Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 3.djvu/42

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"O thou who for thy wakeful nights wouldst claim my love to boon, * For what of pining thou must feel and tribulation! Dost thou, fond fool and proud of sprite, seek meeting with the Moon? * Say, did man ever win his wish to take in arms the Moon? I counsel thee, from soul cast out the wish that dwells therein, * And cut that short which threatens thee with sore risk oversoon: An to such talk thou dare return, I bid thee to expect * Fro' me such awful penalty as suiteth froward loon: I swear by Him who moulded man from gout of clotted blood, [1] * Who lit the Sun to shine by day and lit for night the moon, An thou return to mention that thou spakest in thy pride, * Upon a cross of tree for boon I'll have thee crucified!" Then she folded the letter and handing it to the old woman said, "Give him this and say him, 'Cease from this talk!' " "Hearkening and obedience," replied she, and taking the letter with joy, returned to her own house, where she passed the night; and when morning dawned she betook herself to the shop of Taj al-Muluk whom she found expecting her. When he saw her, he was ready to fly [2] for delight, and when she came up to him, he stood to her on his feet and seated her by his side. Then she brought out the letter and gave it to him, saying, "Read what is in this;" adding "When Princess Dunya read thy letter she was angry; but I coaxed her and jested with her till I made her laugh, and she had pity on thee and she hath returned thee an answer." He thanked her for her kindness and bade Aziz give her a thousand gold pieces: then he perused the letter and understanding it fell to weeping a weeping so sore that the old woman's heart was moved to ruth for him, and his tears and complaints were grievous to her. Presently she asked him, "O my son, what is there in this letter to make thee weep?" Answered he, "She hath threatened me with death and crucifixion and she forbiddeth me to write to her, but if I write not my death were better than my life. So take thou my answer to the letter and let her work her will." Rejoined

  1. Arab. "Alak" from the Koran xxii. 5. " O men...consider that we first created you of dust (Adam); afterwards of seed (Rodwell's "moist germs of life"); afterwards of a little coagulated (or clots of) blood." It refers to all mankind except Adam, Eve and Isa. Also chaps. xcvi. 2, which, as has been said was probably the first composed at Meccah. Mr. Rodwell (v. 10) translates by 'Servant of God" what should be "Slave of Allah," alluding to Mohammed's original name Abdullah. See my learned friend Aloys Sprenger, Leben, etc., i.155.
  2. The Hindus similarly exaggerate: "He was ready to leap out of his skin in his delight" (Katha, etc., p. 443).