Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/117

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ⅩⅩⅦ, 17-28.
the chapter of the ant.

And assembled for Solomon were his hosts of the ginns, and men, and birds, and they were marshalled ; until they came upon the valley of the ants. Said an ant, ‘ O ye ants ! go into your dwellings, that Solomon and his hosts crush you not while they do not perceive.’

And he smiled, laughing at her speech, and said, ‘ O Lord ! excite me to be thankful for Thy favour, wherewith Thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do righteousness which may please Thee ; and make me enter into Thy mercy amongst Thy righteous servants !’

20 And he reviewed the birds, and said, ‘ How is it I see not the hoopoe ? is he then amongst the absent ? I will surely torment him with a severe torment ; or I will surely slaughter him ; or he shall bring me obvious authority.’

And he tarried not long, and said, ‘ I have compassed what ye compassed not; for I bring you from Sebâ[1] a sure information: verily, I found a woman ruling over them, and she was given all things, and she had a mighty throne ; and I found her and her people adoring the sun instead of God, for Satan had made seemly to them their works, and turned them from the path, so that they are not guided. 25 Will they not adore God who brings forth the secrets in the heavens, and knows what they hide and what they manifest ? — God, there is no god but He, the Lord of the mighty throne !’

Said he, ‘ We will see whether thou hast told the truth, or whether thou art of those who lie. Go with this my letter and throw it before them,

  1. The Sheba of the Bible, in the south of the Arabian peninsula.