The Story of Avthandil's Return to Arabia After He Had Found and Parted
- WHEN he was gone thence sadness was surely
- he scratched his face, he froze the rose of
his cheeks, his
- hand became thorny; all the beasts licked up
the blood that
- flowed from him. His swift pace shortened the
- HE came there where he had parted from his
- saw him, they knew him, they rejoiced in such
- was fitting. They told the good tidings to
- men quickly ran to him: "He is come for whose
- hitherto joy has been embittered to us."
- HE went to meet him, he embraced him, he put
- on Avt'handil's hand, pouring forth tears he
- the shedder of tears in the field. Thus he
spoke: "O God, do
- I see really or darkly ? How am I worthy of
this, that mine
- eyes should gaze upon thee safe and sound!"
- THE knight saluted him low, he put face upon
face, he said:
- "I thank God that no grief afflicts thee!"
The lords did
- homage, whoever was worthy kissed him; there
- jubilation, great and small alike rejoiced.
- THEY came where a dwelling-house had been
built; all the
- city was assembled to see him; forthwith he
sat down to
- feast, gay, proud, merry; an assemblage of
tongues could not
- fully describe the joy of that day.
- HE told Shermadin, he narrated to him all he
- he had found that knight whom he likened to
- Avt'handil was hampered by tears; he said
- eyes: "Without him it seems to me alike to
dwell in palace
- or hut."
- SHERMADIN told him all the home news: "None
- thy departure; whatever thou toldst me so
have I done."
- He went not thence that day, he feasted and
rested; at dawn
- he mounted, he set out when the sun
enlightened the day.
- HE sat no more at feasting, nor stayed he
- Shermadin, the bearer of good tidings, went
- Avt'handil's arrival; swiftly he fared, in
three days he made
- a ten days' journey. That lion Avt'handil
rejoiced that he
- was to see the sun's rival.
- HE sent a message: "O king, proud art thou in
- majesty! I venture to tell thee this thing
with fear, respect
- and precaution: I esteemed myself worthless
in that I had
- learned nought of that knight, now I know and
will tell thee
- all; I come in joy and safety."
- ROSTEVAN is a king, proud, puissant,
- Shermadin delivered all his message in
- comes to the royal presence having found that
- king said: "Now I know that which I entreated
- for from God."
- SHERMADIN made report to Thinat'hin, that
- light: "Avt'handil conies to thy presence; he
- pleasing news." Thereat, light flashed forth
from her, even
- braver than the sun's. She gave him a gift,
and robes to all
- his people.
- THE king mounted and went to meet the knight
- coming thither, for this honour the sun-faced
- a great debt of gratitude; joyous and
warm-hearted they met,
- and some of the multitude of lords seemed as
- WHEN he approached, the knight alighted and
- to the king. Rostevan, possessed by excess of
joy, kissed him.
- Glad-hearted and merry they entered the royal
- there assembled rejoice at the arrival of the
- AVTHANDIL, the lion of lions, did homage to
her, the sun
- of suns; there the crystal, rose and jet were
- tenderness; her face was brighter than
- a dwelling-house was no fit abode for them,
the sky itself was
- their proper palace.
- THAT day they made a feast; drinking and
eating they made
- abundant. The king gazes on the knight, as a
- on a son. They were both beautified by a
snowfall of fresh
- snow, a dew on the rose; generously they gave
- like small coin.
- THE drinking was done, the drinkers separated
each to his
- own home; they suffered not the lords to go,
they set the
- knight near before them. The king inquires,
and he relates
- what trials he had undergone, and then what
he had seen
- and heard concerning the stranger.
- "WHEN I speak of him, be not astonished if I
- lament, saying: 'Ah me!' To the sun alone can
I liken him,
- or the face of him, the extinguisher of the
mind of all who
- see him; a wilted rose among thorns, alas! he
is far away!
- "WHEN the unendurable world makes a man
- the reed becomes like a thorn, the enamel
turns to saffron
- colour." While Avt'handil was telling this
his cheeks were
- bedewed with tears. He told in detail the
story he had heard
- from Tariel.
- "HAVING captured the caves in battle, he has
- house the abode of the Devis. He has the
damsel of his
- beloved as his attendant. He is clad in
tiger's skin; he
- despises brocade and cloth of gold. No more
sees he the
- world; an ever-new fire consumes him."
- WHEN he had finished the story—the matter of
- the sight of the light of that sun, not ugly
to look upon,
- gladdened him. They praised his rose-like
hand which had
- been firmly held. "This prowess is sufficient
for thee since
- thou art the undoer of grief."
- T'HINAT'HIN rejoiced at the hearing of this
- day she was merry at the drinking, and eating
- wearisome to her. Avt'handil met in his
- T'hinat'hin's slave who spoke wisely. She
ordered him to
- come to her. Tongue cannot tell how pleased
- THE knight went joyful, tender, not ill
content, the lion
- who had roamed the fields wilh the lions of
the field and had
- lost his colour, a knight of the world, in
quality a gem and
- a beautiful ruby of first water, but for
- he had exchanged heart for heart.
- BOLD sits the sun upon her throne, majestic,
- unconstrained, a fair aloe planted in Eden,
- watered by Euphrates' stream; the jetty hair
- eyebrow thickets adorned the crystal and
ruby. Who am
- I that I should praise her ? It needs the
myriad tongues of
- Athenian sages to praise her fitly.
- SHE set the joyful knight before her with his
- both sat full of gladness to converse as
befitted them; they
- spoke with dignity and fluency, not with
- She said: "Thou hast found him in whose quest
- seen misfortunes ?"
- HE answered: "When the world gives a man his
- desire, it befits not to recall grief which
is as a day that is
- past. I found the tree, an aloe in form,
watered by the
- stream of the world; there I found the face
which was like
- the rose, but now is wan.
- "THERE saw I the cypress, the rose-like,
whose power was
- spent; he says: 'I have lost the crystal, and
that where the
- crystal unites with enamel.' I burn for him
because, like me,
- unendurable fire consumes him." Then again he
- story he had heard from Tariel.
- HE recounted all his misfortunes and sorrows
by the road
- during the quest. Then he told her how God
- him worthy to find what he desired. "World,
life, man, all
- seems to him as to a beast; alone he roams
mad with the
- brutes, he weeps in the field.
- "ASK me not what praise can I speak, how
- understand from me! Nothing can please one
who has seen
- him; the eyes of the beholders are weakened
as by the
- brilliance of the sun; the rose is become
saffron, now the
- violet is gathered in nosegays."
- HE told her in detail what he knew, what he
- heard: "Like a tiger he has a trail, and for
house and abode
- a cave; a damsel is there ready to cherish
him, to maintain
- his life and bear his sorrows. Alas! The
world makes all
- dwellers in the world to shed tears!"
- WHEN the maiden heard this story she had
- fulfilment of her will; her moon-like face
shone as 'twere
- with radiance at the full. She said: "What
answer can I
- make to give comfort to him, and pleasure,
and what is the
- balm for the healing of his wound ?"
- THE knight replied: "Who has confidence in a
- He for my sake sacrifices himself to be
burned, he who must
- not be burned. I have appointed the time of
- I have promised him to sacrifice myself for
him. I swear it
- by my sun whom I contemplate as a sun!
- "A FRIEND should spare himself no trouble for
- sake, he should give heart for heart, love as
a road and
- a bridge. Then, again, the grief of his
beloved should be
- a great grief to a lover. Lo! without him joy
is nought to
- me, and myself I hold of none account."
- THE sun-like one said: "All my heart's desire
- first thou art come in safety having found
that which was
- lost, then the love implanted by me in thee
has grown, I
- have found balm for my heart hitherto burned.
- "THE passing world treats every man like the
- sometimes there is sunshine and sometimes the
- forth in wrath; hitherto grief has been upon
me, now this
- gladness is my lot; since the world has joy
in it why should
- any be sad!
- "THOU dost well not to break the oath thou
- it is necessary to fulfil strong love for a
friend, to seek for
- his cure, to know the unknown. But tell me,
what shall I,
- luckless, do if the sun of my heaven be
- THE knight replied: "By nearness to thee I
have united to
- seven woes eight. Vain is it for one who is
frozen to blow on
- water to warm himself therewith; vain is the
love, the kiss
- from beneath, of the sun at its setting. If I
be near thee,
- once is it woe, and if I go far from thee a
- "WOE is me if I wander where, alas! the flame
- roamer; my heart is the target of an arrow, a
dart is shot
- to pierce it; the term of my life seems by
this day to be
- shortened to one-third; I long for a refuge,
but the time is
- past for seeking shelter against troubles.
- "I HAVE heard your discourse, I have
- you command; the thorn reveals the rose, why
- I prick myself with prickles ? But, 0 sun,
- a sun for me, and let me carry with me some
- of life."
- THE knight, sweetly and in sweet-sounding
- giving good for good, spoke on this theme
like a pleasant
- instructor to a pupil. The maiden gave him a
- fulfilled his desire, and God grant that
their present joy be
- WHAT is better than for a man to approach the
jet to the
- crystal and ruby, or to plant in the garden
the aloe near the
- cypress, to water it and make a tree of it,
to cause joy to the
- gazer and sorrow to him who cannot look
thereon ? Woe to
- the parted lover! He will be groaning,
- THEY found all their joy in gazing at each
- knight went away, sundered from her he went
- heart; the sun wept tears of blood more
abundant than the
- sea, and said: "The world is insatiable,
alas! in the drinking
- of my blood!"
- THE knight went melancholy away, he beats his
- and so bruises it, for love makes a man weep
and melts his
- heart. When a cloud hides the sun the earth
is shadowed, so
- parting from his beloved makes twilight
again, not morning.
- BLOOD and tears mingled made channel upon
- his cheeks. He said: "My sun is by no means
- me because I sacrifice myself to her comfort.
I marvel how
- the black eyelash brands the heart of
diamond. Until I see
- her, O world, I wish for no joy from thee.
- "HIM who yesterday was an aloe planted,
- fully grown in Eden, him to-day the passing
- through with her lance, pierces with her
knife. To-day my
- heart is caught in a net of unquenchable
fire. Now know I the way of the world; it is a tale and nonsense."
- THUS speaking, the tears gush forth, he
- shudders; with heart-sigh, with deep groan,
his form bends
- and sways. Converse with the beloved is
- parting. Alas! 0 passing world! The end
- swathes man.
- THE knight went and sat in his chamber;
- weeps, sometimes he swoons, but in spirit he
is near his
- beloved, he is not cut off from her. Like
verdure in hoarfrost
- the hue of his face fades; see how soon lack
of sun is
- apparent on the rose!
- ACCURSED is the heart of man, greedy,
- sometimes the heart desiring joys endures all
- is the heart, perverse in seeing, not at all
able to measure;
- no king, nor even death itself, can master
- WHILE he spoke to his heart hearty words, he
- pearls, the love-token of his sun, which had
engirt the arm
- of his sun, and were comparable to her teeth;
he put them
- to his mouth, he kissed them, his tears
flowed like byssus.
- WHEN day dawned there came an inquirer
calling him to
- the court; the knight went forth, proud,
gentle, not having
- slept, unrefreshed by sleep. A host of
spectators who had
- hastened stood crowding one upon another. The
- arrayed for the field; drum and clarion were
- THE king mounted. How can the pomp of those
- told now ? By reason of the beating of the
copper drums no
- word was heard by the ears. The hawks
darkened the sun;
- hither and thither coursed the hounds; that
day the fields
- were dyed purple with the blood shed by them.
- THEY hunted, they returned joyful, having
- meadow; they took in with them lords, princes
and all the
- hosts. The king sat down; he found the
couches and all the
- pavilions adorned; harp harmonized with
- was a full choir.
- THE knight sat near the king, one questioned,
- replied; the crystal and ruby of their lips
shone transparent. the lightning of their teeth flashed; those who were
worthy sat near, they listened; afar off the hosts were grouped:
- none dared speak without mention of Tariel.
- THE knight departed sad at heart, his tears
flowed on the
- fields; nought save his love passed before
- sometimes he rises, sometimes he lies down.
How can one
- sleep who is mad! Whose heart e'er hearkened
to a praver
- for patience!
- HE lies down; he says: "What can I imagine as
- consolation for my heart ? I am sundered from
- tree, in form as a reed, reared in Eden, thou
joy of thy beholders, cause of woe to them that cannot gaze on thee.
- Since I am unworthy to see thee manifestly,
- I might behold thee in a dream."
- THUS spake he, weeping, with flowing tears.
- he addressed his heart: "Patience is like the
- of wisdom. If we endure not what can we do ?
How can we
- adapt ourselves to anguish ? If we desire
happiness from God
- we must accept griefs also."
- AGAIN he says: "0 heart, however much thou
- desire for death it is better to bear life,
sacrificing self for
- her; but hide it, let not the flame of thy
fire be seen again.
- It ill befits a lover to expose his love."