The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-134

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

lowering and tomorrow fair to sight.[FN#242] Then I rose and seated myself at a respectful distance while the King read what I had written, and marvelled, exclaiming, “O the miracle, that an ape should be gifted with this graceful style and this power of penmanship! By Allah, ‘tis a wonder of wonders!” Presently they set before the King choice wines in flagons of glass and he drank: then he passed on the cup to me; and I kissed the ground and drank and wrote on it:— With fire they boiled me to loose my tongue,[FN#243] And pain and patience gave for fellowship: Hence comes it hands of men upbear me high And honey dew from lips of maid I sip! And these also:— Morn saith to Night, “withdraw and let me shine;” * So drain we draughts that dull all pain and pine:[FN#244] I doubt, so fine the glass, the wine so clear, * If ‘tis the wine in glass or glass in twine. The King read my verse and said with a sigh, “Were these gifts[FN#245] in a man, he would excel all the folk of his time and age!” Then he called for the chess board, and said, “Say, wilt thou play with me?”; and I signed with my head, “Yes.” Then I came forward and ordered the pieces and played with him two games, both of which I won. He was speechless with surprise; so I took the pen case and, drawing forth a reed, wrote on the board these two couplets:—