Shah Nameh/Firdausí's Invocation
|←Sikander||Shah Nameh by , translated by James A. Atkinson
|Firdausí's Satire on Mahmud→|
Thee I invoke, the Lord of Life and Light!
Beyond imagination pure and bright!
To thee, sufficing praise no tongue can give,
We are thy creatures, and in thee we live!
Thou art the summit, depth, the all in all,
Creator, Guardian of this earthly ball;
Whatever is, thou art--Protector, King,
From thee all goodness, truth, and mercy spring.
O pardon the misdeeds of him who now
Bends in thy presence with a suppliant brow.
Teach them to tread the path thy Prophet trod;
To wash his heart from sin, to know his God;
And gently lead him to that home of rest,
Where filled with holiest rapture dwell the blest.
Saith not that book divine, from Heaven supplied,
"Mustafa is the true, the unerring guide,
The purest, greatest Prophet!" Next him came
Wise Abu Buker, of unblemished name;
Then Omer taught the faith, unknown to guile,
And made the world with vernal freshness smile;
Then Othmán brave th' imperial priesthood graced;
All, led by him, the Prophet's faith embraced.
The fourth was Alí; he, the spouse adored
Of Fatima, then spread the saving word.
Alí, of whom Mahommed spoke elate,
"I am the city of knowledge--he my gate."
Alí the blest. Whoever shall recline
A supplicant at his all-powerful shrine,
Enjoys both this life and the next; in this,
All earthly good, in that, eternal bliss!
From records true my legends I rehearse,
And string the pearls of wisdom in my verse,
That in the glimmering days of life's decline,
Its fruits, in wealth and honor, may be mine.
My verse, a structure pointing to the skies;
Whose solid strength destroying time defies.
All praise the noble work, save only those
Of impious life, or base malignant foes;
All blest with learning read, and read again,
The sovereign smiles, and thus approves my strain:
"Richer by far, Firdusi, than a mine
Of precious gems, is this bright lay of thine."
Centuries may pass away, but still my page
Will be the boast of each succeeding age.
Praise, praise to Mahmud, who of like renown,
In battle or the banquet, fills the throne;
Lord of the realms of Chín and Hindústán,
Sovereign and Lord of Persia and Túrán,
With his loud voice he rends the flintiest ear;
On land a tiger fierce, untouched by fear,
And on the wave, he seems the crocodile
That prowls amidst the waters of the Nile.
Generous and brave, his equal is unknown;
In deeds of princely worth he stands alone.
The infant in the cradle lisps his name;
The world exults in Mahmud's spotless fame.
In festive hours Heaven smiles upon his truth;
In combat deadly as the dragon's tooth;
Bounteous in all things, his exhaustless hand
Diffuses blessings through the grateful land;
And, of the noblest thoughts and actions, lord;
The soul of Gabriel breathes in every word,
May Heaven with added glory crown his days;
Praise, praise to mighty Mahmud--everlasting praise!