Tariel Tells of the Killing of the Lion and the Tiger
904
"WITH my tongue will I relate to thee in detail all that
hath befallen me; then indeed with wise heart judge the
truth. I expected thee, awaiting thee was irksome to me,
I could no longer endure the cave, I wished to ride in the
plain.
905
"I CAME up that hill, I had traversed these reeds; a
lion and a tiger met, they came together; they seemed to
me to be enamoured, it rejoiced me to see them; but what
they did to each other surprised me, horrified me.
906
"I CAME up the hill, the lion and tiger came walking
together; they were to me like a picture of lovers, my
burning fires were quenched. They came together and
began to fight, embittered they struggled; the lion pursues,
the tiger flees. They were not commended by me.
907
"FIRST they sported gaily, then they quarrelled flercehy;
each struck the other with its paw, they had no fear of
death; the tiger lost heart, even as women do: the lion
fiercely pursued, none could have calmed him.
908
"THE behaviour of the lion displeased me. I said: 'Thou
art out of thy wits. Why annoy'st thou thy beloved? Fie on
such bravery!"' I rushed on him with my bared sword, I
gave him to be pierced by the spear, I struck his head,
I killed him, I freed him from this world's woe.
909
"I THREW away my sword, I leaped down, I caught the
tiger with my hands, I wished to kiss it for the sake of her
for whom hot fires burn me. It roared at me, and worried me
with its blood-shedding paws. I could bear no more; with
enraged heart I killed it too.
910
"HOWEVER much I soothed it, the tiger became not
calm. I grew angry, I brandished it, dashed it on the ground,
shattered it. I remembered how I had striven with my
beloved. Yet my soul tore not itself altogether out of me.
Why, then, art thou astonished that I shed tears!
911
"BEHOLD, brother! I have told the woes that grieved me.
Life itself befits me not. Why didst thou wonder that I am
thus fordone ? I am sundered from life, death is become shy
of me." So the knight ended his story, sighed, and wept
aloud.