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1269"Now will I, sobbing, weeping, write to my beloved; by the tear of that one who burns him is a man's fire quenched." She wrote a letter piercing the heart of the hearers. She splits the rose (opens her mouth); there appears the translucent crystal.

1270"O mine own! this letter is the work of my hands; for pen I have my form, a pen steeped in gall; for paper I glue thy heart even to my heart; O heart, black (sad) heart, thou art bound, loose not thyself, now be bounds!

1271"Thou seest, O mine own! of what deeds the world is a doer. However much light shines, for me it is but darkness. The wise know it (the world), therefore they despise it, to them it is contemptible. My life without thee, woe is me! how exceeding hard it is!

1272"Thou seest, mine own! how Fate and cursed time have parted us; no longer do I glad see thee, my glad loved one; what, indeed, can the heart rent by thee do without thee! Secret thought manifests to thee what is hidden (?).

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1273"By thy sun (life)! until now I thought not thou wert alive; as for me, methought my life and all my resource had passed away. Now when I hear (news of thee), I magnify the Creator and humble myself before God. All mine erstwhile grief I weigh as joy.

1274"Thy life is sufficient for my heart to hope in, a heart all wounded and so consumed! Think of me, remember me as one lost to thee; I sit nursing the love I planted.

1275"Now, O mine own, my story is not to be written to thee by me; the tongue will tire, none that hear will believe! P’hatman took me from sorcerers; may God protect her! Now again Fate hath done what befits it.

1276"Fate hath now added worse woe to my woe, my ill luck was not appeased by these manifold afflictions; and again it delivered me into the hands of the Kadjis, hard to combat; Fate hath done to us, mine own, all that hath befallen us.

1277"I am sitting in a castle so lofty that eyes can scarce see the ground; the road enters by a passage, over it stand guards; day and night knights miss not their turn as sentries, they will kill those that engage them, like fire will they envelop them.

1278"Surely thou thinkest not that these are of the same kind as other warriors? Slay me not with woes worse than the present! I shall see thee dead, I shall be burnt up like tinder by steel. (Since) I am sundered from thee, renounce me with a heart harder than rock itself.

1278a" Beloved, sorrow not with such grief! Tell me, can there be for me another with the form of an aloe-tree! Life without thee is nought for me, henceforth I should be full of regret; either I would cast myself down from the rock or slay myself with a knife.

1279"By thy sun (life)! thy moon 1 will fall to the lot of none save thee! By thy sun! to none shall she

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fall though triple suns shone forth! Here would I dash myself down; the great rocks are very nigh to me. To thee would I commit my soul; perchance wings would be given to me by Heaven.

1280"Entreat God for me; it may be He will deliver me from the travail of the world and from union with fire, water, earth and air. Let Him give me wings and I shall fly up, I shall attain my desire--day and night I shall gaze on the sun's rays flashing in splendour.

1281"The sun cannot be without thee, for thou art an atom of it; of a surety thou shalt adhere to it as its zodiac (Leo), and not as one rejected. There shall I see thee; I shall liken thee to it, thou shalt enlighten my darkened heart. If my life was bitter, let my death be sweet!

1282"Death is no longer grievous to me, since it is to thee I commit my soul; but I have laid thy love in my heart, and there it rests. When I think of parting from thee, for me wound is added to wound. Weep not and mourn not for me, O mine own, for love of me!

1283"Go, betake thyself to India, be of some help to my father, who is straitened by foes, helpless on all sides; comfort the heart of him who suffers separation from me. Think of me weeping for thy sake with undrying tears.

1284"Whatever complaint I have made against my Fate is sufficient complaint. Know this, that true justice goeth from heart to heart; for thy sake will I die, I shall

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become the prey of ravens! But as long as I live I shall weep and suffer enough for thee, too.

1285"Lo, mark the token from the veil that was thine; from one end I have cut off a strip, O mine own; this (the veil) is all that is left to me in place of that great hope; in wrath the wheels of the seven heavens has turned upon us."

1286When she had finished this letter written to her beloved, she cut off a fringe from those veils; bareheaded, the thick, long locks of her hair became her well, the scent blows from the aloe, breathing through the raven's wings.

1287That slave departed, journeying to Gulansharo; in one instant he reached P’hatman's, he travelled not many days. When this matter so dear to him had been accomplished, Avt’handil with hands upraised thanks God, with full understanding, not as one bemused.

1288He said to P’hatman: "The thing desired is timely finished for me; thy great zeal for my sake is (still) unrecompensed. I go, I have no leisure to tarry longer, last year's time is come. Swiftly shall I lead into Kadjet’hi him who will annihilate and destroy them."

1289The lady said: "O lion, the fire now becomes hotter; (my) heart will be sundered from (thee) its light, thereby will it be darkened; hasten, grieve not for me, the madman will thus become furious. Should the Kadjis arrive before you, going thither will be made difficult for you."

1290The knight called P’hridon's slaves who attended him. He said: "Corpses hitherto, now indeed are we enlivened; we are renewed by the hearing of what we

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wished. I shall show you our enemies wounded and thereby woe-stricken.

1291"Go and tell P’hridon this unvarnished story. I cannot see him, I am hurried, my road is one of haste. Let him strengthen his great voice to make it still more bold. I will give you all the treasure taken by me as booty.

1292"Great is the debt laid upon me by you; I will show my gratitude in another way when I join P’hridon again. For the nonce, take away all that was reft from the pirates; I can give you no more than this, I know that so I shall seem to you niggardly.

1293"I have no home near; I have no power to dispense gifts." He gave them a ship full, beautiful things, a host in number. He said: "Go, take them away, travel the road to that same region. Give this letter from me, his sworn brother, to P’hridon."


207:1 "I, Nestan, thy satellite."

Next: XL. Avt’handil's Letter to P’hridon