The Letter Written by Nestan-Daredjan
to Her Beloved
NOW she sobbing, weeping, writes to her beloved;
quenching with her tears the intense fires that consumed
him. She wrote a letter piercing the heart of the hearers.
She splits the rose; there appears the translucent crystal.
"O MINE own! this letter is the work of my hands; for pen
I have my form, a pen steeped in gall; for paper I glue
thy heart even to my heart; 0 heart, sad heart, thou art
bound, loose not thyself, now be bound!
"THOU seest, 0 mine own! of what deeds the world is a
doer. However much light shines, for me it is but darkness.
The wise know the world, therefore they despise it, to them
it is contemptible. My life without thee, woe is me! how
exceeding hard it is!
"THOU seest, mine own! how Fate and cursed time hath
parted us; no longer do I glad see thee, my glad loved one;
what, indeed, can the heart rent by thee do without thee!
My thought manifests now to thee what was hidden.
"BY thy sun! until now I thought not thou wert alive; as
for me, methought my life and all my resource had passed
away. Now when I hear news of thee, I magnify the
Creator and humble myself before God. All mine erstwhile
grief I weigh as joy.
"THY life is sufficient for my heart to hope in, a heart
all wounded and so consumed ? Think of me, remember me
as one lost to thee; I sit nursing the love I planted.
"NOW, 0 mine own, my story is not to be written to thee
by me; the tongue will tire, none that hear will believe!
P'hatman took me from sorcerers; may God protect her;
Now again the world hath done what befits it.
"WORLD hath now added worse woe to my woe, mv ill
luck was not appeased by these manifold afflictions; and
again it delivered me into the hands of the Kadjis, hard
to combat; Fate hath done to us, mine own, all that hath
befallen us.
"I AM sitting in a castle so lofty that eyes can scarce
see the ground; the road enters by a passage, over it stand
guards; day and night knights miss not their turn as
sentries, they will kill those that engage them, like fire wil
l they envelop them.
"SURELY thou thinkest not that these are of the same
kind as other warriors ? Slay me not with woes worse than
the present! I shall see thee dead, I shall be burnt up like
tinder by steel. Since I am sundered from thee, renournce
me with a heart harder than rock itself.
"BELOVED, sorrow not with such grief! Tell me, can
there be fur me another with the form of an aloe-tree! Life
without thee is nought for me, henceforth I should be full
of regret; either I would cast myself down from the rock
or slay myself with a knife.
"BY thy sun! thy moon will fall to the lot of none save
thee! By thy sun! to none shall she fall though triple suns
shone forth! Here would I dash myself down; the great
rocks are very nigh to me. To thee would I commit my
soul; perchance wings would be given to me by Heaven.
"ENTREAT God for me; it may he He will deliver me
from the travail of ihe world and from union with fire,
water, earth and air. Let Him give me wings and I shall fly
up, I shall attain my desire—day and night I shall gaze on
the sun's rays flashing in splendour.
"THE sun cannot be without thee, for thou art an atom of it; of a surety thou shalt adhere to it as its zodiac, and not as one rejected. There shall I seek thee; I shall liken thee to it, thou shalt enlighten my darkened heart. If my life was bitter, let my death be sweet!
"DEATH is no longer grievous to me, since it is to thee
I commit my soul; but I have laid thy love in my heart,
and there it rests. When I think of parting from thee, for me
wound is added to wound. Weep not and mourn not for me,
O mine own, for love of me!
"GO, betake thyself to India, be of some help to my
father, who is straitened by foes, helpless on all sides;
comfort the heart of him who suffers separation from me.
Think of me weeping for thy sake with undrying tears.
"WHATEVER complaint I have made against my Fate is
sufficient complaint. Know this, that true justice goeth
from heart to heart; for thy sake will I die, the ravens will
call me! 1 shall suffice for thy weeping and suffering.
"LO, mark the token from the veil that was thine; from
one end I have cut off a strip, O mine own; this is all that
is left to me in place of that great hope; in wrath the
wheel of the seven heavens hath turned upon us."
WHEN she had finished this letter written to her beloved,
she cut off a fringe from those veils; bareheaded, the
thick, long locks other hair became her well, the scent
blows from the aloe, breathing through ihe raven's wings.
THAT slave departed, journeying to Gulansharo; in one
instant he reached P'hatman's, he travelled not many
days. When this matter so dear to him had been
accomplished, Avt'handil with hands upraised thanks God.
with full understanding, not as one bemused.
HE said to P'hatman: "The thing desired is timely
finished for me; thy great zeal for my sake is still
unrecompensed. I go, I have no leisure to tarry longer,
last year's time is come. Swiftly shall T lead into Kadjet'hi
him who will annihilate and destroy them."
THE lady said: "O lion, the fire now becomes hotter; my
heart will be sundered from its light, thereby will it be
darkened; hasten, grieve not for me, the madman will still
remain mad. Should the Kadjis arrive before you, going
thither will be made difficult for you."
THE knight called P'hridon's slaves who attended him.
He said: "Corpses hitherto, now indeed are we enlivened;
we are renewed by the hearing of what we wished. I shall
show you our enemies wounded and thereby woe-stricken.
"GO and tell P'hridon this unvarnished story. I cannot
see him, I am hurried, my road is one of haste. Let him
strengthen his great voice to make it still more bold. I will
give you all the precious tissues taken by me as booty.
"GREAT is the debt laid upon me by you; I will show my
gratitude in another way when I join P'hridon again. For
the nonce, take away all that was reft from the pirates;
I can give you no more than this, I know that so I shall
seem to you niggardly.
"I HAVE no home near; I have no power to dispense
gifts." He gave them a ship full, beautiful things, a host in
number. He said: "Go, take them away, travel the road to
that same region. Give this letter from me, his sworn
brother, to P'hridon."