The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-77

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

Now when the Sultan heard the mournful voice he sprang to his feet; and, following the sound, found a curtain let down over a chamber door. He raised it and saw behind it a young man sitting upon a couch about a cubit above the ground; and he fair to the sight, a well shaped wight, with eloquence dight; his forehead was flower white, his cheek rosy bright, and a mole on his cheek breadth like an ambergris mite; even as the poet cloth indite:— A youth slim waisted from whose locks and brow * The world in blackness and in light is set. Throughout Creation’s round no fairer show * No rarer sight shine eye hath ever met: A nut brown mole sits throned upon a cheek * Of rosiest red beneath an eye of jet.[FN#113] The King rejoiced and saluted him, but he remained sitting in his caftan of silken stuff pureed with Egyptian gold and his crown studded with gems of sorts; but his face was sad with the traces of sorrow. He returned the royal salute in most courteous wise adding, “O my lord, thy dignity demandeth my rising to thee; and my sole excuse is to crave thy pardon.”[FN#114] Quoth the King, “Thou art excused, O youth; so look upon me as thy guest come hither on an especial object. I would thou acquaint me with the secrets of this tarn and its fishes and of this palace and thy loneliness therein and the cause of thy groaning and wailing.” When the young man heard these words he wept with sore weeping;[FN#115] till his bosom was drenched with tears and began reciting— Say him who careless sleeps what while the shaft of Fortune flies * How many cloth this shifting world lay low and raise to rise? Although thine eye be sealed in sleep, sleep not th’ Almighty’s eyes * And who