Here Is the Marriage of Avt'handil
and T’hinat’hin by the King of the Arabs
THAT day Avt'handil sits as lord and is high king;
tendernesses beautify Tariel who sits with him. Nestan-
Daredjan, the amazer of onlookers, is with T'hinat'hin; it is
as if heaven had bent down to earth, and two suns are
THEY began to bring bread to plenish the armies; beeves
and sheep arc slain more abundant than moss. There was
made an offering of presents, fitting to them. The ray of the
faces of them all lightens like the sun.
THE bowls were of jacinth, the cups were of ruby;
moreover, wondrously coloured vessels bear passing
wondrous seals. The panegyrist of that wedding would be
praised by the sages. O inlooker, thou wouldst have said
unto thy heart: "Be not loosed, be bound there!"
THE minstrels approached from all sides, there was heard
the sound of the cymbal; heaped like a hillock of gold and
cut rubies of Badakhshan; for drinkers flows a fountain of
wine from a hundred runlets, like a canal; from twilight to
dawn, there was noise, the time of mourning passed.
NONE remained without a gift, neither lame nor crippled;
pearls rolled to and fro, scattered, thrown about; satin and
solid gold were of none account, to be carried away. For
three days the King of the Indies was as a groomsman to
ON the morrow the King of the Arabs again entertains; he
is not listless. He said to Tariel: "Pleasant it is to gaze on
thy sun! Thou art king of all kings, and she queen. It
behoves us to be your slaves, to pierce our ears for earrings.
"NOW, O king, it is not fitting that we should sit on a level
with you!" The royal throne Rostevan placed for Tariel,
and another couch apart; he placed Avt'handil and his wife
gifts for Tariel; they lie in a heap.
THE King of the Arabs plays the host, he does nothing but
entertain; sometimes he approaches these, sometimes those,
he stands not upon his royal dignity; he gives, and all
praise his ungrudging generosity. P'hridon sits near
Avt'handil, as one accustomed to kingship.
THE King Rostevan did honour to the daughter of the
Indies and her husband, he gave them love and gifts, as to
a son and daughter-in-law; it is impossible to tell even a
tenth of what he gave, to each a sceptre, purple and jewelled
STILL he gave to both gifts fitting their fate; a thousand
gems like the eggs of a Romany hen; then a thousand pearls
like a dove's egg; a thousand steeds, in size each like a hill.
TO P'hridon he gave nine trays full to the brim with pearls,
nine steeds richly saddled. The King of the Indians does
homage with dignity, wise, not drunkenly; he gave thanks
soberly though he had drunk of the wine.
WHY should I lengthen speech? The days of one month
passed. They sported, they ceased not at all from drinking.
To Tariel they presented wondrous jewels of ruby stone
Their radiance like the sun's covers them all.
TARIEL was like a rose, and a light snow shower fell from
his eyes; he sent Avt'handil to Rostevan to ask for leave;
he gave him this message: "To be near thee is enough for
me as full joy, but enemies hold my kingdom, I know they
are eating up the land.
"THE knowledge and art of the learned destroy the
unlearned. I think any hurt to me would bring somewhat of
sadness unto you too. I go that tarrying here may not bring
evil upon me, soon again may I see you happy, may God's
will grant it!"
ROSTEVAN said: "0 king, why art thou so bashful?
Whatever is best for you do it, look into it, examine it.
Avt'handil will accompany thee, go with a great host; rend
in pieces and cut up your enemies and them that are
AVT'HANDIL said to Tariel those two words that
Rostevan had said. Tariel said: "Speak not thus; guard the
rows of crystal. How canst thou, O sun, depart from the
newly united moon!" Avt'handil said: "I shall not be
seduced by thee with this.
"OF a truth thou wishest not to forsake me while thou
goest away slandering me, saying: 'He loveth his wife,
forsooth; he hath forsaken me, 'twas like him!' Am I to
remain sundered from thee and an object of pity to myself!
For a man to forsake his friend!. . . Ugh! Ugh! he will do
TARIEL'S smile is like the sprinkling of crystal from
roses. He said: "Absent from thee I bewail myself more than
thou. Since thou wishest it, come away with me, accuse me
not of flattery." Avt'handil commands troops to be
summoned to him from all sides.
HE assembled the armies of Arabia, no time is wasted;
eighty thousand men were all arrayed, man and horse
clad in armour of Khvarazmia. The King of the Arabs eats
the gall of bitterness at their separation.
PARTING each from other, both maidens, the adopted
sisters, sworn with the oath of sisterhood, trusting in each
other's word, with breast welded to breast, with neck
riveted to neck, wept. The onlookers, too, had their hearts
WHEN the moon is on a level with the star of dawn, both
shine equally; should one go away, the other also is
removed; if it go not away, the sky will make it remove; to
look at them the inlooker must become a hill and a
HE who created them such. He Himself shall sunder them,
though of their own will they desire not parting. They glue
together and cleave the rose, they weep and tears flow; all
those who parted from them thought their lives of no
NESTAN-DA REDJAN said : "Would that 1 had never come
to know thee! Separated from the sun I should not now be
thus melted by parting. Thou shalt know tidings of me; let
me have news of thee, speak to me in letters. As I am
burned up for thy sake, thou shalt melt for mine."
T'HINAT'HIN said: "O sun, delight of them that gaze on
thee! How can I give thee up, or how can I endure parting
Instead of praying for days from God, I shall desire death.
Mayst thou have as many days as I shall shed tears!"
AGAIN they kissed each other, those ladies parted; she
who was left there could not take her eyes away from her
who was gone; she too looks back, therefore flames
consumed her. I cannot write down a tenth part of that
I could wish!
ROSTEVAN at their departure was made more mad than
madmen; a thousand times he says, "Woe is me!" not
merely once doth he sigh; hot flows the spring of tears, as if
a cauldron were being heated. Tariel’s face is drawn, the
soft snow falls gently, it wastes away.
THE king crushed Tariel’s rose with embracing and
kissing. Quoth he: "Your presence hitherto seems like a
dream to me; when thou art gone afar from me I shall
remain with my sufferings twentyfold increased. Life
was given to us by thee; by thee also shall we be slain."
TARIEL mounted and parting from the king gave him a
farewell greeting; all the soldiers shed tears moistening the
meadows, they said: "The sun hastes to greet thee, haste
thou too to meet him." He said: "For your sake I weep
more than Sala."1
THEY set out and departed with many troops and much
baggage—Tariel, P'hridon, Avt'handil, all elegant in form;
he had eighty thousand men with worthy steeds; the three
went on, helpful one to another.
THE three went their way—God can never create their like
again! They were met; none dared withstand them. In the
plain they tarried for dinner when morning was past. As
was fitting they feasted; they drank wine, not buttermilk.

1 Sala—Salaman.