Page 1


EARLY PERSIAN POETRY FROM THE BEGINNINGS DOWN TO THE TIME OF FIRDAUSI


BY THE SAME AUTHOR PERSIA PAST AND PRESENT A BOOK OF TRAVEL AND RESEARCH +

Cloth, 8vo, xxxi

471 pages, with more than 200 illustrations

and a map.

New

York,

The Macmillan Company,

1906.

FROM CONSTANTINOPLE TO THE HOME OF OMAR KHAYYAM TRAVELS IN TRANSCAUCASIA AND NORTHERN PERSIA FOR HISTORIC AND LITERARY RESEARCH Cloth, 8vo, xxxiii

+

317 pages, with over 200 illustrations and a

map.

New

York,

The Macmillan Company,

1911.

ZOROASTER, THE PROPHET OF ANCIENT IRAN Cloth, 8vo, xxiii

+

314 pages, with 3 illustrations and a map.

New York, Columbia

University Press, 1899 (reprinted

1919).


[Frontispiece]

KiN(i IvHrsRAr Paijviz seated ox his (From the Cochran

Throxe

Collection of Tei-sian Manuscripts in the MetropoUtan

Museum

of Art,

New York)


EARLY PERSIAN POETRY FROM THE BEGINNINGS DOWN TO THE TIME OF FIRDAUSl WITH TEN ILLUSTRATIONS

1.

V?^WILLIAMS JACKSON

PROFESSOR OF INDO-IRANIAN LANGUAGES IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, AUTHOR OF 'PERSIA PAST AND PRESENT,' 'FROM CONSTANTINOPLE TO THE HOME OF OMAR KHAYYAM,' AND 'ZOROASTER, THE PROPHET OF ANCIENT IRAN*

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1920 All righU re«»rv6d


COPTEIGHT,

1920,

By the MACMILLAN COMPANY. Set up and electrotyped.

Published April, 1920.

NortoootJ Wttss Berwick J. 8. Cushing Co.

—

& Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


TO

KATE


PREFACE This book

is

a labor of love

— the outcome

devotion to the study of Persia,

and

literature,

and

is

its

history,

of years of

languages,

in part the result of four journeys

through the Land of the Sun, in 1903, 1907, 1910, and 1918. Some of the records of these travels have appeared

The appreciation with which those were received has been an incentive to supplement

in print elsewhere.

studies

them by a

literary

presentation, in brief

earlier poetry of Persia

down

to about

include Firdausi's Shah-namah, or

*

1000

Book

form, of the a.d., so as to

of Kings,' the

poem of Persia. Perhaps the reception of the work may give encouragement enough to lead to

great epic present

the preparation of a couple of volumes on

Poetry

'

and on

^

'

Persian Mystic

The Lyric and Romantic Poetry

of

Iran.'

The aim

— and is

I

of the chapters included in the present

hope that they

to give succinctly the

may main

volume

not be found unduly long

—

outlines of the several early

now chosen for presentation, and to illustrate, by translations made from the original Persian, the characteristics of the various authors, regarding whom I have gathered material from all sorts of sources, native and foreign. Many of the citations are only small fragments of verse from Persian poets so long dead that they have been evoked almost as shades from the far-distant past; but there is something very human in their brief messages that makes their story more up-to-date than might be periods

imagined.

Some

of the rcliques of their works, however.


PREFACE

viii

are longer

episode of

and have a fuller metrical tale to tell. The Suhrab and Rustam, moreover, is a well-known a

classic in literatiu-e, so that

verse

may

new rendering

into blank

not be unwelcome.

In making

all

these translations

it

has been

my

en-

deavor to combine the feeling of the original with the element of a faithful reproduction in modern form. To be fairly

and

literal

not an easy task.

at the

How

same time fairly literary is have succeeded in attaining

far I

my

aim must remain for others to judge. It will be easy, for any one who cares to do so, to compare text and version by making use of the references to sources, conscientiously given in the footnotes regarding every passage I

have translated.

In the three brief selections where I

have chosen the English version by other scholars (Cowell, Pickering, Browne) references are likewise given directly after the passages.

In making the renderings there has been no attempt in general to imitate the Persian rhythms, which are elaborate and depend upon the quantity of syllables, heavy and

and thus do not lend themselves to English versification any more than do the Greek and Latin metrical But, on the other hand, the general system of schemes. rhyming in Persian has been imitated in a broad manner, occasionally even the favorite Persian monorhyme,^ and in all cases of departure from such schemes the footnotes call attention to the arrangement of the rhyme in the original The quatrain-form has been indicated to the eye stanzas. wherever it occurs, so that lovers of Omar Khayyam can quickly catch rubal verses that long antedate the famous Tentmaker of Nishapur. In one of the longer selections translated from the Shah-namah, moreover, an attempt has light,

1

Cf.

pages 29, 33-34, 36

n. 1,

52 n.

2.


PREFACE

IX

been made to suggest the rhythm and couplet-verse of

Any one who

Firdausi's epic.^

is

interested in the verse-

forms and the rhetoric of the Persians will find abundant material on the subject in the well-known works of Browne, Gladwin, Riickert, Blochmann, and Wahrmund, not to mention others. I have pm-posely omitted all diacritical marks which would indicate the length of vowels or differentiate between certain consonants in Persian names. These diacritical marks have been employed, however, in the Alphabetical List of Poets which I have included as part of the

They may

introductory matter (pages xx-xxi).

found

in

the very

also be

occasional transliterations from

Persian which I have given in

the

hope that neither the general reader nor the specialist may be embarrassed by my method in either case. Regarding the pronunciation of Persian

Persian bizarre

to

Khayyam,

names and

see the special note, page xxii.

style

us

I

italics.

its

poetic

are familiar

Sa'di, Hafiz, or

characteristics

to those

some

— often

who know Omar

of the rest

;

and though

I

have not yet reached the period of Persian poetry when the gul and the hulhul fill the verse with tuneful measures, I still hope that even without the nightingale and the though they are mentioned rose' this volume, with * lute, madrigal, and trump, may find gentle readers.' '

I

now take

the wished-for opportunity of expressing

thanks to some of the

many

to

whom

gratitude

is

my

due.

One of the first inspirations to write on Persian poetry came in the form of an invitation, in 1908, from the Johns Hopkins University, to deliver seven lectures on the subject, as Percy TurnbuU Lecturer, on the foundation established by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull of Balti1

See pages 96-99.


PREFACE

X more, Md., in

memory

of a deceased

As a later Persia, came a

son.

sequel, in 1919, after a fourth journey to

request from the University of Chicago, through President

Harry Pratt Judson, who had been Director

of the Ameri-

can-Persian Relief Commission, to present the same general subject in three addresses in a lecture-series founded by

William Vaughn Moody. there

In addition to these sources

also a special inspiration from the audiences on the various occasions when I gave public in the halls of my Alma Mater, on Persian

came

present lectures,

Poetry and other topics relating to the Orient. I desire to express as well,

ment,

my

with grateful acknowledg-

indebtedness to the works of scholars in the

same field, especially to the writings of my friend Edward G. Browne, the most distinguished English authority on the literature of Persia, and also to the works of the late scholars Darmesteter of Paris and Horn of Strassburg. Ethe's erudite and creative contributions, which have left a standard to emulate for consulted

;

and

Pizzi's

all

name

time, have been constantly

always rank with those

will

The

of the foremost Persian scholars of Italy.

essays of

Pickering, though published long ago, became accessible to

me

press,

IV was practically ready for the but they have been constantly consulted, as the

only after Chapter

My

added references will show.^

indebtedness to these

scholars in particular, as well as to others,

may

best be

inferred from the abundant citations in the footnotes

and

in the List of \Yorks of Reference.

But there are likewise gratitude which I wish

special debts of obligation to

record.

My

assistant

and at

Columbia, Dr. A. Yohannan, whose birthplace was in Northwestern Persia and who has been my devoted helper ^

See the remarks,

p.

32

n.

2 and p. 47 n.

1.


PREFACE

Xi

for years, stood read}' at all times to give aid in the solu-

tion of difficult problems that presented themselves in the

texts translated.

My former student and ever friend, Dr. Louis H. Gray, whose scholarly contributions are too well known to need mention here, most generously read through the first rough draft of a considerable number of the chapters and gave valuable suggestions which I wish heartily to acknowledge.

But two highest

fellow- workers, always at hand,

meed

of thanks.

come

in for the

Dr. George C. 0. Haas, formerly

Fellow in Indo-Iranian Languages at Columbia, has not only read the proofsheets throughout, supplementing by his skilled eye the care bestowed

readers of the

Norwood

by the compositors and

Press, but has also prepared the

Index and aided with his advice in regard to

all

matters

make-up of the volume. Dr. Charles J. Ogden, who was formerly a student in the Department and who most generously supplied my place at Columbia during my eight months' leave of absence on the relief mission to Persia in 1918-1919, has worked almost daily with me on the volume as the sheets were passing through the press. To his broad scholarship, sound learning, wise judgment, and fine critical sense I owe more than I can readily state. To each and all of these willing helpers my most sincere

of detail connected with the

thanks are expressed anew. A. V.

Columbia University, February

12, 1920.

WILLIAMS JACKSON.


CONTENTS PAOI

Preface

vii

List of Illustrations

List of

xv

Works of Reference

xvi

List of Abbreviations

xix

Alphabetical List of Poets

xx

Note on Persian Pronunciation Chapter L

Persian Poetry of Ancient Days (From before 600

Chapter

II.

xxii

...

1

B.C. to about 650 a.d.)

The New Awakening of Persian Song after THE Muhammadan Conquest The Tahirid :

and Saffarid Periods (From about 800

Chapter

III.

14

to 900 a.d.)

Rays from Lost Minor Stars

:

Earlier Sama-

NiD Period

22

(About 900-950 a.d.)

Chapter

FV.

Rudagi, a Herald of the

Dawn

...

32

(Middle of the Tenth Century a.d.)

Chapter V.

Snatches of Minstrel Song From the Later Samanid Period to the Era of Mahmud :

OF Ghaznah

45

(The Latter Half of the Tenth Century a.d.)

Chapter VI.

Dakiki

59

(In the Latter

Chapter

VII.

Half of the Tenth Century a.d.)

The Round Table of Mahmud of Ghaznah: Court Poetry

66

(Early in the Eleventh Century a.d.)

Chapter

VIII.

Firdausi,

and the Great Persian Epic

.

.

82

(About 935-1025 A.d.)

Chapter IX.

The Shah-namah: Some Selections Trans-

Chapter X.

Epilogue

lated

Index

93

115 119


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS King Khusrau Parviz Seated on From tlie Museum

Cochran Collection of Art,

New

of Persian

his

Throne

Frontispiece

.

Manuscripts in the Metropolitan

York. PAGK

A Page

of an Avestan Manuscript with Pahlavi Translation

From

the Avestan Ms. Jp.

1

King Khusrau Parviz and the Minstrel Barbad From the Cochran Museum of Art.

Collection of

,

.

26

the author.

The Great Minaret of Bukhara From

a photograph by

12

Persian Manuscripts, Metropolitan

The Crumbling Mausoleum at Tus From a photograph by

4

in the Colimabia University Library.

Edward G.

36

Pease.

Embellished Introductory Page of a Persian Manuscript

72

From the Cochran Museum of Art.

Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Metropolitan

...

90

Ruined Walls of Tus at the Site of the Former Rudbar Gate

90

The Bridge over the Kashaf River at Tus From a photograph by

From

the author.

a photograph by the author.

Faridun's Grief at the Murder of his Son Iraj From the Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Metropolitan .

Museiun

.

100

of Art.

The Death of Suhrab at the Hands of Rustam From the Cochran Museum of Art.

his

Father

Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Metropolitan

IV

114


WORKS OF EEFERENCE

LIST OF This

list

includes only the works most often referred to as covering this par-

ticular period of Persian

books and papers Aruzi.

ChaMr Maqala

'Umar ibn Mirza

Detailed information regarding other

literature.

given in the footnotes.

is

(*

The Four

of

Ahmad

ibn

an-Nizami al-'Arudi as-Samarqandi, edited by

'Ali

Muhammad

('

Four Discourses

translated

In Journal of

613-663, 757-845.

1910.

vol. 11.)

The Chahar Maqala 'Arudi-i-Samarqandi,

London and Leyden,

Qazwin.

of

(Gibb Memorial Series,

Browne.

Discourses')

the

into

')

of Nidh^mi-i-

English by Edward G.

Royal Asiatic

Society, 1899,

pp.

[Reprint, pp. 1-139.]

Lubabu '1-Albab of Muhammad 'Awfi. Part 1, edited by Edward G. Browne and Mirza Muhammad Qazwini, London and Leyden, 1906 Part 2, edited by Edward G. Browne, London

Aufi.

;

and Leyden, 1903.

(Persian Historical Texts Series.)

was issued before Part Browne, Edward

A

G.

Times.

Volume

Volume

2,

[Part 2

1.]

Literary History of Persia from the Earliest

1,

From

From Firdawsi

the Earliest Times until Firdawsi; to

Sa'di.

London and

New

York,

1902, 1906.

[The standard work in English, and constantly

consulted, as

shown by the references

Biographies of Persian Poets of Mustawfi.

in the footnotes.] :

From

Tarikh-i Guzida

In Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1900-1901.

[See specitic references in the footnotes.]

See also Aruzi, Auli, Daulatshah, Mustaufi. Darmesteter, James.

[A

valuable

little

Les Origines de

la poesie persane.

Paris, 1887.

book of 88 pages.]

Tadhkiratu 'sh-Shu ara, 'Memoirs of the Poets,' of Dawlatshah bin 'Ala u 'd-Dawla, edited by Edward G. Browne. London and Leyden, 1901. (Persian Historical Texts Series.)

Daulatshah.

Eth6, Hermann.

Hamburg,

Die hofische und romantische Poesie der Perser,

1887.

[A

general presentation in 48 pages.]

Rudagi, der Samanidendichter. xvi

In Nachrichten von der


WORKS OF REFERENCE

LIST OF kuniglichen

der

Gesellsckajl

Wissenschaften zu

xvii

Oottingen, 1873,

pp. GG3-742.

Die Lieder des KisS'i.

In Sitzungsberichte der konig-

Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Munchen

lich bayerischeii

hist. CI.), 1874, vol. 2, pp.

(phil,-

133-153.

In Sitzungsberichte der koniglich

Firdusi als Lyriker.

Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Munchen 1872, pp. [Two articles. 1873, pp. 623-659. Cf Noldeke, Per-

bayerischen

275-304

;

—

sische Studien, 1

;

Wiener Sitzuiigsb. 126. 14 and

II,' in

also Pickering,

*

'

.

n. 3,

34

n.

Fiidausi's Lyrical Poetry,' in National Rev.,

Feb. 1890.]

Rudagi's Vorlaufer imd Zeitgenossen.

Forschungen:

ische

In Morgenldndr H. L. Fleischer gewidmet, pp.

Festschrift

33-68, Leipzig, 1875.

Neupersische Litteratur.

In Grundriss der iranischen

Philologie, vol. 2, pp. 212-368, Strassburg, 1896-1904.

Regum

Firdusii Liber

Firdausi.

J. A. Vullers

(et S.

Le Livre des 7 vols.

Libro dei

da Italo

^vols.

rois, traduit et

re,

Pizzi.

ed.

Leyden, 1877-1884.

commente par Jules Mohl.

poema

epico, recato dal persiano in versi

8 vols.

Turin, 1886-1888.

Konigsbuch (Schahname),

Firdosi's rich Ruckert, aus

3 vols.

3

Paris, 1876-1878. II

italiani

Schahname,

qui inscribitur

Landauer).

iibersetzt

dem Nachlass herausgegeben von

Berlin, 1890, 1894, 1895.

von Fried-

E. A. Bayer.

[Incomplete.]

The Shah-nama of Firdausi, done George Warner and Edmond Warner.

into English

by Arthur

1-7.

London,

Vols.

[To be completed in nine volumes.] The Shah-namah, translated by Alexander

1905-1915.

London, 1907.

The Shah Namah, verse by J. Atkinson.

New

York, 1886.

Grundriss

der

translated and abridged in prose and

Edited by J. A. Atkinson.

(Chandos

iranischen

London and

Classics.)

Philologie,

Geiger und Ernst Kuhn. Horn, Paul.

Rogers.

[Incomplete.]

2 vols.

herausgegeben von Wilhelm Strassburg, 1895-1904.

Geschichte Irans in islamitischer Zeit.

In Grundriss der

iranischen Philologie, vol. 2, pp. 551-604, Strassburg, 1896-1904.


WORKS OF REFERENCE

LIST OF

xviii

Leipzig,

1901.

(In the series Die Litteraturen des Ostens.) Asadi's neupersisches Worterbuch, Lughat-i Furs.

Ber-

Geschichte der persischen Litteratur.

(Abhandlungen der koniglichen Gesellschaft der

1897.

lin,

Wissenschaften zu Gottingen,

Neue

Klasse,

phil.-hist,

Folge,

vol. 1, no. 8.)

Jackson, A. V. Williams.

From

New 1899. Mustaufi.

Persia Past and Present

New York

and Research.

:

a Book of Travel

and London, 1906.

Constantinople to the

Home

of

Omar Khayyam

York and London, 1911. Zoroaster, the Prophet of Ancient Iran.

New

York,

(Reprinted, 1919.)

The

Ta'rikh-i-Guzida, or

'

Select History,' of

Hamdu'llah

Mustawfi-i-Qazwini, reproduced in Facsimile from a Manuscript,

with an Introduction. Part 1 (text), by Edward G. Browne, London and Leyden, 1910 Part 2 (abridged translation and indices), by Edward G. Browne and R. A. Nicholson, London and Leyden, 1913. (Gibb Memorial Series, vol. 14.) ;

Tarikh-i Guzidah, ed. and

J. Gantin.

tr.

Vol.

1,

Paris,

1903.

Das iranische Nationalepos.

Ndldeke, Theodor.

In Grundriss der

iranischen Philologie, vol. 2, pp. 130-211, Strassburg, 1896-1904. Pickering, Charles

J.

Three

articles

on Persian literature in the

National Review, vol. 15, London, 1890

:

(a)

A

Persian Chaucer,

pp. 327-340; (6) The Beginnings of Persian Literature, pp. 673-687 (c) The Last Singers of Bukhara, pp. 815-823. [See ;

the remarks below, p. 32 n. 2, p. 47 n. 1.]

Chrestomathie persane, avec un abrege de la gram-

Pizzi, Italo.

maire et un dictionnaire.

Turin, 1889.

Storia della poesia persiana.

Manuale

Shams

Al-Mu'jam

ad-Din.

2 vols.

di letteratura persiana. fi

Maayiri Ashari

on

by Shamsu 'd-Dm Qays ar-Razi, edited by Mirza Muhammad of London and Leyden, 1909. (Gibb Memorial Series,

Muhammad vol. 10.)

[Sketch.]

*l-'Ajam, a Treatise

the Prosody and Poetic Art of the Persians,

Qazwin.

Turin, 1894.

Milan, 1887.

ibn


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS For

full titles of publications cited in

the List of

A.

H

Works

abbreviated form in the footnotes, consult

of Reference, pages xvi-xviii.

(Anno Hegirae), Muhammadan

era.

Bh

inscription of Darius at Behistan.

c

(circa), about.

Cat

Catalogue.

ch

chapter.

Chr

Chrestomathie.

d ed

died. edition, edited by.

fl

(floruit), flourished.

fol

folio.

folios.

fols

Grundr.

.

.

.

....

id.

JRAS.

.

.

.

loc. cit.

.

.

.

M.

...

F.

Mem n op.

Grundriss der iranischen Philologie. (idem), the

same author.

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, (loco citato), at the place previously cited.

Morgenlandische Forschungen. Memorial. note.

cit.

.

.

.

(opus citatum), the

work previously

Sitzb

Sitzungsberichte.

tr

translation, translated by.

Vd., Vend.

.

.

Yt

ZDMG.

cited.

recto (in manuscripts).

r

Vendidad. Yasht.

.

.

.

Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft.


ALPHABETICAL LIST OF POETS INCLUDED names with

Transliteration of

IN THIS diacritical

VOLUME

marks added

to denote the

more

technical spelling, and with dates g^ven wherever possible.

(Names only incidentally mentioned are omitted here

;

for fuller references consult

Index.)

A

'Abbas of Mer7.

pioneer in Persian poetry, master also of Arabic.

Died

815 or 816 a.d.

Abu

Abu Nasr

A

is

From

sumable

this

is

the pre-

date.

a later volume, Abii

poet.

Latter part of the 10th century a.d.

preserved.

The noted

Sa'id.

Abu 'l-Muzaffar Nasr al-Istighna'i of Tenth century a.d. Samanid poet, Abu '1-Malik Nasr Gilani, a

form,

Samanid

of Gilan.

stanza

Abu

In fnller

'1-Muzaffar.

Nishapiir.

Persian mystic poet (to be discussed,

Salik of Gurgan.

Born

58).

cf. p.

A

it is

hoped, in

967, died 1049 a.d.

poet of the later Saffarid period.

Flourished

about the end of the 9th century a.d.

Abu

Shukiir of Balkh. A poet of the earlier Samanid period. Flourished about 941 A.D., and completed the Afarln-ndmah, a work now lost, in 947-948 a.d. (a. h. 336).

Aghachi (or Aghaji). In fuller form, Abu '1-Hasan 'Ali ibn Ilyas al-Aghachi of Bukhara. A warrior-poet of the later Samanid period. About the middle of the 10th century a.d. or somewhat later. "AsjadT. In fuller form, 'Abdu 'l-'Aziz b. Mansur 'Asjadi. Associated with Firdausi as a poet at Mahmiid's court. Flourished 1025 a.d. Avicenna. See Ibn Sina. Bahrain Gur. Sasanian king, whom legend recounts to have composed verses. Reigned 420-438 a.d. Sasanian minstrel, called by Persian writers Barbad, and by Arab authors Bahlabad, Balahbad, or Fahlabad, being various forms of an older Persian Pahlapat. Flourished 600 a.d. Dakiki. In fuller form, Abu IVIansiir Muhammad Ibrahim b. Ahmad

Barbad.

Poet of the latter part of the Samanid period, and noted as Firdausi's predecessor in the epic. Died after 975 a.d. Farrukhi. In fuller form, Abu '1-Hasan 'Ali b. Juliigh (or Kuliigh) of Sistan. Associated as a poet with Firdausi at Mahmiid's court. Died 1037 or 1038 a.d. ad-Dakiki of Tus.

The famous

Firdausi. title,

*

of the

epic poet of Persia.

Garden

'

or

'

of Paradise.'

Hasan b. 'All of Tiis, though there About 935-1025 a.d.

His name Firdausi is a poetic In fuller form, Abu '1-Kasim

are variations in the nomenclature.


ALPHABETICAL LIST OF POETS A

Firuz al-Mashriki.

WHÂť

poet of the later Saffarid period.

Flourished about

A.I).

A

Haozalah of Badghis. b50

xxi

poet of the Tahirid period.

Flourished about

A.i>.

The famous

Ibn Sina, or Avicenna. discussed,

it is

philosopher, physician, and poet (to be

hoped, iu a later volume,

cf.

p.

Born

57).

980, died

1037 A.D. In fuller form,

Junaidi.

lingual

poet

Abu "Abdu

(Persian

'llah

and Arabic)

Muhammad

of the

A

al-Junaidl.

Samanid

bi-

Tenth

period.

century A.n.

Khabbaz

of

The baker-poet and

Nishapur.

Died

period.

Khabbaz's son.

95;3

Abu

physician

Samanid

earlier

;

A.D.

'Ali ibn

Hakim Khabbaz.

Composed

verses

;

see pre-

ceding entry regarding his father as a poet.

Khusrau Parviz. Sasanian king, to whom the composition of a couplet may possibly be ascribed. Reigned 590-628 a.d. Khasravani. In fuller form, Abii Tahir at-Tabib (' the Physician or atTayyib, the Sweet ') b. Muhammad al-Khusravani. A Samanid poet. '

'

Tenth century a.d. Kisa'L

In fuller form,

Cloak.'

A

Abu

Ishak (or

Abu

'1-IIasan) Kisa'i,

poet of the later Samanid period,

who

'

the

Man

lived on,

it

of the

seems,

somewhat beyond that

time. Date of death generally supposed to be but possibly later. Mahmud of Ghaznah. Famous ruler, and said to have been himself a poet as well as a patron of poets, especially of Firdausi. Reigned 9981030 A.D. Mantiki of Rai. In fuller form, Mansiir b. 'Ali al-Mantiki of Rai. A Bu-

1002

A.D.,

waihid poet. Flourished in the latter half of the 10th century a.d. In fuller form, Abu Ibrahim Isma'il Muntasir. Last of the Samanid princes, and a poet. Died 1005 a.d. Riidagi, or Rudaki. In fuller form, Abii 'Abdu 'llah Ja'far ibn Muhammad ar-Riidagi (or Rudaki). The most noted of the Samanid poets. About 880-954 A.D.

Huntasir.

A poet of the earlier Samanid period. Died about 950 a.d. See Abii Shukiir.

Shahid of Balkh. Shukiir.

'Umarah of Merv. In fuller form, Abii Mansiir b. Muhammad (or Ahmad) 'Umarah. Poet and astronomer (compare later, Omar Khayyam), of the later Samanid and the early Ghaznavid periods. Flourished end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th century a.d. 'Unsuri. In fuller form, Abu '1-Kasim' b. Ahmad 'Unsuri of Balkh. Poet laureate at the court of Mahmiid of Ghaznah, and famed through association with Firdausi's name. Died 1040 or 1050 a.d.


NOTE ON PERSIAN PRONUNCIATION

A brief

remark on the pronunciation

of Persian

may be

of

some

service

to the reader.

The syllable,

accent of

and

all

Persian words, with few exceptions,

method

this

of

accentuation

may

is

on the

last

in general be adopted

throughout the book. The vowels and diphthongs have, in the main, the Continental, or Italian, value.

kh is spirant, as give The consonant is always hard, as in go German noch zh is likewise spirant, as in 'azure'; '

(]

Scotch 'loch' or is

'

'

',

'

'

;

;

similarly a spirant, a sort of roughened

in

gh

g.

not necessary here to enter into a discussion of minor details regarding the matter of pronunciation. For a similar reason I have omitted, in the body of the text, all diacritical marks which would indicate the length of vowels or differentiate between certain consonants in Persian names. It is

These

diacritical signs, however, will

be found in the Alphabetical List

Poets which I have included as part of the introductory matter

They may

(p.

of

xx).

be found in the very occasional transliterations from the italics. I hope that neither the general reader nor the specialist may be embarrassed by my method in either case. also

Persian which I have given in


EAELY PERSIAN POETRY FROM THE BEGINNINGS DOWN TO THE TIME OF FIRDAUSI


EARLY PERSIAN POETRY CHAPTER

I

PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS (From before 600 '

b.c. to

about 650 a.d.)

Metre of an antique song.'

— Shakespeare, Sonnets,

17. 12.

Persia has always been a land of poetry, nor has the been

lyric quality ever

The guide who

lost

from the voice of her people.

leads the traveller's cavalcade

Persia a

^^^^ across the mountains, and the master of the

°^ Poetry

caravan, as he heads the long camel train that winds

slow

way among

the

from poets centuries

can each

hills,

old.

troll

its

snatches of verse

The nightingale

still

pleads with

the rose '

That sallow cheek of hers

and the plaintive note

t'

incarnadine,'

of the wood-pigeon

seems yet to

harmonize in poetic tenderness with the delicate per-

fume

of the

narcissus.

Even the rays

of the

dawning

sun and the soft glances of the rising moon, as they touch the slender form of the tapering cypress, call back to the heart, as of yore, the myriad'

images used by the Persian

lover in paying court to the graceful damsel of his choice.

The beginnings of antiquity.

of Persia's poetry are lost in the mists

And

yet

if

we may judge from analogy


PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

2

— we

shall probably not be far astray if

earliest poetry

was

The

Beginnings Obscure

two

of

ballad,

and panegyric, and the epic

first

is,

itself is

The

of

all,

say that the

and the

epic.

later to develop into

forms as the

lyric,

hymn,

satire,

the recounting of a tale,

but a magnified and polished ballad,

was probably,

so that all poetry

a ballad.

types, the ballad

which was

^^q]^ diverse

we

at its original inception,

epic type in Persian poetry

admu-ably

is

represented in finished form in Firdausi's Shah-namah, or

*Book

which

of Kings,'

more easy

sets forth in

measured cadence,

remembered by the narrator than

to be

prose,

the deeds of the heroes of the race.^

Of the hypothetical primitive ballad no traces remain in Persian literature, nor

is

it

earliest Iranian records begin.

or Zoroaster,

— at

least SO far as extant

Seventh CenB.C. or

Earlier

For in Persia, as in other

1^^^^ of the East, the earliest note of poetry

zarathushtra

tury

with love poetry that the

,

burst forth yoice of

m

,

.

a prophet

specimens go

,

s

Zarathushtr a,

song.

or

It

was the

Zoroaster, the

great religious teacher of Persia, in the seventh century B.C.

or

earlier,

divine praise.

chanting in fervid tones an anthem of

His cry broke the silence of the night

perchance in some mountainous cavern in Northwestern Iran, or

heralded

the

morn

as he

wandered

priestlike

through the borders of Persia, preaching the story of his

communings with the god Ormazd and the

arch-

angels.^ 1

and '

Cf L. H. Gray, in Encyclop. Relig.

Prophet of Ancient Iran, pp. 34, 40-61,

Ethics,

New York,

.

Cf.

6. 2, d. (art.

Jackson,

'

Fiction

Zoroaster,

').

the

1899.


!

THE ZOROASTRIAN PSALMS

And what future to

life,

the burden of these ancient chants, or

is

psalms in verse

now

It is

?

a vision of heaven and the

and now an appeal

abandon the way

may

to

of the wicked,

mankind

and to

fol-

Zoroaster's

^°cientPsaims

be a note of despondency in the tone, since

deaf ears hearken not to his inspired word is

always at hand

;

to be

it is

but comfort

;

found in God and in the

marvelous works of His creation.

Hence

rises

hymn

of the Avesta, or Sacred

which begins with the

Tat Thwa pdrdsa

dras

of Zoroaster,

moi vaoca Ahurd me truly, Lord

tell it to

the ancient rhythm and I

divisions of

attempt to imitate here in

my

three

stanzas of

translation.

ZOROASTER DEVOUTLY QUESTIONS ORMAZD This I ask Thee

Who Who

tell it to

Father

the Sire was, the

pathway

This I ask Thee

Who

Who,

do I long,

Who

?

?

stars ordained ?

me

God, to know. truly.

Lord

!

the streams and trees did

to the

make ?

winds and clouds hath yoked

was the Founder of Good Thought?

Mazda,

benignant,

and

Lord

Holiness

moon doth wax and wane again ?

is't

tell it to

their swiftness

This I ask Thee

Who,

truly,

earth below, and kept the sky

set firmly

Sure from falling

Who

me

first of

for the sun

Who, through whom This and much else

in

refrain,

This I ask Thee

which

Book

to the

Maker

prophet's lips the impassioned question to his

that

repent,

to

For a moment

low the path of righteousness. there

3

tell it to

made

me

truly.

Lord

!

the darkness and the light ?

?


PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

4

Who,

Who

sleep

benignant,

and waking did create

to the wise, of duty's call ?

As reminders

?

noon, and evening did decree

the morning,

^

His own soul knows the answer, since Ahura Mazdah

(Ormazd) and the Zoroaster's

of

form ever the theme

celestial hierarchy

These psalms

song.

anthems,' they are called

— give

— Gathas,

hymns,

'

the outpourings of the

heart in rhythmic measures that resemble in meter

seer's

the Vedic verses of the bards of ancient India, though

somewhat

later

than the Vedas in time of composition.^

There are touches of poetry throughout the Avestan Yashts, or

*

praises

'

in metrical

stanzas

glorifying the

various personifications of divine powers or

The Avestan Yashts

^j^g

demigods and heroes of the

These

faith.

compositions in verse, sometimes mingled with prose, are later

than the Gathas in language and in time of redac-

tion,

though metrically (and in certain religious aspects)

The

older.

simplicity of the meter in the Yashts

shows

a more antique phase than the elaborate Gathic rhythms,

and possibly the mixture of prose and verse than in

commonly thought

is

more than one way.

be older

is

exphcable

The Yashts, moreover,

are doubt-

;

but this mixture

the work of various hands,

less

may

inspired

still

by Zoroaster,

but using material that presents religious aspects in part older than his time. 1

From

1. 148),

of

lines

the Avesta (ed. Geldner,

Yasna

44. 3-5.

The two

last

stanza 5 refer to the three

times for daily prayer. 2

The Gatha meters

types

:

7+9

stanza) verses)

;

+7 +7

4 7

;

(5 verses) (3 verses)

7+7 + 5 (2 verses each) 4 + 7 (2 verses) (3 + 5)

;

;

are of seven

syllables (3 verses in a

4+7

;

;

(one verse) twice repeated,

(4

+ 5 and (7 + 9) + and 3 + 5 7


A

Page of ax Avkstax

]\rAxr.s(

kipt with Pahlavi

Tkanslatiox (From

[

the Avestan Maimscript Jp. 1 in the CuUiuibia University Library)

To face paye 4 ]


:

THE AVESTAN YASHTS AS POETRY The

5

metrical stanzas of the Yashts, like numerous other

parts of

the Avesta, are composed in a somewhat

free

octosyllabic measure that resembles the Kalevala verse,

sometimes a Yasht passage poetry.

At random might

rises

and

to the height of

real

angelic host to

Ormazd.

'

'

be chosen a few lines from the

tenth Yasht, a composition that extolling the grandeur of

Hiawatha

;

so familiar to us through Longfellow's

is

devoted entirely to

Mithra as next only in the

the Supreme

Lord,

Ahura Mazdah,

or

Mithra, the angel of truth and the embodiment

of the sun's light, rides forth majestic in his chariot across

the heavens, guiding and watching over men, even in the battle

which

his

mighty power

sets in

motion, or sternly

punishing the sinner that breaks his word and pledge.

Here may be

cited a stanza

transliteration

and translation YASHT

from the Mithra Yasht in

10.

13-14

Yo paoiryo mainyavo taro

Haram

yazato

dsnaoiti

paurva-naemat amdsahe

hu yat aurvat-aspalie.

To paoiryo zaranyd-pnso srird bardsnava gdrawnditi

a8dt vlspdvi ddiSditi

Airyo-sayanam

yahmya

savisto,

sdstdro aurva

paoiris Ira rdzayente

A YASHT PASSAGE

IN PRAISE OF

MITHRA

Mithra, the celestial angel,

Foremost climbeth Mount Haraiti (Alburz) In advance

o'

the sun immortal,


;

PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

6

Which

is

drawn by

fleeting coursers.

He, the first, in gold adornment Grasps the beauteous lofty summits

Thence beneficent he glanceth Over

Aryan home-land,

the

all

Where

the valiant chiefs in battle

Range

their troops in countless numbers.*

Poetic strains

may

be caught here and there in other

parts the Avesta — sometimes prosaic passages — but they of

embedded

number

.2

not over-many in

are

of

in the midst

however, they are to show that the

Sufi&cient,

musical chord was struck nearly three thousand years ago in ancient Iran.

The note perhaps was sounded

festally at

earher date, far back in the legendary reign Legends of Ancient Song

Jamshid

King

of

(which tradition fancifully places at

gQQQ

^j^^^^^

even an

imagination of the

^^.-^^ f^j, ^^^^

poet Firdausi heard echoes of the bard singing at the

New

Year's banquet in the court of that monarch in the

Golden Age of

may

Iran.^

Catches of song, moreover,

believe the romantic history

we

by Xenophon, enlivened

the merry bouts in which the Median indulged, in the days

if

when Cyrus

monarch Astyages

the Great was

still

a boy.^

The

pillared

halls

of

the

great Achaemenian

Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes, at Persepolis, 1

Avesta, Yasht

2

On

10. 13-14.

poetry in the Avesta compare

H. Moulton, Early Religious Poetry of Persia, Cambridge, 1911. 3 Firdausi, /S/iaA-nama^, ed. Vullers and Landauer, 1, 26, 1. 55 cf. tr. Mohl,

also J.

;

Livre des

ndma,

1.

rois, 1.

34

;

kings

must hkewise 37

;

Warner, Shd?i-

see also Mirkhond, His-

tory of the Early Kings of Persia, Shea, p. 107, London, 1832.

*Ci. 10.

Xenophon, Cyropaedia,

1.

tr.

3.


.

;

THE LOVE-TALE OF ZARIADRES AND ODATJS

7

have echoed at times to the ring of the poet's minstrelsy.

We may foiui:h

at least infer this from the fact that, late in the

century

Chares of Mytilene

B.C.,

re-

^^

qj^

Romance

ported that the Greeks in Alexander's train

retold in

had heard

'

barbarians

(Persians) singing the

'

Achaemenian ""*^

love of Zariadres and

tale of the romantic

Odatis, a story in which the lover

seen by the

first

is

heroine in a dream and later wins her hand in marriage.

So well known and prized among

was

this

romance

all

the peoples of Asia

Chares adds,

that, as

they have repre-

'

sented the story in paintings in their temples and palaces,

and even

own

in their

private houses.'

must have furnished

this

poet,

Avestan

the

as

especially

inspiration to

name

Zariadres

the brother

Zairivairi,

A

^

Vishtaspa, and hero of the

theme hke

more than one represents the

Zoroaster's

of

patron,

of the holy wars as re-

first

counted later in a Pahlavi prose epic fragment and in

Shah-namah?

poetic

Firdausi's

Although no verses of

the original love-story of Zariadres (Zairivairi, Zarir) and 1

So Chares

Mytilene

of

in

Andreas, in Rohde, Der griechische iJoman, 3 ed. p. 48, note, Leipzig, 1914.

the

tenth book of his 'History of Alexander,' as cited

by Athenaeu-s, Deip-

nosophistae, 13, ch. 35

;

Yonge,

tr.

2

Compare London, 1854. Rapp, in ZDMG. 20. also 65 Darmesteter, ies Oriyines de la poesie

919-920,

persane, p.

Zend-Avesta, pecially

2, 3,

1887

Paris,

Ixxxi

p.

G. Cowell,

id.

Le

and

es-

;

;

Life of

Edward

A

zine, July, 1847, pp. 25-29

Jackson, Zoroaster,

p. 73,

;

5.

112 seq.

the Pahlavi

prose

;

13. 101),

epic

and

Vdfkdr-i

Zarlrdn, as Zarer, and in Firdausi's

Shdh-ndmah, as Zarir, see Jackson, Zoroaster, .

The name '

pp.

104-115,

Zairivairi in

footnotes.

Avestan means

having a yellow (brass) breastplate

' ;

Magaalso

Justi, Iranisches NaTuenbrich, pp. 382,

and

231, Marburg, 1896.

;

of Athenaeus, in Gentleman's

in

and Odatis would be presumably the equivalent of an assumable Avestan cf adjective hii-zditi, of good birth

London, 1904 Persian Legend

Bj/ies Coioeii, pp. 27-31,

and E. B. Cowell,

j-or references to Zairivairi in the

Avesta (Yt.

3.

cf.

n. 6

;

'

'

;


^

PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

8

Odatis remain, Firdausi, in a different connection, has

woven

into the narrative of his great epic certain inci-

dents of the story that are easy to recognize.^

We may be

sure that the minstrel's craft did not dis-

appear, though

may have

it

languished, during the dark

ages of the Parthian rule

and following the Christian

directly preceding

Parthian Records (250 B.C.-

Qj.^

224 AD.)

—

^i^g

the centuries

in

when Iran was

time very ^

_

at

war

^

with Rome. 2 regret to us that

it is

Yet

must remain a source

it

no longer possible to

cite

of

a single

verse which dates from that particular era, nor has even

any Hterary monument

in prose survived

from the Par-

thian period, though some sporadic passages of the Avesta

may

possibly date from Parthian times.

Certain

we

are,

however, that the poet's art was a

cherished one in Sasanian times, or from the third to the . ^ ,-xTraditionof

Sasanian

seventh century a.d., even though ° all the literary remains that have survived in the Pah'

-^

Pocts

lavi,

have come down in

later, 1

or Middle Persian of that

Firdausi in the

Shdh-ndmah

Tradition, however, has

prose.* (tr.

period and

Yonge,

(tr.

1.

235),

which would be

Warner, 4. 329-332) makes Zarir's brother Gushtasp and the beautiful Ivitayun (or Katabun) the hero and heroine in a striking episode of his great heroic poem, which

applicable to Parthian as well as Sasa^

practically parallels the love-story of

(with

Zariadres and Odatis, as told above.

theory) see

Mohl,

238-243

4.

;

Cf. also the references

on

if

allusions to

we may judge from the Bahram Gur, below, p.

10, n. 4. s

For a discussion reference

to

Geldner,

of the

problem

Darmesteter's in

Grundr.

2.

33-39.

p. 7, n. 2.

2 For the custom of the Persian kings having songs and music at their

suppers

nian times,

*

Attempts to find verse in the ex-

tant

Pahlavi

works,

including

the

we have

the authority of Hera-

Ydtkdr-i

Kyme

(fourth century b.c.)

Artakhshir-i Pdpakdn, have thus far

cleides of

as cited

by Athenaeus, Deipn.

4.

26

Zanrdn and the Kdrndmak-i

proved unsuccessful, even though the


POETRY IN THE SASANIAN PERIOD

9

preserved the names of at least three court poets, besides

Barbad

(mentioned below) and the harper Sakisa

Nakisa),

who was no doubt

who

likewise of

tells

(420-438 ^

a.d.), ^'

two well-known Sasanian Kings

company with

in

his

of the

*

Heartsease,' the invention

rhyming couplet

music

the

'**°"^^

is

ascribed,

springing

their

to

was on an occasion when Dilaram,

had accompanied her lord upon a

Bahram, upon encountering the

hunt.

with

it

and held

it

lion,

lion

grappled

captive by the ears, then glorified

by likening himself, in what happened

his prowess

cadenced

pant

words,

a

to

elephant

wild

and

ram-

a

meter and compared him to a lofty mountain, the a

in

subjects of the

two

word

that and

latter heroic

romantic stories are found versified later

to

Dilaram caught up the cadence in the same

lion.

ending

in

lips

According to the story as preserved

in native sources, it

beautiful,

in Persian

souls

their

of

rhythmic verse.

be

Bah ram

King Bahrain Gur aa a Poet

.

beloved Dilaram,

the

but they

;

could turn a verse, and to one of these,

Gur

(or

nominum}

are mere umbrae

Legend

also a poet singer

by Firdausi

Shdh-ndmah.

in the

Consult Horn, Gesch.

d. pers.

pp. 43-44, Leipzig, 1901

;

Litt.

and espe-

rhymed with

the

line

close

of

Kitdh al-Mahdsin (ed. and the harper p. 363 Sakisa occurs in Nizami's Khusrau

al-Baihaki,

Van

Vloten),

and Shlrln,

A

;

as referred to

by Browne,

Literary History of Persia,

1.

18,

Horn, Asadi's neupersisches Worterbuch Lughat-i Furs, pp. 16-17, Berlin, 1897, where mention is made of F. C. Andreas's view that the Hajiabad Inscription contains a metrical

London and New York, 1902. But the name Sakisa is written Nakisa in the Nizami Mss. 7 and 8 described in Jack-

passage.

Nakiyya

cially

1

The names

referred to are

and

of the three minstrels

Afarin,

Madharaatani, as

Khusravani, recorded

by

son and Yohannan, Cat. Pers. Mss., New York, 1914 and it appears as ;

in the lithographed ed. pub.

at Teheran, 1312 a.h.

Query

cf. p.

12, n. 2,

2^a7»en6ucA, p. 289

('

(=1894 and

a.d.).

Justi, /ran.

Sarkaa

') ?


PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

10

Thus was rhyme born

his.^

!

But there are other

stories,

besides, regarding the origin of Persian rhyme.^

We

have also the authority of the

extant biog-

earliest

raphy of the Persian poets, the work of Aufi

1235 first

A.D.), for the

who

statement that

1210-

(fl.

Bahram Gur was

'

the

composed Persian verse,' and that he had seen

a collection of his Arabic

poems in Bukhara, from which

he quotes fragments of odes in Arabic, together with the

two Persian rhyming

Bahram

resents

Firdausi

verses.^

earlier rep-

still

as taking delight in verses that were

chanted to him to the accompaniment of the

even

if

'

that great hunter

'

may

not have had renown as

a king-poet, he nevertheless gave inspiration to later Persian verse

by

But

lute.^

many

a

and he thus

his adventurous deeds,

well deserves a share in the fame.

To another sovereign tic

and kingly lover

may

of the

House

of Sasan, the

Khusrau Parviz rhyming

possibly be ascribed a

roman-

(590-628

a.d.),

engraved on

distich

the walls of the palace of the beautiful Shirin, at Kasr-i 1 For this story see Daulatshah, Tadhkiratu ''sh-Shu'ard, ed. Browne, pp. 28-29, London, 1901; and compare

ad-Din ibn Kais, al-Mujam (ed. Mirza Muhammad, in Gibb Memorial 10), p. 169.

Browne, Lit. Hist, of Persia, 1. 12 Blochmann, Prosody of the Persians, p. 2, Calcutta, 1872 Eth6, Die hbfische und romantische Poesie der Perser, id. RudagTs p. 1, Hamburg, 1887 Vorldufer, in Morgenldndische Forschungen, p. 36 Darmesteter, Les Ori-

Muhammad,

gines de la poesie persane, p. 1

pp. 446, 474, 476,

2

;

;

;

;

Storia delta poesia persiana,

Turin, 1894 Persia,

;

;

Pizzi, 1.

65,

Bose Garden of Horn, Gesch. d.

Costello,

pp. iv-v

pers. Litt. p. 47.

;

Consult also Shams

See Browne, Lit. Hist.

1.

12-13.

Lubdb al-Albdb, chap. 4 (beginning), cf. ed. Browne and Mirza ^

Aufi,

1.

Eth6, in Morg.

20,

London, 1906; and

Forsch. p. 36

Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 262. ^ cf, Shdh-ndmah, tr. Mohl,

;

cf.

516, 517

;

tr.

499-500,

Warner,

vol. 5,

509-510,

7. 51-52,

etc.

Observe in this connection the reference to Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 4. 26, given above, p. 8, n. 2.


THE FAIR SHIRIN

A COUPLET TO

and

Shirin,

legible in

still

thority for this

is

who

cites in his

the

statement of

the effect that

The

the tenth century.

Daulatshah in the fifteenth

memoirs

au-

centiu-y,

of the Persian poets

Abu Tahir

in the

<

11

Khatun

of

to

ascnbabieto ^ihusrau ii

time of Azud ad-Daulah

(590-628 A.D.)

Dailam

of

was a Buwailiid

[who

of the tenth century a.d.] there tion

prince

was found on an

inscrip-

at Kasr-i Shirin (" Shirin's Palace ")

upon the palace

Khanikin, which was not then entirely in

in the region of

ruins, the following couplet written in the antique Persian style

^ ':

huzhira, ba-gaihdn anushah hi-zi

jihan ra ba-dldar toshak bari

TO THE FAIR SHIRIN Ah, Beauteous One

Upon

!

this earth,

happy

do

for aye

live

!

Since to the world by thy mere glance such joyance thou dost give.*

I

had

in

memory

the lines of this distich, which

may

reasonably be ascribed directly to Khusrau Parviz himself, as I

wandered among the ruins

coming from Khanikin on

my

of

Kasr-i Shirin

when

fourth journey to Persia in

1918; but I could find no traces of any inscribed stones

among

the debris

;

yet a careful search

unearth a stone or a tablet, which lasting witness to the

enamored verse

Tadhkiratu "sh-ShuBrowne), p. 29. 2 Ordinarily the meaning of toshah, tushah in Persian is 'sustenance,' but I have rendered it by joyance,' cf. Skt. toaa, 'satisfaction, comfort.' Re1

Daulatshah,

'ard (ed.

'

may

may some day bear

still

more

of a Sasanian king.

garding this couplet consult, further-

more, A.

de Biberstein

Kazimirski,

Ditan de Menoutchehrl, p. 7, Paris, 1886, where a slightly different reading and a somewhat different translation and interpretation are given.


.

PERSIAN POETRY OF ANCIENT DAYS

12

The

fact that

Khusrau was

also a patron of poetry is

shown by the honor that he paid «

.

Bah lab ad,

or

.^

,

Barbad, the Sasanian Bard

to the minstrel

of his court.^ the sweet singer °

'

The story goes — and that

told

it is

bard

gifted

this

Bar bad,

by Firdausi

won

first

the

king's

ear by singing a ballad as he stood hidden amidst the

branches of a cypress tree in the royal garden on a moon-

So great was the minstrel's favor with the

light night.^

monarch that when the king's horse Shabdiz,

Black-as-

Barbad as the only one

night,' died, the courtiers selected

who might

*

venture to break the news to his Majesty, for

man

Khusrau had sworn to

kill

these tidings to him.

With consummate

the

that ever should bear art the child of

the Muses contrived to weave the tale into verse, accom-

panied by the plaintive wail of his lute, until Khusrau himself, in listening to the strain, suddenly divined the

truth and cried out, 'Ah,

dead

is

woe

is

My

me!

horse Shabdiz

^

!

'

Thus from those ages long ago the gentle thrum lute

strings

— the

faintly echoes 1

Persian

name

;

true

accompaniment of poesy

authors give

the

poet's

Ba^Ja6ad, which more correctly points back to an older Pahlavi-Persian form, Pahlapat. See Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 14-15, where an excellent series of Bahlabad, Barbad, in is given

Persian and Arabic sources

;

and compare also Browne, The Sources and an Excursus of Dawlatshdh on Barbad and RUdagi, in JRAS. .

1899,

pp.

.

37-69.

still

and that echo makes us wish that we

as Barbad, but Arabic writers as

references to

of the

.

Consult

likewise

Justi, ('

2

')

,

pirdausi,

Le Livre dausi (loc.

the

Namenbuch,

Iran.

Barbad

p.

Shdh-ndmah,

des rois, cit.)

rival

7.

minstrel,

')

tr.

255-260;

gives also the

63

p.

237 (' Pahlapet

Mohl, Fir-

name

Sargish,

of

whom

Barbad supplanted in Khusrau's favor. s gee also Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 1718.

Regarding a request made also to Shirin, to remind Khusrau a promise, see Browne, in JBAS.

Barbad by of

1899, p. 60.


Crff^-i^^-y

/

~

i

-^.-jjVi/^./

>/

\

\

â&#x20AC;¢ ,

,

i

Vj^/^'I."*?! U/^'^ifr^'A

":

jl.

-.^L,';.,Ccff?

j^^'/i-^'^^^-^'

j''vr^'A.v,

King Kju skac Pakviz and thk Mixstkkl livKUAD (From

the Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscript's in the Meti-opolitan

Museum

[

To fare paye

12'\

of Art,

New

York)


THE SASANIAN POET BARBAD might have been fortunate enough strains also

from others

of

13

to catch

bards

those

even a few

who sang

in

Pahlavi, the national language of Sasanian Persia in the

seventh century Conquest.

a.d., before

the cataclysm of the Arab

The tuneful numbers

have passed away

;

of

their

verse,

alas,

but the names at least of some of these

minstrels hved long enough after the

Moslem invasion

prove to the victors that, two centuries

later,

to

the hushed

music of Persian poetry would again awake to ring with the old-time spirit of Iran.


CHAPTER

II

THE NEW AWAKENING OF PERSIAN SONG AFTER THE MUHAMMADAN CONQUEST THE TAHIRID AND SATFARID PERIODS (From about 800 '

Disjecti

to

membra

900 a.d.) poetae.'

— Horace,

Satires, 1, 4, 62.

The Moslem Conquest meant to Persia in many respects what the Norman Conquest meant to England. The battles of Kadisia

and Nahavand (637, 642

^^^ Hastings of Persia

madan Conquest (Seventh

^]^q \^q^

blood, a certain

amount

of giving

infiltration of foreign

of fusion in language, a partial

But beyond the

blending in thought.

was

and with the murder

;

There followed, in consequence, an

it

were

Sasanian king, ° in 651, Persia came under the Muhammadan rule of the Arabs. ^f

Century A.D.)

as

a.d.)

up the old national

astrianism, vanquished Iran yielded

religion of Zoro-

little

victorious

Arab than Britain gave up

Norman,

If the Persian

— great

sacrifice

more

to

the

to the invading

vocabulary took on something of

a foreign tinge, the poetic verse flowed the smoother for it;

and

if

for a time

threw

off

the freedom of religious thought was fettered

by the bonds

of Islam, the true Persian spirit

the shackles two centuries later,

a semi-independence of

its

own upon 14

when

it

achieved

the decline of the


RENAISSANCE OF POETRY

15

Caliphate at Baghdad in the ninth century a.d., and with this

emancipation began the re-establishment of

life

and

laid the foundations

realm of

for

its

national

a renaissance in the

letters.^

Beginnings

may

Such was the

be small, but great results

case:

first,

Islam, but

it

The

was

infant cry

poetry ^'''°'°

muffled by the stifling hand of

was the vox humana.

Poetry, nursed for

two hundred years by the fostering care dynasties of the truer Iranian blood Saffarid (860-903),

follow.

with the reborn art of poesy in the

Province of the Sun. slender at

may

of three princely

— Tahirid (820-872),

Samanid (874-999), not

to

mention

the Buwaihids (also of the tenth century), or the eleventh

century Ghaznavids of Afghanistan

grow

in grace

and stature

voice changed into the

of the

destined

to

until the thin register of its

manly tone

the virility of the race within

The mastery

— was

its

of a Firdausi with all

compass.

newer speech, with

its

infusion of

— the Pahlavi tongue having now been transformed New Persian — was already complete, and could

Arabic into

develop only in range and power of expression.

The

language, in fact, has ever since remained essentially the

same, so that Persian has changed far

less in

a thousand

years than has English in the comparatively brief period

from Shakespeare

The 1

2

cradle of the literary renaissance

Cf. also

aia, 1. 6,

Browne,

Lit. Hist, of Per-

of

curiously analogous devel-

Persian

Misteli,

was Eastern

Iran,

Neupersisch und Englisch, in

Philologische Abhandlungen Schwei-

339-341.

On the

opment

to the present.^

and English

cf.

zer-Sidler gewidmet, pp. 28-35, Zuricli, 1891.


:

THE NEW AWAKENING OF PERSIAN SONG

16

Khurasan and Transoxiana.

or the provinces of

city,

in Russian Turkistan,

the Zoroastrian

of the

World/

as

it

still

be visited in

modern town that perpetuates the

the environs of the

name

may

Merv, the ruins of which

city of

The

was the

Marghu

was

This ancient

scene.

of the Avesta,^

and * Queen

entitled in medieval times,

had

witnessed the death of the last Sasanian king, but was destined to witness also the rebirth of Persian

Abbas of Merv

P^^^^y? ^^^ within its walls

Td 8*i°*or

816A.D.)

renown

Abbas

time before 800 a.d.,

whom common

was born, someof Merv, to

tradition, rightly or wrongly, ascribes the

of being the earliest minstrel to chant verse in

the newer Persian tongue.^

The occasion which

inspired the ejBfusion of the poet

was the triumphal entry made,

Mamun, fame.

the son of

in 809,

Harun ar-Rashid

by the Caliph

of Arabian Nights

Abbas, as a bard, was chosen to greet the monarch

with a panegyric in celebration of the event

;

and though

on other occasions he had made use of Arabic as the vehicle for his poetic compositions,

to be the

medium

of his

he now chose his native Persian

encomium.

A few

of these laud-

atory lines to

Mamun

we can hear a

faltering accent in the minstrel's tone as

have been preserved; and in fancy he

apologetically sings

1

Avesta, Vend.

1. 5,

7

;

Yasht, 10.

and of. in the Old Persian Inscriptions, Bh. 2. 7 3. 11 4. 25. 14

;

;

;

The year of the death of Abbas of Merv is recorded as (200 a.h. =) 815 or 816 a.d. The authenticity of the verses ascribed to him is generally 2

accepted by scholars, but is questioned by A. de Biberstein Kazimirski, Divan de Menoutchehri, pp. 8-9, Paris, 1886, and Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 13, 341 2. ;

13.

Consult Pizzi, Storia dellapoesia

persiana,

1. 66.


:

;

THE EARLIEST VERSES IN NEW PERSIAN

17

FROM THE FIRST PERSIAN PANEGYRIC Before

me no

poet as yet, an ode in this fashion hath sung,

There is lack in the Persian speech,

manner of verse to begin Yet that is the reason I chose in this language TJiy praises to sing, That through lauding and praising Thy Highness, real grace and charm

true

it

may

"win.^

Perhaps a better idea of the

may

in this

lilt

of the original stanza

be obtained from a transcript of the Persian lines

themselves

Kas

minvdl pish az

bar-in

Mar Lek

man

chimin shiri na-guft,

zahdn-i Pdrsi rd hast td in nau'-i bain;

z-dn gujiam

man

Glrad az madh

xi

in

midhat turd

td in lughat,

§and'-i hazrat-i tu zib

u

zain.^

Echoes of the verse, no doubt, were heard throughout the land, for other poets

were emboldened, as a consequence,

own vernacular. One of these bards was Hanzalah of Badghis^ (about ° ^ Hanzalah 850 A.D.), who hved in the time of the of Badghis to raise their voice in their

Tahirids (820-872 a.d.), a dynasty more fa-

^^^^'^"soa.d.)

The

vorable to Arabic than to Persian culture.

early

Persian biographer, Aufi, praises the verses of Hanzalah

by saying,

^

the graceful flow of his expression

is

like the

"Water of Paradise, and his verses have the freshness of cool

wine (shamiil) and the agreeableness of the northern

wind 1

(shamal).'

So well

^

In rendering I have preserved the

rhyme 6 d of the Persian. 2 Aufi, Lubdb al-Albdb, 1. 21, ed. Browne and Muhammad al-KazvinI,

original

London, 1906 cf Eth6, EudagVs Vorldufer und Zeitgenossen, in Morgenldndiache Forschungen (Fest1. 21,

;

.

known were schrift

an

the poems of

Fleischer), pp. 37-38, Leip-

zig, 1875. s

jjadghis

was the name

of a district

northwest of Herat. *

Aufi,

Lubdb al-Albdb,

Browne, London, 1903 Morg. Forsch. p. 39.

;

2.

2, ed.

and Eth6,

in


;'

:

;

THE NEW AWAKENING OF PERSIAN SONG

18

Hanzalah that they were worth gathering into a Persian Divan, or 'Collection,' only a few fragments of which,

Here

however, remain.^

is

a quatrain (the earliest ruhai

thus far quotable), which contains an odd conceit founded

on an old superstition it is futile

;

the poet warns his sweetheart that

throw rue-seed on the

for her to

fire

to avert

the influence of the evil eye.^

RUE Though rue

KST)

THE EVIL EYE

into the fire

my

dear one threw,

Lest from the evil eye some harm accrue,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; either rue or â&#x20AC;&#x201D; her beauteous mole the rue

'Twould naught avail her

Her

More ascribed

face the

was the charm

potent, however,

!

in another stanza

to Hanzalah, for it inspired a simple

ass-herd

Chancing one day to read four of

win a crown.

to

fire

fire

Hanzalah's verses, this donkey-driver became fired with the ambition to

make an attempt

to gain the throne

and, rising triumphant over every obstacle, he

grasped

the

sovereignty.

served the ass-herd king, for his life's success

of

was

The

Ahmad

finally

stanza which

inspiring

of Khujistan, as a

motto

this

1 Mention of the Divdn of Hanzalah Badghis is made in the work, cited

Khayyam,

p. 119,

don, 1911

and

;

New York and Lon-

cf especially .

Elworthy,

by Nizami-i Aruzi, Chahdr Makdla, translated by Browne, in

Evil Eye, pp. 344-347, London, 1895. 3 j^or text see Auii, Lubdb al-

JRAS.

Albdb,2.

below,

1899, pp. 655-656

(=

reprint,

pp. 43-45). 2

On

the custom,

still

current in

of

Constantinople to the

;

;

burning sipand, 'rue,' to avert the evil eye, see Jackson, From

Persia,

2, ed. Browne, London, 1903 and Eth^, in Morg. Forsch. p. 40 cf. also tr. Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 452

Home

of

Omar

;

Pickering, Nat. Bev. 15. 677; Pizzi, Storia,

1.

128.


;

HANZALAH AND FIRUZ

19

RUN THE RISK If lordship in a lion's jaws should hang,

Go, run the

Thine

Or

From or

'

risk,

and

seize it

else, like heroes,

from their founder

called

Yakub, the son of Laith,

we have

{saffar),

a couple of poets.

place,

1-1

7

.

One

A.D.

-7

a ^coppersmith'

was

of these bards

T

mashnkl

a.d.,

names and fragmentary remains

the '^

who was

872

in

al-Mashriki, or *the Easterner,' as his

appellative

890

and

thine be death to face.^

the period of the following dynasty, the Saffarids,

Braziers,' so

Firuz

from his fang

shall be greatness, glory, rank,

implies,

1 who T lived 1

i_

J.

of

^.^^ ai-Mashriki (about 890 A.D.)

about

Only three of his stanzas, however, seem to

have been preserved, even though his compatriot Aufi accounted his songs kuhlat-i

*

sweeter than a stolen kiss

duzdldah khushtar.^

descriptive of

The following two

'

— az

couplets,

an arrow, contain an odd fancy:

THE ARROW

A bird the arrow is — What marvel thou wilt say — A bird that maketh ever some living thing its prey. A gift the eagle gave it — from her own quills a plume. !

<

Wherewith 1

it

'

straightway bringeth her nestlings to their doom.*

For text and the whole story

see

the above-mentioned work by Nizami-i

Aruzi, Chahdr Makdla,

pp 1.

43-4.5;

355, 452.

tr.

Browne,

and cf. Browne, Lit. Hist. But cf. Mustaufi, TaWikh-i

Guzidah, ed. Browne in Gibb Mem. 14. 1, p. 379, who quotes the verses anony-

mously and applies the story to Saman, ancestor of the Samanid dynasty.

Rhyme, b d. 2 The name also is mentioned of Mahmud-i Varrak, the 'Copyi.st' or 'Bookseller,' who, like Hauzalah, be-

longed partly to the Tahirid period as See Eth6, in Grundr. 2. 218

well.

Horn, Gesch.

;

d. pers. Litt. p. 48.

See Aufi, Lubdb, 2. 2. For the text see Aufi, 2. 2 Eth6, in Morg. Forsch. p. 41, finds metrical reasons to include a nah 'not' That it may not carry away her but the manuscript young brood ' *

;

'

'

;

reading, adopted above in the rendercf. seems equally good Browne, 1. 453; Darmesteter, p.

ing,

;

also 9.


;

^

;

!

THE NEW AWAKENING OF PERSIAN SONG

20

in admiration of his

Another stanza of Firuz Mashriki, sweetheart, it

quite bizarre in its imagery.

is

also because

it

seems to have escaped notice elsewhere.

HER BEAUTIFUL All,

I translate

AND TEETH

LIPS

look at her beautiful teeth, and her lips with their exquisite line

They keep me

forever inflamed with the

warmth

of the passion

of love

Those teeth that

when

flash bright as the Pleiads,

aloft in the zenith

they shine

Those

lips that

moon above ^

This

is

seem halo of moonlight round the orb of the

full

^ !

the very ecstasy of love

from those very

! '

and

it

was perhaps

the kiss was stolen to which

lips that

Two

Mashriki' s verses are likened.

other stray distichs

of his poetry have been preserved in a chance quotation

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but enough The

!

poetic artery that throbbed in the pulse of Eastern

Iran must have had an answering beat as far westward Abu Saiik

^^ ^^^ Caspian Sea before the

ofGurgan

fapi(j era,

(about the

End

verse of

of the Ninth Century A.D.)

^

900

or

Abu

end of the Saf-

a.d., for it is

felt

in

Salik of Gurgan, who

the lived

^^^ latter part of that era, and was a

native of the district (Gurgan) which corresponds to the ancient Hyrcania.^ The

Abu

Salik,

fol. 17,

p.

found cited in Horn's Lughat-i Furs, 26, Berlin, 1897 (Abhand-

lungen

d.

Kgl. Gesellschaft

*

edition

text of

is

Asadi's

d.

Wiss.

zu Gottingen, Neue Folge, Bd. 1 Nr. 2 See Shams ad-Din b. Kais,

8).

at-

we

are told,

'

spread out

Mu'jam, ed. Muhammad KazvinI, in Gibb Memorial Series 10, pp. 267-268. 3 This province is the same as Varkana in the old Pers. Inscriptions, Bh. 2. 92.


'

;

STANZAS OF ABU SAUK the carpet of words

Nobility

of

thought

certainly

few rhymed stanzas that have

characterizes one of his

come down

21

sukhim) and raised aloft the

{hisS,t-i

banner of eloquence.'^

!

to us.

ONE'S Shed,

if

HONOR

own blood on the earth. own pure honor's worth worship idols than a man take heed, and practise he who can 2

thou

wilt, thine

Better than shed thine Better to

Give

ear,

;

!

Another surviving stanza, which has a sportive touch,

may on

be quoted as perhaps having formed part of a sonnet

his mistress'

eyebrow

!

TO HIS SWEETHEART'S EYEBROW With thy eyebrow

What

thou'st stolen

Two

robber rewarded

served, but that

and

few

their

may

me

— for heart-robbing, a fee Abu

?

!

Salik have been pre-

is all.*

these three or four verses,

— Tahirid and "We

?

That's passing belief

!

other chance distichs of

With

heart 'way from

dost judge with thy lips, and thy eyebrow the thief

!

Wilt thou claim a reward

A

my

we

Saffarid

names

of the olden-time poets,

bid adieu to the

of the

first

two epochs

newer Persian renaissance.

be happy at least that the voice of song had been

awakened from slumber. 1 Aufi, Lubdb, 2. 2-3 Eth6, .in Morg. Forsch., pp. 41-42. 2 For the text see references in the ;

preceding note. original

The rhyme

in the

p.

is

perhaps more

literally

'eyelash.' * See Shams ad-Din b. Kais, aiMu'jam, pp. 255, 276 (in Gibb Memo-

rial Series, vol. 10, cited above).

is 6 d.

'Aufi,

word muzhah

3;

Eth6,

p.

41.

The


CHAPTER

III

RAYS FROM LOST MINOR STARS EAELIER SAMANID PERIOD (About 900-950

When

'

A. D.)

the morning stars sang together.'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jo6, 38. The Samanid 1000

A.D.,

period, or the entire century

was a

down

to

true age of minstrelsy, and this day-

spring of song Samanid

7.

was marked, when the zenith

was reached, by the fame -^^^^gi ^^^

fFirsr^if f Tenth Century described in

whom

Dakiki, both of the next

two

of

and a

later

poets, will

be

chapter.

A.D.)

But around these twin

stars

was

clustered a

group whose magnitude was of the second degree, yet

from each of which a glimmer

of light has

through the ages, though the orb that gave

it

come down birth faded

from ordinary observation more than a thousand years ago. Scintillations

from one

of these lost stellar orbs

been caught in rays from the poet Abu shukur (fl.

941 AD.)

horizon for

Abu Shukurof

which might have disappeared forever

Omar Khayyam were quatrain-beams that may

Qf

if

have

Balkh, lovers

not scanning the be older than the

ruhals of the Tent-maker of Nishapiu*.

Abu, or

Bu

Shukur

as he is also called, appeared earlier than the bard

Shahid,

who

is

next mentioned, and prior to the renowned 22


;

:

A QUATRAIN BY Rudagi, from both of ball of excellence

'

whom

!

ABU SIIUKUR

he carried

off in

23

advance

'

the

from one of his

to use a polo phrase

native biographers.^

One

Shukur's works

of

written in 941 a.d.,- and is

is

recorded

among

as

having been

the reliques from his pen

a very early quatrain, which has, as in the case of

Hanzalah of Badghis, a

Yet there

whom

is

interest

special

in the four lines, written

for

Omarians.

on parting from one

he has loved, something of the bitter-sweet,

or

rather the venenum in cauda sting of a later-day Heine, at least as I read

them

A QUATRAIN BY SHUKUR — BITTER-SWEET Through grievous pangs for thee I am bowed low 'Neath separation's burden bent I go.

But ah

None

e'er

!

with hands wash'd of thy guile and wile

had moods and whims

But on another occasion

like thine, I know.^

to his love

— and

I quote

from

an out-of-the-way Persian source of nearly a millennium ago

— our poet Shukur says that he could never speak an

untruth to his beloved, because

that

fasten his neck into the yoke (ydgh)."^ of personahty in to

Abu

it

all.

And who

*

untruth would

There

is

a touch

will fail to put

down

Shukur's credit as a bard, that he was the earliest

writer to employ in his narrative poetry the mutakarih 1 So Valih, Riydz ash-Shu'ard, as quoted by Eth6, in Morg. Forsch.

p. 42. 2

Eth6, in Grundr.

train authors.

2. 219.

For text see Aufi, Lubdb, 2. 21 Eth6, in Morg. Forsch. p. 42. It is worth noting that there are only a half 8

dozen Arabic words in this quatrain proportion which it would be interesting to examine in other qua-

—a

;

*

Asadi, Lughat-i Furs, ed. Horn,

fol. 35, p. 66.


:

RAYS FROM LOST MINOR STARS

24

meter, which Firdausi later rendered immortal in his epic verse

^

?

Simplicity verse,

if

of

which

style,

we may judge from

mark

the

is

of

Shukur's

nearly a hundred stray lines

that can be gathered here and there from incidental quotation for

lexical

purposes in a Persian dictionary by

Firdausi's nephew, nearly a thousand years ago,

made

quality that

But we

his poetry live

among

was not a

his compatriots.^

of to-day can at least like one of his simple jingles,

because

reminds us of some of our childhood's verse,

it

and be glad that that old-time Persian dictionary-maker quoted Shukur's

little

to illustrate an unusual

lilt

for 'mendicant, pauper,' in

ordinary

'

The

beggar.'

word

the original, instead of the

lines are not

without naivete

PAUPER — A BEGGAR

A

pauper there was

Who

sank

('tis

— so Father

Dry bread he begged from door

is

;

to door,

— forever more

This was his trade

True, this

said,

beg his bread

told) to

!

^

commonplace verse; but brighter shone

the rays of another of those minor lights of the past o,- u -J r Shahid of

Baikh(d. about

Shahid of Balkh, who '

950

A.D.,

friend, Cf.

1

p.

23 2

;

and was mourned

the

renowned poet fol.

citations

by Shams

Shukur's Afarln-ndmah is lost, Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 466. 3 Asadi, Lughat-i Furs (ed. Horn),

70

r,

p.

by

Rudagi.*

pers. Litt. p. 68.

ibn Kais, al-Mu'jam, pp. 268, 277, 383, cf.

in verse

Gesch. d.pers. Litt. p. 68. the references to Abu Shukur

by Asadi, add four 439.

some time before

Horn, Asadi's LughaUi Furs,

id.

To

died

117

;

cf.

his

Even

Horn, Gesch.

d.

Other stanzas also of Shukur are quoted in Asadi, e.g. fol. 18 r, 43 r. So likewise lines by Shukur's contemporary, Ma'rufi, cf. Horn, Asadi, p. 29 (introduction). * See Aufi, 2. 3 and cf. Pickering, ;

in Nat. Bev. 15. 329, 678, 682.


: ;

:

SHAH ID

A?fD HIS

SOMBRE NOTE

25

though we have native authority for the statement that Shahid was a person

'

of excellent mind, spirited in con-

versation, noble in views,

and a

scholar,'

the tinge of

^

melancholy that marks the few verses by which alone we can judge him, has somewhat justly entitled Shahid to be designated

'

the

pessimist

of

his century.'

^

Listen for

moment to the sombre cadence of one of his stanzas, made all the more impressive in its gravity by the altera

nation in the rhyme IF

GRIEF

HAD SMOKE

If grief had smoke, as hath the blazing

The world would be

fire.

for aye in darkness blind

;

Travel the world from end to end entire,

A The

wise

man wholly happy

thou'lt not find.'

serious earnestness of another of Shahid's stanzas

similar in spirit, though bizarre in expression

is

TWO OF Two

LIFE'S ARTISANS

artisans there are, heaven's vault below,

The one doth cut, the other spins with knack The first shapes naught but kings' high caps of show. While weaves the other naught save sackcloth black.

In a quatrain, earlier than which only one or two

exist,

as intimated above, Shahid gives voice to a lament over

the ruins of the city of Tus in Khurasan, left desolate by the ravages of invading hordes, too oft repeated later from 1

So after the Safinah-i Khvashgu,

imitated above

by Eth6, in M.F. p. 43. So Darmesteter, Origines de

p. 44; Pizzi,

cited 2

poesie persane,

p.

la

29.

from which text the original rhyme a b a b has been '

Aufi, Lubdb, 2. 4,

tr. Pizzi, â&#x20AC;˘

;

cf . also Ethfi, in

Storia,

1.

Text, Eth6, in

Chr. p. 67.

M. F.

Chrestomathie, p. 67; and 128.

M. F.

p.

45

;

Pizzi,


:

:

;

.

RAYS FROM LOST MINOR STARS

26

Any

over the Turkistan border.

among

as I have,

the

one who has wandered,

crumbhng remains

heap of dust, near modern Mashad,

of that ancient

will best appreciate

the raven-note of these dismal four lines

^ :

RUINED TUS — A QUATRAIN Last night by ruined Tus I chanced to go,

An

owl sat perched where once the cock did crow

Quoth

"

I,

he, "

Quoth

What message from

The message

is,

'

this

waste bring'st thou ? "

Woe, woe

all's

woe

!

'

*

"

Nature sad or glad sympathizes with the plaint of a

was Shahid's

lover,

and

plight

and sang

this

case

when he bemoaned

his

A LOVER'S PLAINT The cloud is weeping like a lover sad, The garden smileth like some maiden glad, The thunder moaneth, yea, like unto me, That make lament each dawn I'm doomed to

A store

of

world-wisdom

sad experience

is

see.'

— gathered, no doubt, through

locked up in the following

little jingle

by Shahid LEARNING AND WEALTH with learning and wealth like narcissus and rose. At the same time and place neither one of them grows For, where there is learning well, wealth is not there, And where there is wealth little learning's to spare.* 'Tis

;

— —

1

Cf. Jackson,

to the

Home

of

From Constantinople Omar Khayyam, pp.

»

Text, Eth^,

<

p.

Text, Aufi,

Original

Grundr.

2.

cf.

Eth^,

It is also to

219.

in

be ob-

served that in the old Persian diction-

286-295. 2

the form of a Dlvdn,

rhyme

Aufi, 2. 4

;

2.

4

;

;

Pizzi, Chr. p. 57 cf.

Eth6, p. 46.

is b d.

cf.

in original, b d.

44

Eth6, p. 45. Rhyme It may be noted that

Shahid was one of the earliest poets to leave a collection of his lyrics in

ary

of

Asadi,

Horn), Shahid

Lughat-i Furs is

cited

some

(ed.

thirty-

one on two times (mostly couplets Lost Youth, fol. 35 r), and among these quotations are four short stanzas

67) cf also Shams ibn al-Mu'jam, p. 204.

(fols. 8, 12, 40,

l^ais,

;

.


t

-

<-

The Ckumblixg Mausoleum at Tus (From

[

To face page

20"]

a photograph

by the author)

i


'

:

SHAHID AXD KUABBAZ Different both in in fancy,

for

had

mood and

manner, but not lacking

Khabbaz

was the baker-poet

Nishapur had

in

Nishapur â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

of

baker-poet as Niirnberg

its

shoemaker-bard Hans Sachs.

its

27

Khab-

ad.)

(d. 953

baz, or Khabbazi, flourished in the middle of

the tenth century, as his death

occurred in 953

recorded as having

is

His name (Khabbaz) means

a.d.^

and a well-known Persian tradition

Khabbaz

of Nishapur

fine bread,

and was

was

that

states

skilled in

Baker,'

*

'

Doctor

baking choice and

also clever in piercing the pearls of

words with the needle of speech.'^

Here

is

one of the

strings of pearls for his loved one's hair

THOSE TWO TRESSES OF HAIR Dost see those two tresses of

hair,

AVhich the wind waveth hither and yon ? Thou'dst liken them unto a swain,

Who

never hath constancy won.

Nay, like some lord chamberlain's hand, For his prince in full martial array, That waveth thee back from <

The

title

Hakim,

'

Abu

which

Ali Khabbaz, appears to

Khabbaz combined the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to-day

!

when brought

Doctor,'

tion with the following verse,

son

afar,

Thou hast not any audience

'

into connec-

probably by his

is

show that the

practice of medicine with his call-

ing of loaf -making and his avocation as a poet

he lack a sense of humor, allusion in Cf. Eth6, in

*

Cf. Aufi,

if

;

nor did

we may judge from

Khabbaz Junior's

Grundr. 2. 221. Lubdb, 2. 27.

1

elder

^

the

lines:

Aufi, 2. 27

;

Eth6, in M.F. 50

;

cf.

also Pickering, in Nat. Rev. 16. 681.


;

;

:

RAYS FROM LOST MINOR STARS

28

THE QUACK'S RESPONSE To Doctor Khabbaz once '

Take heed no

sick

man

I gave this counsel pure

:

leaves thy door without a cure

Hopeful of healing, glad they to thy door repair Let no poor patient, then, depart in sad despair.' Said Papa,

'

Know'st thou

Wild game whose hour

To the

city of

no fault

not,

is

Nishapur belonged likewise

Muzaffar Nasr, who had

Abu'iMuzaffarWasr

my

mine,

Son.

come, straight to the hunter run.' ^

is

is

'1-

the real touch

fancy in his verse, though he

only by the fragmentary stanza that

Abu

is

known

here rendered

HER BEAUTY One might

liken her unto the moon,

not for her tresses so

if

black,

Or

like unto Venus were Her radiant cheeks were

she,

her beauteous mole she did lack.

if

the sun,

I

had ventured

to say with

my

lips.

sun were but never obscured,

If the

and never once suffered

eclipse.2

To

the

Samanid

same epoch of

minstrel,

song

Junaidi,

Junaidi, as his fuller

name

belongs

or Abdullah

another

Muhammad

al-

Junaidi enjoyed an

given.

is

still

added repute among his contemporaries and successors as being

Shahid of

Balkh — a

like

Abbas

of

Merv and

master equally of the Arabic and

the Persian tongue, and as being skilled likewise in

of

He

the art of composing in prose as well as in verse. ^ 1

Text

from Valih,

Eiydz

by Eth6, in M. original, bdf.

Shu'ard, cited

Rhyme 2

in

Aufi, 2. 23

;

Eth^,

p. 48.

ash-

rhyme,

F. p. 51.

Hist.

Original

p. 49.

3

1.

b d.

Cf. also tr.

Browne,

Lubdb,

23-24

Lit.

467.

cf. Aufi,

2.

;

Eth6,


:

A WINE-SONG BY JUXAIDI

was an adept

certainly

turning a wine-song (perhaps

in

the earliest extant in Persian), even though

with

29

my

rendering,

attempt to imitate the Persian monorhyme of his

its

stanzas, only inadequately conveys the idea

DRDsK WINE

!

At dawn quaff a draft from the flagon of wine, By crow of the cock and the lute's plaintive whine.

When the sun lifts his head o'er the top of the hill, He were best put to blush by the cup and the vine. From From

the cup to the couch at the fall of night time. the couch to the cup at the dayspring's

As milk So

is

the food that for infants

men

let old

their diet to grape-milk confine.^

— that ancient Empire — was the home

Bukhara anid

city

year old tribute.

corded for fame

even

and

capital of the

numbers

of

Their names have lived, and that

song.

if

;

first sign.

is best,

Several of these

and among them

of devotees of is

a thousand

names should be

his poetic activity appears to belong

Samanid

period, the

name

of a prince of the

blood, Aghachi, or Aghaji, or

Abu

b. Ilyas al-Aghaji, of

Bukhara

sword and the

he was

pen,'

*

Aghachi, or Aghaji (about

jgnt^centu

'1-Hasan AJi ad. and some-

a man of the

what Later)

Aghachi was a con-

called."

temporary both of Shahid and of Dakiki (the

1

is

a pun in the Persian

and shirah, 'new wine' (milk of the grape). For the text, see Aufi, Lubdb, 2. 23 Eth6, p. 49 and

shir, 'milk,'

;

cf. tr.

latter of

sang his praises), and must, therefore, have

There

re-

may be mentioned now,

only to the middle or the latter part of the

whom

Sam-

;

Pickering, in Nat. Bev. 15. 681.

2

Lubdb al-Albab,

Aufi,

Eth6, in

Grundr.

M. 2.

F.

222.

pp.

1.

62-63;

flour31-32 id.

;

in


'

;

:

;

RAYS FROM LOST MINOR STARS

30

about the middle of the tenth century, or even

ished

somewhat In

later.^

spirit

and

Aghachi combined the

his fiery

and the poet,

soldier

temper brooked no taunt that stigmatized,

as a source of weakness, his court education, in accordance

with the regimen of princes

;

for against the attack he

hurled back four biting lines

A SOLDIER-POET'S EDUCATION who takest no account of what my skill may be, Thou wilt find I was not reared 'mid luxury abhorred

Ho, thou Test

!

Bring forth the steed, the noose, the bow, and bring the book to me, Verse, pen, and lute,

board

— bring on the wine, chess, and backgammon

!

The knightly chivalry

of the lover speaks in the next

fragment from the writings of this soldier-bard:

LOVE BEYOND COMPARE

Should thy heart require a fortress Fort

my

heart shall be for thee

Since thy love's beyond computing,

Countless

And

may thy

the fancy of the true poet

of the half-dozen stanzas

The

soldier's

As

imagination

*

years be

life's

!

hidden in one other

is

by which al-Aghachi is

known."*

is

not absent.

in

the

I have Aghachi in the present chapter rather than in the one

latter half of the tenth century,

but

after next.

1

to the date of Aghaclii, Eth6,

in Grundr.

place

to

has

222, evidently inclines

2.

Aghachi

authority

for

(Aghaji)

saying

'gehorte

zu den Zeitgenossen des Shahid und Dakikl (in M. F. p. 62) so apparently also Horn, Gesch. d. pers. Litt. '

p.

79

;

siana,

;

Pizzi, 1.

Storia della poesia per-

69-70, 130,

Also look up

Pickering, Nat. Rev. 15, 685.

preferred

2

Chr.

treat

to

Aufi,

32

1.

s

Aufi,

*

Aufi,

;

Eth^,

63; Pizzi,

p.

rhyme b d. Ethe, in M. F. p.

Original

p. 59. 1.

32

1.

;

32, has six

;

62.

Eth6 (M.

Asadi, F. pp. 62-63) quotes four. Lughat-i Furs, ed, Horn, of. p. 17,


rilE

SOLDIER-POET AGHACHI

31

A SNOW-FLURRY Oh, look at the sky with

How

amid

it

its

troops of flaked snow,

a flurry of wings

is

widespread

!

*Tis verily like to a troop of white doves

Panic-stricken with fear of the falcon so dread.

A

few

recorded,

from the for

more from these minor

glints it

is

might be

true; but these slender rays shot

Yet behind them they

leave to us a wish, unfulfilled though

we knew more

down gleam

stellar spaces of the long-forgotten past

an instant, and then are gone.

that

stars

of the galaxy of

it

must ever remain,

which they formed

a part in those star-regions of song that are no longer within our ken. cites

(un-

ten different single lines

rhymed)

of

Aghajl.

I

am

not sure

about the quatrain by Aghaji cited by Shams ibn Kais, al-Mu'jam (in Gibb

Memorial

Series, 10),

T^.

2H.

I

may

have missed noting others, which some one will doubtless add later, i For text, cf. Aufi, 1. 32 Eth6, p. ;

62

;

Pizzi, Chr. p. 59; cf . tr. Pickering,

i^at. iieu. 16.

686; Pizzi,

/Storia, 1. 130.


'

CHAPTER IV

DAWN

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE (Middle of the Tenth Century a.d.) '

But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill. Shakespeare, Hamlet,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The dawn had Pleiades had set,

16&-167.

1. 1.

not yet fully broken; but though the

two morning-stars

still

lingered in the

The more

sky as heralds of the dawn.

brilliant

of

the twain, yet earliest to sink beneath the horizon, bore

name Rudagi

the

or

Rudaki.^

The

other, hardly less

luminous, but quenched before the great sun of Firdausi rose,

was

Only snatches

called Dakiki.

of the

swung have come down

the spheres in which their orbits

and

to us, but the notes that reverberate are true

To Rudagi, Samanid

the

music of

rich.

the older of these minstrels, as dominating era, this

chapter

devoted

is

Dakiki, his

;

later compeer, is reserved for another.

Rudagi may song.'

1

A.D.2

When

'

father of Persian

His birth-year appears to have been somewhere

around 880

954

justly be styled the real

I

a.d.,

and his death must have occurred about

He owed was

his

name

in Persia for the

there

fourth time (1918) I heard from lit^ erary men only the pronunciation

is

town Rudag,

manuscript authority for

it)

the reading Rudagi. 2

West

964

adopted (and

941

iJudail, although scholars of the

have more generally

to his natal

32

j^or the

view as to the

(=343 a.h.) as (= 330 a.h.), see

latter date,

contrasted with

Eth6, in Grundr.


!

TRADITIONS OF RUDAGI'S YOUTH

33

a small place beyond the river Oxus, located near either

Bukhara or Samarkand,

or possibly

Tradition has

was

that he

it

between the two.^

so clever as a Rudagi (about ^80-954 ad.)

boy that he knew the whole Kuran by heart

A

at the age of eight. ^

presage of his future greatness

Tradition reports also that, like Homer, Rudagi was born blind

;

but

if so,

makes

that

sense of color which

poetry

have

that

is

the more surprising the

all

shown

in the fragments

At

survived.^

nature

events,

all

his

of

endow^ed him not only with the gift of poesy, but also

with a rich voice for singing and a talent likewise for playing the lute (harhat).*

from

his lips,

with

its

from 2. 1.

221

and the burden of

Persian

original,

although Browne, Lit. Hist.

456, n. 2, cites authority for the date

940-941 A.D.

compare furthermore

;

C. J. Pickering,

A

Persian Chaucer,

in National Review, 15. 329, London,

327-540 (based on Eth6and Darmesteter), became accessible to me after this chapter was ready for the press, but references are added in the footnotes. 1 The standard monograph on Rudagi is by H. Eth6, RUdagi, der Sdmdnidendichter, in Nachrichten d. Kgl. Gesellsch. d. Wiss. zu Gottingen see also id. in (1873), pp. 663-742 Gtundr. 2. 220-221 compare likewise the artistic literary presentation (based on Eth^'s material) by Darmesteter, 1890.

This latter

article, pp.

;

;

Origines 11-28.

de

of song

la

poesie persane,

Compare

also

pp.

Pizzi, Storia

delta poesiapersiana, 1.7 l-li; Horn,

Oesch. d. pets. Litt. pp. 73-76

;

Browne,

has

the

early

Daulatshah

sources

Aufi,

of

For some consult

of

also

Browne), pp. 31-33

(ed.

Auli, Lubdb,

imitated

abandon

455-458.

1.

original

2

here

is

all

Lit. Hist.

the

came

his light-hearted verse,

chiming monorhyme, which

the ;

The burst

;

2. 7-9.

by Eth^,

cited

Nachrichten, pp. 669-670. 3 On the question of

in

Gott.

Rudagi's

blindness see (with citation of native

Eth6,

sources)

668-670;

2.6;

cf.

in

Auii,

Nachrichten, pp.

Lubdb

(ed.

also Pickering, Nat.

Browne) Rev. 15.

The case probably is that blindness came later in life there have been bUnd poets from 329, 678, 682.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Thamyris to Milton. ^ Compare on barbat, Steingass, Persian-English Dictionary,

p.

170

a,

and the note by Pickering, Nat. Rev. ' barbat, the pip^irop of 15. 329 Greece other authorities give 'ud, "lute."' Cf. Eth6, in Nachrichten, :

;

p. 671.


:

'

;

!

DAWN

RUDAGF, A HERALD OF THE

34 Byron's

line,

I

^

knew

it

was

or of Horace's Carpe Diem, as lyric

and

love,

'

;

I felt

it

was

glory,'

^

runs cheerily along in

it

measure

CARPE DIEM Live gay with maids dark-eyed, divine 'Tis a vain world,

and wind

!

is its sign.

What Cometh, thou shouldest rejoice at, No thought take of past, or repine. I've won me a musky-tressed damsel, Moon-faced, and of angel-born

line.

He's happy who giveth and getteth

Who

doth not,

Let be

\

his lot is of brine.

wind and cloud merely, Come bring hither the wine

This sad world

is

!

Sometimes the tone

is

a melancholy one, a piteous

note of unrequited love.

SHE REGRETS TOO LATE

When

My

dead thou shalt behold me, lips forever sealed,

Reft of

body.

its life this

Passion ne'er more revealed,

Then by my

And *

cold bier

sit

thou.

say with a caress,

Alas, 'twas

I who slew

thee

Heart-broken, I confess.'

Our own Chaucer

in his

youth could not have turned

the verse more gracefully — or more

sadly.

Fortune early selected Rudagi for her favorite, and led 1

him

to the

Byron,

Stanzas

court of the written on the

Boad between Florence and 2

Pisa,

Text, Eth^, in Nachrichten,

Pizzi, Chr. p. 61

;

Samanid prince Nasr II

tr. id.

Storia,

1.

16.

Text,

^

737

;

Eth6, in Nachrichten, Chr. p. 62

Pizzi,

p.

720

the version

1.

134.

Hist.

1.

by Cowell

458.

;

in

p.

compare Browne, Lit. also


'

RUDAGT'S POPULARITY AT COURT (913-942), which he graced

35

his royal patron's death.

till

During these halcyon days honors and riches were showered

him upon ^

abundance

in

formed a

his attendants

and the retinue

;

of

^

two hundred,

line of

,

.,

Rudagi

3

Princely

while double that number of camels was needed to carry his baggage.^

In addition to the royal favor of Nasr, Rudagi received generous recognition from his poetic peers, as

by

his fellow-minstrel

and

a verse which

said, in

friend,

is

Shahid of Balkh,

remained, that

has

proved

who

Bravo

'

!

(ahsand) might be praise for the lines of other poets, but

would be mere

ridicule for the

poems

of

Rudagi

;

^

and so

run the commendations from every Persian singer after him.^ Rudagi's popularity, moreover, with (for

he was a court poet) and in camp

was the one

story that he

of

was quick

his royal patron's

7,

*

and

3

Aufi,

Lubdb

that, as the Persian

he knew prose would not affect him, and

others, cf Eth^, in .

Nachrichten, p. 672. cf .

So well acquainted

moods

therefore had recourse to verse.'

2

win Nasr's

years

writers relate,

and

proved by the

that Samanid monarch

when

to improvise the means.

was he with

Aufi, 2.

at court

away from home, enchanted by the The bard's ready wit the region around Herat.

tarried four

charm

is

selected to try to

thoughts back to Bukhara

1

all alike

(ed.

Browne)

Eth6, in Gott. Nach.

2..

6;

p. 675, n. 3.

References are easily at hand to

the scholar (e.g. Eth6, pp. 675-677),

and as an illustration of Rudagi's renown might be instanced the fact that he is quoted no less than a hundred and sixty-one times by Asadi,

^

At the moment when

Lughat-i Furs,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in

fact

cf . ed.

Rudagi

is

Horn, pp. 18-19 the most often

cited author in that work.

Similarly

Shams ibn Kais, al-Mu'jam Gibb Mem. 10. 451, Index).

in

(in

Samarkand], Mirza Muhammad (Gi66 J/emoriai, 11), p. 33; tr. Browne, *

See Nizami-i Aruzi

C/ia/iar ilfaAtaia, ed.

in

JKAS.

63).

1899, p. 759

(=

reprint, p.


;;

:

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE

36

Nasr had quaffed his morning cup,

DAWN

Rudagi came

'

and

in

did obeisance, and sat

down

in his accustomed place

when

had

ceased, he

the musicians

;

and

;

took up the lute

(chang), and, playing the "Lover's air,"

began

this elegy,'

opening with the tender strain, Buy-i juy-i Muliydn dyad hami

The perfume sweet Remembrance,

comes aye to

of Muliyan's stream

Then, striking a lower key, he continued

THE PRmCE

IS

And

my

feet to

that rugged way,

me

appears to-day

Jihun's waves, for very joy

at their friend's face,

Rise to our waists in blithesome mood

Be

Thy

to

with fond embrace.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; since

Long live thou thee joyous comes thy life, thy own glad

joyful,

Here

:

TO RETURN TO BUKHARA

The sandy road by Oxus' banks, SOk-soft beneath

me

comes aye to me.

too, of longed-for friends

Bukhara glad

!

!

Prince.

and thou, the Sky In heaven's vault the Moon, behold, is mounting high

A

Prince, Bukhara,

cypress, he

Anon

!

is

the Moon,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bukhara, thou

a garth ablow, the garden grow

the cypress shall within

* !

1 In the original Persian text of the Chahdr Makdla (p. 33) and Tadhkiratu 'sh-Shu'ard (p. 32) referred to above (p. 33, n. 1), and oft quoted, the rhyming refrain throughout is dyad harm, ' doth ever come so the alternating ;

'

fhjrme-lines might perhaps be a. b.

d.

/.

h. j. I.

more

literally

rendered thus

The perfumed Muliyan to me Remembrance of my friends to me

doth ever come doth doth doth doth doth doth

beneath my feet to me Waist-high in blithesome mood to me In joy thy prince, thy life, to thee Into the sky the moon, O see Silk-soft

!

The cypress

to his garth, to thee

For other versions of this noted ode of. Eth6, Browne, in JEAS. 1899, p. 760 (= reprint, p. 54)

:

p. ;

719

ever ever ever

ever ever ever ;

come come come come come come

Darmesteter,

p.

and (though available to

13

;

me

only later for this footnote reference) Pickering, in Nat. Rev. (1890), 16. 332.


The (ikeat Minaret of Bukhara (From a photograph by Edward G. Pease)

[

To face page 36]


A

FAMOUS ODE ON BUKHARA

37

So deeply touched was Amir Nasr, as the story goes, that without waiting to put on his riding-boots he leaped

upon the sentry-horse that stood saddled at the gate and never drew rein for eight miles, so that his boots had to

The

be carried after him.

joined in presenting to the successful

twice five thousand dinars.'

To

and

joyful courtiers

soldiers

poet a purse

'

of

^

the same Nasr the Fortunate, as his royal patron,

come down

are dedicated the few panegyrics that have

us from Rudagi.

many

of such

equal measure,

Graceful, but not fulsome, as are so

Persian courtly effusions, they show, in skill

courtly affection.^

why Nasr

to

and It is

refined taste, together with true

understand

easy, therefore, to

should have bestowed upon his protege a gift

of 40,000 dirhams (about $7000) for complying with his

request for a poetical translation of the famous Indian

book,

'

The Fables

under the

title

of Bidpai.'

This rendering by Rudagi,

Kalllah and JDimnah, was

made from an

Arabic version of the Pahlavi translation of the Sanskrit

which had been brought from India in the time

original

monarch Khusrau

of the Sasanian

(Anushirvan the

I

Just), in the sixth century of our era.^ This whole episode is given by Nizami Aruzi of Samarkand, op. cit. 1

pp. 31-33

tr.

;

pp. 767-761 2

(

Brov?ne in

= reprint,

JRA8.

For text and a translation

kasldahs,

see Eth^,

1899,

pp. 61-55).,

in

Gott.

of these

Nach-

richten, pp. 678-696; together w^ith a literary appreciation

pp. 16-18

also Pickering, Nat. Rev. but Ethfi later, in GruTidr. 220, doubts their authenticity.

15. 2.

by Darmesteter,

;

332-336

cf. ;

3

There

is

The

loss of this

a large mass of material

available regarding the original Sans-

Pancaand its ramifications through Persian and other literatures, a subject which belongs to the special stukrit collection of beast-fables,

tantra,

dent;

consult,

e.g.

J.

Hertel,

Das

G. N. Pancatantra, Leipzig, 1914 Keith-Falconer, Kalllah and Dimnah, ;

Cambridge, 1886; Lit. Hist.

1.

cf.

also

110, 275, 467.

Browne,


DAWN

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE

38

Persian rendering sixteen of

its

deeply to be regretted, as only about

is

couplets have survived through chance quo-

an eleventh-century lexicographical work.^

tations in

He

Rudagi's poetic productivity was great. to

of a

his

of

rank

to a foremost

whom

from

century,

he

number

being guided by the fact that

^

Omar

In the previoxisly mentioned Per-

sian lexicon, Asadi's Lughat-i Furs, ed. Horn, pp. 18-21

;

cf.

also

Browne,

Lit. Hist. 1. 457, 474.

;

Nachrichten, pp. 678-742, has gathered 52 fragments Gott.

(making up 240 couplets in all), and to these should now be added the material

later

available

in

Asadi's

Lughat^i Furs (ed. Horn), in which lexicon

close,

and

also

Rudagi

Fitzgerald.

'

stanzas (see

fols.

6

r,

9

r,

11

r,

21,

27, 30, 32, 33, 35, 40, 42 r, 43

61

r,

61, 71

r,

24, 50,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two being quatrains, 9

r.

See also Horn, op. cit. pp. 1819, and observe his remark on the 11 r).

2 See references by Eth6, in Gott. Nach. p. 677 Browne, 1. 456-457.

in

its

the

it is

has been rendered into English by Professor

it

Cowell, the teacher of

Eth6,

Out

of such fragments I select one for presenta-

one best known, and striking for because

re-

lyric vein

be illustrated, perhaps, by his songs on wine.

tion, the choice

old

though they

His masterly touch in the

ceived just praise*

may

remnant (not

preserved,'^

him

are such in merit as to entitle poets

of

fourscore fragments, together

with other stray verses) has been

the

But

them.^

this fabled output only a scanty

much more than

among

among

verses, epic rhapsodies

,

3

reputed

have composed a million and three hundred thousand

Literary

i

is

(the

most

oft

quoted poet) is cited 161 times. The majority of these quotations by Asadi are single rhymed distichs but among the number I have found 17 short ;

couplets,

p.

To these likewise number of other stanzas now available in

21.

should be added a

fragments in Shams ad-Din ibn Kais, al-Mu'jam, ed. Mirza Muhammad, Gibb Memocf. Index, p. 451. rial, 10 * For appreciations by Rudagi's con;

temporaries see references above, 35, n. 3

455

;

;

also cf.

and add

to

Browne,

them the estimate by

Kisa'i in Asadi, op.

Horn,

p. 21).

p.

Lit. Hist. 1.

cit. fol.

8 r (ed.


»

;

:

RUDAGI IN PRAISE OF WINE

39

A WINE SONG BY RUDAGI "

me yon wine which thou

Bring

might'st call a melted ruby in

its

cup,

Or

a

like

unsheathed,

scimitar

in

the

sun's

noon-tide

light

held up. 'Tis the rose-water, thou might'st say, yea, thence distilled for

purity

sweetness

Its

falls

as

sleep's

own balm

steals o'er the vigil-

wearied eye.

Thou mightest

call

the cup the cloud, the wine the raindrop from

it cast,

Or say the joy that comes at

Were

fills

the heart whose prayer long looked-for

all

hearts would be a desert waste, forlorn

last.

there no wine

and black,

But were our bring

O

if

it

wine would

last life-breath extinct, the sight of

back.

an eagle would but swoop, and bear the wine up to the sky.

Far out of reach of done

! '

all

who would not shout

the base,

— Translation by Edward Byies A

*

Well

as I ? "

dozen other

lyric

fragments might be added

Cowell.

— some-

times an elegy, sometimes a eulogy, sometimes a lover's plaint.2

No

how

portray the pangs of separation from the be-

to

one knew better than Rudagi, for example,

loved,

and the joys

Here

is

of reunion

a rhapsody which

I

with the idol of his heart. translate

because

it

tells

the tale For

1

this

rendering by the late

Professor Cowell, Hist.

see

Browne,

Lit.

467-458; for the Persian text

1.

(with translation) see Eth6, pp. 722-

723

;

cf

.

pp. 14-16

Rev.

id. ;

Die hojlsche

cf.

16. 335.

.

.

.

Poesie,

also Pickering, in Nat.

Translations

2

of

some

of

these

which I chapter, will be

lyric effusions, besides those

have rendered in this found in the articles, already referred to,

by Eth6, Darmesteter, Pickering,

and ana,

in Pizzi, Storia della poesia persi1.

131-135.


;

'

;

!

!

;

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE DAWN"

40

REUNION AFTER SEPARATION FROM HIS BELOVED Of the pangs

of separation I have suffered

Than, through

And my

heart had quite forgotten

But what joy Light in

all

the charms of union sweet

after severance, with one's idol dear, to

'tis

So I turned

and borne more

the distant ages, any mortal being bore

all

me back and

spirits,

in gladness,

meet

back unto the camp and

my

and

light-hearted,

tent,

speech with lightness

blent

For there came enthralled

A

to

meet me

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yet with bosom

all

unbraced-^

sweet maid with a cypress figure, tresses flowing to her waist.

How

*

me ?

hath fared thy heart without

'

'twas with coquetry she

said, '

Yea, and

Then

My

how thy

I spake

soul's ruin,

Snared

And

is

my

mischief-maker of

world in the

ringlets neat

I

am

me ?

'

all

circle of

did she add, while blushing red. '

thou face of heavenly birth.

beauties on this earth

thy locks as amber sweet,

caught like a ball with the mall-bat through thy curving

'tis

Deeply

soul without

and gave her answer,

am

filled

!^

I with anguish

by those eyes which arrows

dart,

anguished by those tresses, which rich showers of musk

impart.

Where were

night without the

moonbeam ? where were day without

the sun?

Where

the rose that hath no water ? where the

shun

mead

that rain doth

?

Then my bosom grew sweet through toying with her hyacinthine hair.

And my

lips

were sugared through kisses from that coral mouth so

fair;

Now

was she the ruby-buyer, and the ruby-seller I, While the nectarous wine she poured me, and I drained the goblet dry.2 1

The

ringlets are

compared

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

to the

curved head of a polo-stick a simile found elsewhere in Persian poetry. 2

For text see Eth^,

in Gott.

Nach-

richten

rhyme

(1873),

pp.

in the original

Cf. also

tr.

712-713.

The

df

h, etc.

is

a b

Pickering, pp. 836-337.


;

:

:

:

RUDAGI EVER THE LOVER

41

"With a passionate love like Rudagi's, the kiss, which

alone can bring relief to the heart,

So he whispers to his sweetheart

merits God's benison.

THE

KISS

my

Free

AND GOD'S BENISON

soul

With but

And

from pain and torment

kisses

two or three

in

limit

;

that gracious favor's guerdon

Allah's benison will be

Vain

a divine boon that

is

^ !

Rudagi gives the reason

!

in

rhythm

if

not

rhyme KISSES BITTER-SWEET Kar-i busah chu ah khvardan shur Bi-khvarl besh tishnahtar gardi. 'Tis with kisses as

with drinking of water that

The more you drink the

A whimsical

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

for the Persians

!

2

grew

old.^

is

have a quaint vein of

Somebody had twitted him on

his hair as he

is salt,

you grow

quatrain by Rudagi in a humorous vein

worth translating humor.

thirstier still

his vanity in dyeing

He promptly responds

in a

rubal

A QUATRAIN ON DYEING THE HAIR Not for this reason, black my hair I dye. To

look more young and vices

new

to try

People in time of grief don raiment black

my

I black 1

Text, Eth6,

p.

742;

cf.

Darme-

steter, Origines, p. 20. *

like

References as in preceding note.

Kisa'i

on the same

subject,

the

count

it

that

men

in old

age,

To dyeing

their hair should be fain; dyeing they cannot 'scape dying

By

at

is

next chapter (p. Khusravani's jingling four lines in

64;

Pickering, pp. 821-822):

A wonder I

It is

mentioned 51).

I render (see text, Pizzi, Chr. p. cf. also

thought that the original rebuke was made by Rudagi's contemporary, Abu Tahir Khusravani, who, 3

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

hair in grief at old age nigh.*

all,

But give themselves trouble *

in vain

Text, Eth6, in Gott. Nach.

!

p. 739.


!

Perhaps there was more in the

than we know. to have

last line of this

The lightheartedness

of

gone, especially after the loss

whom

and admirer, the poet Shahid, touching verse evil days.

of

to

friend

his

he mourned

Nasr, his royal patron, was dead

and poverty lent an added pang

quatrain

youth seems

and Rudagi had apparently

;

;

DAWN

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE

42

;

fallen

in

on

942);

(d.

the distress of ad-

The same cry which was uttered a

vancing years.

century earlier in Anglo-Saxon by the old English poet

Cynewulf, and has been echoed in the silence of the night by myriads since

life

began,

broke forth from

Rudagi's soul in a lamentation over the fleeting joys of

youth and the sorrows of approaching decay.

which

of Rudagi's, the opening lines of of

grim humor in

in full, even

if

still

This elegy

show a

flash

their realism, deserves to be rendered

present-day taste would excise several of

the verses.

KUDAGI'S LAMENT EN OLD AGE Every tootli, ah me has crumbled, dropped and fallen in decay Tooth it was not, nay say rather, 'twas a brilliant lamp's bright ray Each was white and silvery-flashing, pearl and coral in the light, Glistening like the stars of morning or the raindrop sparkling bright !

Not a one remaineth

to me, lost through

Whose

'Twas surely Saturn's planetary

the fault ?

*

No, the fault of Saturn 'twas *

What

then ?

'

rule,'

you

not, nor the long, long lapse of

answer truly

I will

weakness and decay.

:

'

say.

days

Providence which God

dis-

plays.'

Ever

like to this the

world

is,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

ball of dust as in the past,

its great law doth last. That same thing which once was healing, may become a source of

Ball of dust for aye remaining, long as

pain;

And

the thing that

now

is

painful, healing

balm may prove again

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;


;

'

!

RUDAGrS LAMENT IN OLD AGE Time,

in fact, at the

43

same moment bringeth age where once was

youth,

And anon rejuvenateth what was gone in eld, forsooth. Many a desert waste existeth where was once a garden glad And a garden glad existeth where was once a desert sad. Ah, thou moon-faced, musky-tressed one, how canst thou e'er know or deem What was once thy poor slave's station, how once held in high ;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

esteem

?

On him now

thy curling tresses, coquettish thou dost bestow,

In those days thou didst not see him, when his

Time

there was

when he

in gladness,

own

rich curls did flow.

happy did himself

disport.

Pleasure in excess enjoying, though his silver store ran short

Always bought he in the market, countless-priced above the rest. Every captive Turki damsel with a round pomegranate breast. Ah how many a beauteous maiden, in whose heart love for him !

reigned,

night as pilgrim to him, and in secret there remained

Came by

Sparkling wine and eyes that ravish, and the face of beauty deep, HigTi-priced though they might be elsewhere, at

my

door were ever

cheap.

Always happy, never knew

And my Many a heart

I

what might be the touch of

pain,

heart to gladsome music opened like a wide champaign.

Yea, though

Ever was Ever

to silk

it

was softened by the magic of

were hard as

my

flintstone, anvil-hard, or

verse.

even worse.

my keen eye open for a maid's curled tresses long. my ear to listen to the word-wise man of song.*

alert

I had not, wife nor children, no, nor female family-ties, Free from these and unencumbered have I been in every wise. Rudagi's sad plight in old age. Sage, thou verUy dost see

House

;

In those days thou didst not see him as this wretch of low degree. In those days thou didst not see him when he roved the wide world o'er. Songs enditing, chatting gaily, with a thousand tales and more.^ 1

There

is

an allusion to the minstrel

mardum-i sukhun^^n, the man who knows the value of words. or poet in

'

'

Darmesteter, p. 25, sees in the

words hazdr dastdn a reference by Rudagi to his Kalllah and Bimnah, which was one of the sources of the famous Thousand and one Nights.'' '


;

;

DAWN

RUDAGI, A HERALD OF THE

44 Time

when

there was

that his verses broadcast tlirough the whole

world ran,

when he

Time

there was

Who

had greatness

I

it

bard of Khurasan.

all-hailed was, as the

Who

?

had favor, of

was, had favor, greatness, from the

all

people in the land ?

Saman

scions'

hand

own Amir, Nasr, forty thousand dirhams gave. And a fifth to this was added by the Prince of the Pure and Brave From his nobles, widely scattered, came a sixty thousand more

Khurasan's

^ ;

Those the times when mine was fortune, fortune good in plenteous store.

Now

the times have changed,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and

changed and altered

I, too,

must succumb, Bring the beggar's

come

Thus

!

staff

here to

me; time

for staff

in

The

life.

strings

hushed, the echoes of his voice were

of

the silenced chords again This line

der

and

is

a

renders

Frommenseelenfursten

zahlte

einen

mehr

'

;

Pickering, p. 338, and

it,

'

Und

Vierzahl

similarly cf. n. 6.

also

This

rendering implies that by his generosity Nasr became 'a fifth CaUph,' i.e. on an equality with the first four Caliphs of Islam.

But the

would

more and sweep

?

Eth6

difficult one.

cf. n. 1)

Who

final

were

lute

his

stilled.

follow to catch up the lost strains once

(p. 702,

scrip has

dark shadows and deep sorrow closed the

days of Rudagi's

1

and

^

interpretation seems

strained.

I prefer to regard the allusion

as being to

CaUphs

some one

of the

of Rudagi's time.

main, Pizzi, Storia, 1. 134. ^ For Eth6, pp. text, Pizzi,

Chr., pp. 59-61;

Storia,

337-338. etc.

1.

133-134;

Original

(Pers. -an

cf.

Abbasid

So, in the

696-699; tr.

Pizzi,

Pickering,

monorhyme a

6wd throughout).

pp. b d,


'

CHAPTER V SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG FROM THE LATER SAMANID PERIOD TO THE ERA OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH (The Latter Half '

Hushed

is

of the

the harp

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Scott,

RuDAGi was of

singers

in

now

minstrelsy never

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the minstrel gone.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel,

his grave

silent

Tenth Century a.d.)

;

13.

But the voice

The far-famed dynasty

dies.

3L

he had joined the choir

the tomb.

in

5.

of

of

the

Samanids, in their capital at Bukhara, continued to foster the art of song

down

to the very close of their rule at

the end of the tenth century, and handed

it

on as a

treasured heritage to their successors at the Ghaznavid

Court in the eleventh century of our

era.

Thus

to the

patron-favor of the last Samanid princes and to the

hopes kindled by the rising sun of

Mahmud

new

of Ghaznah's

power, most of the minstrels of those days owed inspiration for their song.

The

verses of the bards

whose poetry

rainbow-arch that spanned varied in hue and shade all

be

;

this

later

of

Ghaznah

mounted the

throne.

Samanid

period,

but the prismatic colors can

made out undimmed down

Mahmud

lent tints to the

(a city

still

to the bright era

when

existing in Afghanistan)

This famous conqueror's seat was 46


^

SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

46

near that bag of gold which rainbow's base

fabled to be found at the

is

and, being somewhat of a poet himself,

;

he joined in doling out the aureate metal to encourage minstrelsy, especially

to

those

bards

who chanted

his

praises in glowing verse.

Among those whose poetry spanned this period was Abu Ishak (or Abu'l-Hasan) of Merv, better known as Kisa'i, the Man of the Cloak,' from his Kisai, '

'

'

_

donning in

Latter Part of

Sufi.

later life the dervish garb of the

Kisa'i

had in

his

voice

tones

both

grave and gay, which served to link the strains of the passing age with the newer music of the coming era.^

His death

generally supposed to have occurred about

is

the year 1002 or 1003 a.d., but there are grounds

now

believing that he outlived considerably the elegiac

for

plaint to

which he gave utterance in a poem, written

about this time, on reaching the half century in

life's

run,

as referred to below.

Whatever may have been the date

of Kisa'i' s death,

flowers should have been planted on his grave, because, like Keats,

A

he had for flowers the true love of a poet.

stanza that survives from his pen would suffice to prove this.

They

are lines on the blue lotus or water-lily of the

Nile.

Who

can say whether Kisa'i's wanderings

have

A

led

him

may

not

in fact as well as in fancy to the borders of

ments of Kisa'i have been preserved by Aufi, Lubdb (ed. Browne), 2. 33-

Asadi (ed. Horn, cf. p. 27) including a couplet, fol. 36 r, and cf 60, 60 r see likewise Shams ibn Kais, al-Mu'jam

over sixty single verses of Kisa'i, moreover, are separately quoted by

(Gibb Mem. 10), p. 272. 2 gee p. 49 and on the below

1

39

:

number

of

the

poetic

frag-

.

;

;


;

;

:

Egypt's stream

ins LOVE OF FLOWERS

AXD

A'/.S.l*;

render the lines, at

I

?

47

events, as an

all

mood

expression of his poetic

THE BLUE LOTUS OF THE NILE The azure

Now

water-lily see, amidst the waters blue,

gleaming sword, now tinged with sapphire

like a burnished

hue Color like heaven, and like the heaven, as radiantly bright,

But cup Yet

all

yellow, as

Wearing from head

the moon a fortnight old monk during a full year's

in light

is

like a sallow pious

fast

to foot blue robes, with merit pure amassed.^

Nor again could any minstrel sing the beauty rose in verses

more quaint than those w^hich

many

they seem to rival

late, for

I

of the

next trans-

a later longer rhapsody

that came from the bards of Shiraz chanting the charms of that queen of flowers

when every

petal

was abloom.

THE ROSE The rose â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a rich

gift,

angel-brought from Paradise

!

In midst of rose-delights, man's soul more noble grows. Ah, rose-seller

Or what

!

How

for silver

canst the rose for silver

sell,

buy more precious than the

rose ?

2

question of the date of Kisa'i's death,

of Bukhara, in National Review,

consult Eth6, Neupersische Litteratur,

818,

and Kuhn, Grundrlss, 2. 281 and see Browne, Lit. Hist. 2. 161. 1 Text, Eth6, Die Aufi, 2. 35

essay, which,

in Geiger

;

;

d.

bayer.

Akad. Wiss. zu Munchen, 1874,

p. 144.

Lieder des Kisai, in Sitzb.

The rhyme

in the original Persian

is

15.

London, 1890. Throughout the present chapter I have enjoyed the advantage of consulting Dr. Pickering's though published long ago,

and based on Eth6 and Dar-

mesteter,

was not

accessible

to

me

before.

d f; and the image in the last two might be more literally rendered As the wayfaring monk, whose two cheeks are sallow [through fa.sting] a year and a month, Has matle his upper

* For the Persian text see Aufi (ed. Browne), 2. 35-36 also Eth^, Sitzb. 145, and d. bayer. Akad. 1874, p. Cf. also Browne, Pizzi, Chr. p. 63.

and lower garment of blue stuff.' For another translation into English consult Pickering, The Last Singers

Darmesteter,

b

lines

:

'

;

Lit. Uist. 2. 164 p.

;

46

Pickering, p. 818 ;

Horn, Gesch.

;

d.

pers. Litteratur, p. 77, Leipzig, 1901.


'

:

SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

48

To every

reader of that stanza by Kisa'i there will

in-

Omar Khayyam's tone, Omar expresses

voluntarily recur a later reminiscence in lines,

when, in quite a different

marvel regarding the wine-sellers of Nishapur wonder only what the vintners buy One half so precious as the stuff they

I

It

is

sell.'

not surprising, therefore, that so refined a literary

critic of

Persian poetry as the French scholar Darmesteter

should add

:

*If

the rose had had to choose between these

four pretty verses of Kisa'i and the interminable dithy-

rambs of Hafiz,

I believe that she

out hesitation to Hafiz

:

"

The

note of the nightingale than Light-hearted in

rose loves better a single

all

its spirit is

would have said with-

the gardener's songs.'"

^

the following musical mes-

sage which Kisa'i caught from the carol of a bird.

THE BIRD'S MESSAGE Yon

caroling little bird a singer

is,

Giving a message like a lover to his love

What

sings he ?

Sings,

*

Take thou thy sweetheart's hand and

In

still

another vein

brief eulogy lauding the

;

Beloved, the night hath flown,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

of the

in the garden rove.'

panegyric

new monarch Mahmud

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

is

a

of Ghaz-

nah, sovereign lord of Afghanistan, whose succession to the throne marked the year 998 a.d., and the sweep of

whose conquering sword soon brought under a large part of Persia and

Sad though

Kisa'i

much

may have

1

So likewise, Browne,

2

Darmesteter, Les Origines,

3

For the text see

p. 46. ;

Eth6,

sway

Northwestern India.

been at the setting sun of Sitzb. 1874, p. 148

2. 164.

Aufi, 2. 36

of

his

and

cf.

;

Pizzi, Chr. p.

Pickering, p. 820.

64

;


;

!

:;

VERSES GRAVE AND CAY the Samanid rule, he

may

nevertheless have felt glad, like

other poets of the hour, at the

dawn

of the rising

Ghaznah

Doubtless for that reason he hailed the upshoot of

day.

beams

its

49

somewhat extravagant

in these

lines, praising

the newly enthroned monarch (as translated by Pickering)

TO MAIIMUD OF GHAZNAH '*

Shah,

we

may

well

call

thy hand a jewel mine,

For thence thou scatterest gems

shower

in never-ceasing

Though God hath made thy soul of bounty and noblesse, How, when that soul is spent, to breathe hast yet the power ? "

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Translation by C. J. Pickering.'^ But fulsome

praise

and bombast were the fashion

of such

an hour

On blithe

reaching his

that

fiftieth year, all

and debonair

in

Kisa'i's

may have

gave place to a

verse

In a long kasldahA^xnQ.xii he

sombre note.

been

tells

mourn-

bards before and after him, of the lost joys of

fully, like

youth, and recalls in sadness the

years over which he

fifty

looked backward only with regret to the day

he saw the

light, that date

March

953

16,

a.d.-

when

first

being equivalent to Wednesday,

These despondent verses were com-

posed, according to Aufi, the earliest biographer of the

Persian poets,

and the hour

^

at the end of his

of departure.'

^

life,

If,

the time of farewell,

however, as more mod-

ern scholars have reason to believe, he lived long past the 1

15.

See Pickering, in National Review, 818;

Aufi,

2.

and for the 34

;

Eth6,

original

in Sitzb. d. bayer.

Akad. 1874, p. 142. 2 For the original text of see Aufi, 2. 38-39 and ;

Chr. pp. 62-63

;

text,

135-136

lament

also Pizzi,

Eth6, Sitzb. 1874, pp.

2.

163-164

Pizzi, Storia, 3

this

and for a translation see

;

Browne,

and

1.

Pickering, p. 819;

;

135.

Aufi, Lubdb, ed. cf.

Browne,

see p. 163)

;

Browne,

2.

Lit. Hist. 2. 161

Pickering, p. 819.

38 (but


:

SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

50 age of

fifty,

it

may have

death's

grim visage in

dervish

robe

been at this moment, with

his

his

been associated, and, like

up

to the ascetic

he donned the

name Kisal has ever a Hindu Yogi, gave himself

which

with

view, that

calmly awaiting release through

life,

death.^

There

is

much

so

that

is

human

in such personal ex-

pressions that our hearts cannot but sympathize with a

melancholy touch in some of the fragmentary Khusravani

verses of another

Hhe title

Royal,'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

was

his

Samanid poet. Khusravani,

pseudonym

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; perhaps

name being Abu Tahir

his full

bin

To

this

or,

according to another reading, at-tayyib,

was attached the cognomen

we had more than that have come down If

a laureate

Muhammad.

at-tahih,

'

'

physician,'

the sweet.'

the four or five poetic specimens

we might

to us,

find a brighter

tinge, as there are reasons for believing that his

possessed

it.^

But here

is

poems

one in the sombre tone among

those that have been preserved.

Fallen into dire

illness,

it

seems, Khusravani vents his spleen against four sorts

of

men who

bring

him not an atom

of comfort, namely,

and charm-mongers.

physicians, priests, astrologers,

FOUR SORTS OF USELESS MEN For me four

sorts of

men

as types of weakness stand,

Since not a whit of help comes from the four 1

2.

This latter 163,

is

the view of Browne,

follovdng

the deductions

of

some twenty-five single-line quotations from Khusravani in Asadi, Lughat-i (ed.

Horn,

Ethg, in Sitzb. 1874, pp. 133-153. 2 For the text and a German trans-

only rhyming lines I note are

lation of these fragments see Eth6, in

21

Sitzb. 1873, pp. 654-668.

There are

-Furs

r.

cf.

p.

23),

but the f ol.

17

r,


:

!

;

;

!

KHUSRAVANI AND ABU N ASR The leech, the priest, With drug, prayer,

star-wizard,

and the

51

sorcerer.

horoscope, and with spell-lore.'

In another four lines Khusravani bemoans, like Rudagi

and

Kisa'i, the

coming

gray hair, and inveighs against

of

dyeing the whitening locks, because of

That particular stanza has

avoiding the advance of age.-

been translated above

(p.

futility in

its

41, n. 3), but there

a special

is

reason for quoting here two other lines of Khusravani on

vanished youth, because they are immortalized in an elegiac plaint

by

who, when looking back over what

Firdausi,

seemed to be

lost

work

more than sixty years upon the

of

Shah-namah, and disappointed

in his hopes, cried out in

anguish of heart that Khusravani had once truly

My youth Alas for

I recall

my

youth

said,

from the days of my childhood Ah, alas, for my youth !

or as the original runs

man

Juvani

az kudaki yad

Darlghd juvani !

There

much

is

that province

The lament

Sea. is

once more

'

Alas

'

Dartgha juvani

same minor chord

of the

verses of another minstrel, of

ddram ;

Abu Nasrof

in the

sad

Gilan, a native

southwest of the Caspian

AbuNasr

of this seemingly lost soul

°* ^^^*°

The

!

'

lines,

which

I here versify, tell

only of the past joys of youth that are vainly recalled,

never to return. 1

Chr.

and

For text p.

64

cf.

tr.

;

Pizzi, see Aufi, 2. 20 Eth6, Sitzb. 1873, p. 666 Darmesteter, p. 34; Pick;

ering, p. 821. 2

64

;

The

verses of

Firdavisi's

tr.

Sitzb. 1873, p. 6.58

Pickering, p. 821

see above, p. 41, n. 3.

;

;

and

plaint,

verse, 2.

33;

are of.

Eth6, Sitzb. 1872, p. 299 also Pizzi, Chr. pp. 64, 65 and Browne, 2. 147. ;

For text, Eth6,

Pizzi, p.

'

which cite Khusravani's quoted by Aufi, Lubdb,

;


SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

52

MEMORY OF YOUTH Like a cloud in spring or wind in autumn blown,

My

my

youthful days from out

Here have

how

I sat,

oft, in

hand have happy days,

flown.

Body

relaxed, heart glad, cheek ruddy grown, Ear never free from minstrels' roundelays, Nor hand without the Magian wine-cup known.i Thus to youth's memories back my heart now strays, '

Alas

my

youth

Some fragments

my

!

of

youth alas

!

I moan.^

'

the Samanid

other minstrels of

Bukharan court have been preserved, but

period and the

they are likewise only disjecta membra, and there

is

space

here merely to say something about two of their number,

although simply snatches of their verses have come

The one

to us.^

U mar ah

of these

Merv

of

is

Umarah, the other is Muntasir.

flourished in the latter part of the

tenth century and in the time of Umarah

whom

of

^^^

he eulogizes.^

Omar Khayyam), but it is not through name is known it is through the frag-

science that his

;

The Magians were

tolerant in re-

which was forbidden by 2

p.

For text see Eth6, in Sitzb. and cf. id. in Grundr. d.

Philol. 2. 223 note ing,

p.

822

;

;

cf.

Pizzi,

iran.

worth while.

The monorhyroe in is a 6 dfh.

and

also tr. Picker-

Storia,

p.

are found in Aufi

1873,

Muhammadan

Cf. below, p. 62, n. 1.

658,

yad, Abu'1-Fath,

by Eth6, Browne, and Pickering, besides chance citations from others by Asadi, etc. A new monograph on this entire subject would be

gard to the temperate use of wine, law.

Mahmud of Ghaznah, He is reported to have

been an astronomer of high repute (therefore

a forerunner of

1

down

130.

the original Persian

cited

*

Cf. Aufi, 2. 24

Forsch. I

am

p.

64

;

;

Ethfi, in

Morg.

Pickering, pp. 685, 686.

not sure on what authority

Horn

3

(Asadi, Lughat, p. 24) gives the year 'a.h. 360' (=970-971 a.d.) as the

alluded

date of Umarah's death; the state-

Fragments of some of the poets to, hke Faralavi, Abu' 1- Abbas, Ma'navi of Bukhara, Abu'l-Masal, Zarra'ah of Gurgan, Raunaki, Muvay-

ment

of

lived

till

Aufi,

2.

24,

implies that he

Ghaznavid times.


;

:

U MAR.MI OF MERV ments of

his verses,

and a vein

some

of

!

53

which have a madrigal turn

A

of real imagination.

number

of these poetic

snatches of song have been preserved from oblivion through

having been quoted, seven centuries ago, by Aufi, in the biography of Persian poets.

earliest extant

It is

^

from

that source that some of the specimens are here translated. This, for instance, to his sweetheart

might serve as a proto-

type for a modern love-missive sent on

A VERSE TO

HIS

my

Imprint on thy sweet

poet

in bliss,

it I

might

lip a kiss.'

story goes that in after days the

Abu

lines,

words,

among them

So when thou would'st sing

The

who and when he Sa'id,

is

learned that they were by Umarah,

visitation to his grave.' is

renowned mystic

mentioned below, once heard these

he said to a group of his disciples,

Here

Day

SWEETHEART

I should like to be one of

Slyly hidden

Valentine's

St.

*

Arise, let us

make a

^

a quatrain which shows that

Umarah had no

scruples about indulging in the juice of the grape.

THE WINE-CUP See in

my

silvern idol's

hand the wine,

Thou'dst say the sun and moon together shine

That cup on which the wine

its

shadow

Is a white rose-leaf joined with a tulip

Again the wine-cup gives Lubdh al-Albdb,

See Aufi,

Âť

Browne,

2.

24-26;

Forsch. pp. 63-68. (cf

.

ed.

Horn,

p.

Eth6,

in

ed.

Morg.

In Asadi'sLu(7/iat

57 1.

from Umarah, but no stanzas.

130 3

*

66

cf. Eth6, p. 64

;

;

Pickering, p. 686

;

24) there are refer-

ences to some forty single-line quotations

a pretty conceit

rise to 2

casts

line.''

;

id.

Darmesteter, ;

p.

Pizzi, Storia,

Chr. p. 59.

For references see note 2. For text see Aufi, 2. 25 Eth6, ;

Pizzi, Chr. p. 59.

p.


;

:

;

SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

54

AND WATER COMMINGLE!

FIRE Hast ever seen

marvelous

— water and

fire

combine ?

Just cast thine eye upon this cup and then upon the wine,

Cup

crystal clear

all

red the wine, within this goblet single;

Acknowledge now, thou hast beheld water and

Graver in tone

and

this stanza,

is

fire

commingle.^

fitting in its applica-

tion to the old adage that pride goes before destruction in

world

this fickle

BEWARE OF PRIDE Be thou not proud

e'en

though the world hath chanced to make thee

great

Many

the great ones

whom

the world brings swift to low estate.

This world's a snake, — a charmer he, who seeks

The charmer ofttimes from the snake

The

of

Muntasir, 1005 AD.

last heir to the

i^nown as Muntasir, strove in vain to hold

from

fight

a poet 1

^

besides.^

In the original

2

rhyme (6d),

Aufi, 2. 25 1.

dynasty which was

seems odd to think that this

most of whose

Day and

life

was spent

in flight

night he was on horseback, and

Persian of this

cf.

and

fourth

Aufi, 2. 25;

Eth^, p. 66.

Browne,

effete

(dar gurlkhtan u amkhtan), should have been

'

stanza only the second verses

It

his grasp. ^

youthful warrior,

and

to bring

Samanids died with a song upon a

on his head the crown of the falling

power

now decadent throne Bukhara, Abu Ibrahim Ismail, who is better The

prince's lips.

d.

the

of

line

in his

receives a mortal sting.2

;

and

cf.

Eth6,

65

p.

;

467.

3 See Eth§, in Grundr. 2. 222 id. Die hofische Poesie, p. 24, in both of which places the date of Muntasir's death is given as 1005 a.d., while Horn, in Grundr. 2. 662, and ;

.

.

.

also Pickering, p. 823, both give the

endof the year 1004 a. d.; the difference depends simply upon the question in which part of the Muhammadan month Rabi I, 395 a.h., the event occurred (cf. Mustaufi, TaWikh-i Guzidah, tr. Browne, in Gibb Mem. 14. 2, p. 78). * So Aufi 1. 293 (ed. Browne), and Pickercf. Browne, Lit. Hist. 1. 468 ;

ing, p. 823.


;

:

MUXTASIR, THE WARRIOR-POET must have formed a picturesque

55

figure clad in a cloak of

coarse white cloth, which seems to have served alike as a

protecting mail aud

lowers

who

an inspiration to the devoted

fol-

attended hun in the guerilla warfare which

he maintained against inroading Tatar bands from be-

yond the Oxus

On

power.

as well as against the rising

Ghaznavid

one occasion, relates Aufi, the early

thir-

teenth century biographer of Persian poets, a group of his

companions, faithful amid the vicissitudes of fortune and

him

misfortune, asked

deck thyseK out in

King,

'

:

of royalty

may, at

this

'

The

^

regal

dost thou

not

and beguile thyself with

fine robes

among

instruments of music, which are ?

why

scion of

moment, have reined

the outward signs

the Samanid

House

and grasped

in his steed

a pen from the Jcalamdan-hox of one of his scribes, but at

any

came from

rate there

his lips a stern rebuke in verse

THE WARRIOR-POET They say

A

to me,

*

Wliy not adopt a face of merry

house adorned with carpets

Can

I,

rare,

cheer,

many hues bedecked ?

with

'

'midst warriors' shouts and cries, the voice of minstrels

hear?

Can

I,

What

'midst charging steeds in fight, the rose-bower sweet elect ? place can be for the gush of wine and Saki's luscious lips,

When

blood must gush in streams by which the corselet mail

is

flecked ?

My

steed and arms the banquet-hall and rose-garth far For lance and bow, the tulip fair and lily I reject !* 1

Cf.

Browne,

1.

468

;

Pickering, p.

823. 2

.

I

have followed the rhyme of the For the text see Eth6,

original, 6 d//i.

Sitzb. 1874, pp. 150-151;

Pizzi,

Chr.

64

p. .

53

.

;

;

cf.

also

tr,

Poesie, p. 24

Pickering, p.

;

eclipse

Eth6, Die hofische

Darmesteter, pp. 52823 Browne, 1. 469

Pizzi, Storia, 1. 136.

;

;


SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

56

The end

was treacherously murdered, with

whom

in 1005,

he had taken refuge in

Khan, but he had

lord Ilak

was

of Muntasir's romantic career

poetic traditions of the

The glory capital city of

by an outlaw band from the Tatar

flight

and

lived true to the heroic

House

of Saman.^

Samanid sun which bad shone

of the

brilliantly during

He

tragic.

the

tenth

century, especially

so

the

at

Bukhara, did not set without having given

inspiration to other singers,

some

of

whose voices

still

continued to be heard in the early part of the Ghaznavid

The names,

period.

in fact, of several of the minstrels

mentioned in this chapter belong Then, too, while

as well.^

it

in part to that later era

is

true that the literary

supremacy of the Samanids, which lasted down to about

1000

A.D.,

was paramount

in Northeastern Persia

and

in

Transoxiana, poetry was not confined to these realms

The

alone.

poetic

was cultivated likewise

art

at

the

Dailamite court of the House of Buwaih, which, during

a large part of the century, dominated the southern and

A

Buwaihid Poet

southwestern provinces, with power reaching

eyen as far as Baghdad.^

A

example, by a Buwaihid poet,

Mantiki

Sahib Ismail

(936-995

ing his patron

panegyric, for

of Rai, eulogiz-

who was

a.d.),

minister under two successive Buwaihid rulers and himself

the author of

served. 1

On

It

is

the date

an Arabic dictionary, has been

fantastic '

1005,'

enough

see p. 54,

Âť

in its exaggerated hyper-

though the chapter

n. 3.

So,

for

example,

Kisa'i

Umarah, and possibly Aghachi,

and al-

pre-

'

Cf.

latter

haa been treated in

3.

Browne,

364, 365, 367, 374

Lit. ;

Hist.

2. 93.

1.

360,


:

MAN TIKI

A PANEGYRIC BY bole,

but

is

57

not without imagination, as shown by Professor

E. G. Browne's rendering

A PANEGYRIC "

Methinks the Moon of Heav'n

is

stricken sore,

And nightly grieveth as it wasteth What late appeared a great, round,

Now

like a mall-bat

more. silver shield,

enters heaven's

*

field.

The

Sahib's horse,

And

cast one golden horse-shoe in the sky."

you 'd

think,

had galloped by.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Translation by Edward Not only the House

Buwaihids

but also

the

G. Browne.'^

enlightened

of the Ziyarids in the Caspian province of Tabar-

istan (corresponding to the

modern Gilan and

xhe ziyands as Patrons

Mazandaran, south of the Caspian Sea) encouraged literary and learned men.

was the Ziyarid

prince,

One

of these rulers

Kabus, who, besides being a gen-

erous patron of letters, composed some poems himself.^

But among tection

is

the pro-

which he gave to the famous physician,

losopher,

known

renown as a patron

his titles to

and

poet,

so well to

Ibn Sina,

Europe and the

near Bukhara in 980 a.d.

he was a young man, led to his capital at

or

phi-

Avicenna, as he is West, who was bom

Avicenna's fame, even while

Mahmud

Ghaznah

to seek to bring

him

as one of the great lights of

the time, but he fled from the monarch's bidding and at last found

refuge at the

was long hospitably (1037 1

the

A

A.D.) at

the

is

in

seen between

moon and

curved head of a polo-stick.

the

which 2

of

Kabus, where he

and

entertained,

Hamadan,

resemblance

crescent of

comt

city his

Browne,

1.

he

later

tomb may 463

;

and

374, 453. Âť

Cf.

Browne,

1.

469-471.

cf.

died still id.

1.


58

SNATCHES OF MINSTREL SONG

be visited.^

A

consideration of the poems left by this

far-famed scholar, however, as well as of the quatrainverses of his

noted mystic poet (967-1049),

volume according

Yet a

Abu

contemporary and friend is

reserved

Sa'id, the for

to the plan adopted in this series. ^

special chapter, the following, belongs to

other poet, whose

name adds

the Samanid period;

it is

left

the renowned

more than snatches

of song,

worthy pioneer of Firdausi that we 1

*

one

lustre to the latter half of

Dakiki,the

runner of Firdausi in the realm of Epic Poetry. has

another

and

shall

it

is

Dakiki to this

next turn.

See Jackson, Persia Past and Present, pp. 166-167. See Preface, p. vii.

fore-


CHAPTER VI DAKIKI (In the Latter Half of the Tenth Century a.d.) '

The herald

that dropped dead in announcing the victory, in

whose

fruits

he was not to share/

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; LoMELL, Lecture on Marlowe, in Old English Dramatists, p. 64. A

pulses,

Marlowe's, were aflame, and whose raptures were

like all

YOUTH, generally known as Dakiki, whose

fire,

received the coveted gift

The

Muses.

lute

lover's

woman, and song were renown

kiki' s

rests

was

from the

his

;

Dakiki ^^^ ^°**

wine,

Yet Da-

his favorite themes.

rather on

the fact that the

few

bugle notes which he had just begun to sound in epic

poetry

made him the herald

the very sin's

of

Firdausi.

moment when he had given

dagger cut short his

life

at

the

Almost

call,

an early

at

an assas-

age, in

the

latter quarter of the tenth century of oiu* era.

Dakiki's

home

Tus, the native

is

commonly thought

place

though some sources

of

his

to

have

been

great successor Firdausi,

allow Bukhara

and

Samarkand

hkewise to share in the claim of having nurtured his genius.^

In any event he was, like the other early poets,

a child of Eastern Iran fact that *

some

;

and

this is borne out

by the

of the fragments of his verse are stanzas

Noldeke, Das iranische Nationalepos, in Grundriss der iranischen Phir

lologie, 2. 147-160.

69


:

;

'

DAKIKI

60

the last Samanid rulers, Mansur I (961-976 A.D.) and his son Nuh II (976-997).i

two

in praise of

of

This latter statement seems to be correct from the fact that Mustaufi (1330 a.d.) expressly says that Dakiki

was

Amir Nuh

the contemporary of

*

(976-997), and

it

Nuh

that

tradition

II

the Samanid

accordance with the accepted

in

is

(II)

assigned

him the task

to

writing the national legend of Iran in verse. ^ of this

may

it

of

In view

be inferred that Dakiki lived beyond the

year 975 a.d., which has been assigned for his death,

although he

With

may have met and

deservedly merits the

The

end early in Nuh's

regard to his poetical name,

verses, panegyric

which

his

form of

full

Mansur

From

Muhammad

bin

Dakiki's

Dakiki, or 'the Subtle,' by

title

his

of

well turned that he

lyric, are so

designation

literary

all

reign.^

real

he

is

commonly

known.

Abu

name, however, was

Ahmad, which preceded

it.

the last stanza of one of Dakiki's impassioned

odes, in which, after Persian fashion, he inserts his literary title,

we may

charmed

gain some insight into the delights that most

his heart.

he concludes this

After chanting the beauties of spring,

lyrical effusion

with these four lines

DAKIIQ'S CHOICE

Of

all

things good and evil in the world,

Dakiki's choice 1

Cf.

Browne,

Lit.

Noldeke, in Grundr.

Hist.

1.

is

given to these four

(

=

See Mustaufi, Ta'fikh-i Guzldah, p. 750 reprint, p. 30) id. ed. in Gibb

also Pickering, in Nat. Eev. 15. 683.

Browne, in JRAS. 1900,

Me7n. 14.

;

1,

p. 818; tr. 14. 2, p.

224

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

and Khvashgu's Safinah, referred to by Eth6 in Morg. Forsch. p. 57. Cf.

461

2. 147.

*

tr.

:

;

^

There seems to be a

slight incon-

sistency in the statements of 1.

372

;

2.

116

;

and

1.

Browne,

123, 460-461.


:

;

!

;

DAKIKI THE POET

61

The ruby lip, the lute's sad melody, The blood-red wine, and Zoroaster's lore.*

Even

the allusion to the religion of Zoroaster need

if

not be taken too seriously, although there are reasons for

taking

somewhat

it

we have

seriously,

of Dakiki's fondness for music in the

and no better evidence

proof

sufficient

melody

of his verse

ruby

of his devotion to

lips

need

be given than to cite the following lines in praise of one of his loves

TO raS BELOVED

Would

in this world there

Then from her

No

lips there

were no night,

were no

scorpion's sting were in

If that her tresses

made no

my

flight

heart,

smart.^

Did 'neath her lip no star-dent dimple play. The stars were not my comrades till the day.' Were she not moulded from all good above, My soul would not be motdded of her love And must I ever live sans my sweetheart, Then God, I pray, let life from me depart * !

With a

spirit like

Dakiki's that courted maidens and

the joyous

hour for wine, as the third of

his delights, especially

on a moonlight evening, could

minstrelsy,

1

For a

full

Eth6, in Morg.

text of this ode see

Forsch.

pp. 58-59;

Pizzi, Chr. p. 68.

the chin,' and secondly in the image of

'

counting the stars,

'

a rhetorical

expression for sleeplessness.

2 In Persian poetry the dark curled ends of the beloved's locks are often likened, because of their shape, to the sting of a scorpion. 3 There is a subtle turn in the repetition here of the Persian word kaukab, star,' which is used first in a metaphorical sense as dimple in '

'

*

The rhyme

in the original

is

a b

have varied my meter from choice. For the text see Aufi, 2. 12; Eth6 in Morg. Forsch. p. 60 Pizzi, Chr. p. 58 cf. also tr. Browne, 1.

dfhj;

I

;

;

461-462 Storia,

;

1.

Pickering, 129.

p.

684

;

Pizzi,


:

.

DAKIKI

62

His fondness for the juice of the

not pass by unheeded. grape, no doubt,

made him more

of a Zoroastrian than his

heart, for that ancient faith allowed a temperate use of

wine, which the stern mandates of the

Kuran

forbade.^

Dakiki in any event seems to have freed his conscience

from

all

qualms

of his lyrics

nodded

on wine, to

Thus

assent.

we may judge by one which Ben Jonson would have

in such matters,

if

to his cup-bearer he gayly sings

THE WINE CUP AND A MOONLIGHT EVENING Ah, bring me the wine cup, fair Idol, For bright

the world, full of sheen.

is

From up where the Moon now is shining, To yonder where Pisces is seen. When out from thy bower thou comest. Forth into this desert so drear.

Wherever thy glance thou bestowest Doth soft as Byzance silk appear. Come, quaff we the wine cup together, And let us be merry and gay. For now is the time for wine-bibbing. The time of the glad holiday.^

Some

sixteen or eighteen fragments of

Dakiki's lyric

poems have been preserved, numbering not much over a hundred

lines in all

of feeling 1

;

but these fragments show delicacy

Yet there

and genuine imagination.^

See above, pp. 29, 34, 39, 52

n. 1

;

460-461, are, 10 vrith 27 couplets is

Press)

gives 2 fragments with 5

Text,

Etli^,

in

Morg. Forsch.

The fragments in noted by Browne,

as

tional)

ad-Din cf.

,

2

couplets

;

2.7

;

;

b.

Kais,

also id.

al-Mu'jain,

Add

p. 444.

p.

255

couplets also

;

two

fragmentary stanzas in Asadi, Lughat-

p. 61. Âť

1

one

Eth6 (addi3 with 13 couplets and Shams

with

and consult Jivanji .Jamshedji Modi, Wine amongst the Ancient Persians, pp. 1-16, Bombay, 1888 (Gazette Steam 2

is

Aufi, Lit.

Luhdb, Hist.

1.

i

Furs,

fols.

59

r,

60,

sixty single-line citations.

among some


;

!

THE LYRIC A\D EPIC VEIN OF DAKIKI stanza, a quatraiu

iii

form, which,

almost Marlowesque in

and

is

G3

really Dakiki's,

if

is

attitude towards resignation,

its

well-nigh blasphemous,

alluding to God.'

if

Dar-

mesteter was somewhat fanciful in suggesting that the lines

were gasped out by Dakiki amid his sufferings on

that night

when

the assassin's fatal steel pierced his

But the quatrain

in

any case

is

side."^

w^orth quoting.

HAVE PATIENCE *

Patience,' they say,

*

that

He His

patience

show

'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Show, yes but in another life, I trow. This whole life I with patience have endured It needs a next to

show His

patience, though.'

Dakiki's right to fame, however, as has already been

upon the

intimated, rests

basis of his epic genius, the

promise of which he showed in a remarkable degree. All too scanty as was the opportunity that was allowed

him

name

in the realm of heroic poetry, his

pioneer in this branch of composition.

stands as a

was wait-

Persia

ing for an epic poet, and to Dakiki, beyond any predecessor,

belonged the all-absorbing idea of narrating in lofty

verse the historic glories of ancient Iran.

He had

taken up the theme with a verve, and had

completed a thousand couplets

King Gushtasp, the patron ^

There

is

It is ascribed to

Dakiki only in Lutf ^Vlibeg Adhur's Atash-kadah (1760-79 a.i>.), cf. Eth6 in Morg. Forsch. p. 61, and hLs note yet see Pizzi, Chr. p. 58 (text), and ;

tr.

Storia,

1.

130

;

and

cf.

next note.

episode relating to

of Zoroaster,

some uncertainty about

the whole quatrain.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an

and

his holy

war

Darmesteter, Origines de la poesie

2

jiersane, p. 43.

Text,

3

p.

58

;

tr.

Eth6, id.

p.

61

siana, 1.130 (after Eth6) ing,

Pizzi,

;

Chr.

Storia della poesia per-

Nat. Eev. 15. 685.

;

and Picker-


DAKIKI

64

against Arjasp, the ruler of Turan in the

hand

of a Turkish

minion

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; when

(for

whom

the poniard it is

thought

he entertained an unlawful affection) brought a tragic

end

to his poetic

The accounts

work.

of the fatal inci-

dent have sometimes intimated that the assassin's dirk

was drawn against the bard because on account

of a general hatred

toward the old Zoroastrian

of his leanings

creed.

Dakiki's thousand couplets, however, have

been ren-

dered immortal, since Firdausi incorporated them bodily into his

own

tells us,

the dead poet in a dream.

great epic

poem

after

having beheld, as he

As

these verses in

the Shah-namah form the particular section that relates to Zoroaster

and the development of the ancient religion

of the Fire-worshipers

the midst of

been as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

delicate subject to handle in

Muhammadan

much prudence

fanatics

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; there

may have

as loyalty on Firdausi's part in

constructing this chapter in his epic out of the verses left

by

his ill-starred predecessor, instead of

self

on the theme.

committing him-

In support, moreover, of Firdausi's

claim in the assignment,

it

is

agreed by scholars best

competent to judge, that the verses thus accredited to Dakiki actually show a difference in style and diction

from Firdausi's own manner

of

composition.

more, they prove, by their strength and

finish,

What

is

that Dakiki

himself was a master of the epic style, inherited, no doubt,

from 1

On

his predecessors,

this

whole subject

and

especially

of the epi-

sode and Dakiki's style see Noldeke,

from Rudagi.^

Nationalepos, in Grundr. 2. 148-150 Warner, Shdhndma, 5. 20-22.

;


DAKIKI AS FIRDAUSrS PREDECESSOR

The trumpet

call

to the

nation, sounded

from halfway up the heights of clear,

if

not

far-reaching

;

but

epic song, its

blast

before the full tone could be heard.

65

by Dakiki

was sharp and was cut short

The volume

of a

stronger trumpet blare was needed, the clarion note of a

Firdausi on the topmost to

it

that

quality which

realm of time.

summit

makes

of the height, to impart it

ring throughout

the


CHAPTER

VII

THE BOUND TABLE OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH COURT POETRY (Early in the Eleventh Century A. D.) '

And Peace

to

Mahmud on

— FitzGbbald,

his golden Throne.'

Rubdiydt of

Omar Khayydm,

11.

The court of Firdausi's patron, Mahmud of Ghaznah, who ruled from 998 to 1030 a.d., included a Round Table of

Poets

called,

—a

Divan,

'

Assembly,'

it

might have been

although in Persian literary usage that word

is

applied rather to a collection of the poems of an author.

Seats at the royal board or places in the assembly around

the aureate throne were occupied only by bards

who

could

claim their right to fame by infusing into their verse the spirit also of

the great conqueror's time or by lavishing

panegyrics upon their lord or on some court grandee.

Even Firdausi

in his great epic

had

to resort to a eulogy

Mahmud. Nevertheless, tinged though court poetry was with the fulsome flattery which prevailed in times when patrons, and not publishers, served to keep alive of

the Muses' song, there was heard often and again in the verse a personal note

— that

vox

humana mingled with

the vox seraphica — not drowned by the panegyric dominant.

It is

an echo

of the minstrel's

own

soul, that finer


M AH MUD feeling

which

thrills

HIMSELF A POET

67

with the universal chord and makes

the verse true poetry.

Mahraud

of

Ghaznah, fosterer of poets and learned men

though he was, was sword.

first

and foremost a man

His conquering blade brought under

^

its

of

the

sway a

large portion of Persia proper, far outside of the ancestral

domain

Ghaznah, the capital of a territory which

of

now forms

a part of Afghanistan.

He

launched, more-

over, a dozen or seventeen successful raids against North-

ern and Western India to give proof of the edge of his

trenchant

Yet with

steel. ^

no better way

to

it all

hand down

name than through

his

works of the poets and men of

he knew that there was

letters

and science

the

whom

he gathered to grace his court.

Mahmud,

himself, on

more than one occasion exchanged

the pen for the sword.

Six ghazals, or odes, are ascribed

to his authorship.'^

Among

the

poems attributed

vaunt in verse,' given °

in addition to a heroic

below, there exist three elegiac couplets that

show a tenderer

side of the conqueror's

The half-dozen

up.

Grulistwiy

'

Rose-garden,' she

this particular elegy give

was

called

.

*

pp.

Cf above, pp. 45-46. See Lane-Poole, Mediaeval India, .

14r-33,

1903; and

New York and

London,

History of India, ed. Jackson, 3. 14-35, London, 1906 consuit also V. A. Smith, The Oxford Hisid. in

;

tory of India, pp. 190-195, Oxford, 1919.

of

make-

— and

speak real devotion on Mahmud's part. 1

Mahmud

Ghaznah as a

lament over the death of a young

to a

voice

lines of

to him,

girl

they be-

So, with

the

3 Cf Eth6, in Grundr. 2. 224, 225 n. (where the question of authenticity is raised); Schefer, Chrestomathie persane, 2. 247-252 (Persian text), and pp. 242-246 (explanations), .


:

;

'

THE ROUND TABLE OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH

68 sad

of

strain

dust thou art, to dust retumest,' I

'

peat them here

re-

:

ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG GIRL Moon, beneath the dust dost

Since thou,

Dust

My heart laments

I say,

;

*

Heart, patient be.

This Cometh by an All-just God's decree

Man

is

of dust,

much

!

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and dust must aye remain

What's born of dust to dust returns

The

rest,

joins in union high with heaven's crest.

again.*

heroic vaunt in verse, alluded to above, bears so of the spirit of

Mahmud,

turning, as he does in the

face of grim-visaged Death, to God, that I feel the lines to be genuinely

Mahmud's (even though the authorship Accordingly I venture to trans-

has been questioned).^ late

them, with

boastfulness that gives place to

all their

deep religious humihation

THE KING â&#x20AC;&#x201D; AND DEATH Out of fear

for

my

my

and

conquering sword

mace that cleaves

strongholds amain.

The earth

is

subdued by

my

might,

as the

body subdued by the

brain.

Though

in glory

and power supreme,

I

am

never contented to

rest,

So from land unto land have I roamed,

in ambition's high con-

quering quest.

Oftentimes I gave place to

my

fancy

was a somebody great, king and pauper in equal

that I

In mine eyes have I now come to see estate.

If perchance thou should'st dig from

two graves

two

skulls of

the mouldering dead,

Muhammad

2 gee also Browne, Lit. Hist. on Daulatshah's citation and

Browne,

tion to Sanjar the Seljuk.

1

Text, Aufi (ed. Browne and MIrza KazvTni), 1. 26; cf. Lit. Hist. 2. 117.

2.

118,

ascrip-


M AH MUD'S COURT

POETRY AT

Who

knows which was crown head

hireling's

With one blow

of the

69

and which was the

king,

?

my

of

powerful

have

I

fist

thousands

of

strongholds laid low,

With one stamp

of

my

multitudinous ranks

foot have I scattered

of the foe.

But when Death cometh now

way

Lord that alone

'Tis the it is

naught availeth the

to assail me,

one has trod,

God

is

and the King above Kings,

abiding,

1 !

Poetry must have resounded at Mahmud's court, for

we

by Daulatshah that

are told

poets

'

(chahcir sad shair

The names

'

four hundred appointed

mutaayyin) thronged his

capital.^

more prominent are men-

of a score of the

who wrote in known.^ Some

tioned offhand by the Persian writer Aruzi,

the twelfth century, and

many

others are

of these minstrels, like Minuchihri,

sideration in a later volume.

But

tni the greater light of Firdausi all,

may come

chief amidst the galaxy,

came

The

Mahmud's

be

have

arrived at

palace, as related in the next chapter, speaks

own

alike for their

their generosity as

Unsuri, the was a native

merits as judges of real poetry and for

members

first of

of Balkh,

of the fellowcraft of song.

the trio that have been named,

and held rank at Mahmud's court

For the text here translated see

3

See

Daulatshah, p. 67 but consult especially the preceding note. Original

Makdla

rhyme o

JRAS.

;

6 d/, etc.

See Daulatshah, Tadhkirat, pp.

44-45.

when he

them

may

fact that these very three should

recognized Firdausi's superior genius

2

to outshine

were Unsuri and Farrukhi, while Asjadi also

mentioned.

1

in for con-

Kazvini) 46).

Aruzi,

Nizami-i

p.

1899,

28

;

p.

cf.

658

Chahdr

Muhammad

Mirza

(ed.

tr.

(=

Browne, in reprint,

p.


.

THE ROUND TABLE OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH

70

not only as a royal panegyrist but as poet laureate.

*King

was

of Poets'

his title,

and to Unsuri belonged,

by court appointment, the prerogative of havd.

ing to pass

1040 or

first

on every poetic composition

that was presented, before

could reach the

it

sovereign's ear.^

His accepted appellation was ^Master'

Unsuri, and the

other bards acknowledged

themselves

Although, in a way, he was a natural rival

his disciples.

of Firdausi, he proved himself a friend,

and won from the

Admiration was shown

great epic poet an encomium.^

Unsuri likewise by others of his fellow-poets.

(who died verses

1041

in

saman)

{harm, huy-i

perfume of his

a.d.) says that *the

was as sweet

the jasmine'

as the fragrance of

while Aruzi, more than a century

^

;

Minuchihri

adds a tribute in verse to the lasting qua]ity of his

later,

poetry.'*

His personality must have been attractive, since

*he combined the rank of a favorite courtier with that of poet' little

(mansah-i nadimi ha shairl).^

more

is

known

regarding Unsuri' s

he died in 1040 or 1050

With regard .,

Gift of

life,

a.d.«

which he exerted over

we have an

lord,

1

It

2

Daulatshah,

p. 45.

Daulatshah, Aruzi, op.

p. 42,

*

JBAS.

print, p. 48).

44-45,

pp.

Lit. Hist. 2.

3

Browne,

is

cit.

cf.

120-121.

p.

*

Daulatshah,

cf. Eth6, in Grundr. 2. 224.

28

;

cf

.

(=

Aruzi,

p. 44.

Chahdr Makdla, pp. 34-

tr.

26; cf. tr. Browne, JBAS. 1899, pp. 762-764 ( = reprint, pp. 56-68) cf

re-

also Pizzi, Storia,

20.

1899, p. 660

worth repeat-

« ''

1.

his sovereign "

Mahmud was

happened that one night, when

Daulatshah,

Browne,

and the

anecdote related by the

above-mentioned Aruzi, which ing.^

all,

except that

to Unsuri's personality, moreover,

influence

„ Unsun's

Yet after

;

1.

142, n. 5.


UNSURI'S GIFT OF IMPROVISATION •well

71

drenched with wine, he grasped a knife and was

about to shear

the luxuriant tresses of hair which

off

graced the temples of Ayaz, his favorite minion at court.

He

handed the

refrained, however, for the instant, but

blade to Ayaz,

own head and

who

laid

them before Mahmud.

himself next morning

have been

— the

from his

dutifully cut off the curls

— in

the

monarch was

act which he had caused

;

*

False

On coming to Dawn it may '

with despair at the

filled

and the court was plunged into

A poet's skill alone could save the day.

equal despondency.

Unsuri was ready with an improvised quatrain at once.

THE SHORN CURLS Though wrong,

What

'Tis time for

Trimming the

The

poet's

horizon was

Mahmud was

if

that thy Idol's tress be shorn,

cause to rise and

sit in grief

mirth and glee

forlorn ?

to call for

cypress' locks serves but

impromptu was a the

cleared,

t'

wine

flash of genius

court's

!

adorn.*

;

the royal

equanimity restored.

so well pleased with the quatrain, as the story

concludes, that he ordered Unsuri's lap to be filled three

times over with gold and

and for music,

to the

He

silver.

accompaniment

were repeated in song.

All

then called for wine of

was serene

which the verses

!

Unsuri's literary activity must have been great, for

have the authority of Daulatshah to the

we

effect that as

poet laureate *he was continually composing poems on the deeds and battles of the King, and there

is

a lengthy

panegyric of Unsuri's, about one hundred and eighty 1

Text, Aruzi, op.

cit.

The rhyme

p. 35.

original quatrain has a double

:

kdstan ast khdstan ast plrdsian ast.

ast

— khvdstan


THE ROUND TABLE OF

72

couplets, in

MAH MUD

OF GHAZNAH

which he recorded in encomium-verse

the King's battles, wars, and conquests.'

A

^

all of

Divan, or

collection of Unsuri's poems, has in fact been preserved.^

Mention may be made

Mahmud's the

*

of

a rather long eulogy on

which

brother. Prince Nasr,

question and answer

'

style {su^al

is

an example

u javah), the

of

lines

alternating throughout with an interrogation and a response.

The

first

dozen or sixteen verses read like a

rhapsody of love between a wooer and his beloved, then leading up to the burden of the song, which the

of

there

is

Among

prince.^

the

poetic

likewise one, the loss of which

regretted;

it is

of

a panegyric

works is

Unsuri

of

particularly to be

a romantic epopee, Vctmik and 'Adhra, on

a subject as old as Sasanian times

fragments

is

;

but only some stray

have been preserved through chance

it

quotations.^

Ethe's estimate of Unsuri's literary merits

high as was that of his

own

1

But there

Daulatshah,

is

one

Two of Unsuri's Mahmud will be

found translated into prose in Elliot and Dowson, History of India, 4. also a quat515-518, London, 1872 rain in praise of the same monarch, ;

op. cit. 4. 189

;

cf.

likewise Pizzi, Sto-

See Eth^, in Grundr. 2. 224, 225 n. , on a lithographed edition of Unsuri, which appeared in Teheran, a.h. 1298

Note might be made also of the fact that Unsuri is cited over a hundred times in Asadi's

(=

1881 A.D.).

he sought to

Lughatri Furs

I should like

(cf. ed.

Horn, pp. 24-

25), six or seven couplet-stanzas being

among 27

r,

the citations

40, 57, 58

r,

(cf. fols. 20,

21

r,

62 r).

For text see Daulatshah, pp. 45and for a translation of the panegyric, Browne, 2. 121-123. ^

46

;

via, 1. 142-145. 2

whom

poem which

little

p. 45.

long panegyrics on

so

contemporaries, and he finds

that Unsuri falls short of Rudagi, rival.^

not

is

*

Cf. Eth6, in

Grundr.

2.

239-240

;

Horn, Gesch. Pers. Litt. pp. 80, 177 and id. ed. Asadi's Lughatri Furs, p. also cf. Browne, 2. 275-276 25 Elliot and Dowson, History of India, ;

;

;

4. 189. *

Eth6, in Grundr.

2. 224.


r

ir

â&#x20AC;˘^i:%m-mwi

%'

Emukllismki,

Inti:.,,,, .t,,i;v

(From the Cochran

[To fact page

72'\

1'a(.i:

,.|.

a

1'ki;sia.n

.MAMsr,;|I-r

Collection of Persian Manuscripts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)


!

!

OTHER POEMS BY UNSURI to quote, because of

its strain

— a miuor

73

chord seemingly

never absent from the music of these earlier Persian bards

— the note perhaps of an Unsuri a

mood

grown

older, writing in

Hamlet

of true poetic despondency.

soliloquizing

over Yorick's skull would have sympathized. IN

A REFLECTIVE MOOD

Alas, that from this bright world

Beneath a

we must

go,

pit of clay, turned all to dust

Body uncleansed from

earthly sin to

show

Before a God, All-pure, Perfect, and Just

That a mind, like tire's flash or water's flow, Should with the dust and wind find measure just

The second above-mentioned among the

* !

chief minstrel

group at Mahmud's court, and associated with Firdausi,

was

Farrukhi.

Thouerh ^

rankine; °

Unsuri in position at the court

below

circle,

he

is

Farrukhi, d.

1037 or

regarded by modern judges as his superior in literary

Farrukhi was a native of Sistan,

merit.

province which

still

forms a part of the border between

Persia and Southwestern Afghanistan.

that his personal appearance

and

his dress

uncouth

heavy turban as a

*

the

— we

Tradition has

it

was most unprepossessing can

still

see in

Sagzi,' or native of Sistan,

fancy his

— but we

are told that his native talents, his cleverness in poetic

composition, especially in impro\dsation, and his skill in

playing the lute (chang), were such that early in

life

he

obtained a position at the baronial hall of one of the great 1

Text, Mustaufi-iKazvini, Ta'ri/cA-i

Guzidah,

ed.

Series., 14. 1),

Browne p.

823,

(Gibb

Mem.

London, 1910

;

tr.

(=

Browne, in JRAS. 1900, p. 761 reprint, p. 41). Rliyme in the

original, b df.


THE ROUND TABLE OF

74

M AH MUD

GHAZNAH

OF

who gave him a

landed proprietors of his native place,

This salary was increased by the lord

yearly emolument.

manor when Farrukhi married, but

of the

the

insufficient, as

it

proved

still

So Farrukhi joined a

story goes.^

caravan that was starting from Sistan, taking with him

few

any

if

effects,

but furnished (as he himself says in a

verse) *

With

material spun in

And woven

my

in

my

brain

soul,'

and journeyed to the princely domain of one of Mahmud's vassals,

Amir Abu

'1-Muzaffar, lord of a district in Trans-

oxiana, whose reputation for munificence to poets

was

far-famed.

The

vassal Amir,

as well as to be

who happened

an appreciative

away from

listener to minstrelsy,

'

18,000

'

of

mares and

his

By

were being branded that spring.

chanced

engaged at

his princely residence, being

the branding-ground, where colts

to be a lover of horses

a happy

cir-

cumstance, however, a certain steward in high position at the palace, to talents

whom

Farrukhi applied, was a

and could himself

He

indite verses.

man

of

at once rec-

ognized Farrukhi's merits in the encomium-poem which the minstrel brought with him, as composed for presenta-; tion to the

Amir

was engaged

;

and

after telling

him that

in the round-up of colts,

the prince

which were being

lassoed for branding, suggested that a special

poem

suit-

able for the occasion should be prepared. 1

will

The whole account be found

Chahdr Makdla

in

of

Farrukhi

Nizami-i

Aruzi's

Mirza

Muham-

(ed.

mad, in Gibb Mem. Series, 11. 36-40); tr. Browne, in JRAS. 1899, pp. 764772

(=

reprint, pp. 58-66).


FARRUKIII IX QUEST OF A PATRON It

probably unparalleled

is

in

the

75

history of poetry

that the subject of branding steeds should be used as a poetic

theme but Pegasus was ;

there, as the sequel proved.

Overnight, Farrukhi improvised the verses which late

I trans-

below, and the friendly steward was amazed

mornmg upon

hearing them.

The vivid

next

description

of

the springtide, the graphic scene of the plain, dotted with tents in

which at evening convivial intercourse was held,

the lively picture of the scampering colts trying to escape the Amir's lasso, and fires

the

lurid

the branding

flare of

which blazed throughout the night,

all

revealed

Farrukhi's genius for portraying a situation.

Forthwith mounting the poet on a steed, the steward rode out with

him

to the branding-ground

him that same evening

When

and conducted

into the princely presence.

the wine had gone round, Farrukhi rose

modestly recited at

first

and

Amir

the brief panegyric on the

which he had previously prepared, and which began with the couplet describing

caravan to his court. of a poet,

and

showed pleasure

see.'

to the

The

;

but the steward added,

flagons were filled again,

accompaniment of the

so well to tune, in

how he had come from Sistan by The Amir, who was also something

lute,

and amid rapt

ing-ground

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

full of

graphic color

Wait

and Farrukhi,

whose strings he knew attention, broke forth

song with his newly improvised poem on '

'

'

the Brand-

:

THE BRANDING-GROUND Whilst the meadow hides

And

its

visage in a veil of emerald green,

the hill-tops wrap their foreheads in a fold of seven-hued sheen,


'

;

THE ROUND TABLE OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH

76

The fragrant

And It

earth, like inusk-deer,

an aroma boundless bears,

the willow, like the parrot's plume, a countless foliage wears.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yester-midnight â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

was yestern

the zephyr's breeze did

bring

A

vernal scent

Stored in

i'

the northern blast.

its sleeve,

the wind,

Whilst the garden, in

its

it

Hail to thee, breath of Spring

seems, fine powdered

musk

I

enfolds,

bosom, shining buds like puppets holds.

The

narcissus a bright necklace, set with shining gems, has on.

And

the red syringa wears in

its

ear rubies from Badakhshan.

Yes, the branches of the rose-bush, too, have donned a wine-hued

gown.

And

five-fingered leaves, like

down

human

hands, from the sycamore hang

;

While the garden's changing boughs and sprays match the chameleon's hue.

And

the pool from pearl

its

lustre takes, as the clouds drop pearls

of dew.

Robes of honor, you might fancy, So

full of color

And

the Royal

all

had won by

special grace,

the garden-mead of the Royal Branding-place

Ground

for

Branding

is

so joyous

and

elate

That our age stands now bewildered by its brilliancy's estate. And amidst the verdure's green on green, like stars within the Tent after tent, like fort on fort, you everywhere descry.

The greensward echoes constant

And

brave

*

Wassails

'

sky,

to the lute of minstrels fine.

in the tents resound, as the pages pour the

wine.

In every tent

On

is

a lover, close wrapt in his sweetheart's arms.

every grassplot

There are

is

a friend, to enjoy true friendship's charms.

kisses, love's embraces,

though coy damsels frown the while.

Or the song and dance of minstrels to deep sleep the maids At the door of the pavilion tent of Prince All-fortunate

beguile.

*

A branding-fire Its

is

blazing like the sun, without abate

gleaming flames like lances dart,

all girt

;

with gold brocade.

Hotter than a young man's passion, yellower than gold assayed.

Like branching corals the branding-irons take on a ruby glow,

And

the prong of each, 'midst the fiery heat, a pomegranate's grain

doth show.


!

A POEM ON THE BRANDIXG-GROUND Slaves that ne'er

know need

77

of sleeping, rank on rank all ready

stand,

Whilst the unmarked

colts,

aligned in rows, await the glowing

brand.

On

his gallant steed,

*

Stream-forder,' meanwhile rides the Prince

afar

Across the plain, lasso in hand, like young Isfandiar.

how

See,

Yet

its

the lariat curleth, as the locks of

hold

firm, like to the

is

This Just King,

some loved youth

bonds between old friends, in sooth

Bu '1-Muzaffar,

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

attended by his band.

He, the Prince and Lion-hunter, that holds

cities in his

In his puissant grasp the lasso

a serpent's fold,

coils like to

hand.

E'en as the rod turned to a snake in Moses' hand of old.

What steed soe'er by the noose's loop is caught in its circling swing On the forehead, flank, and shoulder bears the brand-mark of the King. Yet, whilst giving brands on one side, he grants likewise rich bequests.

His poets dowering with bridles, with caparisons his guests.*

The Amir was delighted with the poem.

His wit was

quick, as the outcome shows, to catch the point in the closing verse regarding a bridled

and caparisoned steed

as a reward for a poet who came as a guest to the brand-

His admiration was no doubt shared by the

ing-ground.^

courtier-throng with plaudits, or with a

and a

*

'

bravo

'

(ahsant)

wassail' {nush) as the goblets were replenished

once more, while the Amir, not lacking in a sense of

humor, called Farrukhi

him go out and catch up

colts as iText,

*

a cunning

own

for his

rascal,'

as

Daulatshah,

pp.

55-57;

Muhammad,

in Gibb

Browne,

JRAS.

'

bridles,'

1899, pp.767-769(=reprint, pp. 61-63).

'

headstalls

11.

37-39

many

of the round-

he could.

Aruzi, ed. MIrza

Mem.

and then bade

;

tr.

in

^It seems certain that the veiled allusion, in the closing lines, to

and fasdr, '), is

'

lagdm,

caparisons

'

(lit.

so to be interpreted.


;

MAH MUD

THE ROUND TABLE OF

78

Inspired by such a noteworthy

and

fired

by the

OF

mark

GHAZNAH

of princely favor,

taste of the court wine,

Farrukhi dashed

forth, as the narrative continues,

unwinding and waving

his long turban in order to catch

some

of the horses, yet,

for a considerable time, all in vain, wine-befogged as his

But

brain was. of the

at last he succeeded in driving forty-two

unbroken

colts

the

into

enclosure

of

a ruined

caravanserai, where they sought refuge from the chase

and then he lay down

to

sleep

off

the effects of

his

exertion and his over-copious drafts.

Next morning

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the account goes on â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Amir, after

having heard the story, summoned Farrukhi into his presence, gave him, besides the wild colts, a charger of state

with bridle and caparison, and bestowed upon him

a lordly tent, camels, slaves, Persian carpets, and a robe of honor to boot.

Farrukhi prospered in the Amir's there fortune soon led royal

palace

of

him

Mahmud

service,

and from

to his longed-for goal, the

Ghaznah, where he was

at

treated with so high favor that 'twenty servants, belted

with

silver

girdles,

rode

career he seems, like so

Mahmud' s good

of

court,

in

his

many

graces,

train.'

others, to

Later in his

^

have

fallen out

and was banished from the

though he survived that monarch and died in the

year 1037 or 1038 a.d.' 1

So Aruzi, Chahdr Makdla, above cf. also Browne,

f erred to

;

re-

Cf. Eth^, in

Grundr.

2.

224.

it

on his

The

he lamented in verse, translated in ElUot and Dowson, Hist, of India, 4. 189-190 cf. also Pizzi, Storia, 1. 140.

Khvandamir says that Farrukhi amassed great wealth at Mahhistorian

of

way to Samarkand,

Hist. 2. 128. 2

mud's court but was robbed

Lit.

;

a misfortune which


;

ASJADI ASSOCIATED WITH FIRDAUSI

The

poetical

Dlvan,^

works of Farrukhi were collected into a

and

extant,

still

79

his

verses

show, beside the

panegyric vein, a genuine power of description and a fine lyrical sense

have lived

but his fame as a poet would not perhaps

;

if

had not been for

it

with

his association

Firdausi.

The

named

third of the trio,

in the

same connection

with the coterie of four hundred court-bards, was Asjadi. Possibly his

survived

name would

when

in

putting

to

(pp. 87-89).

has been preserved from Asjadi's pen

and regarding

his life

was a native

of

probably the

)

Mah-

the latter was seeking admission to

Httle, alas,

famous rhyming-test

the

mud's court, as told in the next chapter

Too

Asjadi ^^- ^°^5

he had not shared with Unsuri

if

and Farrukhi Firdausi

likewise not have

is

it

open to question whether he

Herat, Bukhara, or of Merv, though It

latter.^

may

be also a matter of debate

whether he really was a pupil of Unsuri.^

All the court

poets called themselves disciples

Laureate.^

Divan

of Asjadi

of

that

was not current even

in Daulatshah's

time, the fifteenth century, although verses

quoted in poetic collections.^ See Daulatshah, p. 57, 1. 13 and in Grundr. 2. 225 n. Browne, Observe that FarLit. Hist. 2. 124. rukhi is cited some ninety times in 1

cf.

;

EtM,

;

Asadi's Lughat-i Furs (ed. Horn), esp.

fols.

stanzas cited

;

he seems rather

Aufi, 2. 50, says Merv. Cf. furthermore

Ethg, in Grundr. 123.

2.

224

;

Daulatshah,

Cf Daulatshah,

^

Cf. Daulatshah, p. 47.

48

Mem.

r,

54,

Kals, al-Mu'jam

10), pp. 95,

325;

cf.

Daulatshah,

p. 17,

says Bukhara;

2.

1040 a.d. (=a.h. 432), according to Horn, Asadi's Lughat-i Furs, p. 24. '

r,

Browne,

Asjadi's death occurred about

for brief

17

likewise citations, pp. 197, 339, 438. 2

style

by him were

there are also two stanzas

by Shams ibn

(in Gibh

cf.

In

A

.

p. 47.

p. 44,

1.

23.

Also for

some of hLs fragments see Aufi, 2. 5053, and note that Asjadi is quoted more than fifty times in Asadi's


:

;

:

THE ROUND TABLE OF MAHMUD OF GHAZNAH

80

have

to

indulged It

effects.

in

artificial

was regarded

and rhetorical

devices

in Persian poetry, for example,

as a beauty and not as a defect to repeat the

two or three

or radical verses

Asjadi does this in four

times.

which are not easy

same word

to render

THE WEEPING LOVER Tear-drops, a-dripping, from

my

eyes I shed,

Like the cloud, or like the murmuring, murmuring stream

These drops the dripping rain have far outsped.

These murmurs

like

my

sad heart's murmurings seem.^

In a somewhat fanciful manner he says that, for weal or woe, he has

bums with

become a Zoroastrian, because

love like the flame of a fire-temple, and his

bloodshot eyes stream like a wine press

may

it

his heart

be noted, had no

scruples

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Magians,

about

making or

drinking wine.^

Among

be cited in this connection a quatrain which Asjadi's having

of

was

may

the stray bits of Asjadi's song, however,

red, but as

tells

looked upon the wine cup

the tale

when

it

having repented ASJADI THE PENITENT

Of wine and praise of wine I do repent. Of lovely maids, fair chins with silver blent. Lip-penitence Heart lusting still for sin !

God, such penitence thou dost resent Lughatri Furs

(cf . ed.

among them a couple quatrain form 1

For text

(cf. fols.

see

of r,

!

stanzas in

the original the repetition (five times each) of katrah, drop,' and khlrah,

33).

'idle

Horn, 8

!

^

p. 24),

Shams ad-Din Mu-

hammad ibn Kais ar-Razi, al-Mu'jam fiMa'dylriAsh^dri 'i-'JJam (ed. Mirza Muhammad, in Gibb Mem. Series 10), Observe in p. 316, London, 1909.

'

murmuring'

;

and consult

Horn, Gesch. Pers. LitL, p. 2 cf Horn, op. cit. p. 80 .

;

above, pp. 34, 39, 52 n. 1, 62. ' Text, Daulatshah, p. 47

Browne,

2. 123.

also

64.

;

and see cf.

also


STANZAS BY ASJADI As

this quatrain

was

been sighs and there

throng of courtiers lips,

ever,

there

was

courtiers,

;

recited

in

and pages

been whispers among the a madrigal

salvos.

Asjadi's voice

;

may have

by Asjadi, there

may have yet when

must have been

81

No

fell

from

his

tone heroic, how-

and the king, grandees,

alike, stood listening

till

a Firdausi

should arise and sing in strains of rhapsody an epic for all time.


CHAPTER

VIII

AND THE GREAT PERSIAN

FIRDAUSI,

(About 935-1025 '

EPIC

A. D.)

Shapes of epic grandeur are stationed around me.' Keats, Letters.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The the

trumpet's blare resounds, the din of battle

fills

and the verse rings with the valorous deeds of

au*,

heroes and the proud triumphs of long lines

Persia's

Great Epic

Epic poetry has come into

of ancient kings.

being through the clarion voice of Fkdausi to give expression to the inherited pride of the nation in her glory

before

the Arab

recalls

to

the

Conquest.

memory

pristine fame, the

If

is

it

epic

poetry that

a folk the greatness of

of

Shah-namah does

this

its

for Persia as

enters

poem paramount, and Firdausi's masterpiece at the same moment into the list of the great

heroic

poems

its

epic

As already

of the world.

noted, the Arab Conquest

the

Norman Conquest

the

national feeling, but

battle of

much

of

Nahavand meant

England, it

did

of

Persia, like

may have weakened

not destroy

it.^

The

to Iran, in the realm of letters,

the same thing as the battle of Hastings meant to

Britain.

In each case there was born a poet-genius of 1

See above, pp. 12-15.

82


AN EXPRESSION OF NATIONAL FEELING

83

world-wide fame three centuries after the clash of arms

had ceased, though

it

must be emphasized that

Firdausi's

epic talents lay in a realm quite different from Chaucer's story-telling gifts.

A

closer parallel in the

and yet one vastly rhapsodist, Firdausi's icle

of

might

domain

advantage of the Persian

the

to

epic composition,

of

drawn between

easily be

Shah-namah and the rhymed chron-

Layamon's Brut, which recorded

Parallel

in

measured verse the History of the Early Kings of Britain. In both instances the poet-annalist harked back to themes in a national past otherwise long forgotten alike,

though separated from each other

made use

space and time,

ancient days; the

soul

of material

;

both bards

in the

realm of

handed down from

and in each case there was something of the poet commingled with the spirit

of

of

The comparison, however,

the historian and chronicler.

between the sixteen thousand double verses of the Brut,

uncouth in form, and the sixty thousand couplets of the

Shah-namah, polished to the

finest finish,

be overdrawn; nevertheless there would to add that

if

the British bard

from the vocabulary

of

was chary

might still

easily

be room

in using

words

the Norman-French conquerors,

the Persian rhapsodist was equally careful in avoiding, as far as possible, linguistic borrowings

of *

the Arab

victors.

from the speech

Firdausi might justly be called

a well of Persian undefiled.'

1 Yet on this entire question of employing Arabic words compare

Noldeke, Bos iranische Nationalepos,

^

in

Grundr.

Browne,

2. 149 n. 4, p.

150

Lit. Hist. 2. 145-146.

;

and


AND THE GREAT PERSIAN EPIC

FIRDAUSI,

84

As has been sents

cresting

the

Homer

of

Iran repre-

wave

of

patriotism.

the national

of

He was

Dakiki as Forerunner

the successor of

the gifted Dakiki,

^^^^ youthful herald whose tragic death

at the very fruits

first

seen already, this

moment when he was about of the

victory

epic

came

to proclaim the

whose triumph

in

he

himself was not to share.

The nation had been waiting was

ripe, the

path was

935 ^

member

Iranian stock and a

proprietors in Khurasan,

epic bard

;

the time

Northeastern Persia, about

in

(possibly five

j^

an

Firdausi seized the chance.

clear.

Born at Tus,

Inspiration for Firdausi

for

of the

whom

years earlier) of old

Dihkan

the

landed

class of

Arab Conquest had

not effectually displaced, and in whose families were preserved the oldtime legends and historic traditions of Iran,

Firdausi possessed an inherited aptitude for the theme.

His poetic talents and his enthusiastic zeal for the task qualified

him

alike.

Antiquarian sufficient

materials,

moreover, were

available

in

measure for the genius that could recognize their

national worth.

Chronicle-histories

of

Persian

Sources for ^^^

Media and Persia had been kept from the earliest times,

if

we may judge from

state-

ments in the Greek writers Herodotus, Ktesias, and Agathias, the

Armenian Moses

biblical authority of the

Book

Khorene, and from the

of

of Esther.^

that these annals were continued 1

Cf.

Herodotus,

Ktesias, Frag.

p.

Diodorus Siculus,

1.

98 2.

1-5, (ed.

22. 5

;

down

;

2.

27

;

67

;

Agathias,

to the time of the

Moses of Khorene, 2. 4. 30 and Esther, 6. 1 10. 2 see also Xenophon, Cyrop. 1. 2. 1.

214

Gilmore)

95,

seems clear

It

;

;

;

;


'

OTHER SnCRCES FOR THE EPIC later

Sasanian monarchs and must have been accessible

any court antiquarian.

to

85

Tradition makes

certain

it

that a collection from this storehouse, to which the Anglo-

Saxon Chronicle

is

only a remote parallel, was made in

the form of a prose-epic, the Khvatai-namak, or

somewhere about 640

Sovereigns,'

III, the last of the

a.d.

Sasanian Kings.

Book

*

of

under Yazdagard

This epic thesaurus

was gathered together by one Danishvar, a member the dihJidn class of landed gentry,

it

interested in

Traces of the work have

the past records of his country.

been preserved, and

who was

of

must have been known

in the

tenth century, Dakiki's time, and surely served Firdausi,

however directly or

indu-ectly, as a source for his

famous

Shah-namah.

own ambition were

Dakiki's death and Firdausi' s

sparks that kindled the epic

We

can imagine *

fire

in

the Bard

quickened pulse-beat ^ ^

the

with which Firdausi saw in a dream

'

that

of

the Tus.

Firdausi'3

Dream

of

youth, Dakiki, of fair speech and of brilliant mind,' as he calls him, in a vision

when

his

and gave him the

dead predecessor appeared

inspiration that led

seek for a copy of that ancient chronicle-book.

own words

best tell the tale of

in its spectral apparition.,

here somewhat freely

meant

what the

him

Firdausi's

poet's shade,

to him, so I versify

them

:

My heart

was fired, as from his sight it turned Towards the world's Sovereign Throne, and inly yearned, May I lay hand upon that book some day

'

And

tell,

in

my own

words, that ancient lay

to

!


;

FIRDAUSI,

86

'

AND THE GREAT PERSIAN EPIC whom

Countless the persons

As

;

I

sought for aid,

I of fleeting time was sore afraid

Lest I in turn not long enough should

But

to another's

Nay more

hand the task must

lest that

my

live,

give.

means should

ne'er suffice,

For such a work there was no buyer's price

The age forsooth was

filled

A

was

straitened world

Some time Yet

my

of

it

in that condition did I live,

secret not a

Finding no person who

Nor

me with

act for

By

with wars of greed,

for those in need.

word did

my

give.

aims would share,

friendly patron care.

hap, a friend beloved at Tus I had

Thou would'st have said Two souls To me he spake, Good is thy whole '

'

Thy

foot toward fortune

now

That book, which written I'll

get for thee

Thine

To

is

tell

;

is

is

.

.

.

;

in one skin clad

!

project,

turned direct

in Pahlavi,

but slack thou must not be

the gift of speech, and youth

the tale of champions' deeds

is

— in

Do thou the Kingly Book anew relate And seek through it renown among the

;

thine fine,

great.'

When he at last that book before me laid He made ablaze with light my soul of shade

^ !

Without doubt, Firdausi had actually made long and conscientious preparation for his special task of rehabilitatFirdausi's Qualifications

i^g ^^^ national epos of his people, equipping i^ijjiself

by researches into the Pahlavi, or

Middle Persian, sources from which he could draw material

That he had a scholarly

for his long chronicle-poem. 1

Cf. Vullers, 1. 9

Mohl,

same

;

Pizzi,

1.112;

12; Warner, 1. 109. In the connection see furthermore

1.

Vullers-Landauer, 4.

287;

76-77.

Warner,

3. 5.

cf. tr. Mohl, 30-31; Pizzi, 5.

1495;


FlRDAUSrS YEARS OF PREPARATION

87

acquaintance with Arabic, despite his natural avoidance of that idiom in a Persian epic,

shown by

is

emplo}Tiient of occasional Arabic words

when they

could

Regarding his masterly con-

not absolutely be avoided. trol of Persian as

his accurate

comment need

a poet, no

the dignity of his style throughout

is

be

made

;

and

harmonious with

his heroic theme.

From

may

infer that Firdausi

was approximately

(about the year 974 a.d.) real

Shah-namah

incidental allusions in the

when he made

forty years old

the

was married and that he had had two children son,

whose death he mourned

other a daughter,

who

Career

that he

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the one a

in touching strains; the

survived him. For nearly twenty-five

home

years Firdausi appears to have labored at his

upon the cherished theme

of his

was doubtless then the cause the court of

Earlier

From poem we know

beginning of his monumental work.

other personal references in the

we

itself

Mahmud

of

in

Tus

His growing fame

life.

of his seeking preferment at

Ghaznah, where he found a

sovereign-patron that shed munificent favor so great at

the outset as to win from the poet a fervid eulogy of praise only to be later revoked.

form

still

The poem

commemorates the glory

of

in its final

Mahmud's name,

but the scathing satire from the pen of the bard,

dis-

abused of his hopes, as mentioned below, remains a lasting

stigma on the ruler's fame.^

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the story old general setting â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that Firdausi

Tradition narrates true in its 1

See Jackson,

is

and probably

first

From

Constantinople to the

Home

of

approached

Omar Khayyam,

p. 281.


:

FIRDAUSI,

88

AND THE GREAT PERSIAN EPIC

Mahmud's Round Table

moment when

of court poets at a

The same

they were engaged in poetic composition. T

.

X

.•

X

Introduction at

Mahmud's

names

tradition ° sives the

minstrels

as

Unsuri, Asjadi, and Farrukhi.

may have

It

of the three chief

been natural for them not to

wish to admit an outsider into their favored all events,

their

At

circle.

the anecdote recounts that, to put to shame

unwelcome

intruder, they bade

him stand

the test of

matching one of the hardest rhymes in Persian poetry.

The words were

ruslian,

and jushan, ^ cuirass

'

month, and

twelfth,

'

bright,' gulshan,

— rhymes

as hard to

in

silver

'

rose-garden,'

mate as window,

English.

Firdausi,

they

thought, would not be able to complete the fourth line

with any rhyme at liness of *

all.

So Unsuri, in praise of the love-

a fair maiden, began

Thy

visage the light of the

Farrukhi matched this with '

No

moon doth

surpass.'

rose in the garth hath thy cheek's bloom, sweet lass.'

Asjadi continued by another puzzling catchword, '

Thine eyelashes pierce like a lance through

Firdausi instantly caught up the *

The

As

Giv's spear in combat did

rhyme

Pushan

cuirass.'

harass.'

*

readiness of the response and the interesting his-

torical allusion to Giv,

which was unknown

to the coterie,

together with Firdausi's quickness as he proceeded in perfect verse to tell the story of the eventful battle

the two heroes, Pushan and Giv, 1

For references in

detail see Jackson,

whom

From

between

he had thus men-

Constantinople, 't^^. 281-282, n.

2.


AT THE COURT OF

FIRDAl'SI tioned, immediately

won

and impressed by

Firdausi's poetic grace,

personality,

his

89

applause and generous admira-

Charmed by

tion fi-om the three.

M AH MUD

and learning,

gifts,

Unsm-i, Farrukhi, and Asjadi recognized him unhesitatingly as their compeer, or as their superior, and proceeded

advance him in every

to

If the story

way

in favor with the Sultan,

be true, such an example of disinterested-

ness would not be easy to parallel in the East nor could

be readily matched in the West.

it

Unfortunately this

story, although written in very choice Persian,

often regarded as mere fiction. detail should be emphasized)

it

now

is

Nevertheless (and this

conveys some idea of the

general estimation in which Firdausi's genius was held at least

by

Among other Mahmud had praised

tradition.^

one that

is

current tales, moreover, the newly-arrived bard

from Tus by saying that he had, through the Court into a

assumed

*

Paradise'

(Firdaiis),

this appellation as his poetic

his verses, turned

whence Firdausi

name

;

but other ex-

planations are possible.^ It

is

laureate court,

pieces

known

well

title,

that this poet,

lived long

more than worthy

in the sunshine of

who promised him a thousand for

each thousand lines

composition.

Sultan

Mahmud's

of

his

of a

Mahmud's

gold The

Years at

epic

^^""^

liberality

called

forth

from Firdausi the splendid panegyric, already mentioned, 1 See my article on Firdausi in Warner, The World's Best Literature, 10. 5735-5739, New York, 1917, and

ideas in the present chapter.

From Constantinople, pp. 281-282. From both of these works I have re-

2 gee Khvandamir, tr. Elliot and Dowson, History of India, i. 191 a.nd cf Browne, Lit. Hist. 2. 138, n. 3, 139 in which connection see footnote in my

peated in part some

From

also

paragraphs or

;

.

;

Constantinople, p. 284, n.

2.


FIRDAUSI,

90

AND THE GREAT PERSIAN EPIC

that was only to be eclipsed, years later, by the sav-

and scathing

ageness

which

the

poet

in

old

age poured out against his niggard patron when

dis-

satire,

appointed of the promised reward that was to crown his work.

Tradition recounts that Firdausi was a septuagenarian

when

the last line

of

the

60,000 couplets that

make

up the Shah-namah was completed, and the T^oysil

pieted; dis-

appointed

reward for his

life's

labor became due.

g^^ jealousy and intrigue against him had not been idle during his long residence at

Mahmud was

Instead of the promised gold,

court.

duced to send him 60,000 dirhams in is

said to

silver.

Firdausi

have been in the bath when the elephant

On

with the money-bags arrived. ception the

injured

in-

laden.

discovering the

de-

poet rejected the gift with scorn,

divided the silver into three portions, presenting one of

them

to the bath-steward, another to the elephant-driver,

while he

bestowed the

brought him a glass of the

venom

last

upon an attendant who

He

cordial.

famous

of his spleen in the

as immortal as the epic

itself,

born origin up to eternal

then gave vent to satire,

which

is

holding Mahmud's slave-

scorn.

The angry monarch

ordered that the poet should be crushed to death beneath the foot of his life

by

in poverty

an elephant, but Firdausi managed to save

fleeing

and

from the

city,

only to become an exile

dire distress.

For ten years the aged singer was a wanderer, though he ultimately found, in Tabaristan, a princely patron,


!Ji*^»Ji'*'t'i!A^

Tin; IJkux.k

(»\i:ii

the Ka.shaf IIivku at Tcs

(From a photograph by the author)

w

-

•'"?^'

Ruined Walls of Tus at the Site of the Former Rudkar

Gate (From a photograph by [

Til

face page

i)U]

the author)


FIRDAVSrS DISAPPOINTMENT AND DEATH

who sought

to

him with the unappreciative

reconcile

Owing

lord of Ghaznah.

91

to this prince's favor,

it is

said,

he was induced to expunge the biting lines written in

Malimud, though they

derision of

many

on as a stigma in

Shah-namah

To

his

fame

on

*

pirdausi in

^'^^*

of that despotic,

new benefactor

though

at the Tabaristan

court, Firdausi dedicated the long romantic in his old age,

live

manuscripts of the

to tarnish the

great, ruler.

still

poem, composed

Yusuf and Zulaikha,' or the love of

Potiphar's wife for Joseph

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an acknowledged masterpiece

in the realm of versified romance. last days, for

he was now advanced to

his ninetieth year, the longing

seems to have come upon

In the bard's

him

to return to his old

home

there he died of a broken heart,

at Tus, it is

and

said,

on

The Bards ^*^^ ^^^^

hearing a child in the market-place repeating verses from his terrible satire.

An

old-time tradition relates that

Mahmud had mean-

while relented of his anger, and had despatched to the city of

to

Tus a magnificent caravan, bearing

the aged

poet gifts fully equivalent to

Mahmud Relents

the gold pieces of which he had been disappointed, and

bestowing upon him a robe of fame.

But

all

too late.

The

honor worthy of his

treasiu-e-laden camel train,

having crossed the Kashaf River at Tus, entered the city gate just as the funeral procession was conducting the

dead poet's body to the grave.

was about the year 1025

The date

a.d., or,

reckoning, the year 1020 a.d.

;

and

of

his

death

according to another his

body was interred


;

AND THE GREAT PERSIAN EPIC

FIRDAUSI,

92

though the

at Tus,

can no longer be Fame his

precise spot

which was

his burial place

identified.^

Though nearly a thousand years have passed since Firdausi's death, his name still lives

His Lasting

and

;

fame

Firdausi himself, even in the de

will last.

profundis moments of darkest despondency, rises to the heights of exultation in a personal passage in the great epic

when he exclaims

in a vaunt, proud as the boast of

Horace,

From poesy I've raised a tower high, Which neither wind nor rain can ever harm Over

this

And he

work the years shall come and go, that wisdom hath shall learn its charm

and again, with assurance the famous

poem with I shall live

Sown 1

See

Jackson,

nople to the

Rome

of

the verse

on

;

closes

:

the seeds of words have I

broadcast, and I shall not wholly die.^

From ConstantiOmar KJiayyam,

of pp. 284-285, 290-292.

undying renown, he

2

gee

Jackson,

nople, p. 293.

From

Constanti-


CHAPTER IX THE SHAH-NAMAH SOME SELECTIONS TRANSLATED '

The briefest

As

story of

full of

valour as of royal blood.'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SiiAKEsrEARE,

the

Bichatd the Second,

5. 5.

112.

Shah-namah may be described

in

terms as the chronicle history of Iran from the

age of the mythical ruler Kaiumars, or Gayumart,

whom

down

to the death of the last Sasanian king,

tradition places about

3600

B.C.,

of the

the historic Yazdagard III, in 651 a.d., and the events

accompanying the

fall

Arab

of the empire through the

Conquest.

The argument,

if

we

so

may term

with a poetic picture of the

rise of

in legendary antiquity, followed

the reign of

Babylon

the Iranian empire

by the golden age during

King Jamshid, succeeded by a thousand

years of foreign of

of the epic begins

it,

rule under Zahak, typifying the

for centuries

over Iran,

yoke of Semitic tyranny could at

be thrown

the renowned Faridun of fabled fame.

Turan and Iran next strife

the

and bloody

poem

of the

tells,

fill

sway

that usurping

till

last

cruel

off

by

Wars between

the scene as the result of civil

fratricide until, in

Minucliihr's reign,

how

the love

Rudabah gave

birth to

in a long romantic episode,

valiant Zal for the fair 93


THE SHAH-NAMAH

94

Rustam, the great hero of the

herculean labors, and signal triumphs

exploits,

them

Rustam's martial

epic.

combat

being, alas, the tragic slaying in single

Suhrab, his

own

son,

whom

(one of of

he did not recognize) occupy

a large part of the poem.

The majesty

of the

Kaianian

king after king

rulers,

and event following event, forms the burden

of the epic

song in chronicle order down to the time when Alexander the

The sway

Great invaded Iran.

Arsacids, however,

dred years,

is

Parthian

the

followed with a rule of five hun-

crowded into a period of quarter that length

of time (owing to to a

who

of

an established

tradition),

minor section as compared with the

and reduced rest

of

the

poem.

Yet poesy and history join hand in hand, cant grasp, rule, or

when

in fairly signifi-

Firdausi reaches the era of the Sasanian

from about 226

650 a.d.

to

It

may

furthermore

be added that throughout his whole work Firdausi deals

with his subject as a poetic chronicler and not as a cold historian

;

but he has succeeded withal in giving a certain

unity of purpose to his long sight the

aim which he had

poem by keeping

in view,

ever in

which was to exalt

the fallen glory of Iran.

There are translations of the Shah-namah into English, French, Italian, and (incomplete) into German.

They

are

referred to in the Bibliography at the beginning of this

volume, the best English translation being that by Arthur G. and

Edmond Warner.

I

have nevertheless ventured to

add here some translations which I have made of several


SURVEY OF THE EPIC selections,

the

first

95

excerpt being rendered into rhyme,

with a rhythm modelled somewhat after the mutakarib

;

the other three are in blank verse, which latter form I

have chosen also for the famous episode of Suhrab and

Rustam.


;

;

;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

96

KING JAMSHID OF THE GOLDEN AGE who was a

(This monarch,

pioneer in civilization,

is

supposed to have Uved

about 3000 b.c, and legend assigns to him a fabulous reign of seven hundred years.

sent

made

In translating the present selection an attempt has been

somewhat the rhythm and the rhyme

Then Jamshid,

to repre-

of the original Persian. )i

the scion of glorious line,

"With girt loins and full of his father's design, Ascended the radiant throne in his stead. In the manner of kings, a gold crown on his head. With glory majestic his form was bedight, The world, end to end, then conceded his right

The times ceased from tumult throughout

the whole land,

command

E'en Demons, Birds, Peris, obeyed his

!

Prosperity waxed in the world through his lead,

And

the throne of the kings became glorious indeed.

Quoth he, The office The hand

'

am

I

of

graced with the Glory Divine,

king and of priest

of the

wicked

I'll

Their souls toward the light

To

And

the

Through

And

making

skill of his

steel into

As mail and By the light For

He

combine

cut short from sin. it is I

weapons he

that shall win.

first

turned his hand,

portals, as heroes

demand.

majesty, iron he melted

helm, plate, and corselet he smelted.

cuirass or as trappings for steeds of his genius he 'complished these deeds.

years in this

fifty full

And

of

opened Fame's

I

manner he wrought,

treasures of that kind together he brought.

next worked on vestments,

That the Of linen,

folk

full fifty years

might have robes for the

silk, hair,

and

of soft floss he

more.

feast as for war.

made

Rich raiment, and also of fur and brocade. 1

Text, Vullers,

1.

23-26 1.

;

cf. tr.

137-141;

Mohl, 1. 33-37 Warner, cf. Rogers, p. 16 f. ;

1.

131-134

;

Pizzi,


;

;

;;

;;

KING JAMSHID AND THE GULDEN AGE Tlie people he taiip^ht botli to spin

And And when

and

to

97

weave,

beam to reeve wash and to sew

woof within warp on the loom's

To

it

was woven to him in detail did he show.

learn this from

A new plan he made when all this he had done So glad was the time and such joy he had won. A gathering from every profession he drew, And

spent in this

The

class of the Priests,

Who

way

a half cycle anew.

who

are worshipers deemed,

He now

set apart

from the

as clerics are

by a right

of

known their own

rest of the throng,

Assigned them the hill-tops for worship in song

Devotion and praise

Enwrapt

To

it is

theirs to combine,

in the glorious Presence Divine.

the next of the classes he then turned aside,

The Warrior Caste's name to them is applied. Whenever these lion-knights join in the fight. The army and realm gain in glorious light

To them

And The

it is

owing the king holds

the valorous

name

his throne,

of the country is

third class as Tillers of soil

known.

you may know

Obligation to no one they anywhere owe.

They

plant and they

and the harvest they rear no censure they hear. They brook no command, though in rags they be dressed. Nor by sound of complaint is their ear e'er distressed

And when men

till,

eat their products,

Exempt through their tilling the face of the ground. Exempt from all censure and talk that goes round. Dost know the quaint saw that the wise spokesman gave ? 'Tis idleness maketh the free man a slave.'

*

To

the fourth class the Artisan

Their hands they

all use,

and

name

is

their skill

applied is

;

their pride.


; ;

;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

98

And what

though a trade their

sole calling

Their heart from concern never wholly

may

be,

is free.

way another half century he spent, And benefits many to mankind thus lent. His own proper place through him each man attained To each one he showed how the path could be gained, So that each one his own fitting station might see And should know more or less what behooved his degree. In this

;

He ordered the Div-fiends To mix up with water the

of uncleanly birth

clay of the earth.

Then the crude mass, as soon as to shape it they knew. With skill into light moulded brick-forms they threw. With mortar and stone the foundations they raised. By architect's science the work was appraised. Hot baths thus were builded and palaces high,

And

halls of retreat

where from danger

to fly.

The rocks he searched next for their jewels so bright, And many the number his search brought to light There were jewels of all kinds that came to his hold. Such

as rubies, carnelian, with silver

and gold.

All these from the stones he by magic art drew,

As

the key for each separate mystery he knew.

Next perfumes

Which

delicious 'twas his to invent,

pleasure for mortals impart

by

their scent

Like balsam and camphor and musk of the deer,

Like

aloes,

and amber, and rosewater

clear.

Then leechcraft and healing for every known pain, The way to 'scape ills and sound health to regain

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

These secrets from hiding he

No

searcher like

all

did unfold

him hath on earth

e'er

been

told.


;

KIS'G JAMSlllI)

Anon on

And

;

;

A\D THE GOLDEN AGE

99

the sea in a ship he did toss,

swift from one hind to another did cross.

In manner like Naught else by

that, tifty years did pass still

this

time he saw hid from his

skill.

And when, by himself, all these deeds he had done, No mortal he saw saving himself alone And since through his skill all such things did transpire. He planted his foot to ascend a step higher. Yea, a glorious throne, sovran-worthy, he made, Incrusted with gems and with jewels inlaid.

The Divs

at his bidding did raise

it

on high.

Aloft from the plain far up into the sky,

In mid-air

it

shone like the glistening sun.

The king gave his edicts when seated thereon. The whole world assembled his bright throne around

And

;

stood at his glorious lot in astound.

While jewels on Jamshid were scattered and thrown

;

The day ever since has as New Year's been known, The first of God's New Year, the month Farvadin, '

'

Each man freed from toiling, each heart from chagrin. The grandees in gladness a feast did array. They called for the wine cup and minstrels to play

And

hence doth that glorious fete ever stand

To keep up

the fame of that sovereign so grand.


;

;

THE SHAH-NAMAH

100

THE HOSTS OF IRAN AND TURAN ENGAGE BATTLE

IN

(The inveterate warfare which raged between Iran and Turan grew out of the fratricidal strife between the famous Faridun's three sons, Iraj, Tur, and Salm, among whom respectively he had divided the kingdoms of Persia, Turan,

and China. The youthful Iraj, lord of Iran, was treacherously murdered by his two brothers but his son, Prince Minuchihr, became the avenger and led the Iranian hosts to battle and victory over the Turanians. This was the beginning of the continuous series of conflicts between these two countries, which forms the burden of a large part of the Shah-namah. The opening engagement, when the avenging Minuchihr gives the signal for battle, and victory lights ;

upon the standards

of Iran, is thus described in heroic verse.)

When dawn

i

burst forth from out the eastern sky,

Rending apart the darkness

of the night,

Prince Minuchihr advanced out from the ranks,

and Ruman casque.

Wearing

his corselet, sword,

A shout,

with one accord, the army raised.

Their lances lifted upward toward the clouds,

Heads

full of

wrath, brows knit with vengeful frowns

They plowed the very face of earth amain. The king arrayed his troops, as fits a host, and center, and the army's flanks. The earth became like ship upon the main. Thou might'st have said it was about to sink. Left, right,

The sign he gave, on his huge elephant. Then 'gan the ground to heave like azure sea The drummers marched before the elephants With din and roar like lions in a rage, The clarions and the trumpets sounded loud As though a festival were taking place. Both hosts advanced

A battle-cry rang 1

Text, Vuller-s,

1.

like

mountains from their base,

out on either side

109, 112

;

cf.

tr.

220, 221; Pizzi,

Mohl, 1.

1.

;

143-144, 146

273-274, 278.

;

Warner,

1.

219-


l\\i;i!>i \'s

(From

(ri;ii:i-

at the

Murder OF

HIS

Son

Ika.i

the Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts in the Metropolitan

Maseum \_To face

page 100]

of Art,

New York)


IRAN AND TURAN IN COMBAT

101

The plain became as 'twere a sanguine sea, Thou 'dst said that blood-red tulips sprang from

earth.

In streams of gore the elephants stood, knee-deep,

Mounted as 'twere on coral pedestals The air was clogged with fog from the horsemen's ;

.

.

.

dust,

Like lightning flashed their gleaming swords of steel, Thou might'st have thought the sky was all ablaze,

So shone earth's surface diamond-like with tlame.


;

THE SHAH-NAMAH

102

THE HERO SAM SLAYS A DRAGON (The warrior Sam, ancestor of Rustam, is one of the heroes of the poem. his deeds of prowess was the slaying of a dragon which had devastated

Among

The description of this Geste is somewhat fantastic in its hyperbole, not without parallel in medieval Western romance or even in our oldest

the earth.

but

is

English epic, which

When

tells of

the fire-breathing dragon which Beowulf slew. )

i

out from Kashaf's stream the dragon came

Lashing,

it

the whole world like to foam

^ ;

seemed stretched on earth from town

Its length

Its bulk

made

from

hill to hill

seemed

to town,

in expanse.

All hearts with panic were aghast at

it.

Keeping watch day and night continuously. Even the sky became bereft of birds,

The face of earth entire deprived of beasts The very vulture's wings singed by its blast, The world ascorch did with its venom blaze. drew from out the stream And eagles swift of wing from out the sky The earth, of man and moving thing was reft, The whole world yielded to it room and space. Fierce crocodiles

it

;

saw no human being left, Able to dare with it in hand combat, I, trusting God, the World-protector pure, Cast from my inmost heart each spark of fear. My loins I girt in name of God Most High, Mounting my steed, whose size was mammoth-like.

Then when

I

Ox-headed mace upon my saddle-cross, Bow on mine arm, my hauberk on my neck. 1

Text, Vullers,

Mohl,

1.

243-246

297; Pizzi, 63.

1.

;

1.

194-196

Warner,

;

1.

of. tr.

296-

399-401; Atkinson,

p.

2

The

river

Kashaf flowed by the home.

city of Tus, Firdausi's


;

:

;

;

103

THE HERO SAM SLAYS A DRAGON Forward

like furious crocodile

1

rushed,

breath he with sharp tlaming I with keen grasp, farewell. me a last All they that saw, bade mace I drew. dragon-monster As Vainst the mountain huge. a 'twere as 1 rerched it, -saw was dragging on the earth ; Its coil-like hair

an ebon tree, swarthy tongue looked like barred the path. yawning, wide Its gnashing jaws, were eyeballs Two pools of blood its gleaming furious sprang it roared, and

Its

I

At It

sight of

seemed

me

to me,

O thou

that hearest this.

frame.

As though it fire bore within its beneath my The ground seethed like a sea in smoke Or floated like a sombre cloud

eyes

of earth, Aghast was, at its roar, the face China's sea. The world empoisoned was, like

shout.

Then lion-like, I raised a fearful heart. As it behooveth man of valiant bow my on set forthwith an arrow

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; point was diamond It was a shaft whose

And

And

jaws amain. tongue within that awful mouth.

shot the arrow

Pinning

its

down

its

tongue outside yet remained a part of its stroke. that Beyond the cloven jaws after

And

shaft, throat I launched a second with pain writhed creature Whereat the horrid

Into

its

Then shot a third into its maw baneful spleen. The dragon's life gushed from its for my rage, But earth had grown too narrow adown.

-

bull-headed mace the Universe) (With strength from God, Lord of towards it, apace Spurring my mammoth steed

In wrath I drew

my famed


;

THE SHAH-NAMAH

104

And

smote with bull-topped mace the dragon's head,

(Thou

'Idst

say the sky a mountain had poured

Like a

mad

elephant

Venom

its

streamed over

It ne'er recovered

The ground

down

skull I crushed,

all,

like the

more from

my

River Nile.

blow's force

;

huge brain, was churned

rose mountain-like with its

While Kashaf's stream

Then peace and

to bitter bile

rest once

more

to earth returned.

!)


:

''

;

;

COMBAT OF SUHRAB AND RUST AM

105

THE FATAL COMBAT OF SUHRAB AND RUSTAM in which the warrior Rustam unwitcombat, is one of the most famoas epLsodes in the Shah-namah. Parallels in the Old High German epic fragment of Hildebrand and Hadubrand or in the tragic story of CucuUin and Conloch, preserved in the reliques of Irish poetry, are not far to seek. Matthew Arnold, in

(The episode

tingly shiys his

of

Suhrab and Rustam,

own son

in single

English, has modelled his Sohrab and Rustum on the theme, with a free treatment but with poetic art sustained to the tragic close. Blank verse is here '

chosen for

my

'

rendering from the Persian.)

RUSTAM PREPARES FOR THE FRAY AGAINST THE HERO OF TURAnI

1.

Rustam made ready, donned

And

his tiger-mail

girt the royal girdle 'bout his waist.

Vaulting on Rakhsh, his steed, he took the road.

To Zawarah, guard of the throne and host. He said Advance no further step from here Hearken to me rather than to the chiefs :

'

;

I

His gonfalon they bore along with him

Thus marched he

forth, vengeful

and

full of

wrath.

When he saw Suhrab and his neck and arms, And brawny chest like that of warrior Sam, He said to him, Come, let's aside from here. '

Let's to a field of fight outside the lines!

Suhrab clasped hands with him and then withdrew

To

the place of fight far from the serried ranks,

Saying to Rustam,

At

the place apart

On!

'

till

We

!

we

arrive

are the heroes twain

Not one need we from Iran or Turan, Enough that thou and I together fight. Yet on the field there is no room for thee. Not one blow from my fist thou could'st withstand Âť

Text, VuUers,

Mohl,

2.

116-117;

1.

487-489

Warner,

;

2.

cf.

tr.

161-

162 174.

;

Pizzi, 2.

263-266; Rogers,

p.

169-


; ;

;;

!;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

106

Tall though thy stature, stout thy chest and neck,

They

are enfeebled with the weight of years.'

Rustam

Upon

cast glance

upon the champion bold, and stirrups long

his shoulders, arms,

Gently to him he

said,

'

O

gentle youth,

The earth is cold, the air is mild and warm. Though old in years, I've many a combat seen, Many the army I have crushed to earth. Many the demon that my hand hath slain. Nor saw I yet when I have met defeat. Just wait

thou hast seen

till

me on

the field

Should'st thou survive, fear not Leviathan

my

For

seas

The

stars bear witness to

and

hills

^ !

combats have beheld.

my

feats achieved

Against the heroes famed of Turan's host In valor's realm the world Yet, pity

's

in

my

is

'neath

my

feet.

heart for rue of thee,

body I would fain not reave having such neck and arms Stay not with the Turks Thy compeer in Iran I ne'er have known.' Life from thy

When The

parley such from Rustam's lips had come,

heart of Suhrab throbbed, yearning towards him.

Quoth Suhrab, Just one question '

'Tis wholly

fit

I will ask

thou should'st the truth reveal

Thy

lineage

to

me

in all detail,

And

gladden thou

my

heart with thy good word,

tell

For I believe that thou art Rustam, aye, Sprung from the stock of famous Nariman.' Then out spake Rustam Rustam I am not. Nor sprung from stock, line of Sam Nariman :

1

(cf

The Persian word nahang .

Skt.

nihdkd

?)

or nihang

designates

monster of the deep;

it

is

some

generally

'

translated as

'

crocodile, alligator,

'

and

a synonym in the epic for something that is the extreme of ferocity. is


-

;

;

COMBAT OF SUHRAB A\D RUSTAM

A

hero, he

Nor throne

From Dark 2.

;

I his is

inferior

107

am,

mine, nor rank, nor diadem.'

Suhrab's hope came not a joyous ray, turned for him the brilliant light of day.

THE FIGHT BETWEEN SUHRAB AND RUSTAM

hand Forth to the field went Suhrab, lance in tale of his birth.i Still pondering on his mother's

A narrow place And

as field of fight they chose,

with their javelins short

began the attack

;

Nor point, nor joint upon the spears remained. Curb turned to left, they fought with Indian swords,

Pouring forth flame from out the edge of steel The blades by force of blows asplinter were Doom (Such blows might bring to pass the Crack of

Then grasped they each

their clubs of

!)

mighty weight.

smote each other, dealing blow for blow. Broken their maces from the fierce impact

And The

horses staggered, the furious

f

oemen

reeled

fell. Off from the steeds the armored trappings rent. was breast The corselet on each warrior's

Chargers and heroes worn and weak

alike,

No strength in cither's hand or arm remained.^ with dust. Their bodies sweating, mouths filled full burning thirst Their tongues all parched and cracked with all full of wounds the sire. Thus parted they

The son with pain and 1

full of anguish-fire

Suhrab's mother, on his departure the strange story

had told him Rustam was his father, though the sire knew not the truth, because at his birth she had sent the warrior hero word that a daughter was born

for war,

that

taken to him, lest that the child be

from

her.

may bdzu, ht. 'arm, here refer to the foreleg of the steed, AvesUn to carry out the parallel cf. »

Possibly

;

bdzu in Yt.

8.

22

;

Vd.

18. 70.


;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

108

NEXT MORNING THE BATTLE

3.

IS

RENEWED

l

When the sun's brilliant orb its wings had spread And black-plumed raven night its head had bowed, of mighty bulk, his tiger-mail Did don, and climbed his dragon-charger Rakhsh. Between the lines was two leagues' space of ground

Rustam,

Which none dared

tread or enter in the midst.

Suhrab the night had passed with wine and harp Telling his friend Human, in company,

How

sure he felt he had with

And

his misgivings at the

He,

dawn when

too, at

And

Rustam fought. coming fray.^

the bright sun arose

warrior-knights lifted their'

heads from sleep,

Arrayed himself in armor for the fight. His head with combat filled, his heart with mirth. Shouting he came into the battle-plain Wielding in hand a mace with bullock's head.

Of Rustam, then, he asked with smiling lips, (As had the twain the night together passed), '

How

Why

didst thou rest last night is

Throw

?

How

rise

to-day

?

thy heart's design on combat set ? down thy mace ^ fling off thy vengeful sword ;

Cast to the earth this unjust wicked

strife

I

Let us dismount, and down together sit. Making our sad cheeks bright with drafts of wine.

A

covenant in God's sight let us make, heartily repent of seeking war.

And

Let some one of the rest resort to fight, Be reconciled with me and join in feast. 1

tr.

Vullers,

Mohl,

168-171

;

2.

text,

Pizzi, 2.

pp. 178-184.

497-500

1.

12&-130

;

276-281

;

Warner, ;

cf

.

^

cf.

2.

in translating this paragraph sevhave been abridged. So the reading of Ms. P, with gurz,

eral lines

Eogers,

^ '

mace,' instead of

tlr,

'

arrow.'


!;

'

;

COMBAT OF SUHRAB AND RUST AM

My

109

heart for love of thee doth inly yearn

And

bringeth t^ars of shame into

my

face.

Seeing thy birth comes of heroic stock 'Tis

lit

Thy name

Now

make known

that thou

to

me thy line me conceal

thou shouldest not from

that in fight w^ith

me thou

art to join.

Art thou the son of Zal, son of brave Sam, The famous Rustam of Zabulistan ? Rustara replied,

O

'

seeker after fame,

In parley such as this we've ne'er indulged

!

Of wrestling we did speak a word last night make thou no use of them I stand no tricks ;

am

No

child

My

loins I've girt already to

I,

1

though thou thyself art young.

meet the

fray.

Come, let's engage and let the issue be That which the World-protector may ordain I'm well acquaint with pride and with its fall Nor am I man that speaketh guile and fraud.' 1

Suhrab replied

My

counsel

:

'

Old man,

— though

it

In time should'st quit thy

While those thou

A

leav'st

if

were life

thou dost spurn

my

wish that thou

upon thy bed,

behind should for thee make

tomb, thy soulless body to enshrine

Yet,

if

thy

life

within

At God's mandate

Down

I'll

^ ;

my hand take

it

is laid,

from that hand.'

from their battle chargers leapt the twain,

In mail and casque; cautious they made advance;

Each

And

tied his steed of

war

fast to a rock

then came on, ef ch with a troubled soul.

They grappled like two lions in desperate clinch, With sweat and blood in streams their bodies ran >

Literally fardz

u nishlb

is

'

ascent and descent

ment

in life).

'

(i.e.

exaltation

and abase-


;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

110

From dawn until the sun his shadows stretched They strove, in turn, each other to o'ercome. Suhrab attacked as some mad elephant,

And

sprang like roaring lion from his lair, Seized Rustam's girdle-band and tugged amain,

(Thou would'st have said he meant to rend the earth Then raised a cry, with wrath and vengeance filled, As he the lion Rustam dashed to earth.

As

raging elephant then he Rustam grasped.

Raised him aloft and hurled him

Then

sat

upon

his chest of

down

mammoth

again.

size.

His hands and face and mouth covered with dust, E'en as the lion smiteth with his paw

The wild ass, and it straightway meets its death. Then forth his dagger keen of blade he drew. Eager

head from

to cut his foe's

its

trunk.

Which seeing, Rustam lifted his voice and (' The hidden secret must at last come out Speaking to Suhrab, Master of

lasso,

'

said, I

')

Lion-queller bold,

mace, and dagger-thrust.

Our custom different is from that of yours. Our rule ordaineth something else than that. The man who joins in wrestling with his foe. And brings the chieftain's head down to the earth, Planting his shoulders squarely on the ground.

Though wroth takes not his head at the first fall But if he bring him down a second time, Winning by triumph thus the Lion Name,' He then may from its trunk the head cut off: '

Such

By

is

the custom which prevails with us.'

strategy like this he sought escape

From

out the dragon's clutch, and death t'elude.

!)


;

;

COMBAT OF SUHRAD AND RUST AM

111

The brave youth yielded to the old man's plea (Though Rustam's words, in sooth, were not in In part through contidence, in part through

place)

fate,

In part, no doubt, through greatness of his soul.

Suhrab freed Rustam from

Turned 4.

to the

COaiBAT

hand amain,

waste where wild deer scoured the plain.

.

.

.

RENEWED THE NEXT DAY â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SUHRAB WOUNDED TO DEATH ^

Once more

their steeds they tethered ere the fray

(Ill-destined Fate

When

his

was drawing

to its end.

Fortune once doth show malignity,

The flinty rock become th soft as wax !) Then took their grip to wrestle all anew. Each seized the other by the girdle-strap But as for gallant Suhrab, thou'ldst have said High heaven had bound in bonds his strength ;

Rustam

He

of hand.

in rage reached out to clutch his foe,

champion by his head and neck, Bent down the body of the valiant youth. Whose time had come, nor strength in him remained, And like a lion dashed him to the earth. Yet knew he well he would not stay beneath. So, from his belt quick drew his gleaming blade seized the

And

gashed the bosom of his valiant son.

gasped out Suhrab from his soul and writhed; *Ah Nor recked he then of either good or ill. !

'

Vengeance comes on me from myself,' he cried, 'Twas Fate that gave into thy hand the key Of this thou'rt blameless, that the vaulted sky Hath raised me up to cast me down so soon.

'

*

iVullers, text,

Mohl,

2.

1. 502-504; cf. 132-135; Warner,

tr.

2.

172-174;

Pizzi, 2. 284-287;

pp. 184-188.

Rogers,


'

'

THE SHAH-NAMAH

112

My

me with

peers in years will speak of

Because

my

scorn,

neck hath come thus to the dust.

My mother gave me signs to know my sire My love for him hath brought my life to an

;

Ever

I searched that I

'Tis thus I

my

gave

might see

life

end.

his face,

through that desire.

My search, alas! came to no lucky end. My father's countenance I ne'er have seen

1

Yet, shouldest thou become a fish in the sea,

Or Or Or

turn, like night, into the e'en

become

in

heaven

murky

air.

like a star,

blot the brilliant sun out of the world.

Vengeance on thee

When

he shall see

Some one

my father my pillow is

surely take.

'11

of clay

!

renowned warriors Will bring the proof to Rustam and the news " Suhrab's been slain and cast as a vile thing Away, while he was making search for thee " of those

:

!

As Rustam

heard, his brain turned in a whirl,

Darkling the world became before his eyes,

His body

From

and vigor ebbed, and swooned away.

failed, his strength

off his feet

he

fell

When once again back to He asked of Suhrab, with *

Tell

me what marks

(May For

I

deep groan and moan,

Rustam thou dost have,

name perish from the warriors' roll I) am Rustam Perish the name and may his

!

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

!

for

my

death

raised a cry, his blood within

him

seethed.

Zal, son of

He

of

himself he came

Sam,

sit

mourning

I

His hair he tore and uttered moan on moan.

When

Suhrab Rustam saw

His sense took

flight a

in such a state

moment from

his brain.


;

;

'

COMBAT OF sun RAD AND RUST AM Anon he spoke, If thou art Rustam true, Wanton and in bad blood thou hast me shiin thee, In every way I made advance to

,

113

'

But not an atom

Undo

the fastening of

my

corselet

now

my glowing body bare my arm regard — 'twas thme —

look upon

And

The onyx on

And

see

When

My

of thy love did stir.

;

how

a son hath

raised its voice before the gate, (cheeks stained with tears of blood. came

drum

the

mother

his father fared.i

by

Broken her heart because I had to go) And tied this onyx round about my arm. "A keepsake," said she, "from thy sire it is, Guard and preserve it till it comes of use."

And now

the use

is

past, the strife is o'er.

The son hath perished

'neath his father's eyes.'

When Rustam loosed the mail, the onyx saw. He rent the clothes upon his frame, and cried, hand slain, 'Ah! thou, my son, art by mine own Thou

hero, praised in every

company

I

He poured forth tears of blood, tearing his hair. face drenched with tears. Covering his head with dust

To him It

said Suhrab,

naught behooves

What

profit

The deed

is

6.

'

to

That fill

is

worse than bad.

thine eyes with tears

for thee to slay thyself ?

now

done, and done

it

was

to be.'

.

.

^ THE LAST WORDS OF SUHRAB

clamor from the camp arose, Suhrab to mighty Rustam spake once more.

And when a iThe reading

of

Ms.

C

in the translation of these

is

followed

two Unes.

«

Text, Vullers 1 ^05-^)6 cf tr Warner, 2. 176-176 2. 136-137

Mohl,

Pizzi, 2. 288-289.

^

;

.


! ;; ;

;; ;

THE SHAH-NAM AH

114 '

Now

that

my

day

passed away and gone,

is

The Turks' affairs have Do me this act of love ;

ta'en a different see that

hue

your King

Lead not in war his host against Turan. 'Twas but through my support, greedy of war, That towards Iran's frontier they turned their face. For many days I gave them tidings good. In many ways I did their hopes fulfil, How could I know O hero, named to fame That I should perish by my father's hand Not one of them must suffer on the retreat Have thou regard for them with naught save love.

In yonder fort

a captive brave of mine,

is

my noose Him oft I asked some sign for knowing thee — Thy image saw I ever in my eye — I

caught him with the slip-knot of

Yet was his answer everything but that. ('Twas his own fault a high post is unfilled!

)

Hopeless did I become at what he said,

And my Yet

bright day was turned to

see thou

who

of Iran's host he

No harm must come The

signs

my

mother gave

But, though I saw,

My

unto his

I

trusted not

evil fate was written on

That

I

should die by mine

Like lightning came

Happy

1

own

like the

his

in thee,

my

eyes

my brow

in heaven, perchance, I

Thus died Suhrab by

mourned

I,

is,

life for this.^

saw

I

murky gloom.

own

father's

wind

may

I

hand

go

thee

see.'

father's hand,

and Rustam

for his son

and would not be comforted.

A fine touch,

dying appeal to save a captive's

this

life.


THK

])KATI{

(From

OF SUHKAH UV TUK ]IaNI) OF HLS FaTIIKK

the f'ochran Collection of Persian

Museum \_To face paije 114]

of Art,

Itl

STAM

Manuscripts in the Metropolitiiu

New York)


CHAPTER X EPILOGUE '

The

intelligible fonofl of ancient poeta.'

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; CoLxmvQ*, Translation of Wallenstein, The

Part

I, 2.

4. 123.

chapters which have gone before on Early Persian

Poetry cover a long period

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a period

of nearly

sand years from Zoroaster to Firdausi.

song broke forth

first

two thou-

The verse

from Zoroaster's prophetic

of Iran's

lips,

chant-

ing praises divine in ages long before the Christian era.

Echoes of music from the palace halls of the great Persian kings in ancient times and from the courts of the Sasanian rulers,

when

minstrel verses charmed the assemblage on

festive occasions, still

memories

haunt the

ear,

but only as faint

of a by-gone past.

The shouts

of

Arab invaders drowned these

Persia's vanquished heart found

lays until nearly

strains,

no expression

two centuries had passed.

and

in tuneful

In brighter

national days the strings of the silenced lute and harp were

touched once more, and Persia, awakened, again raised voice in song.

A

brief stanza,

heard here or there, an ode,

panegyric, or stray quatrain, told that poetry

The

minstrel's voice rang out anew.

full of Ijrric grace, light-hearted in

tive in thoughtful vein,

its

It

was

was

reborn.

slender, but

buoyant fancy, or

reflec-

keen in S3anpathy for surroundings,

rich in a feeling for nature, and, above 116

all,

ever thoroughly


EPILOGUE

116

These we may count as some of the characteristics

human.

of the bards that sang

down

to the time

when

the epic

rhapsody of Firdausi's verse gave the assurance that Persian poetry was destined to live on. Firdausi was not only great in the heroic strain, but

was a

master likewise in the art of composing lyric and romantic verse, about It

seems

which more may be told at some

fitting,

however, to

manly voice amid the fanfare

let this

volume

later time.

close

with his

of trumpets, the din of battle,

and the martial deeds that ended

in triumph, but in death.

And deep in my heart I cherish the hope that sometime I may touch on that chord of mystic harmony, which long ago and always has thrilled the Persian soul, and that I may likewise revive for strains

Western

ears

some of the

later lyric

and some of the romantic melodies in song which

give to Persian poetry a place literatures of the world.

among

the great poetic


INDEX


INDEX Ahmad Abbas

of Merv, poet (d. 16-17 Abbasid Caliphs, 44 n. 1 Abdullah Muhammad al-Junaidi, poet, 28-29 Abu Ali Khabbaz, poet, 27-28 Abu Ibrahim Ismail, called Muntasir, poet (d. 1005), 54-56 Abu Ishak of Merv, called Kisa'i, see Kisa'i

Abu Abu Abu

Abu Abu Abu

'1-Abbas, poet, 52 n. 3 '1-Fath, poet, 52 n. 3 '1-Hasan or Abu Ishak, called Kisa'i, see Kisa'i '1-Hasan Ali b. llyas al-Aghachi (Aghaji), 29-31 '1-MasaI, poet, 52 n. 3 'l-Muzaflfar, Amir, patron of

Famikhi, 74-78

Abu '1-Muzaffar Nasr, poet, 28 Abu Mansur Muhammad bin Ahmad, poet,

see

Dakiki

Abu Nasr of Gilan, poet, 51-52 Abu Said, mystic poet (967-1049), Umarah of Merv esteemed by, 53 to be discussed in a subsequent

volume, 58

Abu

of Khujistan, king, inspired

by lines of Hanzalah, 18-19 815 or 816), Ahura Mazdah, a Gathic hymn addressed to, 3â&#x20AC;&#x201D;4 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 85 Anushirvan the Just (Khusrau Sasanian ruler, 37 Arab conquest of Persia, 14, 82

I),

Arabic, poems by Bahram Gur in, 10 infusion of, into Persian, 14, 15 Abbas of Merv wrote poetry in, 16 proportion of, in the Persian of

Shukur, 23 n. 3 the poet Junaidi a master of, 28 Rudagi translated his KaUlah and Dimnah from, 37

words avoided by Firdausi,

83,

87

Arjasp, ruler of Turan, in Dakiki's epic fragment, 64 Arnold, Matthew, the story of Suhrab and Rustam treated by, 105 Aruzi, Nizami-i, Samarkandi, on Hanzalah of Badghis, 18 n. 1, 19 n. 1

quoted on Rudagi, 35, 37 mentions poets at the court of Mahmud of Ghaznah, 69 remarks on Unsuri by, 70 account of Famikhi by, 74 n. 1, 78

of Gurgan, poet (9th Asadi, early Persian lexicographer, 20-21 nephew of Firdausi, quotes Abu Shukur of Balkh, poet (fl. 941), lines of Abu Shukur, 23 n. 4, 22-24 24 and n. 2 Abu Tahir of Khatun, quoted by quotes Shahid of Balkh some 32 Daulatshah, 11 times, 26 n. 4 Abu Tahir Khusravani, poet, a quotes 10 single lines by Aghaji, stanza by, 41 n. 3 30 n. 4 general account of, 50-51 quotes Rudagi 161 times, 35 n. 3, Achaemenian times, poetry in, 6-7 38 n. 3 Afarin, a Sasanian poet, 9 n. 1 quotes over 60 verses of Kisa'i, Afarin-namah, lost poem by Abu 46 n. 1 Shukur, 24 n. 2 quotes some 25 single lines by Afghanistan, 15, 45, 48, 67 Khusravani, 50 n. 2 Agathias, Greek writer, 84 quotes 40 single lines by Umarah Aghachi (Aghaji), Abu '1-Hasan Ali of Merv, 53 n. 1 b. llyas al-, poet (10th cent.), quotes Dakiki some 60 times, 62 29-31 n. 3 119

Salik

cent.),


INDEX

120 quotes

Unsuri

more than

100

times, 72 n. 2

quotes Farrukhi some 90 times, 79 n. 1 quotes Asjadi more than 50 times, 79 n. 5 Asjadi, poet (fl. 1025), 79-81 joined with Unsuri and Fairukhi in testing Firdausi, 88 astrologers, declared useless by Khusravani, 50-51 astronomer, Umarah of Merv an, 52 Astyages, songs at the court of, 6 Aufi, biographer (fl. 1225), statement of, regarding Bahram Gur, 10 praises Hanzalah of Badghis, 17 lauds the poems of Firuz alMashriki, 19

comment

of,

on Abu

Gurgan, 20-21

Bahram Gur, Sasanian

ruler (420438), invention of the rhyming couplet ascribed to, 9 said to have been the first to compose Persian verse, 10 Baihaki, al-, records the names of Sasanian poets, 9 n. 1

Balkh,

Abu Shukur

a native

Shahid a native of, 24 Unsuri a native of, 69 Barbad, a Sasanian poet

of,

(fl.

22

600),

12 beast-fables, Indian, 37 Bidpai, Fables of, translated into Persian by Rudagi, 37-38 branding of colts, a poem on, 74-78

Browne, Edward G., view

of,

re-

garding Kisa'i's old age, 50 n. 1 translation by, of a poem of Salik of Mantiki of Rai, 57 Bukhara, city, the home of numerKhabbaz ous poets, 29 a famous ode by Rudagi on,

a tradition regarding quoted from, 27 statement of, regarding Junaidi, 35-36 28 n. 3 the poet Ma'navi a native of, comment of, on Aghachi, 29 n. 2 52 n. 3 statements of, regarding Rudagi, the poet Muntasir a prince of, 54 33, 35 Avieenna (Ibn Sina) born near, 57 fragments of Kisa'i's poetry preDakiki possibly a native of, 59 served by, 46 n. 1 Asjadi possibly a native of, 79 statement of, regarding Kisa'i, 49 Buwaihid princes, poetry under the, snatches of Umarah's poems pre15, 56 served by, 53 C traditions regarding Muntasir related by, 54 n. 4, 55 Avesta, poetry in the, 2-6 a Gatha passage (Ys. 44. 3-5)

Caliphate at Bagdad, decline of the, 15 Chares of Mytilene, mentions the love-tale of Zariadres and Odatis, 7

from the, 3-4 a Yasht passage (Yt. 10. 13-14) chronicles, ancient, from the, 5-6 Persia, 84 Avieenna (Ibn Sina), refused to grace the court of

Mahmud

of

Cowell,

Edward

of

Media and

Byles, version of a

poem of Rudagi by, 39 Ghaznah, 57 found a patron in the Ziyarid CuculUn and Conloch, the Irish story of, a parallel to the prince Kabus, 57 episode of Suhrab and Rustam, tomb of, still preserved at Ra105 madan, 57 to be discussed in a subsequent Cynewulf, Anglo-Saxon poet, 42 volume, 58 Ayaz, favorite of

Mahmud of

Ghaz-

nah, 71

Azud ad-Daulah

of

Dailam, 11

Badghis, a district northwest of Herat, 17 n. 3 the poet Hanzalah a native of, 17 Bahlabad (Barbad), a Sasanian poet (fl. 600), 12

D Dakiki, poet (10th cent.), praised his contemporary Aghachi, 29 general account of, 59-65 stanzas by, translated, 60, 61, 62,

63 an epic fragment by, incorporated in the Shah-namah, 63-64 as forerunner of Firdausi, 65, 84 Firdausi's dream of, 85


IS'DEX Danish var, author

of a Sasanian prose epic, the Khvatai-naniak,

85 Darmesteter, James, quoted on Shahid of Balkh, 25 n. 2 explanation by, of a phrase in a poem by Ruda^, 43 n. 2 quoted in praise of Kisa'i, 48 comment of, on a poem of Dakiki, 6:i

Daulatshah,

Persian biographer (15th cent.), tells the story of King Bahram's invention of the rhyming couplet, 9, 10 n. 1 mentions a poetic inscription at Kasr-i Shirin, 11 on poets at the court of Mahmud

121

joined with Asjadi and Unsuri in testing Kirdausi, HH Firdausi. epic poet (c. 935-1025), mentions poets at the court of the legendary king Jamshid, 6 Zarir mentioned in the Shahnamah by, 7 represents Bahram Gur as enjojing poetry, 10 mentions the Sasanian poet Barbad, 12 quotes lines of Khusravani, 51 incorporated Dakiki's epic frag-

ment

in his

eulogy of

Shah-namah, 64

Mahmud

of

Ghaznah

became a,

by, 66, 87 the poet Unsuri praised by, 70 avoidance of Arabic words by, 83 the successor of Dakiki, 84, 85 account of the life of, 84-92 sources drawn on by, for his epio,

46, 50 Dihkan, class of landed proprietors, 84, 85 Dilaram, beloved of King Bahram

Unsuri, Asjadi, and Farrukhi joined in a test of, 88 the famous satire on Mahmud by,

of

Ghaznah, 69

statements 70,

of,

regarding Unsuri,

71-72

dervnsh, Kisa'i in later

life

Gut, 9

Divan

(collection

of

Hanzalah, 18 Shahid of Balkh

poems),

by

84-86

90,91 fame

lasting

the

one

of

earliest poets to leave a,

the

great

of,

92

epic

26 n. 4 Firuz al-Mashriki, 19-20

by Unsuri, still extant, 72 by Farrukhi, still extant, 79 by Asjadi, not current even in the 15th century, 79 dragon, conflict of the hero with a, 102-104

Sam

by,

see

Shah-

namah poet

flowers, Kisa'i 's love of,

(c.

890),

46-47

G Gathas, poetic aspects of the Avestan,

2^

ghazal (ode), translation from a, by Dakiki, 60-61 elegiac poetry, 42^4, 49, 51, 67-68 ghazals, six, ascribed to Mahmud epic, an early type of poetry, 2 of Ghaznah, 67 Dakiki 's fragment of an, 63-65 Ghaznah, city in Afghanistan, 45, the great Persian, see Shah57, 67 namah Ghaznavid princes, poetry under Esther, Book of, 84 the, 15, 48, 52, 56, 66-67, 69 Ethe, H., estimate of Unsuri by, 72 Gilan, the poet Abu Nasr a native evil eye, rue burned to avert the of, 51 influence of the, 18 Giv, hero, mentioned by Firdausi,

E

88 Gulistan, Farala\i, poet, 52 n. 3

beloved of

Mahmud

of

Ghaznah, 67

(HjTcania), Abu Salik a 73-79 native of, 20 a native of Sistan, 73 the poet Zarra'ah a native of, 52 found a patron in Transoxiana, n. 3 74-78 Gushtasp, Kling, hero in a lovecomposed a poem on the branding episode of the Shah-namah, 8

Farrukhi, poet

of colts,

(d.

1037 or 1038), Gurgan

74-78

at the court of nah, 78

Mahmud

n. 1

of

Ghaz-

Dakiki's epic fragment relates

63-64

to,


INDEX

122

H

Khusrau

II (Parviz), Sasanian a couplet ascribed to, 10-11 Hamadan, the a patron of poetry, 12 still preserved at, 57 Khusravani, a Sasanian poet, 9 n. 1 Hanzalah of Badghis, poet (c. 850), Khusravani, Abu Tahir, poet, a 17-19 stanza by, 41 n. 3 Heracleides of Kyme, cited, 8 n. 2 general account of, 50-51 Herat, Asjadi possibly a native of, Khvandamir, historian, on Far79 rukhi and his wealth, 78 n. 2 Herodotus, 84 explains P^'irdausi's name, 89 n. 2 Hildebrandslied, a parallel to the Khvatai-namak, Pahla\a 'Book of episode of Suhrab and Rustam, Sovereigns,' 85 105 Kisa'i, poet (10th cent.), 46-50 humor, Persians have a quaint vein in later life assumed dervish garb, of, 41 46,50

comment on, 48 tomb of Avieenna

ruler,

Hafiz, Darmesteter's

of, for flowers, 46 Darmesteter's comment on, 48 a paneg^Tic on Mahmud of Ghaznah by, 48-^9 wrote despondent verses in old

love

I

Avieenna Ilak Khan, Tatar ruler, the poet Muntasir fled from, 56 Ibn Sina,

see

improvisation, poetic, 71, 73 Iran, warfare between Turan and, 100 Islam, Zoroastrianism replaced by, 14 IsmaU, Sahib, Buwaihid minister, eulogized by Mantiki, 56

age, 49-50 Kitajnin, heroine in a love-episode of the Shah-namah, 8 n. 1 Ktesias, 84

Kuran, Rudagi

in

boyhood knew by

heart the whole, 33

Layamon's Brut, compared with the Shah-namah, 83 Jamshid, King, legend of poetry at love-poems, by Firuz al-Mashriki, 20 the court of, 6 by Abu Sallk of Gurgan, 21 selection from the Shah-namah by Abu Shukur, 23 about, 96-99 by Aghachi, 30 Junaidi, AbduUah Muhammad al-, by Rudagi, 34, 40-41 poet, 28-29 by Kisa'i, 48 by Umarah of Merv, 53

K

Kabus, Zij^arid poems, 57 Kadisia, battle

by Dakiki, 61

prince,

of,

composed

KaUlah and Dimnah, by Rudagi, 37-38, 43 n. 2 Kashaf, river, 91, 102 kasidah, Kisa'i wrote a mournful, 49 Kasr-i Shirin, a couplet inscribed on the palace at, 11

Katabun, heroine in a love-episode of the Shah-namah, 8 n. 1

Khabbaz 953),

of

Nishapur,

poet

(d.

27-28

Khabbaz, Abu

Ali, poet, 27-28 ruins of Kasr-i Shirin near, 11 Kiurasan, scene of literary revival in 9th century, 16

Khanikin,

IQiusrau niler,

I

(Anushirvan), Sasanian

37

M Madharastani, a Sasanian poet, 9 n.

14

Mahmud

of

1

Ghaznah (998-1030), a

panegyric on, by Kisa'i, 48-49 by Umarah of Merv, 52 Avieenna refused to grace the court of, 57 Round Table of poets at the court of, 66-81 himself a poet, 67-69 Unsuri at the court of, 69-73 a panegyric by Unsuri on, 71-72 Farrukhi at the court of, 73, 78 Asjadi at the court of, 79-81 Firdausi at the court of, 87-90 Firdausi's eulogy of, 87, 89-90 Firdausi's scathing satire on, 87, eulogized

90,91 praise of Firdausi by, 89


IXDEX ^Tahmud-i

Varrak,

'book-solU'r,'

'copyist' 19 n. 2

or Nishapur, the poet native of, 27

Maniun, Caliph, lauded in verse by Abhas of Mcrv, lG-17 Ma'navi of Bukhara, poot, 52 n. 3 Mansur I. Samanid ruler, praised by Dakiki in verse, iJO

Man tiki

of Hai, poet,

Maryliu, ancient Ma'rufi. poet, 24

Mashad, ruins

50-57 of Merv, 16

name n.

3

of ancient

Tus

123

near,

26 Merv, ruins

of the ancient city, 16 the last Sasanian king died at, 16 rebirth of Persian poetry at, 16 the birthplace of Abbas of Merv, 16 Kisa'i a native of, 46 the poet Umarah a native of,

52-54 Asjadi probably a native of, 79 meter, remarks on Persian, viii types of, in the Avestan Gathas, 4n. 2 of the Avestan Yashts, 4-5 the mutakarib, 23, 95 Mihj Yasht, the, of the Avesta, 5-6 Minuchihr, Prince, epic hero, 100 Minuchihri, poet (d. 1041), at the court of Mahmud of Ghaznah, 69 quoted in praise of Unsuri, 70 Mithra, a Yasht passage in praise of, 5-6 monorhvme, 29, 33, 36 n. 1, 44 n. 2, 52 n. 2 Moses of Khorene, Armenian author, 84 Muhammadan conquest of Persia, 14, 82 Muntasir, poet (d. 1005), 54-56 Mustaufi, author (fl. 1330), statement of, regarding Dakiki, 60 mutakarib, type of meter, 23, 95 Muvayyad, poet, 52 n. 3

Abu

Khabbaz a

Nasr a native

of,

Samarkandi,

on

'l-Muzaflfar

28 Nizanii-i

Aruzi

Hanzalah 1,

19 n.

Badghis,

of

18

n.

1

quoted on Rudagi, 35, 37 mentions poets at the court of Mahmud of Ghaznah, 69 remarks on Unsuri by, 70 account of Farrukhi by, 74 n. 1, 78

Nuh

II,

Samanid

ruler

(97(3-997),

directed Dakiki to write the national legend of Iran, 60 praised by Dakiki in verse, 60

O ode (ghazal), translation from an, by Dakiki, 60-61 odes, sLx, ascribed to

Mahmud

of

Ghaznah, 67

Omar Khayyam,

quoted, 48 in the Avestan

Ormazd, addressed Gathas, 3-4

P works, attempts to find verse in, 8 n. 4 panegyric, on the Caliph Mamun by Abbas of Merv, 16-17 on Nasr II by Rudagi, 37

Pahlavi

Mahmud

on

Kisa'i,

Mahmud

on

of

Ghaznah

by

of

Ghaznah

by

48-49

Umarah

of

Merv, 52

on the minister Sahib Ismail by Mantiki of Rai, 56-57 on Mansur I and Nuh II by Dakiki, 60

on

Mahmud

suri,

of

Ghaznah by Un-

71-72

on Prince Nasr by Unsuri, 72 on Mahmud of Ghaznah by Firdausi, 87, 89-90 N Parthian rule, no poetry surviving from the time of, 8 Nahavand, battle of, 14, 82 treatment of, in the Shah-namah, (Nakiyya), Sasanian a Nakdsa 94 harper, 9 n. 1 Nasr II, Samanid prince (913-942), Persia, Northeastern, the scene of literary activity in the 9th and Rudagi at the court of, 34-37, 10th centuries, 15-16, 56 42, 44 Nasr, Prince, brother of Mahmud of Persian, a couplet in antique, 11 little changed in 1000 years, 15 Ghaznah, panegyric by Unsuri analogous development of Engon, 72 lish and, 15 n. 2 New Year's Day, said to have been earliest verses in, 16-17 instituted by King Jamshid, Firdausi used remarkably pure, 83 99


INDEX

124

by

Khvashgu, quoted on Shahid of Balkh, 25 n. 1 Pickering, C. J., essays on Persian Sakisa, a Sasanian harper, 9 Sam, epic hero, conflict of, with a poetry by, 32 n. 2, 47 n. 1 dragon, 102-104 translation of a poem of Kisa'i Saman, ancestor of the Samanid by, 49 dynasty, 19 n. 1 poet laureate, Unsuri designated as, Samanid dynasty, poetry under the, 70 psalms, Zoroastrian (Gathas), 2-4 15, 22, 32, 34, 45, 52, 56, 60 pun, Junaidi ends a poem with a, Samarkand, Dakiki possibly a native of, 59 29 n. 1 Pushan, hero, mentioned by Fir- Sargish, poet, 12 n. 2 (cf. 9 n. 1) Sasanian rule, poetry under, 8-13 dausi, 88 treatment of, in the Shah-namah, Q 94 quatrain (ruba'i), the earliest known, Saturn, failings of old age attributed by Hanzalah, 18 to the planetary rule of, 42 a very early, by Abu Shukur, 23 Shabdiz, horse of Khusrau Parviz, an early, by Shahid of Balkh, 25-26 12 by Rudagi, 41 Shahid of Balkh, poet (d. about by Umarah of Merv, 53 950), 24-26 by Dakiki, 63 a contemporary of Aghachi, 29 Unsuri, 71 by quoted in praise of Rudagi, 35 by Asjadi, 80 mourned in verse by Rudagi, 42 R Shah-namah, national epic in finished form, 2 Rai, the poet Mantiki a native of, 56 52 n. mentions poets at the court of the Raunaki, poet, 3 rhyme, single (monorhyme), 29, 33, legendary king Jamshid, 6 36 n. 1, 44 n. 2, 52 n. 2 Zarir mentioned in the, 7 represents Bahram Gur as enjoyromance, the, of Zariadres and ing poetry, 10 Odatis, 7-8 mentions the Sasanian poet Barof Gushtasp and Kitayun, 8 n. 1 physicians,

declared

useless

Safinah-i

Khusravani, 50-51

ruba'i, see quatrain

Rudag,

birthplace

Rudagi, 32 (Rudaki),

Rudagi

of

poet

the

poet

(c.

880-

954), mourned Shahid of Balkh in verse, 24 traditions of the youth of, 32-33 at the court of Nasr II, 34-37, 42,

bad, 12 Dakiki's epic fragment incorporated in the, 64 one of the world's great epics, 82 compared with Layamon's Brut,

83 Arabic words avoided in the, 83

drawn on by Firdausi for 84-86 to return to composition of the, 87, 90 survey of the contents of the, 93-95 poetic productivity of, 38 lyric vein of, 38-39 translations of selections from the, 96-114 love poems by, 40-^1 lament of, in old age, 42-44 Shams ad-Din ibn Kais, the poet Abu Shukur quoted 4 times by, rue, burned to avert influence of the evil eye, 18 24 n. 2 Rustam, the fatal combat of Suhrab Shirin, a couplet addressed to, 11 and, 105-114 Shukur, see Abu Shukur Sistan, province, Farrukhi a native S of, 73 Saffarid dynasty, poetry under the, sorcerers, declared useless by Elhusravani, 50-51 15, 19 Firuz al-Mashriki lived in the Sufi, Kisa'i assumed the dervish robe of a, 46, 50 time of the, 19 Abu Salik lived in the time of the, Suhrab, the fatal combat of Rustam with, 105-114 20 44 persuaded Nasr Bukhara, 35-37

sources the,


4

IXDEX

125

V'ishtaspa (Gushlasp), King, hero in a iove-episodo of the 5ShahTabaristan, the Ziyarid princes in, namah, 8 n. 1 57 Dakiki 's epic fragment relates to, Firdausi took refuge in, 90 63-64 Tahirid dynasty, poetry under the, 15 Hanzalah of Badghis lived in the Warner, A. G. and E., translators time of the, 17 of the Shah-namah, 94 favorable Arabic than to more to wine, a poem by Junaidi in praise Persian culture, 17 of, 29 Nights, Rudagi's one Thousand and a poem by Rudagi on, 38-39 Kalilah and Dimnah one of the Zoroastrians allowed a temperate sources of the, 43 n. 2 use of, 52 n. 1, 62, 80 translation, by E. B. Cowell, of a

W

poem by Ruda^, 39 by C, J. Pickering, of Kisa'i,

lines

by

49

by E. G. Browne, Mantiki

of Rai,

of

a poem by

U of

Merv, poet (10th

52-54 Unsuri, poet

X

57

Transoxiana, scene of literary acti\'ity in the 9th and 10th centuries, 16, 56 Famikhi went from Sistan to, 74 Turan, warfare between Iran and, 100 Tus, city in Khurasan, lamented by Shahid of Balkh, 25-26 Dakiki probably a native of, 59 Firdausi born at, 84 Firdausi returned to, 91

Umarah

poems by Umarah of Merv on, 53,54 a poem by Dakiki in praise of, 62

Xenophon, songs at the court Astyages mentioned by, 6

of

Yakub, son

of Laith, founder of the Saffarid dynasty, 19 Yashts, poetic aspects of the Avestan, 4â&#x20AC;&#x201D;6 Yatkar-i Zariran, Pahlavi prose epic, 7

Yusuf

and

and

n.

2

Zulaikha, Firdausi, 91

poem

by

cent.), Zairivairi, brother of Vishtaspa, 7

about 1050), 69-73 Zarathushtra, Ahura Mazdah addressed by, in the Gathas, 2-4 other poets disciples of, 79 joined with Asjadi and Famiklii Zariadres and Odatis, the love-tale of, 7-8 in testing Firdausi, 88 Zarir, the love-story of, 7-8 Zarra'ah of Gurgan, poet, 52 n. 3 (d.

Ziyarid princes, patrons of litera-

Abu Shukur, 23 Vamik and 'Adhra, a poem by Valih, quoted on

Unsuri, 72 verse in Pahlavi works, attempts to find, 8 n. versification, in the

Avestan Gathas,

4n. 2 in the in the

95

Avestan Yashts, 4-5 mutakarib meter, 23-24,

ture,

57

Zoroaster, Ormazd addressed by, in the Gathas, 2-4 by supplanted Zoroastrianism, Islam, 14

a temperate use of wine allowed by, 52 n. 1, 62, 80 Dakiki's leanings toward, 61, 64 Asjadi fancifully calls himself a convert to, 80

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Early Persian Poetry - A. V. Williams Jackson  

Early Persian Poetry - From the beginnings to Firdausi A. V. Williams Jackson - 1920

Early Persian Poetry - A. V. Williams Jackson  

Early Persian Poetry - From the beginnings to Firdausi A. V. Williams Jackson - 1920

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