1525That day Avt’handil sits as lord and is high king; tendernesses beautify Tariel who sits with him. Nestan-Djar, the amazer of onlookers, is with T’hinat’hin; it is as if heaven had bent down to earth, (and) two suns are united.
1526They began to bring bread to plenish the armies; beeves and sheep are slain more abundant than moss. There was made an offering of presents, fitting to them (i.e., to each after his rank) . The ray of the faces of them all lightens like the sun.
1527The 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 onlooker, thou wouldst have said unto thy heart: "Be not loosed, be bound there!"
1528The (female) minstrels approached from all sides, there was heard the sound of the cymbal; heaped lies a hillock of gold and cut rubies; for drinkers flows a fountain of wine from a hundred (runlets), like a canal; from twilight to dawn there was noise, the time of morning passed.
1529None 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 Avt’handil.
1530On 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 (Nestan)! Thou art king of all kings, and she queen. It behoves us your footprints (dust of your feet), to pierce our ears for earrings (as slaves) (?).
1531"Now, O king, it is not fitting that we should sit on a level with you!" The royal throne he (Rostevan) placed for (Tariel), and another couch apart; he placed Avt’handil and his wife lower down, according to their rank First of all they present gifts for Taria; they lie in a heap.
1532The 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.
1533The 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 crowns.
1534Still he gave to both gifts fitting their fate; a thousand gems born of a Roman hen; then a thousand pearls like a dove's egg; a thousand steeds, in size each like a hill:
1535To P’hridon he gave nines 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.'
1536Why 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.
1537Tariel was like a rose, and was snowing a light snow shower; he sent Avt’handil to Rosten 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.
1538"The knowledge and art of the learned destroy the unlearned. I think any hurt to me would bring somewhat of sadness into 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!"
1539Rostevan said: "O king, why art thou so bashful? Whatever is best for you do it, look into it, examine it.
[paragraph continues] Avt’handil will accompany thee, go with a great host; rend in pieces and cut up your enemies and them that are traitors."
1540Avt’handil said to Tariel those (same) two words (that Rostevan had said). He (Tariel) said: "Speak not thus; guard the crystal mounds. How canst thou, O sun, depart from the newly united moon!" Avt’handil said: "I shall not be seduced by thee with this:
1541"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 ill!"
1542Tariel's smile is like the sprinkling of crystal with 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.
1543He 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.
1544Parting 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 consumed.
1545When 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 onlooker must become a hill and a mountain (?).
1546He 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 account.
1547Nestan-Daredjan said: "Would that I 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."
1548T’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!"
1549Again 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!
1550Rostan 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.
1551The 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."
1552Tariel 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: "Weeping for your sake, why should I hasten?"
1553They set out and departed with many troops and much baggage--Tariel, P’hridon, Avt’handil, (all) well provided; he had eighty thousand men with worthy steeds; the three went on, helpful one to another.
1554The 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.
1555What Tariel and his wife had desired fell to their lot, seven royal thrones, (seats) of joy, unassailable; this present solace makes them forget their sufferings. A man unacquainted with sorrow cannot find pleasure in joy.
1556See the two sitting together; even the sun could not be better! They blow the trumpet and proclaim him king, copper drums make the voices sound sweet; they give him the key of the treasuries, they gave themselves into his hands as subjects. "This is our king!" they cried, and they acclaimed him.
1557They caused two thrones to be prepared for Avt’handil and P’hridon, they sat royally thereon, they extolled their majesty, what other human beings did God create like them! They related their sorrows; they revealed them to all.
1558They drank, ate, made merry, they increased the
household; as befits a wedding so did they celebrate it; to each of the four they gave presents equally. They gathered together treasure to give to the poor.
1559All the Indians considered Avt’handil and P’hridon to be helpers (allies). "From you every good happens to us," said they ceaselessly; they looked upon them as lords (suzerains), whatever they willed that they did, they came before them continually to pay court to them.
1560The King of the Indians said to Asmat’h, the sharer of his sorrows: "What thou hast done, neither upbringer nor upbrought hath done (for each other). Now I enthrone thee over one seventh part of the kingdom of India, thine let it be, serve us, sweet to the sweet!
1561"Whomsoever thou desirest as husband wed him, rule the kingdom, henceforth serve us, be subject to us." Asmat’h covered his feet with kisses. "From thee is my power," quoth she; "what can I find, what better service can I have than thine!"
1562The three sworn brothers tarried together a few days. They sported, they received more incomparable gifts; what rare pearls, what excellent horses! But longing (for T’hinat’hin) made Avt’handil to show lines on his face.
1563Tariel perceived that longing of the knight for his wife. He said: "Of a truth thy heart is angered against me. Now woe is me! thought hath made of thy seven griefs eight. I shall be separated from thee; Fate grudges me my joy."
1564Then P’hridon begged leave of him. "I will go home," quoth he; "my foot will oft tread this court and land if thou wilt command me as an elder to a younger. I shall desire thee as the deer the fountain."'
1565As presents for Rostevan, he (Tariel) made him (Avt’handil) take with him beautiful little mantles, also a vessel (full) of cut gems, not spoons(ful), not ladles(ful). "Take them from me, go," quoth he, "disobey me not!" Avt’handil said: "I know not how I shall survive without thee!"
1566The lady (Nestan) sent to the lady (T’hinat’hin) a little cloak and a veil; who save hers was worthy of such garments! A jewel--he who carried it off could not say: "I have carried it in vain!"--at night it gives light like the sun; it is visible wherever thou lookest.
1567Avt’handil mounted, he departed, he said farewell to Taria, the flame of the fire of separation burned them both; all the Indians wept, the tear moistened the mead. Avt’handil said: "The poison of this world slays me!"
1568P’hridon and Avt’handil journeyed together for a few days; the road separated them, each went his way weeping; the things they had planned had turned out well for them; Avt’handil came to Arabia, he had not seen troubles in vain.
1569The Arabs came forth to meet him, he beautified the realm; he saw his sun, the affliction of his desires fled; he sat with her on the throne, he rejoiced at the joy of the onlookers. The Most High from above endued his crown with sovereignty.
1570Those three sovereigns loved one another, they visited one another, their desires were fulfilled, they that disputed their rule were put to the sword, they enlarged
their kingdoms, they were sovereign, they increased their might.
1571They poured down mercy like snow on all alike, they enriched orphans and widows and the poor did not beg, they terrified evil-doers; the ewes could not suckle the lambs, within their territories the goat and the wolf fed together.
1572Their tale is ended like a dream of the night. They are passed away, gone beyond the world. Behold the treachery of time; to him who thinks it long, even for him it is of a moment. I a certain Meskhian bard of the borough of Rust’havi, I write (this).
1573For the god (goddess--i.e., king, queen, T’hamara) of the Georgians, whom David the sun serves in his course, I have put this story into verse, for her (pl. maj.) entertainment who strikes terror from East to West, consuming those who are traitors to her, strengthening those who are loyal.
1574How shall I sing to David's harp, attuned and loud-sounding, these wondrous (rare) tales of strange, foreign monarchs! Old-time customs and deeds, praises (eulogies) of those kings, have I found and done into verse. Thus have we chattered!
1575This is such a world as is not to be trusted by any; it is a moment to the eyes of men, and only long enough for the blinking of the eyelashes. What seek you, what do you? Fate is an insulter. For him whom Fate deceives not it is better to be (happy) in both (worlds).
1576Mose Khoneli praised Amiran, son of Daredjan; Shavt’heli, whose poem they admired, praised Abdul-Mesia; Sargis T’hmogveli, the unwearying-tongued (praised) Dilarget’h; Rust’haveli (praised) Tariel, for whom his tear unceasing flows.