Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/36

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The Perfumed Garden

The buffoon having answered in the affirmative, Mamoum commanded him to recite those he knew, and Bahloul began as follows:—

"Poverty holds me in chains; misery torments me.
I am being scourged with all misfortunes;
Ill luck has cast me in trouble and peril,
And has drawn upon me the contempt of man.
God does not favour a poverty like mine;
That is approbrious in every one's eyes.
Misfortune and misery for a long time
Have held me tightly; and no doubt of it
My dwelling house will soon not know me more."

Mamoum said to him, "Where are you going to?"

He replied, "To God and his Prophet, O prince of the believers."

"That is well!" said the King; "those who take refuge in God and his Prophet, and then in us, will be made welcome. But can you now tell me some more verses about your two wives, and about what comes to pass with them?"

"Certainly," said Bahloul.

"Then let us hear what you have to say!"

Bahloul then began thus with poetical words:

"By reason of my ignorance, I have married two wives—
And why do you complain, O husband of two wives?
I said to myself, I shall be like a lamb between them;
I shall take my pleasure upon the bosoms of my two sheep.
And I have become like a ram between two female jackals,
Days follow upon days, and nights upon nights,
And their yoke bears me down both during days and nights.
If I am kind to one, the other gets vexed.