The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-148

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

pass.”[FN#276]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. When it was the Sixteenth Night, She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ajib thus continued his tale to the lady:—When I was certified that I had slain him, I arose and ascending the stairs replaced the trap-door and covered it with earth as before. Then I looked out seawards and saw the ship cleaving the waters and making for the island, wherefore I was afeard and said, “The moment they come and see the youth done to death, they will know ‘twas I who slew him and will slay me without respite.” So I climbed up into a high tree and concealed myself among its leaves; and hardly had I done so when the ship anchored and the slaves landed with the ancient man, the youth’s father, and made direct for the place and when they removed the earth they were surprised to see it soft.[FN#277] Then they raised the trap door and went down and found the youth lying at full length, clothed in fair new garments, with a face beaming after the bath, and the knife deep in his heart. At the sight they shrieked and wept and beat their faces, loudly cursing the murderer; whilst a swoon came over the Shaykh so that the slaves deemed him dead, unable to survive his son. At last they wrapped the slain youth in his clothes and carried him up and laid him on the ground covering him with a shroud of silk. Whilst they were making for the ship the old man revived; and, gazing on his son who was stretched out, fell on the ground and strewed dust over his head and smote his face and plucked out his beard; and his weeping redoubled as he thought of his murdered son and he swooned away once more. After awhile a slave went and fetched a strip of silk whereupon they lay the old man and sat down at his head. All this took place and I was on the tree above them watching everything that came to pass; and my heart became hoary before my head waxed grey, for the hard lot which was mine, and for the distress and anguish I had undergone, and I fell to reciting:— “How many a joy by Allah’s will hath fled * With flight escaping sight of wisest head! How many a sadness shall begin the day, * Yet grow right gladsome ere the day is sped!