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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee





The epic

The Poet Ferdowsi


Writing & Books

Oral Tradition

Ferdowsi's Sources

Khvatay-Namak / Khodai-Nama

Achaemenian Era Book of King - Basilikai Difeterai


Other Legends

Ferdowsi's Original Work Lost

Differences in Shahnameh Copies

Reconstruction of an Authoritative Shahnameh

English Translations

Spelling of the Names

Resources-Persian Text


Ferdowsi's Manuscript

Earliest Surviving Manuscript Copies Known

Recent Manuscript Discovery in Beirut

Illuminated Manuscripts

Great Mongol/Demotte Manuscript

Bayasanghori Manuscript

Tahmaspi/Houghton Manuscript

Elation, Regret & Hope

Shahnameh's Characters

The Heroes - Story in Brief

English Translation

W = Warner & Warner
A = James Atkinson
Z = Helen Zimmerman

1. Prologue W

2. Creation W

3. Gaiumart W

3. Kaiumers A

4. Hushang W

5. Tahmuras W

6. Jamshid W

7. Zahak W

3-7. Shahs of Old Z

8. Faridun W

9. Minuchihr, Sam, Zal, Rustam W

10. Naudar W

11. Zav W

12. Kai Kaus 1 W

13. 7 Courses of Rustam W

14. Kai Kaus 2 W

15. Kai Kaus 3 W

16. Warriors W

17. Suhrab W

18. Siyawush W

19. Kai Khusrau 1 W

20. Kai Khusrau 2 W

21. Farud W

22. Kai Khusrau 3 W

23. Rustam W

24. Rustam's Exploits W

25. Bizhan W

26. Gudarz W

27. Great War W

28. Passing of Kai Khusrau W

29. Luhrasp & Gushtasp W

30. Gushtasp & Zardhusht W

31. Asfandiyar's Seven Stages W

32. Asfandiyar W

33. Asfandiyar's Fight with Rustam W

34. Rustam & Shaghad W

35. Bahman W

36. Humai & Darab W

36a. Humai & Darab A

37. Darab & Dara A

38. Sikandar A

Satire on Sultan Mahmud A

The Heroes - Story in Brief


The Characters

Locale - Sistan

Pahlavans & Their Role


Zal Woos Princess Rudabeh

The Birth of Rustam

Rustam's Horse Rakhsh

Rustam Meets Princess Tahmina

The Tragedy of Sohrab

Page 28


The Passing of Kai Khusrau

In greatness, welfare, peace, and revelry,
For I have heard and witnessed this world's secrets,
Its good and ill both privy and apert ;
But still for husbandman and king alike
There is a common end - the way to death."
The Shah gave orders to the chamberlain
On duty: "Whose cometh to the court
Refuse admittance to him with fair words,
Be courteous to him and refrain from harshness."
Thus saying he departed to the pleasance
With lamentations and with loins ungirt,
Bathed, ere he prayed, his body and his head,
And sought by wisdom's lamp the way of God,
Then donned a new white robe and all devout
With heart of hope paced toward the oratory,
There prayed in secret to the holy Judge,
And said: "O higher than pure soul, the Maker
Of fire, of air, and dust ! behold and grant me
Much wisdom, and to know both good and ill.
I will give praises to Thee while I live,
And strive to better what I have done well.
Forgive whatever I have done amiss;
Let me not use my power frowardly;
Keep from this soul of mine the ills of fortune,
And all the machinations of the Div,
So that unlike Kaus, Zahhak, Jamshid,
I may not yield to passion's tyranny;
And if he shut on me the door of virtue,
And fraud and guile grow strong, let not his power
Avail to the destruction of my soul,
But bear it to the mansions of the just.
Look down on me in answer to my prayer."
He stood thus for a week both day and night
In body, but his spirit was afar.
Now when the sennight ended Kai Khusrau
Began to totter, for his strength had failed,
And with the eighth day's coming he had gone
From oratory back to royal throne.

How the Nobles inquired why Khusrau had closed his Court

The paladins of the Iranian host
All marvelled at the conduct of the Shah,
And divers were those famous warriors' thoughts.
Now, when the illustrious Shah resumed the state,
The chamberlain came to the door and bade
Remove the curtain and admit the host.
Then came with folded arms the mighty men -
The cavaliers and men of lion-looks -
Such men as Tus, Gudarz, and gallant Giv,
Gurgin, Ruhham the Lion, and Bizhan,
Shidush and Zanga, son of Shawaran,
With Fariburz and Gustaham and others,
Who, having seen the Shah and done obeisance,
Disclosed to him their secret thoughts and said:-
"O Shah ! O brave ! O head! O cypress-tree
O ruler of the world and chief of chiefs
No Shah like thee hath filled the ivory throne;
From thee both sun and moon derive their light,
Thou dost exalt steed, mail, and saddle, and give
To glorious Azargashasp fresh lustre.
Not fearing travail, toying not with wealth,
Thou makest toils more numerous than treasures.
We paladins are all of us thy slaves,
Dependent for our lives on sight of thee,
Who hast trod all thine enemies to dust,
And in this world hast no one left to fear.
Thine are the troops and treasure of all realms
Where'er thou settest foot thou labourest.
We know no reason why the monarch's thoughts
Have grown so gloomy at this present time;
This is thy season to enjoy the world,
Not to be sorrowful and fade away.
If now the Shah is vexed by any fault
In us, so let him say that we may please him,
And fill our cheeks with blood, our hearts with fire;
Or if he tell us of some secret foe
All those that wear a royal crown themselves
Will pledge their thrones and crowns to take the head
Of that man off him, or to lose their own,
What time they don the helmet of the brave.
Let him inform us what the secret is,
And then devise with us."

The noble Shah
Replied: "O paladins, who seek the way!
I am not harassed in the world by foes,
My treasure is not squandered anywhere,
The army doth not trouble me at all,
Nor is there one in fault among yourselves.
When on his foemen I avenged my sire,
And decked the world with justice and the Faith,
No single foot of darksome earth was left
That had not read the inscription on my signet;
Return ye then your falchions to their scabbards,
And wield the goblet not the scimitar;
Instead of twanging bows make ready flutes
And harps with wine and colour and perfume,
For we have done what there was need to do,
And cleared the world of foes. For one whole week
Have I been standing in the sight of God,
Fulfilled with contemplation and good rede.
I have a secret longing which I ask
The Maker of the world to gratify,
And will declare it when He answereth,
And by His answer maketh glad my days.
Do ye too offer praises unto God,
Entreating Him, who is the Source of power
For good and ill, to grant this boon and blessing
Praise be to Him who hath revealed the way.
When this is.done ensue all happiness,
And banish thoughts of evil from your hearts.
Know that the restless sky, discerning not
'Twixt fosterer and fostered, cherisheth
The old and young alike, and we are witness
Both to its justice and its tyranny."
The paladins departed from the Shah,
Their hearts distracted with their grief's. He bade
The chamberlain: "Sit down behind the curtain,
And let none, kin or alien, come to me:'
At night he went forth to the place of prayer,
Unclosed his lips before the almighty Judge,
And said to Him: "O higher than the height,
Thou who exaltest purity and goodness
Vouchsafe to be my guide to Paradise
Or ever I shall quit this Wayside Inn;
May no perverseness turn my heart aside,
But let my soul among the blest abide."

How the Iranians summoned Zal and Rustam

Now when a week had passed, and Kai Khusrau
Showed not his face, there rose much talk and clamour.
The paladins assembled to a man -
The lords, the sages, and the counsellors -
Such as Gudarz and Tus, son of Naudar,
And there was much dispute of right and wrong,
About the ways of autocratic Shahs -
Those that served God and those that did amiss -
And all narrated stories of the great,
The nobles and the sages of the world.
Gudarz said unto Giv : "O fortune-favoured,
The servant ever of the crown and throne!
Thou didst sustain much travail for Iran,
Abandoning thy country and thy kindred.
A sorry matter now confronteth us -
One that we cannot hold of small account.
Thou needs must set forth for Zabulistan,
Dispatch a mounted courier to Kabul,
And say to Zal and Rustam : 'Kai Khusrau
Hath turned himself from God and lost the way,
Hath closed the door of audience to the nobles,
And surely is in conclave with the Div.
We have asked questions and have made excuses,
Appealing to his justice in the case;
He listened much but answered not; we see
His heart distraught, his head fulfilled with vapours,
And fear that he will grow, like Shah Kaus,
Perverse, and that the div will make him err.
Now ye are paladins more wise than we,
With greater influence in all affairs,
So whatsoever counsellors ye have -
Men of Kannuj, Dambar, and Margh and Mai,
Star-readers of Kabulistan and all
The sages of Zabul - bring to Iran
To treat this matter. All the realm is full
Of rumours since the Shah denieth speech
And audience. Now that we have tried all means
We look to Zal to set the matter right."'
Giv, hearing this, chose out some valiant men,
And went in dudgeon, brooding moodily,
Toward Sistan. Arrived he told to Zal
And Rustam those strange things that he had seen
And heard; to noble Zal he sadly said:-
"We have espoused much grief." He said to Rustam :-
"Call from Kabul and summon from Zabul
The wise, the astrologers, and archimages
To bear us company."
Then all set face
Toward Zal and they departed for Iran.

The worldlord stood seven days in prayer, but when
The world-illuming sun shone on the eighth
The audience-chamberlain removed the curtain,
And Kai Khusrau sat on the throne of gold.
Then all the paladins and arch images
Approached. A multitude of prudent nobles
And counsellors stood there before the worldlord,
Who looked on them, received them graciously,
And, as the Kaians used, assigned them seats;
But of those famous, loyal lieges none
Would take his seat or loose his folded arms;
They oped their lips and said: "O turning Heaven
O worldlord full of justice, bright of soul !
thine are the power and Grace of majesty;
From earth to sun and Fish all, all is thine.
We stand as slaves before thy presence, we
Thy paladins and faithful counsellors,
To ask why thou hast shut thy court to us.
Now time hath passed thus and our hearts are sore
And sad. If then the Shah will tell this secret
To us his marchlords, who are all astray,
We will turn seas to land if they annoy him,
And change the robe of dust thereon to musk,
We will rase mountains if they be the cause,
And with our falchions cleave the hearts of foes,
While if the cure be wealth let not the Shah
Be troubled in respect of cash and treasure;
We all keep watch upon thy treasury,
And full of anguish weep at thy distress."
He made reply: "I need my paladins
Although my heart hath no anxieties
Respecting mastery and men and treasure.
No foeman hath appeared within the realm
To cause me any care on his account;
But yet mine ardent heart hath one desire
That I will not uproot therefrom, and now
Throughout the dark night till the dawn of day
I wait the consummation of my hopes,
And when that cometh I will tell you all,
And utter what as yet I leave unsaid.
Go ye your ways victorious and glad,
Dismissing such thoughts from your memories."
Then all the paladins, those noble men,
Called blessings down on him, and grieved again.

How Kai Khusrau saw Surush in a Dream

As soon as they had gone the wakeful Shah
Gave orders to the chamberlain, who closed
The curtains and sat down beside the portal,
Despairing of victorious Kai Khusrau.
The worldlord went before the Lord most high,
Entreating Him that He would be his guide,
And said: "Almighty Ruler of the heaven,
Who kindlest goodness, charity, and justice!
This sovereignty advantageth me not
Unless I am in favour with my Lord;
But whether I have acted well or ill
Bestow on me a seat in Paradise."
Thus stood he pleading for five sennights' space
Before the presence of the Lord most high.
One night the Shah slept not for suffering
Until the moon had risen, then he slept
But with his mind awake - that spouse of wisdom -
And dreamed that blest Surush thus whispered him:-
"O Shah, the favourite of the stars and fortune,
Who much hast handled armlet, crown, and throne
Now halt thou won thy whole desire, if thou
Art instant in abandoning the world.
Near to the throne of God, the holy Judge,
Shalt thou have place; abide not in this gloom.

Bestow thy treasures on the worthiest,
And let another have the Wayside Inn.
Thou shalt grow rich by bounteously entreating

The mendicants and those of thine own kindred.
Know that the man who bath escaped the clutch
Of misadventure, or the dragon's breath -
Each that hath suffered travail for thy sake -
Endured the toil that he might win the spoil.
Give then thy havings to the worthiest,

Because thou wilt not tarry here for long,
And choose as ruler for the throne a man
That will not hurt an ant upon the ground.'
When thou hast given away the world rest not,

Because the season of dispatch hath come
To thee. Luhrasp hath fitting excellence;
Resign to him the kingship, throne, and girdle.
The place that thou bast sought from God is thine,
Ascend without death and depart thou thither."
He spake much else in secret to the Shah,
Who marvelled at the message and, what time
He wakened from his slumber, all fordone,
Saw that the oratory ran with sweat !
He wept and, with his face upon the ground,
Made his thanksgiving to the Omnipotent,
And said: "If I shall pass away forthwith
I shall attain from God my heart's desire."
He went to occupy the ivory throne,
And carried in his hand a robe unworn,
And, having donned that raiment, sat him down,
A Shah without an armlet, torque, or crown.

How Zal admonished Kai Khusrau

Now on the sixth week Zal and Rustam came
In discontentment and distress of heart.
The iranians when they were advised thereof
Made haste, heart-broken too, to go to them.
When Rustam had appeared in sight with Zal,
Together with the prowest archimages,
All those who were the kinsmen of Zarasp
Urged on their steeds to go and welcome them,
While all the nobles with the golden boots
Advanced with Kawa's standard. When Gudarz
Reached matchless Rustam tears ran down his cheeks;
The faces of the advancing troops were wan;
All hearts were seared and troubled for Khusrau.
The Iranians spake to Zal and Rustam thus:-
"The Shah hath erred by counsel of Iblis.
The audience-chamber is completely thronged,
But none beholdeth him by night or day.
They ope the door of audience once a week,
And thither go we but, O paladin
Quite other now is Kai Khusrau than when
Thou usedst to behold him bright and happy
Of soul. The straight-stemmed Cypress-tree is bent,
The red Rose hath the colour of the quince.
I know not that the evil eye hath seen him,
Or why his rosy face is withered so,
Unless the Iranians' fortune hath grown dim,
Or stars have brought on him this decadence ;
Or whether 'tis the fear of holy God
That causeth in his heart such melancholy;
Or if the Div hath made him err and wrecked
Once and for all the world."

Brave Zal replied :-
"The Shah hath grown aweary of the throri
There are such things as health and sufferug,
Distress and gladness too have each their One -
Have not your heart so greatly sorrowful,
For sorrow casteth down the blithest soul.
We will speak much to him and counsel hill,
And by our counsel bring his star success."
The wayfarers made haste to court. The curtain
Was drawn aside. They were admitted gladly
In order due - Zal, elephantine Rustam,
Tus and Gudarz and all their company,
And then Gurgin, Bizhan, and Gustaham
With all the warriors of their retinue.
The king of kings, when he beheld Zal's face,
And heard the voice of Rustam at the curtain,
Rose to his feet in wonder from the throne
And standing greeted Zal and clasped his pand.
As for the wise men from Zabul, Kannuj,
Dambar, and from Kabul, he greeted each;.
And courteously entreated them, assigning
To each his place and to the Iranians
The highest. Zal did reverence and spake thus :-
"Live happily while month and year endure !
Of all the famous chiefs that we can call
To mind from Minuchihr to Kai Kubad,
As well as Zav, son of Tahmasp, Kaus -
Great men and Shahs whose steps were fortunate -
And Siyawush, who was as mine own son,
Endowed with stature, dignity, and Grace,
None have I seen with Grace, renown, and wisdom
Such as the Shah's, and may he reign for ever
Victorious, intrepid, just, and wise.
Thou hast pervaded all the world with justice,
And come again in triumph and in joy.
What king but is as dust beneath thy feet ?
What bane for which thy name is not a care ?
Received have I some most unwelcorme news,
And thereupon have made all haste I to come.
One from Iran declared: 'The conquiering Shah
Hath bid the audience-chamberlain to leave
The curtain down and hide our monarch from us.'
I like an eagle or a ship at sea
Have come in all haste, since the Iranians grieve,
That I might ask the monarch of the world
About the secret matter on his mind.
The readers of the stars, the mighty men
Whom I saw chief within their provinces,
Have come with Indian tablets fromi Kannuj,
Dambar, and Margh and Mai to ascertain
The secret of the sky, and why the Shah
Withdraweth his affection from Iran,
Now all well-being resteth on three things,
With which the throne of royalty is safe;
The three are treasure, toil, and valiant men:
Without them glory, rule, and fight are not.
A fourth is that we offer praise to Gcod
And make our prayers before Him night and day,
Because He is His servant's succourer
One who restraineth the injurious.
We will bestow much wealth upon the poor,
Though it should cost us what we vatlue most
That He may make thy spirit bright again
With wisdom for the armour of thy brain.'"

How Kai Khusrau answered Zal

Khusrau gave ear, then made a sage reply
"Old man of honest brain! " he said to Zal,
"Right goodly are thy counsels and thy speech.
Since Minuchihr was on the throne till now
Thou hast been kindly and benevolent,
While Rustam of the elephantine form,
That man of name, the pillar of the Kaians
And people's joy, became the fosterer
Of Siyawush and source of good to him.
Troops that have looked on Rustam's iron mace,
His breast, his helmet, and his lion-limbs,
Have often fled before the fight, and dropped
Their bows and arrows on the plains and dales;
He helped mine ancestors to seek revenge,
And was their glorious minister and guide.
Were I to tell thy toils the tales would last
A hundred generations and be fresh,
And were inquiry made of thy good deeds
My praise would only be disparagement.
Next, as to what thou askest of my case
In thus refusing audience and lamenting,
I will inform thee of each circumstance
That thou mayst know the matter point by point
By God, I have no wish on earth but one -
To quit this wretched world. Five sennights now
Have passed while I have stood to supplicate
The Judge and Guide to pardon past offences,
To brighten my dark moon, convey me hence,
And leave on earth no pain or grief through me.
I must not quit the right and turn aside
Like former Shahs. I have attained my wish,
And must dispatch because glad news hath come.
Whenas mine eyes were sleeping yestermorn
Surush, the blessed, came to me from God,
And said: 'Prepare, for 'tis thy time to go,
Thy watching and distress are overpassed.'
So now mine audiences, care for the host,
For crown and throne and belt, are at an end."
The paladins were troubled in their hearts
About the Shah and knew not what to do.
Zal, when he heard the monarch's words, was wroth
And from his liver drew a deep, cold sigh;
He said to the Iranians : "This is bad!
No wisdom still abideth in his brain;
Since first I girt a girdle round my loins
I have attended at the Kaians' throne,
But never saw I one who spake like this!
Yet may we not ignore what he hath said,
Or give assent thereto in any way,
When he is holding forth in such a strain.
He may have been in conclave with the Div,
And thus his head is turned away from God.
Hushang and Faridun, God's worshippers,
Ne'er laid their hands on such a branch as this.
I will declare to him the honest truth
E'en at the cost of life:'

The Iranians said:-
No Kaian e'er spake thus! We are with thee
In what thou say'st to him. May God prevent
His wandering from use and precedent."

How Zal rebuked Kai Khusrau

Zal heard their words, then rose and said: "Khusrau,
Thou upright chief! list to the words of one
Advanced in years, one who hath seen the world,
And answer not if he adviseth ill.
Though honest speech be bitter it will bar
The door of ruin by its bitterness.
Take therefore in good part the honest words,
Which I will speak before this company
Born wast thou in the country of Turan ;
There was thy fountain-head and there thy home ;
Thou hadst on one side great Afrasiyab,
Who never dreamed of aught but sorcery,
For grandsire, on the other base Kaus
With wrinkled visage and deceitful heart.
From west to east the greatness and the sway,
The crown and belt, were his. Now he was fain
To pass the sky and count the circling stars,
And though I counselled him at large thereon,
And spake with bitterness as I do now,
He was not profited by all my counsels,
And seared and grieved I turned away from him.
He soared and came down headlong to the dust,
But holy God vouchsafed to spare his life.
On coming home he was ungrateful still;
His heart was awed, but war was in his thoughts.
Thou with a hundred thousand swordsmen mailed,
And armed with ox-head maces, didst go forth,
As 'twere a lion roused, to levy war,
And rank upon the desert of Kharazm.
Thou wentest forth, the champion of thy host,
To fight afoot against the valiant Shida.
If he had got the upper hand of thee
Thou wouldst have brought the great Afrasiyab
Upon Iran; the Iranians' wives and children
Had perished; none had girt him for revenge;
But God vouchsafed deliverance from his hand,
Had mercy on thee and confirmed thy counsels.
Thou slewest him whom there was cause to fear,
Him who was thankless to the almighty Judge;
But when I said: 'It is the time for peace,
The time for robes, for largess, and for goblet;
The king and host will rest from toil, and we
Shall have our souls refreshed for months and years,'
This grievous business came upon Iran,
And more than ever filled our hearts with sorrow,
For thou hast put from thee the way of God,
And ta'en to evil paths and frowardness.
Thy person will not profit by this wrong,
Nor will it please the Maker of the world.
If thou art bent on such a course, O Shah !
No one will go about to do thy bidding,
And then thou wilt repent thee of thine acts.
Consider! Do not what the divs command.
Moreover if thou seekest thus their way
The Worldlord will withdraw from thee the Grace,
Thou wilt be left in misery and sin,
And men will never hail thee, Shah again;
God is our Refuge; therefore turn to God,
Because He is our Guide to what is good.
If thou rejectest this my counselling,
And trustest unto wicked Ahriman,
Thou wilt retain no homage and no fortune,
No royal majesty, no crown, no throne.
May wisdom be the leader of thy soul,
Because the way in front of us is long.
Mayst thou be prudent, may thy counsels prosper,
And may thy brain be steadfast and devout."
Whenas the words of Zal had reached their end
The heroes all assented, saying thus:-
"The old man with what we too think is best,
It is not right that truth should be supprest."

How Kai Khusrau answered and how Zal excused himself

When Kai Khusrau had hearkened to their words
He was a while anangered and breathed hard,
Then spake deliberately: "O veteran Zal,
Whose manhood reacheth countless years! if I
Speak coldly to thee here before the folk
The Worldlord never will approve that wrong
In me. Moreover Rustam will be grieved,
And through his grief loss will befall Iran ;
Moreover should I reckon up his toils
They would be more e'en than his famous treasures.
He hath enshielded me with his own body,
And suffered not our foes to eat or sleep,
So I will answer thee with kindliness,
And will not break thy heart with cruel words."
Khusrau then cried aloud : "O noble men
Whose fortunes never slumber! I have heard
What Zal hath said in presence of you all.
By God, the almighty Lord, I am afar
Both from the way and bidding of the Div;
My soul inclineth God-ward, for in Him
I have beheld my remedy for care.
Mine ardent heart hath looked upon this world,
My breast is troubled by the woes thereof."
He said to Zal: "Forbear thine anger, thou
Shouldst speak in measured words. First, for thy
saying :-
'None wise and shrewd hath issued from Turan,'
Worldlord and son of Siyawush am I,'
A prudent monarch of the Kaian stock,
The grandson of the worldlord Kai Kaus -
The love-inflaming, wise, and fortunate -
And through my mother from Afrasiyab,
Whose wrath deprived us both of food and sleep.
Sprung thus from Faridun and from Pashang,
I shame not at my birth because the sea
Could not have purged the Lions of Iran
Of fears inspired by Afrasiyab.
Next for the carriage which Kaus once made
To raise his head above the sovereignty,
Know that no blame attacheth to a king
For lofty aims. Now that I have avenged
My father and have decked the world with goodness,
Have slain my foes, and all who were on earth
The common source of outrage and injustice,
No work remaineth for me here below ;
The miscreants have not a monarch left.
Now whensoe'er I meditate awhile
On kingship and long rule I go the way
Of Kai Kaus and of Jamshid, and lose
My footing as they did. I fear that I,
As soon as icy age shall come upon me,
Shall, like impure Zahhak and daring Tur,
Whose outrages revolted all the world,
Be haled to Hell. Again, thou saidst: 'Thou foughtest
With Shida like a lusty crocodile.'
The reason was - I saw no cavalier
In all Iran who would engage with him,
Or on engaging would not shrink and prove
Of little worth with Shida as a foe,
And so I battled for Iran in person ;
Bright is his star who hath the Grace divine.
For these five sennights both by night and day
Have I unclosed my lips with orisons
If so the Worldlord, the all holy God,
Might free me from this grief and this dark earth,
And now aweary of host, crown, and throne
I have returned in haste to make all ready.
Thou son of Sam, old and illustrious,
Said'st that the Div had laid a snare for me,
That darkly and perversely I have left
The way, grown vile of soul and black of heart !
I do not know what chastisement divine
Thou thinkest due to me for life misspent."
Zal was confounded when he heard these words,
And could not look the monarch in the face.
Then with a cry he rose upon his feet,
And said : "O Shah, thou worshipper of God !
I have been rash and foolish while thou art
A holy man, and one divinely wise.
Forgive me if the Div hath led me wrong.
I have been living for unnumbered years
With loins girt up in presence of the Shahs,
But never saw I one who sought of God,
The Judge of sun and moon, what thou hast sought.
Now Kai Khusrau hath come to be the teacher:
Be evil fortune ever far from him.
I would not lose Khusrau ; yet, though my soul
Is dark, let wisdom witness to my words
That to his faithful lieges of Iran
The Shah's act overrideth all their grief,
So that with us there is desire to part
From our just judge, beneficent Khusrau."
The Shah, when he had heard Zal's words, approved
The excuse thus proflered by his loyal liege,
Reached forth and clasped in his the old man's hand,
And made him take his seat upon the throne ;
The sun-faced Shah was ware that naught could move
His liege to speak such words excepting love.

How Kai Khusrau gave his last Charge to the Iranians

The Shah spake afterward to Zal, and said :-
"Now gird ye, every one of you, your loins,
Thou, Rustam, Tus, Gudarz and Giv and all
The others that are men of name and courage !
Bear ye the camp-enclosure from the city
Out on the plain with our victorious standard;
Take thither all the tents and the pavilions
To furnish an encampment ; there assemble
The chieftains' flags, the elephants, and troops,
And make a splendid feast-stead."
Rustam did
As said the Shah. They brought the camp-enclosure
Forth to the plain, and all the Iranians
Girt up their loins to do as they were bidden.
The earth was filled with tents from hill to hill -
Tents white and sable, violet and blue -
While Kawa'S flag was in the midst and made
The world look yellow, red, and violet.
They pitched Zal's tent-enclosure on the plain
Hard by the Shah before the array. Rustam,
The paladin, was stationed on the left
With shrewd chiefs from Kabul. In front were Tus,
Gudara, and Giv, Bizhan the warrior,
And brave Gurgin, and, in the rear, Shapur
With Gustaham and nobles in attendance.
The king of kings sat on the golden throne,
With ox-head mace, on one side Zal and Rustam -
A stately Elephant and Lion grim -
Upon the other Tus, Gudarz, and Giv,
Gurgin, Farhad, and valorous Shapur,
While every eye was fixed upon the face
Of Kai Khusrau to know what he would say
About the host. He raised his voice and said :-
"Ye famous men of action! everyone
That is possessed of rode and wisdom knoweth
That good and ill will pass away alike;
We all must go, and this world passeth too
What need for all this travail, grief, and care?
'Tis well to go now while we have our troops,
We must not go as though impuissant;
For us the bull is still within its hide,
And elsewhere are reward and retribution.
Be all of you in fear of holy God,
And put no confidence in this dark earth,
Because the day of each of us will pass,
And time is reckoning our every breath.
From glorious Hushang to Shah Kaus
Of all that had the throne, the crown, and Grace
Naught but the name remaineth to the world,
And no one readeth rescripts from the dead.
Of them full many showed ingratitude,
And trembled for their error in the end.
A bondslave am I even as they were;
And striven though I have with pains, and I
Have striven and endured exceeding toil,
I realise that here is none abiding.
Now from this Wayside Inn have I uprooted
My heart and soul, and lifted them o'er care
And toil; now have I won my whole desire,
And turned my back upon the Kaian throne.
To every one that hath borne toil with me
Will I give treasure equal to his wish,
And speak to God, who heareth what is good,
For them whom I approve. I give the Iranians
My treasures and mine implements of war.
To every prince among you I will give
A province. Of my purses, slaves, and steeds
Have I bethought me; I produce a list
And now bestow them, for I go my way,
And clear my heart of this obscurity.
Put forth your hands in gladness to the feast,
One sennight eat and drink, and pray that I
May quit this Wayside Hostel and abide
Afar from toil."
When he announced his purpose
The warriors were all astound at him,
And one among them said: "The Shah is mad,
And wit is as a stranger to his heart !
I know not what will come to him, or where
The crown and throne will find repose!"
The warriors departed band by band;
Plains, dales, and mountains were all troops. The sounds
Of piping and of neighing steeds ascended
Above the very sky, as thou wouldst say;
Thereat the spirits of the Iranians rose,
And for one week none thought of briefs and woes.

How Kai Khusrau appointed Gudarz to be his Mandatary

The Shah the eighth day sat upon the throne
Without his armlets, mace, and golden helm,
And since the time when he must pass was near
They opedthe portal of the treasury
Which done he made Gudarz, son of Kishwad,
His mandatary, saying: "See to all
The world's affairs - the public and the secret.
There is a season for amassing wealth
With labour, and a time for lavishing.
Look to the ruined caravansaries,
As well as to the bridges on our borders ;
The dried up cisterns, those within Iran
And those constructed by Afrasiyab ;
The children motherless, the womenfolk
That have no husbands and are destitute,
With those that come to want in their old age;
Moreover close not thou the treasury's door
To such as strive to hide their sufferings.
Bestow and live in fear of evil days;
See to the cities that are lying waste -
The lurking-dens of leopards and of lions.
Next as to places where the Cult of Fire
Prevailed, but which are waste and pxiestless now,
As well as every one in indigence,
Who in his early days gave liberally,
And all the wells grown old and waterless,
Make all these flourish through this hoard of gold
And silver. Think drachms vile; remember death."
As to the treasure which was called " The Bride,"
Stored by Kaus within the town of Tus,
He bade Gudarz : "Give it to Giv, to Zal,
And to the lord of Rakhsh:"
He reckoned up
His wardrobe and bestowed the whole on Rustam.
The armlets also and the chieftains' torques,
The massive maces and the coats of mail,
He gave to Gustaham - a just award.
Then, choosing from the steeds and saddlery,
He gave a herd of horses highly bred,
And then at large, to Tus the general.
He gave Gudarz his gardens, rosaries,
And certain palaces the which he named.
The body-armour that he treasured so -
That precious armour worn in his campaigns -
He had bestowed complete on gallant Giv
What time he grew aweary of the throne.
A palace, camp-enclosure with the tents,
Pavilions, stalls, and horses he presented
To Fariburz, son of Kaus, as well
As coats of mail and helms and Ruman casques.
A torque which was more bright than Jupiter,
Together with two radiant rings of ruby,
Engraven with the worldlord's name and known
Throughout the world, " These," said he to Bizhan,
"Receive as a memorial of me,
And sow not any seed but that of good."
Then said he to the Iranians : "My time
Approacheth, and I long afresh to go;
Make your requests of me for what ye need,
For this assembly must be broken up:'
The chiefs were overcome by grief, they wept,
And burned in anguish for the king of kings.
"To whom now will the Shah," inquired they all,
"Bequeath the crown as his memorial? "

How Zal asked of Kai Khusrau a Patent for Rustam

When Zal, that loyal liege, had heard the Shah
He kissed the ground, then springing to his feet
Spake out, and said: "O monarch of the world
Let me disclose to thee my heart's desire.
What for Iran's sake Rustam hath achieved
In combats, travails, and campaigns thou knowest.
When Kai Kaus went to Mazandaran -
A lengthy march of many toilsome leagues -
And when the divs had put him into ward,
Together with the proud Gudarz and Tus,
Then matchless Rustam, having heard thereof,
Went to Mazandaran in haste alone.
Through desert and through gloom, midst divs and lions,
Enchanters and fierce dragons, in distress
And toil he cut his way, and reached the Shah ;
He rent the White Div's flank, he tore the reins
Both of Pulad, son of Ghundi, and Bid,
And plucked off Sanja's head. His war-cry reached
High heaven. Kaus went to Hamavaran,
And there folk made him fast in heavy bonds
With Tus, Gudarz, and Giv - those gallant hearts
And wary warriors. But matchless Rustam
Marched thither with a mighty host and chieftains,
The chosen of Iran and of Zabul,
And freed Katis, Gudarz, and Giv and Us.
When Rustam slew Suhrab - a son unmatched
Mid high and low alike throughout the world -
When waging battle for Kaus, the Shah,
He wept in agony for months and years;
And when he fought Kamus in after-times
His valour sent the dust up to the clouds.
However I might speak about his acts
The tale of them would never reach an end.
Now if the Shah is tired of crown and throne
What leaveth he this loyal lion-heart ? "
"His actions," such was Kai Khusrau's reply,
"On our behalf, his fightings and his toil,
Who knoweth save the almighty Lord of Heaven -
He that revealeth justice, peace, and love ?
Yet Rustam's fame is manifest to all,
And he hath none to match him in the world."
He ordered that a scribe should come to him
With paper, musk, and spicery. They wrote
A patent from the monarch of the earth,
The exalted Kai Khusrau, the pure in Faith,
For elephantine Rustam, that brave chieftain,
Praised for his valour in all companies,
The foremost of the world, a lord thereof,
A chieftain, vigilant, and valiant,
A conquering leader and the Light of hosts,
Assigning him the province of Nimruz.
They sealed the patent with the golden signet,
As was the usance of just Kai Khusrau,
Who gave the deed to him, commending him,
And saying: "May the earth be blessed in Rustam."
Then to the chieftains that had journeyed thither
With Zal, the son of Sam the cavalier,
And astrolabes upon their bosoms bare,
He gave robes, gold, and silver - each his share.

How Kai Khusrau gave a Patent to Giv

Zal, seeing this, gave thanks exceedingly
To that victorious and discerning Shah.
When Zal resumed his seat Gudarz arose,
He urged a just request, and thus he said:-
"Victorious Shah ! we never yet have seen
A master of the throne to equal thee.
From Minuchihr as far as Kai Kubad,
And from Kaus until thy noble self,
We have girt up our loins before the chiefs,
And have not had a single day's repose.
My sons and grandsons numbered seventy-eight;
Now eight remain; the rest have passed away.
Moreover watchful Giv for seven years
Was in Turan, deprived of food and rest ;
Upon the waste he lived on onager,
And wore the skins of game. The Shah, when he
Came to Iran, had seen what toils Giv bare
For him. He wearieth of crown and throne,
And Giv expecteth kindness at his hands."
Khusrau replied: "He hath done better still,
And may a thousand blessings rest upon him,
The Master of the world be his ally,
And may his foemen's rose be fall of thorns.
My havings great and small are in thy hand.
May health of body and of mind be thine."
He made a grant of Kum and Ispahan -
The seat of nobles and the home of chiefs.
The scribe wrote out with musk and ambergris
On silk the great king's letter, who impressed
His golden seal thereon, blessed it, and said:-
"May God be well contented with Gudarz,
And may his foemen's hearts be filled with smoke!"
He thus addressed the Irainians : "Know ye this,
That gallant Giv, who hath the thews of chieftains
And lion's claws, is my memorial
To be your succour after I am gone.
Submit yourselves to his authority,
And not transgress the counsels of Gudarz."
The chieftains of that race with one accord
Renewed their blessings on their sovereign lord

How Kai Khusrau gave a Patent to Tus

Whenas Gudarz resumed his seat Tus rose,
Came, kissed the ground before Khusrau, and said:-
"O monarch! live for ever. May ill's hand
Be ever far from thee. Of all these nobles
I only am derived from Faridun ;
We were the royal house till came Kubad.
Before the Iranians have I girt my girdle,
And never loosed that bondage from my loins.
Upon Mount Hamawan the breastplate galled
My body; it was all I had to wear;
And in that war of wreak for Siyawush
I was each night the watchman of the host.
I could not save the army at Ladan,
But was myself within the Dragon's breath.
When in Hamavaran Kaus was bound
There were chains also on the neck of Tus,
And in Mazandaran I was in bonds
With him, and was in dudgeon for his sake.
I, whether I behaved me well or ill,
Served in all places as his general.
I never anywhere dispersed the host,
And no one ever made complaint of me.
The Shah is tired of treasury and throne,
And is about to quit this Wayside Inn; .
What dost thou bid me do? What power is mine?
Thou knowest both my virtues and my faults."
The Shah made answer: "Thou hadst greater hardships
Than these from fate. Keep Kawa's standard still,
Be general and wear the golden boots.
Thy portion of the world is Khurasan ;
None of these nobles will molest thee there."
They wrote a patent out to that effect
Before the magnates and the mighty men;
Khusrau then sealed it with the golden signet,
And gave to Tus a golden torque and girdle,
Invoking blessings on him fervently:-
"May my heart never more be wroth with thee."

How Kai Khusrau gave the Kingship to Luhrasp

The king of kings, when he had ordered thus
The matter of the chiefs, went to his throne.
Now of the chiefs Luhrasp remained, whose name
None read upon the roll of royalty,
And him the Shah required Bizhan to bring
Before the presence with his helmet on.
The worldlord when he saw Luhrasp arose,
Saluted him with outstretched hands and then,
Descending from the famous ivory throne,
Took from his head the heart-illuming crown,
Resigned it to Luhrasp and hailed him Shah
Of all the Iranian realm, and said to him:-
"May this thy crown prove fortunate to thee;
Be all the world thy slave. On thee have I,
Since mine exceeding toil and pain are over,
Bestowed the crown of kingship and the treasure.
Speak naught but what is just henceforth, for thou
Through justice wilt be conquering and glad.
Make not the Div the comrade of thy soul
If thou wilt keep thy fortune vigorous;
Be prudent and without offence, and set
For evermore a watch upon thy tongue."
He said to the Iranians : "Let your hearts
Be joyful in his fortune and his throne."
The Iranians were amazed, they raged like lions,
And said: "Must we salute Luhrasp as Shah ? "
Then from among them Zal rose to his feet
To speak the righteous counsels of his heart,
And said on this wise: "O exalted king !
Thou mayest make dust precious, but may dust,
Dust only, fill the head of that man's fortune,
And antidotes prove poison in his mouth,
Who sayeth that Luhrasp is Shah by right.
We never will consent to such injustice.
Whenas he came Iran-ward with Zarasp
I saw him poor, and owning but one horse;
Thou sentest him to battle with the Alans,
Providing him with army, flag, and belt.
His birth I know not; I have seen no merit
In him; I never heard of such a monarch.
Though nobles of the royal race abound
The Shah hath not remembered one of them!"

When Zal, the son of Sam, had spoken thus
The whole assembly sided with the speaker,
And from the Iranians rose a shout: "O Shah'
Henceforth we will not gird our loins or seek
To fight at all upon the battlefield
If now the king exalteth thus Luhrasp."
Khusrau, when he had heard the words of Zal,
Replied: "Restrain thyself and be not wroth,
For whoso speaketh that which is not ,just
Will only get the smother of the fire,
Since God approveth not of ill from us,
And bad men writhe 'neath time's vicissitudes,
While he whom God createth for high fortune,
Fit to be monarch and adorn the throne,
Endowed with modesty, Faith, birth, and Grace
Will flourish, conquer, and rejoice in justice.
The Maker is my witness when I say
That all these qualities are in Luhrasp.
He is descended from Hushang the worldlord,
A noble of discernment and clean hands,
A scion of Pashfn and Kai Kubad,
Well stocked with knowledge, righteous in his

He will cut off the sorcerers from the earth,
And manifest the way of holy God,
His counsels will renew the age's youth,
And as he is his stainless son will be.
God said to me: 'Look thou upon Luhrasp,'
And I have acted only as He bade.
Now do ye homage to him as your Shah,
And as ye love me slight not mine advice,
For if a man transgress my parting counsel
I shall esteem his past exertions wind.
One such as that will give no praise to God,
And fear from all sides will assail his heart."

As soon as Zal had heard these righteous words
He reached out, set his fingers to the ground,
And in the act of homage smeared his lips
With grimy dust, then hailed Luhrasp as Shah,
And said to that world's lord: "Mayst thou be happy.
Far from thee ever be the hand of ill.
Who save the Shah, victorious and noble,
Knew that Luhrasp was of the royal race?
As I swore fealty my lips got smeared
With grimy dust: account it not a fault."
The great men showered jewels on Luhrasp,
And hailed him as the Shah. When Kai Khusrau
Had thus achieved the matter of the kingship
He thought next of the folk and told the Iranians :-
"To-morrow ye will go the selfsame path,
And I, on quitting this vile dust, will pray
To holy God that we be reunited."
In taking leave he kissed the face of each;
The lashes of his eyes were full of tears ;
He pressed each warrior closely to his breast,
And bitterly exclaimed: "Oh ! would that I
Could bear this company along with me!"

A cry rose from the army of Iran :-
"The sun hath wandered from its way in heaven I"
Men, children, and the women in their bowers,
On mountain, in bazar, and midst the throng,
Were raising wails and lamentable cries,
And every quarter sorrowed for the Shah,
While all the chieftains bent them with their heads
Upon the ground and rent their robes in grief;
The earth was in convulsion everywhere,
And all the mighty men were in amazement.
The Shah then spake to the Iranians,
And said: "Heed, every one of you, this counsel,
All ye that are possessed of Grace and birth!
Be happy in the justice of your lord.
And now will I take order for my soul
That I may pass with honour, for my heart
Hath not been set upon this Wayside Inn
Know that Surush hath come to be my guide."
He spake and bade to bring night-hued Bihzad,
While lamentations went up from the host;
He reached the palace, overcome with woe,
His noble cypress-stature bending low.

How Kai Khusrau fare-welled his Women

He had four sun-like damsels; none had seen
Their faces e'en in dreams. He called those Idols
Forth from their bowers and told his purpose, saying :-
"I am about to leave this place of sojourn,
But be not sad or sorry. Ye henceforth
Will see me not, for tired of this ill earth
I shall depart to God, the holy Judge,
And see no way whereby I may return."
Thereat the sun-faced four became distraught,
And wailed for anguish, misery, and love;
They tore their faces, they plucked out their hair,
And broke their gay and scented ornaments,
Then as each one regained her self-control
She cried out with a lamentable voice:-
"Remove us also from this Wayside Inn,
And guide us to the attainment of this good."
The noble Shah made answer to them thus :-
"Ye too will go upon a way like this.
Where are the sisters of Jamshid the worldlord?
Where are the nobles with their gloryings ?
Where is the daughter of Afrasiyab -
My mother who came hither o'er Jihun ?
Where is Tur's daughter, Mah Afrid, whose like
None ever saw? Their beds are brick and dust
I know not if they be in Heaven or Hell.
The talons and the teeth of Death will close
On crown and helm alike, wear which we may;
Hence one should be adorned with righteousness,
' For that not even death will take from us.
Seek not to make me sorry to depart,
Because the way is bright before mine eyes."
He cried aloud and called to him Luhrasp
To whom he spake much of the womenfolk,
And said: "These are mine Idols, and they are
The glory of my garden. Keep them here
Together in this home while thou remainest,
And when God calleth thee let not thy soul,
Through any act of thine, be shamed before Him,
Or feel itself disgraced before two kings
When thou beholdest me with Siyawush:"
Luhrasp assented unto Kai Khusrau
In all, and answered: "How should I behold them
In their seclusion ? "
Kai Khusrau then girt
His loins, and went back to the Iranian chiefs;
He said: "Go home again with all dispatch;
Let not your hearts be seared and smoked for me,
Nor feel at home with this world, for it hath
Its Blooms though yet unseen. For evermore
Be ye both great and happy. Never think
Of me except for good. Be jocund all,
Rejoice in God, and when ye have to pass
Be it a day for smiles and happiness."
Then all the nobles of the Iranian host
Bent to the ground before him, saying thus:-
"The counsels of the Shah will we hold fast
As life itself as long as life shall last."

How Kai Khusrau went to the Mountains and vanished in the Snow

Khusrau commanded that Luhrasp should come,
And said to him: "My day hath passed. Go thou,
Maintain the usage of the royal throne,
And in the world sow but the seed of good.
Whenever thou hast any times of ease
Boast not about thy treasures and thy crown;
Know this that when thy day of darkness cometh
The way before thee is the way to God.
Seek after and perform whate'er is just,
And hold the persons of the great in honour."
Luhrasp alighted quickly from his steed,
And kissed the ground with signs of sore distress.
Khusrau said: "Fare thee well and be thyself
The warp and woof of justice."
From Iran
Went chieftains with the Shah, great, shrewd, and valiant,
As Zal and Rustam, as Gudarz and Giv,
The brave Bizhan and gallant Gustaham ;
The seventh was Fariburz, son of Kaus,
The eighth famed Tus. The host marched troop on troop
Till from the waste they reached a mountain-top,
And tarried there a sennight to draw breath
And wet their lips, exclaiming at the Shah,
And labour which they could not understand,
While every archimage said privily :-
"None in the world e'er told of such a case !"
Whenas the sun arose above the hills
A multitude collected from all parts,
And five score thousand of the Iranians,
Both men and women, went before the Shah
In grief; the mount was full of wails and cries,
And e'en the flints were moved. The people all
Said to Khusrau : "O Shah ! what aileth thee
That thy shrewd heart is seared and full of smoke ?
If thou hast taken umbrage at the host,
Or boldest this crown worthless, tell us so,
Quit not Iran nor give this ancient world
A youthful Shah. We are thy horse's dust,
And worship thine Azargashasp. Oh! whither
Are all thy knowledge, rede, and senses fled?
Surush came never thus to Siyawush
We all will offer up our prayers to God,
With supplications in the Fane of Fire,
If haply holy God may pardon us,
And thine own priestly heart illume us still."
The king of kings astonied called the archmages
Forth from the throng, and said: "Here all is well;
Ye must not weep at happiness like this.
Praise God, be happy, and acknowledge Him,
For soon we meet again; mourn not my going."
Then to the chiefs he said: "Turn, all of you,
Back from this mountain-top without your Shah,
Because the way is longsome, waterless,
And hard, devoid of grass and foliage.
Relieve yourselves of going to and fro,
And make your souls a path toward the Light.
Yon desert none may pass who hath not Grace
And lofty stature."

Three proud warriors
Attended to the bidding and turned back -
Zal, Rustam, and the old Gudarz - all men
Of lofty aims, farsightedness, and heed,
But Tus and Giv and Fariburz, Bizhan,
And gallant Gustaham, would not return.
They went together for one day and night,
Distressed by reason of the waste and drouth ;
At length a spring was seen upon the way,
And thither went the aspiring Kai Khusrau.
They lighted from their steeds by that clear spring,
Partook of food, and drew their breath awhile.
The Shah addressed the marchlords thus, and said:-
"Here let us make our sojourn for the night,
And talk at large together of the past,
For henceforth nobody will see me more.
What time the radiant sun shall raise its flag,
And turn the darksome earth to liquid gold,
Then is the time when I shall pass away,
And haply with Surush for company;
My heart will I pluck out if darkening
It turneth from this path."

As night advanced
The famous Kaian went before his God,
Bathed, head and body, in the limpid stream,
Reciting to himself the Zandavasta,
And thus addressed those famous men of lore:-
"Farewell for ever! When the sky shall bring
The sun again ye shall not look on me
Henceforth save in your dreams. Moreover be not
here on the morrow on these arid sands,
Although the clouds rain musk, for from the mountains
Will rise a furious blast and snap the boughs
And leafage of the trees, a storm of snow
Will shower down from heaven's louring rack,
And toward Iran ye will not find the track."

How the Paladins were lost in the Snow

The chieftains' heads were heavy at the news,
The warriors slept in pain, and when the sun
Rose o'er the hills the Shah had disappeared.
They roamed thence seeking him and set their faces
Toward the sands and waste. They saw no trace
Of Kai Khusrau and turned back from the way
Like men insane, heart-straitened all and anguished,
The ground well trodden but the Shah not found.
Lamenting, sorrowful of heart, afflicted,
They came back to the spring and lighting there
They each farewelled the monarch of the world.
Then Fariburz repeated what Khusrau
Had said. " Be wisdom and his pure soul mates,"
He added, but the heroes answered thus,
Not doing honour to his words at heart:-
"The earth is soft and warm, the sky is clear.
We cannot travel wearied as we are.
When we have rested, eaten, and reposed
Beside the spring, it will be time to go."
They all of them alighted by the spring,
And made Khusrau the subject of their talk.
"None will behold a wonder such as this,"
They said, " however long his life may last!
When saw we such a passing of a Shah ?
We have not heard the chiefs e'en tell of such.
Alas for his high fortune and his counsel,
His majesty, his mien, and noble bearing!
The wise will laugh at such a tale as this,
That any one should go alive to God !
Who knoweth what on earth hath chanced to him?
What shall we say ? Ears will not bear to hear!"
Giv thus addressed those chiefs: "No warrior
Will hear of one like him for manliness,
For justice, generosity, and parts,
For stature and demeanour, fame and birth.
He was an Elephant amid the host
In battle, and in feast a crowned moon."
Thereafter they partook of what there was,
And, having eaten, quickly went to sleep.
Meanwhile there came up storm and cloud, the sky
Became as 'twere a lion's hide, and when
The snow had hoisted sail upon the earth
The lances of the nobles disappeared !
They tarried in the snow, I know not why,
And under it they struggled for a while,
And made a hollow space, but at the last
Strength failed them and they yielded up sweet life.
Now Rustam, Zal, and divers cavaliers
Abode for three days weeping on the mountain,
But on the fourth day when the world's light shone
They said: "A long affair - this tarrying
Mid rocks and mountains ! If the Shah hath vanished,
Blown from among us like a breath of air,
Where are the other nobles gone ? Perchance
They heeded not the counsel that he gave."
They stayed a sennight on the mountain-height,
And by the sennight's end were all distraught,
All woe-begone, lamenting, and consuming
Ason fierce fire. Gudarz, son of Kishwad,
Shed tears, plucked out his hair, and tore his cheeks,
Exclaiming: "None e'er saw such ills as come
Upon me from the offspring of Kaus !
I once possessed a host of sons and grandsons;
Each wore a crown, and they were worldlords all.
They all were slain avenging Siyawush ;
My race hath had its day, for now the rest
Have disappeared. WHower saw such marvels
Ashave befallen me?"

Zal spake at large:-
Be Be God's just dealing and thy wisdom mates!
Perchance they may return and find the path
Whenas the highway showeth from the snow;
But we may not abide upon the mountain,
There is no food and we must needs depart;
We will dispatch some on the way afoot;
One day they will find traces of the band."
They left the mountain, weeping for distress,
And every one had some one to recall -
A kinsman, son, or friend, or else the Shah,
Himself as 'twere a cypress in the garden.
The world is always thus; it will not stay
E'en with the best for ever. This it may
Exalt from dust, that from the throne remove,
Not that in anger and not this in love;
'Tis but the fashion of the sky above !
Where are those warriors and world-ruling kings?
Oh! banish if thou canst such questionings.

How Luhrasp had Tidings of the Disappearance of Kai Khusrau

When from the troops escorting Kai Khusrau
Luhrasp had tidings how the Shah had fared
He sat with crown of gold upon the throne,
The heroes with their golden girdles came,
And, when the illustrious men and chief estates
Had Wen their seats, Luhrasp looked round, arose,
Spake with good feeling and straightforwardness,
And said: "O leaders of the host ! ye all
Have heard the parting counsels of the Shah.
Whoe'er rejoiceth not at mine accession
Hath not the counsels of Khusrau in mind.
All that he said and bade me will I do,
Will strive for good, and carry out his will.
Do ye too not reject his last request,
Or keep your secret counsels hid from me.
The man is guilty in the sight of God,
That heedeth not the last requests of Shahs,
And therefore whatsoe'er ye have in mind
Of good and ill ye must reveal to me."
Zal answered: "Kai Khusrau gave thee the name
Of Shah. Accepting his last words and bidding
My foot shall stray not from the limits set.
Thou art the Shah ; we are thy lieges all,
And we will not transgress thy rede and orders.
I, Rustam, and the people of Zabul,
Will never wash our hands of love to thee.
Whoe'er he be that taketh not this course
Shall find no good thing left within his reach."
Luhrasp, when he had heard the words of Zal,
Applauded him, and then embracing him
Spake thus : "God grant that justice and the right
May never prove your loss and injury,
For He created you with this intent
That toils and ills might vanish. Kai Khusrau -
The worldlord, the beloved of time and fortune -
Ere he departed gave to you Nimruz.
Now in addition take what else ye need.
'Tis not for me to share with you my wealth ;
I and my kin and kingdom are all yours."
Then said he to Gudarz : "Speak out thy mind,
Whate'er it be, thou chief of paladins ! "
Gudarz made answer : "I am left alone,
For I have lost Bahram, Bizhan, and Giv."

Then overcome by anguish for his kin
He cried out in a lamentable voice :-
"Woe for the hero Giv of brazen form,
And that aspiring wielder of the sword
Bizhan ! "

He spake and rent from head to foot
His robe of Chin and tunic made in Rum,
And said thus to the nobles : "Blest is he
Whose mate is dust. I give assent to all
That Zal hath said, I have no secrets from him.
Thou art the Shah, and we are all thy lieges
We will keep fealty and do thy will."

The chiefs with one consent called blessings down,
And bent their heads in homage to the ground,
While at their words Luhrasp, refreshed at heart,
Drew himself up and was another man.
He chose himself a most auspicious day
Whereon to set the crown upon his head,
And, just as Faridun of glorious birth
First put the crown on in the month wherein
They celebrate the hocktide of Mihrgan,
Luhrasp selected that same day and month -
The time of the Autumnal Equinox.
He had the hall of Kai Khusrau adorned,
And in his hands Iran took added lustre.
Such is the world - all ups and downs - and so
One man is glad, another is brought low ;
From it are joy and grief; its How and When
And Why are all beyond our human ken.
Completed is the tale of Kai Khusrau,
The acts of Shah Luhrasp engross us now ;
His crown and court alike I celebrate,
And place him in his seat upon the state
By the triumphant grace of our great king.
The author of our hopes and fears is he,
To his well-wishers' hearts all good doth bring,
And to the ill-disposed calamity.
Hearts that have been rust-eaten by the brine
Of speech will be refurbished by old wine.
When eld hath stolen on a man good Booth !
Wine that hath waxen old will give him youth.
Faint hearts when quaffing turn to men of might,
And foxes in their cups like lions fight ;
In wine too thou wilt show thy quality,
And to thine own locked door thyself be key.

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