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Salaman and Absal, by Jami, tr. Edward Fitzgerald, [1904], at


When by and bye The Shah was made aware
Of that Soul-wasting absence of his Son,
He reach’d a Cry to Heav’n—his Eyelashes

p. 35

Wept Blood—Search everywhere he set a-foot,
But none could tell the hidden Mystery.
Then bade he bring a Mirror that he had,
A Mirror, like the Bosom of the Wise,
Reflecting all the World, and lifting up
The Veil from all its Secret, Good and Evil.
That Mirror bade he bring, and, in its Face
Looking, beheld the Face of his Desire.
He saw those Lovers in the Solitude,
Turn’d from the World, and all its ways, and People,
And looking only in each other's Eyes,
And never finding any Sorrow there.
The Shah beheld them as they were, and Pity
Fell on his Eyes, and he reproach’d them not;
And, gathering all their Life into his hand,
Not a Thread lost, disposed in Order all.
Oh for the Noble Nature, and Clear Heart,
That, seeing Two who draw one Breath, together
Drinking the Cup of Happiness and Tears
Unshatter’d by the Stone of Separation,
Is loath their sweet Communion to destroy,
Or cast a Tangle in the Skein of Joy.

The Arrows that assail the Lords of Sorrow
Come from the Hand of Retribution.
Do Well, that in thy Turn Well may betide Thee;

p. 36

And turn from Ill, that Ill may turn beside Thee.

Firhád, Moulder of the Mountain,
Love-distracted look’d to Shírín,
And Shírín the Sculptor's Passion
Saw, and turn’d her Heart to Him.

Then the Fire of Jealous Frenzy
Caught and carried up the Harvest
Of the Might of Kai Khusrau.

Plotting with that ancient Hag
Of Fate, the Sculptor's Cup he poison’d,
And remained the Lord of Love.

So—But Fate that Fate avenges
Arms Shirúeh with the Dagger,
That at once from Shírín tore him,
Hurl’d him from the Throne of Glory.

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