The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-52

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

I went to seek my daily bread * I find that breadless I must fare: For neither handcraft brings me aught * Nor Fate allots to me a share: How many fools the Pleiads reach * While darkness whelms the wise and ware. So he prayed pardon of Allah and, throwing away the jar, wrung his net and cleansed it and returned to the sea the third time to cast his net and waited till it had sunk. Then he pulled at it and found therein potsherds and broken glass; whereupon he began to speak these verses:— He is to thee that daily bread thou canst nor loose nor bind * Nor pen nor writ avail thee aught thy daily bread to find: For joy and daily bread are what Fate deigneth to allow; * This soil is sad and sterile ground, while that makes glad the hind. The shafts of Time and Life bear down full many a man of worth * While bearing up to high degree wights of ignoble mind. So come thou, Death! for verily life is not worth a straw When low the falcon falls withal the mallard wings the wind: No wonder ‘tis thou seest how the great of soul and mind Are poor, and many a loser carle to height of luck designed. This bird shall overfly the world from east to furthest west * And that shall win her every wish though ne’er she leave the nest. Then raising his eyes heavenwards he said, “O my God![FN#62] verily Thou wottest that I cast not my net each day save four times[FN#63]; the third is done and as yet Thou hast vouchsafed me nothing. So this time, O my God, deign give me my daily bread.” Then, having called on Allah’s name, [FN#64] he again threw his net and waited its sinking and settling; whereupon