Page:Arabiannightsent07burtiala.djvu/22

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6
Alf Laylah wa Laylah.

King, were as sheep sans a shepherd; but Sa'adan the Ghul cried out at them, saying, "O folk, don your war-gear and trust to your Lord to defend you!" So Arabs and Ajams mounted horse, after clothing themselves in hauberks of iron and shirting themselves in straight-knit mail, and sallied forth to the field, the Chiefs and the colours moving in van. Then dashed out the Ghul of the Mountain, with a club on his shoulder, two hundred pounds in weight, and wheeled and careered, saying, "Ho, worshippers of idols, come ye out and renown it this day, for 'tis a day of onslaught! Whoso knoweth me hath enough of my mischief and whoso knoweth me not, I will make myself known to him. I am Sa'adan, servant of King Gharib. Who is for jousting? Who is for fighting? Let no faint-heart come forth to me to-day or weakling." And there rushed upon him a Champion of the Infidels, as he were a flame of fire, and drove at him, but Sa'adan charged home at him and dealt him with his club a blow which broke his ribs and cast him lifeless to the earth. Then he called out to his sons and slaves, saying, "Light the bonfire, and whoso falleth of the Kafirs do ye dress him and roast him well in the flame, then bring him to me that I may break my fast on him!" So they kindled a fire midmost the plain and laid thereon the slain, till he was cooked, when they brought him to Sa'adan, who gnawed his flesh and crunched his bones. When the Miscreants saw the Mountain-Ghul do this deed they were affrighted with sore affright, but Ajib cried out to his men, saying, "Out on you! Fall upon the Ogre and hew him in hunks with your scymitars!" So twenty thousand men ran at Sa'adan, whilst the footmen circled round him and rained upon him darts and shafts so that he was wounded in four-and-twenty places, and his blood ran down upon the earth, and he was alone. Then the host of the Moslems drave at the heathenry, calling for help upon the Lord of the three Worlds, and they ceased not from fight and fray till the day came to an end, when they drew apart. But the Infidels had captured Sa'adan, as he were a drunken man for loss of blood; and they bound him fast and set him by Gharib who, seeing the Ghul a prisoner, said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! O Sa'adan, what case is this?" " O my lord," replied Sa'adan, "it is Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) who ordaineth joy and annoy and there is no help but this and that betide." And Gharib rejoined, "Thou speakest sooth, O