Avt’handil’s Going to P’hridon's
When He Parted From Tariel
- WEEPING the knight went seventy days along
the road to
- the seashore. Afar off he saw in the sea
- approaching; he waited and asked: "Who are
you, I beg
- you to tell me this: Whose realm is this or
- doth it obey?"
- THEY answered: "O fair efface and form,
- pleasing to us thou seemest, therefore with
- address thee; hereunto is the boundary of the
- marching with the border of P'hridon, whose
men we are: of
- him shall we tell thee, if we faint not from
gazing on thee.
- "NURADIN P'hridon is king of this our land, a
- brave, generous, mighty, on horseback a swift
- has power to harm so fair a sun; he is our
lord, he like the
- beams spread forth from heaven."
- THE knight said: "My brethren, in you have 1
- good men. I seek your king, teach me whither
I should go.
- How shall I go, when shall I come thither,
how long is the
- road?" The boatmen guided him; they left not
- THEY reported to him: "This is the road going
- Mulghazanzar, there our king will meet thee,
he of the swift
- arrow, the keen sword. Thou shalt arrive
there ten days
- hence, O thou of the cypress form, ruby in
hue. Alas! why
- dost thou, a stranger, burn us strangers, why
- thou us like a flame of fire!"
- THE knight said: "I marvel, brethren, why you
- heart-slain for me, or how the faded winter
- please you thus! If you had seen us then when
- proud, uncrippled, we charmed them that gazed
on us, with
- us they sat joyful."
- THEY departed, the knight turned to pursue
his road, he
- whose form is like the cypress, whose heart
is like iron. He
- puts his horse to a canter, he discourses, he
- to comfort himself; the narcissi thunder, it
- they lave the crystal and the enamel.
- WHATEVER strangers he met on the road served
- were subservient to him; they came to gaze on
- courted him, it was hard for them to let him
- could they bear parting, they gave him a
guide for the road,
- whatever he asked they told him.
- HE neared Mulghazanzar; soon he ended the
long road. In
- the plain he saw an army of soldiers, and
they were seen to
- be destroying game; on all sides a chain was
- encircled the outside of the field; they shot
- they mowed down beasts like standing corn.
- HE met a man, he asked him tidings of that
- said : "Whose is this sound of trampling and
- answered: "P'hridon the monarch, King of
- hunts, he holds the edge of the sedgy plain
- MATCHLESS in mien he went towards the troops,
- became merry, how can I ever tell the beauty
- knight! Those who are parted from him he
makes to freeze,
- like the sun he burns them that are met with
- maddens, if they look on him, those who gaze,
- sways like a tree.
- IN the very midst of the hosts an eagle
- somewhere. The knight urged on his horse, he
- himself, he feared not; he drew his bow and
let the arrow
- fly; the eagle fell and blood flowed from it;
- and clipped its wings; calmly he remounted,
he panted not.
- WHEN they saw him, the archers ceased to
- broke the circle, they came, they pressed
upon him, they
- fainted, from all sides they surrounded him,
- behind. They dared not ask him: "Who art
- could they say aught to him.
- IN the meadow was a hill, on it stood
- men worthy to shoot with him attended him;
- Avt'handil made his way, after him followed
the centre of
- the host. P'hridon marvelled. "What are they
- said he; he was angry with his armies.
- P'HRIDON sent out a slave, saying: "Go, see
- what they are doing, why they have broken the
- whither blind-like they go." The slave
- them, he saw the cypress, the sapling form;
he stood, his
- eyes became dazed, he forgot the words he had
- AVT'HANDIL perceived that this man was come
- news of him. He said: "I beg thee to convey
- to thy lord from me: 'I am a stranger,
- removed from my home, sworn brother to
Tariel, sent to
- THE slave went to P'hridon to tell him his
- said: "I have seen a sun arrived, he seems
- lightener of day. I think even sages would be
- if they saw him anywhere. Quoth he: 'I am
- come to join the brave P'hridon."'
- WHEN he heard the name of Tariel, P'hridon's
- lightened, from his eyes tears sprang forth,
his heart grew
- more agitated, a blast froze the rose, from
- whirled snowstorms. They met each other, each
- praised by the other, not dispraised.
- HASTILY P'hridon came down from the ridge; he
- descended to meet Avt'handil. When he looked
on him he
- said: "If this be not the sun, who is it ?"
- the praise P'hridon had heard from the slave.
- dismounted; joy made tears gush up.
- THEY embraced; they were not shy for being
- The knight seems peerless to P'hridon, and
- pleases the knight. Any onlookers who saw
- despise the sun. Slay me! if another like
them will ever be
- bargained for or sold in the bazaar.
- WHAT knights arc there like P’hridon! But
near him is
- one whom praises still more benefit; the sun
- planets invisible when they come near; a
candle gives no
- light by day, but its rays shine by night.
- THEY mounted their horses and set out for
- palace. The chase was broken up; they made an
- the slaying of beasts. From all sides the
troops thronged to
- gaze on Avt'handil; they said: "What creature
- with him ?"
- THE knight said to P'hridon: "Thou art eager,
- to hear my tidings. I will tell thee who I
am, whence I come,
- inasmuch as thou wishest to know, also whence
- Tariel and why I spoke of our brotherhood. He
- brother; 'Thou art my brother,' quoth he,
though I am
- scarce worthy to be his slave.
- "I AM King Rostevan's vassal, a knight
- Arabia, Spaspeti; by name they call me
Avt'handil, I am
- a noble of great family, reared as son of the
king, one to be
- respected, bold, none dares meddle with me.
- "ONE day the king mounted, went forth to
hunt; in the
- plain we saw Tariel, he poured forth tears
- fields; we were astonished, he surprised us,
we called and
- he came not, he made us angry; we knew not
- consumed him.
- "THE king shouted to the troops to seize him,
and he was
- irritated; without trouble he slew, battle
was not hard for
- him; of some he broke the arms and legs, some
- outright; there they learned that the course
of the moon is
- not to be turned back.
- "THE king, greatly indignant, perceived that
- could not capture him; himself he mounted and
- against him, the haughtily unfearing. When
Tariel knew it
- was the king, then he avoided his sword, he
gave the bridle
- to his horse, he was lost to our eyes.
- "WE sought and could find no trace; we
- devilry. The king was sad, forbad drinking,
- banquet. I could not endure lack of certainty
- story. I stole away in quest of him, fire
burned me, and
- "THREE years I sought him; I enjoyed not even
- saw Khatavians he had mauled; they showed him
to me. I
- found the yellowish rose, faint-rayed,
- welcomed me and loved me like a brother, like
- "HE took the caves from the Devis after great
- There Asmat'h attends the solitary, none else
- him; ever the old fire burns him, it is not
- Groaning befits one parted from him, a
- kerchief bound round the head.
- "ALONE in the cave tearful, tear-stained
- The knight hunts game for her as a lion for
- he brings it and thus he feeds her. He cannot
rest in one
- place. Save Asmat'h he desires not the sight
of any of man's
- "TO me, a stranger, he pleasantly narrated
- and pleasing story; he told me his tale, and
- What woe he has suffered this tongue of a
- now tell; longing slays him, and lack of the
sight of his
- "LIKE the moon he unceasingly roams, he rests
- sits on that horse thou gavest him, he never
- sees no speaking being, like a wild beast he
- Woe is me, remembering him; alas for him
dying for her
- "THE fire of that knight burns me, I am
- hot fire: I pitied him, and I became mad, my
- furious; I wished to seek remedies for him by
sea and land.
- I returned and saw the sovereigns, whose
- "I ENTREATED leave of absence; the king was
- at me, and fell into sadness. I deserted my
- they there cried, 'Woe!' I stole away, I
freed myself from
- the flood of tears of blood. Now I seek balm
for him;I turn
- about hither and thither.
- "HE told me tidings of thee, how he had made
- with thee. Now have I found thee, peerless,
worthy to be
- praised by the tongue, counsel me where it is
better to seek
- that heavenly sun, the joy of those who gaze
on her, the
- disturber of those that cannot see her."
- NOW P'hridon speaks, utters the words spoken
- knight; both in unison lamented in a threnody
- praise; sobbing, they wept with impatient
- the roses were sprinkled by the water of
tears dammed up
- in the jungle.
- AMONG the soldiers there arose the sound of
- the scratching of the face by some, the
casting away of
- the veils. P'hridon weeps, laments aloud the
- separation. Alas! the inconstancy and falsity
of this vain
- P'HRIDON laments: "How can we tell forth thy
- thou who canst not be praised, thou
- 0 sun of the earth, who transferrest the sun
- firmament from its course, joy, life,
quickener of them that
- are near thee; light of the planets of
heaven, consumer and
- swallower up!
- "SINCE I was removed from thee, life has been
- me. Though thou hast no leisure for me I long
for thee; to
- thee lack of me seems joy, it oppresses me
- without thee is empty; the world is become
hateful to me."
- P'HRIDON uttered these words in a beautiful
- They grew calm, they were silent; they rode
with no sign
- of song. Avt'handil is fair to beholders in
- loveliness; he covers the inky lakes of his
eyes with the jet
- ceiling of his lashes.
- THEY entered the city, there they found the
- adorned in perfection, with all the officers
of state mustered,
- the slaves delicately apparelled were in
- they were enraptured and ravished in heart
- THEY entered and held a great court, not a
- on this side and on that side ten times ten
- ranged; apart sat the two together; who can
tell forth their
- praise? Here enamel, there jet, adorned the
crystal and ruby
- of their faces.
- THEY sat, they banqueted, they multiplied the
- liquor; they entertained Avt'handil as
- kinsman; they brought beautiful vessels, all
- But the heart of those who looked on that
youth, alas! was
- given to flame.
- THAT day they drank, they ate, there was a
- the tribe of drinkers. Day dawned; they
- there lies abundance of satin; they clad him
- worth many thousands of drachmas; they girded
him with a
- girdle of inestimable worth.
- THE knight tarried some days, though he could
- delay; he went out hunting with P'hridon and
- slew alike from far and near whatever offered
itself to his
- hand; his archery put every bowman to shame.
- THE knight said to P'hridon: "Hear what I
have now to
- tell thee. Parting from you seems to me like
- thereby shall I harm myself; but I, unhappy,
have not time
- to stay; another fire also consumes me. A
long road, an
- urgent deed I have to do, I shall be very
- "RIGHT is he who sheds tears at parting from.
- without fail I depart, therefore it is that
another fire burns
- me; to tarry is a mistake of a traveller, he
will do well
- to teach himself this; lead me to the
seashore where thou
- sawest that sun."
- P'HRIDON answered: "Nothing shall be said by
- hinder thee. I know thou hast no more time;
- pierces thee. Go! God will guide thee, may
thy foes be
- destroyed! But tell me, how shall I bear the
lack of thee ?
- "THIS I venture to tell thee: It is not
fitting that thou
- go away alone, I will give thee knights with
thee to serve
- and attend thee, armour and bedding, a mule,
- If thou take not these thou wilt have
trouble, tears will
- flow on the rose cheeks."
- HE brought out four slaves, trustworthy in
- complete armour for each man, with armpieces
- greaves, sixty pounds of the red gold, full
weight, not with
- any shortage, a peerless stallion with
- ON a strong-legged mule he packed bedding. He
- and P'hridon mounted and went forth with him
- fire burned and consumed him who awaited the
- He laments: "If the sun were near us, winter
- freeze us!"
- THE rumour of the knight's departure spread,
- themselves up to grief; the burgesses flocked
- who sold silk goods like those who sold
fruit; the voice of
- their lamentation was like thunder in the
air; they said:
- "We are removed from the sun; come, let us
close our eyes."
- THEY passed through the city, they went on,
- to the seashore where P'hridon had formerly
seen the sun
- seated; there they shed a rivulet of blood
from the lake of
- tears. P'hridon tells the story of that
- "HITHER the two Negro slaves brought by ship
- white-teethed, ruby-lipped - a black sight! I
- horse, I determined to steal her by sword and
arm; they saw
- me from afar, they soon fled from me, the
boat seemed like a
- THEY embraced each other, they multiplied the
- of tears; they kissed, and both their fires
- the inseparable sworn brothers parted like
- P'hridon remained, the knight went away, the
- slayer of gazers.