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574"I landed by night; I came ashore where gardens were seen. It seemed as if there were a city; we came near, on one side the rocks were hollowed out. The sight of men gave me no pleasure; brands were imprinted on my heart. I dismounted to rest at a spot where there were lofty trees.

575"I fell asleep at the foot of the trees; the slaves brake bread. Then I woke sad, the soot (of sorrow) made night in my heart; in so long a time I had learned nought, neither gossip nor sooth; my tears pressed from mine eyes wet the fields.

576"I heard a shout. I looked round, a knight cried out haughtily, he was galloping along the seashore, he was hurt by a wound, his sword was broken and soiled, blood flowed down; he threatened his foes, was wrathful, cursed, complained.

577"He sat upon a black steed, the same which I now possess; like the wind he swept along, enraged, wrathful. I sent a slave (to tell him) I was desirous to meet him;

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[paragraph continues] I bade him say: 'Stand! declare unto me who angers thee, O lion!'

578"He spoke not to the slave, nor did he hear a word. Hastily I mounted, I went along to meet him; I overtook him, I came before him, I said: 'Stay, hearken to me! I too wish to know thine affair.' He looked at me, I pleased him, he checked his course.

579"He looked me over, and said to God: 'How hast Thou made such a tree!' Then he said to me: 'Now will I tell thee what thou askest me: Those enemies whom I had hitherto esteemed as goats have proved lions to me; they fell upon me traitorously when I was unready, I could not don mine armour.'

580"I said: 'Stand, be calm, let us dismount at the foot of the trees! A goodly knight withdraws not when cuts are given with the sword.' I led him with me; we went away fonder than father and son. I marvelled at the tender beauty of the knight.

581"One of my slaves was a surgeon, he bound up the wounds, he drew out the arrowheads so that the wounds hurt not. Then I asked: 'Who art thou, and by whom was thine arm hurt?' He set himself to tell me his story; he bewailed himself.

582"First he said to me: 'I know not what thou art, nor to what I can liken thee. What has thus consumed thee, or who first made thee full? What has turned thee sallow who wert planted rose and jet? Why has God put out the candle lighted by Himself?

583"'Near by is the city of Mulghazanzari, which belongs to me. My name is Nuradin P’hridon, I am the king ruling there; here where ye are stationed is my boundary. I have little, but in all its parts it is of excellent quality.'

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584"'My grandfather shared his territory between my father and uncle. In the sea is an island, this he said was my share, it had fallen into the hands of that uncle whose sons have now wounded me; the hunting remained to them, I did not give it up to them, they quarrelled with me.

585"'To-day I went forth to the chase, I hunted on the seashore, I wished to cross over there, so I took not many beaters; I told the troops: "Wait for me till I return." I kept no more than five falconers.

586"'I went by ship; from the sea came forth a creek. I gathered not those divided from me; I said to myself: "Why should I take precautions against mine own folk?" They seemed timid to me; their multitude appeared not. I hunted and hallooed; I withheld not my voice.

587"'Of a truth, they were wroth to think I scorned them thus; they secretly surrounded me with soldiers, they blocked the roads to the ship; mine own uncle's sons rode at their head, (waving) their arms they rushed on my soldiers to fight.

588"'I heard them; I perceived the outcry and the flashing of swords. I begged a boat of the boatmen; but once I called out "Woe is me!" I went into the sea, warriors met me like waves, they would have overwhelmed me, but could not compass it.

589"'Yet more great hosts approached me from behind, from this side and that they came upon me, from one side they could not overpower me. When those in front could not come near me, from the back they shot at me; I trusted in my sword--it broke, my arrows were exhausted.

590"'They engirt me; I could do no more. I made my horse leap over from the boat, I crossed the sea by swimming, those who beheld me were amazed; they slew all who were with me, I left them there; whoever pursued me could not affront me, (when) I turned I made them turn.

591"'Now that will be whatever is God's will. I think

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my blood will not be unavenged. May I have the power to bring my boast to fulfilment! I will make their existence a lamentation evening and morning. I will call the crows and ravens and make a banquet of them!'

592"That youth won me to like him; my heart went out toward him. I said to him: 'There is no need at all for thee to hasten; I too will go with thee, there will they be slain; we two warriors shall surely not be afraid of them!'

593"This also I said: 'Thou hast not heard my tale; I shall tell it to thee more fully when we have time.' He said to me: 'What joy can weigh against this to me! To the day of my death my life will be devoted to thy service!'

594"We went to his fair, though small, city. The troops met him; they poured forth lamentations for him, they scratched their faces and threw away the fragments like splinters; they embraced him, they kissed his sword, its hilt and ring.'

595"Again I pleased; I his new friend seemed fair to him. They spoke my praises: 'O sun, thou art a bringer of fine weather to us!' We went and saw his fair, rich city. Every form was clad in broad brocade.

Next: XVI. Tariel's Aid to P’hridon, and Their Victory Over Their Foes