The Birth of Kai Khusrau
One dark and moonless night, while birds, wild beast,
And cattle slept, Piran in dream beheld
A splendour that outshone the sun itself,
While Siyawush, enthroned and sword in hand,
Called loudly to him, saying : "Rest no more!
Throw off sweet sleep and think of times to come,
For from to-day new feasts and customs date,
Because to-night is born Shah Kai Khusrau!"
The chieftain roused him from his sweet repose
Gulshahr the sunny-featured woke. Piran
Said unto her: "Arise! Betake thyself
To minister to Farangis, for I
Saw Siyawush in sleep a moment since,
Surpassing both the sun and moon in lustre,
And crying: 'Sleep no more, but join the feast
Of Kai Khusrau, the monarch of the world.'"
Gulshahr came basting to the Moon and saw
The prince already born; she went with cries
Of joy that made the palace ring again
Back to Piran the chief. " Thou wouldest say,"
She cried, " that king and Moon are fairly matched
Oh! hasten and behold a miracle -
The Maker's greatness and His providence -
For thou wilt say: 'The babe hath need of naught
But crown, mail, mace, and lands to devastate.'"
The chieftain visited the royal babe,
And offered many praises to the Almighty
For that tall stature and those arms and neck.
Thou wouldst have said: "The child is twelve months old!"
Piran's eyes filled with tears for Siyawush;
He uttered curses on Afrasiyab,
And thus addressed the noble company:-
"Although the king shall break my soul therefor
I will not suffer him to touch the child,
Not though he fling me to the crocodiles!"
When gloomy murk was sleeping, and the sun
Displayed its rays, the captain of the host,
'Twixt fear and hope, went to Afrasiyab
In haste, but waited till the court had cleared;
Then came anear the famous throne and thus
Addressed the king: "O sunlike sovereign
And world-lord, shrewd and versed in magic arts!
Thy lot last night was bettered by one slave,
' Dowered by the moon,' as thou wouldst say, 'with
He hath engrossed all beauty: thou wouldst say:-
"It simply is the moon inside the cradle!'
If Tur could have his lifetime o'er again
He would desire to see this infant's face.
None looketh on a picture in a palace
So fair. The royal Grace is fresh in him,
And thou wouldst say: "Tis valiant Faridun
In Grace and countenance, in hand and foot.'
Now purge thy mind from every thought of ill,
Exalt thy heart, and illustrate the crown."
God gave the king a better mind. He banished
Thoughts of injustice, harshness, and revenge
His spirit sorrowed for his evil deed.
Then from his heart he heaved a sigh, repenting
Of evil done, and putting by revenge
Replied: "Much evil will befall me now
That is the gist of everybody's words.
The age will be disquieted by war,
For an adviser hath reminded me
That from the seed of Tur and Kai Kubaid
A king of noble birth will lift his head,
The world will seek his love and all men pay
Him homage in Iran and Turan.
What is to be will be, no anxious thought
Will aught avail; rear not the child at home,
But send him to the shepherds on the mountains
That he may know me not or why I sent him
To them, not know the truth about his birth,
But be in ignorance of all the past."
He spake upon the matter as he thought,
And deemed this old world young! Canst thou do
There is no remedy. The world is vast,
No hooks or nets of thine will hold it fast;
But if misfortune's ills thou hast to feel
There is instruction also for thy weal.
The paladin went forth with joy, his heart
Full of glad thoughts, began to bless the Maker,
And sing the praises of the infant king;
Then journeyed to his palace musing thus :-
"This little gift - what will it prove to us? "
How Piran entrusted Kai Khusrau to the Shepherds
Piran had shepherds called from Mount Kalur,
To whom he spake about the infant prince,
Then trusted to their care his Heart and Eyes -
The child that was so good and admirable -
And said : "Entreat him like your souls. No wind
Or dust must see him. Keep him from mischance
E'en at the cost of your own eyes and hearts."
They said: "We will obey."
He furnished them,
And sent a nurse to tend the royal babe;
They laid their fingers on their eyes and heads,
And took the young prince with them to the mountains.
The heavens revolved awhile with matters thus,
And looked upon Khusrau with loving face.
Now when the brave young prince was seven years old
His prowess told the secret of his birth;
He made a bow of wood and string of gut
Looped at both ends, he made an arrow blunt
And featherless, and would go on the plain
To hunt; at ten he was a valiant warrior,
Who fought with boars and wolves, arson with lions
And leopards, armed with that rude weapon only,
And thus he fared until as time went on
His teacher came to ask for fresh directions.
The shepherd left the mountains and the waste,
And came before Piran with loud complaints :-
"I come complaining to the paladin
Anent this noble Lion running loose
He hunted antelopes at first, attacked
No leopards, and avoided lions' tracks,
But now to fight fierce lions is the same
For him as following the antelope,
And yet I must not let him come to harm!
The noble paladin expecteth this
Piran on hearing smiled and said :-
"High birth and excellence will show themselves."
He mounted on an easy-going nag
To seek the sunlike Lion, and observed
The stalwart youth as he approached like wind.
He kissed Piran upon the hand, who, seeing
Such Grace and such a countenance, shed tears,
And long and lovingly embraced the youth
In secret commune with all-holy God.
Khusrau said: "O thou pure of Faith! mayst thou
Illume the country of Turan, for all
That know thee call thee friend! Thou dolt embrace
A shepherd's son and feelest not ashamed!"
The heart of wise Piran grew hot, his cheeks
Flushed, he replied: "Thou memory of the great,
So good and yet defrauded of the world!
There is no shepherd that is kin to thee,
And on this matter I have much to tell."
He had an Arab steed brought for the youth,
Clothed him in royal robes and carried him
Home to the palace, thinking mournfully
Of Siyawush. He cherished Kai Khusrau,
Rejoiced in him, and spent a happy time,
But lost food, rest, and sleep through tenderness,
And terror of the anger of the king.
With matters thus the heavens turned above
Awhile o'er Kai Khusrau in peace and love.
How Piran brought Kai Khusrau before Afrasiyab
One night Piran received a messenger,
Who bade him wait upon Afrasiyab.
The monarch spake about the past: "My heart,"
He said, " is vexed by thoughts and grief too hard
To put aside; this child of Siyawush
Hath, so to speak, o'ercast my day; but will
High policy allow a shepherd-swain
To rear one of the race of Faridun?
If ill through this child hath been written fur me
No caution will avert it; 'tis God's doing.
But while the child suspecteth not the past
Let him be glad and we too will rejoice;
Still, if he showeth any evil bent,
He, as his father did, must lose his head."
Piran replied: "O king! thou needest none
To teach thee. This boy is as mad folk are!
What notions can he have about the past?
A child brought up by shepherds on the mountains
Is like wild animals; what can he know?
The foster-father told me yesternight
'The boy is comely but devoid of wits.'
In spite of beauty, stature, form, and Grace,
The prince's head yet lacketh understanding;
Vex not thyself and think no more hereof.
What said the sage - a man exceeding wise?
' More potent than the sire the nurse will prove,
But the great secret is the mother's love.'
If at this time the king shall order me,
I will present this lauded youth to him,
But make me easy by a promise first
And swear by such an oath as kings employ.
Shah Faridun, when he affirmed a matter,
Swore by his crown and throne and diadem;
Tur, who enjoyed both fortune and high state,
Swore by the Ruler of the universe;
And that great king Zadsham, thy grandsire, swore
By Him that ruleth Saturn, Mars, and Sun."
The wits of fierce Afrasiyab were lulled
At hearing this, he swore a royal oath
By white day and by sombre night, by God -
The Omnipotent, the Maker of the world,
The Maker of the sky, the soul, and beasts:-
"No harm shall come upon the boy through me,
And I will never breathe sharp breath on him."
Piran then kissed the ground and said: "O king,
Who judgest justly and art wed to justice
Be wisdom evermore thy guide to good,
Be earth and time the dust beneath thy feet."
He came in haste to Kai Khusrau with cheeks
Like cercis-blossom, glad exceedingly,
And said: "Put wisdom from thee. If the king
Shall talk to thee of fight, talk thou of feast.
Appear before him as an alien
And speak insanely, show no kind of sense,
And thus thou mayst perchance outlive the day."
Piran equipped him with a royal crown
And belt, and called for him a pretty palfrey
Whereon the shrewd, young hero sat and rode
Toward the palace of Afrasiyab.
Tears filled the eyes of all on his account,
And shouts were raised before him: "Clear the w
The brave aspirant to the crown hath come."
When he arrived Piran the general
Took him before the king. The grandsire's cheeks
Grew wet with tears of shame, meanwhile Piran
Shook like a willow, fearing for Khusrau.
The king remembering his pledge and spurning
All fell designs, gazed in astonishment
Upon that royal neck, the young man's hands,
His gait, his bearing, and his dignity..
There was a pause. The monarch's face relaxed,
And love at length prevailed within his heart.
"O youthful shepherd!" said Afrasiyab,
"Describe to me thy life by day and night.
On what wise bast thou shepherded thy flock?
What is the number of thy sheep and goats? "
Khusrau thus answered him: "There is no game
Besides I have not arrow, bow, or string."
The monarch asked him next about his teacher,
And whether he was prosperous or not.
Khusrau replied: "Where'er there is a leopard
The hearts of valiant warriors are rent."
Afrasiyab the third time questioned him
About Iran, his parents, and his home.
"The rending lion," thus he made reply,
"Is not o'er-powered by a fighting-dog."
The king said: "Wilt thou go hence to Iran,
To him who is the monarch of the brave? "
Khusrau thus answered him: "Two nights ago
A horseman passed me on the hills and plains."
The monarch smiled and blossomed like a rose,
Then asked of Kai Khusrau in gentler tones:-
"Dost thou not wish to learn to write? Hast thou
No wish for vengeance on thine enemies?"
He said: "There is no cream upon the milk
I faire would drive the shepherds from the plain."
The monarch smiled at what Khusrau had answered.
And turning to the captain of the host
Said thus to him: "The fellow is a fool
I ask of heads; he answereth of feet
In sooth no good or ill will come from him
Of other stuff are they that seek revenge.
Go! Send him by the hand of some good man,
And let his mother have him back to her.
Dispatch him to Siyawushgird, allow
No evil teachers to resort to him,
But furnish him with treasure, money, steeds,
Attendants, and whate'er may serve his needs."
How Kai Khusrau went to Siyawushgird
"Bestir thyself," Piran said to the prince,
Then took him from the presence of the king,
And went back to his palace, flushed with joy
And triumph, since the eye of ill was closed.
He said: "A new Tree fruiteth in the world
Through Him that ruleth over destiny."
He oped the portals of his ancient hoards
And furnished all that Kai Khusrau required -
Brocade, dinars, and precious stones, with pearls,
Steeds, implements of war, and crowns and girdles,
Besides a throne and purses full of drachms,
With carpetings and matters great and small.
He brought them all to Kai Khusrau with speed,
And with the present gave his blessing also,
Then sent both son and mother to the seat
That good king Siyawush had built. They went
Their way rejoicingly toward the place,
Which had become by then a brake of thorns.
When Farangis and Kai Khusrau arrived
Much folk from every side appeared to greet them,
While all the city's tongues were full of praise
"Thus then," they said, "hath fortune made a Shoot
Sprout from the razed roots of a noble Tree!
Far be the eye of evil from the king,
And may light fill the soul of Siyawush."
The brambles of the city turned to bog,
The meadow-grass to noble cypresses;
The very beasts rejoiced and all the folk
Felt solace for the death of SiyAwush,
Since cloudward from the dust that drank his blood
There rose an Evergreen of sweet perfume,
Upon whose leaves his likeness was portrayed,
Exhaling through his love the scent of musk,
And flourishing in winter as in spring
Would be a prayer-place for the sorrowful.
This is the process of the ancient sky -
It robbeth infants of their mother's breast,
And to the dust deposeth suddenly
A heart by fondness for the world possessed.
Brave not the world but seek its joys to win;
It hideth evils more than thou canst know,
Yet treat it as a garden and therein
Abstain from sniffing at the leaves of woe,
For whether thou art king or shod by want
In any case thy length of days is scant.
Vex not thy soul, this home is but a cheat,
Thy sole possession is a narrow bier;
What needeth thine amassing? Sit and eat;
God is thy treasurer, thou need'st not fear.
Albeit here much happiness is found
The world hath no real love for anyone.
'Twill raise a head one moment to the sun,
And in the next will lay it underground.
It is the process of the lofty sky
To bring down princes and set slaves on high.
I turn from blood to vengeance and tell how
Giv bare off from Turan Shah Kai Khusrau.
HOW RUSTAM AVENGED SIYAWUSH, AND HOW GIV BROUGHT KAI KHUSRAU TO IRAN
Firdausi's Lament over his old Age
When threescore years hang swordlike o'er one's head
Give him not wine, for he is drunk instead
With them! They give to me a staff for reins,
My wealth is squandered and my fortune sped.
The watchman cannot from his hill descry
The countless army of the enemy,
And hath not wit to turn away although
Their spears confront the lashes of his eye.
The runners too that were so fleet of yore
Bend and are bound by pitiless threescore;
The singer is aweary of his song,
And one are bulbul's note and lion's roar.
Since I took up the cup of fifty-eight,
The grave and shroud, naught else, I contemplate.
Ah! for my swordlike speech when I was thirty,
Those luscious days, musk-scented, roseate!
Drawn by pomegranate-bloom and cypress-bough
The pheasant haunteth not the dog-rose now.
Sufficient respite from my destiny
I ask the Judge Almighty to allow
That from the famous tale of days gone by
I may bequeath the world a history
Such that whoe'er shall judge my work aright
Shall never speak of me but lovingly;
And I that am the Prophet's household-thrall
In dust before his Mandatary fall -
Him of the pulpit and of Zu'lfakar -
On him to plead my cause above I call.
The story of the rustic bard again
I take in hand; heed thou the minstrel's strain.
How Kaus heard of the Case of Siyawush
The news reached Shah Kaus : "The prince
The monarch of Turan wrung off his head
As 'twere a bird's! On every mountain-top
Wild beasts lament the guiltless. Bulbuls mourn
Upon the cypress, francolins and pheasants
Beneath the rose. Turan is seared and sore,
Pomegranate leaves are yellow in the gardens.
Gurwi set down a golden bowl and raised
As 'twere a sheep's the face of Siyawush;
They cut his royal head off; there was none
To help or plead."
When Shah Kaus heard this
His crowned head bowed itself upon the state,
He rent his robes, he tore his cheeks, and quitted
His high throne for the dust. The Iranians
Went mourning on their way, the cavaliers
put on their funeral weeds, their eyes wept blood,
Their cheeks were pale, all spake of Siyawush.
Tus and Gudarz, the gallant Giv, Shapur,
Bahram the Lion and Farhad arrayed
Themselves in raiment black and blue; no head
Retained its helmet but had dust instead.
How Eustam came to Kaus
The world-illuming chief heard at Nimruz :-
vail ascendeth from Iran, the death
Of Siyawush hath shocked the world, Kaus
Hath thrown dust on his crown and rent his robes
When matchless Rust am heard his senses fled;
A wail rose from Zabul, Zal tore his cheeks,
And scattered dust upon his crown and shoulders.
Thus passed a week in heaviness and mourning,
But on the eighth day rose the trumpet-blast,
And at the gate of elephantine Rustam
Troops gathered from Kashmir and from Zabul.
Blood in his eyes and vengeance in his heart
He marched toward the court of Kai Kaus.
On coming near Iran he rent his robe
Of office, swearing by the Almighty Judge :-
"I will not rest from arms and war or wash
Dust from my face, whereat we need not grieve,
Till I have taken vengeance for the prince,
And brought our foes' heads to the shears. My crown
Shall be a casque, my cup a scimitar,
My net the leathern lasso on mine arm,
Until I take for our young prince's death
Revenge upon that Turkman dark of soul."
All dust from head to foot he came before
The throne of Kai Kaus and said to him:-
"The noxious weeds that thou bast sown, O king!
Are fruiting now! Thy passion for Sudaba,
And thine ill bent, have robbed thee of thy Crown,
And now thou seest clearly that thy seat
Is on the ocean's waves. A heavy loss
Hath come upon Iran through the distrust
And disposition of a cruel Shah.
For one who is the ruler of people
A shroud is better than a woman's bidding.
A woman's talk hath murdered Siyawush,
And blest is she who is as yet unborn.
Among the Shahs there was not one like him,
As great, as noble, and as reticent.
Alas for that tall stature and that face,
That face that had the mien of majesty
Alas for that so famous sovereign,
For time will never look on such another
"Twas ever spring when he was on the throne;
At feasts he used to be the crown of kings,
In fight a Pard, a Tiger, and a Lion
None ever saw a man so deft of hand.
Now, while I live, I give up heart and brain
To execute revenge for Siyawush.
Ne'er shall I fight dry-eyed, and like my heart
The whole world shall endure the fiery smart."
How Rustam slew Sudaba and led forth the Host
Kaus perceived on Rustam's countenance
How great his love was by his tears of blood,
And out of shame said nothing in reply,
But poured down scalding tears. The chief departed
And went toward the palace of Sudaba.
He dragged her from the bower by her hair,
Dragged her all bleeding from her throne and clave her
Asunder with his dagger in the street
While Shah Kaus sat passive on his throne;
This done, the matchless Rustam felt a pang
Yet keener in his heart, he sought his palace
In pain and woe, with blood-drops in his eyes,
And livid cheeks. Iran was all in mourning,
And people flocked around him in their trouble,
While he for seven days in grief and tears
Sat in his palace wrathful and distressed.
Upon the eighth he sounded trump and drum,
And to his palace came Gudarz and Tus,
Shidush, Farhad, Gurgin, Giv, and Ruhham,
Shapur, Kharrad the warrior, Fariburz -
The son of Kai Kaus - Bahram the Lion,
And dragon-bold Guraza. Rustam said:-
"I stake heart, soul, and body on revenge,
For in this world there is no man of name
In arms like Siyawush the cavalier.
Treat not the matter lightly. None can deem
Such vengeance trifling. Banish all dismay,
And make the earth run like Jihun with blood.
By God! while I am living in the world
I will not cease to grieve for Siyawush.
On that unwatered waste where rash Gurwi
Poured on the ground the life-blood of the prince
I fain would chafe my face and eyes; perchance
It may relieve my heart of grief for him.
Perchance my hands like his may be secured,
A yoke placed on my neck, and both my wrists
Bound with a twisted lasso, and myself
Thrown like a hapless sheep upon the ground;
But if not, with my trenchant scimitar
And mace will I bring Domesday on the world;
Mine eyes shall see naught but the dust of fight.
And I renounce for life the cup of pleasure."
The chiefs and paladins on hearing this
All shouted like one man: thou wouldst have said:-
"Iran is seething." From the land the uproar
Rose to the clouds. " Earth is a lion's den,"
Thou wouldst have said.
Then from his elephant
He dropped the ball into the cup. The troops
Unsheathed the sword of vengeance. Rose the din
Of horn, of brazen trump, and kettledrum;
The world was all revenge, and thou hadst said:-
"It is a seething sea!" Earth had no room
For walking, air was ambushed by the spears;
The stars began the fray, and time and earth
Washed hands in mischief. The Iranian warriors
Girt up their loins and Kawa's standard led them.
Then Rustam of Zabul chose from Kabul,
Iran, and from the forest of Narwan,
Troops that were wielders of the scimitar
There mustered five score thousand men of war.
How Faramarz slew Warazad
The leader of the van was Faramarz,
The son of Rustam and a youthful chieftain,
Whom, when he reached the border of Turan,
The watch descried.
The king of Sipanjab
Was Warazad, a lustrous Pearl mid chiefs.
Whenas the blast of trump and clarion,
And din of Indian bells came to his ears
He beat the tymbals, marched out to the desert,
And from the desert to a sea of blood.
His troops and scimitars were thirty thousand
Prepared for fight. Advancing from the centre
He made all haste to counter Faramarz,
And questioned him and said: "Who art thou? Speak!
Why hast thou set thy face against this land?
Com'st thou in sooth by order of the Shah,
Or captain of the host? Dost thou not know
Afrasiyab, his state, his throne, and crown
Of majesty? Be pleased to tell thy name,
For this is thy last fight. Thy swarthy form
May not give up the ghost beneath my hands,
Then Faramarz: "Ill-fated chief!
The Tree that bare me is a paladin,
In whose hands lions writhe, while elephants
Grow lifeless at his wrath, but as for thee,
Thou ill-conditioned banding of the Div!
Why should I talk to thee of how and why?
The elephantine hero is behind
With troops - a foe sufficient anywhere.
He armed to take revenge for Siyawush,
Advancing like a furious lion. He
Will raise the reek from this vile land. The wind
Will not adventure meddling with his dust."
As soon as Warazad had heard the words
He knew that it was useless to dispute,
And bade the troops: "Lay on; string up your
Both hosts arrayed themselves and donned their helmets,
The war-cry rose, and ears grew deaf with drumming.
Now at the sound of drum and clarion
The heart of Faramarz began to throb.
He came on like a mighty elephant,
With loins girt up and bow upon his arm,
And in a single onslaught overthrew
A thousand warriors, then turning back
With spear in hand he sought for Warazad,
And, when he saw the Turkman leader's flag,
Rushed like a lion from among the troops,
And giving to his sable steed the spur,
And stiffening the clutch upon his lance,
Struck Warazad a blow upon the girdle,
So that cuirass and buckle brake, and took him
In such a fashion from the poplar saddle
That thou hadst said: "He dealeth with a fly!"
Flung him upon the dust and then dismounting,
While oftentimes invoking Siyawush,
Cut off the head of his illustrious foe,
Blood-boltering his raiment and exclaiming :-
"See the first head of our revenge! The seed
That hath been scattered sprouteth from the dust!"
They gave up all the country to the flames,
The reek rose to high heaven, and Faramarz
Wrote to his sire respecting Warazad :-
"I opened wide the door of war and vengeance,
I took him from his sell of poplar wood,
Cut off his head, so doth revenge require
For Siyawush, and set his land a-fire: '
How Surkha led his Troops to fight with Rustam
A runner came and told Afrasiyab :-
"The elephantine Rustam hath come forth
To war, the Iranian chieftains are assembled;
They have clack! beheaded Warazad,
And robbed the marches of Turan of breath;
His army they have utterly o'erthrown,
And given up his country to the flames."
Afrasiyab was grieved and called to mind
The ancient prophecy that he had heard
From wise archmages and astrologers;
He summoned all the nobles, paid his troops,
Gave largess from his treasures, and brought home
All herds of horses that were on the waste.
He took his minister's and treasurer's keys
To ope his magazines, and furnished swords,
Horse-armour, maces, and artillery,
Dinars, gold, gems, crowns, torques, and golden belts,
And strewed the palace and the ground with drachms.
With troops equipped and treasure lavished on them
He sounded kettledrum and Indian gong,
And then the horsemen turned their thoughts to war.
He marched from Gang, and, having reached the open,
Called "Surkha and spake much of Rustam, saying:-
"Lead thirty thousand Sabres swift as wind
To Sipanjab, ignoring rest and pleasure,
For Faramarz is there. Send me his head;
But ware the son of Zal! Thou hast no peer
In fight save him, yet where the pard would combat
What will the dog of war avail in battle?
Thou art mine own son and my loyal subject,
The Pillar of mine army and my Moon;
Be so alert and circumspect that none
Will venture to attack thee. Lead in person,
Be vigilant, and guard the host from Rustam."
When Surkha left the presence of his sire
He took the troops and standard to the plain,
And marched along like wind to Sipanjab,
Intent on war. The outposts saw the dust,
Turned round, and hurried in to Faramarz.
The din of drums rose from the Iranian troops,
Whose dust transformed the earth to ebony;
The clamour of the cavaliers and chargers
Rose from the plain, out-topping Sol and Venus;
The bright steel falchions flashed like diamonds,
The spearpoints fed on blood. Thou wouldst have
"An exhalation riseth from the earth,
And giveth fuel to the flames of war."
The earth from end to end was heaped with slain;
Their severed heads were scattered everywhere.
As Surkha marked the progress of the fight
He saw the spearhead of prince Faramarz,
Then gave the rein to his high-crested steed,
And, giving up the bow, charged with the spear,
While Faramarz, abandoning the centre,
Came forth with lance in hand to counter him,
And by a thrust swift as Azargashasp
Laid him unseated on his horse's neck,
While with the impetus and that rude shock
The lance was shivered. Then the Turkman chiefs
Advanced intent on battle and revenge,
While Surkha in the anguish of defeat
Fled. Faramarz, like some mad elephant,
Pursued him, brandishing an Indian sword.
The Iranian horse rushed after him like divs,
And shouted. Faramarz came up with Surkha
And, like a leopard springing, seized his girdle,
Unseated him, and hurled him to the ground,
Then, driving him afoot, brought him to camp,
Disgraced. With that the flag of matchless Rustam
Was seen approaching mid the tramp of troops
And elephants; the prince went to his father
As quick as dust and told of his success.
In front was Surkha with his hands in bonds,
There lay the severed neck of Warazad;
The plain and hollows were all filled with slain,
The foe in full retreat. The soldiers blessed
The brave, young paladin, while peerless Rustam
Gave blessings to him also and bestowed
Great largess on the poor. Of Faramarz
Spake elephantine Rustam: "He whose head
Is raised o'er others must have noble nature,
Instruction, prowess, and befriending wisdom
His nature using these will bring the world
Beneath his feet by virtue of his manhood.
Thou seest naught but brightness in a flame,
Yet he is burned that toucheth. 'Tis not strange
That Faramarz should triumph, for the heart
Of steel is full of fire, and when steel fighteth
With flint the secret of its heart is shown."
Then elephantine Rustam looked on Surkha -
A noble Cypress of the garth was he,
His breast was like a lion's, and his cheeks
Were like the spring, cheeks where black musk was traced
On roses-bade men bear him to the plain,
And executioners with bowl and dagger,
To make his hands fast in the lasso's coils,
To throw him like a sheep upon the ground,
Behead him as was done to Siyawush,
And let the vultures be his winding-sheet.
When Tus the general heard he went in haste
To do the Koody deed. Then Surkha said:-
"O most exalted king! why slay me guiltless,
For Siyawush was of my years, my friend?
My soul was full of pain and grief for him,
By day and night my eyes o'erflow with tears;
I ever oped my lips to curse the man
By whom the prince's head was stricken off -
The man that brought the dagger and the bowl."
The heart of Tus was very pitiful
For that illustrious but luckless prince.
He went to Rustam and repeated to him
The pleading of the Turkman monarch's son,
But Rustam answered: "If there be a king
Who should be thus heart-seared and sad, then may
The heart and spirit of Afrasiyab
Be ever full of pain, his eyes of tears.
This youth, engendered by those recreant loins,
Will but employ fresh stratagems and guile.
As Siyawush was laid upon the ground
With shoulders, breast, and hair bedrenched with blood,
So by the head and life of Kai Kaus,
The glorious, noble ruler of Iran,
I swear that every Turkman that I find
Throughout my life, be he a king or slave,
So he be of these marches and this folk,
I will behead."
And therewithal that Lion
Looked at Zawara and commanded him
In peremptory tones to do the deed
Of blood. He took the dagger and the bowl,
And gave the youth to executioners,
Who cut his throat - a cry, and all was over.
What wouldst thou, world! with those whom thou hast fed?
Fed! Say thy broken-hearted slaves instead!
Then Rustam took the head off, hung the trunk
Feet upward on a gibbet, and flung dust
In vengeance on the corpse, which afterwards
The soldiers hacked to pieces with their swords.
How Afrasiyab led forth the Host to avenge his Son
When the Turanian troops returned from battle,
Their bodies bloody and their heads all dust,
They said: "The noble chieftain hath been slain,
His eager fortune hath been overturned,
And they have set his severed head and body
Blood-boltered upside down upon a gibbet!
The people of Iran are all in arms,
Their hearts ache with revenge for Siyawush."
Afrasiyab hung down his head and crown,
Plucked out his hair, shed tears, and rent his robes,
Cast dust upon his head, and cried aloud :-
"O prince! O gallant heart! O warrior!
O chief! O man of name! O hero! King!
Woe for that moonlike cheek of cercis-bloom!
Woe for that royal breast and mien and stature!
Thy sire shall ne'er seek rest unless it be
Upon his charger's saddle on the field."
Then to his men: "Our ease and feasts are over.
Keep ye your eyes wide open for revenge,
And make your jerkin and cuirass your bed."
Rose at his gate the din of kettledrums
His warriors armed. Upon the elephants
The trumpets blared, the world was like a sea
Of indigo, and when they bound the drums
Upon the elephants heaven kissed the earth.
Then said the king: "Ye chiefs and warriors!
When both sides sound the drum he is no soldier
That laggeth. Let our hearts be full of vengeance,
Full as the bodies of our foes with javelins!"
Thus spake he to the troops, then bade to sound
The clarions, cymbals, and the Indian bells.
Arose the war-cry and the blare of trumpets,
The din of cornet, pipe, and kettledrum,
Earth shook beneath the trampling of the steeds,
The shoutings of the soldiers reached the clouds.
Now when that army's dust rose from the plain
One came to vengeful Rustam and spake thus :-
"Afrasiyab the chieftain is at band;
His troops move like a vessel o'er the sea.
All have prepared for combat and revenge,
And set their hands to blood."
Now when he heard:-
The The monarch of Turan hath come in sight,"
The troops marched forth with Kawa's flag; the air
Turned blue with warriors' swords; a shout arose
From both sides and the world was filled with fighters.
Thou wouldst have said: "The sun and moon are
A crocodile hath swallowed up the stars!"
The monarch of Turan arrayed his men,
Who grasped their maces and two-headed darts.
Upon the right Barman came proudly on
Before his troops, Kuhram was at the left,
And in the centre was the king in person.
On his side Rustam too arrayed his host,
And earth was lost in dust. He took the centre
With Faramarz in front and in the rear
Zawara; on the left he placed Gudarz,
Hajir, and other chiefs. He stationed Giv,
And Tus - those wary horsemen - on the right
With trump and drum, then armed himself for battle,
And eased his heart by vengeance. Earth became
Musk-black with troops, air like a leopard's back
With spears. " It is an iron mount whose crest
Is full," thou wouldst have said, " of helms and mail."
The staff-heads of the banners rose towards
The clouds, and brightly flashed the blue-steel swords.
How Pilsam was slain by Rustam
Pilsam with angry looks and vengeful heart
Came to the centre to Afrasiyab,
And said: "O full of wisdom, famous king!
Unless thou here forbiddest me the use
Of charger, helmet, falchion, and cuirass
I will myself to-day encounter Rustam,
And cover all his name with infamy,
Will bring to thee his head, his steed, his mace,
And world-apportioning sword."
The king rejoiced
Thereat and raised his spearpoint o'er the sun,
Then answered: "O thou Lion of renown!
In sooth no elephant will conquer thee.
If thou dost take that elephantine chief
The age will rest from strife, and not a man
Within Turan shall equal thee in rank,
In throne, in signet-ring, in crown, and sword.
Thou wilt exalt my head to turning heaven,
And I will give to thee my crown and daughter;
The more part of Iran and of Turan
With treasures, gems, and cities shall be thine."
Piran was grieved and, coming to the king,
Said to him: "This young man in his rash youth
Is laying violent hands upon himself,
For, if he combat with the matchless Rustam,
He will but lay his own head in the dust.
The king will share in his disgrace, 'twill break
The spirit of the troops; he is, thou knowest,
My younger brother, and my love for him
Is greater than an elder brother's love."
Pilsam rejoined: "My heart Both not misgive me,
And, if I fight this warlike Crocodile,
By thy good fortune I will bring no shame
Upon the king. Thou once beheld'st my prowess
In fighting with four famous warriors,'
And verily my strength is greater now.
It is not right of thee to break my spirit;
The enterprise is well within my reach
Haunt not the portal of an evil star."
The monarch, hearing what Pilsam replied,
Gave him a barded charger, helm, cuirass,
A sword, and massive mace. Pilsam made ready,
And lionlike impetuously advanced,
Exclaiming to the Iranians: "Where is Rustam,
Who is, they say, a Dragon on the day
Of battle? Bid him come to fight with me,
For I am ready to encounter him."
Giv, furious at the challenge, drew his sword
And answered: "Rustam fighteth not one Turkman,
'Twould be disgrace."
The champions closed. Pilsam
Struck with his spear at Giv, who in dismay
Lost both his stirrups. Faramarz saw this,
And went at once to aid his gallant comrade;
He struck athwart Pilsam's spear with his sword,
And cut it like a reed; he struck once more,
The blade was shivered on his foeman's helm,
Who wheeled like some fierce lion on the plain
With those two warriors. Rustam from the centre
Espied them fighting with one lion-man,
The dust sent cloud-ward with their wind-like speed,
And thought: "Pilsam alone among the Turkmans
Hath dash and spirit." He had heard moreover
From hoar archmages and astrologers,
Amid his wanderings, how the stars foretold
That: "If Pilsam survive his evil day,
And heed his counsellors, no warrior
Like him in all the world shall gird his loins
For battle in Iran or in Turan,"
And thought: "Assuredly his time hath come,
For he hath set forth to encounter me."
He spake thus to his troops: "Let none advance
A single step from where he standeth now.
I go to prove the prowess of Pilsam,
And try his lustihood, his strength, and spirit:'
He took a weighty spear, gripped fast his steed
With both his legs, and, putting on his helmet,
Pressed on the stirrups, let the reins hang loose,
And lowered the shining spear-head to his eye.
He wheeled about and foaming at the lips
Rushed from the centre toward the foemen's lines,
And cried: "O famed Pilsam! thou called'st me
To scorch me with thy breath! Thou shalt behold
The onslaught of the warrior-crocodile,
And ne'er turn rein toward a battle more.
My heart is burned with pity for thy youth
Alas for thine estate of paladin!"
He spake and urged his charger on. He came
To battle like high heaven. With his spear
He smote Pilsam upon the girdlestead,
And took him from the saddle like a ball,
Rushed to the centre of the Turkman host
And there flung down the corpse contemptuously,
Exclaiming: "Dress it in brocade of gold,
For now 'tis lapislazuli with dust!"
Then wheeling round he went back to the centre.
Piran rained tears; the body of Pilsaxn
Was past a leech's skill. The heart of all
The army of the monarch of Turan
Was broken and the battlefield was darkened.
A shout rose from both hosts; the din of chiefs
Been for the fray, the drumming on the backs
Of elephants, were heard for miles around.
Earth trembled with the chargers' tramp, the hills
Were seas of blood, the plains were hills of slain.
The cries and blaring clarions shook the sky,
The stones were coral and the dust was gore; .
The heads of many chieftains were laid low,
And thou hadst said: "The sky is raining blood."
It was no time for love 'twist sire and son.
A breeze arose upon the battlefield,
And murky dust usurped the firmament.
Then both hosts charged with fury o'er the plain
While neither could distinguish foe from friend;
The world became as sombre as the night,
And day in sooth had well nigh spent its light.
How Afrasiyab fled from Rustam
Afrasiyab said to his troops: "Our fortune
That was awake is sleeping. Ye are feeble,
And I must to the field. Be leopard-like
In resolution if but for to-day,
Attack from every quarter and fight on.
Lay ambuscades on all sides for the foe,
And bring the sun down with your spears."
The centre of his host, heart-seared, revengeful,
Charged Tus and slaughtered many of Iran
Till Tus, whose heart misgave him, showed his back.
One came for aid to Rustam saying thus:-
"The matter goeth ill with us to-day
Our whole right is a sea of blood, the banner
Of our Iranian horsemen hath gone down."
Came elephantine Rustam from the centre
With Faramarz and troops. Confronting them
Were many buckler-men who hated Rustam,
Allies and kinsmen of Afrasiyab,
Swift in revenge, of whom the matchless one
Slew many, backed by Tus and Faramarz.
Afrasiyab, when he beheld the flag
Of violet and Kawa'S standard, knew :-
'"Tis Rustam of the elephantine form,
The noble chieftain sprung from Nariman,"
And raging as it were a warrior-leopard,
Sat tight and went up to encounter him.
╦As soon as Rustam saw the sable flag
He bounded like a lion in its rage,
Then full of fury gave fleet Rakhsh the reins
And, with blood streaming from his lance's point,
Encountered proud Afrasiyab. One shaft
Of poplar, pointed like a willow-leaf,
Pinned to his head the Turkman's helm, while he
Speared warlike Rustam full upon the breast,
The point went through the leather of his belt
But failed against the tiger-skin cuirass;
Then matchless Rustam, bent upon revenge,
Speared his opponent's charger through the chest.
The speedy steed fell prone in agony
And threw the rider, whom the hero strove
To seize around the waist and make an end.
Human apart caught sight of him and, raising
His massive mace upon his shoulder, smote
The shoulder-blade of elephantine Rustam,
While both the armies shouted. Rustam turned
And looked behind him, thus the king escaped
His grasp, and mounted on a speedy steed,
While by a hundred shifts Human, the son
Of Wisa, saved him from that Dragon's clutch.
The hero-flinging crown-bestower followed
Human in furious haste but caught him not,
His time had not yet come. Shouts rose to heaven,
And massive maces whirled. There came to Rustam
Some of the army of Iran lest harm
Might fall upon him, and the noble Tus
Made question of him: "Felt the Elephant
The impact of the Onager's assault?"
He answered: "Neither heart of stone nor anvil
Can bear the buffets of a massive mace
When wielded by a man with chest and arms;
As for that mace wherewith Human struck me -
Call it not iron; it was merely wax."
When Rustam's foeman turned and fled the troops
All gave a shout and raised their spearheads cloudward.
If slain and wounded covered not the ground
It was a field of tulips and of saffron;
The horses trampled blood, the elephants
Had feet incarnadined. The 7.'urkmans fled,
Swift as the wind, because the arm of Rustam
Did execution on them. For three leagues
That matchless hero like a raging dragon
Pursued the foe. Then he returned to camp,
And thou hadst said that heaven befriended him;
The soldiers came back satiate with spoil;
And iron, gold, and silver, weapon, rein,
Spearhead, and girdle covered all the plain.
How Afrasiyab sent Khusrau to Khutan
Now when the sun rose o'er the mountain-tops,
And scattered jewels on night's pitchy back,
A shout rose and the din of clarions
As matchless Rustam led his army forth.
They marched against Afrasiyab with cheeks
All tearful for the death of Siyawush.
The king, on hearing that a host pursued him,
Led by the matchless chief intent on vengeance,
Marched his own forces to the sea of Chin;
The broad expanse of earth was narrowed to him.
He went across the sea to where he would,
And thus addressed Piran : "Advise me well
What should be done about this wretched boy;
Because if Rustam take and carry him
Off to Iran,they will enthrone and crown
This div-begotten as Shah. Convey him hither,
Bestir thyself, and slight not my command:"
Piran replied: "We must not rashly slay him,
But I will take such order that the king
Shall praise his faithful slave. Fetch we the youth,
And fix his residence within Khutan.
We must not give occasion to ill-doers
Eternally to blame our sovereign.
The king replied: "O master of wise rede!
Thou art my guide to good. Use all dispatch;
'Tis not a matter that will brook delay:'
Piran at once sent off' a prudent man
Of noble birth to fetch the prince. The envoy
Made haste and sped like smoke, for so the chieftain
Had bidden. When he came before Khusrau,
And saw the young man's Grace and majesty,
He gave unstinted praise, did reverence,
And tarried long delivering his message
In fitting language fittingly received.
Khusrau, bewildered, sped to tell his mother:-
"Afrasiyab hath sent and summoned me
Down to the sea! What shall we do? Perchance
We yet may make a shift to save our lives."
They talked together and discussed it much,
But found no remedy. They had to go,
And set off, though unwillingly, in haste.
They mourned and wept and cursed Afrasiyab
Until they reached Piran, who, when he saw
Khusrau, descended from his throne, inquired
About the tedious journey courteously,
And full of praises set the prince beside him.
As for those things whereof Khusrau had need,
Provisions, raiment, carpetings, pavilions,
Tents, steeds, Piran provided him with all,
Then went to king Afrasiyab and said:-
"O king of wisdom, Grace, and glory! I
Have brought the little boy that hath the Grace;
What further orders hast thou for me now?"
The king said: "Send him from the sea of Chin
So that the chiefs may find no trace of him."
Piran performed his task without delay,
And sent like smoke the youth upon his way.'
How Rustam reigned over Turan for Seven Years
The chief, the elephantine hero, marched
Toward the realm of Chin, and with his sword-arm
Subdued Khata, Khutan, and all the coasts
Of Chin, and took the throne of him whose fortune
Had come to dust. This saw spake Rustam first:-
"The man of worth will seek the enemy;
'Tis good to slay him if he countereth thee,
And good too if he shun the fight and flee."
He searched the palace for its hoards; the people
Disclosed them all. The slaves, both boys and girls
Famed for their beauty, steeds, and treasuries
Of gold, crowns, robes, brocade, and ivory throne,
Fell into Rustam's hand, with many a jewel
Out of the hoards at Gang, and all the soldiers
Where rich in armlets, torques, and coronets.
He gave torques, armlets, and the ivory throne
To Tus, besides the government of Chach,
And said: "If anybody shall revolt,
Or even call Afrasiyab to mind,
Cut off his head and make him food for vultures;
But like a father keep from want and travail
The wise and peaceful, shunners of the Faith
Of Ahriman. Offend not the oflenceless,
And practise all humanity and justice,
For this world is a lodging not a home.
None ever had more Grace than had Jamshid,
Yet still high heaven trod him under foot,
And found the world a monarch in his stead."
Next, to the worthy, pious paladin
Gudarz he gave a crown of royal gems,
With earrings, torque, and throne, and made him lord
Of Sughd and Sipanjab; he added counsel
With commendations and felicitations,
And said: "The seal of majesty and justice,
And feast and fight remind us still of thee;
But worth is better than high lineage,
Though lineage assisteth men of worth.
Since thou hast worth and lineage and wisdom,
And mak'st thy soul a concourse of sweet sounds,
It is but right that thou shouldst hear my rede,
Who art thyself a teacher of the great.
From Sipanjab to the Gulzaryun
Be thy word law."
To Fariburz he sent
A crown of gold beside dinars and gems,
And said: "Thou art a prince and potentate,
And brother unto Siyawush; avenge him
Ne'er loose thy lasso from the saddle-straps,
Cease not from vengeance on Afrasiyab,
And take no thought of food, repose, and sleep.
Be just in all thy doings here below,
For justice never ruined any one."
The tidings spread through Chin that Rustam sat
Enthroned as over-lord. Then all the folk
Brought handsel of dinars and royal gems,
And said: "We are thy servants and thy slaves;
We only tread the earth to do thy bidding:'
The chieftain gave them quarter for their lives,
Perceiving that they had discerning minds,
And occupied himself for many a day
With hawk and cheetah. Passed a while away.<
How Zawara went to the Hunting-ground of Siyawush
Now as it chanced one day Zawara went
To hunt the onager. He rode apace
Conducted by a Turkman. On the open
He saw a forest, " which," thou wouldest say,
"One cannot pass, it fresheneth the soul,"
So many were the scents and tints and streams.
The Turkman told Zawara thoughtlessly:-
This This was the hunting-ground of Siyawush,
This was his favourite spot in all Turan,
Where was he wont to be both glad and merry,
But elsewhere sad."
The Turkman's talk recalled
Old recollections to Zawara's mind.
A hawk was on his hand; he let it go;
The lashes of his eyes ran tears of blood.
His comrades of the host approached, observed him
In grief and tears; then they began to curse
The Turkman guide and felled him to the ground.
With gall-drops streaming from his eyes Zawara
Swore a great oath: "I will not hunt or sleep,
Or cease from vengeance on Afrasiyab.
I will not give a moment's rest to Rustam
All must prepare for fight."
He sought his brother.
"Did we come hither to revenge or bless? "
He said. " The Giver of all good hath given
Thee strength and made the circle of the sun
Thy star. Why should this realm be populous,
Or any soul live joyfully therein?
Forget not to avenge that prince, whose peer
Thou wilt not look upon for many a year."
How Rustam harried the Land of Turan
Roused by Zawara's words the matchless Rustam
Began to ravage and to massacre
Till all the land showed signs of misery,
And from Turan up to Saklab and Rum
Folk saw no cultured tract. The Iranians
Beheaded all the men, both young and old,
And made the women and the children slaves.
Thus o'er a thousand leagues and more the reek
Of burning rose. Then all of noble race
Came with the dust upon their heads protesting :-
"We are aweary of Afrasiyab,
And would not see him even in a dream.
As for the guiltless blood that he hath shed,
We had not any voice or part therein,
And now, although we are a scattered people,
Yet are we all thy slaves. As thou art mighty
Shed not, provoking God, more guiltless blood.
None knoweth where our king is, or if he
Is well or blasted by the dragon's breath."
The prudent Rustam's heart was grieved thereat,
He summoned all the chieftains of the host,
And marched the army to Kachar Bashi.
The wise, the great men, and the veteran chiefs
Flocked to his presence, and one said: "Kaus,
Who hath not Grace, and cannot soar or stand,
Is seated on the throne without a guide,
And if Afrasiyab should suddenly
Come with an army to invade Iran,
And conquer old Kaus, our joy and peace
Would be destroyed. We all have won both honour
And vengeance, and have burned up every city.
Now let us go back to the aged king;
When feasts begin we shall be all new men.
For six years we have had not one glad day;
Our slaves, our states, our signets, and our crowns
Are in Iran. 'Tis wealth hath dazed us thus!
Heart sated is soul bated! If thou settest
Thy heart upon this ancient dwelling-place
'Twill flatter thee but cozen thee withal;
So, if thy heart be not with Ahriman,
Abstain from greed which is the enemy .
Array thyself and lavish, drink and eat,
Such is thy portion of this fleeting show."
The matchless Rustam yielded his assent
To what the noble archimage had urged.
That jocund counsellor went on to say :-
"Choose pleasure in this Wayside Inn. Reflect
That in the dust there is no brotherhood,
And how thou wilt deplore this present good!"
How Rustam returned to Iran
The matchless Rustam heard the words with shame,
And felt an ardent longing to depart.
He gathered horses out of all the herds
That wandered o'er the deserts of Turan,
Together with ten thousand boys and girls -
Slaves fit to serve a king - with bags of musk,
With skins of marten, ermine, and grey squirrel,
Of minever and weasel. On the backs
Of elephants were furs, perfumes, dinars,
Gold, tapestries, and havings great and small,
Stuffs forapparel, treasures, drachms, and swords,
As well asother weapons, crowns, and thrones.
They packed the loads, set forward to Iran,
And, going from Turan toward Zabul,
Drew nearto glorious Zal, while Tus, Gudarz,
And Giv, those famous chiefs, went to the Shah
When news reached base Afrasiyab
That Tus and Rustam were across the river
He set off westward toward the sea of Gang,
With vengeance in his heart intent on war.
He found the country all turned upside down,
The nobles slaughtered and the folk enslaved;
No horses, treasures, crowns, or thrones were there,
There was no verdant leafage on the trees;
The world had been consumed with fire, and all
The palaces had been o'erthrown and burned.
The king wept tears of blood and thus harangued
The captains of the host: "A man must lose
His reason to forget these outrages'.
Fill all your hearts with vengeance, make your shields
Your beds, your helmets pillows, let us fight
Till heaven itself shall fall in our revenge;
For country's sake, for treasure, child, and kin,
We will tread down the cities of Iran
In striving after vengeance; 'tis not well
To be thus downcast just because the wind
Was in their favour in a single fight.
From all sides will we gather arms and troops,
And make a new departure."
Without delay a host equipped for war,
And led his warriors and lion-men
Against Iran. His plan was to attack
From every side. No respite was afforded,
He burned up all the settlements and trees,
And brought the Iranians to a parlous case.
For seven years there was a rainless sky,
The favour changed, conditions were reversed,
And all were beggared by distress and travail.
Much time elapsed with matters in this stay
While at Zabul the mighty Rustam lay,
And Turkman sworders in the world held sway.
How Gudarz had a Dream of Kai Khusrau
Gudarz one night dreamed that a watery cloud
Rose o'er Iran, and on it sat Surush,
Who thus addressed him: "Give to me thine ear
As thou wouldst be released from this distress,
From this injurious Turkman dragon-fierce.
There is a youthful prince now in Turan,
Shah Kai Khusrau by name. He is a prince,
The offspring of the loins of Siyawush,
A man of worship and of noble race;
Illustrious, of the stock of Kai Kubad,
And sprung from Tur upon the mother's side.
Whenas his glorious feet shall reach Iran
Heaven will accord to him his full desire.
Then will he gird him to avenge his father,
Will overturn the sovereignty of Tur,
Will make the waters of the Red Sea boil,
Pause not in vengeance on Afrasiyab,
But live in his cuirass the whole year through,
And pass his days and nights upon the saddle.
Among the chiefs and warriors of Iran
None will discover him excepting Giv
Such is the outcome destined by the sky.
On Giv the Judge hath rightly lavished love."
Gudarz awoke and, with his hoary beard
Upon the ground, gave thanks to God: his heart
Was hopeful of a Shah to rule the world.
Now when the sun appeared above the dales,
Ascending as it were a shining lamp,
The chieftain sat upon his ivory throne,
And furnished forth the hall with seats of teak.
Fulfilled by anxious thought he summoned Giv
And told him of the dream in many words,
Thus saying: "Glorious are thy feet and days,
And glorious is thy world-illuming star;
Since thy blest mother bare thee earth hath been
Fulfilled with blessings. Blest Surush appeared
Last night to me in sleep by God's command.
He sat upon a cloud mid wind and rain,
And purged the world of woe. He looked at me
And said: 'Why all this grief? Why is the world
Thus filled with warfare and thus parched with drought?
Because Kaus hath neither Grace nor might,
And heedeth not the precedents of Shahs.
When Kai Khusrau arriveth from Turan
He will bring war and trouble on the foe;
But none of all the valiant chiefs can find him
Save Giv, the famous offspring of Gudarz.'
Thus heaven hath ordained thee to remove
Our sorrow, toil, and bondage. Thou hast sought
For fame in war, and now eternal fame
Is in thy reach, for, while the world hath men
And words, thy good name will continue fresh.
'Twill be a toil, but one with fame and treasure,
A toil which surely will exalt thy fame;
And, since thou wilt not tarry here for ever,
That fame is better than this Wayside Inn,
For thou wilt bring a monarch to the world,
And cause the tree of fealty to fruit."
Giv answered: "Father! I am but a slave;
For thy sake will I labour while I live.
If this may be I will accomplish it
By thy great name I swear it, O my guide
He went home and prepared for setting forth,
Lost in amazement at his father's dream.
The spouse of Giv was of exalted rank -
The well-loved daughter of the hero Rustam -
Banugashasp. News reached her that Giv's steed
Was being saddled for his expedition.
She went to him and said: "Aspiring chief!
I hear that thou art going to Turan
To seek both far and near for Kai Khusrau;
So, if the paladin will give me leave,
I will betake me joyfully to Rustam,
Because I long to look upon his face,
And through not seeing him my soul is sad.
Farewell to thee, O chief of paladins!
Mayst thou for ever be our heroes' stay."
The chieftain having given his consent,
Toward Sistan with speed the lady went.
How Giv went to Turan in Quest of Kai Khusrau
At sunrise, when the earth resembled flowers
Of fenugreek, the gallant Giv approached
With girded loins, upon a steed with feet
As swift as wind.Gudarz inquired of him :-
"What comrade hast thou? Who will fare with thee?"
He thus replied: "O chief of paladins,
Brave, ardent, and exalted! I have need
Of no companions save my horse and lasso.
Suspicion will be roused if I take men,
And I shall bring a quarrel on myself.
A lasso in the straps, a rapid steed,
A sword and Indian vesture are enough,
Unless perhaps a guide to lead the way.
My home awhile will be the plain and mountain,
I may not pass through cities, for the folk
Will recognise me and I shall repent it.
I shall return rejoicing, bright of soul,
Through thy good fortune, chief of paladins!
Tend heedfully my little son Bizhan
And guard him carefully against mischance,
Give him instruction in the art of war,
He need learn nothing but to feast and fight;
Young as he is I note his manliness
With satisfaction. Fare well. Think of me
Without anxiety. I cannot tell
If we shall meet again. The secret things
Of God who knoweth? When thy cheeks are bathed
For prayer entreat the Lord on mine account,
For He is higher than all height; the mighty
Are but His slaves.This day revolveth not
Without His will; there is no food or sleep
Save at His word. He made both time and space,
The mighty and the weak.He is our hope
And fear, the Lord of all the elements,
And oh! may He vouchsafe to be my Helper,
And guide me to illustrious Khusrau."
The father hoary-headed, while the youth
Fierce as a lion girded up his loins,
Knew not if he should see his son again,
And was distracted at his setting out.
The gallant Giv dismounted from his steed,
And kissed the hand of that exalted Lion,
Who clasped him tightly in a fond embrace,
And kissed him oft upon the face and head.
That ancient ma.n cried unto God: "Just Judge
Be Thou my Helper. To Thy care I leave
Him who is sense and soul and life to me -
My son so noble and so young - that haply
The realm may be delivered from this stress.
Restore him to me safely, O my King!"
Those in the world who toil laboriously,
And win applause because their aims are high,
Must make the dust their bed when all is done;
That is their bane, and antidote is none.
Thy sojourn here, thou knowest, is soon sped,
Why set the crown of greed upon thy head?
Canst thou still wear it after thou art dead?
In this world ample pleasure thou canst take,
Why art thou toiling for another's sake?
Thou toilest and another will consume
At ease, unmindful of thy bier and tomb,
But for him also pleasure hath its bound,
And his head too must pass beneath the ground.
Think then upon the day when thou must go,
And make it thine to serve God here below,
Incline to good and do to no man scath,
For, in a word, this is Salvation's path.
Upon this world that whirleth set no store,
It will not last with thee for evermore.
Long though thou stayest thou wilt reach the bourne
And, having reached it, there is no return.
So now thou sage, whose heart is wakeful! cease
From doubt, and from the mire thy foot release.
'Tis God Almighty that sustaineth thee,
His servant thou and thy Creator He.
Although thou weighest down thy neck with thought,
Of His existence ask and question naught,
And if by any it be not confest
With such thou shalt not eat or sleep or rest,
Because their heads are witless, their hearts blind,
And wise men count not sugh among mankind.
Both earth and water of God's being tell,
Let not thy knowledge prove thy way to Hell,
For His are power and knowledge and control,
The Artist He of wisdom and the soul.
When mused the monarch of Turan and said:-
"Above all people will I lift my head,"
And slew a youth so royal, then was he
Confronted by his evil destiny.
Howbeit from his loins God caused to shoot
A Tree of noble height and yielding fruit,
A Tree that dealing with him as was just
Sent both his wits and palace up in dust.
The Lord of Saturn, Sun, and Moon is He
'Chat giveth victory and mastery;
The Lord of being and of righteousness,
'Tis He that giveth us our more and less.
There is one path - His will - and only one -
A knowledge hidden from the moon and sun.
At His command Giv girded up his loins,
And like a savage lion sallied forth;
He took no comrade with him, but resigned
To God his body used to luxury;
If, when he reached the marches of TAran,
He found a man alone Giv questioned him
In Turkman as to Kai Khusrau. When such
Replied: "I wot not of that prince," Giv used
To slay him, hitch him in the lasso's noose,
Drag him aside, and cover him with dust,
That no one might discover his own secret,
Or hear his name or any news of him.
He had awhile a countryman as guide
From whom he hid the object of his quest.
At length he said: "I faro would ask a question
In confidence. If thou shah wisely purge
Thy heart of craft and answer truthfully
Then I will give thee whatsoe'er thou wilt,
And not deny thee e'en my soul and body."
"There is no lack of knowledge," said the guide,
"But then it is dispersed 'mongst all the folk.
If I have any knowledge of the matter
Thou wilt not find me speechless."
"Where," said Giv,
"Is Kai Khusrau? Thou must declare the truth."
The guide thus answered: "I have never heard
Or asked concerning one so named."
Giv smote him with the sword and laid him low.
The Finding of Kai Khusrau
Giv like a madman roamed about to find
Some traces of the prince. While seven years passed
His loins were galled by sword and leathern girdle.
He fed on onagers and wore their skins,
At times had brackish water and green herbs,
And went about the desert and the mountains
In travail and in hardship far from men.
Now at the time when Rustam led his host
Across the river to the Iranian side
Afrasiyab returned to Gang, Turan
Came to his hand again, and then he bade
Piran: "Bring hither ill - starred Kai Khusrau
Back from Machin and give him to his mother,
But have the roads well watched."
A messenger upon a noble camel,
And had the son of Siyawush brought back -
A prudent and a life-insiring youth -
And gave him to his mother. Passed a while.
As gallant Giv was roaming o'er Turan
in melancholy case, it so fell out
One day that, full of anxious thoughts, he came
Within the precincts of a famous wood,
And wandered woe-begone along the mead;
The world was jocund but his heart was sad.
He saw the earth all verdant, brooks a-brim,
And all the scene right apt for rest and sleep.
Dismounting from his horse he turned it loose,
And laid him clown but with an anxious heart.
He said: "The foul Div verily possessed
The paladin when he beheld that dream.
I find no traces here of Kai Khusrau
What do I gain by all my wanderings?
Now while my comrades are engaged in war,
And while my friends are sitting at the feast,
These seeking pleasure, those in quest of fame,
My lot is throwing walnuts on a dome!
I do but spend my soul in vain,'tis like
A bended bow; Khusrau hath not been born
At all, or fate hath flung him to the winds.
I get but toil and hardship by my quest
Blest is the man that perisheth by poison."
With heart all sorrowful he roamed about
Those meadows in his search, and spied afar
Beside a sparkling stream a beauteous youth
of cypress-height, a wine-cup in his hand,
And on his head a bright, sweet wreath. His mien
Betokened Grace and wisdom. Thou hadst said :-
"'Tis Siyawush upon his ivory throne,
And turquoise-crowned; his looks exhale the scent
Of love itself, his locks adorn the crown."
Giv thought: "This is none other than the prince!
Naught but a throne befitteth such a mien."
Dismounting from his charger he advanced
On foot and, as he drew anear, the bolts
Were loosened on the portal of his travail,
And all his splendid treasure came in sight.
When Kai Khusrau looked from beside the stream
He smiled, while gladness made his heart to throb,
And thought: "This warrior is none else but Giv
This land hath not a chief of such a stamp.
He is engaged in making quest for me
To bear me to Iran to make me Shah."
As that redoubted warrior approached,
Khusrau the prince moved forward from his place,
And said to him: "O Giv! thou art well come;
Thy coming here is wisdom's fitting gift.
How didst thou make thy passage to this land?
What tidings hast thou touching Tus, Gudarz,
And Shah Kaus? Are they in happiness,
And do they in their hearts think of Khusrau?
How is it with the elephantine Rustam,
The aspiring one, with Zal, and all the rest?"
Giv heard the words amazed, invoked the name
Of God, and answered: "O exalted chief
All yearn for thee. Methinketh that thou art
The son of Siyawush, of royal race,
And wise; but say, thou head of upright men!
Who told thee of Gudarz, Giv, and Kishwad?
May Grace and happiness be thine."
He answered :-
"O lion-man! my mother told me this -
That when my father by the Grace of God
Entrusted unto her his last commands,
He said: "Whatever mischief may befall me,
Still in the end will Kai Khusrau appear,
And bring a key to open all the locks.
When he hath grown a noble warrior
The doughty Giv will come forth from Iran,
And bear him to the throne among the nobles
And lion-men. His valour will restore
The world, and execute revenge for me:'
Giv said: "O head of all the chiefs? what mark
Hast thou to indicate the Grace of kingship?
The mark of Siyawush was manifest
As 'twere a drop of pitch upon a rose-bed,
Uncover then and show to me thine arm,
Because thy mark is known to every one:'
The prince made bare his arm and Giv perceived
The black mark on it. Now this mark had been
A birth-mark from the time of Kai Kubad -
A clear distinction of the Kaian race.
When Giv beheld that mark he did obeisance,
And weeping told his errand. Kai Khusrau
Embraced him, giving thanks with joy, and asked
About Iran, the imperial throne, Gudarz,
And Rustam, lover of the fray. Giv said :-
"O royal world-lord, noble, fortunate,
And wise? were God, who knoweth good and ill,
To give to me the whole of Paradise,
The seven climes and sovereign sway withal,
The seat of greatness and the crown of might,
My heart would not exult therein so much
As in beholding thy face in Turan.
Who knoweth in Iran if I am living,
Or if I have been laid in dust or burned,
Or have encountered Siyawush alive,
And questioned him about his care and travail
Thanks be to God that fate determineth
This irksome toil in happiness and joy."
Together they departed from the wood
While Kai Khusrau asked after Shah Kaus,
About Giv's seven years of grief and pain,
His lodging, sleep, and food. Giv answered all,
And spake about the purpose of the Lord,
The vision of Gudarz, his own long toil,
His victuals, clothes, and rest, his pains and pleasures
How years had spent the Grace of Kai Kaus,
And how he was distracted for his son;
How all was dark and scentless in his palace,
And how the desolation was complete.
The heart of Kai Khusrau burned at these woes,
His two cheeks flamed like fire. He said to Giv :-
Fate giveth thee for travail rest and ease;
Be as my sire, but say not anything
I'o any one, and note what time will bring."
How Giv and Kai Khusrau went to Siyawushgird
The chieftain mounted on the steed of Giv,
And that brave warrior preceded him
With Indian sword in hand. If any met them
Giv, ever on the watch, struck off his head,
And covered up the corpse with earth and dust.
They made their journey to Siyawushgird,
And, when they both recovered heart and wit,
They made a confidant of Farangis,
And privily agreed to quit the place,
Unnoticed by the troops. " We shall but straiten
The world to us if we delay," said she.
"Afrasiyab will hear, will neither eat
Nor sleep, but like the White Div follow us,
Will makeour hearts despair of pleasant life,
And leave not one of us, at large or hiding,
Alive. The world is full of enemies,
Our whole land is the abode of Ahriman.
Hear mine advice, my son endowed with Grace'.
There is a meadow near out of the track
Of Turkman cavaliers; be there at dawn,
And have this saddle and black bridle with thee.
Thou wilt behold a mountain whereupon
Clouds fret their faces. Having scaled the height
Thou wilt behold the mead like jocund spring,
All rivulets and purling streams: the soul
Reviveth at the sight. When it is noon,
And thou art eager for repose, the herds
At pasture there will water at the streams.
Show to Bihzad the saddle and the bridle,
And, if he proveth tractable, advance,
Go quickly to him, let him see thy face,
Caress him with thy hand and speak to him.
When Siyawush had given up all hope
Of this world, and his day was turned to night,
He spake thus to Bihzad his sable steed:-
'Be thou henceforth free as the wind itself.
Remain upon the mountains and the meadows,
And when Khusrau shall come in quest of thee
Be thou his charger, tramp the whole world thro',
And sweep the earth of foemen with thy shoe.'"
How Kai Khusrau won Bihzad
The valiant chieftain mounted on his steed
With Giv in front on foot. They set their faces
Toward the heights as men who seek for safety.
Now when the herds came down to watering,
And having drunk their fill turned to depart,
Illustrious Khusrau went hastily
Toward the stream and, to attain his wish,
Showed to Bihzad the saddle and the reins.
The steed looked at him, recognised a master,
And stirred not from the stream, but gazed with sighs
Upon the pard-skin seat of Siyawush,
The lengthy stirrups, and the poplar saddle.
This Kai Khusrau observed and hurried up.
Meanwhile the noble black stood still and wept.
Moreover Kai Khusrau and Giv wept too,
As though they had been burning in fierce flame,
And while they shed tears from their eyes their tongues
Were full of curses on Afrasiyab.
Khusrau caressed the horse's eyes and face,
Stroked down his chest and shoulders, scratched his hide,
Put o'er his head the bridle, saddled him,
And spake the while with grief of Siyawush,
Then mounting gripped his legs; the mighty beast
Sped like a blast out of the sight of Giv,
Who troubled and amazed invoked God's name.
"This," he exclaimed, " is subtle Ahriman
Appearing in the likeness of a horse
The prince's life is lost and my toil too,
My toil - the only treasure that I had!"
When Kai Khusrau had traversed half the mountain
He drew his black reins and remained till Giv
O'ertook him, then the shrewd and valiant prince
Exclaimed: "Shall I inform the paladin
What I perceived was passing in his thoughts? "
Giv said to him: "O most exalted prince!
All secrets should be open unto thee
Thou with thy Grace divine and Kaian stature
Canst penetrate a hair and see within it."
He said: "Thou didst mistrust this noble steed,
And think : 'Now Ahriman hath got the youth,
Who hath gone off and turned my toil to wind.
My spirit mourneth and the divs rejoice.'"
The veteran Giv dismounted from his horse,
Invoking blessing on the warrior-prince,
And said: "May day and night be fortunate
To thee, thy foemen's hearts be rooted out,
Since God hath given to thee worth and birth,
With throne and stature, state and Grace divine."
They left the heights, and set off toward the palace
With brains absorbed in thought and scheming minds
On reaching Farangis they much discussed
The toilsome journey, and the way to keep
The project secret. When she saw Bihzad
Her face was hidden by a flood of tears,
She laid her cheek against his mane and chest,
And called upon the soul of Siyawush.
When she had wept she hurried to her hoards,
For in the palace was a secret treasure -
Known but to her - of jewels and dinars,
Of iron maces and horse-furniture,
As well as daggers, swords, and massive sparths.
With cheeks that ran with tears of blood, and liver
Pierced by her grief, she showed her son the treasure,
And said to Giv: "O veteran in toil!
Choose what thou pleasest from this treasury -
Dinars and jewels fit for kings to wear,
And crowns with patterns wrought in precious stones.
We are the keepers and the hoard is thine;
Thine are the toil and risk."
He kissed the ground,
And said: "O chief of dames? thou makest earth
A Spring in Paradise, and, as thou willest,
The sky apportioneth both good and ill.
Be all the world a slave before thy son,
And be the heads of all thy foes wrung off."
When Giv's eye fell upon those precious things
He chose the mail of valiant Siyawush.
They then selected all the choicest gems,
And bare away as much as they could carry
As well as helms, rich armour for the steeds,
And weapons suited to a paladin,
Then having locked the hoard the prince in haste
Made ready for the journey through the waste.
How Farangis went with Kai Khusrau and Giv to Iran
This done they put the saddles on their steeds,
Those fleet and famous steeds, while Farangis
Assumed the helmet, and all three departed
Like wind and eagerly toward Irin,
But secretly and taking all precautions.
The thing, however, could not be concealed
A moment; one approached Piran and said:-
"Illustrious Giv came from Iran to seek
The brave and shrewd Khusrau, and hath gone back
With him and Farangis."
Piran was grieved,
And trembled like the branches of a tree.
He thought: "The king's foreboding hath proved true!
What shall I say to him? My lustre now
Is darkness in his eyes!"
He chose Kulbad
And Nastihan - a man of steel - and bade
Three hundred Turkman horse to muster dight
For war, and thus addressed them: "Hence with you,
Lose no time in your saddles, place the head
Of Giv upon a spear, hide Farangis
In dust, and bind accursed Kai Khusrau -
The ill-starred lackland. If the miscreant
Shall cross the river what will not befall
Our land and chiefs!"
Thus went the brave young band
Commanded by two wary paladins.
The persecuted prince and Farangis,
Worn out with journeying and nights of toil,
Had laid them down to sleep, and while they slept
Giv stood on guard with angry eyes intent
Upon the road by which the band approached.
He wore his habergeon; his helrn was on;
His heart was full; he was prepared to die;
And, like a valiant chief, he had his steed
Accoutred by his side in case of need.
How Kulbad and Nastihan fled from Giv
Giv saw afar the dust raised by the troops,
And having drawn his sword sent up a shout
Like thunder, such a shout as would have dazed
A lion's brain and spirit, then he rushed
Like dust among the troop and made earth dark
By combat. With his sword and mace he showered
Down iron from above, till by the blows
The heads of all the chiefs grew sick of strife,
While to his eyes, such were his pain and rage,
A river seemed a rill. Anon they hemmed him -
A raging Lion in a host of men.
The field became a reed-bed with their spears,
Both sun and moon were hid, the Lion raged,
And made a winefat of the bed of reeds
With blood, o'erthrowing many of his foes
Those valiant cavaliers were all astound,
And thus Kulbad addressed brave Nastihan :-
"This is a rock of flint with neck and arms
See here the Grace of Kai Khusrau and not
The mace of Giv! I know not what will come
Upon our fields and fells, for who can traverse
The will of God? Astrologers presage
Disaster to Turan and to her lords."
They made a charge at Giv with all their troops
Like lions, giving and receiving blows
The battle-shouts and blast of clarions
'Vent up and shook the mountains to their cores,
The valleys and the plains were filled with slain,
And earth became like cercis-bloom with blood.
The whole host turned away in flight from Giv -
That noble chief, the refuge of the troops -
And made their way all wounded and fordone
To proud Piran, while gallant Giv returned,
With breast and hands all bloody, like a lion
To Kai Khusrau, and said: "O prince! rejoice!
May health be thine, and wisdom thy companion!
Kulbad and Nastihan the deft of hand
Have been pursuing us with hostile troops,
And those that still survive have gone back home
With necks and chests in case to ask our tears.
I know not any horseman in Iran
Save Rustam able to encounter me."
Khusrau, pure in the Faith, rejoiced o'er Giv,
Called blessings down on him, and praised him greatly;
They took some food, such as came first to hand,
And hasted on toward the trackless waste.
Now when the Turkman troops came to Piran
So stricken, heated, and discomfited,
He spake in anger to Kulbad, and said:-
"This is a marvel which must not be hidden
What have ye done to Giv? Where is Khusrau?
How went the matter? 'tell me honestly."
Kulbad said: "If I tell, O paladin!
What gallant Giv did to our warriors,
Thou wouldst no more of battles. Thou hast seen me
Oft with the host, and hast approved my prowess,
Yet when I charged him, thinking : 'Now shall I
Behold his overthrow,' in sooth he bore
Above a thousand buffets of mine ax.
Thou wouldst have said: 'His head is but an anvil,
His chest and arms are solid ivory! '
Oft have I gazed on Rustam in the fight,
And hearkened tales of mighty warriors,
But never knew one so endure the blows.
The rush, and whirl of war. Though we had borne
Wax maces, and our horsemen pard-skin lances,
No wonder had his shoulders, arms, and breast
Been pounded small. He kept his dash and keenness
Throughout, and bellowed like an elephant.
The plain was heaped with slain, our warriors
Were routed by one man!"
Piran was wroth;
"Enough," he said, '"tis shame to tell the tale;
Such words as these are not for cavaliers.
Attempt no more to strive with men of war.
Thou wentest forth with noble Nastihan,
And troops like lions; now thou makest Giv
A maddened elephant; thy fame is sped
With mighty men; Afrasiyab at hearing
Will fling away from him the imperial crown,
Because two paladins, two gallant horsemen,
Accompanied by soldiers dight for war,
Turned tail before a single cavalier,
Who slaughtered many! Mocking' and disgrace
Are thine; not standard, kettledrum, and mace."
How Piran pursued Kai Khusrau
Piran chose from his troops six thousand horse -
Brave warriors. " Swiftly ply," he said to them,
"Your fleet steeds' reins, like savage lions go
By day and night, no girdle must be loosed,
For if Khusrau and Giv shall reach Iran
The women there will be as lionesses,
And neither earth nor water will remain
Within Turan. Afrasiyab, heart-seared,
Will lay the blame of this escape on me,
Not on the process of sun, moon, and stars."
Thereat they raised their heads and hurried on
By day and night, till scattered and disordered
They reached a narrow river, where the stream
Was deep and dif˝cult for men to cross,
That river which was called Gulzaryun,
And was in springtide like a stream of blood.
Upon the further bank the prince and Giv
Were sleeping : Farangis was keeping watch,
And looking round her from her post descried
The banner of the leader of Turan
She ran to Giv, gave the alarm, and roused
The sleepers, crying: "Man of toil! arise
'Tis time to flee, a host pursueth us.
Our time, I fear, is come. If they shall take thee
They will not leave thee living and will rack
Our hearts for thee. Me and my son in tears
Piran will bear bound to Afrasiyab,
And after that I know not what may chance;
None wotteth of the secrets of high heaven."
Giv said: "O Moon of dames! why vex thy soul
Herein? Ascend yon mountain with the prince;
Fear nothing from Piran or from his host.
The conquering Lord of earth is mine ally,
The star of fortune Beth on my breast.
By help of God; the Author of our lives,
I will not leave a rider in the saddle."
Then said Khusrau: "O warrior! my cause
Is wearisome to thee. I have been spared
The net of bale. Seek not the Dragon's breath
So oft. Be mine to go upon the plain,
And spurt blood heavenward with my scimitar."
Giv answered: "Noble prince! the world hath need
Of thee to wear its crown. My sire and I
Are paladins whose loins are ever girt
To serve the Shahs; three score and eighteen brothers
Have I; the world will perish with thy name,
For paladins are many, Shahs are few.
Few? I see none! If I am slain, another
Will take my place, the royal head and crown
Will still survive, but if afar from here
Thou perish I see none fit for the crown
And throne. The winds will take my seven years' toil,
My race will be disgraced. Choose then the heights,
And mark yon host. The World-lord is mine aid.
Earth is beneath thy shadowing wings; if I
Succeed thy Grace will give the victory."
How Piran contended with Giv
Giv donned his mail and came forth like a lion,
His steed as 'twere a mountain under him.
The chief was on this side, the host on that;
Between the river flowed and barred the way.
Giv roared out like a thunderclap in spring,
Inquiring for the captain of the host.
Piran was wroth, upbraided Giv, and said:-
I, Thou miscreant by nature and descent!
Com'st thou alone so hardily to face
An army? Thou shalt taste two-headed javelins,
While falcons' talons shall provide thy bier.
Thou art a single horseman, iron mountain
Although thou be. A thousand will surround thee
Like ants, will smash the armour on thy breast.
And drag thy carrion-carcase in the dust.
The mighty lion springing spake this saw :-
' Whene'er the stag hath reached its destined day
Fate reckoneth each breath drawn by the prey
Till it shall cross a lion on the way.'
So fortune now hath brought thee in my path
Here in the presence of this famous host."
Brave Giv, that chief of mighty paladins,
Replied in thunder-tones: "Thou miscreant Turkman
Of divs begotten! perish chiefs like thee!
Thou sawest my revenge for Siyawush,
And hadst good reason to admire my prowess,
For many chieftains of Turan and Chin
Fell by my hand in battle. I it was
Who ravaged all thy home and wrecked thy life.
Thy two chief dames were in the company
That I dragged off in bondage from Khutan,
Thy sister one, the other was thy spouse,
Who ever tendered thee both soul and body.
When I beheld those wretched Turkman dames
I gave them to the meanest of my slaves,
While thou didst show thy back as women would,
And run away with shrieks and doleful howls.
For thee mankind should fight like womankind;
Brag not of bravery to warriors,
For chiefs shall sing hereafter to thy shame
How Giv unaided carried off Khusrau,
And all shall hold your names to be disgraced.
Again, while all the princes of the earth -
Faghfur and Coesar and the Klian of Chin,
The nobles and the kin of Shah Kaus,
Brave men and warriors with golden casques -
Sought Rustam's daughter eagerly in marriage,
And Tus too sent to ask her, matchless Rustam
Met him with scorn, and put their offer by
Because they were unworthy. Afterward,
When he had looked throughout the world in vain,
He gave his favourite daughter to myself -
A daughter whom he prized above his crown.
That highexalted and most noble prince
Gave me the horsewoman Banugashasp,
His eldest daughter, chose me of all lords,
And raised my head to heaven. I gave my sister,
That Moon of ladies - Shahr - Banu - Iram -
To him. Excepting elephantine Rustam,
The lion-man, I do not know my match,
And when I come with him to take revenge
Ye must make ready to bewail your dead.
Now with this steel-blue falchion will I turn
The world before your eyes as black as pitch,
And if I leave one of your host alive
Give to me never more the name of man.
Iranward bear I royal Kai Khusrau
To bring him to the monarch of the brave,
To seat him on the famous ivory throne,
And place upon his head the glorious crown.
Then will I don again this precious mail,
And make Turan the lair of mighty lions.
Son am I to Gudarz son of Kishwad;
The noble Giv am I, the prince of chiefs,
Thou luckless Turkman, thou accursed Piran!
May no crown, throne, or realm be ever thine.
I Nvill behead thee with mine Indian sword,
Thy mail and. helmet shall weep over thee;
Death from my twisted lasso shalt thou meet,
Thy mail and helm shall be thy winding-sheet."
How Piran was taken by Giv
Piran was furious and wept with rage,
Then gripping with his legs urged on his steed,
And, with his massive mace upon his shoulder,
Launched forth like boat on stream, invoking Him
That giveth every good. Giv bode his time
Until the chief had crossed, and then, declining,
Brave leader though he was, as if through fear
The combat, fled. His foe approached, the world
Grew night-dark. Giv, when he had drawn Piran
Afar from stream and host, flung mace on saddle
And charged " like dragon raging," thou hadst said.
Piran the Lion fled pursued by Giv,
Who unobserved took from the straps his lasso,
Then whirling round his arm discharged the coil,
And caught his foeman's head, dismounted him,
Drave him afoot disgraced far from the stream,
Then threw him on the ground, secured his hands,
And donned his mail. When this was done Giv took
His prisoner's flag and rode up to the bank.
The Turkmans seeing their commander's flag
Advanced to meet him as a thing of course.
There rose a shout with din of clarions,
Of pipes, and Indian bells. Perceiving this
Giv strove as 'twere a boat against the waves,
And laid his massive mace upon his shoulder,
While all the troops looked at him wondering.
Soon with reins lightly held and stirrups pressed
He filled the haughty Turkmans' heads with fear,
And with his sword, his stirrups, arms, and onset
Laid them in dust. The plain was like a mountain
Of dead, one man discomfited the host.
The chieftains turned their backs, the Lion charged
The Flock, that great host fled from Giv, who crossed
The stream again so fresh that thou hadst said:-
"He hath not dreamed of foes." He hurried back
To cut Piran's head off, but drave him first
Afoot, scorned, hustled, and beside himself,
In anguish, wan, and wretched to Khusrau.
Giv then dismounted, drew anear the prince,
And, having kissed the ground and homaged him,
Exclaimed: "This miscreant and faithless man
Is now a captive in the Dragon's jaws,
So let him now be even as the wind,
Like Siyawush, who hearkened to his words."
Plran too did obeisance to the prince,
Cried with a loud voice, kissed the ground, and said:-
"O prince that seekest after understanding,
And art a shining sun among the people!
Thou knowest mine affliction, my distress,
And struggle with the king on thine account.
Prince Siyawush had lived if I thy slave
Had been at court. By rede and artifice
I saved thee and thy mother from the Div.
So by thy Grace and fortune grant that I
Have from this Dragon's clutch my liberty."
How Farangis delivered Piran from Giv
Giv looked for orders at Khusrau and saw
The tearful eyes of Farangis, whose tongue
Was fraught with curses on Afrasiyab.
She said to Giv: "O chief, who hast endured
Such wanderings! this hoary paladin
Is both a wise and understanding prince;
And know that next to God - our Judge and Guide -
He was the means of saving us from death.
He with his love screened us from injury,
And seeketh now for quarter in return;
So grant him to us, O thou noble one!
For he hath never led the way to ill."
Giv said to her: "O chief of ladies! live
For ever bright in mind and joyfully.
I swore a mighty oath by moon and crown,
And by the great Shah's throne: 'If I shall get
The best of him in battle I will make
Earth with his blood like cercis-bloom.'"
Said: "Keep thine oath to God, thou lion-like
And ease thy heart on that score: pierce his ear
Through with thy dagger, and as blood-drops fall
Thence to the ground think of both love and vengeance."
Giv saw the prince's heart warm to Piran,
Perceived the prince's cheeks all tears and ruth,
So went and pierced Piran's ear with his dagger,
And slept in peace because his oath was kept.
Piran said to Khusrau: "I cannot go
Back to the host afoot; bid him restore
My steed; then thou bast given me life and means."
The valiant prince requested Giv: "Bestow
On me his charger, O thou mighty Lion!"
Giv spake thus to Piran : "Brave warrior
Why hast thou grown so feeble on the field
Of fight? If thou wouldst have thy wind-foot steed,
First will I bind thy hands, then thou shaft gain
Thy liberty upon a mighty oath
That none shall loose thy bonds except Gulshahr,
Because she is the chief among thy dames,
And knoweth thee completely-skin and marrow."
The paladin agreed and purchased life
And charger, swearing: "None shall loose my bonds
Upon the way. Gulshahr alone shall do it."
Giv bound him, brought the horse, and bade him mount.
Then Farangis and goodly Kai Khusrau
Embraced him tenderly; he took his leave
With many blessings on Khusrau and Giv.
How Afrasiyab found Piran on the Way
The sun turned dark before Afrasiyab
When news carne from the host; he sounded trump
And tymbal, called to horse and went like fire.
In haste he made two stages into one,
And sped forth like an arrow from the bow.
Arriving at the place whereat Kulbad
Had fought he saw troops scattered o'er the land,
While everywhere lay bodies of the fallen.
He asked: "How came this paladin with troops
Here from Iran? None of our warriors
Knew of a mighty army coming thence.
Who told those sons of divs that Siyawush
Had offspring here? If dust had been his tutor
Mine eyes had never seen a day like this:"
"Thou mayst be easy," Sipahram replied,
"So far as thy concern is for an army.
'Twas Giv, son of Gudarz, none else; we saw
No other cavalier with him. One man
Discomfited our troops in fight, and so
Giv and the prince and Farangis escaped."
On hearing this the monarch's cheeks turned pale
His heart was full of pain at this reverse;
He answered: "This is as the sages said.
When God bestoweth fortune on a man
He cometh to the throne without an effort."
While they conversed a host appeared in sight
Led by Piran besmirched with dust and blood.
The king imagined: "He hath captured Giv,
And come on first with news of victory,"
But, nearer, saw that he was wounded sore
And bound fast as a rock upon the saddle,
With both hands pinioned tightly at his back.
The king amazed and pained asked what it meant.
Then said Piran: "No ravening wolf or tiger,
Or savage lion, is like Giv in battle,
Although alone. The fear of fighting him
Would make a crocodile burn under water.
He first attacked us with a massive mace,
And dealt us blows as with a blacksmith's hammer.
By dint of steed and dexterous horsemanship
He overthrew, smote down our cavaliers,
And slaughtered them at will, yet cloud ne'er rained
More drops than sword-strokes fell upon his head!
In sooth his saddle was no bed of roses;
Thou wouldst have said: 'He is a mountain's match.'
At last our troops all turned and I alone
Remained to fight with him. He fled from me,
But threw his twisted lasso, and my waist
Was taken in its coils. I lost my head,
And fell with all my weight upon the ground.
He lighted from his charger, bound my hands.
And then remounting drave me on before him.
He carried me in shame to Kai Khusrau,
And would have had my head, but Farangis
Came to mine aid; he spared my life but pierced
Mine ear, and in a fury bound my hands,
Then by the Shah's own life and head, by sun
And moon, by God Almighty, crown and throne.
Proposed to me a mighty oath, and I,
Since I saw fortune hostile, duly swore
That nobody should loose me but my wife,
Gulshar. Thus did he bind me head and foot
With lassos and, when that was done, by oaths.
I know not why the sky hath ceased to love me."
Afrasiyab on hearing wept for rage,
And lifting up his voice drave forth Plran,
Who writhing as he was made no reply.
Then blustering and cursing swore the king
"Though Giv and that Div's child were thunder-clouds
Or storm-winds I would make them fall from heaven.
With this," he drew his sword, "this iron-piercer,
Will I in vengeance rob them both of breath,
And as for Farangis will make the world
Both strait and dark to her when I shall catch her,
For I will cleave her with the scimitar,
And fling her to the fish to tear in pieces.
Khusrau is fain to seek Iran, but why
Should Farangis thus bear him company
How Giv disputed with the Toll-man
Piran departed sadly toward Khutan
Meanwhile Afrasiyab pursued his march
Toward Jihun, and in his anger trailed
His skirt in blood. He bade Human: "Haste on,
And draw rein at the river. If Khusrau
And Giv get over, any pains of ours
Are but a desert-blast. I was forewarned
Of this by what a sage said long ago :-
'The seed of Tur and Kai Kubad combined
Will raise a monarch of illustrious mind
To make Turan a brake of thorns again,
And leave no city on its wide Champaign.
Iran will have his love, Turan will know
The vengeful face that looketh on a foe."
When Giv and Kai Khusrau had reached the stream
In haste to cross they wrangled with the toll-man.
Giv said: "What swift and well appointed boat
Fit for the use of Kai Khusrau is here? "
The man replied: "What hath a stream to do
With king or slave? If thou hast need to cross
It is incumbent to bespeak a boat."
Giv said to him: "Demand whate'er thou wilt,
But let us cross because a host approacheth."
The officer, on hearing this from Giv,
Became extortionate, and said: "I ask
No little toll, but one of four - thy mail,
Thy black steed, handmaid, or thy moon-like page."
Giv answered him: "O thou of broken wits!
Do words like these become a man like thee?
Were he a subject of the king of kings
Thou wouldst receive thy portion from the world;
But what art thou to ask the Shah himself?
Art thou so hasty, miserable wretch?
And then his mother is thy next demand!
Thou wouldest have the moon's crown as thy toll
Or thirdly thou requirest black Bihzad
Who when he hasteth overtaketh wind!
Or fourthly in thy folly thou wouldst take
My mail, when mail is indispensable,
And this is steel which water will not wet,
And such as fire and Indian scimitars,
Or spears or arrows, have no power to harm
Thou wouldst have toll : then take it in the river!
The stream for us, the ferry-boat for thee;
'Twill not be easy to collect thy fee!"
How Kai Khusrau crossed the Jihun
Giv told the prince: "If thou art Kai Khusrau
The stream will favour thee. When Faridun
Crossed the Arwand it led him to the throne,
And all the world became the slave of him
Who had the Grace and glory. Tarry not
If thou art Shah, the shelter of the Lions
And warriors. The stream will give thee passage,
Who hast the mien and Grace to deck a throne.
If I, or if thy mother should be drowned,
Grieve not. For thee I lived because the throne
Of king of kings was naught. My mother too
Bare me for thee. Pause not or else, I doubt not,
Afrasiyab will reach the river-bank
In fury, hang me on the shameful gibbet
Alive, and fling thyself and Farangis
To feed the fish or tread you under hoof."
Then Kai Khusrau replied: "So be it. Enough.
My refuge is with God the Succourer."
He lighted, groaned, fell prostrate in the dust,
And said: "Thou art my refuge and support;
Thou showest justice and Thou art my way.
Thy Grace for good or ill sufficeth me;
The shadow of Thy wing is wisdom's soul."
He spake, and radiant as the morning star
Bestrode his sable steed, took to the water,
Reached like a boat the toll-house opposite,
And issued from the bed of the Jihun
With gallant Giv and Farangis behind him.
Thus all three safely gained the other side,
Where Kai Khusrau, his head and body bathed,
Thanked and adored the Maker of the world.
As they 'vent o'er the master of the boats
Astound said to his mates: "Behold a wonder!
This passeth all! Springtide! Jihun in spate!
Three steeds and riders mailed! No sage would deem
Him man who went across in such a case."
He saw his plight, regretted his rash words,
Supplied his boat with such things as he had,
Set sail and went to ask the prince's pardon.
When he arrived upon the farther shore
He brought his offerings before Khusrau,
He brought a bow, a lasso, and a casque,
But Giv thus answered him: "Insensate dog!
Thou saidst: 'The stream will sweep a man away,'
And when so great and puissant a prince
Requireth thee to furnish him a boat
Refusest! Perish all thine offerings I
A day will come when thou wilt think of this."
The river-warden went off in chagrin,
Despairing of his life. On his return
The army from Turan was at the toll-house.
Afrasiyab, not seeing man or boat
Upon the stream, cried fiercely to the toll-man:-
"How found that div his way across the water?
The man replied: "O king! my father took
The toll as I do, yet I never saw
Or heard of one who made the water land.
In springtime when the waves are running high
If thou dost enter there is no escape,
Yet those three riders crossed! Thou wouldst have said:-
'The air supported them upon its breast,'
Or, 'They are children of the rushing wind
The messengers dispatched by God to man.'"
Afrasiyab on hearing this turned pale,
And sighing deeply bade the man: "Launch forth
A boat upon the river with all speed.
See if thou canst discern the fugitives,
Upon the road or stopping for repose,
That I may take them prisoners. Make dispatch,
Out with the boat, and get thee gone at once."
Then said Human to him: "O king! consider,
And kindle not a fire within thy breast.
Wilt thou essay Iran with these few horsemen,
Essay the breath and clutches of the Lions,
The elephantine Rustam and Gudarz,
Tus and Gurgin the shatterer of hosts?
Thou must be weary of the throne indeed
If thou wilt go thus to the Lions' claws.
Hence all is thine to Chin and to Machin;
Sun, Saturn, Moon, and Pleiades are Chine.
Guard thou Turan and Chine own lofty throne
We need not now fear mischief from Iran."
With that they turned them in chagrin away,
And matters long continued in this stay.
How Kai Khusrau came to Ispahan
When Kai Khusrau and Giv arrived at Zam
Most men rejoiced but certain were displeased.
Giv sent out messengers to every part,
And wrote thus of the valiant prince: "The chieftain
Head of the race of noble Kai Kubad -
The exalted, blessod Kai Khusrau, to whom
The waters of Jihun were as a throne -
Hath come rejoicing from Turan."
Among the chiefs of Zam a messenger,
A valiant cavalier, wise, shrewd, and prudent,
Informed him of the case, and said to him :-
"Depart hence unto Ispahan - the land
Of Shahs, the habitation of the mighty -
And tell Gudarz: 'O chief of paladins!
Thy mind was not asleep when thou didst dream.'
Then add this: 'Kai Khusrau hath come to Zam,
And not a blast hath done him injury.'"
He wrote a letter unto Shah Kaus.
The messenger arose and went his way.
The wind-foot camels with their lips afoam
Rushed onward fire-like. First he sought Gudarz,
Declared the message, and gave up to him
The letter, which the paladin in chief
Placed to his head with tears for Siyawush
And maledictions on Afrasiyab.
The messenger went on to Kai Kaus
While drops of sweat fell from the camels' necks.
When he approached the palace-gate a shout
Of gladness rose, the monarch gave him audience,
And sprinkled jewels over Giv's dispatch.
They decked the whole world in their happiness,
They called for minstrels everywhere, while Rustam,
When tidings of Giv's triumph reached Nimruz,
Cave gold in largess to the mendicants
Because that Lion had received no hurt;
And afterward dispatched Binugashasp,
Like lightning, bearing treasures, and with her
Twelve hundred mighty men of name with gifts
Of thrones and heavy crowns, three hundred damsels,
And six score youths, all bearing golden goblets.
The lady left her sire and went to Giv
As swiftly as a bird upon the wing,
While news spread everywhere: "The monarch's son,
The young prince Kai Khusrau, is on his way."
As for the men of leading in the world
They all resorted unto Ispahan.
Gudarz prepared his stately residence,
And draped it with imperial brocade,
Prepared a throne with gold and jewelry,
Such as must needs be worthy of the Shah,
And armlets, torques, and earrings with a crown
Of royal gems. He had the city decked,
Prepared the Ground, and mounted on his steed.
The illustrious chiefs arose and, all being ready,
Went forward seventy leagues to meet the prince
Upon the road according to their custom.
As soon as Giv appeared with Kai Khusrau
The valiant cavaliers advanced on foot.
Gudarz the chieftain when he saw the prince,
Accompanied by Giv upon the road,
Shed tears of gall and in his deep distress
Spake much in memory of Siyawush.
The paladin then lighted from his steed,
And clasped the youthful monarch to his breast,
Paid him high compliments, did reverence,
And said to him: "O monarch of the earth!
Be bright in fortune and be bright in heart;
I would not lose thee for a realm or throne.
Far from thee be thy foeman's evil eye,
And may the soul of Siyawush be bright.
God is my witness that to see thee lengtheneth
My life. If I saw Siyawush alive
I should not laugh so from the heart as now."
He kissed the head and eyes of Giv and said :-
"Thou hast revealed a very heaven to us.
Thou art no sluggard but a warrior;
Yet on occasion thou canst bide thy time."
Then all the mighty warriors of Iran
Bent down their faces to the ground before him,
And as they turned back on their way rejoicing
The fortunes of those haughty men grew bright.
They reached the palace of the paladin,
All reached it full of joy and happiness.
There for one sennight in the festal hall
They tarried wine in hand, but toward the city
Of Shah Kaus upon the ensuing day
With joyful hearts set forward on their way.
How Kai Khusrau came to Kaus
When Kai Khusrau appeared before the Shah
The world was filled with colour, scent, and beauty,
And everywhere in festal trim. The doors,
The roofs, and walls were full of precious things,
While minstrels had been stationed in all quarters,
And there were wine, rose-water, musk, and saffron.
The horses' manes were drenched with musk and wine,
While sweets and drachms were scattered under foot.
The tears coursed down the cheeks of Kai Kaus
When he beheld the visage of Khusrau.
He came down from his throne, approached the prince,
And with his face caressed the prince's head
And eyes. The youthful atheling did homage,
And then they paced back to the throne together.
The Shah inquired at large about the Turkmans,
And how the ruler of that people fared.
The prince replied: "That man of little wit
Still walketh on the face of earth for ill.
Why doth the Shah inquire about that wretch?
May pleasure, crown, and throne be never his!
He slew my father vilely, shamefully,
And beat my mother with harsh blows that I
Might perish in the womb! May he ne'er scape
From woe! As soon as my pure mother bare me
That miscreant dispatched me to the mountains.
Among the cattle, goats, and buflaloes,
I reckoned by the sun my nights and days.
At length Piran arrived, and from the heights
Conducted me to that vindictive king.
I trembled at his rage and savagery,
Afraid of what might come. He asked me questions,
While I concealed what wit and worth I had.
If he inquired of heads I spake of feet,
If he inquired of food I talked of place.
God took away his sense and intellect,
And so the dullard took me for a fool,
Conceived my head to be ill stocked with brains,
And sent me to my mother with a curse."
Kaus' said : "Noble youth! the world desireth
That thou shouldst wear the crown, for thou'rt a prince,
And, like the king of kings, both wise and worthy."
Khusrau said: "Monarch of this ancient throne!
If I should give thee an account of Giv,
And what hath been accomplished by his hands,
The Shah would wonder, and no marvel too,
Because it passeth bounds. Full many a hardship
Did he endure, and sought me in Turan
With strivings, yet he bore not toils so great
As those which followed in my company,
For then two noble paladins with troops
Came after us like fire upon the road.
Idolater of Hindustan beholdeth
No maddened elephant do what I saw
Giv do. Methought: 'No crocodile will come
Forth from the streams to fight thus!' That great host,
And those two paladins, were seized with panic -
Both old and young alike - and afterward,
What time Piran came boldly with girt loins
Upon a wind-foot steed, Giiv flung his lasso
And caught the paladin. I interceded,
O king! for him, else Giv had ruthlessly
Struck off his head. Know that Piran had suffered
Through anguish for my sire, had never spoken
Aught ill of me, and saved me and withal
My mother from the fierce, grim Lion's claws,
Who else had ta'en my head just like my father's.
Thus till we reached the banks of the Jihun
Giv with his ox-head mace ceased not from combat.
A paladin like him should keep his youth
When Kaus had heard Khusrau
His cheeks bloomed like a rose. He clasped Giv's head,
And kissed his face and bosom many times,
Then gave him presents such as in the world
None, whether great or small, had seen before.
They wrote a patent out on painted silk
For Khurasan, Rai, Kum, and Ispahan.
The prince, whose Grace divine was as Jamshid's,
Gave these to Giv, whose head rose to the sun.
"Thou hast," the Shah said, "undergone much toil,
So now, O toiler! take thy fill of treasure."
Gudarz and all his sons with faces laid
Upon the ground called blessings down on him.
He had a golden pleasure-house prepared
For Farangis with earrings and a torque,
Set golden seats within the halls thereof,
Embellished the interior with brocade
Of Chin, and said to her: "O chief of dames!
May'st thou ne'er weep for sorrow. Thou hast left
Both land and kin, and borne much on the way.
Iran is now thy home, thy rede my guide."
That Moon of ladies blessed him. " May," said she,
"The world and age ne'er be deprived of thee."
How Tus refused Allegiance to Kai Khusrau
Kishwad possessed a palace at Istakhr -
The glory of the nobles. Thither went,
Their audience with the monarch being closed,
Gudarz with Kai Khusrau. When they had reached
That pleasance with its arabesques of gold
They placed the prince upon a golden throne,
And called down; blessings on him as their Shah.
The warriors of lran all did him service
Save Tus, son of Naudar, who turned away
'Twas he that had the drums, the golden shoes,
And charge of Kawa's standard. Much displeased
Gudarz dispatched a friendly embassage
By brave, ambitious Giv, the man that had
The clutch of heroes and the leap of lions.
Gudarz said: "Say to Tus, son of Naudar :-
Seek for no pretexts at this time of joy.
The nobles and the Lions of ╠ran
Have all invoked a blessing on the prince.
Why dost thou draw back at the Div's command,
And quit the way of Him who ruleth earth?
If thou refusest to obey Khusrau
There will be strife and vengeance 'twist us twain.
The messenger is Giv, the words are mine,
And sanctioned by the nobles here assembled."
Giv left the presence of his sire with words
Of anger in his heart. On reaching Tus
He said: "Thy rede and wisdom are not mates."
Tus hearing that replied: "It is not good
To play off tricks on me, for in Iran,
Save elephantine Rustam, I am first
Among the chieftains that command the host,
And grandson of the valiant Minuchihr,
The Shah who with his sword subdued the world.
Naudar my father was the king of earth,
I represent the race of Faridun.
Whenever I engage myself in fight
I rend the lion's heart and leopard's hide.
Ye have, without my counsel and consent,
Established a new monarch in the world
I will not be a party to this thing,
So talk not in my presence of Khusrau.
If from the offspring of Afrasiyab
We make a king, then will our fortunes sleep.
We want no Shah descended from Pashang;
A flock is ill entrusted to a leopard.
This is the fruitage of these toils of thine,
For Kai Khusrau is young and violent,
While he that ruleth earth should have high lineage,
Worth, Faith, and Grace. Now Fariburz, the son
Of Shah Kaus, is worthier of crown
And throne, not sprung from foes on either side,
But having Grace and glory, fame and right."
Then Giv arose in dudgeon, doubting both
The wisdom and the honesty of Tus,
And said: "O Tus, illustrious warrior
Withdraw not when the drums sound. When thou seest
The spear-heads of the kindred of Gudarz
The gain that thou expectest will prove loss.
The many toils that we have borne together
Thou throwest to the winds. Hadst thou the Grace
And counsel we had sought not from Alburz
A monarch; and thy head hath not the crown
Because thou lackest brains and royal rede;
God doth bestow the throne of sovereignty
On one who hath the Grace, mien, sense, and counsel."
He spake thus wrathfully and showed his back
In anger; thence returning to Gudarz
He said: "Tus is no mate for rede and wisdom.
Thou wouldest say: 'His eyes are blind.' His choice
Is Fariburz, although no sovereign
On golden saddle is our prince's peer,
Nor have we such another cavalier."
How Gudarz was wroth with Tus
Gudarz was full of wrath and said: "May Tus
Cease from among the nobles of the world.
Now will we let him see to whom belong
The Grace, the sovereign sway,throne, state, and fortune."
His sons and grandsons numbered seventy-eight.
He beat the drums and marched forth from the palace
Out to the open with twelve thousand men
Of his own kin, brave troops on barded steeds,
Led by himself, that shatterer of hosts.
Upon the other side came Tus, the chieftain,
And bound the drums upon the elephants,
While many warriors girded up their loins,
And Kawa'S standard led the central host.
Tus saw Gudarz with such a multitude
As dazed the eyes of sun and moon, he saw
A mighty elephant which bore a throne
Of turquoise as resplendent as the Nile.
Upon it sat the aspiring Kai Khusrau,
With loins girt up and crown upon his head,
Surrounded by ten score huge elephants;
Thou wouldst have said: "The world hath not a Shah
Save him." Khusrau shone moonlike on the throne,
With earrings, torque, and armlets, on his head
A crown of glittering gems, and in his hand
An oxhead mace. Tus thought with saddened heart:
"If I shall fight to-day there will be slain
A multitude of warriors in both hosts.
This feud shall not arise within Iran,
For naught would better please Afrasiyab,
The fortune of the Turkmans would awake,
The throne of empiry pass to Turan,
And our prosperity be at an end."
He sent a man of wisdom and resource
To Shah Kaus to say: "If any here
Among us lay a shaft of poplar wood
Upon his bow there will arise a fight
Whereof Afrasiyab will dream all night."
How Gudarz and Tus went before Kaus on the Matter of the Kingship
Kaus, on hearing these wise words, dispatched
A messenger to summon both the chiefs.
He went before the captain of each host,
And mildly said: "Experienced veteran
Put not fell poison in a cup of milk,
Replace thy sword, and loose thy girdlestead;
This gain of ours must not be turned to loss.
Let both the captains of the hosts appear
Before me and without a retinue."
They went before the Shah and Tus spake thus:-
If If now the Shah is weary of the crown
And throne, his son should have the world, the might,
The diadem, and throne of majesty.
Why should a grandson, when there is a son,
Put on the crown and sit upon the throne?
Now Fariburz hath Grace and royal mien,
And girdeth him as 'twere a savage lion."
Gudarz replied: "O thou of little wit
No sage would reckon thee to be a man.
None in the world hath equalled Siyawush
Or been so great, discreet, and reticent.
Now this aspirant is a son of his,
' The same,' thou wouldest say, 'in face and form.'
If on his mother's side he is from Tur
The grandson of the Shah must still prove just.
There is not in Iran or in Turan
One like him: to what end is thy crude talk?
Thine eyes have never even seen his face,
His lofty mien, and lovingkindliness.
He crossed Jihun and needed not a boat,
Such were his royal Grace and steadfast purpose.
As with Shah Faridun, who crossed the Arwand
Without a boat, his courage and God's Grace
Preserved him from the hand and eye of ill.
Moreover, to avenge his father's blood,
He like a savage lion girdeth him
To banish toil and trouble from iran,
And over-reach astute Afrasiyab.
Surush the glorious said to me in sleep:-
'His Grace will still the war-cry in Iran,
And when he shall adorn the crown and throne
Of chiefs, the world will cease from toil and hardship.'
Thou art no alien; thou art from Naudar
Thy father was perverse and thou art mad.
Had I my weapons I would drench thy neck
And breast in blood, would slay thee with my sword,
And end thy silly talk. Thou makest discord
Among the Kaians for thy selfish ends.
The king of kings acknowledgeth Khusrau,
And will bestow the throne on whom he will.
Tus said: "O ancient chief! what rancorous words
Though thou art from Kishwad yet I am Tus,
Son of Naudar, a Shah and a Shah's son,
And if thy sword will penetrate an anvil
My spear will rend the centre of Mount Kaf.
What booteth wordy war betwixt us twain?
The king of kings doth know who is the chief."
Gudarz replied to him: "Talk not so much;
I see not that thy glory is so great."
Then said he to Kaus: "Experienced Shah!
Turn not from rule and custom, call before thee
The noble youths, and let thy clear mind judge;
Discern between them which is worthier
As having royal mien and Grace divine,
And give to him the crown and throne if thou
Art weary of the crown and host thyself."
Kaus replied to him: "This is not well,
For both alike are dear; when I have chosen
One then the other will seek vengeance on me.
I will take means that this may not betide
Among our folk. Let both, each with a host,
Go to the entering in of Ardabil -
The march where is the castle of Bahman,
And Ahriman is ever making war
On those that worship fire. No archimages
Dare settle there. I will give up the throne
Of kings to him who captureth that fortress."
Gudarz and Tus, contented with the plan
Of their clear-sighted chief, proposed no better,
But set their hearts on its accomplishment,
And from the monarch's presence forth they went.
How Tus and Fariburz went to the Castle of Bahman and came back foiled
Now when Sol rose in Leo, and the night
Was turned beneath, came Fariburz and Tus
In haste before the Shah, and Tus spake thus:-
"Now will I take the drums, host, elephants,
With Kawa's flag, and turn the ruddy cheeks
Of foemen pale. The Grace of Fariburz,
And royal might, shall gird me royally."
The Shah replied: "When men go forth to war
Their number more or less importeth not,
But by the purpose of the Lord of sun
And moon they may have triumph and success
So if it seemeth good to Fariburz,
Array thine army and be diligent."
Tus with the golden boots upon his feet
Went forth with Kawa's standard. Fariburz,
Son of Kaus, was at the army's centre,
While Tus went first with troops and elephants.
When he drew near the castle of Bahman
The ground seemed breathing fire, the lances' points
Flamed in the heat, the men of war were scorched
Beneath their mail. Thou hadst said: "Earth is burning,
Air is a net of rebel Ahriman's!"
The ramparts rose to heaven; none knew a way
To battle there. Tus said to Fariburz :-
"A man of mettle going into fight
With lasso, falchion, and artillery,
Will strive to wreck his foes, but to this castle
Is no approach, at least we know it not.
Our loins are scorching underneath our mail,
The bodies of our beasts of burden burn.
Have no anxiety within thy heart
Thou hast not ta'en, and none can take, this hold."
They went about the castle seven days,
And found no entrance, then turned back again
Despairing; their long journey proved in vain.
How Kai Khusrau went to the Castle of Bahman and took it
When tidings reached the chiefs and old Gudarz,
The offspring of Kishwad : "Tus hath returned
With Fariburz, prepare thyself to go,"
He donned his mail, shouts rose, the world's new lord
Khusrau came forth. They seta golden throne,
Inlaid with emeralds, on an elephant;
Around the prince were warlike cavaliers
With flags of violet, with golden boots,
With crowns of amber, and with torques of gold
Adorned with divers gems. Gudarz thus spake :-
"This is the first of days, for Kai Khusrau,
The atheling, accedeth to the throne."
The atheling sat on the golden seat,
Crowned and with mace in hand; he with Gudarz,
Giv, and a numerous host went toward the castle.
When near the hold he girded up his loins,
Put on his mail, and, mounted on his charger,
Dictated to a scribe in lofty terms
A letter, which they wrote in royal style
With ambergris, and in the olden tongue:-
"This letter cometh from the Almighty's slave -
From noble Kai Khusrau the atheling,
Who, freed from wicked Ahriman's constraint,
Hath cleansed his hands from ill by help of God,
Who is eternally the Lord most high,
The Giver of our daily bread, our Guide,
The Lord of Mars, of Saturn, and the Sun,
The Lord of Grace, the Lord of puissance,
Who gave the throne and Grace of kings to me,
Fierce lion's claws and elephantine bulk.
The whole world is my kingdom; all is mine
From Pisces downward to the Bull's head. Now
If this hold be of Ahriman's domain,
The enemy of Him who made the world,
I by the Grace, and Holy God's command,
Wilt cast it headlong from the clouds to dust
And if it is a hold of sorcerers
I can dispose of them without a host,
For when I have looped up my leathern lasso'
I take the heads of sorcerers in the noose;
While if the blest Surush himself is there
The host is one at the command of God.
I am not of the seed of Ahriman;
My soul hath Grace, my body lofty stature;
By God's command I will reduce the castle,
Such are the orders of the king of kings."
Khusrau then took a lengthy lance and fixed
Thereto the haughty letter banner-wise;
He asked for naught on earth but royal Grace,
And ordered Giv to hasten with the spear
Up to the lofty ramparts, saying thus:-
"Take thou this letter of admonishment,
And bear it to yon lofty castle's wall;
Plant there the spear, call on the name of God,
Then quickly turn thy rein and hurry back."
That worshipper of God, that glorious chief,
Giv, took the spear in hand and went his way.
He set the letter by the wall, delivered
The message of Khusrau, pronounced the name
Of God who givethgood, and fled like wind.
That noble letter vanished with a crash,
Dust flew, and by command of Holy God
The rampart of the stronghold split asunder;
Thou wouldst have said: "It thundereth as in spring."
A shout went up from plain and mountain-top,
The earth became black as a negro's face,
Sun, Moon, and Pleiades were lost to sight,
And thou hadst said: "A murky cloud ariseth,
The air is like a mighty lion's maw."
Then Kai Khusrau urged on his sable steed,
And shouted to the captains of the host:-
"Make arrows rain in showers upon the hold,
And let your bows be like a cloud in spring."
Immediately a cloud rosy charged with hail,
Hail charged with death; full many a div was slain
And many venom-stricken fell to earth.
At length a brilliant light began to shine,
And all the heavy darkness cleared away;
A glorious breeze sprang up; the heaven above,
And all the face of earth, began to smile;
The world became as 'twere the shining moon
By God's name and the prince's Grace, the divs
Went at his bidding, and the gate was seen.
The monarch of the free made entry there
With old Gudarz, the offspring of Kishwad,
And saw a mighty city in the hold,
All gardens, spaces, halls, and palaces.
Upon the spot where darkness cleared and light
First shone Khusrau commanded to erect
A dome ascending to the darksome clouds.
It was ten lassos long and broad, its circuit
Was half a rapid Arab charger's course,'
And round it there were lofty cupolas.
He brought and stablished there Azargashasp,
And round it settled the astrologers,
The archmages, and the men of lore. He tarried
Till that Fire-fane attained to good repute,
And, when a year had passed, led forth his force,
Made up the baggage-train, and called to horse.
How Kai Khusrau returned in Triumph
When news of Kai Khusrau, of his success,
And of God's Grace upon him, reached Iran
The world was in amazement that the prince
Had won that Grace and greatness; all the chiefs
Went forth with joy and brought him offerings.
Prince Fariburz approached him with a band
Of warriors from Iran as 'twere a mountain,
And seeing him gat off his rose-red steed,'
Whilst brave Khusrau alighted from his black.
The uncle kissed the nephew on the face,
And, having set for him a throne of gold
Inlaid with turquoise, seated him thereon,
And joyfully saluted him as Shah.
Then Tus approached him, bringing Kawa's flag,
The drums, and golden boots, and, having kissed
The ground, surrendered them to Kai Khusrau,
And said: "See who deserveth in the host
The drums, gold boots, and Kawa's glorious flag.
Give them to him; I merit them no more
Mine errors cannot hope for aught but life."
Thus he apologised, abandoning
His foolish enterprise. The conquering prince
Received him well, placed him upon the throne,
And said: "For Kawa's standard, for the post
Of paladin, and for the golden boots,
I see none fitter in the host than thee,
Thine is the office and the rank is thine;
I have no wrath against thee in my heart,
Thou needest not to tender an excuse;
Thou didst not wish to have an alien Shah."
The atheling both shrewd and fortunate
Departed thence upon his way to Nrs,
And Kai Kaus, when he received the news:-
"The youth of lucky steps hath come," went forth
With cheeks like cercis-bloom to welcome him
The old man's heart grew young with happiness.
Khusrau beheld his grandsire from afar,
And smiled; his heart was throbbing with delight
He went afoot and offered reverence.
His grandsire, fain to look on him, embraced him
With smiles and praises well deserved, and said:-
"The Lion hath returned victorious,
Confounding his opponents' hearts and eyes."
They sought the palace and the world-lord's throne -
His who had made the diadem his own.
How Kaus set Khusrau upon the Throne of Kingship
When they arrived they lighted from their steeds
With heartfelt, joyful greetings on their tongues.
Khusrau advancing kissed his grandsire's hand,
rind laid his cheek against the throne. Kaus
Took the young prince's hand, right joyfully
Set him upon the Shah's own seat, and bade
The treasurer bring forth the royal crown.
He kissed Khusrau and, having crowned him, quitted
The splendid ivory throne and sat below.
He brought an offering of emeralds
With many royal jewels from his treasures,
Invoking blessings oft on Siyawush,
Whose image was Khusrau. Then all the nobles,
The chief's, the leaders, and great men assembled,
They called down blessings on him as their Shah
And sprinkled gold and jewels over him.
The use and fashion of this world it is
To take with that hand and to give with this;
We are aggrieved because of its caprice,
And alternate 'twixt summit and abyss.
If then thy heart alloweth thee be glad,
Ensue but pleasure while it may be had,
Provide thee well and give the rest away,
And suffer not one moment to be sad.
Enjoy thy wealth and be not niggardly,
But share not earnings with thine enemy;
God gave to thee and will give to thy child -
That sucker springing from the parent tree.
Perceivest not hoiv fully earth is stored
With wealth and furnished with good things? The Lord
Abateth nothing in His bounteousness
Abstain from sorrow and let joy be toward.
Go to Top