The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-91

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

As sways her gait I smile at hips so big * And weep to see the waist they bear so slight. When the Porter looked upon her his wits were waylaid, and his senses were stormed so that his crate went nigh to fall from his head, and he said to himself, “Never have I in my life seen a day more blessed than this day!” Then quoth the lady portress to the lady cateress, “Come in from the gate and relieve this poor man of his load.” So the provisioner went in followed by the portress and the Porter and went on till they reached a spacious ground floor hall,[FN#148] built with admirable skill and beautified with all manner colours and carvings; with upper balconies and groined arches and galleries and cupboards and recesses whose curtains hung before them. In the midst stood a great basin full of water surrounding a fine fountain, and at the upper end on the raised dais was a couch of juniper wood set with gems and pearls, with a canopy like mosquito curtains of red satin silk looped up with pearls as big as filberts and bigger. Thereupon sat a lady bright of blee, with brow beaming brilliancy, the dream of philosophy, whose eyes were fraught with Babel’s gramarye[FN#149] and her eye brows were arched as for archery; her breath breathed ambergris and perfumery and her lips were sugar to taste and carnelian to see. Her stature was straight as the letter I[FN#150] and her face shamed the noon sun’s radiancy; and she was even as a galaxy, or a dome with golden marquetry or a bride displayed in choicest finery or a noble maid of Araby.[FN#151] Right well of her sang the bard when he said:— Her smiles twin rows of pearls display * Chamomile-buds or rimey spray Her tresses stray as night let down * And shames her light the dawn o’ day. [FN#152]The third lady rising from the couch stepped forward with grace ful swaying gait till she reached the middle of the saloon, when she said to her sisters, “Why stand ye here? take it down from this poor man’s head!” Then the cateress went and stood before him, and the portress behind him while the third