemed a dromedary broken loose. He came forth from the centre like a wolf, And scattered all the foemen's vast array. Then horsemen's heads were shed as leaves are shed Before the blast, and fortune left the Turkmans. Swift as the wind Ashkash upon the right Sought to engage the swordsman Garsiwaz, Gurgin, Farhad, and brave Ruhham o'erthrew The left wing of the monarch of Turan, While in the centre dexterous Bizhan Esteemed the battlefield a banquet-hall. Blood flowed in streams, the Turkman monarch's standard Sank, he beheld his fortunes all averse, The warriors of Turan all slain, so flung His Indian scimitar away and, mounting A fresh steed, fled attended by his nobles Toward Turan, balked of revenge, and followed By lion-taking Rustam, who rained mace And arrow on the enemy, and blasted For two leagues, thou hadst said, like dragon grim The warriors. A thousand cavaliers |p353 Were captured. Rustam then returned to camp In order that he might divide the spoil, And, when the elephants were loaded, he Marched back to Kai Khusrau victoriously. Par. 28 How Rustam returned to Kai Khusrau When tidings reached the gallant Shah: "The Lion Hath come back from the Wood victorious; Bizhan is free from prison and from bonds, And from the clutches of his dragon-foe; The army of Turan is overthrown, The foe's whole purpose foiled," he went rejoicing, And fell upon his face, before the Maker. Whenas Gudarz and Giv received the news They basted to the conquering Shah. A shout Went up, troops mustered, and the tymbal-players Set forth, the trumpet sounded at the gate, The soldiers shouted. All the riding-ground Was black with chargers' hoofs, the kettledrums Roared through the city, horsemen proudly pranced. And mighty elephants tusked up the earth. Before the army went the drums and horns, Gudarz and Tus came after with the standard. Upon one side were pards and lions chained, Upon the other were brave cavaliers. In such wise the victorious Shah commanded The troops to go to meet their paladin. They set forth on their journey troop on troop; The earth was mountain-like with warriors. When they distinguished Rustam from the rest, Gudarz and Giv alighted, as did all The other mighty men and Rustam also, To whom both young and old did reverence. |p354 Gudarz and Giv saluted him and said:- "O thou illustrious and valiant chief! May God be thy protection now and ever, May sun and moon both circle to thy wish. Of thee the lion learneth to be bold, Of thee may heaven weary nevermore! Thou hast made all our kindred slaves to thee Through whom we have recovered our lost son. Thou hast delivered us from pain and grief, And made us all thy servants in Iran." The chiefs remounted and approached in pomp The palace of the monarch of the world, And, when that chief - the refuge of the host - Drew near the city of the king of kings, The Shah himself, - the warden of the troops And crown of chiefs - went out to welbome him. When Rustam by the pomp knew that the Shah Had come, he lighted and did homage, grieved That Kai Khusrau had come so far. The world-lord Took Rustam in a close embrace and said:- "Thou Stay of chieftains and thou Soul of honour As glorious as the sun are all thy Bests, And thine achievements broadcast through the world." Then quickly taking by the hand Bizhan, Who was abashed before his Shah and sire, The matchless Rustam brought, presented him, Rose to his feet, and made the bent back straight. Thereafter he delivered to the Shah A thousand captives from TLlran in bonds. The monarch blessed him lovingly and said:- "May heaven ever favour thy desires, May thy hand flourish, may thy heart rejoice, And thy pure body 'scape all hurt from foes. How blest is Zal, who will bequeath the world A Memory like thee! Blest is Zabul, |p355 Whose milk hath nourished such undaunted heroes. Blest is Iran, blest are its warriors, Possessing such a paladin as thee; Yet is my fortune higher than them all In having such a servant of my throne. Thou art Iran's crown and the chieftains' stay, And lacking thee I care not for the world." Then said the monarch of the world to Giv:- "The Almighty's purposes toward thee are good, Who hath restored to thee by Rustam's hand Thy son, thy well beloved, and in triumph." Giv blessed the Shah and said: "Live and rejoice As long as time shall be, may thy head flourish Through Rustam ever, and may he possess The heart of glorious Zal with happiness." Par. 29 How Kai Khusrau made a Feast Khusrau commanded: "Let the board be spread, And call the chiefest nobles to the feast." Now when the guests had risen from the table They had the place set for a drinking-bout. Fair slaves illumed the hall, with cup-bearers And earringed harpers harping on their harps; Their heads were crowned with massive coronets Of gold with patterns traced thereon in gems. All cheeks were ruddy as brocade of Rum, And fairy fingers made the harps resound. There were gold chargers full of purest musk, And in the front a laver of rose-water. The Shah, resplendent with imperial Grace, Shone like a full moon o'er a straight-stemmed cypress. The paladins, the lieges of Khusrau, All left the palace, well bemused. Next morning Came Rustam to the court, with open heart |p356 And girded loins, for leave to hie him home. He took much prudent counsel with the Shah, Who gave commandment, and a change of raiment Bejewelled, with a tunic and a crown, A vase of royal gems, a hundred steeds All saddled and a hundred laden camels, A hundred fair-faced handmaids ready girt, A hundred slaves adorned with torques of gold, Were brought before the master of the world, Who gave them all to Rustam of Zabul. That hero kissed the ground and then stood upright. He set upon his head that royal crown, He bound that royal girdle round his loins, Did homage to the Shah, then left the presence, And made his preparations for Sistan. Next to the nobles that had been with Rustam In toil and fight, in happiness and sorrow, The Shah gave gifts, to each in his degree They left the palace of Khusrau, rejoicing. The Shah, when he had finished with the chiefs, And sat at leisure on his throne, commanded Bizhan to come, and spake of all his troubles, While for his part Bizhan informed the Shah At large of that strait dungeon, of his conflicts, And what had happened in those evil days. The Shah forgave him and much pitied too The pains and sorrows of the luckless damsel, Called for a hundred garments of brocade Of Rum, gem-patterned on a ground of gold, A crown, ten purses also of dinars, Girl-slaves and carpets and all kinds of wealth, And said thus to Bizhan: "These precious things Bear to the lady of the mournful soul, Use her not hardly, speak no chilling word, Consider all that thou hast brought on her. Go through this world rejoicing by her side, |p357 And take thou heed of time's vicissitudes, How it will raise one to the heights of heaven, And bear him all unharmed by care and anguish, Then how that heaven will fling him to the dust, Where all is fear, anxiety, and dread! The man whom fortune cherished on its breast It casteth wantonly to depths of need, And raiseth thence another to the throne, And setteth on his head a jewelled crown! The world is not ashamed of such ill doings, For it respecteth no one; and, although For ever dominating good and bad, Ensueth not the peace of any one." Such is the manner of our earthly lot! It leadeth us alike to good and ill, And noble hearts may live untroubled still So long as poverty oppresseth not. The story of Gudarz I next unfold And of Pirddn; that of Bizhan is told. As I have heard it in the tales of old.