The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-39

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

TALE OF THE TRADER AND THE JINNI. It is related, O auspicious King, that there was a merchant of the merchants who had much wealth, and business in various cities. Now on a day he mounted horse and went forth to re cover monies in certain towns, and the heat sore oppressed him; so he sat beneath a tree and, putting his hand into his saddle bags, took thence some broken bread and dry dates and began to break his fast. When he had ended eating the dates he threw away the stones with force and lo! an Ifrit appeared, huge of stature and brandishing a drawn sword, wherewith he approached the mer chant and said, “Stand up that I may slay thee, even as thou slewest my son!” Asked the merchant, “How have I slain thy son?” and he answered, “When thou atest dates and threwest away the stones they struck my son full in the breast as he was walking by, so that he died forthwith.”[FN#40] Quoth the merchant, “Verily from Allah we proceeded and unto Allah are we re turning. There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! If I slew thy son, I slew him by chance medley. I pray thee now pardon me.” Rejoined the Jinni, “There is no help but I must slay thee.” Then he seized him and dragged him along and, casting him to the earth, raised the sword to strike him; whereupon the merchant wept, and said, “I commit my case to Allah,” and began repeating these couplets:— Containeth Time a twain of days, this of blessing that of bane * And holdeth Life a twain of halves, this of pleasure that of pain. See’st not when blows the hurricane, sweeping stark and striking strong * None save the forest giant feels the suffering of the strain? How many trees earth nourisheth of the dry and of the green * Yet none but those which bear the fruits for cast of stone complain. See’st not how corpses rise and float on the surface of the tide * While pearls o’price lie hidden in the deepest of the main! In Heaven are unnumbered the many of the stars * Yet ne’er a star but Sun and