Tariel Tells the Tale of His Falling
in Love When He First Fell in Love
- WHEN he had wept for some time he again
began to tell
- his tale: „One day the king and I had come
home from the
- chase, and he said: „Let us see my
daughter!" He took me
- by the hand.. . . Does it not surprise thee
that I live when
- I remember that time ?
- "I SAW the garden fairer indeed than all
places of delight:
- the voice of birds was heard, sweeter than
a siren‘s, there
- were many fountains of rose-water for
baths, over the door
- were hung curtains of cloth of gold.
- SLIM cypress encircled the emerald wall of
- The king dismounted and drew near to the
- tower. He entered; the great palace was
hung with rugs.
- My soul, how can you endure the piercing
lances of those
- days ?
- "HE king ordered me to take some durajis1
- them to the maiden. I took them and went to
- at a flame. Then I began to pay the debt of
Fate. It needs
- a lance of adamant to pierce a heart of
- "I KNEW he wished none to see his sun-like
one; I stood
- outside, and the king went in through the
curtain of the
- door; I could see nothing, I only heard the
sound of talk;
- he commanded Asmat‘h to take the durajis
- "ASMAT‘H drew aside the curtain; I stood
- curtain. I saw the maiden; a lance pierced
my mind and
- heart. Asmat‘h came, I gave her the
durajis, she took them
- from me who was burned with fire. Ah me!
since then in
- eternal fires I burn!"
- NOW failed that light which despises even
the sun; he
- could teil no more, he fainted, groaning
- and Asmat‘h wept; the vicinage re-echoed
their voices. They
- said gloomily: "The arms that brought to
nought heroes are
- become useless, alas !"
- ASMAT‘H sprinkled water upon him, Tariel
came back to
- consciousness; for a long time he could not
- melancholy bound and overcame his heart; he
- and moaned bitterly, his tears were mingled
- earth; he said: "Woe is me! what a great
agitation is her
- memory to me!
- "TRUSTERS in this ephemeral worid have
their pick of
- her gifts, they are lucky, but at last are
not spared her
- treachery; I praise the prudence of those
sages who oppose
- her. Hearken to my tidings if life remain
- "THEY took in the durajis, I could make no
- myself. I fell, I fainted, force was fled
from mine arms and
- shoulder. When I came back to life I heard
the voice of
- weeping and woe; the household surrounded
me like one
- who is embarking on a ship.
- "I LAY in a fair bed in a great chamber;
the king and
- queen wept over me with undrying tears,
- their faces with their hands, tearing their
- sat round, they called my sickness
- "WHEN the king saw mine eyes open he
- neck; he said to me with tears: 'My son, my
son, dost thou
- indeed live? Speak one word!" I could give
no answer; like
- a madman I was greatly affrighted. Again I
fell into a faint;
- blood rushed into my heart.
- "ALL the muqris2
and mullahs watched round me, in their
- hands they held the Koran, all ofthem read;
- I was struck by the Adversary of mankind, I
know not of
- what they raved. For three days I was
- inextinguishable fires burned me.
- „THE doctors also marvelled, saying: „What
- sickness is this ? Nothing medicable
afflicts him; some
- melancholy has laid hold of him. "
Sometimes I leaped up
- like a madman, I uttered idle words. The
- forth tears enough to make a sea.
- „FOR three days was I in the palace neither
- dead; then understanding caine back to ine,
- what had befallen me; I said: „Alas! in
what a plight am
- I, despairing of life! „I prayed the
Creator for patience;
- I ventured to make a discourse of entreaty.
- „I SAID: '0 God! abandon me not,
hearken to my
- supplication, give me strength to endure
that I may rise a
- little; to stay here will reveal my secret;
let me reach horne!"
- He did so and I mended; I steeled my
- "I SAT up. . . . Many men were come from
the king, they
- carried back the good news: "He sits up!"
The queen ran in,
- the king came running bareheaded, he knew
not what he
- did, he glorified God, all others were
- „THEY sat down on either side ofme; I
- soup, I said: „My lord, now my heart is
stronger. I long to
- mount a horse, to see river and field.
„They brought me a
- horse, I mounted, the king went with me.
- „WE went forth; we passed by the moedan and
- riverbank. I went home, I sent back the
- accompanied me to the threshold of the
house. I went in;
- I feit worse, woe was added to woe; I said
to myself: „I
- would die! What more can Fate do to me!"
- "THE bath of tears changed the crystal to
- ten thousand knives cut my heart still
more. The doorkeeper
- of the bedchamber entered, he called out
- I said to myself: 'What news does he know,
either this one
- or that one ?'
is Asmat'h's slave.' 'What knows
he?' I called.
'Ask!' He came in. He gave me a love-letter.
I read it.
I was surprised that I could diminish the
burning of my
heart; I had no suspicion of her, my heart
melancholy for this.
- "I WAS surprised wherefore I was loved, or
- dared to declare it to me. But, thought
- avails not, she will denounce me for
silence, she will lose
- hope of me, then will she reproach me. I
wrote what answer
- was fitting to enamourment.
- "DAYS passed, and heart burned me still
- flame. I no longer watched the soldiers
going to the plain
- to sport. I could not go to court. Many
physicians began to
- come. Then I began to pay the joys and
debts of the world.
- "THE physicians could do nothing for me;
- of darkness fell upon my heart. No one else
- burning of the hot fire. They blamed my
blood. The king
- ordered them to bleed my arm; I let it be
done, so as to
- hide my sufferings, to let none suspect.
- "AFTER my arm was bled I lay melancholy
alone in my
- bed. My slave came in; I glanced at him to
ask what he
- wanted. 'It is Asmath's slave,' said he. I
told him to bring
- him in. I thought in my heart: 'What has
she found in me,
- or who is she ?'
- "THE slave gave me a letter; I read it
slowly. I learned
- from the letter that she wished to come
quickly to me.
- I wrote in reply: 'It is time. Thou art
right to be surprised.
- I shall come if thou wantest me; suspect me
not of tardiness
- in coming.'
- "I SAID to my heart: 'Why do such lances
make thee thus
- melancholy ? I am Amirbar, king: all the
- subject to me. If it come to their
knowledge they will
- weight the deed a thousand times; if they
find it out they
- will not let me travel in their regions.'
- "A MAN came from the king saying he wished
- the news. I ordered him in; the king
commanded me to be bled.
- I said: 'My arm has been bled; I have begun
to mend. I
- come to your presence; it is fitting for me
to rejoice the
- more for this again.'
- "I; he girded WENT to court. The king said:
'Now, do this no more!'
- He seated me quiverless on a horse not my
- He mounted, he let fly the falcons, the
durajis shrank with
- fear, the archers formed in ranks said:
- "WE made a feast at home that day for those
who had been
- in the plain; the singers and minstrels
were not dumb; the
- king gave away many precious stones praised
- none of those present were left
dissatisfied that day.
- "I STROVE, but could not keep myself from
- I thought on her, the fire burned into a
larger flame in my
- heart. I took my comrades with me, I sat
down; they called
- me an aloe-tree; I drank and feasted to
hide my misery
- and grief.
- "MY treasurer of the household whispered in
- 'A certain woman asks if she can see the
- cover her face, worthy of the praise of the
wise.' I replied:
- 'Take her to my chamber; she is invited by
- "I ROSE up; those sitting at the banquet
- depart. 'By your leave,' said I, 'do not
rise; I shall not
- tarry long.' I went forth and entered the
chamber, a slave
- stood on guard at the door, I nerved my
heart to suffer
- "I HALTED at the door; the woman came
- meet me and did me homage. She said to me:
'Blessed is he
- whoever is worthy to come before thee!' I
- whoever saluted a lover ? I thought: 'She
knows not how
- to make love; and she knew she would sit
- "I ENTERED, sat down on the sofa, she came
to the edge
- of the carpet, not daring to sit near me
for she did not
- judge herself worthy. I said: 'Why do you
- when you are seeking for my love ?' The
- nothing, she was calculating her words.
- "SHE said to me: 'This day makes my heart
to burn with
- a flame of shame. Thou thinkest I came
hither to thee for
- that purpose, but I find cause for hope in
the fact that I
- have not waited long for thee; I cannot say
if I am worthy
- of this. God's mercy fails me.'
- "SHE rose; she said to me: 'I am bashful of
- reason is perplexed. Suspect me not of what
has been said
- by command of my mistress; such great
boldness is in order
- to please her heart. This letter will tell
thee for whom I