The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night/The Loves of the Boy and Girl at School
THE LOVES OF THE BOY AND GIRL AT SCHOOL.
A boy and a girl once learnt together in a school, and the boy fell passionately in love with the girl. So, one day, when the other boys were heedless, he took her tablet and wrote on it the following verses:
Tell me, what sayst thou unto him, whom sickness for thy love Hath worn and wasted, till he’s grown distraught and stupefied?
Him who of passion maketh moan; for love and longing pain, That which is in his heart, indeed, no longer can he hide.
When the girl took her tablet, she read the verses and wept for pity of him; then wrote thereunder these others:
An if we see one languishing for very love of us, Our favours, surely, unto him shall nowise be denied.
Yea, and of us he shall obtain that which he doth desire Of love-delight, whate’er to us in consequence betide.
Now it chanced that the teacher came in on them and taking the tablet, unnoticed, read what was written thereon. So he was moved to pity of their case and wrote on the tablet the following verses, in reply to those of the girl:
Favour thy lover, for he’s grown distracted for desire, And reck thou not of punishment nor fear lest any chide.
As for the master, have no dread of his authority, For he with passion and its pains aforetime hath been tried.
Presently, the girl’s master entered the school and finding the tablet, read the above verses and wrote under them the following:
May Allah never separate your loves, whilst time abide, And may your slanderer be put to shame and mortified!
But, for the master of the school, by Allah, all my life, A busier go-between than he I never yet espied.
Then he sent for the Cadi and the witnesses and married them on the spot. Moreover, he made them a marriage-feast and entreated them with exceeding munificence; and they abode together in joy and contentment, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Companies.
- Oriental substitute for slate.