Tariel Goes Again to the Cave and Sees the Treasure
THIS hidden thing Divons1 the sage reveals: "God sends
good. He creates no evil. He shortens the bad to a moment,
He renews the good for a long time, and His perfect self He
makes more perfect. He degrades not Himself."
THOSE lions, those suns, set out from P'hridon's country.
They lead with them the sun-faced, the maiden, the amazing
to beholders; the raven's tail, ordered, hangs coiled by the
crystal; beauty, tenderness, there adorned the ruby of
THAT sun sat in a palanquin, and thus they made her fare.
They followed the chase; there caused they blood to flow.
Wherever they came upon a land they were the joy of
beholders, they went forth to meet them, gave gifts,
eulogized, reviled them not.
IT was as if the sun sat in the firmament amid moons.
Many days they journeyed, merry, sagely discoursing,
within those great plains on all sides unattained of men.
They reached the neighbourhood of that rock where Tariel
had been.
TARIEL said: "It is seemly that I should be your host this
day. Thither will I go where I was while madness afflicted
me. There will Asmat'h entertain us; she hath store of
smoked meat. When I give you fair gifts you shall praise
the variety of the treasure."
THEY went in; they dismounted in that cave of the great
rocks. Asmat'h had venison; she carves it for the guests.
They were merry, they joked at the passing of those deeds:
they thanked God that He had turned their days of woe to
THEY explored the hill abounding in caves, merry they
played; they found those treasures sealed up by Tariel,
uncounted by any, apprehended by none; they say not with
dissatisfied hearts: "We lack!"
HE gave many fair gifts, to each what was fitting; then he
enriched P'hridon's people, army and generals alike; every
man was enriched, all those who came with them, but there
lay so much treasure it seemed still untouched by man.
HE said to P'hridon: "Hard will it be for me to pay the
debt I owe thee; but it is said: 'A man who is a doer of good
loseth not in the end.' Now the treasure, as much as lieth
here or is to be found, let it all be thine, take it away, as it
belongs to thee."
P'HRIDON humbly did homage, he expressed exceeding
gratitude: "O king, why thinkest thou me stupid and thus
mazed ? Every enemy seems to thee as straw, however much
he may be like a thick cudgel. My joy lasts but so long as
I shall be a gazer on thee."
P'HRIDON made men go back to bring camels to take
away all this treasure to his home. Now they set out thence
on the road leading to Arabia. Avt'handil is a minished
moon by longing to be united with the sun.
WHEN many days were passed they reached the boundaries
of Arabia; they saw villages, castles, frequent,
uninterrupted; those dwelling therein had clothed their
forms in blue and green, all are bathed in tears for
TARIEL sent a man to the presence of King Rostevan to
say: "I venture, 0 king, to wish you the fulfilment of your
desires; I, King of the Indians, come to your royal court;
I will show thee the rosebud, unfaded, unplucked.
"FORMERLY the sight ofme-the ground under your
feet-made you angry: thou didst ill in attempting to capture
me, to urge thy horse against me; I showed thine armies
some sign of anger, I massacred many slaves,
servants of your palace.
"NOW therefore I come before you, I have gone out of my
way; you will pardon me that in which I sinned against
thee, let thy wrath be sufficient. We have no offerings, as
P'hridon and his knights can testify; the only gift I have
brought you is your Avt'handil."
TONGUE cannot shortly te11 how they rejoiced when the messenger of these good tidings come to the king; the brilliancy of three rays was added to T'hinat'hin's checks, the shadow of eyebrows and lashes makes fairer the crystal and ruby.
THEY beat the kettledrums and peals of joyous laughter
were heard, the soldiers ran hither and thither, they
desired to run to meet them, they began to lead out the
horses and to bring out saddles, a multitude of knights,
swift-armed, stout-hearted, mounted.
THE king mounted, the princes and the armies entire go
to meet them; whoever hears, others from diverse parts
come to his presence; all give thanks to God, they raise their
voices, they say: "Evil hath no existence; good things are
ever ready for thee!"
WHEN they met and the meeters perceived each other,
Avt'handil said with tender words to Tariel: "Behold,
seest thou the dust-dyed plains ? Therefore a furnace
consumes me, my heart is fevered and sad.
"THERE is my foster-father; he is come to meet you.
I cannot go thither, I am ashamed, a furnace consumes my heart; living man hath never been shamed as I am. What you intend to do for me you know, also P'hridon who is beside you."
TARIEL said ; "Thou dost well to show respect to thy lord.
Now stay, come not thither, stay alone without me. I will
go; I will tell the king of thy hiding. With God's help I
think I shall soon unite thee to that sun with the form of an
THE lion Avt'handil tarried there; a little tent was put up.
Nestan-Daredjan also stayed there, the amazer of beholders;
the zephyr of her eyelashes is wafted like a north-east wind.
The King of the Indians departed, straight, not secretly.
P'HRIDON went with him; of a truth they were a long
time crossing the field. Tariel went forward alone, his
figure swayed. The king knew of their coming; he
dismounted and did homage to the bold one strong as a
lion; he does honour to the King of the Indians as a father.
TARIEL also did homage; he goes to kiss, to greet. The
king kissed his neck to give pleasure to his lips; in wonder
he speaks, in order to embolden him; "Thou art the sun;
separation from thee turns day into night."
THE king marvelled at his beauty and good looks, he gazes
with wonder on his face, he praises the hardihood of his
arms. Then P'hridon also greeted him; he did homage to
the king, to the king eager for the sight of Avt'handil.
THE king shrinks from praising Tariel, and is discouraged.
Tariel says; "O king, hereby is my heart subjected to thee;
I marvel how you can think thus of my worth; since
Avt'handil is thine, how can any other please thee!
"DOST thou not wonder at not seeing him, and at his
tarrying! Come and let us sit down, 0 king, pleasant is this
meadow of verdure; I will venture to tell you the reason
why I could not bring him before you; I have a favour to
ask of you, now I must beg leave of you."
THE kings sat down; the multitude of the host stood
round. A smile brighter than a lamp flits over Tariel’s face;
the sight maddens the beholders of his bearing and gestures.
He began to relate to the king a speech wisely chosen:
"0 KING, 1 hold myself unworthy to mention this, but I
am come before you to entreat, to beg; he himself beseeches
who seems a sun-like shedder of rays, he who is my light and
"NOW we both venture to approach thee with prayer and
entreaty. Avt'handil gave me balm befitting him; he forgot
that woes quite equal to ours afflicted him. I will not weary
thee; a long story is beyond our powers.
"YOUR children love each other, the maid loves him and
he the maid; therefore I think on him pitiful, tearful and
wan, on bended knee I entreat thee, let them no longer be
consumed by flame, but give your daughter to the
strong-armed, stout-hearted one.
"NO more than this will I ask of thee, neither short nor
long." He drew forth his handkerchief, tied it round his
neck, rose up, bent his knee, besought him as a teacher.
It astonished all men who heard this story.
WHEN he saw Tariel on his bended knees, the king was
dismayed; he went back a long way, he did homage, he fell
down to the earth. He said: "0 monarch, all my joy is
blown away from me; this abasement of you thus has
saddened for me the sight of you.
"HOW could it be that man should not grant thee whatever
thou desirest, or that I should grudge my daughter if thou
didst wish to devote her to death or slavery even! If you
had ordered it from your home, not even then would my
tears flow; none other can she find like him if she fly up
even to heaven!
"I COULD not find a better son-in-law than Avt'handil.
Myself I have given the realm to my daughter, she has it
and it befits her; the rose blooms anew, my flower is blown.
What objection can I make? Only let him be satisfied!
"IF thou wert to marry her to some slave, even then I
would not grudge her to thee. Who could refuse thee, how
could any save a madman quarrel with thee! If I loved not
Avt'handil, why did I thus yearn for him? Verily, 0 God,
I am in Thy presence, this is confirmed by me."
WHEN Tariel heard this speech from the king, he bowed
himself, humbly did homage, fell on his face. Then the king
did homage to him, he came forward, he stood before him.
They thanked each other, nor were they at all annoyed.
P'HRIDON mounted, he galloped as herald of good tidings
to Avt'handil-indeed, he also rejoiced at this great joy-he
went and took him, led him and accompanied him; but he
is abashed before the king, darkly he shed his beam.
THE king arose, met him; the knight dismounted when the
king came; in his hands he had a handkerchief, therewith
he hid his face. The sun was concealed by a cloud, it grew
gloomy, the rose was chilled; but how could anything hide
his beauty!
THE king would have kissed him, tears no longer flow,
Avt'handil embraced his feet, the ray streams down; the
king said: "Arise, be not ashamed, thou hast revealed thy
prowess; since thou art loyal to me, be not ashamed; why
shouldst thou be ashamed before me ?"
HE embraced him, he kissed him all over his face; he said:
"Thou hast quenched my hot fire, though tardily hast thou
appeared to me as water; to her who has herded in the jet
and the vicinity of the eyelashes lo-morrow I shall unite
thee, O lion, with the sun, come quickly to her."
THE king embraced the neck of that lion and hero-like one,
he seats him close, he speaks to him, kisses him, gazes on his
face. That sun so met royalty, as he was worthy of it. Then
is joy pleasant, when a man hath passed through grief.
THE knight says to the king: "I marvel that thou speakest
of something else, why thou desirest not to see the sun, or
why thou delayest! Meet her gaily, conduct her to your
house; be clothed in her rays, set them around as a light."
HE told Tariel also; they mounted and went to meet the
lady. The cheeks of those three Goliaths were dyed to sun
colour; they met what they desired, they found what they
sought; they had handled their swords, not girded them
idly on their loins.
DISMOUNTING afar off, the king greeted the lady, the
lightning flashing from her cheeks blinded his eyes; she met
him, sitting in the palanquin she kissed him. The king began
a eulogy; he was wholly bereft of his wits.
HE said: "0 sun, how shall I praise thee, O light, and
maker of good weather! For thy sake understandings are
mad, and not for nought. O sun-like and moon-like, to what
planet do they liken thee! No longer do I wish to look on
you, O ye roses and violets!"
ALL they that saw her marvelled at the shedding of her
rays. Like a sun she blinded the eyes of the onlookers by
the sight of her light; wheresoever she appeared crowds
came running towards her; burned by her they found the
comfort of their hearts in gazing.
THEY mounted, they all went homewards, they have the
seven planets to compare with that sun; her beauty is
incomprehensible, it is beyond their understanding. Soon
they came to the place of the king's dwelling-house.
. THEY came in, they saw T'hinat'hin, the bestower of woe
on them that look on her; the wearing of the purple
beautified the sceptre and crown-bearer; the radiance of her
face rested on the faces of the new-comers. The King of the
Indians entered, that hero-like sun.
. TARIEL and his wife humbly saluted the maid, they met,
kissed and held pleasant converse, they illumined that hall,
they made not the light to fade; they turned crystal and
ruby of Badakhshan into cheeks, jet into eyelashes.
THINAT’HIN invited them up to the lofty royal throne.
Tariel said: "Sit thou; it is desired by the Supreme Judge;
this day more than all days thy throne benefits thee, I seat
the lion of lions beside thee, the sun of suns."
BOTH took him by the hand and set him on her throne;
they placed Avt'handil by the side of her for desire of whom
he was slain; she is better than the seen and the unseen,
better than all sights. Think not any were like them in love,
not even Ramin and Vis.
THE maiden was bashful and astonished to have
Avt'handil seated by her side; her colour paled and her
heart shot forth a tremor from within. The king said:
"Child, why art thou so bashful before me ? The sages say
that love in its end will not fail.
"NOW, children, God grant you a thousand years' length
of life, happiness, prosperity, glory, and, moreover, freedom
from ills; may heaven not make you fickle, may it fall to
your lot to be steadfast like it, may my fate to be have the
earth heaped over me by your hands."
THEN the king commanded the armies to do homage to
Avt'handil: "This is your king," quoth he, "such was God's
will. This day he hath my throne, I have old age like an
infection. Serve him as well as you have served me, keep my
THE soldiers and the lords bent, humbly they did homage;
they said: "Let us be as the earth to them that dispose of
our lives, them who magnify those of us who are obedient,
who liken the disobedient unto corpses, who make the arms
of foes to fail and encourage our hearts!"
TARIEL too spoke with a eulogy the glorification of hope;
he said to the maiden: "You are united, no longer the heat
of fires burns thee, thy husband is my brother, I desire too
that you be my sister, I will bring to nought those who are
false and opposed to thee."

1 Dionysius, the Areopagite.