Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 3.djvu/29

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And when his improvising came to an end, he wept with sore weeping and Aziz wept with him, for that he remembered his cousin; and they both ceased not to shed tears till morning dawned, whereupon Taj al-Muluk rose and went to farewell his mother, in travelling dress. She asked him of his case and he repeated the story to her; so she gave him fifty thousand gold pieces and bade him adieu; and, as he fared forth, she put up prayers for his safety and for his union with his lover and his friends. Then he betook himself to his father and asked his leave to depart. The King granted him permission and, presenting him with other fifty thousand dinars, bade set up a tent for him without the city and they pitched a pavilion wherein the travellers abode two days. Then all set out on their journey. Now Taj al-Muluk delighted in the company of Aziz and said to him, "O my brother, henceforth I can never part from thee." Replied Aziz, "And I am of like mind and fain would I die under thy feet: but, O my brother, my heart is concerned for my mother." "When we shall have won our wish," said the Prince, "there will be naught save what is well!" Now the Wazir continued charging Taj al-Muluk to be patient, whilst Aziz entertained him every evening with talk and recited poetry to him and diverted him with histories and anecdotes. And so they fared on diligently night and day for two whole months, till the way became tedious to Taj al-Muluk and the fire of desire redoubled on him; and he broke out,

"The road is lonesome; grow my grief and need, * While on my breast love fires for ever feed: Goal of my hopes, sole object of my wish! * By him who moulded man from drop o' seed, I bear such loads of longing for thy love, * Dearest, as weight of al Shumm Mounts exceed: O 'Lady of my World' [1] Love does me die; * No breath of life is left for life to plead; But for the union hope that lends me strength, * My weary limbs were weak this way to speed."

When he had finished his verses, he wept (and Aziz wept with him) from a wounded heart, till the Minister was moved to pity by their tears and said, "O my lord, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear of tears; there will be naught save what is well!" Quoth Taj al-Muluk, "O Wazir, indeed I am weary of the length of

  1. i.e. the Lady Dunya.