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This week’s latest releases are:

 

LEGEND LAND Vol. 2 – 15 ancient legends from England’s West country of Devon & Cornwall

LLv2-Cover-A5-Centered THE CHURCH THE DEVIL STOLE Word Cloud

WONDER TALES FROM SCOTTISH MYTH AND LEGEND – 16 Wonder tales from Scottish Lore

JESSIE MACRAE AND THE GILLIE DHU 17400The Coming of the BrideWTOSNAL-front_Cover_A5_Centered

THE ELVES OF MOUNT FERN – The Adventures of elves, fairies and pixies of Mount Fern, Unfortunately nothing to do with the Elves and Fairies of Fern Gully, but very similar in nature.

TEOMF_front_Cover_A5_CenteredWord cloud

BROWNIES AND BOGLES –  Contains Background and Insights to the Little People of Lore and Legend.

43 GoodbyeBAB_front_Cover_A5_CenteredTHE LITTLE NECK IN THE SWEDISH RIVERword Cloud

COMING SOON – MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF ALL NATIONS – 25 illustrated myths, legends and stories for children. 25 famous stories from Greek, German, English, Spanish Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources. These stories are brought to life by 24 full colour plates

canvasMYTHS AND LEGENDS of all nations

All eBooks can be reviewed and downloaded from https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/search

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We have created a dedicated area for the digitised illustrated works of Andrew Lang. In the main these consist of the Many Coloured Fairy Books plus his other illustrated works.

 

Of note are the Arabian Nights Entertainments – containing 32 tales from the 1001 Arabian Nights. These were selected and compiled by Andrew Lang and detail heroic figures such as Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad, and others, whose luck and ingenuity carry them through perilous adventures.

 

Like the Grimm brothers, Andrew Lang collected fairytales from around the world. Where necessary he and his wife translated and retold them in English.

 

The publisher Longmans, Green and company, now a part of the Pearson publishing empire, teamed Lang up with illustrator H. J. Ford, and what a partnership it was. It was so good that during the late Victorian era the works by Andrew Lang outsold those created by the Grimms.

 

So, you’re invited to download and enjoy.

 

All eBooks only US1.99 or about £1.50, €1.70, A$2.69, NZ$2.93, INR137.01, ZAR26.99 depending on the rates of exchange.

URL/LINK: https://the-many-colored-fairy-books-of-andrew-lang.stores.streetlib.com/en/

 

A FREE STORY from the BROWN FAIRY BOOK

 

Once upon a time a great king of the East, named Saman-lāl-pōsh,[2] had three brave and clever sons—Tahmāsp, Qamās, and Almās-ruh-bakhsh.[3] One day, when the king was sitting in his hall of audience, his eldest son, Prince Tahmāsp, came before him, and after greeting his father with due respect, said: ‘O my royal father! I am tired of the town; if you will give me leave, I will take my servants to-morrow and will go into the country and hunt on the hill-skirts; and when I have taken some game I will come back, at evening-prayer time.’ His father consented, and sent with him some of his own trusted servants, and also hawks, and falcons, hunting dogs, cheetahs and leopards.

At the place where the prince intended to hunt he saw a most beautiful deer. He ordered that it should not be killed, but trapped or captured with a noose. The deer looked about for a place where he might escape from the ring of the beaters, and spied one unwatched close to the prince himself. It bounded high and leaped right over his head, got out of the ring, and tore like the eastern wind into the waste. The prince put spurs to his horse and pursued it; and was soon lost to the sight of his followers. Until the world-lighting sun stood above his head in the zenith he did not take his eyes off the deer; suddenly it disappeared behind some rising ground, and with all his search he could not find any further trace of it. He was now drenched in sweat, and he breathed with pain; and his horse’s tongue hung from its mouth with thirst. He dismounted and toiled on, with bridle on arm, praying and casting himself on the mercy of heaven. Then his horse fell and surrendered its life to God. On and on he went across the sandy waste, weeping and with burning breast, till at length a hill rose into sight. He mustered his strength and climbed to the top, and there he found a giant tree whose foot kept firm the wrinkled earth, and whose crest touched the very heaven. Its branches had put forth a glory of leaves, and there were grass and a spring underneath it, and flowers of many colours.

Gladdened by this sight, he dragged himself to the water’s edge, drank his fill, and returned thanks for his deliverance from thirst.

He looked about him and, to his amazement, saw close by a royal seat. While he was pondering what could have brought this into the merciless desert, a man drew near who was dressed like a faqīr, and had bare head and feet, but walked with the free carriage of a person of rank. His face was kind, and wise and thoughtful, and he came on and spoke to the prince.

‘O good youth! how did you come here? Who are you? Where do you come from?’

The prince told everything just as it had happened to him, and then respectfully added: ‘I have made known my own circumstances to you, and now I venture to beg you to tell me your own. Who are you? How did you come to make your dwelling in this wilderness?’

To this the faqīr replied: ‘O youth! it would be best for you to have nothing to do with me and to know nothing of my fortunes, for my story is fit neither for telling nor for hearing.’ The prince, however, pleaded so hard to be told, that at last there was nothing to be done but to let him hear.

‘Learn and know, O young man! that I am King Janāngīr[4] of Babylon, and that once I had army and servants, family and treasure; untold wealth and belongings. The Most High God gave me seven sons who grew up well versed in all princely arts. My eldest son heard from travellers that in Turkīstān, on the Chinese frontier, there is a king named Quimūs, the son of Tīmūs, and that he has an only child, a daughter named Mihr-afrūz,[5] who, under all the azure heaven, is unrivalled for beauty. Princes come from all quarters to ask her hand, and on one and all she imposes a condition. She says to them: “I know a riddle; and I will marry anyone who answers it, and will bestow on him all my possessions. But if a suitor cannot answer my question I cut off his head and hang it on the battlements of the citadel.” The riddle she asks is, “What did the rose do to the cypress?”

01 The Deer Eludes the Prince

THE DEER ELUDES THE PRINCE

 

‘Now, when my son heard this tale, he fell in love with that unseen girl, and he came to me lamenting and bewailing himself. Nothing that I could say had the slightest effect on him. I said: “Oh my son! if there must be fruit of this fancy of yours, I will lead forth a great army against King Quimūs. If he will give you his daughter freely, well and good; and if not, I will ravage his kingdom and bring her away by force.” This plan did not please him; he said: “It is not right to lay a kingdom waste and to destroy a palace so that I may attain my desire. I will go alone; I will answer the riddle, and win her in this way.” At last, out of pity for him, I let him go. He reached the city of King Quimūs. He was asked the riddle and could not give the true answer; and his head was cut off and hung upon the battlements. Then I mourned him in black raiment for forty days.

‘After this another and another of my sons were seized by the same desire, and in the end all my seven sons went, and all were killed. In grief for their death I have abandoned my throne, and I abide here in this desert, withholding my hand from all State business and wearing myself away in sorrow.’

Prince Tahmāsp listened to this tale, and then the arrow of love for that unseen girl struck his heart also. Just at this moment of his ill-fate his people came up, and gathered round him like moths round a light. They brought him a horse, fleet as the breeze of the dawn; he set his willing foot in the stirrup of safety and rode off. As the days went by the thorn of love rankled in his heart, and he became the very example of lovers, and grew faint and feeble. At last his confidants searched his heart and lifted the veil from the face of his love, and then set the matter before his father, King Saman-lāl-pōsh. ‘Your son, Prince Tahmāsp, loves distractedly the Princess Mihr-afrūz, daughter of King Quimūs, son of Tīmūs.’ Then they told the king all about her and her doings. A mist of sadness clouded the king’s mind, and he said to his son: ‘If this thing is so, I will in the first place send a courier with friendly letters to King Quimūs, and will ask the hand of his daughter for you. I will send an abundance of gifts, and a string of camels laden with flashing stones and rubies of Badakhshān. In this way I will bring her and her suite, and I will give her to you to be your solace. But if King Quimūs is unwilling to give her to you, I will pour a whirlwind of soldiers upon him, and I will bring to you, in this way, that most consequential of girls.’ But the prince said that this plan would not be right, and that he would go himself, and would answer the riddle. Then the king’s wise men said: ‘This is a very weighty matter; it would be best to allow the prince to set out accompanied by some persons in whom you have confidence. Maybe he will repent and come back.’ So King Saman ordered all preparations for the journey to be made, and then Prince Tahmāsp took his leave and set out, accompanied by some of the courtiers, and taking with him a string of two-humped and raven-eyed camels laden with jewels, and gold, and costly stuffs.

By stage after stage, and after many days’ journeying, he arrived at the city of King Quimūs. What did he see? A towering citadel whose foot kept firm the wrinkled earth, and whose battlements touched the blue heaven. He saw hanging from its battlements many heads, but it had not the least effect upon him that these were heads of men of rank; he listened to no advice about laying aside his fancy, but rode up to the gate and on into the heart of the city. The place was so splendid that the eyes of the ages have never seen its like, and there, in an open square, he found a tent of crimson satin set up, and beneath it two jewelled drums with jewelled sticks. These drums were put there so that the suitors of the princess might announce their arrival by beating on them, after which someone would come and take them to the king’s presence. The sight of the drums stirred the fire of Prince Tahmāsp’s love. He dismounted, and moved towards them; but his companions hurried after and begged him first to let them go and announce him to the king, and said that then, when they had put their possessions in a place of security, they would enter into the all-important matter of the princess. The prince, however, replied that he was there for one thing only; that his first duty was to beat the drums and announce himself as a suitor, when he would be taken, as such, to the king, who would then give him proper lodgment. So he struck upon the drums, and at once summoned an officer who took him to King Quimūs.

When the king saw how very young the prince looked, and that he was still drinking of the fountain of wonder, he said: ‘O youth! leave aside this fancy which my daughter has conceived in the pride of her beauty. No one can answer her riddle, and she has done to death many men who had had no pleasure in life nor tasted its charms. God forbid that your spring also should be ravaged by the autumn winds of martyrdom.’ All his urgency, however, had no effect in making the prince withdraw. At length it was settled between them that three days should be given to pleasant hospitality and that then should follow what had to be said and done. Then the prince went to his own quarters and was treated as became his station.

King Quimūs now sent for his daughter and for her mother, Gul-rukh,[6] and talked to them. He said to Mihr-afrūz: ‘Listen to me, you cruel flirt! Why do you persist in this folly? Now there has come to ask your hand a prince of the east, so handsome that the very sun grows modest before the splendour of his face; he is rich, and he has brought gold and jewels, all for you, if you will marry him. A better husband you will not find.’

But all the arguments of father and mother were wasted, for her only answer was: ‘O my father! I have sworn to myself that I will not marry, even if a thousand years go by, unless someone answers my riddle, and that I will give myself to that man only who does answer it.’

The three days passed; then the riddle was asked: ‘What did the rose do to the cypress?’ The prince had an eloquent tongue, which could split a hair, and without hesitation he replied to her with a verse: ‘Only the Omnipotent has knowledge of secrets; if any man says, “I know” do not believe him.’

02 MIHR AFRUZ AND PRINCE TAHMASP

MIHR-AFRUZ AND PRINCE TAHMASP

 

Then a servant fetched in the polluted, blue-eyed headsman, who asked: ‘Whose sun of life has come near its setting?’ took the prince by the arm, placed him upon the cloth of execution, and then, all merciless and stony-hearted, cut his head from his body and hung it on the battlements.

The news of the death of Prince Tahmāsp plunged his father into despair and stupefaction. He mourned for him in black raiment for forty days; and then, a few days later, his second son, Prince Qamās, extracted from him leave to go too; and he, also, was put to death. One son only now remained, the brave, eloquent, happy-natured Prince Almās-ruh-bakhsh. One day, when his father sat brooding over his lost children, Almās came before him and said: ‘O father mine! the daughter of King Quimūs has done my two brothers to death; I wish to avenge them upon her.’ These words brought his father to tears. ‘O light of your father!’ he cried, ‘I have no one left but you, and now you ask me to let you go to your death.’

‘Dear father!’ pleaded the prince, ‘until I have lowered the pride of that beauty, and have set her here before you, I cannot settle down or indeed sit down off my feet.’

In the end he, too, got leave to go; but he went without a following and alone. Like his brothers, he made the long journey to the city of Quimūs the son of Tīmūs; like them he saw the citadel, but he saw there the heads of Tahmāsp and Qamās. He went about in the city, saw the tent and the drums, and then went out again to a village not far off. Here he found out a very old man who had a wife 120 years old, or rather more. Their lives were coming to their end, but they had never beheld face of child of their own. They were glad when the prince came to their house, and they dealt with him as with a son. He put all his belongings into their charge, and fastened his horse in their out-house. Then he asked them not to speak of him to anyone, and to keep his affairs secret. He exchanged his royal dress for another, and next morning, just as the sun looked forth from its eastern oratory, he went again into the city. He turned over in his mind without ceasing how he was to find out the meaning of the riddle, and to give them a right answer, and who could help him, and how to avenge his brothers. He wandered about the city, but heard nothing of service, for there was no one in all that land who understood the riddle of Princess Mihr-afrūz.

One day he thought he would go to her own palace and see if he could learn anything there, so he went out to her garden-house. It was a very splendid place, with a wonderful gateway, and walls like Alexander’s ramparts. Many gate-keepers were on guard, and there was no chance of passing them. His heart was full of bitterness, but he said to himself: ‘All will be well! it is here I shall get what I want.’ He went round outside the garden wall hoping to find a gap, and he made supplication in the Court of Supplications and prayed, ‘O Holder of the hand of the helpless! show me my way.’

While he prayed he bethought himself that he could get into the garden with a stream of inflowing water. He looked carefully round, fearing to be seen, stripped, slid into the stream and was carried within the great walls. There he hid himself till his loin cloth was dry. The garden was a very Eden, with running water amongst its lawns, with flowers and the lament of doves and the jug-jug of nightingales. It was a place to steal the senses from the brain, and he wandered about and saw the house, but there seemed to be no one there. In the forecourt was a royal seat of polished jasper, and in the middle of the platform was a basin of purest water that flashed like a mirror. He pleased himself with these sights for a while, and then went back to the garden and hid himself from the gardeners and passed the night. Next morning he put on the appearance of a madman and wandered about till he came to a lawn where several perī-faced girls were amusing themselves. On a throne, jewelled and overspread with silken stuffs, sat a girl the splendour of whose beauty lighted up the place, and whose ambergris and attar perfumed the whole air. ‘That must be Mihr-afrūz,’ he thought, ‘she is indeed lovely.’ Just then one of the attendants came to the water’s edge to fill a cup, and though the prince was in hiding, his face was reflected in the water. When she saw this image she was frightened, and let her cup fall into the stream, and thought, ‘Is it an angel, or a perī, or a man?’ Fear and trembling took hold of her, and she screamed as women scream. Then some of the other girls came and took her to the princess who asked: ‘What is the matter, pretty one?’

‘O princess! I went for water, and I saw an image, and I was afraid.’ So another girl went to the water and saw the same thing, and came back with the same story. The princess wished to see for herself; she rose and paced to the spot with the march of a prancing peacock. When she saw the image she said to her nurse: ‘Find out who is reflected in the water, and where he lives.’ Her words reached the prince’s ear, he lifted up his head; she saw him and beheld beauty such as she had never seen before. She lost a hundred hearts to him, and signed to her nurse to bring him to her presence. The prince let himself be persuaded to go with the nurse, but when the princess questioned him as to who he was and how he had got into her garden, he behaved like a man out of his mind—sometimes smiling, sometimes crying, and saying: ‘I am hungry,’ or words misplaced and random, civil mixed with the rude.

‘What a pity!’ said the princess, ‘he is mad!’ As she liked him she said: ‘He is my mad man; let no one hurt him.’ She took him to her house and told him not to go away, for that she would provide for all his wants. The prince thought, ‘It would be excellent if here, in her very house, I could get the answer to her riddle; but I must be silent, on pain of death.’

Now in the princess’s household there was a girl called Dil-arām[7]; she it was who had first seen the image of the prince. She came to love him very much, and she spent day and night thinking how she could make her affection known to him. One day she escaped from the princess’s notice and went to the prince, and laid her head on his feet and said: ‘Heaven has bestowed on you beauty and charm. Tell me your secret; who are you, and how did you come here? I love you very much, and if you would like to leave this place I will go with you. I have wealth equal to the treasure of the miserly Qarūn.’ But the prince only made answer like a man distraught, and told her nothing. He said to himself, ‘God forbid that the veil should be taken in vain from my secret; that would indeed disgrace me.’ So, with streaming eyes and burning breast, Dil-arām arose and went to her house and lamented and fretted.

Now whenever the princess commanded the prince’s attendance, Dil-arām, of all the girls, paid him attention and waited on him best. The princess noticed this, and said: ‘O Dil-arām! you must take my madman into your charge and give him whatever he wants.’ This was the very thing Dil-arām had prayed for. A little later she took the prince into a private place and she made him take an oath of secrecy, and she herself took one and swore, ‘By Heaven! I will not tell your secret. Tell me all about yourself so that I may help you to get what you want.’ The prince now recognised in her words the perfume of true love, and he made compact with her. ‘O lovely girl! I want to know what the rose did to the cypress. Your mistress cuts off men’s heads because of this riddle; what is at the bottom of it, and why does she do it?’

03 The shadow in the stream

THE SHADOW IN THE STREAM

 

Then Dil-arām answered: ‘If you will promise to marry me and to keep me always amongst those you favour, I will tell you all I know, and I will keep watch about the riddle.’

‘O lovely girl,’ rejoined he, ‘if I accomplish my purpose, so that I need no longer strive for it, I will keep my compact with you. When I have this woman in my power and have avenged my brothers, I will make you my solace.’

‘O wealth of my life and source of my joy!’ responded Dil-arām, ‘I do not know what the rose did to the cypress; but so much I know that the person who told Mihr-afrūz about it is a negro whom she hides under her throne. He fled here from Wāq of the Caucasus—it is there you must make inquiry; there is no other way of getting at the truth.’ On hearing these words, the prince said to his heart, ‘O my heart! your task will yet wear away much of your life.’

He fell into long and far thought, and Dil-arām looked at him and said: ‘O my life and my soul! do not be sad. If you would like this woman killed, I will put poison into her cup so that she will never lift her head from her drugged sleep again.’

‘O Dil-arām! such a vengeance is not manly. I shall not rest till I have gone to Wāq of the Caucasus and have cleared up the matter.’ Then they repeated the agreement about their marriage, and bade one another good-bye.

The prince now went back to the village, and told the old man that he was setting out on a long journey, and begged him not to be anxious, and to keep safe the goods which had been entrusted to him.

The prince had not the least knowledge of the way to Wāq of the Caucasus, and was cast down by the sense of his helplessness. He was walking along by his horse’s side when there appeared before him an old man of serene countenance, dressed in green and carrying a staff, who resembled Khizr[8]. The prince thanked heaven, laid the hands of reverence on his breast and salaamed. The old man returned the greeting graciously, and asked: ‘How fare you? Whither are you bound? You look like a traveller.’

‘O revered saint! I am in this difficulty: I do not know the way to Wāq of the Caucasus.’ The old man of good counsel looked at the young prince and said: ‘Turn back from this dangerous undertaking. Do not go; choose some other task! If you had a hundred lives you would not bring one out safe from this journey.’ But his words had no effect on the prince’s resolve. ‘What object have you,’ the old man asked, ‘in thus consuming your life?’

‘I have an important piece of business to do, and only this journey makes it possible. I must go; I pray you, in God’s name, tell me the way.’

When the saint saw that the prince was not to be moved, he said: ‘Learn and know, O youth! that Wāq of Qāf is in the Caucasus and is a dependency of it. In it there are jins, demons, and perīs. You must go on along this road till it forks into three; take neither the right hand nor the left, but the middle path. Follow this for a day and a night. Then you will come to a column on which is a marble slab inscribed with Cufic characters. Do what is written there; beware of disobedience.’ Then he gave his good wishes for the journey and his blessing, and the prince kissed his feet, said good-bye, and, with thanks to the Causer of Causes, took the road.

After a day and a night he saw the column rise in silent beauty to the heavens. Everything was as the wise old man had said it would be, and the prince, who was skilled in all tongues, read the following Cufic inscription: ‘O travellers! be it known to you that this column has been set up with its tablet to give true directions about these roads. If a man would pass his life in ease and pleasantness, let him take the right-hand path. If he take the left, he will have some trouble, but he will reach his goal without much delay. Woe to him who chooses the middle path! if he had a thousand lives he would not save one; it is very hazardous; it leads to the Caucasus, and is an endless road. Beware of it!’

The prince read and bared his head and lifted his hands in supplication to Him who has no needs, and prayed, ‘O Friend of the traveller! I, Thy servant, come to Thee for succour. My purpose lies in the land of Qāf and my road is full of peril. Lead me by it.’ Then he took a handful of earth and cast it on his collar, and said: ‘O earth! be thou my grave; and O vest! be thou my winding-sheet!’ Then he took the middle road and went along it, day after day, with many a silent prayer, till he saw trees rise from the weary waste of sand. They grew in a garden, and he went up to the gate and found it a slab of beautifully worked marble, and that near it there lay sleeping, with his head on a stone, a negro whose face was so black that it made darkness round him. His upper lip, arched like an eyebrow, curved upwards to his nostrils and his lower hung down like a camel’s. Four millstones formed his shield, and on a box-tree close by hung his giant sword. His loin-cloth was fashioned of twelve skins of beasts, and was bound round his waist by a chain of which each link was as big as an elephant’s thigh.

The prince approached and tied up his horse near the negro’s head. Then he let fall the Bismillāh from his lips, entered the garden and walked through it till he came to the private part, delighting in the great trees, the lovely verdure, and the flowery borders. In the inner garden there were very many deer. These signed to him with eye and foot to go back, for that this was enchanted ground; but he did not understand them, and thought their pretty gestures were a welcome. After a while he reached a palace which had a porch more splendid than Cæsar’s, and was built of gold and silver bricks. In its midst was a high seat, overlaid with fine carpets, and into it opened eight doors, each having opposite to it a marble basin.

Banishing care, Prince Almās walked on through the garden, when suddenly a window opened and a girl, who was lovely enough to make the moon writhe with jealousy, put out her head. She lost her heart to the good looks of the prince, and sent her nurse to fetch him so that she might learn where he came from and how he had got into her private garden where even lions and wolves did not venture. The nurse went, and was struck with amazement at the sun-like radiance of his face; she salaamed and said: ‘O youth! welcome! the lady of the garden calls you; come!’ He went with her and into a palace which was like a house in Paradise, and saw seated on the royal carpets of the throne a girl whose brilliance shamed the shining sun. He salaamed; she rose, took him by the hand and placed him near her. ‘O young man! who are you? where do you come from? How did you get into this garden?’ He told her his story from beginning to end, and Lady Latīfa[9] replied: ‘This is folly! It will make you a vagabond of the earth, and lead you to destruction. Come, cease such talk! No one can go to the Caucasus. Stay with me and be thankful, for here is a throne which you can share with me, and in my society you can enjoy my wealth. I will do whatever you wish; I will bring here King Quimūs and his daughter, and you can deal with them as you will.’

‘O Lady Latīfa,’ he said, ‘I have made a compact with heaven not to sit down off my feet till I have been to Wāq of Qāf and have cleared up this matter, and have taken Mihr-afrūz from her father, as brave men take, and have put her in prison. When I have done all this I will come back to you in state and with a great following, and I will marry you according to the law.’ Lady Latīfa argued and urged her wishes, but in vain; the prince was not to be moved. Then she called to the cupbearers for new wine, for she thought that when his head was hot with it he might consent to stay. The pure, clear wine was brought; she filled a cup and gave to him. He said: ‘O most enchanting sweetheart! it is the rule for the host to drink first and then the guest.’ So to make him lose his head, she drained the cup; then filled it again and gave him. He drank it off, and she took a lute from one of the singers and played upon it with skill which witched away the sense of all who heard. But it was all in vain; three days passed in such festivities, and on the fourth the prince said: ‘O joy of my eyes! I beg now that you will bid me farewell, for my way is long and the fire of your love darts flame into the harvest of my heart. By heaven’s grace I may accomplish my purpose, and, if so, I will come back to you.’

Now she saw that she could not in any way change his resolve, she told her nurse to bring a certain casket which contained, she said, something exhilarating which would help the prince on his journey. The box was brought, and she divided off a portion of what was within and gave it to the prince to eat. Then, and while he was all unaware, she put forth her hand to a stick fashioned like a snake; she said some words over it and struck him so sharply on the shoulder that he cried out; then he made a pirouette and found that he was a deer.

 

04 THE PRINCE ALMAS TRANSFORMED

THE PRINCE ALMAS TRANSFORMED

 

When he knew what had been done to him he thought, ‘All the threads of affliction are gathered together; I have lost my last chance!’ He tried to escape, but the magician sent for her goldsmith, who, coming, overlaid the deer-horns with gold and jewels. The kerchief which that day she had had in her hand was then tied round its neck, and this freed it from her attentions.

The prince-deer now bounded into the garden and at once sought some way of escape. It found none, and it joined the other deer, which soon made it their leader. Now, although the prince had been transformed into the form of a deer, he kept his man’s heart and mind. He said to himself, ‘Thank heaven that the Lady Latīfa has changed me into this shape, for at least deer are beautiful.’ He remained for some time living as a deer amongst the rest, but at length resolved that an end to such a life must be put in some way. He looked again for some place by which he could get out of the magic garden. Following round the wall he reached a lower part; he remembered the Divine Names and flung himself over, saying, ‘Whatever happens is by the will of God.’ When he looked about he found that he was in the very same place he had jumped from; there was the palace, there the garden and the deer! Eight times he leaped over the wall and eight times found himself where he had started from; but after the ninth leap there was a change, there was a palace and there was a garden, but the deer were gone.

Presently a girl of such moon-like beauty opened a window that the prince lost to her a hundred hearts. She was delighted with the beautiful deer, and cried to her nurse: ‘Catch it! if you will I will give you this necklace, every pearl of which is worth a kingdom.’ The nurse coveted the pearls, but as she was three hundred years old she did not know how she could catch a deer. However, she went down into the garden and held out some grass, but when she went near the creature ran away. The girl watched with great excitement from the palace window, and called: ‘O nurse, if you don’t catch it, I will kill you!’ ‘I am killing myself,’ shouted back the old woman. The girl saw that nurse tottering along and went down to help, marching with the gait of a prancing peacock. When she saw the gilded horns and the kerchief she said: ‘It must be accustomed to the hand, and be some royal pet!’ The prince had it in mind that this might be another magician who could give him some other shape, but still it seemed best to allow himself to be caught. So he played about the girl and let her catch him by the neck. A leash was brought, fruits were given, and it was caressed with delight. It was taken to the palace and tied at the foot of the Lady Jamīla’s raised seat, but she ordered a longer cord to be brought so that it might be able to jump up beside her.

When the nurse went to fix the cord she saw tears falling from its eyes, and that it was dejected and sorrowful. ‘O Lady Jamīla! this is a wonderful deer, it is crying; I never saw a deer cry before.’ Jamīla darted down like a flash of lightning, and saw that it was so. It rubbed its head on her feet and then shook it so sadly that the girl cried for sympathy. She patted it and said: ‘Why are you sad, my heart? Why do you cry, my soul? Is it because I have caught you? I love you better than my own life.’ But, spite of her comforting, it cried the more. Then Jamīla said: ‘Unless I am mistaken, this is the work of my wicked sister Latīfa, who by magic art turns servants of God into beasts of the field.’ At these words the deer uttered sounds, and laid its head on her feet. Then Jamīla was sure it was a man, and said: ‘Be comforted, I will restore you to your own shape.’ She bathed herself and ordered the deer to be bathed, put on clean raiment, called for a box which stood in an alcove, opened it and gave a portion of what was in it to the deer to eat. Then she slipped her hand under her carpet and produced a stick to which she said something. She struck the deer hard, it pirouetted and became Prince Almās.

The broidered kerchief and the jewels lay upon the ground. The prince prostrated himself in thanks to heaven and Jamīla, and said: ‘O delicious person! O Chinese Venus! how shall I excuse myself for giving you so much trouble? With what words can I thank you?’ Then she called for a clothes-wallet and chose out a royal dress of honour. Her attendants dressed him in it, and brought him again before the tender-hearted lady. She turned to him a hundred hearts, took his hand and seated him beside her, and said: ‘O youth! tell me truly who you are and where you come from, and how you fell into the power of my sister.’

Even when he was a deer the prince had much admired Jamīla; now he thought her a thousand times more lovely than before. He judged that in truth alone was safety, and so told her his whole story. Then she asked: ‘O Prince Almās-ruh-bakhsh, do you still wish so much to make this journey to Wāq of Qāf? What hope is there in it? The road is dangerous even near here, and this is not yet the borderland of the Caucasus. Come, give it up! It is a great risk, and to go is not wise. It would be a pity for a man like you to fall into the hands of jins and demons. Stay with me, and I will do whatever you wish.’

‘O most delicious person!’ he answered, ‘you are very generous, and the choice of my life lies in truth in your hands; but I beg one favour of you. If you love me, so do I too love you. If you really love me, do not forbid me to make this journey, but help me as far as you can. Then it may be that I shall succeed, and if I return with my purpose fulfilled I will marry you according to the law, and take you to my own country, and we will spend the rest of our lives together in pleasure and good companionship. Help me, if you can, and give me your counsel.’

‘O very stuff of my life,’ replied Jamīla, ‘I will give you things that are not in kings’ treasuries, and which will be of the greatest use to you. First, there are the bow and arrows of his Reverence the Prophet Salih. Secondly, there is the Scorpion of Solomon (on whom be peace), which is a sword such as no king has; steel and stone are one to it; if you bring it down on a rock it will not be injured, and it will cleave whatever you strike. Thirdly, there is the dagger which the sage Tīmūs himself made; this is most useful, and the man who wears it would not bend under seven camels’ loads. What you have to do first is to get to the home of the Sīmurgh[10], and to make friends with him. If he favours you, he will take you to Wāq of Qāf; if not, you will never get there, for seven seas are on the way, and they are such seas that if all the kings of the earth, and all their vazīrs, and all their wise men considered for a thousand years, they would not be able to cross them.’

‘O most delicious person! where is the Sīmurgh’s home? How shall I get there?’

‘O new fruit of life! you must just do what I tell you, and you must use your eyes and your brains, for if you don’t you will find yourself at the place of the negroes, who are a bloodthirsty set; and God forbid they should lay hands on your precious person.’

Then she took the bow and quiver of arrows, the sword, and the dagger out of a box, and the prince let fall a Bismillāh, and girt them all on. Then Jamīla of the houri-face, produced two saddle-bags of ruby-red silk, one filled with roasted fowl and little cakes, and the other with stones of price. Next she gave him a horse as swift as the breeze of the morning, and she said: ‘Accept all these things from me; ride till you come to a rising ground, at no great distance from here, where there is a spring. It is called the Place of Gifts, and you must stay there one night. There you will see many wild beasts—lions, tigers, leopards, apes, and so on. Before you get there you must capture some game. On the long road beyond there dwells a lion-king, and if other beasts did not fear him they would ravage the whole country and let no one pass. The lion is a red transgressor, so when he comes rise and do him reverence; take a cloth and rub the dust and earth from his face, then set the game you have taken before him, well cleansed, and lay the hands of respect on your breast. When he wishes to eat, take your knife and cut pieces of the meat and set them before him with a bow. In this way you will enfold that lion-king in perfect friendship, and he will be most useful to you, and you will be safe from molestation by the negroes. When you go on from the Place of Gifts, be sure you do not take the right-hand road; take the left, for the other leads by the negro castle, which is known as the Place of Clashing Swords, and where there are forty negro captains each over three thousand or four thousand more. Their chief is Taram-tāq.[11] Further on than this is the home of the Sīmurgh.’

Having stored these things in the prince’s memory, she said: ‘You will see everything happen just as I have said.’ Then she escorted him a little way; they parted, and she went home to mourn his absence.

Prince Almās, relying on the Causer of Causes, rode on to the Place of Gifts and dismounted at the platform. Everything happened just as Jamīla had foretold; when one or two watches of the night had passed, he saw that the open ground around him was full of such stately and splendid animals as he had never seen before. By-and-by, they made way for a wonderfully big lion, which was eighty yards from nose to tail-tip, and was a magnificent creature. The prince advanced and saluted it; it proudly drooped its head and forelocks and paced to the platform. Seventy or eighty others were with it, and now encircled it at a little distance. It laid its right paw over its left, and the prince took the kerchief Jamīla had given him for the purpose, and rubbed the dust and earth from its face; then brought forward the game he had prepared, and crossing his hands respectfully on his breast stood waiting before it. When it wished for food he cut off pieces of the meat and put them in its mouth. The serving lions also came near and the prince would have stayed his hand, but the king-lion signed to him to feed them too. This he did, laying the meat on the platform. Then the king-lion beckoned the prince to come near and said: ‘Sleep at ease; my guards will watch.’ So, surrounded by the lion-guard, he slept till dawn, when the king-lion said good-bye, and gave him a few of his own hairs and said: ‘When you are in any difficulty, burn one of these and I will be there.’ Then it went off into the jungle.

Prince Almās immediately started; he rode till he came to the parting of the ways. He remembered quite well that the right-hand way was short and dangerous, but he bethought himself too that whatever was written on his forehead would happen, and took the forbidden road. By-and-by he saw a castle, and knew from what Jamīla had told him that it was the Place of Clashing Swords. He would have liked to go back by the way he had come, but courage forbade, and he said, ‘What has been preordained from eternity will happen to me,’ and went on towards the castle.

 

05 Prince Almas Brings Game to the Lion

PRINCE ALMAS BRINGS GAME TO THE LION

 

He was thinking of tying his horse to a tree which grew near the gate when a negro came out and spied him. ‘Ha!’ said the wretch to himself, ‘this is good; Taram-tāq has not eaten man-meat for a long time, and is craving for some. I will take this creature to him.’ He took hold of the prince’s reins, and said: ‘Dismount, man-child! Come to my master. He has wanted to eat man-meat this long time back.’ ‘What nonsense are you saying?’ said the prince, and other such words. When the negro understood that he was being abused, he cried: ‘Come along! I will put you into such a state that the birds of the air will weep for you.’ Then the prince drew the Scorpion of Solomon and struck him—struck him on the leathern belt and shore him through so that the sword came out on the other side. He stood upright for a little while, muttered some words, put out his hand to seize the prince, then fell in two and surrendered his life.

There was water close at hand, and the prince made his ablution, and then said: ‘O my heart! a wonderful task lies upon you.’ A second negro came out of the fort, and seeing what had been done, went back and told his chief. Others wished to be doubled, and went out, and of every one the Scorpion of Solomon made two. Then Taram-tāq sent for a giant negro named Chil-māq, who in the day of battle was worth three hundred, and said to him: ‘I shall thank you to fetch me that man.’

Chil-māq went out, tall as a tower, and bearing a shield of eight millstones, and as he walked he shouted: ‘Ho! blunder-head! by what right do you come to our country and kill our people? Come! make two of me.’ As the prince was despicable in his eyes, he tossed aside his club and rushed to grip him with his hands. He caught him by the collar, tucked him under his arm and set off with him to Taram-tāq. But the prince drew the dagger of Tīmūs and thrust it upwards through the giant’s arm-pit, for its full length. This made Chil-māq drop him and try to pick up his club; but when he stooped the mighty sword shore him through at the waist.

When news of his champion’s death reached Taram-tāq he put himself at the head of an army of his negroes and led them forth. Many fell before the magic sword, and the prince laboured on in spite of weakness and fatigue till he was almost worn out. In a moment of respite from attack he struck his fire-steel and burned a hair of the king-lion; and he had just succeeded in this when the negroes charged again and all but took him prisoner. Suddenly from behind the distant veil of the desert appeared an army of lions led by their king. ‘What brings these scourges of heaven here?’ cried the negroes. They came roaring up, and put fresh life into the prince. He fought on, and when he struck on a belt the wearer fell in two, and when on a head he cleft to the waist. Then the ten thousand mighty lions joined the fray and tore in pieces man and horse.

Taram-tāq was left alone; he would have retired into his fort, but the prince shouted: ‘Whither away, accursed one? Are you fleeing before me?’

06 CHIL-MAQ CARRIES OFF ALMAS

CHIL-MAQ CARRIES OFF ALMAS

 

At these defiant words the chief shouted back, ‘Welcome, man! Come here and I will soften you to wax beneath my club.’ Then he hurled his club at the prince’s head, but it fell harmless because the prince had quickly spurred his horse forward. The chief, believing he had hit him, was looking down for him, when all at once he came up behind and cleft him to the waist and sent him straight to hell.

The king-lion greatly praised the dashing courage of Prince Almās. They went together into the Castle of Clashing Swords and found it adorned and fitted in princely fashion. In it was a daughter of Taram-tāq, still a child. She sent a message to Prince Almās saying, ‘O king of the world! choose this slave to be your handmaid. Keep her with you; where you go, there she will go!’ He sent for her and she kissed his feet and received the Mussulman faith at his hands. He told her he was going a long journey on important business, and that when he came back he would take her and her possessions to his own country, but that for the present she must stay in the castle. Then he made over the fort and all that was in it to the care of the lion, saying: ‘Guard them, brother! let no one lay a hand on them.’ He said good-bye, chose a fresh horse from the chief’s stable and once again took the road.

After travelling many stages and for many days, he reached a plain of marvellous beauty and refreshment. It was carpeted with flowers—roses, tulips, and clover; it had lovely lawns, and amongst them running water. This choicest place of earth filled him with wonder. There was a tree such as he had never seen before; its branches were alike, but it bore flowers and fruit of a thousand kinds. Near it a reservoir had been fashioned of four sorts of stone—touchstone, pure stone, marble, and loadstone. In and out of it flowed water like attar. The prince felt sure this must be the place of the Sīmurgh; he dismounted, turned his horse loose to graze, ate some of the food Jamīla had given him, drank of the stream and lay down to sleep.

He was still dozing when he was aroused by the neighing and pawing of his horse. When he could see clearly he made out a mountain-like dragon whose heavy breast crushed the stones beneath it into putty. He remembered the Thousand Names of God and took the bow of Salih from its case and three arrows from their quiver. He bound the dagger of Tīmūs firmly to his waist and hung the Scorpion of Solomon round his neck. Then he set an arrow on the string and released it with such force that it went in at the monster’s eye right up to the notch. The dragon writhed on itself, and belched forth an evil vapour, and beat the ground with its head till the earth quaked. Then the prince took a second arrow and shot into its throat. It drew in its breath and would have sucked the prince into its maw, but when he was within striking distance he drew his sword and, having committed himself to God, struck a mighty blow which cut the creature’s neck down to the gullet. The foul vapour of the beast and horror at its strangeness now overcame the prince, and he fainted. When he came to himself he found that he was drenched in the gore of the dead monster. He rose and thanked God for his deliverance.

The nest of the Sīmurgh was in the wonderful tree above him, and in it were young birds; the parents were away searching for food. They always told the children, before they left them, not to put their heads out of the nest; but, to-day, at the noise of the fight below, they looked down and so saw the whole affair. By the time the dragon had been killed they were very hungry and set up a clamour for food. The prince therefore cut up the dragon and fed them with it, bit by bit, till they had eaten the whole. He then washed himself and lay down to rest, and he was still asleep when the Sīmurgh came home. As a rule, the young birds raised a clamour of welcome when their parents came near, but on this day they were so full of dragon-meat that they had no choice, they had to go to sleep.

As they flew nearer, the old birds saw the prince lying under the tree and no sign of life in the nest. They thought that the misfortune which for so many earlier years had befallen them had again happened and that their nestlings had disappeared. They had never been able to find out the murderer, and now suspected the prince. ‘He has eaten our children and sleeps after it; he must die,’ said the father-bird, and flew back to the hills and clawed up a huge stone which he meant to let fall on the prince’s head. But his mate said, ‘Let us look into the nest first for to kill an innocent person would condemn us at the Day of Resurrection.’ They flew nearer, and presently the young birds woke and cried, ‘Mother, what have you brought for us?’ and they told the whole story of the fight, and of how they were alive only by the favour of the young man under the tree, and of his cutting up the dragon and of their eating it. The mother-bird then remarked, ‘Truly, father! you were about to do a strange thing, and a terrible sin has been averted from you.’ Then the Sīmurgh flew off to a distance with the great stone and dropped it. It sank down to the very middle of the earth.

Coming back, the Sīmurgh saw that a little sunshine fell upon the prince through the leaves, and it spread its wings and shaded him till he woke. When he got up he salaamed to it, who returned his greeting with joy and gratitude, and caressed him and said: ‘O youth, tell me true! who are you, and where are you going? And how did you cross that pitiless desert where never yet foot of man had trod?’ The prince told his story from beginning to end, and finished by saying: ‘Now it is my heart’s wish that you should help me to get to Wāq of the Caucasus. Perhaps, by your favour, I shall accomplish my task and avenge my brothers.’ In reply the Sīmurgh first blessed the deliverer of his children, and then went on: ‘What you have done no child of man has ever done before; you assuredly have a claim on all my help, for every year up till now that dragon has come here and has destroyed my nestlings, and I have never been able to find who was the murderer and to avenge myself. By God’s grace you have removed my children’s powerful foe. I regard you as a child of my own. Stay with me; I will give you everything you desire, and I will establish a city here for you, and will furnish it with every requisite; I will give you the land of the Caucasus, and will make its princes subject to you. Give up the journey to Wāq, it is full of risk, and the jins there will certainly kill you.’ But nothing could move the prince, and seeing this the bird went on: ‘Well, so be it! When you wish to set forth you must go into the plain and take seven head of deer, and must make water-tight bags of their hides and keep their flesh in seven portions. Seven seas lie on our way—I will carry you over them; but if I have not food and drink we shall fall into the sea and be drowned. When I ask for it you must put food and water into my mouth. So we shall make the journey safely.’

The prince did all as he was told, then they took flight; they crossed the seven seas, and at each one the prince fed the Sīmurgh. When they alighted on the shore of the last sea, it said: ‘O my son! there lies your road; follow it to the city. Take thee three feathers of mine, and, if you are in a difficulty, burn one and I will be with you in the twinkling of an eye.’

The prince walked on in solitude till he reached the city. He went in and wandered about through all quarters, and through bazaars and lanes and squares, in the least knowing from whom he could ask information about the riddle of Mihr-afrūz. He spent seven days thinking it over in silence. From the first day of his coming he had made friends with a young cloth-merchant, and a great liking had sprung up between them. One day he said abruptly to his companion: ‘O dear friend! I wish you would tell me what the rose did to the cypress, and what the sense of the riddle is.’ The merchant started, and exclaimed: ‘If there were not brotherly affection between us, I would cut off your head for asking me this!’ ‘If you meant to kill me,’ retorted the prince, ‘you would still have first to tell me what I want to know.’ When the merchant saw that the prince was in deadly earnest, he said: ‘If you wish to hear the truth of the matter you must wait upon our king. There is no other way; no one else will tell you. I have a well-wisher at the Court, named Farrūkh-fāl,[12] and will introduce you to him.’ ‘That would be excellent,’ cried the prince. A meeting was arranged between Farrūkh-fāl and Almās, and then the amīr took him to the king’s presence and introduced him as a stranger and traveller who had come from afar to sit in the shadow of King Sinaubar.

Now the Sīmurgh had given the prince a diamond weighing thirty misqāls, and he offered this to the king, who at once recognised its value, and asked where it had been obtained. ‘I, your slave, once had riches and state and power; there are many such stones in my country. On my way here I was plundered at the Castle of Clashing Swords, and I saved this one thing only, hidden in my bathing-cloth.’ In return for the diamond, King Sinaubar showered gifts of much greater value, for he remembered that it was the last possession of the prince. He showed the utmost kindness and hospitality, and gave his vazīr orders to instal the prince in the royal guest-house. He took much pleasure in his visitor’s society; they were together every day and spent the time most pleasantly. Several times the king said: ‘Ask me for something, that I may give it you.’ One day he so pressed to know what would pleasure the prince, that the latter said: ‘I have only one wish, and that I will name to you in private.’ The king at once commanded everyone to withdraw, and then Prince Almās said: ‘The desire of my life is to know what the rose did to the cypress, and what meaning there is in the words.’ The king was astounded. ‘In God’s name! if anyone else had said that to me I should have cut off his head instantly.’ The prince heard this in silence, and presently so beguiled the king with pleasant talk that to kill him was impossible.

Time flew by, the king again and again begged the prince to ask some gift of him, and always received this same reply: ‘I wish for your Majesty’s welfare, what more can I desire?’ One night there was a banquet, and cupbearers carried round gold and silver cups of sparkling wine, and singers with sweetest voices contended for the prize. The prince drank from the king’s own cup, and when his head was hot with wine he took a lute from one of the musicians and placed himself on the carpet-border and sang and sang till he witched away the sense of all who listened. Applause and compliments rang from every side. The king filled his cup and called the prince and gave it to him and said: ‘Name your wish! it is yours.’ The prince drained off the wine and answered: ‘O king of the world! learn and know that I have only one aim in life, and this is to know what the rose did to the cypress.’

07 THE PUNISHMENT OF THE ROSE

THE PUNISHMENT OF THE ROSE

 

‘Never yet,’ replied the king, ‘has any man come out from that question alive. If this is your only wish, so be it; I will tell you. But I will do this on one condition only, namely, that when you have heard you will submit yourself to death.’ To this the prince agreed, and said: ‘I set my foot firmly on this compact.’

The king then gave an order to an attendant; a costly carpet overlaid with European velvet was placed near him, and a dog was led in by a golden and jewelled chain and set upon the splendid stuffs. A band of fair girls came in and stood round it in waiting.

Then, with ill words, twelve negroes dragged in a lovely woman, fettered on hands and feet and meanly dressed, and they set her down on the bare floor. She was extraordinarily beautiful, and shamed the glorious sun. The king ordered a hundred stripes to be laid on her tender body; she sighed a long sigh. Food was called for and table-cloths were spread. Delicate meats were set before the dog, and water given it in a royal cup of Chinese crystal. When it had eaten its fill, its leavings were placed before the lovely woman and she was made to eat of them. She wept and her tears were pearls; she smiled and her lips shed roses. Pearls and flowers were gathered up and taken to the treasury.

‘Now,’ said the king, ‘you have seen these things and your purpose is fulfilled.’ ‘Truly,’ said the prince, ‘I have seen things which I have not understood; what do they mean, and what is the story of them? Tell me and kill me.’

Then said the king: ‘The woman you see there in chains is my wife; she is called Gul, the Rose, and I am Sinaubar, the Cypress. One day I was hunting and became very thirsty. After great search I discovered a well in a place so secret that neither bird nor beast nor man could find it without labour. I was alone, I took my turban for a rope and my cap for a bucket. There was a good deal of water, but when I let down my rope, something caught it, and I could not in any way draw it back. I shouted down into the well: “O! servant of God! whoever you are, why do you deal unfairly with me? I am dying of thirst, let go! in God’s name.” A cry came up in answer, “O servant of God! we have been in the well a long time; in God’s name get us out!” After trying a thousand schemes, I drew up two blind women. They said they were perīs, and that their king had blinded them in his anger and had left them in the well alone.

‘“Now,” they said, “if you will get us the cure for our blindness we will devote ourselves to your service, and will do whatever you wish.”

‘“What is the cure for your blindness?”

‘“Not far from this place,” they said, “a cow comes up from the great sea to graze; a little of her dung would cure us. We should be eternally your debtors. Do not let the cow see you, or she will assuredly kill you.”

‘With renewed strength and spirit I went to the shore. There I watched the cow come up from the sea, graze, and go back. Then I came out of my hiding, took a little of her dung and conveyed it to the perīs. They rubbed it on their eyes, and by the Divine might saw again.

08 The Dog and his Attendants

THE DOG AND HIS ATTENDANTS

 

‘They thanked heaven and me, and then considered what they could do to show their gratitude to me. “Our perī-king,” they said, “has a daughter whom he keeps under his own eye and thinks the most lovely girl on earth. In good sooth, she has not her equal! Now we will get you into her house and you must win her heart, and if she has an inclination for another, you must drive it out and win her for yourself. Her mother loves her so dearly that she has no ease but in her presence, and she will give her to no one in marriage. Teach her to love you so that she cannot exist without you. But if the matter becomes known to her mother she will have you burned in the fire. Then you must beg, as a last favour, that your body may be anointed with oil so that you may burn the more quickly and be spared torture. If the perī-king allows this favour, we two will manage to be your anointers, and we will put an oil on you such that if you were a thousand years in the fire not a trace of burning would remain.”

‘In the end the two perīs took me to the girl’s house. I saw her sleeping daintily. She was most lovely, and I was so amazed at the perfection of her beauty that I stood with senses lost, and did not know if she were real or a dream. When at last I saw that she was a real girl, I returned thanks that I, the runner, had come to my goal, and that I, the seeker, had found my treasure.

‘When the perī opened her eyes she asked in affright: “Who are you? Have you come to steal? How did you get here? Be quick! save yourself from this whirlpool of destruction, for the demons and perīs who guard me will wake and seize you.”

‘But love’s arrow had struck me deep, and the girl, too, looked kindly on me. I could not go away. For some months I remained hidden in her house. We did not dare to let her mother know of our love. Sometimes the girl was very sad and fearful lest her mother should come to know. One day her father said to her: “Sweetheart, for some time I have noticed that your beauty is not what it was. How is this? Has sickness touched you? Tell me that I may seek a cure.” Alas! there was now no way of concealing the mingled delight and anguish of our love; from secret it became known. I was put in prison and the world grew dark to my rose, bereft of her lover.

‘The perī-king ordered me to be burnt, and said: “Why have you, a man, done this perfidious thing in my house?” His demons and perīs collected ambar-wood and made a pile, and would have set me on it, when I remembered the word of life which the two perīs I had rescued had breathed into my ear, and I asked that my body might be rubbed with oil to release me the sooner from torture. This was allowed, and those two contrived to be the anointers. I was put into the fire and it was kept up for seven days and nights. By the will of the Great King it left no trace upon me. At the end of a week the perī-king ordered the ashes to be cast upon the dust-heap, and I was found alive and unharmed.

‘Perīs who had seen Gul consumed by her love for me now interceded with the king, and said: “It is clear that your daughter’s fortunes are bound up with his, for the fire has not hurt him. It is best to give him the girl, for they love one another. He is King of Wāq of Qāf, and you will find none better.”

‘To this the king agreed, and made formal marriage between Gul and me. You now know the price I paid for this faithless creature. O prince! remember our compact.’

‘I remember,’ said the prince; ‘but tell me what brought Queen Gul to her present pass?’

‘One night,’ continued King Sinaubar, ‘I was aroused by feeling Gul’s hands and feet, deadly cold, against my body. I asked her where she had been to get so cold, and she said she had had to go out. Next morning, when I went to my stable I saw that two of my horses, Windfoot and Tiger, were thin and worn out. I reprimanded the groom and beat him. He asked where his fault lay, and said that every night my wife took one or other of these horses and rode away, and came back only just before dawn. A flame kindled in my heart, and I asked myself where she could go and what she could do. I told the groom to be silent, and when next Gul took a horse from the stable to saddle another quickly and bring it to me. That day I did not hunt, but stayed at home to follow the matter up. I lay down as usual at night and pretended to fall asleep. When I seemed safely off, Gul got up and went to the stable as her custom was. That night it was Tiger’s turn. She rode off on him, and I took Windfoot and followed. With me went that dog you see, a faithful friend who never left me.

‘When I came to the foot of those hills which lie outside the city I saw Gul dismount and go towards a house which some negroes have built there. Over against the door was a high seat, and on it lay a giant negro, before whom she salaamed. He got up and beat her till she was marked with weals, but she uttered no complaint. I was dumfounded, for once when I had struck her with a rose-stalk she had complained and fretted for three days! Then the negro said to her: “How now, ugly one and shaven head! Why are you so late, and why are you not wearing wedding garments?” She answered him: “That person did not go to sleep quickly, and he stayed at home all day, so that I was not able to adorn myself. I came as soon as I could.” In a little while he called her to sit beside him; but this was more than I could bear. I lost control of myself and rushed upon him. He clutched my collar and we grappled in a death struggle. Suddenly she came behind me, caught my feet and threw me. While he held me on the ground, she drew out my own knife and gave it to him. I should have been killed but for that faithful dog which seized his throat and pulled him down and pinned him to the ground. Then I got up and despatched the wretch. There were four other negroes at the place; three I killed and the fourth got away, and has taken refuge beneath the throne of Mihr-afrūz, daughter of King Quimūs. I took Gul back to my palace, and from that time till now I have treated her as a dog is treated, and I have cared for my dog as though it were my wife. Now you know what the rose did to the cypress; and now you must keep compact with me.’

‘I shall keep my word,’ said the prince; ‘but may a little water be taken to the roof so that I may make my last ablution?’

To this request the king consented. The prince mounted to the roof, and, getting into a corner, struck his fire-steel and burned one of the Sīmurgh’s feathers in the flame. Straightway it appeared, and by the majesty of its presence made the city quake. It took the prince on its back and soared away to the zenith.

After a time King Sinaubar said: ‘That young man is a long time on the roof; go and bring him here.’ But there was no sign of the prince upon the roof; only, far away in the sky, the Sīmurgh was seen carrying him off. When the king heard of his escape he thanked heaven that his hands were clean of this blood.

Up and up flew the Sīmurgh, till earth looked like an egg resting on an ocean. At length it dropped straight down to its own place, where the kind prince was welcomed by the young birds and most hospitably entertained. He told the whole story of the rose and the cypress, and then, laden with gifts which the Sīmurgh had gathered from cities far and near, he set his face for the Castle of Clashing Swords. The king-lion came out to meet him; he took the negro chief’s daughter—whose name was also Gul—in lawful marriage, and then marched with her and her possessions and her attendants to the Place of Gifts. Here they halted for a night, and at dawn said good-bye to the king-lion and set out for Jamīla’s country.

When the Lady Jamīla heard that Prince Almās was near, she went out, with many a fair handmaid, to give him loving reception. Their meeting was joyful, and they went together to the garden-palace. Jamīla summoned all her notables, and in their presence her marriage with the prince was solemnised. A few days later she entrusted her affairs to her vazīr, and made preparation to go with the prince to his own country. Before she started she restored all the men whom her sister, Latīfa, had bewitched, to their own forms, and received their blessings, and set them forward to their homes. The wicked Latīfa herself she left quite alone in her garden-house. When all was ready they set out with all her servants and slaves, all her treasure and goods, and journeyed at ease to the city of King Quimūs.

When King Quimūs heard of the approach of such a great company, he sent out his vazīr to give the prince honourable meeting, and to ask what had procured him the favour of the visit. The prince sent back word that he had no thought of war, but he wrote: ‘Learn and know, King Quimūs, that I am here to end the crimes of your insolent daughter who has tyrannously done to death many kings and kings’ sons, and has hung their heads on your citadel. I am here to give her the answer to her riddle.’ Later on he entered the city, beat boldly on the drums, and was conducted to the presence.

The king entreated him to have nothing to do with the riddle, for that no man had come out of it alive. ‘O king!’ replied the prince, ‘it is to answer it that I am here; I will not withdraw.’

Mihr-afrūz was told that one man more had staked his head on her question, and that this was one who said he knew the answer. At the request of the prince, all the officers and notables of the land were summoned to hear his reply to the princess. All assembled, and the king and his queen Gul-rukh, and the girl and the prince were there.

The prince addressed Mihr-afrūz: ‘What is the question you ask?’

‘What did the rose do to the cypress?’ she rejoined.

The prince smiled, and turned and addressed the assembly.

‘You who are experienced men and versed in affairs, did you ever know or hear and see anything of this matter?’

‘No!’ they answered, ‘no one has ever known or heard or seen aught about it; it is an empty fancy.’

‘From whom, then, did the princess hear of it? This empty fancy it is that has done many a servant of God to death!’

All saw the good sense of his words and showed their approval. Then he turned to the princess: ‘Tell us the truth, princess; who told you of this thing? I know it hair by hair, and in and out; but if I tell you what I know, who is there that can say I speak the truth? You must produce the person who can confirm my words.’

Her heart sank, for she feared that her long-kept secret was now to be noised abroad. But she said merely: ‘Explain yourself.’

‘I shall explain myself fully when you bring here the negro whom you hide beneath your throne.’

Here the king shouted in wonderment: ‘Explain yourself, young man! What negro does my daughter hide beneath her throne?’

‘That,’ said the prince, ‘you will see if you order to be brought here the negro who will be found beneath the throne of the princess.’

Messengers were forthwith despatched to the garden-house, and after awhile they returned bringing a negro whom they had discovered in a secret chamber underneath the throne of Mihr-afrūz, dressed in a dress of honour, and surrounded with luxury. The king was overwhelmed with astonishment, but the girl had taken heart again. She had had time to think that perhaps the prince had heard of the presence of the negro, and knew no more. So she said haughtily: ‘Prince! you have not answered my riddle.’

‘O most amazingly impudent person,’ cried he, ‘do you not yet repent?’

Then he turned to the people, and told them the whole story of the rose and the cypress, of King Sinaubar and Queen Gul. When he came to the killing of the negroes, he said to the one who stood before them: ‘You, too, were present.’

‘That is so; all happened as you have told it!’

There was great rejoicing in the court and all through the country over the solving of the riddle, and because now no more kings and princes would be killed. King Quimūs made over his daughter to Prince Almās, but the latter refused to marry her, and took her as his captive. He then asked that the heads should be removed from the battlements and given decent burial. This was done. He received from the king everything that belonged to Mihr-afrūz; her treasure of gold and silver; her costly stuffs and carpets; her household plenishing; her horses and camels; her servants and slaves.

Then he returned to his camp and sent for Dil-arām, who came bringing her goods and chattels, her gold and her jewels. When all was ready, Prince Almās set out for home, taking with him Jamīla, and Dil-arām and Gul, daughter of Taram-tāq, and the wicked Mihr-afrūz, and all the belongings of the four, packed on horses and camels, and in carts without number.

As he approached the borders of his father’s country word of his coming went before him, and all the city came forth to give him welcome. King Saman-lāl-pōsh—Jessamine, wearer of rubies—had so bewept the loss of his sons that he was now blind. When the prince had kissed his feet and received his blessing, he took from a casket a little collyrium of Solomon, which the Sīmurgh had given him, and which reveals the hidden things of earth, and rubbed it on his father’s eyes. Light came, and the king saw his son.

Mihr-afrūz was brought before the king, and the prince said: ‘This is the murderer of your sons; do with her as you will.’ The king fancied that the prince might care for the girl’s beauty, and replied: ‘You have humbled her; do with her as you will.’

Upon this the prince sent for four swift and strong horses, and had the negro bound to each one of them; then each was driven to one of the four quarters, and he tore in pieces like muslin.

This frightened Mihr-afrūz horribly, for she thought the same thing might be done to herself. She cried out to the prince: ‘O Prince Almās! what is hardest to get is most valued. Up till now I have been subject to no man, and no man had had my love. The many kings and kings’ sons who have died at my hands have died because it was their fate to die like this. In this matter I have not sinned. That was their fate from eternity; and from the beginning it was predestined that my fate should be bound up with yours.’

The prince gave ear to the argument from preordainment, and as she was a very lovely maiden he took her too in lawful marriage. She and Jamīla set up house together, and Dil-arām and Gul set up theirs; and the prince passed the rest of his life with the four in perfect happiness, and in pleasant and sociable entertainment.

Now has been told what the rose did to the cypress.

Finished, finished, finished!

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Translated from two Persian MSS. in the possession of the British Museum and the India Office, and adapted, with some reservations, by Annette S. Beveridge.

[2] Jessamine, ruby-decked.

[3] Life-giving diamond.

[4] World-gripper.

[5] Love-enkindler.

[6] Rose-cheek.

[7] Heartsease.

[8] Elias.

[9] Pleasure.

[10] Thirty-birds.

[11] Pomp and Pride.

[12] Of happy omen.

 

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From: THE BROWN FAIRY BOOK

ISBN: 9788827521205

FORMATS: Kindle. ePub, PDF

URL: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/the-brown-fairy-book-32-illustrated-folk-and-fairy-tales/

 

A part of Andrew Lang’s “MANY COLOURED FAIRY BOOKS”

URL: https://goo.gl/sK3Jfb

June’s sales figures are now in. Halfway through the month we saw how the Football world cup had taken some of the focus off Hawaii, but a late rally saw Hawaiian & Polynesian themed folktale reassert themselves.

Our top four bestselling books for June were:

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JUST SO STORIES – 12 illustrated Children’s Stories of how things came to be

ISBN: 9788828325000

Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/rudyard-kipling/just-so-stories-12-illustrated-childrens-stories-of-how-things-came-to-be/

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MAORI FOLKLORE – 23 Maori Myths and Legends

ISBN: 9788822806758

Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/sir-george-grey/maori-folklore-or-the-ancient-traditional-history-of-the-new-zealanders/

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OLD PETER’S RUSSIAN TALES – 20 illustrated Russian Children’s Stories

ISBN: 9788827560990

Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/old-peters-russian-tales-20-illustrated-russian-childrens-stories/

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HAWAIIAN FOLK TALES – 34 Hawaiian folk and fairy tales

ISBN: 9788822801876

Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/hawaiian-folk-tales-34-hawaiian-folk-and-fairy-tales/

 

Old Indian Legends, Wonderwings and Other Fairy Stories, Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards and The Norwegian Book of Fairy Tales did their best to out-perform each other to take fifth spot.

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As we approach month end, it would seem that sales of “OLD PETER’S RUSSIAN TALES” have stolen a march on “HAWAIIAN FOLK TALES”

 

Once again, it is amazing to see how the dominant news stories are driving sales of folklore books. This has occurred as the Kilauea Volcano activity has become less sensational and the Football World Cup in Russia takes off. What’s next I wonder?

 

The top four this month, and which are unlikely to change are:

OLD PETER’S RUSSIAN TALES

https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/old-peters-russian-tales-20-illustrated-russian-childrens-stories/

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HAWAIIAN FOLK TALES

https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/hawaiian-folk-tales-34-hawaiian-folk-and-fairy-tales/

HFT-front-cover-Centered

JUST SO STORIES by Rudyard Kipling, author of THE JUNGLE BOOK

https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/rudyard-kipling/just-so-stories-12-illustrated-childrens-stories-of-how-things-came-to-be/

JSS-Front-Cover

FOLKLORE AND FAIRYTALES FROM BURMA

https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/folklore-and-fairy-tales-from-burma-21-old-burmese-folk-and-fairy-tales/

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THERE lived in Constantinople an old Hodja, a learned man, who had a son. The boy followed in his father’s footsteps, went every day to the Mosque Aya Sofia, seated himself in a secluded spot, to the left of the pillar bearing the impress of the Conqueror’s hand, and engaged in the study of the Koran. Daily he might be seen seated, swaying his body to and fro, and reciting to himself the verses of the Holy Book.

The dearest wish of a Mohammedan theological student is to be able to recite the entire Koran by heart. Many years are spent in memorizing the Holy Book, which must be recited with a prescribed cantillation, and in acquiring a rhythmical movement of the body which accompanies the chant.

When Abdul, for that was the young man’s name, had reached his nineteenth year, he had, by the most assiduous study, finally succeeded in mastering three-fourths of the Koran. At this achievement his pride rose, his ambition was fired, and he determined to become a great man.

The day that he reached this decision he did not go to the Mosque, but stopped at home, in his father’s house, and sat staring at the fire burning in the grate. Several times the father asked:
“My son, what do you see in the fire?”
And each time the son answered:
“Nothing, father.”
He was very young; he could not see.
Finally, the young man picked up courage and gave expression to his thoughts.
“Father,” he said, “I wish to become a great man.”
“That is very easy,” said the father.
“And to be a great man,” continued the son, “I must first go to Mecca.” For no Mohammedan priest or theologian, or even layman, has fulfilled all of the cardinal precepts of his faith unless he has made the pilgrimage to the Holy City.

To his son’s last observation the father blandly replied: “It is very easy to go to Mecca.”

“How, easy?” asked the son. “On the contrary, it is very difficult; for the journey is costly, and I have no money.”

“Listen, my son,” said the father. “You must become a scribe, the writer of the thoughts of your brethren, and your fortune is made.”

“But I have not even the implements necessary for a scribe,” said the son.

“All that can be easily arranged,” said the father; “your grandfather had an ink-horn; I will give it you; I will buy you some writing-paper, and we will get you a box to sit in; all that you need to do is to sit still, look wise and your fortune is made.”

And indeed the advice was good. For letter-writing is an art which only the few possess. The ability to write by no means carries with it the ability to compose. Epistolary genius is rare.

Abdul was much rejoiced at the counsel that had been given him, and lost no time in carrying out the plan. He took his grandfather’s ink-horn, the paper his father bought, got himself a box and began his career as a scribe.

Abdul was a child, he knew nothing, but deeming himself wise he sought to surpass the counsel of his father.

“To look wise,” he said, “is not sufficient; I must have some other attraction.”

And after much thought he hit upon the following idea. Over his box he painted a legend: “The wisdom of man is greater than the wisdom of woman.” People thought the sign very clever, customers came, the young Hodja took in many piasters and he was correspondingly happy.

This sign one day attracted the eyes and mind of a Hanoum (Turkish lady). Seeing that Abdul was a manly youth, she went to him and said:

“Hodja, I have a difficult letter to write. I have heard that thou art very wise, so I have come to thee. To write the letter thou wilt need all thy wit. Moreover, the letter is a long one, and I cannot stand here while it is being written. Come to my Konak (house) at three this afternoon, and we will write the letter.”

The Hodja was overcome with admiration for his fair client, and surprised at the invitation. He was enchanted, his heart beat wildly, and so great was his agitation that his reply of acquiescence was scarcely audible.

The invitation had more than the charm of novelty to make it attractive. He had never talked with a woman outside of his own family circle. To be admitted to a lady’s house was in itself an adventure.

Long before the appointed time, the young Hodja—impetuous youth—gathered together his reeds, ink, and sand. With feverish step he wended his way to the house. Lattices covered the windows, a high wall surrounded the garden, and a ponderous gate barred the entrance. Thrice he raised the massive knocker.

“Who is there?” called a voice from within.

“The scribe,” was the reply.

“It is well,” said the porter; the gate was unbarred, and the Hodja permitted to enter. Directly he was ushered into the apartment of his fair client.

The lady welcomed him cordially.

“Ah! Hodja Effendi, I am glad to see you; pray sit down.”

The Hodja nervously pulled out his writing-implements.

“Do not be in such a hurry,” said the lady. “Refresh yourself; take a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, and we will write the letter afterwards.”

So he lit a cigarette, drank a cup of coffee, and they fell to talking. Time flew; the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. While they were thus enjoying themselves there suddenly came a heavy knock at the gate.

“It is my husband, the Pasha,” cried the lady. “What shall I do? If he finds you here, he will kill you! I am so frightened.”

The Hodja was frightened too. Again there came a knock at the gate.

“I have it,” and taking Abdul by the arm, she said, “you must get into the box,” indicating a large chest in the room. “Quick, quick, if you prize your life utter not a word, and Inshallah I will save you.”

Abdul now, too late, saw his folly. It was his want of experience; but driven by the sense of danger, he entered the chest; the lady locked it and took the key.

A moment afterwards the Pasha came in.

“I am very tired,” he said; “bring me coffee and a chibook.”

“Good evening, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “Sit down. I have something to tell you.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “I want none of your woman’s talk; ‘the hair of woman is long, and her wits are short,’ says the proverb. Bring me my pipe.”

“But, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “I have had an adventure to-day.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “what adventure can a woman have—forgot to paint your eyebrows or color your nails, I suppose.”

“No, Pasha Effendi. Be patient, and I will tell you. I went out to-day to write a letter.”

“A letter?” said the Pasha; “to whom would you write a letter?”

“Be patient,” she said, “and I will tell you my story. So I came to the box of a young scribe with beautiful eyes.”

“A young man with beautiful eyes,” shouted the Pasha. “Where is he? I’ll kill him!” and he drew his sword.

The Hodja in the chest heard every word and trembled in every limb.

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi; I said I had an adventure, and you did not believe me. I told the young man that the letter was long, and I could not stand in the street to write it. So I asked him to come and see me this afternoon.”

“Here? to this house?” thundered the Pasha.

“Yes, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “So the Hodja came here, and I gave him coffee and a cigarette, and we talked, and the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. All at once came your knock at the gate, and I said to the Hodja, ‘That is the Pasha; and if he finds you here, he will kill you.'”

“And I will kill him,” screamed the Pasha, “where is he?”

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “and I will tell you. When you knocked a second time, I suddenly thought of the chest, and I put the Hodja in.”

“Let me at him!” screamed the Pasha. “I’ll cut off his head!”

“O Pasha,” she said, “what a hurry you are in to slay this comely youth. He is your prey; he cannot escape you. The youth is not only in the box, but it is locked, and the key is in my pocket. Here it is.”

The lady walked over to the Pasha, stretched out her hand and gave him the key.
As he took it, she said:

“Philopena!”

“Bah!” said the Pasha, in disgust. He threw the key on the floor and left the harem, slamming the door behind him.

After he had gone, the lady took up the key, unlocked the door, and let out the trembling Hodja.

“Go now, Hodja, to your box,” she said. “Take down your sign and write instead: ‘The wit of woman is twofold the wit of man,’ for I am a woman, and in one day I have fooled two men.”
====================
From TOLD IN THE COFFEE HOUSE – 29 Turkish and Islamic Folk Tales

ISBN: 9788828339441

Formats: Kindle, ePUB, PDF

Price: US$1.99 +/- £1.50, €1.71, A$2.68, NZ$2.89, INR135.08, ZAR26.76

URL: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/told-in-the-coffee-house-29-turkish-and-islamic-folk-tales/

One fine day a Tailor was sitting on his bench by the window in very high spirits, sewing away most diligently, and presently up the street came a country woman, crying, “Good jams for sale! Good jams for sale!” This cry sounded nice in the Tailor’s ears, and, poking his diminutive head out of the window, he called, “Here, my good woman, just bring your jams in here!” The woman mounted the three steps up to the Tailor’s house with her large basket, and began to open all the pots together before him. He looked at them all, held them up to the light, smelt them, and at last said, “These jams seem to me to be very nice, so you may weigh me out two ounces, my good woman; I don’t object even if you make it a quarter of a pound.” The woman, who hoped to have met with a good customer, gave him all he wished, and went off grumbling, and in a very bad temper.

“Now!” exclaimed the Tailor, “Heaven will send me a blessing on this jam, and give me fresh strength and vigor;” and, taking the bread from the cupboard, he cut himself a slice the size of the whole loaf, and spread the jam upon it. “That will taste very nice,” said he; “but, before I take a bite, I will just finish this waistcoat.” So he put the bread on the table and stitched away, making larger and larger stitches every time for joy. Meanwhile the smell of the jam rose to the ceiling, where many flies were sitting, and enticed them down, so that soon a great swarm of them had pitched on the bread. “Holloa! who asked you?” exclaimed the Tailor, driving away the uninvited visitors; but the flies, not understanding his words, would not be driven off, and came back in greater numbers than before. This put the little man in a great passion, and, snatching up in his anger a bag of cloth, he brought it down with a merciless swoop upon them. When he raised it again he counted as many as seven lying dead before him with outstretched legs. “What a fellow you are!” said he to himself, astonished at his own bravery. “The whole town must hear of this.” In great haste he cut himself out a band, hemmed it, and then put on it in large letters, “SEVEN AT ONE BLOW!” “Ah,” said he, “not one city alone, the whole world shall hear it!” and his heart danced with joy, like a puppy-dog’s tail.

The Valiant Little Tailor - He Slew Seven at a Stroke

He Slew Seven at a Stroke

The little Tailor bound the belt around his body, and made ready to travel forth into the wide world, feeling the workshop too small for his great deeds. Before he set out, however, he looked about his house to see if there were anything he could carry with him, but he found only an old cheese, which he pocketed, and observing a bird which was caught in the bushes before the door, he captured it, and put that in his pocket also. Soon after he set out boldly on his travels; and, as he was light and active, he felt no fatigue. His road led him up a hill, and when he arrived at the highest point of it he found a great Giant sitting there, who was gazing about him very composedly.

The Valiant Little Tailor

He found a vast giant sitting there…..

But the little Tailor went boldly up, and said, “Good day, friend; truly you sit there and see the whole world stretched below you. I also am on my way thither to seek my fortune. Are you willing to go with me?”

The Giant looked with scorn at the little Tailor, and said, “You rascal! you wretched creature!”

“Perhaps so,” replied the Tailor; “but here may be seen what sort of a man I am;” and, unbuttoning his coat, he showed the Giant his belt. The Giant read, “SEVEN AT ONE BLOW”; and supposing they were men whom the Tailor had killed, he felt some respect for him. Still he meant to try him first; so taking up a pebble, he squeezed it so hard that water dropped out of it. “Do as well as that,” said he to the other, “if you have the strength.”

“If it be nothing harder than that,” said the Tailor, “that’s child’s play.” And, diving into his pocket, he pulled out the cheese and squeezed it till the whey ran out of it, and said, “Now, I fancy that I have done better than you.”

The Giant wondered what to say, and could not believe it of the little man; so, catching up another pebble, he flung it so high that it almost went out of sight, saying, “There, you pigmy, do that if you can.”

“Well done,” said the Tailor; “but your pebble will fall down again to the ground. I will throw one up which will not come down;” and, dipping into his pocket, he took out the bird and threw it into the air. The bird, glad to be free, flew straight up, and then far away, and did not come back. “How does that little performance please you, friend?” asked the Tailor.

“You can throw well,” replied the giant; “now truly we will see if you are able to carry something uncommon.” So saying, he took him to a large oak tree, which lay upon the ground, and said, “If you are strong enough, now help me to carry this tree out of the forest.”

“With pleasure,” replied the Tailor; “you may hold the trunk upon your shoulder, and I will lift the boughs and branches, they are the heaviest, and carry them.”

The Valiant Little Tailor - Help me carry this tree

Help me carry this tree

The Giant took the trunk upon his shoulder, but the Tailor sat down on one of the branches, and the Giant, who could not look round, was compelled to carry the whole tree and the Tailor also. He being behind, was very cheerful, and laughed at the trick, and presently began to sing the song, “There rode three tailors out at the gate,” as if the carrying of trees were a trifle. The Giant, after he had staggered a very short distance with his heavy load, could go no further, and called out, “Do you hear? I must drop the tree.” The Tailor, jumping down, quickly embraced the tree with both arms, as if he had been carrying it, and said to the Giant, “Are you such a big fellow, and yet cannot you carry a tree by yourself?”

Then they travelled on further, and as they came to a cherry-tree, the Giant seized the top of the tree where the ripest cherries hung, and, bending it down, gave it to the Tailor to hold, telling him to eat. But the Tailor was far too weak to hold the tree down, and when the Giant let go, the tree flew up in the air, and the Tailor was taken with it. He came down on the other side, however, unhurt, and the Giant said, “What does that mean? Are you not strong enough to hold that twig?” “My strength did not fail me,” said the Tailor; “do you imagine that that was a hard task for one who has slain seven at one blow? I sprang over the tree simply because the hunters were shooting down here in the thicket. Jump after me if you can.” The Giant made the attempt, but could not clear the tree, and stuck fast in the branches; so that in this affair, too, the Tailor had the advantage.

Then the Giant said, “Since you are such a brave fellow, come with me to my house, and stop a night with me.” The Tailor agreed, and followed him; and when they came to the cave, there sat by the fire two other Giants, each with a roast sheep in his hand, of which he was eating. The Tailor sat down thinking. “Ah, this is very much more like the world than is my workshop.” And soon the Giant pointed out a bed where he could lie down and go to sleep. The bed, however, was too large for him, so he crept out of it, and lay down in a corner. When midnight came, and the Giant fancied the Tailor would be in a sound sleep, he got up, and taking a heavy iron bar, beat the bed right through at one stroke, and believed he had thereby given the Tailor his death-blow. At the dawn of day the Giants went out into the forest, quite forgetting the Tailor, when presently up he came, quite cheerful, and showed himself before them. The Giants were frightened, and, dreading he might kill them all, they ran away in a great hurry.

The Tailor travelled on, always following his nose, and after he had journeyed some long distance, he came into the courtyard of a royal palace; and feeling very tired he laid himself down on the ground and went to sleep. Whilst he lay there the people came and viewed him on all sides, and read upon his belt, “Seven at one blow.” “Ah,” they said, “what does this great warrior here in time of peace? This must be some valiant hero.” So they went and told the King, knowing that, should war break out, here was a valuable and useful man, whom one ought not to part with at any price. The King took advice, and sent one of his courtiers to the Tailor to beg for his fighting services, if he should be awake. The messenger stopped at the sleeper’s side, and waited till he stretched out his limbs and unclosed his eyes, and then he mentioned to him his message. “Solely for that reason did I come here,” was his answer; “I am quite willing to enter into the King’s service.” Then he was taken away with great honor, and a fine house was appointed him to dwell in.

The courtiers, however, became jealous of the Tailor, and wished him at the other end of the world. “What will happen?” said they to one another. “If we go to war with him, when he strikes out seven will fall at one stroke, and nothing will be left for us to do.” In their anger they came to the determination to resign, and they went all together to the King, and asked his permission, saying, “We are not prepared to keep company with a man who kills seven at one blow.” The King was sorry to lose all his devoted servants for the sake of one, and wished that he had never seen the Tailor, and would gladly have now been rid of him. He dared not, however dismiss him, because he feared the Tailor might kill him and all his subjects, and seat himself upon the throne. For a long time he deliberated, till finally he came to a decision; and, sending for the Tailor, he told him that, seeing he was so great a hero, he wished to beg a favor of him. “In a certain forest in my kingdom,” said the King, “there are two Giants, who, by murder, rapine, fire, and robbery, have committed great damage, and no one approaches them without endangering his own life. If you overcome and slay both these Giants, I will give you my only daughter in marriage, and half of my kingdom for a dowry: a hundred knights shall accompany you, too, in order to render you assistance.”

“Ah, that is something for a man like me,” thought the Tailor to himself: “a lovely Princess and half a kingdom are not offered to one every day.” “Oh, yes,” he replied, “I will soon settle these two Giants, and a hundred horsemen are not needed for that purpose; he who kills seven at one blow has no fear of two.”

Speaking thus, the little Tailor set out, followed by the hundred knights, to whom he said, immediately they came to the edge of the forest, “You must stay here; I prefer to meet these Giants alone.”

Then he ran off into the forest, peering about him on all sides; and after a while he saw the two Giants sound asleep under a tree, snoring so loudly that the branches above them shook violently. The Tailor, bold as a lion, filled both his pockets with stones and climbed up the tree. When he got to the middle of it he crawled along a bough, so that he sat just above the sleepers, and then he let fall one stone after another upon the body of one of them. For some time the Giant did not move, until, at last awaking, he pushed his companion, and said, “Why are you hitting me?”

“You have been dreaming,” he answered; “I did not touch you.” So they laid themselves down again to sleep, and presently the Tailor threw a stone down upon the other. “What is that?” he cried. “Why are you knocking me about?”

“I did not touch you; you are dreaming,” said the first. So they argued for a few minutes; but, both being very weary with the day’s work, they soon went to sleep again. Then the Tailor began his fun again, and, picking out the largest stone, threw it with all his strength upon the chest of the first Giant. “This is too bad!” he exclaimed; and, jumping up like a madman, he fell upon his companion, who considered himself equally injured, and they set to in such good earnest, that they rooted up trees and beat one another about until they both fell dead upon the ground. Then the Tailor jumped down, saying, “What a piece of luck they did not pull up the tree on which I sat, or else I must have jumped on another like a squirrel, for I am not used to flying.” Then he drew his sword, and, cutting a deep wound in the breast of both, he went to the horsemen and said, “The deed is done; I have given each his death-stroke; but it was a tough job, for in their defence they uprooted trees to protect themselves with; still, all that is of no use when such an one as I come, who slew seven at one stroke.”

“And are you not wounded?” they asked.

“How can you ask me that? they have not injured a hair of my head,” replied the little man. The knights could hardly believe him, till, riding into the forest, they found the Giants lying dead, and the uprooted trees around them.

Then the Tailor demanded the promised reward of the King; but he repented of his promise, and began to think of some new plan to shake off the hero. “Before you receive my daughter and the half of my kingdom,” said he to him, “you must execute another brave deed. In the forest there lives a unicorn that commits great damage, you must first catch him.”

“I fear a unicorn less than I did two Giants! Seven at one blow is my motto,” said the Tailor. So he carried with him a rope and an axe and went off to the forest, ordering those, who were told to accompany him, to wait on the outskirts. He had not to hunt long, for soon the unicorn approached, and prepared to rush at him as if it would pierce him on the spot. “Steady! steady!” he exclaimed, “that is not done so easily”; and, waiting till the animal was close upon him, he sprang nimbly behind a tree. The unicorn, rushing with all its force against the tree, stuck its horn so fast in the trunk that it could not pull it out again, and so it remained prisoner.

“Now I have got him,” said the Tailor; and coming from behind the tree, he first bound the rope around its neck, and then cutting the horn out of the tree with his axe, he arranged everything, and, leading the unicorn, brought it before the King.

The King, however, would not yet deliver over the promised reward, and made a third demand, that, before the marriage, the Tailor should capture a wild boar which did much damage, and he should have the huntsmen to help him. “With pleasure,” was the reply; “it is a mere nothing.” The huntsmen, however, he left behind, to their great joy, for this wild boar had already so often hunted them, that they saw no fun in now hunting it. As soon as the boar perceived the Tailor, it ran at him with gaping mouth and glistening teeth, and tried to throw him down on the ground; but our flying hero sprang into a little chapel which stood near, and out again at a window, on the other side, in a moment. The boar ran after him, but he, skipping around, closed the door behind it, and there the furious beast was caught, for it was much too unwieldy and heavy to jump out of the window.

The Tailor now ordered the huntsmen up, that they might see his prisoner with their own eyes; but our hero presented himself before the King, who was obliged at last, whether he would or no, to keep his word, and surrender his daughter and the half of his kingdom.

If he had known that it was no warrior, but only a Tailor, who stood before him, it would have grieved him still more.

The Valiant Little Tailor - The Wedding

The wedding was arranged

So the wedding was celebrated with great magnificence, though with little rejoicing, and out of a Tailor there was made a King.

A short time afterwards the young Queen heard her husband talking in his sleep, saying, “Boy, make me a coat, and then stitch up these trowsers, or I will lay the yard-measure over your shoulders!” Then she understood of what condition her husband was, and complained in the morning to her father, and begged he would free her from her husband, who was nothing more than a tailor. The King comforted her by saying, “This night leave your chamber-door open: my servants shall stand outside, and when he is asleep they shall come in, bind him, and carry him away to a ship, which shall take him out into the wide world.” The wife was pleased with the proposal; but the King’s armor-bearer, who had overheard all, went to the young King and revealed the whole plot. “I will soon put an end to this affair,” said the valiant little Tailor. In the evening at their usual time they went to bed, and when his wife thought he slept she got up, opened the door, and laid herself down again.

The Tailor, however, only pretended to be asleep, and began to call out in a loud voice, “Boy, make me a coat, and then stitch up these trowsers, or I will lay the yard-measure about your shoulders. Seven have I slain with one blow, two Giants have I killed, a unicorn have I led captive, and a wild boar have I caught, and shall I be afraid of those who stand outside my room?”

The Valiant Little Tailor - They Ran Away

They ran away

When the men heard these words spoken by the Tailor, a great fear came over them, and they ran away as if wild huntsmen were following them; neither afterwards dared any man venture to oppose him. Thus the Tailor became a King, and so he lived for the rest of his life.
================
From: GRIMM’S FAIRY STORIES

ISBN: 9788828338611

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The first Council of Christian Bishops met in Nicea in about 325AD to agree the books which would be included in the Christian Bible. After examining and studying the many scraps of letters and copies of the (New Testament) letters and (Old Testament) books, it was this council of bishops who decided what the content of the bible would be.

Not all texts and letters were included and one of these was THE BOOK OF ENOCH. This book was excluded as it was believed that the content would be too frightening for the populace to read and comprehend. There are more than a few interesting passages in the Book of Enoch which Abela Publishing published a few years ago (see http://abelapublishing.com/book-of-enoch_p31497917.htm), but the two on which I want to concentrate in this blog are as follows.

This first is about God’s judgement in THE BOOK OF ENOCH on the fallen Angels led by Azâzêl. It was Azâzêl and his compatriots who revealed to men and women the secrets of writing, making ink, metallurgy, astronomy, make up, astrology etc. It is for this they were judged by God and cast into a pit which was to be sealed over (see below). The section of the book is titled:

The Fall of the Angels: the Demoralisation of Mankind:
The Intercession of the Angels on behalf of Mankind.
The Dooms pronounced by God on the (Fallen) Angels

CHAPTER X.
And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl, an cast him therein. 5. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light.
—————–
Later on in THE BOOK OF ENOCH, while Enoch was on his wanderings, the secrets of the universe were revealed to Enoch by God, one chapter of which goes as follows.

THE LIGHTS AND THE THUNDER
CHAPTER LIX.
1. In those days mine eyes saw the secrets of the lightnings, and of the lights, and the judgements they execute (lit. ‘their judgement’): and they lighten for a blessing or a curse as the Lord of Spirits willeth. 2. And there I saw the secrets of the thunder, and how when it resounds above in the heaven, the sound thereof is heard, and he caused me to see the judgements executed on the earth, whether they be for well-being and blessing, or for a curse according to the word of the Lord of Spirits. 3. And after that all the secrets of the lights and lightnings were shown to me, and they lighten for blessing and for satisfying.

—————–
Some say this second passage, while discussing lights and thunder, could also be the revelation of the ways and means to generate electricity.

One of my pet subjects is the cost of electricity and how we, the public, are being ripped off, even held to ransom, by the electricity and energy generating companies. Why do I think this?

In the Brooklyn Eagle on July 10, 1932 (85 years ago – no less) Nikola Tesla stated: “I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive (motor) device. This new power for the driving of the world’s machinery will be derived from the energy which operates the universe, the cosmic energy, whose central source for the earth is the sun and which is everywhere present in unlimited quantities.”

SAY WHAT? What happened to this discovery / invention? Where is it now?

Well, shortly before this claim, Tesla managed to convince the financier, J.P. Morgan, that he was on the verge of a breakthrough, and the financier gave Tesla more than $150,000 (quite a bit in 1932) to fund what would become a gigantic, futuristic and startling tower in the middle of Long Island, New York.

Now we all know that Morgan had a head for business. When he, Morgan, realised the enormity of Tesla’s breakthrough and how it would mean all power generation companies would in effect be put out of business, and there was in effect no money in it for himself, he used his business brain and withdrew all Tesla’s funding. So, instead of delivering a massive breakthrough and being hailed as a hero and a genius, Tesla died in poverty and obscurity. His only crime was that he did not think with a business brain.

On a different thread……In his book “Slave Species of the Gods: The Secret History of the Anunnaki and Their Mission on Earth” by Michael Tellinger, Tellinger states that according to Assyrian and Babylonian myth, the Anunnaki were the children of Anu and Ki, brother and sister gods etc. etc. The point to make is the existence of the Anunnaki has been known about in academic circles for some time. Tellinger also writes in a blog about 200,000 Year Old Annunaki Cities Discovered in Africa….?
Some of these cities had interesting structures within and surrounding them (see https://1.bp.blogspot.com/…/Y2AFaBjIieU…/s320/PA100779_1.JPG)

Tellinger hypothesises that an integral part of these Anunnaki African structures was the generation of electricity. To do this they have used the PHI 1.618 ratio. He states “many mysterious ancient stone ruins that seem to have a greater purpose in their design. The phi factor of 1,618 was well used in the dimensions of this and other structures.”.

PHI 1618, or Phi 1.618, is also known as the Golden Ratio. What makes this single number so interesting that ancient Greeks, Renaissance artists, a 17th century astronomer and a 21st century novelist all would write about it? It’s a number that goes by many names. This “golden” number, 1.61803399, represented by the Greek letter Phi (not Pi), is known as the Golden Ratio, Golden Number, Golden Proportion, Golden Mean, Golden Section, Divine Proportion and Divine Section. It was written about by Euclid in “Elements” around 300 B.C., by Luca Pacioli, a contemporary of Leonardo Da Vinci, in “De Divina Proportione” in 1509 and by Johannes Kepler around 1600. It is believed that Tesla also used the Golden Ratio in his calculations. Tesla states:
“If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.” – Nikola Tesla
You only have to look at the collage below to realise it occurs just about everywhere. It also has an uncanny resemblance to the design of the structures that Tellinger has found in Africa, which Tellinger claims were being used to tap into the Earth’s natural frequencies to generate power. Is this what Tesla replicated almost 10,000 years later?

In conclusion, we have to ask how all this fits together?
In Tellinger’s book he talks about a potential correlation between the Anunnaki and Azâzêl and the fallen angels, asking if they were one and the same? Tellinger also states that some ancient texts talk about the Anunnaki disappearing into the earth after teaching mankind the secrets of mining, power generation etc. etc. If you go back to the beginning of this blog, you will see that in Chapter X God gives instructions to bind Azâzêl and the other fallen angels and cast them into the earth.
Coincidence, or the confirmation of the Divine word? Here I am going to be a coward and leave it to you to decide!
(comments and feedback welcome)

 

Did you know, the town of LAURA is situated in the region of Balochistān, Pakistan, which borders on South Eastern Iran. It is some 900 miles, or 1,449 km, South-West of Islamabad, or 73km / 45 miles west of the regional town of Gwadar.

 

You may wonder how I came to know this piece of useless information……?

 

A part of creating my children’s stories series, “The Baba Indaba’s Children’s Stories”, is to find a place on the map of the world which is related to the story. I do this using Google Maps. The idea is to not just give the children a story, or fairy tale, to read but also give them a bit of an intellectual challenge by having them look up a place on a map. The strategy-hope-plan is that in looking up a town in a place they haven’t yet heard of, that this will encourage them to read a bit about other cultures and peoples in the hope that it will lead to more understanding and, hence, tolerance of other cultures.

 

So in creating the e-Story “ABDALLAH THE UNHAPPY” (which will be published later today, I was looking for “A Great City of the East” for the geographic lookup challenge. Not wanting to use one of the more well known Eastern cities, I selected Laura, if only because of its somewhat unusual name.

 

To lookup the 310+ Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, click on this URL https://goo.gl/5ZcmPP

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Childre's Stories Covers

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Childre’s Stories Covers

IF THE Lay of Eric was “made to order” by an unknown poet, as the eulogium of an unpopular, though brave, king, the Lay of Hákon is composed by the best-known of Norwegian skalds, unquestionably of his own accord, to commemorate his generally beloved leader. Hence the warmth of feeling, the note of personal loss, which pervades this splendid poem.

Hákon, surnamed the Good, a child of Harold Hairfair’s old age, had been fostered by King Æthelstan of England, and thus brought up a Christian. After overthrowing his half brother Eric he tried to introduce the new faith, but met with stubborn opposition and had to desist in order to keep his throne. He is described as an ideal ruler for the times, handsome, generous, warlike though not aggressive, during whose reign of twenty-six years Norway enjoyed comparative peace and good harvests. He repelled several attempts of the sons of Eric to repossess themselves of the kingdom with the help of the Danes, but was wounded in a (victorious) battle against them on the island of Storth in southwest Norway (961) and died soon thereafter.

The poet Eyvind Finnsson was himself a distant relative of the king. We know that he lived in moderate circumstances and was a man of character. His (much-debated) epithet of skáldaspillir seems to mean “despoiler of skalds”; and if so, must have been given him by his enemies who readily fastened on the fact that his best works, Hákonarmól and Háleygiatal—the latter a long genealogical poem—are quite evidently patterned, the one after Eiriksmól, the other, after Ynglingatal, by the earlier poet, Thióthólf of Hvin.

If, notwithstanding this lack of original inspiration, the Lay of Hákon has been generally admired, then as well as now, this is due, not only to the genuine warmth and sincerity, but also to the superior artistry which makes it, all in all, perhaps the finest monument of its kind erected by Northern antiquity.

Central, and similar down to details, in both Eiriksmól and Hákonarmól, is the hero-king’s advent in Valholl; but whereas the former does not change scene (and thus achieves greater unity) the latter, with richer content, shifts from earth to heaven and back again to earth as it ebbs in the poet’s plaint over the loss of the peerless king. Also in style Hákonarmól shows more variety—consciously striven for. Thus, the straightforward and sober style of the narrative stanzas contrasts with the typically skaldic, baroque overloading of the battle-scene, clamorous with gorgeous and bizarre kennings, and that again with the highly charged dramatic force of the dialogues and the elegiac sorrow of the final dirge. The meter likewise shows a carefully considered correspondence to the style and theme—simple, impressive lióthaháttr for the epic-dramatic and lyric portions, against the martial tramp and blare of málaháttr descriptive of the carnage.

Eyvind had no doubt both a political and an apologetic aim with his poem: it was to be a counterblast to Eiriksmól and outdo it in splendor, but also to save the king’s good heathen reputation. If Hákon at his entrance in Valholl is suspicious of Óthin’s attitude and refuses to abandon his arms, he has abundant cause to fear the god’s wrath—his abortive defection from the heathen cause. And the good reception accorded him because he had “protected” the heathen fanes which, in fact, he had been powerless to destroy, may not have been altogether convincing to his contemporaries.1 Also the heathen trappings, the copious reminiscences from such arch heathen poems as Voluspó and Hóvamól, the interest in the king shown by the valkyries, the delegation to receive him composed of the gods Bragi and Hermóth—the same who was to fetch Baldr back from Hel2—all seem deliberately chosen to link the king with the old religion and to rehabilitate him in the eyes of his people.

The complete poem is found in Snorri Sturlason’s History of the Norwegian Kings (Heimskringla), at the end of Hákonarsaga gótha. Portions of it are transmitted also in Fagrskinna.

Note: There are numbered references in the following Lay. The explanations for these can be found in the FOOTNOTES section

1 Gautatýr3 sent forth Gondul and Skogul4 to choose among kings’ kinsmen: who of Yngvi’s offspring5 should with Óthin dwell,and wend with him to Valholl.

2 They found Biorn’s brother6 his byrnie donning, under standard standing the stalwart leader—were darts uplifted and spearshafts lowered; up the strife then started.

3 Called on Hálogaland’s7 heroes and Horthaland’s wordsmen the Northmen’s folkwarder, ere he fared to battle: a good host had he of henchmen from Norway—the Danes’-terror donned his bronze-helm.8

4 Threw down his war-weeds, thrust off his byrnie9 the great-hearted lord, ere began the battle—laughed with his liege-men; his land would he shield now,10 the gladsome hero ’neath old-helm standing.

5 Cut then keenly the king’s broadsword through foemen’s war-weeds, as though water it sundered.11 Clashed then spear-blades, cleft were war-shields; did ring-decked12 war-swords rattle on helmets.

6 Were targes trodden by the Týr-of-shields,13 by the hard-footed hilt-blade, and heads eke of Northmen; battle raged on the island,14 athelings reddened the shining shield-castles15 with shedded life-blood,

7 Burned the wound-fires16 in bloody gashes, were the long-beards17 lifted against the life of warriors—the sea-of-wounds18 surged high around the swords’ edges,ran the stream-of-arrows18 on the strand of Storth-isle.

8 Reddened war-shields rang ’gainst each other, did Skogul’s-stormblasts19 scar red targes; billowed blood-waves in the blast-of-Óthin20—was many a man’s son mowed down in battle.

9 Sate21 then the liege-lords with swords brandished, with shields shattered and shredded byrnies: not happy in their hearts was that host of men, and to Valholl wended their way.

10 Spoke then Gondul, on spearshaft leaning: “groweth now the gods’ following,22 since Hákon hath been with host so goodly hidden home by holy gods.”

11 Heard the war-lord what the valkyries spoke of, high-hearted, on horsehack—wisely they bore them, sitting war- helmeted, and with shields them sheltering.

HÁKON said:

12 “Why didst Geirskogul,23 grudge us victory? Yet worthy were we that the gods granted it.”

SKOGUL said:

13 “ ’Tis owing to us that the issue was won and your foemen did flee.

14 Ride forth now shall we,” said fierce Skogul, “to the green homes of the godheads,—there to tell Óthin that the atheling will now come to see him himself.”

15 “Hermóth and Bragi!” called out Hróptatýr:24 “Go ye to greet the hero; for a king cometh who hath keenly foughten, to our halls hither.”

16 Said the war-worker, wending from battle—was his byrnie all bloody: “Angry-minded Óthin meseemeth.Be we heedful of his hate!”

17 “All einheriar shall swear oaths to thee: share thou the æsir’s ale, thou enemy-of-earls!25 Here within hast thou brethren eight,” said Bragi.

18 “Our gear of war,” said the goodly king, “we mean to keep in our might. helmet and hauberk one should heed right well: ’tis good to guard one’s spear.”26

19 Then was it seen how that sea-king had upheld the holy altars, since Hákon all did hail with welcome, both gods and heavenly hosts.

20 On a good day is born that great-souled lord who hath a heart like his; aye will his times be told of on earth, and men will speak of his might.27

21 Unfettered will fare the Fenriswolf, and fall on the fields of men, ere that there cometh a kingly lord as good, to stand in his stead.28

22 Cattle die and kinsmen die,29 land and lieges are whelmed; since Hákon to the heathen gods fared many a host is harried.30

From OLD NORSE POEMS

Old Norse Poems - Cover

Old Norse Poems – Cover

ISBN: 9781907256509
URL: @ Publisher’s Discount http://abelapublishing.com/old-norse-poems_p31498693.htm

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/…/Norse-Poe…/1907256504/ref=sr_1_1…

AMAZON dot-COM: https://www.amazon.com/Old-Norse-Poems-Lee-Ho…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

________________________________________
FOOTNOTES
1 Though we may in this stanza also see a reflection on his successors who ravaged the sanctuaries and hid the gold.
2 Cf. Baldr’s Dreams.
3 “The God of the Gauts.” i.e., Óthin.
4 Valkyries.
5 Yngvi generally stands for Freyr in his capacity of progenitor of the Swedish kings. Here, however, he stands for Óthin, the progenitor of the royal race of Norway.
6 Hákon. Biorn was one of the many sons of Harold Fairhair.
7 Cf. Haraldskvæthi, note 37. Horthaland is here substituted for the Rogaland of the text. It is directly south of the latter.
8 The change to the golden helmet (in the next stanza) has been referred to an episode of the battle as told by Snorri: “Hákon was more easily recognized than other men, and his helmet glittered when the sun shone on it. He always was in the thick of the fray. Then Eyvind Finnsson (our poet) drew a hood over it. Whereupon Eyvind skreya (one of the enemy) cried out: ‘Is the king of Norway hiding now, or has he fled—else where is his golden helmet?’ The king shouted: ‘Come forward hither if you would find the King of Norway,’ and in the ensuing hand-to-hand fight cleft his skull with his sword.”
9 This was not uncommon with fierce warriors, in the heat of battle.
10 Viz., against the sons of Eric.
11 At his departure from England, his foster father, King Æthelstan, gave him the sword Quernbiter with which Hákon is said to have cut a millstone in two.
12 Swords frequently had rings on the hilt, for carrying.
13 The following stanzas are examples of Skaldic style overloaded with kennings; though not as complicated and disjointed as was believed until recently. The Týr (god)-of-shields (or rings) is a kenning for “warrior.” In ordinary language the first part of the stanza says that the shields and the heads of Northmen were trodden (hewed) by the hardened steel of the king (Kock).
14 Viz., of Storth.
15 The serried shields thrown about the king.
16 Kenning for “sword.”
17 Kenning for “battle-axe.”
18 Kenning for “blood.”
19 I.e., the mutual attacks. The difficulties, both of interpretation and translation, are considerable.
20 Kenning for “battle.”
21 Viz., dying.
22 Cf. Eiriksmól, 7, note, for the conception implied.
23 I.e., Spear-Skogul.
24 “God of gods,” i.e., Óthin.
25 “Hero.”
26 Cf. Hovamól, 1. I follow Kock’s suggestion.
27 There is reference here, probably, to his favor with the gods, manifest in good harvests and general prosperity.
28 Cf. Voluspó 36, 54: not till the end of the world will a better ruler come.
29 Patently, a reminiscence of the famous stanzas 77, 78 of Hóvamól.
30 This is, very likely, an allusion to the lawless times that followed the reign of Hákon.

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