Avt’handil Comes Upon the Unconscious Tariel
- WEEPING and pale, the knight went his way and
- he mounted a certain hill, the plain appeared
- and shadow. He saw a black horse standing
with the bridle
- on his neck on the edge of the rushes. He
- "Undoubtedly it is he; of that there can be
- WHEN he saw, the heart of the knight leaped
up and was
- lightened; here to him, distressed, joy
became not tenfold,
- but a thousandfold; the rose of his cheeks
- colour, the crystal of his face became
crystal indeed, the
- jet of his eyes grew jetty; like a whirlwind
- down, he rested not from gazing at him.
- WHEN he saw him, Tariel was indeed grieved;
- with drawn face in state near unto death, his
- rent, his head was all torn, he could no
longer feel, he had
- stepped forth from the world.
- ON one side lay a slain lion and a
- on the other a tiger stricken down a lifeless
- his eyes, as from a fountain, tears flowed
fiercely forth; thus
- there a flaming fire burned his heart.
- HE could not even open his eyes, he had
- consciousness, he was come nigh to death, he
- removed from joy. The knjght calls him by
name, he tries
- to rouse him by speech; he cannot make him
hear; he leaped
- towards him; the brother shows his
- HE wipes away TariePs tears with his hand, he
- his eyes with his sleeve; he sits down near
by and only calls
- him by name; he says: "Know'st thou not me,
- for thy sake wandering and mad ?" But he
- staring with fixed eyes.
- THIS is all thus, even as related by me. He
- the tears from his eyes, he somewhat recalled
- consciousness; then only he knew Avt'handil,
- embraced him, treated him as a brother. I
declare by the
- living God none like him was ever born.
- HE said: "Brother, I was not false to thee, I
- what I swore to thee; unparted from my soul I
- thee, thus have I kept my vow; now leave me;
- I shall weep and beat my head, but I entreat
- burial, that I be not yielded to the beasts
- THE knight replied: "What ails thee? Why
doest thou an
- evil deed ? Who hath not been a lover, whom
- furnace not consume ? Who hath done like thee
- race of other men! Why art thou seized by
Satan, why kill
- thyself by thine own will ?
- "IF thou art wise, all the sages agree with
- 'A man must be manly, it is better that he
should weep as
- seldom as possible; in grief one should
- like a stone wall. ‘Through his own reason a
man falls into
- "THOU art wise, and yet knowest not to choose
- to the sayings of the wise. Thou weepest in
the plain and
- livest with the beasts; what desire canst
thou thus fulfil ?
- If thou renounce the world thou canst not
attain her for
- whose sake thou diest. Why bindest thou a
hale head, why
- openest thou the wound afresh ?
- . "WHO hath not been a lover, whom hath the
- consumed ? Who hath not seen pains, who
faints not for
- somebody ? Tell me, what has been unexampled!
- should thy spirits flee! Know'st thou not
that none e'er
- plucked a thornless rose!
- "THEY asked the rose: 'Who made thee so
lovely in form
- and face ? I marvel why thou art thorny, why
finding thee is
- pain!' It said: 'Thou findest the sweet with
- whatever costs dear is better; when the
lovely is cheapened
- it is no longer worth even dried fruit.'
- "SINCE the soulless, inanimate rose speaks
thus, who then
- can harvest joy who hath not first travailed
- Who hath ever heard of aught harmless that
was the work
- of devilry ? Why dost thou murmur at Fate ?
What hath it
- done unexampled ?
- "HEARKEN to what I have said, mount, let us
go at ease.
- Follow not after thine own counsel and
judgement; do that
- thou desirest not, follow not the will of
desires; were it not
- better thus I would not tell thee, mistrust
not that I shall
- flatter thee in aught."
- TARIEL said: "Brother, what shall I say to
- have I control of my tongue; maddened, I have
- to hearken to thy words. How easy to thee
- of the suffering of my torments! Now am I
- to death; the time of my joy draws nigh.
- "DYING, for her I pray; never shall I entreat
her with my tongue. Lovers here parted, there indeed may we be united,
there again see each other, again find some joy. Come, O friends, bury
me, cast clods upon me!
- "HOW shall the lover not see his love, how
- Gladly I go to her; then will she wend to me.
I shall meet
- her, she shall meet me; she shall weep for me
and make me
- weep. Inquire of a hundred, do what pleaseth
- in spite of what any may advise thee.
- "BUT know thou this as my verdict, I speak to
- of truth: Death draws nigh to me, leave me
alone, I shall
- tarry but a little while; if I be not living,
of what use am
- I to thee ? If I survive, what canst thou
make of me, mad ?
- Mine elements are dissolved; they are joining
the ranks of
- "WHAT thou hast said and what thou speakest I
- Understand not, nor have I leisure to listen
to these things.
- Death draws nigh me maddened; life is but for
- Now the world is grown distasteful to me—more
than at any
- time heretofore. I, too, go thither to that
earth whereon the
- moisture of my tears flows.
- "WISE! Who is wise, what is wise, how can a
- wisely ? Had I my wits such discourse would
be fitting. The
- rose cannot be without the sun; if it be so,
it begins to fade.
- Thou weariest me, leave me, I have no time, I
- no more."
- AVT'HANDIL spoke again with words of many
- said: "By my head! If thou diest what good
will it do to
- her! Do it not! It is not the better deed. Be
not thine own
- foe!" But he cannot lead him away; he can do
- at all by speech
- THEN he said: "Well, since thou wilt by no
- to me, I will not weary thee; my tongue has
- in vain. If death be better for thee, die!
Let the rose
- wither - they all wither! One thing only I
pray thee, grant
- me this"—for this his tears were flowing—
- "WHERE the Indians1
engird the crystal and rose with
- a hedge of jet—from this am I parted; hastily
I went, not
- quietly. The king cannot keep me by his
- Thou wilt not unite with me, thou wilt
renounce me; now
- how can I speak my joy!
- " SEND me not heart-sore away, grant me one
- Mount once thy steed, let me see thee,
ravisher of my soul.
- on horseback: perchance: perchance then this
present grief will flee
- away, I shall go and leave thee, let thy will
- HE entreated him: "Mount!" He begged and
- he entreated him eight times. He knew that
- chase away his sadness, that he would bend
the reedy stem,
- and make a tent of the jet eyelashes. He made
- obedient; it pleased Avt'handil; Tariel
sighed not nor
- HE said plainly: "I will mount; bring forward
- Avt'handil brought the horse and gently
helped him to
- mount; he did not make him pant with haste;
he took him
- towards the plain, he made his graceful form
to sway. Some
- time they rode; going made him seem better.
- AVT'HANDIL entertains him, and speaks fair
- him; for Tariel's sake he moved his
coral-coloured lips in
- speech. To hear him would make young the aged
- a listener. He put away melancholy; he took
- WHEN the elixir of grief perceived the
- not to be depicted lightened his rose-like
- Avt'handil, the physician of the reasonable,
but despair of
- the foolish, spoke words of reason to him who
- THEY began to converse; he spoke a frank
- thing will I say to thee: Open to me what is
- armlet of her by whom thou art wounded—how
- thou love it ? How dost thou prize it ? Tell
me, then let me
- HE said: "How can I tell thee the likeness of
- incomparable picture! It is my life, the
giver of my groans,
- better to me than all the world-water, earth
and tree. To
- hearken to that to which one should not
listen is more bitter
- than vinegar!"
- AVT'HANDIL said: "I truly expected thee to
- Now, since thou hast said it, I will answer
thee, and think
- not I shall flatter thee; to lose Asmat'h
were worse than the
- loss of that armlet. I commend not thy
- choosing the worser
- "THIS armlet thou wearest is golden, molten
- goldsmith, inanimate, lifeless, speechless,
- thou no longer wantest Asmat'h! Behold a true
- First, she, luckless, was with Nestan; then
she is thine own
- adopted sister.
- "BETWEEN you and Nestan she formed a bond, by
- she has been called sister; she was the
- contrived your meeting, while she herself was
- being summoned by thee; she, upbringer of her
- up by her, she is mad for Nestan, and thou
- wretched woman, and wilt not see her? Bravo!
- judgement indeed!"
- HE said: "What thou sayest is only too true.
- Asmat'h, who thinks of Nestan and sees me. I
- to live; thou art come in time to quench the
- I still survive, come, let us see, albeit I
am still dazed."
- HE obeyed. Avt'handil and the Amirbar set
out. I cannot
- achieve the praise of their worth: teeth like
- cleft roses. The sweetly discoursing tongue
lures forth the
- serpent from its lair.
- THEREUPON Avt'handil says: "For thy sake will
- sacrifice mind, soul, heart; but be not thus,
open not thy
- wounds afresh. Learning avails thee not if
thou do not what
- the wise have said; of what advantage to thee
is a hidden
- treasure if thou wilt not use it ?
- "GRIEVING is of no use to thee; if thou art
- what good will it do thee ? Know'st thou not
that no man
- dies save by the will of Providence ?
Awaiting the sunbeams
- the rose fades not in three days. Luck,
endeavour and, if
- God will, victory shall be thy lot."
- TARIEL replied: "This teaching is worth all
the world to
- me. The intelligent loves the instructor; he
pierces the heart
- of the senseless. But what shall I do, how
can I endure
- when I am in excessive trouble ? My griefs
have hold of thee
- too. If, then, thou justify me not shall I
- "WAX hath an affinity with the heat of fire,
- is lighted; but water hath no such affinity
if wax fall into
- water it is quenched. Whatever thing afflicts
- himself, in that will he hold for the sake of
- Why know'st thou not once for all in what way
- melts ?"