The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-144

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

the ocean; whereupon I said to myself, “Whatso freeth me from one great calamity casteth me into a greater!” But while I was pondering my case and longing for death behold, I saw afar off a ship making for the island; so I clomb a tree and hid myself among the branches. Presently the ship anchored and landed ten slaves, blackamoors, bearing iron hoes and baskets, who walked on till they reached the middle of the island. Here they dug deep into the ground, until they uncovered a plate of metal which they lifted, thereby opening a trap door. After this they returned to the ship and thence brought bread and flour, honey and fruits, clarified butter,[FN#264] leather bottles containing liquors and many household stuffs; also furniture, table service and mirrors rugs, carpets and in fact all needed to furnish a dwelling; and they kept going to and fro, and descending by the trap door, till they had transported into the dwelling all that was in the ship. After this the slaves again went on board and brought back with them garments as rich as may be, and in the midst of them came an old, old man, of whom very little was left, for Time had dealt hardly and harshly with him, and all that remained of him was a bone wrapped in a rag of blue stuff through which the winds whistled west and east. As saith the poet of him:— Time gars me tremble Ah, how sore the baulk! While Time in pride of strength cloth ever stalk: Time was I walked nor ever felt I tired, Now am I tired albe I never walk! And the Shaykh held by the hand a youth cast in beauty’s mould, all elegance and perfect grace; so fair that his comeliness deserved to be proverbial; for he was as a green bough or the tender young of the roe, ravishing every heart with his loveliness and subduing every soul with his coquetry and amorous ways. [FN#265] It was of him the poet spake when he said:— Beauty they brought with him to make compare, But Beauty hung her head in shame and care: Quoth’they, “O Beauty, hast thou seen his like?” And Beauty cried, “His like? not anywhere!”