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1468This hidden thing Divnos the sage reveals: "God sends good, He creates no evil, He shortens the bad to a moment, He renews (? repeats) the good continuously (? for a long time), His perfect self He makes more perfect, He degrades not Himself."

1469Those lions, those suns, set out from P’hridon's (country). They lead with them the sun-faced, the maiden, the amazing to beholders; the raven's tail (of her hair), ordered, hangs coiled by the crystal (of her brow or cheek); beauty, tenderness, there adorned the (fine) ruby.

1470That sun sat in a palanquin, and thus they made her fare. They followed the chase; there caused they blood to flow. Wherever they came upon a land they were

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the joy of beholders, they went forth to meet them, gave gifts, eulogized, reviled them not.

1471It was as if the sun sat in the firmament amid moons. Many days they journeyed, merry, sagely discoursing, within those great plains on all sides unattained of men. They reached the neighbourhood of that rock where Tariel had been.

1472Tariel said: "It is seemly that I should be your host this day. Thither will I go where I was while madness afflicted me. There will Asmat’h entertain us; she hath (store of) smoked meat. When I give you fair gifts you shall praise the variety of the treasure."

1473They went in; they dismounted in that cave of the great rocks. Asmat’h had venison; she carves it for the guests. They were merry, they joked at the passing of those deeds; they thanked God that He had turned their. days of woe to joy.

1474They explored the hollow hill, merry they played; they found those treasures sealed up by Taria, uncounted by any, apprehended by none; they say not with dissatisfied hearts: "We lack!"

1475He gave many fair gifts, to each what was fitting; then he enriched P’hridon's people, army and generals alike; every man was enriched, (all) those who came with them, but there lay so much treasure it seemed still untouched by man.

1476He said to P’hridon: "Hard will it be for me to pay the debt I owe thee; but it is said: 'A man who is a doer of good loseth not in the end.' Now the treasure, as much as lieth here or is to be found, let it all be thine, take it away, as it belongs to thee." so

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1477P’hridon humbly did homage, he expressed exceeding gratitude: "O king, why thinkest thou me stupid and thus mazed? Every enemy seems to thee as straw, however much he may be like a thick cudgel. My joy lasts but so long as I shall be a gazer on thee."

1478P’hridon made men go back to bring camels to take away all this treasure to his home. Now they set out thence on the road leading to Arabia. Avt’handil is a minished moon (by longing) to be united with the sun (T’hinat’hin).

1479When many days were passed they reached the boundaries of Arabia; they saw villages, castles, frequent, uninterrupted; those dwelling therein had clothed their forms in blue and green, all are bathed in tears for Avt’handil.

1480Tariel sent a man to the presence of King Rosten to say: "I venture, O king, to approach thee full of desire; I, King of the Indians, come to your royal court; I will show thee the rosebud, unfaded, unplucked.

1481"Formerly my sight of thy ground made you angry; thou didst ill in attempting to capture me, to urge thy horse against me; I showed thine armies some sign of anger, I massacred many slaves, servants of your palace.

1482"Now therefore I come before you, I have gone out of my way; you will pardon me that in which I sinned against thee, let thy wrath be sufficient. We have no offerings, as P’hridon and his knights can testify; the only gift I have brought you is your Avt’handil."

1483Tongue cannot shortly tell how they rejoiced when the messenger of these good tidings came to the king; the brilliancy of three rays was added to T’hinat’hin's cheeks, the shadow of eyebrows and lashes makes fairer the crystal and ruby.

1484They beat the kettledrums and peals of joyous

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laughter were heard, the soldiers ran hither and thither, they desired to run to meet them, they began to lead out the horses and to bring out saddles, a multitude of knights, swift-armed, stout-hearted, mounted.

1485The king mounted, the princes and the armies entire go to meet them; whoever hears, others from divers parts come to his presence; all give thanks to God, they raise their voices, they say: "Evil hath no existence; good things (or, the good) are ever ready for thee!"

1486When they met and the meeters perceived each other, Avt’handil said with tender words to Tariel: "Behold, seest thou the dust-dyed plains? Therefore a furnace consumes me, my heart is fevered and sad.

1487"There is my foster-father; he is come to meet you. I cannot go thither, I am ashamed, a furnace consumes my heart; living man hath never been shamed as I am. What you intend to do for me you know, also P’hridon who is beside you."

1488Tariel said: "Thou dost well to show respect to thy lord. Now stay, come not thither, stay alone without me. I will go; I will tell the king of thy hiding. With God's help I think I shall soon unite thee to that sun with the figure of an aloe."

1489The lion Avt’handil tarried there; a little tent was put up. Nestan-Daredjan also stayed there, the amazer of beholders; the zephyr of her eyelashes is wafted like a north-east wind. The King of the Indians departed, straight, not secretly.'

1490P’hridon went with him; of a truth they were a long time crossing the field. The king knew (of their coming). Tariel went forward alone, his figure swayed; he dismounted and did homage to the bold one strong as a lion; he does honour to the King of the Indians as a father.

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1491Tariel also did homage; he goes to kiss, to greet. The king kissed his neck to give pleasure to his lips; in wonder he speaks, in order to embolden him: "Thou art the sun; separation from thee turns day into night."

1492The king marvelled at his beauty and good looks, he gazes with wonder on his face, he praises the hardihood of his arms. Then P’hridon also greeted him; he did homage to the king, to the king eager for the sight of Avt’handil.

1493The king shrinks from praising Taria, and is discouraged. Tariel says: "O king, hereby is my heart subjected to thee; I marvel how you can think thus of my worth; since Avt’handil is thine, how can any other please thee!

1494"Dost thou not wonder at not seeing him, and at his tarrying! Come and let us sit down, O king, pleasant is this meadow of verdure; I will venture to tell you the reason why I could not bring him before you; I have a favour to ask of you, now I must beg leave of you."

1495The kings sat down; the multitude of the host stood round. A smile brighter than a lamps flits over Tariel's face; the sight maddens the beholders of his bearing and gestures. He began to relate to the king a speech wisely chosen:

1496"O king, I hold myself unworthy to mention this, but I am come before you to entreat, to beg; he himself beseeches who seems a sun-like shedder of rays, he who is my light and enlightener.

1497"Now we both venture to approach thee with prayer and entreaty. Avt’handil gave me balm befitting him; he forgot that woes quite equal to ours afflicted

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him. I will not weary thee; a long story is beyond our powers.

1498"Your (children) love each other, the maid loves him and he the maid; therefore I think on him pitiful, tearful and wan, on bended knee I entreat thee, let them no longer be consumed by flame, but give your daughter to the strong-armed, stout-hearted one.

1499"No more than this will I ask of thee, neither short nor long." He drew forth his handkerchief, tied it round his neck, rose up, bent his knee, besought him like a (pupil) before a teacher. It astonished all men who heard this story.

1500When he saw Tariel on his bended knees, the king was dismayed; he went back a long way, he did homage, he fell down to the earth. He said: "O monarch, all my joy is blown away from me; this abasement of you thus has saddened for me the sight of you.

1501"How could it be that man should not grant thee whatever thou desirest, or that I should grudge my daughter if thou didst wish (to devote her) to death or slavery even! If you had even ordered it from your home, not even then would my tears flow; none other can she find like him if she fly up even to heaven!

1502"I could not find a better son-in-law than Avt’handil. Myself I have given the realm to my daughter, she has it and it befits her; the rose blooms anew, my flower is blown. What objection can I make? Only let him be satisfied!

1503"If thou wert to marry her to some slave, even then I would not grudge her to thee. Who could refuse thee, how could any save a madman quarrel with thee! If I loved not Avt’handil, why did I thus yearn for him? Verily, O God, I am in Thy presence, this is confirmed by me."

1504When Tariel heard this speech from the king, he

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bowed himself, humbly did homage, fell on his face. Then the king did homage to him, he came forward, he stood before him. They thanked each other, nor were they at all annoyed.

1505P’hridon mounted, he galloped as herald of good tidings to Avt’handil--indeed, he also rejoiced at this great joy--he went and took him, led him and accompanied him; but he is abashed before the king, darkly he shed (his) beam.

1506The king arose, met him; the knight dismounted when (the king) came; in his hands he had a handkerchief, therewith he hid his face. The sun was concealed by a cloud, it grew gloomy, the rose was chilled; but how could anything hide his beauty!

1507The king would have kissed him, tears no longer flow, Avt’handil embraced his feet, the ray streams down; (the king) said: "Arise, be not ashamed, thou has revealed thy prowess; since thou art loyal to me, be not ashamed; why shouldst thou be ashamed before me?"

1508He embraced him, he kissed him all over his face; he said: "Thou hast quenched my hot fire, though tardily hast thou appeared to me as water; to her who has herded in the jet and the vicinity (?realm) of the eyelashes to-morrow I shall unite thee, O lion, with the sun, come quickly to her."

1509The king embraced the neck of that lion and hero-like one, he seats him close, he speaks to him, kisses him, gazes on his face. That sun so met royalty, as he was worthy of it. Then is joy pleasant, when a man hath passed through grief.

1510The knight says to the king: "I marvel that thou speakest of something else, why thou desirest not to see the sun, or why thou delayest! Meet her gaily, conduct her

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to your house; be clothed in her rays, set them around as a light."

1511He told Tariel also; they mounted and went to meet the lady. The cheeks of those three Goliaths were dyed to sun colour (i.e., shone like the sun); they met what they desired, they found what they sought; they had handled their swords, not girded them idly on their loins.

1512Dismounting afar off, the king greeted the lady, the lightning flashing from her cheeks blinded his eyes; she met him, sitting in the palanquin she kissed him. The king began a eulogy; he was wholly bereft of his wits.

1513He said: "O sun, how shall I praise thee, O light, and maker of good weather! For thy sake understandings are mad, and not for nought. O sun-like and moon-like, to what planet do they liken thee! No longer do I wish to look on you, O ye roses and violets!"

1514All they that saw her marvelled at the shedding of her rays. Like a sun she blinded the eyes of the onlookers by the sight of her light; burned by her they found the comfort of their hearts in gazing; wheresoever she appeared crowds came running towards her.

1515They mounted, they all went homewards, they have the seven planets to compare with that sun; her beauty is incomprehensible, it is beyond their understanding. Soon they came to the place of the king's dwelling-house.

1516They came in, they saw T’hinat’hin, the bestower of woe on them that look on her; the wearing of the purple? beautified the sceptre and crowns bearer; the radiance of

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her face rested on the faces of the new-comers. The King of the Indians entered, that hero-like sun.

1517Tariel and his wife humbly saluted the maid, they met, kissed and held pleasant converse, they illumined that house (hall), they made not the light to fade; they turned crystal and ruby into cheeks, jet into eyelashes.

1518T’hinat’hin invited them up to the lofty royal throne. Tariel said: "Sit thou; it is desired by the Supreme Judge; this day more than all days thy throne befits thee, I seat the lion of lions beside thee the sun of suns."

1519Both (? Tariel and Rostevan) took him by the hand and set him on her throne; they placed Avt’handil by the side of her for desire of whom he was slain; she is better than the seen and the unseen, (better) than all sights. Think not any were like them in love, not even Ramin and Vis.

1520The maiden was bashful and astonished to have Avt’handil seated by her side; her colour paled and her heart shot forth a tremor from within. The king said: "Child, why art thou so bashful before me? the sages say that love in its end will not fail.

1521"Now, children, God grant you a thousand years’ length of life, happiness, prosperity, glory, and, moreover, freedoms from ills; may heaven not make you fickle, may it fall to your lot to be steadfast like it, may my fate be to have the earth heaped over me by your hands."

1522Then the king commanded the armies to do homage to Avt’handil: "This is your king," quoth he, "such was God's will. This day he hath my throne, I

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have old age like an infection. Serve him as well as you have served me, keep my command."

1523The soldiers and the magnates bent, humbly they did homage; they said: "Let us be as the earth to them that dispose of our lives; them who magnify those of us who are obedient, who liken the disobedient unto corpses, who make the arms of foes to fail (and) encourage our hearts!"

1524Tariel too spoke with a eulogy the glorification of hope; he said to the maiden: "You are united, no longer the heat of fires burns thee, thy husband is my brother, I desire too that you be my sister, I will bring to nought those who are false and opposed to thee."

Next: XLVII. Here is the Marriage of Avt’handil and T’hinat’hin by the King of the Arabs