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373"I sent a man to Khatavet’hi and a letter from me; I wrote: 'The king of the Indians is of a truth powerful from God; every hungry soul of those faithful to him is

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sated; whosoever is disobedient will have himself to blame (for any ill that may befall him).

374"'Brother and lord, by you we will not be embittered. When you see this command wend hither; if you come not we shall come; we will not steal upon you. It is better you should come to us, spill not your own blood.'

375"I sent the man, I gave my heart up yet more to rejoicing, I made merry at court; the fire unbearable in its burning was extinguished. Then the world, Fate, gave me lavishly what I desired; now I am mad, so that I annoy even the wild beats if I approach them.

376"At first the plan of roaming, then reason soothed me. I feasted with my comrades, but the greatness of desires hindered me from joy; sometimes they filled me with melancholy, I uttered curses against Fate.

377"One day, on my return from the king's palace, I came to my chamber. I sat down and thought of her, slumber fell not upon mine eyes, I had the letter of hope, therefore was I merry. The doorkeeper called the slave; he said it was a secret matter.

378"'It is Asmat’h's slave,' quoth he. I ordered him to be brought into the chamber. She wrote to me that she whose knife had pierced my heart commanded me to come. Joy lightened my darkness; she loosened my chains. I went, I took the slave, I spoke not at all with him.

379"I entered the garden; I met none to speak to me (?). The maid met me merry, smiling; she said: 'I have bravely extracted the thorn from thy heart, it is no longer therein; come and see thy rose unfaded, unwithered.'

380"The maid with an effort raised the heavy curtain,

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there stood a canopy adorned with choice rubies where sat she whose face was like the sun flashing, her eyes, like inky lakes, looked beautifully at me.

381"A long time I stood, and she spoke no word to me whom she yearned for; she only looked at me sweetly as at an intimate. She called Asmat’h, they spoke together; the maid came and whispered in my ear: 'Now go; she cannot say anything to thee.' Again the flame reduced me to soot.

382"Asmat’h led me forth, I went out, I passed the curtain. I said: 'O Fate, who not long ago didst heal my heart, thou gayest me hope then; why hast thou scattered my joy? My heart is still more devastated again by the pain of parting.'

383"Asmat’h promised me comfort. We walked through the garden; she said to me: 'Let not the brand be thus seen upon thy heart because of thy going; shut the terrace of sorrows, open the door of joy. She is ashamed to speak; therefore she behaves with dignity.

384"I said: 'O sister, I think this heart-balm is from thee. I adjure thee, part me not from life, extinguish this flame with tidings, cut me not off from letters, send them ceaselessly; if thou learnest something for me I think thou wilt not keep it hidden from me.'

385"I mounted (my horse), I went thence, a stream flowed from the channel of tears. I went to bed; maddened, I had no power to sleep. I, the crystal and ruby, became bluest indigo. I preferred night; I wished not for the dawn of day.

386"Denizens of Khatavet’hi came--it was time for them to come--they brought a proud and insolent message: 'We are no cowards, neither are our keeps unfortified. Who is your monarch? What lord is he over me?'

Next: X. The Letter Written by the King of the Khatavians in Answer to Tariel