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p. 157


Wait till the Qur'ân shall make complaint of thee before God on the judgment day, and shall say, How much falsehood has this deceitful one, whom Thou trustedst, I drawn forth from Thy truth!--shall say, O God, thou knowest both the manifest and the hidden; night and day he recited me loudly, and rendered not justice to a single word of me. Neither in grammar, nor meaning, nor pure pronunciation did I ever receive in the mihrâb my due from him with honesty. He has a good voice when he intones, and his robe of mourning is a pretty blue; but however he boasted his claims in respect of me, he knew not the depth of my meaning, for beyond talk and clamour this crowd are unable to utter a word. He never pushed forwards his horse towards my private grounds,--could not distinguish my face from my veil; when he entered my street he showed in his discussions no worth but only worthlessness. He surrendered not his mind and soul to my words, but forced me in the direction of his own decision and desire; now he wounded me with the sword of his lusts, and again he fettered me in the snare of his passions; now he brought me to his drinking parties, and again sang me as a song; sometimes he would recite me by way of profanity, making a noise like an ass in his shamelessness; now he would break through the frigidity of my words with his amorousness, as a gimlet through wood; now like a professional story-teller with his cadences he would scatter my words abroad to the stroke

p. 158

of his plectrum. O deviser of schemes! I ask for a just decision on the day of judgment against such an affliction!

For the sake of blandishment in this transitory abode,--sometimes in the crowded street and sometimes at time of prayer, sometimes by thy words and sometimes by thy voice,--thou shinest but to attract admiration. The words that have been polluted by thee, though they be wise, yet are they folly; for though the breeze is pleasant and delightful, yet if it pass over ordure it is not so. Has not God by His command plainly denied His Qur'ân to the impure?