Facsimile and Transcript
their throats in praise of the all bounteous king—
If from the fields of heavenly light
an angel there had bent his flight
as the sleek moth with powdery wing
Circles the lamps in ceaseless ring
He sure had lingered in its round
Nor ever left the charmed ground
The Shah was in an ecstasy of delight, but when the glamour of his eyes fell on Gheti Afroz—
A heaven of charms appeared the queen
Such as no mortal eye had seen
Charms to compare with which were weak
The lustre of a Peris cheek
Charms that were viewed with mute surprise
And the fair of paradise
He was seated on a throne of polished emerald. The radiations of her sory cheek were like the blissful rays of the ruby, while the Shah fancied in sooth that the Orient Moon had descended from heaven and exclaimed in ecstasy—
“Whence spread the dazzling blaze of light
Is this the Moon Deceives my sight
The Brilliance of the Tulip flower
Or the bright sun at noontide hour
Who such celestial beam imparts
The mirror and the queen of hearts
Sweet jasmine fair of race divine
Whose charms the sun and moon outshine
Should Chinas a blest painter view
That rosy cheeks seductive hew
Soon would he own with sickening sighs
That nature for his art out vies
Ah should more travellor on his way
That fascinating face survey
The wonderer would forget the road
To any place save thine abode
Ah that the fortune sould be mine
To alarm a heart no longer thine
While tis another hap to prove
How sweet the thrilling drought of love”
Gheti Afroz, with the most enchanting grace, replied in the same style:
“The thrilling goblet and the wine
Of love ecstatic still are mine
And tenderness will best reveal
The time to break the secret seal”13
She placed the Shah on the throne, her side edging half round so as to address herself to him with the greater facility, and seated Danish Bait and Melech Mahommed on two ornamented chairs beside the throne. When the Shah looked round him he was astonished to behold nothing
but what was formed of rubies and jewels.
After some time spent in conversation, Gheti afroz enquired of the company would chose to view the basin of water.
“Your pleasure is ours,” said the Shah.
Sofas were immediately spread on the brink of the basin and such exhibitions were presented as the eyes of time had never before witnessed. The basin was entirely filled with rose water and numerous jest of this fragrant liquid were playing in regular rows and artificial water birds formed with skillful devices flew round the basin without danger of being submerged.
The eye that once the scene surveys
Would love to linger still and gaze
Like him that lingers still to drink
By clear Euphrates willowy brink
The Shah, turning to Danish Bait, said, “This infinitely surpasses all that I have seen, but you who are a man of years and have seen the world. Have you ever beheld anything to be compared with it?”
The Vizir replied, “I have never so much as heard of such a thing. None but a Peri I suppose has ever seen it.”
The Shah then said to Gheti Afroz, “Princess, I indeed only wish you as much happiness as your entertainment
affords me pleasure.”
“The foot of the Padshah,” said she, “brings prosperity and happiness.” She then beckoned Ruh Afra to introduce the cup of friendship.
Ruh Afra, with the rosy complexioned cupbearers, instantly brought in the rosy tinted wine. Gheti directed her to present the goblet to the Shah, at the same time telling Lok Angur the Hourito to hand a cup to Danish Bait.
Mercy on me, thought Melech Mahommed. I am going forward with a backsliding pace. Who can gainsay a Monarchess will, but who is to be any cupbearer now that the Shah has taken Ruh Afza
The mirth grew more gay as the wine went round, till the Shah observed Danish Bait passing his glass: “No, no my friend,” said he, “No apologies will take today.”
“Master of mine,” said Danish Bait,“a fellow like me grown old and cold should avoid such hot headed doings.”
“What,” said the Shah “don’t you recollect what people say when they repent of their sins?”
When friends the purple goblet fill
Even sages drink against their will
The hermit flings his beads aside
And quaffs perforce the muddy tide
Danish Bait made a thousand excuses, but the Shah laid hold of a goblet, saying, “Come, I myself will be you cupbearer.”
Vizier said, “Gheti Afroz, won’t this instance of kindness and condescension induce you to drink with us? You know the saying:
Unbounded favours princes grace
Yet still the subject ought to know his place”
Danish Bait saw it was not time to tamper, and found it necessary to humour the joke so he seized the goblet and tossed it off after the first cup. He made no more iveryfaces. One goblet made way for another.
The butler now came to announce dinner. Gheti Afroz enquired if all the host of the Shah had arrived. The heralds reported that they had, and that the whole plain was darkened with them tent crowding on tent pavilion on pavilion and tent rope intertwined with tent rope in every direction to the distance of five farsangs.
Gheti Afroz then directed the Perizadis to range tables in order for the host and cover them with a hundred
thousand various dishes of meats and it was instantly performed with such dexterity that it was not ever necessary for a single person to stir from the place where he had seated himself. Meantime diner was served up in the palace in an even superior style while a contest of politeness was carried on between the Shah and the princess.
“I am sure your hospitality must be quite empty,” said the Shah.
“Sovereign of the world,” said Gheti Afroz, “This paltry cottage is illuminated with splendor by the light of your footsteps. All my race are honoured with your visit, and I the least of them all am highly exalted.”
It was presently reported that the host had finished their meal and had been unable to consume the vast quantity of food that had been sent before them. When dinner was over, Gheti Afroz proposed to walk over the gardens. They set out and every garden which they entered was adorned in a different manner with trees and rose bushes planted in such exquisite order
as human skill could never attain.
“Gracious!” said the Shah, “The paradise above and the beautiful Houris can never equal this in beauty!”
They walked through the garden about an hour and, however they went, Ruh Afra and Zok Angeez attended him with garden flagons and goblets of emeralds and jacinth, and. wherever they halted, presented cups of wine. Better luck could never betide them.
Gheti Afroz said to the Shah, “Lest your Majesty should feel yourself lonely here I will present you with Ruh Afra for a companion.”
See the sable night advancing
See the beauteous Pleiades dancing
Night pale queen does westward run
To seek her Radiant lord the sun.
When the raven feather of night darkened the day, Danish Bait whispered in the king’s ear that it was now time to retire.
The Shah agreed and shortly after, told Gheti Afroz that next month, if he had her permission, he would have the honor of waiting on her.
“If I have any influence over you whatsoever,” replied
she, “I will not dispense with your company to night.”
The Shah was exceedingly rejoiced at the proposal.
“Inflamed with wine inflamed with love
How could he frame the banquets move
His maudlin eyes with nectar shine
He pants for her who hands the wine.”
He turned to Danish Bait and muttered, “There can be no great harm in staying a single night.”
“As your Majesty pleases,” said the vizir. This resolution was equally agreeable to all parties and the princess having taken the hands of the Shah, the vizir, and her lover conducted them to see the chambers. The first chamber they entered was splendidly illuminated with castres of jewels each of which was worth an empire in value. In that chamber they found a beautiful damsel of fourteen years of age, whose chuks were brought as the circle of the sun and whose name was derived from the honeyed sherbet, which was distilled from her lips:
“That fair if night's refulgent queen
In all her lovelings had seen
From the eye of heaven had fled,
One tearful star of envious Zend.”14
The fair laid hold of an emerald flagon and a diamond goblet, and as she joined the party, the chamber was illuminated with her beauty. When the eye of the king Anu Shah fell on that ravisher of hearts he, quite distracted with admiration, exclaimed in a doleful tone:
“Who fills my soul with new alarms?
Are these the fair Zulukhas charms?
Or beaming with celestial love
Some angles from the blest above
Sweet on her placid features lie
The tender Mercies of the sky
And clam as life’s eternal stream
A mild celestial softness beam.”
He anxiously asked Gheti Afroz the name of the conqueror of hearts. The princess, who did not greatly approve this indication of the steadiness of the Shah’s affections, said in an altered tone “She is a Lady whom I greatly respect and who holds the first place in my affection of all the Houris and the Peris and her name is Izrat Afra.”
At the same time she proposed to visit the upper apartments.
The Shah, whose raptures were a good deal chilled by the coldness of her manner, could not avoid accompanying her. There they beheld a splendid throne on each of the four corners on which was placed an ornamented figure of a
with their instruments of music as thought and Izrut Afra was appointed to hand round the goblet.
“But don’t,” said the Princess maliciously, “give a single cup to Melech Mahommed.” They merrily tossed off their cups but poor Melech Mahommed sat biting his thumbs and muttering:
“If I should lose my lady’s grace
Compound this ugly Hang dog face
And should her favor light amiss
A sign poot seize this clumsy phizz.
Gheti Afroz could not resist laughter and added, “Well give the poor fellow a cup to console him.” Whenever Izzut handed round the cup, the Shah fixed his ardent eyes on her as much to say:
“To one loved from my fancy flies
I kiss her cheeks I kiss her eyes
And still where playful fancy drays
Mine eyes would ever sleepless gaze.”
Gheti Afroz then called the bearers of the car, who immediately took it up and ascended through the air with extreme velocity till they almost touched the azure vault of heaven. The army of the Shah beheld this strange spectacle in the
air, and they immediately reported to the people of Okbalia that King Anu Shah, with his vizir and Melech Mahommed along with Gheti Afroz, were sitting and carousing in mid-air with a beautiful Houri for their cup bearer.
The good people of Okbalia came flocking out to see the sight as if it had been to a procession. A strange sight it was they saw. The car was suspended in open air, almost involved in a cloud of fragrant incense, which spread far and wide its odorous perfumes, and all around resounded the music of innumerable instruments, the modulations of which were strange and uncommon. But all the thrumming of the pipes and tabours could not distract the attention of the people from the situation of the king.
“Alas the day!” cried they, “What shall we do without a king? Woe betide the time that we should lose him.”
Aclender coolly observed:
“One year begins another ends
One rises up and one descends
Every one his fate must prove,
As written in the books above.”
Others were not quite so much distressed.
“Never fear,” said they “the Vizir is a knowing old boy. I warrant you he brings him home safe and sound as we may soon find to our cost.”
The aerial party, however, continued their past-time till near midnight when, in the twinkling of an eye, they returned to the palace of the princess and enjoyed a delicate repast. Ruh Afza, in all her claims adorned like a bride and perfumed with the choicest odors, waited on the Shah with such assiduity that she quite lavished his heart and intoxicated his senses.
Zok Angeez arrayed in magnificent garments in like manner on Danish Bait. At a signal from the queen of the Peris they retired to repose. When Anu Shah and Danish entered thumping apartments they found they were illuminated by moons of beauty.
The Shah exclaimed in delight:
“Cous what a prospect charms mine eye,
I feel my lavished senses fly
My soul on seas of rapture lost
Be calm on thou art ever lost
Drunk with the wild unhoped-for bliss
My fancy ne’er dearest soar to this
Like are that dreams in troubled sleep
By fists I laugh by the Ieveep
Ruh Afza replied with a smile of complaisance and the Shah continued his rhapsody:
“O thou who sold in smiling state
On whom prophetic omens wait
Whose brilliant eyes are dear to love,
Beyond the luckiest stars above,
Whose eyebrows admirable arch
Would mend a limping pools March
“May the fortune of the Shah be as admirable as his verses,” said Ruh Afza, “You see, I am ready to reward the Poet by the most propitious omens in my power.”
The Shah threw his arm around her neck and caressed her tenderly repeating with rapture:
"What medicine can the bosom prove
When all the heart is drunk with love
When at the melting charmers glances
In the Eye-soft rapture dances
And every sense is turned to bliss
What remedy awaits for this?"15
Ruh Afza gave him a broad hint that the remedy was by no means difficult. As for Danish Bait, the old codger retired quietly to his bedchamber, thinking of no evil whatsoever when who should he find seated
on his couch, but the lovely Zok Anguz, arrayed in all the beauty of the Sun, with her whole apparel sparkling with jewels. She saluted him gracefully as he entered and the sight of her so warmed his old heart that he could not help breaking out in a poetical rapture likewise:
“No dagger keen no murdering lance
Is deadlier than that piercing glance.
Though lovely as the dawn of day,
That face its charming hints display
Though odorous as the breeze of eve
Thy sable ringlets interweave
No dagger keen no murdering lance
Is deadlier than that piercing glance.”
Then, seizing the hand of his charmer, he proceeded to recruit his energies with another goblet of wine.
Melech Mahommed, who had same idea of what was going forward, perceived that the same was likely to hang heavy on nobody’s hands but his own. So mustering all his courage, he took way to the charmer of Gheti Afroz. “Let us hope the best thought he who knows what the force of good example may effect.” When he entered the chamber he saw that the princess was waiting for him.
She cried, “Come
away! What has kept you so long?”
He approached and said:
“Love that so every heart brings joy
To me brings only sad annoy
Affection preys upon my heart
And all its mead is thrilling smart
While promises bring no relief
But swell with baffled hopes my grief.”
The princess replied:
“Ah never with hasty hand remove
The pearly drops that spring from love
Ere yet congealed at beauty’s shine
Like jewels on thy vest they shine.”
Melech Mahommed answered:
“The slave which these dear ringlets bend
Why is he felon like confined
The felon sure should mercy prove
Whose only crim is fondest love
Or think when when Mercy’s claims would fail
That begging Takers oft prevail
Lest wandering for and wide they name
The miser to his lasting shame.”16
The heart of Gheti Afroz was melted and she desired him to take courage for in due time, he should his thirst in the pure stream of affection and drink copious droughts of the wine of love. But above
all, she inculcated the virtue of patience as the surest and speediest means of attaining the accomplishment of his wishes, strenuously exhorting him to avoid indiscretion and not disgrace both himself and her in the presence of King Anu Shah:
“Mouth by mouth the infants mien
In fresher livelier charms is seen
But never on the lavished sight
The full-formed virgin burst to light.”
Melech Mahommed was enraptured and cried in ecstasy, “After the experience of many sorrows, what a sovereign delight it is to view these charms.”
“These charms” said the princess “you can view any day of the week, but will that satisfy your desire?”
Melech Mahommed frankly confessed that his desire was quite insatiable, but the princess suggested the old remedy of patience and told him of his desire. No abatement he might hope much from time. After conversing some time in this intimate manner and pledging several mutual goblets, which did not much tend to allay the fever in Melech Mahommed’s blood, they laid down to rest.
The first that waked was Melech Mahommed,
whose rest was not of the soundest. After tossing and turning and swearing that the night would last forever, he rose and beheld Gheti Afroz in all her charms sleeping in a careless posture.
“Ah,” said he, “This unlucky patience takes a terrible time to cure a fever. Come weal or woe I forward go.”
The moment he touched her cestus, the arch tormentor started from sleep and said in a better lone, “Senseless creature that your will you persist in banishing yourself from my society and bringing irretrievable disgrace on your unlucky head. Desist or be instantly transformed into some brutal shape that alone is worthy of you.”
At this oration, every word of which Melech Mahommed knew to be verity, he was terribly disconcerted and instantly slunk off to his couch in a most pitiful manner where a thousand torturing reflections came to his consolation. In about an hour, the golden plumed peacock of the dawn raised his radiant head. The bright morning undrew the dusty curtains of the displaced night and the light of the world displayed his beams above the mountains Budukshan.
awoke and ordered the hall to be adorned with rich carpets and tapestry.
The Shah then made his appearance and after him, Melech Mahommed with a fine resplendent face a little dubious of his reception. The Shah asked him what had come of his uncle, Danish Bait, and desired him to find him out.
Melech Mahommed went to summon him, and found his sage uncle in a sound nap with is arms turned lovingly round the neck of Zok Angeez. He returned to the party and reported that he had found him moralizing. When the vizir had joined them, the Shah left Gheti Afroz with innumerable compliments on both sides and, with the Vizir and Melech Mahommed, proceeded to the army who were waiting for him in their stations.
He then set out for town amid the shouts and exaltation of a hundred thousand men and dismissed the multitude at the gates of the city. The citizens of Ekbalia came flocking to meet him on his return and were not a little disappointed. After all his adventures, to see him riding on horseback like other people, Melech Mahommed proceeded to his own house, and all his servants came to congratulate him that for
once he had come back safely from the Peries.
The preceding having been a very sleepless night, he immediately retreated to his couch, where, having reposed for some time, he went to the house of his uncle and proceeded along with him to court to wait on King Anu Shah.
The Visit of Gheti Afroz and the Peries to King Anu Shah, The fourth Transformation of Melech Mahommed into an Ox.
The Shah consoled with Danish Bait and told him that he proposed to give an entertainment to Gheti Afroz in a style of suitable magnificence, of which she could be induced to visit him. Danish Bait highly approved of the idea if it were agreeable to the Perizadis. He then asked Melech Mahommed if he thought Gheti Afroz would accept the invitation. Melech Mahommed said she certainly would and though she would make some eye uses, it would be easy to prevail on her.
The Shah called his stewards and ordered him to prepare with the utmost dispatch a hundred thousands dishes of meat of every various kind each according to its proper quality, and likewise to fit up in the most magnificent