Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 3.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

three, till the caravan return, when perhaps thy breast may be broadened and thy heart heartened." And she ceased not to persuade me with endearing words, till I provided myself with merchandise and set out with the caravan. But all the time of my wayfaring, my tears have never dried; no, never! and at every halting place where we halt, I open this piece of linen and look on these gazelles and call to mind my cousin Azizah and weep for her as thou hast seen; for indeed she loved me with dearest love and died, oppressed by my unlove. I did her nought but ill and she did me nought but good. When these merchants return from their journey, I shall return with them, by which time I shall have been absent a whole year: yet hath my sorrow waxed greater and my grief and affliction were but increased by my visit to the Islands of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal. Now these islands are seven in number and are ruled by a King, by name Shahriman, [1] who hath a daughter called Dunyá; [2] and I was told that it was she who wrought these gazelles and that this piece in my possession was of her embroidery. When I knew this, my yearning redoubled and I burnt with the slow fire of pining and was drowned in the sea of sad thought; and I wept over myself for that I was become even as a woman, without manly tool like other men, and there was no help for it. From the day of my quitting the Camphor Islands, I have been tearful eyed and heavy hearted, and such hath been my case for a long while and I know not whether it will be given me to return to my native land and die beside my mother or not; for I am sick from eating too much of the world. Thereupon the young merchant wept and groaned and complained and gazed upon the gazelles; whilst the tears rolled down his cheeks in streams and he repeated these two couplets,

“Joy needs shall come," a prattler 'gan to prattle: * "Needs cease thy blame!" I was commoved to rattle: 'In time,' quoth he: quoth I ' 'Tis marvellous! * Who shall ensure my life, O cold of tattle!'" [3]

  1. Lane corrupts this Persian name to Sháh Zemán (i. 568).
  2. i.e. the world, which includes the ideas of Fate, Time, Chance.
  3. Arab. "Bárid," silly, noyous, contemptible; as in the proverb
    Two things than ice are colder cold:--
    An old man young, a young man old.
    A "cold-of-countenance"=a fool: "May Allah make cold thy face!"=may it show want and misery. "By Allah, a cold speech!"=a silly or abusive tirade (Pilgrimage, ii. 22).