The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3
Richard F. Burton

Part 6 out of 8

Whose East the cup boy is, and here my mouth that opes for West.

I'm jealous of the very clothes that dare her sides enroll
When she veils her dainty body of the delicatest grace:

I envy every goblet of her lips that taketh toll
When she sets the kissing cup on that sweetest kissing-place.

But deem not by the keen-edged scymitar I'm slain--
The hurts and harms I dree are from arrows of her eyes.

I found her finger tips, as I met her once again,
Deep-reddened with the juice of the wood that ruddy dyes;[FN#290]

And cried, 'Thy palms thou stainedst when far away was I
And this is how thou payest one distracted by his pine!'

Quoth she (enkindling in my heart a flame that burned high
Speaking as one who cannot hide of longing love the sign),

'By thy life, this is no dye used for dyeing; so forbear
Thy blame, nor in charging me with falsing Love persist!

But when upon our parting-day I saw thee haste to fare,
The while were bared my hand and my elbow and my wrist;

'I shed a flood of blood-red tears and with fingers brushed away;
Hence blood-reddened were the tips and still blood-red they

Had I wept before she wept, to my longing-love a prey,
Before repentance came, I had quit my soul of pain;

But she wept before I wept and I wept to see her care
And I said, 'All the merit to precedent;'[FN#291]

Blame me not for loving her, now on self of Love I swear
For her sake, for her only, these pains my soul torment.

She hath all the lere of Lukman[FN#292] and Yusuf's beauty lief;
Sweet singer David's voice and Maryam's chastity:

While I've all Jacob's mourning and Jonah's prison-grief,
And the sufferings of Job and old Adam's history:

Yet kill her not, albeit of my love for her I die;
But ask her why my blood to her was lawful. ask her why?"

When Marzawan recited this ode, the words fell upon Kamar al-
Zaman's heart as freshness after fever and returning health; and
he sighed and, turning his tongue in his mouth, said to his sire,
"O my father, let this youth come and sit by my side."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman said to his sire, "O my father, allow this youth to come
and sit by my side." Now when the King heard these words from his
son, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, though at the first his
heart had been set against Marzawan and he had determined that
the stranger's head needs must be stricken off: but when he heard
Kamar al-Zaman speak, his anger left him and he arose and drawing
Marzawan to him, seated him by his son and turning to him said,
"Praised be Allah for thy safety!" He replied, "Allah preserve
thee! and preserve thy son to thee!" and called down blessings on
the King. Then the King asked, "From what country art thou?"; and
he answered, "From the Islands of the Inland Sea, the kingdom of
King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seas and the Seven
Palaces." Quoth King Shahriman, "Maybe thy coming shall be
blessed to my son and Allah vouchsafe to heal what is in him."
Quoth Marzawan, "Inshallah, naught shall be save what shall be
well!" Then turning to Kamar al-Zaman, he said to him in his ear
unheard of the King and his court, 'O my lord! be of good cheer,
and hearten thy heart and let shine eyes be cool and clear and,
with respect to her for whose sake thou art thus, ask not of her
case on shine account. But thou keptest thy secret and fellest
sick, while she told her secret and they said she had gone mad;
so she is now in prison, with an iron chain about her neck, in
most piteous plight; but, Allah willing, the healing of both of
you shall come from my hand." Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these
words, his life returned to him and he took heart and felt a
thrill of joy and signed to his father to help him sit up; and
the King was like to fly for gladness and rose hastily and lifted
him up. Presently, of his fear for his son, he shook the kerchief
of dismissal[FN#293]; and all the Emirs and Wazirs withdrew; then
he set two pillows for his son to lean upon, after which he bade
them perfume the palace with saffron and decorate the city,
saying to Marzawan, "By Allah, O my son, of a truth shine aspect
be a lucky and a blessed!" And he made as much of him as he might
and called for food, and when they brought it, Marzawan came up
to the Prince and said, "Rise, eat with me." So he obeyed him and
ate with him, and all the while the King invoked blessings on
Marzawan and said, "How auspicious is thy coming, O my son!" And
when the father saw his boy eat, his joy and gladness redoubled,
and he went out and told the Prince's mother and all the
household. Then he spread throughout the palace the good news of
the Prince's recovery and the King commanded the decoration of
the city and it was a day of high festival. Marzawan passed that
night with Kamar al-Zaman, and the King also slept with them in
joy and delight for his son's recovery.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the One Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King
Shahriman also passed that night with them in the excess of his
joy for his son's recovery. And when the next morning dawned, and
the King had gone away and the two young men were left alone,
Kamar al-Zaman told his story from beginning to end to Marzawan
who said, "In very sooth I know her with whom thou didst
foregather; her name is the Princess Budur and she is daughter to
King Ghayur." Then he related to him all that had passed with the
Princess from first to last and acquainted him with the excessive
love she bore him, saying, "All that befel thee with thy father
hath befallen her with hers, and thou art without doubt her
beloved, even as she is shine; so brace up thy resolution and
take heart, for I will bring thee to her and unite you both anon
and deal with you even as saith the poet,

"Albe to lover adverse be his love, *
And show aversion howso may he care;
Yet will I manage that their persons[FN#294] meet, *
E'en as the pivot of a scissor pair."

And he ceased not to comfort and solace and encourage Kamar al-
Zaman and urged him to eat and drink till he ate food and drank
wine, and life returned to him and he was saved from his ill
case; and Marzawan cheered him and diverted him with talk and
songs and stories, and in good time he became free of his
disorder and stood up and sought to go to the Hammam.[FN#295] So
Marzawan took him by the hand and both went to the bath, where
they washed their bodies and made them clean.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar
al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman, went to the Hammam, his father
in his joy at this event freed the prisoners, and presented
splendid dresses to his grandees and bestowed large alm-gifts
upon the poor and bade decorate the city seven days. Then quoth
Marzawan to Kamar al-Zaman, "Know, O my lord, that I came not
from the Lady Budur save for this purpose, and the object of my
journey was to deliver her from her present case; and it
remaineth for us only to devise how we may get to her, since thy
father cannot brook the thought of parting from thee. So it is my
counsel that to-morrow thou ask his leave to go abroad hunting.
Then do thou take with thee a pair of saddle-bags full of money
and mount a swift steed, and lead a spare horse, and I will do
the like, and say to thy sire, 'I have a mind to divert myself
with hunting the desert and to see the open country and there to
pass one night.' Suffer not any servant to follow us, for as soon
as we reach the open country, we will go our ways." Kamar al-
Zaman rejoiced in this plan with great joy and cried, "It is
good." Then he stiffened his back and, going in to his father,
sought his leave and spoke as he had been taught, and the King
consented to his going forth a-hunting and said, "O my son,
blessed be the day that restoreth thee to health! I will not
gainsay thee in this; but pass not more than one night in the
desert and return to me on the morrow; for thou knowest that life
is not good to me without thee, and indeed I can hardly believe
thee to be wholly recovered from what thou hadst,[FN#296] because
thou art to me as he of whom quoth the poet,

'Albe by me I had through day and night *
Solomon's carpet and the Chosroes' might,
Both were in value less than wing of gnat, *
Unless these eyne could hold thee aye in sight.'"[FN#297]

Then the King equipped his son Kamar al-Zaman and Marzawan for
the excursion, bidding make ready for them four horses, together
with a dromedary to carry the money and a camel to bear the water
and belly timber; and Kamar al-Zaman forbade any of his
attendants to follow him. His father farewelled him and pressed
him to his breast and kissed him, saying, "I ask thee in the name
of Allah, be not absent from me more than one night, wherein
sleep will be unlawful to me, for I am even as saith the poet,

'Thou present, in the Heaven of heavens I dwell; *
Bearing shine absence is of hells my Hell:
Pledged be for thee my soul! If love for thee *
Be crime, my crime is of the fellest fell.
Does love-lowe burn thy heart as burns it mine, *
Doomed night and day Gehenna-fire to smell?'"

Answered Kamar al-Zaman, "O my father, Inshallah, I will lie
abroad but one night!" Then he took leave of him, and he and
Marzawan mounted and leading the spare horses, the dromedary with
the money and the camel with the water and victual, turned their
faces towards the open country;--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawning day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman and Marzawan fared forth and turned their faces towards the
open country; and they travelled from the first of the day till
nightfall, when they halted and ate and drank and fed their
beasts and rested awhile; after which they again took horse and
ceased not journeying for three days, and on the fourth they came
to a spacious tract wherein was a thicket. They alighted in it
and Marzawan, taking the camel and one of the horses, slaughtered
them and cut off their flesh and stripped their bones. Then he
doffed from Kamar al-Zaman his shirt and trousers which he
smeared with the horse's blood and he took the Prince's coat
which he tore to shreds and befouled with gore; and he cast them
down in the fork of the road. Then they ate and drank and
mounting set forward again; and, when Kamar al- Zaman asked why
this was done, and said, "What is this O my brother, and how
shall it profit us?"; Marzawan replied, "Know that thy father,
when we have outstayed the second night after the night for which
we had his leave, and yet we return not, will mount and follow in
our track till he come hither; and, when he happeneth upon this
blood which I have spilt and he seeth thy shirt and trousers rent
and gore-fouled, he will fancy that some accident befel thee from
bandits or wild-beasts, so he will give up hope of thee and
return to his city, and by this device we shall win our wishes."
Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "By Allah, this be indeed a rare device!
Thou hast done right well.''[FN#298] Then the two fared on days
and nights and all that while Kamar al-Zaman did naught but
complain when he found himself alone, and he ceased not weeping
till they drew near their journeys end, when he rejoiced and
repeated these verses,

"Wilt tyrant play with truest friend who thinks of thee each
hour, * And after showing love-desire betray indifference?
May I forfeit every favour if in love I falsed thee, *
If thee I left, abandon me by way of recompense:
But I've been guilty of no crime such harshness to deserve, *
And if I aught offended thee I bring my penitence;
Of Fortune's wonders one it is thou hast abandoned me, *
But Fortune never wearieth of showing wonderments."

When he had made an end of his verses, Marzawan said to him,
"Look! these be King Ghayur's Islands;" whereat Kamar al-Zaman
joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for what he had done,
and kissed him between the eyes and strained him--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Marzawan said "Look! these be the Islands of King Ghayur;" Kamar
al-Zaman joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for what he had
done and kissed him between the eyes and strained him to his
bosom. And after reaching the Islands and entering the city they
took up their lodging in a khan, where they rested three days
from the fatigues of their wayfare; after which Marzawan carried
Kamar al-Zaman to the bath and, clothing him in merchant's gear,
provided him with a geomantic tablet of gold,[FN#299] with a set
of astrological instruments and with an astrolabe of silver,
plated with gold. Then he said to him, "Arise, O my lord, and
take thy stand under the walls of the King's palace and cry out,
'I am the ready Reckoner; I am the Scrivener; I am he who weeteth
the Sought and the Seeker; I am the finished man of Science; I am
the Astrologer accomplished in experience! Where then is he that
seeketh?' As soon as the King heareth this, he will send after
thee and carry thee in to his daughter the Princess Budur, thy
lover; but when about going in to her do thou say to him, 'Grant
me three days' delay, and if she recover, give her to me to wife;
and if not, deal with me as thou dealest with those who forewent
me.' He will assuredly agree to this, so as soon as thou art
alone with her, discover thyself to her; and when she seeth thee,
she will recover strength and her madness will cease from her and
she will be made whole in one night. Then do thou give her to eat
and drink. and her father, rejoicing in her recovery, will marry
thee to her and share his kingdom with thee; for he hath imposed
on himself this condition and so peace be upon thee." Now when
Kamar al-Zaman heard these words he exclaimed, "May I never lack
thy benefits!", and, taking the set of instruments aforesaid,
sallied forth from the caravanserai in the dress of his order. He
walked on till he stood under the walls of King Ghayur's palace,
where he began to cry out, saying, "I am the Scribe, I am the
ready Reckoner, I am he who knoweth the Sought and the Seeker; I
am he who openeth the Volume and summeth up the Sums;[FN#300] who
Dreams can expound whereby the sought is found! Where then is the
seeker?" Now when the city people heard this, they flocked to
him, for it was long since they had seen Scribe or Astrologer,
and they stood round him and, looking upon him, they saw one in
the prime of beauty and grace and perfect elegance, and they
marvelled at his loveliness, and his fine stature and symmetry.
Presently one of them accosted him and said, "Allah upon thee, O
thou fair and young, with the eloquent tongue! incur not this
affray; nor throw thy life away in thine ambition to marry the
Princess Budur. Only cast shine eyes upon yonder heads hung up;
all their owners have lost their lives in this same venture." Yet
Kamar al-Zaman paid no heed to them, but cried out at the top of
his voice, saying, "I am the Doctor, the Scrivener! I am the
Astrologer, the Calculator!" And all the townsfolk forbade him
from this, but he regarded them not at all, saying in his mind,
"None knoweth desire save whoso suffereth it." Then he began
again to cry his loudest, shouting, "I am the Scrivener, I am the
Astrologer!"--And Shahrazad per ceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman in no wise heeded the words of the citizens, but continued
to cry out, "I am the Calculator! I am the Astrologer!" Thereupon
all the townsfolk were wroth with him and said to him, "Thou art
nothing but an imbecile, silly, self-willed lad! Have pity on
shine own youth and tender years and beauty and loveliness." But
he cried all the more, "I am the Astrologer, I am the Calculator!
Is there any one that seeketh?" As he was thus crying and the
people forbidding him, behold, King Ghayur heard his voice and
the clamour of the lieges and said to his Wazir, "Go down and
bring me yon Astrologer." So the Wazir, went down in haste, and
taking Kamar al-Zaman from the midst of the crowd led him up to
the King; and when in the presence he kissed the ground and began

"Eight glories meet, all, all conjoined in thee, *
Whereby may Fortune aye thy servant be:
Lere, lordliness, grace, generosity; *
Plain words, deep meaning, honour, victory!"

When the King looked upon him, he seated him by his side and said
to him, "By Allah, O my son, an thou be not an astrologer,
venture not thy life nor comply with my condition; for I have
bound myself that whoso goeth in to my daughter and healeth her
not of that which hath befallen her I will strike off his head;
but whoso healeth her him I will marry to her. So let not thy
beauty and loveliness delude thee: for, by Allah! and again, by
Allah! If thou cure her not, I will assuredly cut off thy head."
And Kamar al-Zaman replied, "This is thy right; and I consent,
for I wot of this ere came I hither." Then King Ghayur took the
Kazis to witness against him and delivered him to the eunuch,
saying, "Carry this one to the Lady Budur." So the eunuch took
him by the hand and led him along the passage; but Kamar al-Zaman
outstripped him and pushed on before, whilst the eunuch ran after
him, saying, "Woe to thee! Hasten not to shine own ruin: never
yet saw I astrologer so eager for his proper destruction; but
thou weetest not what calamities are before thee." Thereupon
Kamar al-Zaman turned away his face from the eunuch,--And Shah
razed perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Two Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
eunuch thus addressed Kamar al-Zaman, "Patience, and no indecent
hurry!"; the Prince turned away his face and began repeating
these couplets,

"A Sage, I feel a fool before thy charms; *
Distraught, I wot not what the words I say:
If say I 'Sun,' away thou dost not pass *
From eyes of me, while suns go down with day:
Thou hast completed Beauty, in whose praise *
Speech-makers fail, and talkers lose their way."

Then the eunuch stationed Kamar al-Zaman behind the curtain of
the Princess's door and the Prince said to him, "Which of the two
ways will please thee more, treat and cure thy lady from here or
go in and heal her within the curtain?" The eunuch marvelled at
his words and answered, "An thou heal her from here it were
better proof of thy skill." Upon this Kamar al-Zaman sat down
behind the curtain and, taking out ink case, pen and paper, wrote
the following: "This is the writ of one whom passion swayeth,*
and whom longing waylayeth * and wakeful misery slayeth * one who
despaireth of living * and looketh for naught but dying * with
whose mourning heart * nor comforter nor helper taketh part * One
whose sleepless eyes * none succoureth from anxieties * whose day
is passed in fire * and his night in torturing desire * whose
body is wasted for much emaciation * and no messenger from his
beloved bringeth him consolation." And after this he indited the
following couplets,

"I write with heart devoted to thy thought, *
And eyelids chafed by tears of blood they bled;
And body clad, by loving pine and pain, *
In shirt of leanness, and worn down to thread,
To thee complain I of Love's tormentry, *
Which ousted hapless Patience from her stead:
A toi! show favour and some mercy deign, *
For Passion's cruel hands my vitals shred."

And beneath his lines he wrote these cadenced sentences, "The
heart's pain is removed * by union with the beloved * and whomso
his lover paineth * only Allah assaineth! * If we or you have
wrought deceit * may the deceiver win defeat! * There is naught
goodlier than a lover who keeps faith * with the beloved who
works him scathe." Then, by way of subscription, he wrote, "From
the distracted and despairing man * whom love and longing trepan
* from the lover under passion's ban * the prisoner of transport
and distraction * from this Kamar al-Zaman * son of Shahriman *
to the peerless one * of the fair Houris the pearl-union * to the
Lady Budur * daughter of King Al Ghayur * Know thou that by night
I am sleepless * and by day in distress * consumed with
increasing wasting and pain * and longing and love unfain *
abounding in sighs * with tear flooded eyes * by passion captive
ta'en * of Desire the slain * with heart seared by the parting of
us twain * the debtor of longing bane, of sickness cup-companion
* I am the sleepless one, who never closeth eye * the slave of
love, whose tears run never dry * for the fire of my heart is
still burning * and never hidden is the flame of my yearning."
Then on the margin Kamar al-Zaman wrote this admired verse,

"Salem from graces hoarded by my Lord *
To her, who holds my heart and soul in hoard!"

And also these,

"Pray'ee grant me some words from your lips, belike *
Such mercy may comfort and cool these eyne:
From the stress of my love and my pine for you, *
I make light of what makes me despised, indign:
Allah guard a folk whose abode was far, *
And whose secret I kept in the holiest shrine:
Now Fortune in kindness hath favoured me *
Thrown on threshold dust of this love o' mine:
By me bedded I looked on Budur, whose sun *
The moon of my fortunes hath made to shine."

Then, having affixed his seal-ring to the missive, he wrote these
couplets in the place of address,

"Ask of my writ what wrote my pen in dole, *
And hear my tale of misery from this scroll;
My hand is writing while my tears down flow, *
And to the paper 'plains my longing soul:
My tears cease not to roll upon this sheet, *
And if they stopped I'd cause blood-gouts to roll."

And at the end he added this other verse,

"I've sent the ring from off thy finger bore *
I when we met, now deign my ring restore!"

Then Kamar al-Zaman set the Lady Budur's ring inside the letter
and sealed it and gave it to the eunuch, who took it and went in
with it to his mistress.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman, after setting the seal-ring inside the epistle, gave it to
the eunuch who took it and went in with it to his mistress; and,
when the Lady Budur opened it, she found therein her own very
ring. Then she read the paper and when she understood its purport
and knew that it was from her beloved, and that he in person
stood behind the curtain, her reason began to fly and her breast
swelled for joy and rose high; and she repeated these couplets,

"Long, long have I bewailed the sev'rance of our loves, *
With tears that from my lids streamed down like burning
And vowed that, if the days deign reunite us two, *
My lips should never speak of severance again:
Joy hath o'erwhelmed me so that, for the very stress *
Of that which gladdens me to weeping I am fain.
Tears are become to you a habit, O my eyes, *
So that ye weep as well for gladness as for pain.''[FN#301]

And having finished her verse, the Lady Budur stood up forthwith
and, firmly setting her feet to the wall, strained with all her
might upon the collar of iron, till she brake it from her neck
and snapped the chains. Then going forth from behind the curtain
she threw herself on Kamar al-Zaman and kissed him on the mouth,
like a pigeon feeding its young.[FN#302] And she embraced him
with all the stress of her love and longing and said to him, "O
my lord do I wake or sleep and hath the Almighty indeed
vouchsafe] us reunion after disunion? Laud be to Allah who hath
our loves repaired, even after we despaired!" Now when the eunuch
saw her in this case, he went off running to King Ghayur and,
kissing the ground before him, said, "O my lord, know that this
Astrologer is indeed the Shaykh of all astrologers, who are fools
to him, all of them; for verily he hath cured thy daughter while
standing behind the curtain and without going in to her." Quoth
the King, "Look well to it, is this news true?" Answered the
eunuch, "O my lord, rise and come and see for thyself how she
hath found strength to break the iron chains and is come forth to
the Astrologer, kissing and embracing him." Thereupon the King
arose and went in to his daughter who, when she saw him, stood up
in haste and covered her head,[FN#303] and recited these two

"The toothstick love I not; for when I say, *
'Siwak,'[FN#304] I miss thee, for it sounds 'Siwa-ka'.
The caper-tree I love; for when I say, *
'Arak'[FN#305] it sounds I look on thee, 'Ara-ka.'"

Thereupon the King was so transported for joy at her recovery
that he felt like to fly and kissed her between the eyes, for he
loved her with dearest love; then, turning to Kamar al-Zaman, he
asked him who he was, and said, "What countryman art thou?" So
the Prince told him his name and rank, and informed him that he
was the son of King Shahriman, and presently related to him the
whole story from beginning to end; and acquainted him with what
happened between himself and the Lady Budur; and how he had taken
her seal-ring from her finger and had placed it on his own;
whereat Ghayur marvelled and said, "Verily your story deserveth
in books to be chronicled, and when you are dead and gone age
after age be read." Then he summoned Kazis and witnesses
forthright and married the Lady Budur to Prince Kamar al-Zaman;
after which he bade decorate the city seven days long. So they
spread the tables with all manner of meats, whilst the drums beat
and the criers anounced the glad tidings, and all the troops
donned their richest clothes; and they illuminated the city and
held high festival. Then Kamar al-Zaman went in to the Lady Budur
and the King rejoiced in her recovery and in her marriage; and
praised Allah for that He had made her to fall in love with a
goodly youth of the sons of Kings. So they unveiled her and
displayed the bride before the bridegroom; and both were the
living likeness of each other in beauty and comeliness and grace
and love-allurement. Then Kamar al-Zaman lay with her that night
and took his will of her, whilst she in like manner fulfilled her
desire of him and enjoyed his charms and grace; and they slept in
each other's arms till the morning. On the morrow, the King made
a wedding-feast to which he gathered all comers from the Islands
of the Inner and Outer Seas, and he spread the tables with
choicest viands nor ceased the banquetting for a whole month. Now
when Kamar al-Zaman had thus fulfilled his will and attained his
inmost desire, and whenas he had tarried awhile with the Princess
Budur, he bethought him of his father, King Shahriman, and saw
him in a dream, saying, "O my son, is it thus thou dealest with
me?" and recited in the vision these two couplets,

"Indeed to watch the darkness-moon he blighted me, *
And to star-gaze through longsome night he plighted me:
Easy, my heart! for haply he'll unite with thee; *
And patience, Sprite! with whatso ills he dight to thee."

Now after seeing his father in the dream and hearing his re
preaches, Kamar al-Zaman awoke in the morning, afflicted and
troubled, whereupon the Lady Budur questioned him and he told her
what he had seen.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar
al-Zaman acquainted the Lady Budur with what he had seen in his
dream, she and he went in to her sire and, telling him what had
passed, besought his leave to travel. He gave the Prince the
permission he sought; but the Princess said, "O my father, I
cannot bear to be parted from him." Quoth Ghayur, her sire, "Then
go thou with him," and gave her leave to be absent a whole
twelvemonth and afterwards to visit him in every year once; so
she kissed his hand and Kamar al-Zaman did the like. Thereupon
King Ghayur proceeded to equip his daughter and her bridegroom
for the journey, and furnished them with outfit and appointments
for the march; and brought out of his stables horses marked with
his own brand, blood-dromedaries[FN#306] which can journey ten
days without water, and prepared a litter for his daughter,
besides loading mules and camels with victual; moreover, he gave
them slaves and eunuchs to serve them and all manner of
travellinggear; and on the day of departure, when King Ghayur
took leave of Kamar al-Zaman, he bestowed on him ten splendid
suits of cloth of gold embroidered with stones of price, together
with ten riding horses and ten she-camels, and a treasury of
money;[FN#307] and he charged him to love and cherish his
daughter the Lady Budur. Then the King accompanied them to the
farthest limits of his Islands where, going in to his daughter
Budur in the litter, he kissed her and strained her to his bosom,
weeping and repeating,

"O thou who wooest Severance, easy fare! *
For love-embrace belongs to lover-friend:
Fare softly! Fortune's nature falsehood is, *
And parting shall love's every meeting end."

Then leaving his daughter, he went to her husband and bade him
farewell and kissed him; after which he parted from them and,
giving the order for the march he returned to his capital with
his troops. The Prince and Princess and their suite fared on
without stopping through the first day and the second and the
third and the fourth, nor did they cease faring for a whole month
till they came to a spacious champaign, abounding in pasturage,
where they pitched their tents; and they ate and drank and
rested, and the Princess Budur lay down to sleep. Presently,
Kamar al-Zaman went in to her and found her lying asleep clad in
a shift of apricot-coloured silk that showed all and everything;
and on her head was a coif of gold-cloth embroidered with pearls
and jewels. The breeze raised her shift which laid bare her navel
and showed her breasts and displayed a stomach whiter than snow,
each one of whose dimples would contain an ounce of benzoin-
ointment.[FN#308] At this sight, his love and longing redoubled,
and he began reating,

"An were it asked me when by hell-fire burnt, *
When flames of heart my vitals hold and hem,
'Which wouldst thou chose, say wouldst thou rather them, *
Or drink sweet cooling draught?' I'd answer, 'Them!' "

Then he put his hand to the band of her petticoat-trousers and
drew it and loosed it, for his soul lusted after her, when he saw
a jewel, red as dye-wood, made fast to the band. He untied it and
examined it and, seeing two lines of writing graven thereon, in a
character not to be read, marvelled and said in his mind, "Were
not this bezel something to her very dear she had not bound it to
her trousers-band nor hidden it in the most privy and precious
place about her person, that she might not be parted from it.
Would I knew what she cloth with this and what is the secret that
is in it." So saying, he took it and went outside the tent to
look at it in the light,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day, and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when he
took the bezel to look at it in the light, the while he was
holding it behold, a bird swooped down on him and, snatching the
same from his hand, flew off with it and then lighted on the
ground. There-upon Kamar al-Zaman fearing to lose the jewel, ran
after the bird; but it flew on before him, keeping just out of
his reach, and ceased not to draw him on from dale to dale and
from hill to hill, till the night starkened and the firmament
darkened, when it roosted on a high tree. So Kamar al-Zaman
stopped under the tree confounded in thought and faint for famine
and fatigue, and giving himself up for lost, would have turned
back, but knew not the way whereby he came, for that darkness had
overtaken him. Then he exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious the Great!"; and laying
him down under the tree (whereon was the bird) slept till the
morning, when he awoke and saw the bird also wake up and fly
away. He arose and walked after it, and it flew on little by
little before him, after the measure of his faring; at which he
smiled and said, "By Allah, a strange thing! Yesterday, this bird
flew before me as fast as I could run, and to-day, knowing that I
have awoke tired and cannot run, he flieth after the measure of
my faring. By Allah, this is wonderful! But I must needs follow
this bird whether it lead me to death or to life; and I will go
wherever it goeth, for at all events it will not abide save in
some inhabited land.[FN#309] So he continued to follow the bird
which roosted every night upon a tree; and he ceased not pursuing
it for a space of ten days, feeding on the fruits of the earth
and drinking of its waters. At the end of this time, he came in
sight of an inhabited city, whereupon the bird darted off like
the glance of the eye and, entering the town, disappeared from
Kamar al-Zaman, who knew not what it meant or whither it was
gone; so he marvelled at this and exclaimed, "Praise be to Allah
who hath brought me in safety to this city!" Then he sat down by
a stream and washed his hands and feet and face and rested
awhile; and, recalling his late easy and pleasant life of union
with his beloved and contrasting it with his present plight of
trouble and fatigue and distress and strangerhood and famine and
severance, the tears streamed from his eyes and he began
repeating these cinquains,

"Pain had I hid thy handwork, but it showed, *
Changed sleep for wake, and wake with me abode:
When thou didst spurn my heart I cried aloud *
Pate, hold thy hand and cease to gird and goad:
In dole and danger aye my sprite I spy!

An but the Lord of Love were just to me, *
Sleep fro' my eyelids ne'er were forced to flee.
Pity, my lady, one for love o' thee *
Prom his tribes darling brought to low degree:
Love came and doomed Wealth beggar-death to die.

The railers chide at thee: I ne'er gainsay, *
But stop my ears and dumbly sign them Nay:
'Thou lov'st a slender may,' say they; I say, *
'I've picked her out and cast the rest away:'
Enough; when Fate descends she blinds man's

And as soon as he had finished his poetry and had taken his rest,
he rose and walked on little by little, till he entered the
city.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as
Kamar al-Zaman had finished his poetry and had taken his rest, he
arose and entered the city-gate[FN#311] not knowing whither he
should wend. He crossed the city from end to end, entering by the
land-gate, and ceased not faring on till he came out at the sea-
gate, for the city stood on the sea-shore. Yet he met not a
single one of its citizens. And after issuing from the land-gate
he fared forwards and ceased not faring till he found himself
among the orchards and gardens of the place; and, passing among
the trees presently came to a garden and stopped before its door;
where-upon the keeper came out to him and saluted him. The Prince
returned his greeting and the gardener bade him welcome, saying,
"Praised be Allah that thou hast come off safe from the dwellers
of this city! Quick, come into the garth, ere any of the townfolk
see thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered that garden,
wondering in mind, and asked the keeper, "What may be the history
of the people of this city and who may they be?" The other
answered, "Know that the people of this city are all Magians: but
Allah upon thee, tell me how thou camest to this city and what
caused thy coming to our capital." Accordingly Kamar al-Zaman
told the gardener all that had befallen him from beginning to
end, whereat he marvelled with great marvel and said, "Know, O my
son, that the cities of Al-Islam lie far from us; and between us
and them is a four months' voyage by sea and a whole twelve
months' journey by land. We have a ship which saileth every year
with merchandise to the nearest Moslem country and which entereth
the seas of the Ebony Islands and thence maketh the Khalidan
Islands, the dominions of King Shahriman." Thereupon Kamar al-
Zaman considered awhile and concluded that he could not do better
than abide in the garden with the gardener and become his
assistant, receiving for pay one fourth of the produce. So he
said to him, "Wilt thou take me into thy service, to help thee in
this garden?" Answered the gardener, "To hear is to consent;" and
began teaching him to lead the water to the roots of the trees.
So Kamar al-Zaman abode with him, watering the trees and hoeing
up the weeds and wearing a short blue frock which reached to his
knees. And he wept floods of tears; for he had no rest day or
night, by reason of his strangerhood and he ceased not to repeat
verses upon his beloved, amongst others the following couplets,

"Ye promised us and will ye not keep plight? *
Ye said a say and shall not deed be dight?
We wake for passion while ye slumber and sleep; *
Watchers and wakers claim not equal right:
We vowed to keep our loves in secrecy, *
But spake the meddler and you spoke forthright:
O friend in pain and pleasure, joy and grief, *
In all case you, you only, claim my sprite!
Mid folk is one who holds my prisoned heart; *
Would he but show some ruth for me to sight.
Not every eye like mine is wounded sore, *
Not every heart like mine love-pipings blight:
Ye wronged me saying, Love is wrongous aye *
Yea! ye were right, events have proved that quite.
Forget they one love-thralled, whose faith the world *
Robs not, though burn the fires in heart alight:
If an my foeman shall become my judge, *
Whom shall I sue to remedy his despight?
Had not I need of love nor love had sought, *
My heart forsure were not thus love-distraught."

Such was the case with Kamar al-Zaman; but as regards his wife,
the Lady Budur, when she awoke she sought her husband and found
him not: then she saw her petticoat-trousers undone, for the band
had been loosed and the bezel lost, whereupon she said to
herself, "By Allah, this is strange! Where is my husband? It
would seem as if he had taken the talisman and gone away, knowing
not the secret which is in it. Would to Heaven I knew whither can
he have wended! But it must needs have been some extraordinary
matter that drew him away, for he cannot brook to leave me a
moment. Allah curse the stone and damn its hour!" Then she
considered awhile and said in her mind, "If I go out and tell the
varlets and let them learn that my husband is lost they will lust
after me: there is no help for it but that I use stratagem. So
she rose and donned some of her husband's clothes and riding-
boots, and a turband like his, drawing one corner of it across
her face for a mouth-veil.[FN#312] Then, setting a slave-girl in
her litter, she went forth from the tent and called to the pages
who brought her Kamar al-Zaman's steed; and she mounted and bade
them load the beasts and resume the march. So they bound on the
burdens and departed; and she concealed her trick, none doubting
but she was Kamar al-Zaman, for she favoured him in face and
form; nor did she cease journeying, she and her suite, days and
nights, till they came in sight of a city overlooking the Salt
Sea, where they pitched their tents without the walls and halted
to rest. The Princess asked the name of the town and was told,
"It is called the City of Ebony; its King is named Armanus, and
he hath a daughter Hayat al-Nufus[FN#313] hight,"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Lady Budur halted within sight of the Ebony City to take her
rest, King Armanus sent a messenger, to learn what King it was
who had encamped without his capital; so the messenger, coming to
the tents, made inquiry anent their King, and was told that she
was a King's son who had lost the way being bound for the
Khalidan Islands; whereupon he returned to King Armanus with the
tidings; and, when the King heard them, he straightway rode out
with the lords of his land to greet the stranger on arrival. As
he drew near the tents the Lady Budur came to meet him on foot,
whereupon the King alighted and they saluted each other. Then he
took her to the city and, bringing her up to the palace, bade
them spread the tables and trays of food and commanded them to
transport her company and baggage to the guess house. So they
abode there three days; at the end of which time the King came in
to the Lady Budur. Now she had that day gone to the Hammam and
her face shone as the moon at its full, a seduction to the world
and a rending of the veil of shame to mankind; and Armanus found
her clad in a -suit of silk, embroidered with gold and jewels; so
he said to her, 'O my son, know that I am a very old man,
decrepit withal, and Allah hath blessed me with no child save one
daughter, who resembleth thee in beauty and grace; and I am now
waxed unfit for the conduct of the state. She is shine, O my son;
and, if this my land please thee and thou be willing to abide and
make thy home here, I will marry thee to her and give thee my
kingdom and so be at rest." When Princess Budur heard this, she
bowed her head and her forehead sweated for shame, and she said
to herself. "How shall I do, and I a woman? If I refuse and
depart from him, I cannot be safe but that haply send after me
troops to slay me; and if I consent, belike I shall be put to
shame. I have lost my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and know not what is
become of him; nor can I escape from this scrape save by holding
my peace and consenting and abiding here, till Allah bring about
what is to be." So she raised her head and made submission to
King Armanus, saying, "Hearkening and obedience!"; whereat he
rejoiced and bade the herald make proclamation throughout the
Ebony Islands to hold high festival and decorate the houses. Then
he assembled his Chamberlains and Nabobs, and Emirs and Wazirs
and his officers of state and the Kazis of the city; and,
formally abdicating his Sultanate, endowed Budur therewith and
invested her in all the vestments of royalty. The Emirs and
Grandees went in to her and did her homage, nothing doubting but
that she was a young man, and all who looked on her bepissed
their bag-trousers, for the excess of her beauty and loveliness.
Then, after the Lady Budur had been made Sultan and the drums had
been beaten in announcement of the glad event, and she had been
ceremoniously enthroned, King Armanus proceeded to equip his
daughter Hayat al-Nufus for marriage, and in a few days, they
brought the Lady Budur in to her, when they seemed as it were two
moons risen at one time or two suns in conjunction. So they
entered the bridal-chamber and the doors were shut and the
curtains let down upon them, after the attendants had lighted the
wax-candles and spread for them the carpet-bed. When Budur found
herself alone with the Princess Hayat al-Nufus, she called to
mind her beloved Kamar al-Zaman and grief was sore upon her. So
she wept for his absence, and estrangement and she began

"O ye who fled and left my heart in pain low li'en, *
No breath of life if found within this frame of mine:
I have an eye which e'er complains of wake, but lo! *
Tears occupy it would that wake content these eyne!
After ye marched forth the lover 'bode behind; *
Question of him what pains your absence could design!
But for the foods of tears mine eyelids rail and rain, *
My fires would flame on high and every land calcine.
To Allah make I moan of loved ones lost for aye, *
Who for my pine and pain no more shall pain and pine:
I never wronged them save that over love I nurst: *
But Love departs us lovers into blest and curst."

And when she had finished her repeating, the Lady Budur sat down
beside the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and kissed her on the mouth;
after which rising abruptly, she made the minor ablution and
betook herself to her devotions; nor did she leave praying till
Hayat al-Nufus fell asleep, when she slips into bed and lay with
her back to her till morning. And when day had broke the King and
Queen came in to their daughter and asked her how she did.
whereupon she told them what she had seen, and repeated to them
the verses she had heard. Thus far concerning Hayat al-Nufus and
her father; but as regards Queen Budur she went forth and seated
herself upon the royal throne and all the Emirs and Captains and
Officers of state came up to her and wished her joy of the
kingship, kissing the earth before her and calling down blessings
upon her. And she accosted them with smiling face and clad them
in robes of honour, augmenting the fiefs of the high officials
and giving largesse to the levies; wherefore all the people loved
her and offered up prayers for the long endurance of her reign,
doubting not but that she was a man. And she ceased not sitting
all day in the hall of audience, bidding and forbidding;
dispensing justice, releasing prisoners and remitting the
customs-dues, till nightfall, when she withdrew to the apartment
prepared for her. Here she found Hayat al-Nufus seated, so she
sat down by her side and, clapping her on the back, coaxed and
caressed her and kissed her between the eyes, and fell to
versifying in these couplets,

"What secret kept I these my tears have told, *
And my waste body must my love unfold:
Though hid my pine, my plight on parting day *
To every envious eye my secret sold:
O ye who broke up camp, you've left behind *
My spirit wearied and my heart a-cold:
In my hearts core ye dwell, and now these eyne *
Roll blood-drops with the tears they whilome rolled:
The absent will I ransom with my soul; *
All can my yearning for their sight behold:
I have an eye whose babe,[FN#314] for love of thee, *
Rejected sleep nor hath its tears controlled.
The foeman bids me patient bear his loss, *
Ne'er may mine ears accept the ruth he doled!
I tricks their deme of me, and won my wish *
Of Kamar al-Zaman's joys manifold:
He joins all perfect gifts like none before, *
Boasted such might and main no King of old:
Seeing his gifts, Bin Za'idah's[FN#315] largesse *
Forget we, and Mu'awiyah mildest-soul'd:[FN#316]
Were verse not feeble and o'er short the time *
I had in laud of him used all of rhyme."

Then Queen Budur stood up and wiped away her tears and, making
the lesser ablution,[FN#317] applied her to pray: nor did she
give over praying till drowsiness overcame the Lady Hayat al-
Nufus and she slept, whereupon the Lady Budur came and lay by her
till the morning. At daybreak, she arose and prayed the dawn-
prayer; and presently seated herself on the royal throne and
passed the day in ordering and counter ordering and giving laws
and administering justice. This is how it fared with her; but as
regards King Armanus he went in to his daughter and asked her how
she did; so she told him all that had befallen her and repeated
to him the verses which Queen Budur had recited, adding, "O my
father, never saw I one more abounding in sound sense and modesty
than my husband, save that he cloth nothing but weep and sigh."
He answered, "O my daughter, have patience with him yet this
third night, and if he go not in unto thee and do away thy
maidenhead, we shall know how to proceed with him and oust him
from the throne and banish him the country." And on this wise he
agreed with his daughter what course he would take.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King
Armanus had agreed with his daughter on this wise and had
determined what course he would take and night came on, Queen
Budur arose from the throne of her kingdom and betaking herself
to the palace, entered the apartment prepared for her. There she
found the wax-candles lighted and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus
seated and awaiting her; whereupon she bethought her of her
husband and what had betided them both of sorrow and severance in
so short a space; she wept and sighed and groaned groan upon
groan, and began improvising these couplets,

"News of my love fill all the land, I swear, *
As suns on Ghaza[FN#318]-wold rain heat and glare:
Speaketh his geste but hard its sense to say; *
Thus never cease to grow my cark and care:
I hate fair Patience since I loved thee; *
E'er sawest lover hate for love to bear?
A glance that dealt love-sickness dealt me death, *
Glances are deadliest things with torments rare:
He shook his love locks down and bared his chin, *
Whereby I spied his beauties dark and fair:
My care, my cure are in his hands; and he *
Who caused their dolour can their dole repair:
His belt went daft for softness of his waist; *
His hips, for envy, to uprise forbear:
His brow curl-diademed is murky night; *
Unveil 't and lo! bright Morn shows brightest light."

When she had finished her versifying, she would have risen to
pray, but, lo and behold! Hayat al-Nufus caught her by the skirt
and clung to her saying, "O my lord, art thou not ashamed before
my father, after all his favour, to neglect me at such a time as
this?" When Queen Budur heard her words, she sat down in the same
place and said, "O my beloved, what is this thou sayest?" She
replied, "What I say is that I never saw any so proud of himself
as thou. Is every fair one so disdainful? I say not this to
incline thee to me; I say it only of my fear for thee from King
Armanus; because he purposeth, unless thou go in unto me this
very night, and do away my maidenhead, to strip thee of the
kingship on the morrow and banish thee his kingdom; and
peradventure his excessive anger may lead him to slay thee. But
I, O my lord, have ruth on thee and give thee fair warning; and
it is thy right to reck."[FN#319] Now when Queen Budur heard her
speak these words, she bowed her head ground-wards awhile in sore
perplexity and said in herself, "If I refuse I'm lost; and if I
obey I'm shamed. But I am now Queen of all the Ebony Islands and
they are under my rule, nor shall I ever again meet my Kamar al-
Zaman save in this place; for there is no way for him to his
native land but through the Ebony Islands. Verily, I know not
what to do in my present case, but I commit my care to Allah who
directeth all for the best, for I am no man that I should arise
and open this virgin girl." Then quoth Queen Budur to Hayat al-
Nufus, "O my beloved, that I have neglected thee and abstained
from thee is in my own despite." And she told her her whole story
from beginning to end and showed her person to her, saying, "I
conjure thee by Allah to keep my counsel, for I have concealed my
case only that Allah may reunite me with my beloved Kamar al-
Zaman and then come what may."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Lady Budur acquainted Hayat al-Nufus with her history and bade
her keep it secret, the Princess heard her with extreme
wonderment and was moved to pity and prayed Allah to reunite her
with her beloved, saying, "Fear nothing, O my sister; but have
patience till Allah bring to pass that which must come to pass:"
and she began repeating,

"None but the men of worth a secret keep;
With worthy men a secret's hidden deep;
As in a room, so secrets lie with me,
Whose door is sealed, lock shot and lost the key."[FN#320]

And when Hayat al-Nufus had ended her verses, she said, "O my
sister, verily the breasts of the noble and brave are of secrets
the grave; and I will not discover shine." Then they toyed and
embraced and kissed and slept till near the Mu'ezzin's call to
dawn prayer, when Hayat al-Nufus arose and took a
pigeon-poult,[FN#321] and cut its throat over her smock and
besmeared herself with its blood. Then she pulled off her
petticoat-trousers and cried aloud, where-upon her people
hastened to her and raised the usual lullilooing and outcries of
joy and gladness. Presently her mother came in to her and asked
her how she did and busied herself about her and abode with her
till evening; whilst the Lady Budur arose with the dawn, and
repaired to the bath and, after washing herself pure, proceeded
to the hall of audience, where she sat down on her throne and
dispensed justice among the folk. Now when King Armanus heard the
loud cries of joy, he asked what was the matter and was informed
of the consummation of his daughter's marriage; whereat he
rejoiced and his breast swelled with gladness and he made a great
marriage-feast whereof the merry-making lasted a long time. Such
was their case: but as regards King Shahriman it was on this
wise. After his son had fared forth to the chase accompanied by
Marzawan, as before related, he tarried patiently awaiting their
return at nightfall; but when his son did not appear he passed a
sleepless night and the dark hours were longsome upon him; his
restlessness was excessive, his excitement grew upon him and he
thought the morning would never dawn. Anc when day broke he sat
expecting his son and waited till noon, but he came not; whereat
his heart forebode separation and was fired with fears for Kamar
al-Zaman; and he cried, "Alas! my son!" and he wept till his
clothes were drenched with tears, and repeated with a beating

"Love's votaries I ceased not to oppose, *
Till doomed to taste Love's bitter and Love's sweet:
I drained his rigour-cup to very dregs, *
Self humbled at its slaves' and freemen's feet:
Fortune had sworn to part the loves of us; *
She kept her word how truly, well I weet!"

And when he ended his verse, he wiped away his tears and bade his
troops make ready for a march and prepare for a long expedition.
So they all mounted and set forth, headed by the Sultan, whose
heart burnt with grief and was fired with anxiety for his son
Kamar al-Zaman; and they advanced by forced marches. Now the King
divided his host into six divisions, a right wing and a left
wing, a vanguard and a rear guard;[FN#322] and bade them
rendezvous for the morrow at the cross-roads. Accordingly they
separated and scoured the country all the rest of that day till
night, and they marched through the night and at noon of the
ensuing day they joined company at the place where four roads
met. But they knew not which the Prince followed, till they saw
the sign of torn clothes and sighted shreds of flesh and beheld
blood still sprinkled by the way and they noted every piece of
the clothes and fragment of mangled flesh scattered on all sides.
Now when King Shahriman saw this, he cried from his heart-core a
loud cry, saying, "Alas, my son!"; and buffeted his face and
plucks his beard and rent his raiment, doubting not but his son
was dead. Then he gave himself up to excessive weeping and
wailing, and the troops also wept for his weeping, all being
assured that Prince Kamar al-Zaman had perished. They threw dust
on their heads, and the night surprised them shedding tears and
lamenting till they were like to die. Then the King with a heart
on fire and with burning sighs spake these couplets,

"Chide not the mourner for bemourning woe; *
Enough is yearning every Ill to show:
He weeps for stress of sorrow and of pain, *
And these to thee best evidence his lowe:
Happy![FN#323] of whom Love sickness swore that ne'er *
Should cease his eye lids loving tears to flow:
He mourns the loss of fairest, fullest Moon, *
Shining o'er all his peers in glorious glow:
But death made drink a brimming cup, what day *
He fared from natal country fain to go:
His home left he and went from us to grief; *
Nor to his brethren could he say adieu:
Yea, his loss wounded me with parting pangs, *
And separation cost me many a throe:
He fared farewelling, as he fared, our eyes; *
Whenas his Lord vouch-safed him Paradise."

And when King Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned with
the troops to his capital,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King
Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned with the troops to
his capital, giving up his son for lost, and deeming that wild
beasts or banditti had set upon him and torn him to pieces; and
made proclamation that all in the Khalidan Islands should don
black in mourning for him. Moreover, he built, in his memory, a
pavilion, naming it House of Lamentations; and on Mondays and
Thursdays he devoted himself to the business of the state and
ordering the affairs of his levies and lieges; and the rest of
the week he was wont to spend in the House of Lamentations,
mourning for his son and bewailing him with elegiac
verses,[FN#324] of which the following are some:--

"My day of bliss is that when thou appearest; *
My day of bale[FN#325] is that whereon thou farest:
Though through the night I quake in dread of death; *
Union wi' thee is of all bliss the dearest."

And again he said,

"My soul be sacrifice for one, whose going *
Afflicted hearts with sufferings sore and dread:
Let joy her widowed term[FN#326] fulfil, for I *
Divorced joy with the divorce thrice-said."[FN#327]

Such was the case with King Shahriman; but as regards Queen Budur
daughter of King Ghayur, she abode as ruler in the Ebony Islands,
whilst the folk would point to her with their fingers, and say,
"Yonder is the son-in-law of King Armanus." And every night she
lay with Hayat al-Nufus, to whom she lamented her desolate state
and longing for her husband Kamar al-Zaman; weeping and
describing to her his beauty and loveliness, and yearning to
enjoy him though but in a dream: And at times she would repeat,

"Well Allah wots that since my severance from thee, *
I wept till forced to borrow tears at usury:
'Patience!' my blamer cried, 'Heartsease right soon shalt see!' *
Quoth I, 'Say, blamer, where may home of Patience be?'"

This is how it fared with Queen Budur; but as regards Kamar al-
Zaman, he abode with the gardener in the garden for no short
time, weeping night and day and repeating verses bewailing the
past time of enjoyment and delight; whilst the gardener kept
comforting him and assuring him that the ship would set sail for
the land of the Moslems at the end of the year. And in this
condition he continued till one day he saw the folk crowding
together and wondered at this; but the gardener came in to him
and said, "O my son, give over work for this day nor lead water
to the trees; for it is a festival day, whereon folk visit one
another. So take thy rest and only keep shine eye on the garden,
whilst I go look after the ship for thee; for yet but a little
while and I send thee to the land of the Moslems." Upon this, he
went forth from the garden leaving to himself Kamar al-Zaman, who
fell to musing upon his case till his heart was like to break and
the tears streamed from his eyes. So he wept with excessive
weeping till he swooned away and, when he recovered, he rose and
walked about the garden, pondering what Time had done with him
and bewailing the long endurance of his estrangement and
separation from those he loved. As he was thus absorbed in
melancholy thought, his foot stumbled and he fell on his face,
his forehead striking against the projecting root of a tree; and
the blow cut it open and his blood ran down and mingled with his
tears Then he rose and, wiping away the blood, dried his tears
and bound his brow with a piece of rag; then continued his walk
about the garden engrossed by sad reverie. Presently, he looked
up at a tree and saw two birds quarrelling thereon, and one of
them rose up and smote the other with its beak on the neck and
severed from its body its head, wherewith it flew away, whilst
the slain bird fell to the ground before Kamar al-Zaman. As it
lay, behold, two great birds swooped down upon it alighting, one
at the head and the other at the tail, and both drooped their
wings and bowed their bills over it and, extending their necks
towards it, wept. Kamar al-Zaman also wept when seeing the birds
thus bewail their mate, and called to mind his wife and father,
And Shahrazed perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman wept and lamented his separation from spouse and sire, when
he beheld those two birds weeping over their mate. Then he looked
at the twain and saw them dig a grave and therein bury the slain
bird; after which they flew away far into the firmament and
disappeared for a while; but presently they returned with the
murtherer-bird and, alighting on the grave of the murthered,
stamped on the slayer till they had done him to death. Then they
rent his belly and tearing out his entrails, poured the blood on
the grave of the slain[FN#328]: moreover, they stripped off his
skin and tare his flesh in pieces and, pulling out the rest of
the bowels, scattered them hither and thither. All this while
Kamar al-Zaman was watching them wonderingly; but presently,
chancing to look at the place where the two birds had slain the
third, he saw therein something gleaming. So he drew near to it
and noted that it was the crop of the dead bird. Whereupon he
took it and opened it and found the talisman which had been the
cause of his separation from his wife. But when he saw it and
knew it, he fell to the ground a-fainting for joy; and, when he
revived, he said, "Praised be Allah! This is a foretaste of good
and a presage of reunion with my beloved." Then he examined the
jewel and passed it over his eyes[FN#329]; after which he bound
it to his forearm, rejoicing in coming weal, and walked about
till nightfall awaiting the gardener's return; and when he came
not, he lay down and slept in his wonted place. At daybreak he
rose to his work and, girding his middle with a cord of palm-
fibre, took hatchet and basket and walked down the length of the
garden, till he came to a carob-tree and struck the axe into its
roots. The blow rang and resounded; so he cleared away the soil
from the place and discovered a trap-door and raised it.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When It was the Two Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar
al-Zaman raised the trap-door, he found a winding stair, which he
descended and came to an ancient vault of the time of Ad and
Thamud,[FN#330] hewn out of the rock. Round the vault stood many
brazen vessels of the bigness of a great oil-jar which he found
full of gleaming red gold: whereupon he said to himself, "Verily
sorrow is gone and solace is come!" Then he mounted from the
souterrain to the garden and, replacing the trap-door as it was
before, busied himself in conducting water to the trees till the
last of the day, when the gardener came back and said to him, "O
my son, rejoice at the good tidings of a speedy return to thy
native land: the merchants are ready equipped for the voyage and
the ship in three days' time will set sail for the City of Ebony,
which is the first of the cities of the Moslems, and after making
it, thou must travel by land a six months' march till thou come
to the Islands of Khalidan, the dominions of King Shahriman." At
this Kamar al-Zaman rejoiced and began repeating,

"Part not from one whose wont is not to part from you; *
Nor with your cruel taunts an innocent mortify:
Another so long parted had ta'en heart from you, *
And had his whole condition changed,--but not so I."

Then he kissed the gardener's hand and said, "O my father, even
as thou hast brought me glad tidings, so I also have great good
news for thee,' and told him anent his discovery of the vault;
whereat the gardener rejoiced and said, "O my son, fourscore
years have I dwelt in this garden and have never hit on aught
whilst thou, who hast not sojourned with me a year, hast
discovered this thing; wherefore it is Heaven's gift to thee,
which shall end thy crosses and aid thee to rejoin thy folk and
foregather with her thou lovest." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "There is
no help but it must be shared between me and thee." Then he
carried him to the underground-chamber and showed him the gold,
which was in twenty jars: he took ten and the gardener ten, and
the old man said to him, "O my son, fill thyself leather
bottles[FN#331] with the sparrow-olives[FN#332] which grow in
this garden, for they are not found except in our land; and the
merchants carry them to all parts. Lay the gold in the bottles
and strew it over with olives: then stop them and cover them and
take them with thee in the ship." So Kamar al-Zaman arose without
stay or delay and took fifty leather bottles and stored in each
somewhat of the gold, and closed each one after placing a layer
of olives over the gold; and at the bottom of one of the bottles
he laid the talisman. Then sat he down to talk with the gardener,
confident of speedy reunion with his own people and saying to
himself, "When I come to the Ebony Islands I will journey thence
to my father's country and enquire for my beloved Budur. Would to
Heaven I knew whether she returned to her own land or journeyed
on to my father's country or whether there befel her any accident
by the way." And he began versifying,

"Love in my breast they lit and fared away, *
And far the land wherein my love is pent:
Far lies the camp and those who camp therein; *
Par is her tent-shrine, where I ne'er shall tent.
Patience far deaf me when from me they fled; *
Sleep failed mine eyes, endurance was forspent:
They left and with them left my every joy, *
Wending with them, nor find I peace that went:
They made these eyes roll down love tears in flood, *
And lacking them these eyne with tears are drent.
When my taste spins once again would see them, *
When pine and expectation but augment,
In my heart's core their counterfeits I trace, *
With love and yearning to behold their grace."

Then, while he awaited the end of the term of days, he told the
gardener the tale of the birds and what had passed between them;
whereat the hearer wondered; and they both lay down and slept
till the morning. The gardener awoke sick and abode thus two
days; but on the third day, his sickness increased on him, till
they despaired of his life and Kamar al-Zaman grieved with sore
grief for him. Meanwhile behold, the Master and his crew came and
enquired for the gardener; and, when Kamar al-Zaman told them
that he was sick, they asked, "Where be the youth who is minded
to go with us to the Ebony Islands?" "He is your servent and he
standeth before you!" answered the Prince and bade them carry the
bottles of olives to the ship; so they transported them, saying,
"Make haste, thou, for the wind is fair;" and he replied, "I hear
and obey." Then he carried his provaunt on board and, returning
to bid the gardener farewell, found him in the agonies of death;
so he sat down at his head and closed his eyes, and his soul
departed his body; whereupon he laid him out and committed him to
the earth unto the mercy of Allah Almighty. Then he made for the
ship but found that she had already weighed anchor and set sail;
nor did she cease to cleave the seas till she disappeared from
his sight. So he went back to whence he came heavy-hearted with
whirling head; and neither would he address a soul nor return a
reply; and reaching the garden and sitting down in cark and care
he threw dust on his head and buffeted his cheeks.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
ship sped on her course, Kamar al-Zaman returned to the garden in
cark and care; but- anon he rented the place of its owner and
hired a man to help him in irrigating the trees. Moreover, he
repaired the trap-door and he went to the underground chamber and
bringing the rest of the gold to grass, stowed it in other fifty
bottles which he filled up with a layer of olives. Then he
enquired of the ship and they told him that it sailed but once a
year, at which his trouble of mind redoubled and he cried sore
for that which had betided him, above all for the loss of the
Princess Budur's talisman, and spent his nights and days weeping
and repealing verses. Such was his case; but as regards the ship
she sailed with a favouring wind till she reached the Ebony
Islands. Now by decree of destiny, Queen Budur was sitting at a
lattice-window overlooking the sea and saw the galley cast anchor
upon the strand. At this sight, her heart throbbed and she took
horse with the Chamberlains and Nabobs and, riding down to the
shore, halted by the ship, whilst the sailors broke bulk and bore
the bales to the storehouses; after which she called the captain
to her presence and asked what he had with him. He answered "O
King, I have with me in this ship aromatic drugs and cosmetics
and healing powders and ointments and plasters and precious
metals and rich stuffs and rugs of Yemen leather, not to be borne
of mule or camel, and all manner of otters and spices and
perfumes, civet and ambergris and camphor and Sumatra aloes-wood,
and tamerinds[FN#333] and sparrow-olives to boot, such as are
rare to find in this country." When she heard talk of sparrow-
olives her heart longed for them and she said to the ship-master,
"How much of olives hast thou?" He replied, "Fifty bottles full,
but their owner is not with us, so the King shall take what he
will of them." Quoth she, "Bring them ashore, that I may see
them.'' Thereupon he called to the sailors, who brought her the
fifty bottles; and she opened one and, looking at the olives,
said to the captain, "I will take the whole fifty and pay you
their value, whatso it be." He answered, "By Allah, O my lord,
they have no value in our country; moreover their shipper tarried
behind us, and he is a poor man." Asked she, "And what are they
worth here?" and he answered "A thousand dirhams." "I will take
them at a thousand," she said and bade them carry the fifty
bottles to the palace. When it was night, she called for a bottle
of olives and opened it, there being none in the room but herself
and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus. Then, placing a dish before her
she turned into it the contents of the jar, when there fell out
into the dish with the olives a heap of red gold; and she said to
the Lady Hayat al-Nufus, "This is naught but gold!" So she sent
for the rest of the bottles and found them all full of precious
metal and scarce enough olives to fill a single jar. Moreover,
she sought among the gold and found therein the talisman, which
she took and examined and behold, it was that which Kamar al-
Zaman had taken from off the band of her petticoat trousers.
Thereupon she cried out for joy and slipped down in a swoon;--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King
Budur saw the talisman she cried out for joy and slipped down in
a swoon; and when she recovered she said to herself, "Verily,
this talisman was the cause of my separation from my beloved
Kamar al-Zaman; but now it is an omen of good." Then she showed
it to Hayat al-Nufus and said to her, "This was the cause of
disunion and now, please Allah, it shall be the cause of
reunion." As soon as day dawned she seated herself on the royal
throne and sent for the ship-master, who came into the presence
and kissed the ground before her. Quoth she, "Where didst thou
leave the owner of these olives?" Quoth he, "O King of the age,
we left him in the land of the Magians and he is a gardener
there." She rejoined, "Except thou bring him to me, thou knowest
not the harm which awaiteth thee and thy ship." Then she bade
them seal up the magazines of the merchants and said to them,
"Verily the owner of these olives hath borrowed of me and I have
a claim upon him for debt and, unless ye bring him to me, I will
without fail do you all die and seize your goods." So they went
to the captain and promised him the hire of the ship, if he would
go and return a second time, saying, "Deliver us from this
masterful tyrant." Accordingly the skipper embarked and set sail
and Allah decreed him a prosperous voyage, till he came to the
Island of the Magians and, landing by night, went up to the
garden. Now the night was long upon Kamar al-Zaman, and he sat,
bethinking him of his beloved, and bewailing what had befallen
him and versifying,

"A night whose stars refused to run their course, *
A night of those which never seem outworn:
Like Resurrection-day, of longsome length[FN#334] *
To him that watched and waited for the morn."

Now at this moment, the captain knocked at the garden-gate, and
Kamar al-Zaman opened and went out to him, whereupon the crew
seized him and went down with him on board the ship and set sail
forthright; and they ceased not voyaging days and nights, whilst
Kamar al-Zaman knew not why they dealt thus with him; but when he
questioned them they replied, "Thou hast offended against the
Lord of the Ebony Islands, the son-in-law of King Armanus, and
thou hast stolen his monies, miserable that thou art!" Said he,
"By Allah! I never entered that country nor do I know where it
is!" However, they fared on with him, till they made the Ebony
Islands and landing, carried him up to the Lady Budur, who knew
him at sight and said, "Leave him with the eunuchs, that they may
take him to the bath." Then she relieved the merchants of the
embargo and gave the captain a robe of honour worth ten thousand
pieces of gold; and, after returning to the palace, she went in
that night to the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and told her what had
passed, saying, "Keep thou my counsel, till I accomplish my
purpose, and do a deed which shall be recorded and shall be read
by Kings and commoners after we be dead and gone." And when she
gave orders that they bear Kamar al-Zaman to the bath, they did
so and clad him in a royal habit so that, when he came forth, he
resembled a willow-bough or a star which shamed the greater and
lesser light[FN#335] and its glow, and his life and soul returned
to his frame. Then he repaired to the palace and went in to the
Princess Budur; and when she saw him she schooled her heart to
patience, till she should have accomplished her purpose; and she
bestowed on him Mamelukes and eunuchs, camels and mules.
Moreover, she gave him a treasury of money and she ceased not
advancing him from dignity to dignity, till she made him Lord
High Treasurer and committed to his charge all the treasures of
the state; and she admitted him to familiar favour and acquainted
the Emirs with his rank and dignity. And all loved him, for Queen
Budur did not cease day by day to increase his allowances. As for
Kamar al-Zaman, he was at a loss anent the reason of her thus
honouring him; and he gave gifts and largesse out of the
abundance of the wealth; and he devoted himself to the service of
King Armanus; so that the King and all the Emirs and people,
great and small, adored him and were wont to swear by his life.
Nevertheless, he ever marvelled at the honour and favour shown
him by Queen Budur and said to himself, "By Allah, there needs
must be a reason for this affection! Peradventure, this King
favoureth me not with these immoderate favours save for some ill
purpose and, therefore, there is no help but that I crave leave
of him to depart his realm." So he went in to Queen Budur and
said to her, "O King, thou hast overwhelmed me with favours, but
it will fulfil the measure of thy bounties if thou take from me
all thou hast been pleased to bestow upon me, and permit me to
depart." She smiled and asked, "What maketh thee seek to depart
and plunge into new perils, whenas thou art in the enjoyment of
the highest favour and greatest prosperity?" Answered Kamar al-
Zaman, "O King, verily this favour, if there be no reason for it,
is indeed a wonder of wonders, more by token that thou hast
advanced me to dignities such as befit men of age and experience,
albeit I am as it were a young child." And Queen Budur rejoined,
"The reason is that I love thee for shine exceeding loveliness
and thy surpassing beauty; and if thou wilt but grant me my
desire of thy body, I will advance thee yet farther in honour and
favour and largesse; and I will make thee Wazir, for all thy
tender age even as the folk made me Sultan over them and I no
older than thou; so that nowadays there is nothing strange when
children take the head and by Allah, he was a gifted man who

'It seems as though of Lot's tribe were our days, *
And crave with love to advance the young in years.'"[FN#336]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was abashed and his
cheeks flushed till they seemed a-flame; and he said, "I need not
these favours which lead to the commission of sin; I will live
poor in wealth but wealthy in virtue and honour." Quoth she, "I
am not to be duped by thy scruples, arising from prudery and
coquettish ways; and Allah bless him who saith,

'To him I spake of coupling, but he said to me, *
How long this noyous long persistency?'
But when gold piece I showed him, he cried, *
'Who from the Almighty Sovereign e'er shall flee?'"

Now when Kamar al-Zaman, heard these words and understood her
verses and their import, he said, "O King, I have not the habit
of these doings, nor have I strength to bear these heavy burthens
for which elder than I have proved unable; then how will it be
with my tender age?" But she smiled at his speech and retorted,
"Indeed, it is a matter right marvellous how error springeth from
the disorder of man's intendiment!! Since thou art a boy, why
standest thou in fear of sin or the doing of things forbidden,
seeing that thou art not yet come to years of canonical
responsibility; and the offences of a child incur neither
punishment nor reproof? Verily, thou hast committed thyself to a
quibble for the sake of contention, and it is thy duty to bow
before a proposal of fruition, so henceforward cease from denial
and coyness, for the commandment of Allah is a decree
foreordained:[FN#337] indeed, I have more reason than thou to
fear falling and by sin to be misled; and well inspired was he
who said,

'My prickle is big and the little one said, *
'Thrust boldly in vitals with lion-like stroke!
Then I, ' 'Tis a sin!; and he, 'No sin to me! *
So I had him at once with a counterfeit poke."[FN#338]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, the light became darkness
in his sight and he said, "O King, thou hast in thy household
fair women and female slaves, who have not their like in this
age: shall not these suffice thee without me? Do thy will with
them and let me go!" She replied, "Thou sayest sooth, but it is
not with them that one who loveth thee can heal himself of
torment and can abate his fever; for, when tastes and
inclinations are corrupted by vice, they hear and obey other than
good advice. So leave arguing and listen to what the poet saith,

'Seest not the bazar with its fruit in rows? *
These men are for figs and for sycamore[FN#339] those!'

And what another saith,

'Many whose anklet rings are dumb have tinkling belts, *
And this hath all content while that for want must wail:
Thou bidd'st me be a fool and quit thee for her charms; *
Allah forfend I leave The Faith, turn Infidel!
Nay, by thy rights of side-beard mocking all her curls, *
Nor mott nor maid[FN#340] from thee my heart shall spell.'

And yet another,

'O beauty's Union! love for thee's my creed, *
Free choice of Faith and eke my best desire:
Women I have forsworn for thee; so may *
Deem me all men this day a shaveling friar.'[FN#341]

And yet another,

'Even not beardless one with girl, nor heed *
The spy who saith to thee ''Tis an amiss!'
Far different is the girl whose feet one kisses *
And that gazelle whose feet the earth must kiss.'

And yet another,

'A boy of twice ten is fit for a King!'

And yet another,

'The penis smooth and round was made with anus best to match
it, * Had it been made for cunnus' sake it had been formed
like hatchet!'

And yet another said,

'My soul thy sacrifice! I chose thee out *
Who art not menstruous nor oviparous:
Did I with woman mell, I should beget *
Brats till the wide wide world grew strait for us.'

And yet another,

'She saith (sore hurt in sense the most acute *
For she had proffered what did not besuit),
'Unless thou stroke as man should swive his wife *
Blame not when horns thy brow shall incornute!
Thy wand seems waxen, to a limpo grown, *
And more I palm it, softer grows the brute!'

And yet another,

'Quoth she (for I to lie with her forbore), *
'O folly-following fool, O fool to core:
If thou my coynte for Kiblah[FN#342] to thy coigne *
Reject, we'll shall please thee more.'[FN#343]

And yet another,

'She proffered me a tender coynte *
Quoth I 'I will not roger thee!'
She drew back, saying, 'From the Faith *
He turns, who's turned by Heaven's decree![FN#344]
And front wise fluttering, in one day, *
Is obsolete persistency!'
Then swung she round and shining rump *
Like silvern lump she showed me!
I cried: 'Well done, O mistress mine! *
No more am I in pain for thee;
O thou of all that Allah oped[FN#345] *
Showest me fairest victory!'

And yet another,

'Men craving pardon will uplift their hands; *
Women pray pardon with their legs on high:
Out on it for a pious, prayerful work! *
The Lord shall raise it in the depths to lie.'"[FN#346]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard her quote this poetry, and was
certified that there was no escaping compliance with what willed
she, he said, "O King of the age, if thou must needs have it so,
make covenant with me that thou wilt do this thing with me but
once, though it avail not to correct thy depraved appetite, and
that thou wilt never again require this thing of me to the end of
time; so perchance shall Allah purge me of the sin." She replied
"I promise thee this thing, hoping that Allah of His favour will
relent towards us and blot out our mortal offence; for the girdle
of heaven's forgiveness is not indeed so strait, but it may
compass us around and absolve us of the excess of our heinous
sins and bring us to the light of salvation out of the darkness
of error; and indeed excellently well saith the poet,

'Of evil thing the folk suspect us twain; *
And to this thought their hearts and souls are bent:
Come, dear! let's justify and free their souls *
That wrong us; one good bout and then--repent!'''[FN#347]

Thereupon she made him an agreement and a covenant and swore a
solemn oath by Him who is Self-existent, that this thing should
befal betwixt them but once and never again for all time, and
that the desire of him was driving her to death and perdition. So
he rose up with her, on this condition, and went with her to her
own boudoir, that she might quench the lowe of her lust, saying,
"There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great! This is the fated decree of the All-
powerful, the All-wise!"; and he doffed his bag-trousers,
shamefull and abashed, with the tears running from his eyes for
stress of affright. Thereat she smiled and making him mount upon
a couch with her, said to him, "After this night, thou shalt see
naught that will offend thee." Then she turned to him bussing and
bosoming him and bending calf over calf, and said to him, "Put
thy hand between my thighs to the accustomed place; so haply it
may stand up to prayer after prostration." He wept and cried, "I
am not good at aught of this," but she said, "By my life, an thou
do as I bid thee, it shall profit thee!" So he put out his hand,
with vitals a-fire for confusion, and found her thighs cooler
than cream and softer than silk. The touching of them pleasured
him and he moved his hand hither and thither, till it came to a
dome abounding in good gifts and movements and shifts, and said
in himself, "Perhaps this King is a hermaphrodite,[FN#348]
neither man nor woman quite;" so he said to her, "O King, I
cannot find that thou hast a tool like the tools of men; what
then moved thee to do this deed?" Then loudly laughed Queen Budur
till she fell on her back,[FN#349] and said, "O my dearling, how
quickly thou hast forgotten the nights we have lain together!"
Then she made herself known to him, and he knew her for his wife,
the Lady Budur, daughter of King al-Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and
the Seas. So he embraced her and she embraced him, and he kissed
her and she kissed him; then they lay down on the bed of pleasure
voluptuous, repeating the words of the poet,

"When his softly bending shape bid him close to my embrace *
Which clips him all about like the tendrils of the vine
And shed a flood of softness on the hardness of his heart, *
He yielded though at first he was minded to decline;
And dreading lest the railer's eye should light upon his form, *
Came armoured with caution to baffle his design:
His waist makes moan of hinder cheeks that weigh upon his feet *
Like heavy load of merchandise upon young camel li'en;
Girt with his glances scymitar which seemed athirst for blood, *
And clad in mail of dusky curls that show the sheeniest
His fragrance wafted happy news of footstep coming nigh, *
And to him like a bird uncaged I flew in straightest line:
I spread my cheek upon his path, beneath his sandal-shoon, *
And lo! the stibium[FN#350] of their dust healed all my hurt
of eyne.
With one embrace again I bound the banner of our loves[FN#351] *
And loosed the knot of my delight that bound in bonds
Then bade I make high festival, and straight came flocking in *
Pure joys that know not grizzled age[FN#352] nor aught of
pain and pine:
The full moon dotted with the stars the lips and pearly teeth *
That dance right joyously upon the bubbling face of wine:
So in the prayer-niche of their joys I yielded me to what *
Would make the humblest penitent of sinner most indign.
I swear by all the signs[FN#353] of those glories in his face *
I'll ne'er forget the Chapter entituled Al-Ikhlas."[FN#354]

Then Queen Budur told Kamar al-Zaman all that had befallen her
from beginning to end and he did likewise; after which he began
to upbraid her, saying, "What moved thee to deal with me as thou
hast done this night?" She replied, "Pardon me! for I did this by
way of jest, and that pleasure and gladness might be increased."
And when dawned the morn and day arose with its sheen and shone,
she sent to King Armanus, sire of the Lady Hayat al-Nufus, and
acquainted him with the truth of the case and that she was wife
to Kamar al-Zaman. Moreover, she told him their tale and the
cause of their separation, and how his daughter was a virgin,
pure as when she was born. He marvelled at their story with
exceeding marvel and bade them chronicle it in letters of gold.
Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and said, "O King's son, art
thou minded to become my son-in-law by marrying my daughter?"
Replied he, "I must consult the Queen Budur, as she hath a claim
upon me for benefits without stint." And when he took counsel
with her, she said, "Right is thy recking; marry her and I will
be her handmaid; for I am her debtor for kindness and favour and
good offices, and obligations manifold, especially as we are here
in her place and as the King her father hath whelmed us with
benefits."[FN#355] Now when he saw that she inclined to this and
was not jealous of Hayat al-Nufus, he agreed with her upon this
matter.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-
Zaman agreed with his wife, Queen Budur, upon this matter and
told King Armanus what she had said; whereat he rejoiced with
great joy. Then he went out and, seating himself upon his chair
of estate, assembled all the Wazirs, Emirs, Chamberlains and
Grandees, to whom he related the whole story of Kamar al-Zaman
and his wife, Queen Budur, from first to last; and acquainted
them with his desire to marry his daughter Hayat al-Nufus to the
Prince and make him King in the stead of Queen Budur. Whereupon
said they all, "Since he is the husband of Queen Budur, who hath
been our King till now, whilst we deemed her son-in-law to King
Armanus, we are all content to have him to Sultan over us; and we
will be his servants, nor will we swerve from his allegiance." So
Armanus rejoiced hereat and, summoning Kazis and witnesses and
the chief officers of state, bade draw up the contract of
marriage between Kamar al-Zaman and his daughter, the Princess
Hayat al-Nufus. Then he held high festival, giving sumptuous
marriage-feasts and bestowing costly dresses of honour upon all
the Emirs and Captains of the host; moreover he distributed alms
to the poor and needy and set free all the prisoners. The whole
world rejoiced in the coming of Kamar al-Zaman to the throne,
blessing him and wishing him endurance of glory and prosperity,
renown and felicity; and, as soon as he became King, he remitted
the customs-dues and released all men who remained in gaol. Thus
he abode a long while, ordering himself worthily towards his
lieges; and he lived with his two wives in peace, happiness,
constancy and content, lying the night with each of them in turn.
He ceased not after this fashion during many years, for indeed
all his troubles and afflictions were blotted out from him and he
forgot his father King Shahriman and his former estate of honour
and favour with him. After a while Almighty Allah blessed him
with two boy children, as they were two shining moons, through
his two wives; the elder whose name was Prince Amjad,[FN#356] by
Queen Budur, and the younger whose name was Prince As'ad by Queen
Hayat al-Nufus; and this one was comelier than his brother. They
were reared in splendour and tender affection, in respectful
bearing and in the perfection of training; and they were
instructed in penmanship and science and the arts of government
and horsemanship, till they attained the extreme accomplishments
and the utmost limit of beauty and loveliness; both men and women
being ravished by their charms. They grew up side by side till
they reached the age of seventeen, eating and drinking together
and sleeping in one bed, nor ever parting at any time or tide;
wherefore all the people envied them. Now when they came to man's
estate and were endowed with every perfection, their father was
wont, as often as he went on a journey, to make them sit in his
stead by turns in the hall of judgement; and each did justice
among the folk one day at a time. But it came to pass, by
confirmed fate and determined lot, that love for As'ad (son of
Queen Hayat al-Nufus) rose in the heart of Queen Budur, and that
affection for Amjad (son of Queen Budur) rose in the heart of
Queen Hayat al-Nufus.[FN#357] Hence it was that each of the women
used to sport and play with the son of her sister-wife, kissing
him and straining him to her bosom, whilst each mother thought
that the other's behaviour arose but from maternal affection. On
this wise passion got the mastery of the two women's hearts and
they became madly in love with the two youths, so that when the
other's son came in to either of them, she would press him to her
breast and long for him never to be parted from her; till, at
last, when waiting grew longsome to them and they found no path
to enjoyment, they refused meat and drink and banished the solace
of sleep. Presently, the King fared forth to course and chase,
bidding his two sons sit to do justice in his stead, each one day
in turn as was their wont.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King
fared forth to sport and hunt, bidding his two sons sit to do
justice in his stead, each one day by turn, as was their wont.
Now Prince Amjad sat in judgement the first day, bidding and
forbidding, appointing and deposing, giving and refusing; and
Queen Hayat al-Nufus, mother of As'ad, wrote to him a letter
suing for his favour and discovering to him her passion and
devotion; altogether put tiny off the mask and giving him to know
that she desired to enjoy him. So she took a scroll and thereon
indited these cadences, "From the love deranged * the sorrowful
and estranged * whose torment is prolonged for the longing of
thee! * Were I to recount to thee the extent of my care * and
what of sadness I bear * the passion which my heart cloth tear *
and all that I endure for weeping and unrest * and the rending of
my sorrowful breast * my unremitting grief * and my woe without
relief * and all my suffering for severance of thee * and sadness
and love's ardency * no letter could contain it; nor calculation
could compass it * Indeed earth and heaven upon me are strait;
and I have no hope and no trust but what from thee I await * Upon
death I am come nigh * and the horrors of dissolution I aby *
Burning upon me is sore * with parting pangs and estrangement
galore * Were I to set forth the yearnings that possess me more
and more * no scrolls would suffice to hold such store * and of
the excess of my pain and pine, I have made the following lines:-

Were I to dwell on heart-consuming heat, *
Unease and transports in my spins meet,
Nothing were left of ink and reeden pen *
Nor aught of paper; no, not e'en a sheet.

Then Queen Hayat al-Nufus wrapped up her letter in a niece of
costly silk scented with musk and ambergris; and folded it up
with her silken hair-strings[FN#358] whose cost swallowed down
treasures laid it in a handkerchief and gave it to a eunuch
bidding him bear it to Prince Amjad.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that she gave
her missive to the eunuch in waiting and bade him bear it to
Prince Amjad. And that eunuch went forth ignoring what the future
hid for him (for the Omniscient ordereth events even as He
willeth); and, going in to the Prince, kissed the ground between
his hands and handed to him the letter. On receiving the kerchief
he opened it and, reading the epistle and recognizing its gist he
was ware that his father's wife was essentially an adulteress and
a traitress at heart to her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman. So he
waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and railed at women and their
works, saying, "Allah curse women, the traitresses, the imperfect
in reason and religion!"[FN#359] Then he drew his sword and said
to the eunuch, "Out on thee, thou wicked slave! Dost thou carry
messages of disloyalty for thy lord's wife? By Allah, there is no
good in thee, O black of hue and heart, O foul of face and
Nature's forming!" So he smote him on the neck and severed his
head from his body; then, folding the kerchief over its contents
he thrust it into his breast pocket and went in to his own mother
and told her what had passed, reviling and reproaching her, and
saying, "Each one of you is viler than the other; and, by Allah
the Great and Glorious, did I not fear ill-manneredly to
transgress against the rights of my father, Kamar al-Zaman, and
my brother, Prince As'ad, I would assuredly go in to her and cut
off her head, even as I cut off that of her eunuch!" Then he went
forth from his mother in a mighty rage; and when the news reached
Queen Hayat al-Nufus of what he had done with her eunuch, she
abused him[FN#360] and cursed him and plotted perfidy against
him. He passed the night, sick with rage, wrath and concern; nor
found he pleasure in meat, drink or sleep. And when the next
morning dawned Prince As'ad fared forth in his turn to rule the
folk in his father's stead, whilst his mother, Hayat al-Nufus,
awoke in feeble plight because of what she had heard from Prince
Amjad concerning the slaughter of her eunuch. So Prince As'ad sat
in the audience-chamber that day, judging and administering
justice, appointing and deposing, bidding and forbidding, giving
and bestowing. And he ceased not thus till near the time of
afternoon-prayer, when Queen Budur sent for a crafty old woman
and, discovering to her what was in her heart, wrote a letter to
Prince As'ad, complaining of the excess of her affection and
desire for him in these cadenced lines, "From her who perisheth
for passion and love-forlorn * to him who in nature and culture
is goodliest born * to him who is conceited of his own loveliness
* and glories in his amorous grace * who from those that seek to
enjoy him averteth his face * and refuseth to show favour unto
the self abasing and base * him who is cruel and of disdainful
mood * from the lover despairing of good * to Prince As'ad *
with passing beauty endowed * and of excelling grace proud *
of the face moon bright * and the brow flower-white * and
dazzling splendid light * This is my letter to him whose love
melteth my body * and rendeth my skin and bones! * Know that my
patience faileth me quite * and I am perplexed in my plight *
longing and restlessness weary me * and sleep and patience deny
themselves to me * but mourning and watching stick fast to me *
and desire and passion torment me * and the extremes of languor
and sickness have sheet me * Yet may my life be a ransom for thee
* albeit thy pleasure be to slay her who loveth thee * and Allah
prolong the life of thee * and preserve thee from all infirmity!"
And after these cadences she wrote these couplets,

"Fate hath commanded I become thy fere, *
O shining like full moon when clearest clear!
All beauty dost embrace, all eloquence; *
Brighter than aught within our worldly sphere:
Content am I my torturer thou be: *
Haply shalt alms me with one lovely leer!
Happy her death who dieth for thy love! *
No good in her who holdeth thee unclear!"

And also the following couplets,

"Unto thee, As'ad! I of passion-pangs complain; *
Have ruth on slave of love so burnt with flaming pain:
How long, I ask, shall hands of Love disport with me, *
With longings, dolour, sleepliness and bale and bane?
Anon I 'plain of sea in heart, anon of fire *
In vitals, O strange case, dear wish, my fairest fain!
O blamer, cease thy blame, and seek thyself to fly *
From love, which makes these eyne a rill of tears to rain.
How oft I cry for absence and desire, Ah grief! *
But all my crying naught of gain for me shall gain:
Thy rigours dealt me sickness passing power to bear, *
Thou art my only leach, assain me an thou deign!
O chider, chide me not in caution, for I doubt *
That plaguey Love to thee shall also deal a bout."

Then Queen Budur perfumed the letter-paper with a profusion of
odoriferous musk and, winding it in her hairstrings which were of
Iraki silk, with pendants of oblong emeralds, set with pearls and
stones of price, delivered it to the old woman, bidding her carry
it to Prince As'ad.[FN#361] She did so in order to pleasure her,
and going in to the Prince, straightway and without stay, found
him in his own rooms and delivered to him the letter in privacy;
after which she stood waiting an hour or so for the answer. When
As'ad had read the paper and knew its purport, he wrapped it up
again in the ribbons and put it in his bosom-pocket: then (for he
was wrath beyond all measure of wrath) he cursed false women and
sprang up and drawing his sword, smote the old trot on the neck
and cut off her pate. Thereupon he went in to his mother, Queen
Hayat al-Nufus, whom he found lying on her bed in feeble case,
for that which had betided her with Prince Amjad, and railed at
her and cursed her; after which he left her and fore-gathered
with his brother, to whom he related all that had befallen him
with Queen Budur, adding, "By Allah, O my brother, but that I was
ashamed before thee, I had gone in to her forthright and had
smitten her head off her shoulders!" Replied Prince Amjad, "By
Allah, O my brother, yesterday when I was sitting upon the seat
of judgement, the like of what hath befallen thee this day befel
me also with thy mother who sent me a letter of similar purport."
And he told him all that had passed, adding, "By Allah, O my
brother, naught but respect for thee withheld me from going in to
her and dealing with her even as I dealt with the eunuch!" They
passed the rest of the night conversing and cursing womankind,
and agreed to keep the matter secret, lest their father should
hear of it and kill the two women. Yet they ceased not to suffer
trouble and foresee affliction. And when the morrow dawned, the
King returned with his suite from hunting and sat awhile in his
chair of estate; after which he sent the Emirs about their
business and went up to his palace, where he found his two wives
lying a-bed and both exceeding sick and weak. Now they had made a
plot against their two sons and concerted to do away their lives,
for that they had exposed themselves before them and feared to be
at their mercy and dependent upon their forbearance. When Kamar
al-Zaman saw them on this wise, he said to them, "What aileth
you?" Whereupon they rose to him and kissing his hands answered,
perverting the case and saying "Know, O King, that thy two sons,
who have been reared in thy bounty, have played thee false and
have dishonoured thee in the persons of thy wives." Now when he
heard this, the light became darkness in his sight, and he raged
with such wrath that his reason fled: then said he to them,
"Explain me this matter." Replied Queen Budur, "O King of the
age, know that these many days past thy son As'ad hath been in
the persistent habit of sending me letters and messages to
solicit me to lewdness and adultery while I still forbade him
from this, but he would not be forbidden; and, when thou wentest
forth to hunt, he rushed in on me, drunk and with a drawn sword
in his hand, and smiting my eunuch, slew him. Then he mounted on
my breast, still holding the sword, and I feared lest he should
slay me, if I gainsaid him, even as he had slain my eunuch; so he
took his wicked will of me by force. And now if thou do me not
justice on him, O King, I will slay myself with my own hand, for
I have no need of life in the world after this foul deed." And
Queen Hayat al-Nufus, choking with tears, told him respecting
Prince Amjad a story like that of her sister-wife.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Queen Hayat
al-Nufus told her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman, a story like that
of her sister in wedlock, Budur, and, quoth she, "The same thing
befel me with thy son Amjad;" after which she took to weeping and
wailing and said, "Except thou do me justice on him I will tell
my father, King Armanus." Then both women wept with sore weeping
before King Kamar al-Zaman who, when he saw their tears and heard
their words, concluded that their story was true and, waxing
wroth beyond measure of wrath, went forth thinking to fall upon
his two sons and put them to death. On his way he met his father-
in-law, King Armanus who, hearing of his return from the chase,
had come to salute him at that very hour and, seeing him with
naked brand in hand and blood dripping from his nostrils, for
excess of rage, asked what ailed him. So Kamar al-Zaman told him
all that his sons Amjad and As'ad had done and added, "And here I
am now going in to them to slay them in the foulest way and make
of them the most shameful of examples." Quoth King Armanus (and
indeed he too was wroth with them), "Thou dost well, O my son,
and may Allah not bless them nor any sons that do such deed
against their father's honour. But, O my son, the sayer of the
old saw saith, 'Whoso looketh not to the end hath not Fortune to
friend.' In any case, they are thy sons, and it befitteth not
that thou kill them with shine own hand, lest thou drink of their
death-agony,[FN#362] and anon repent of having slain them whenas
repentance availeth thee naught. Rather do thou send them with
one of thy Mamelukes into the desert and let him kill them there
out of thy sight, for, as saith the adage, 'Out of sight of my
friend is better and pleasanter.'[FN#363] And when Kamar al-Zaman
heard his father-in-law's words, he knew them to be just; so he
sheathed his sword and turning back, sat down upon the throne of
his realm. There he summoned his treasurer, a very old man,
versed in affairs and in fortune's vicissitudes, to whom he said,
"Go in to my sons, Amjad and As'ad; bind their hands behind them
with strong bonds, lay them in two chests and load them upon a
mule. Then take horse thou and carry them into mid desert, where
do thou kill them both and fill two vials with their blood and
bring the same to me in haste." Replied the treasurer, "I hear
and I obey," and he rose up hurriedly and went out forthright to
seek the Princes; and, on his road, he met them coming out of the
palace-vestibule, for they had donned their best clothes and
their richest; and they were on their way to salute their sire
and give him joy of his safe return from his going forth to hunt.
Now when he saw them, he laid hands on them, saying, "Omy sons,
know ye that I am but a slave commanded, and that your father
hath laid a commandment on me; will ye obey his commandment?"
They said, "Yes"; whereupon he went up to them and, after
pinioning their arms, laid them in the chests which he loaded on
the back of a mule he had taken from the city. And he ceased not
carrying them into the open country till near noon, when he
halted in a waste and desolate place and, dismounting from his
mare, let down the two chests from the mule's back. Then he
opened them and took out Amjad and As'ad; and when he looked upon
them he wept sore for their beauty and loveliness; then drawing
his sword he said to them, "By Allah, O my lords, indeed it is
hard for me to deal so evilly by you; but I am to be excused in
this matter, being but a slave commanded, for that your father
King Kamar al-Zaman hath bidden me strike off your heads." They
replied, "O Emir, do the King's bidding, for we bear with
patience that which Allah (to Whom be Honour, Might and Glory!)
hath decreed to us; and thou art quit of our blood." Then they
embraced and bade each other farewell, and As'ad said to the
treasurer, "Allah upon thee, O uncle, spare me the sight of my
brother's death-agony and make me not drink of his anguish, but
kill me first, for that were the easier for me." And Amjad said
the like and entreated the treasurer to kill him before As'ad,
saying, "My brother is younger than I; so make me not taste of
his anguish. And they both wept bitter tears whilst the treasurer
wept for their weeping;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
treasurer wept for their weeping; then the two brothers embraced
and bade farewell and one said to the other, "All this cometh of
the malice of those traitresses, my mother and thy mother; and
this is the reward of my forbearance towards thy mother and of
thy for bearance towards my mother! But there is no Might and
there is no Majesty save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!
Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning."[FN#364]


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