Avt’handil’s Discourse With Shermadin When He Stole Away
772
THE sun-faced, dispenser of light, speaks to Shermadin and
says: "This day is hope, the comforter of my heart, that
thou wilt show what thou canst do for me." It needs
a reader and a listener for the praise of this story of them.
773
HE says: "Rostevan did not grant me leave, he hearkened
not even to a word from me; he knows not wherein one's
being lies and how one's life is in another. Without Tariel in
truth I live not, neither abroad nor at home. What
unrighteous deed has God ever forgiven to anyone ?
774
"THOUGH I resolved not to forsake him, and my decision
is final-every liar and traitor insults God by his lies-the
heart seeing not him weeps and sighs, moans and groans,
it comes not near to any joy, it shudders, grows sullen,
shuns all mankind!
775
"THREE are the ways of showing friendship by a friend:
First, the wish for nearness, impatience of distance; then
giving and not grudging, unweariedness in liberality; and
attention and aid, roaming in the fields to help him.
776
"BUT why should I lengthen speech; it is time to shorten it
Now to steal away is the healing of this bruised heart.
Hearken to what I shall entreat so long as thou hast time in
my company, and fortify thyself in observance of w hat
I have already taught thee.
777
"NOW prepare as first leader to serve the sovereigns,
manifest thy valour and integrity in all things. Take care
of my household, command my troops, repeat anew the
service, the attention thou hast hitherto shown.
778
"KEEP my foes out of the marches, let not thy might fail
in aught, grudge no good to the loyal, may they that are
false-hearted towards thee be slain; if I return, well shall
thy due be repaid to thee by me; service to a master is
never lost."
779
WHEN he heard this, the hot tear flowed from Shermadin's
eyes. Quoth he: "Wherefore should I be affrighted by
sorrow in loneliness! But what shall I do without thee—
twilight will fall on my heart! Take me with thee to serve
thee; I will help thee however thou wishest.
780
"WHO has heard of so great wandering by one alone! Who
has heard of a knight holding back from his lord in trouble!
Thinking thee lost, what shall I, useless, do here ?" The
knight answered: "I cannot take thee, however many tears
thou sheddest.
781
"HOW can I disbelieve thy love for me! But the thing
cannot be; thus time has taken up arms against me. To
whom can I entrust my house; save thee, who is fit ? Calm
thy heart, believe me, I cannot take thee! I cannot!
I cannot!
782
"SINCE I am a lover I must run mad alone in the fields.
Should not one with blood-stained tears roam alone!
Errantry is the business of lovers; how can one wait till he
is grown old ? This world is such, be thou assured thereof
and submit.
783
"WHEN I am far from thee, think of me, love me. I fear
not my foes; I shall take care of myself. A brave man must
be of good cheer, he must not mope in grief; I hate when a
man does not stop at a shameful deed.
784
"I AM such an one who considers this world as an old
cucumber, one to whom death for a friend seems a sport
and a play. I have left my sun, she grants me leave, why
should I linger! Then, if I leave my sun can I not leave my
home?
785
. "NOW give thee my testament addressed to Rostevan.
I will confide thee to him, and entreat him to care for thee
as befits one brought up by me. Should I die, slay not
thyself; do not the deed of Satan; weep thereupon, fill the
channel of the eyes."