Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Dream of Dakiki - Ferdowsi

My heart was fired, as from his sight it turned
Toward the world's Sovereign Throne, and inly yearned,
'May I lay hand upon that book some day
And tell, in my own words, that ancient lay!'

Countless the persons whom I sought for aid.
As I of fleeting time was sore afraid
Lest I in turn not long enough should live,
But to another's hand the task must give.

Nay, more — lest that my means should ne'er suffice,—
For such a work there was no buyer's price;
The age forsooth was filled with wars of greed,
A straitened world it was for those in need.

Some time in that condition did I live,
Yet of my secret not a word did give.
Finding no person who my aims would share,
Nor act for me with friendly patron care . . .

By hap, a friend beloved at Tus I had;
Thou would'st have said 'Two souls in one skin clad!'
To me he spake, 'Good is thy whole project,
Thy foot toward fortune now is turned direct;

That book, which written is in Pahlavi,
I'll get for thee; but slack thou must not be;
Thine is the gift of speech; and youth is thine
To tell the tale of champions' deeds — in fine,

Do thou the Kingly Book anew relate
And seek through it renown among the great.'
When he at last that book before me laid
He made ablaze with light my soul of shade!

Ferdowsi (Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi; also transliterated as Firdawsi, Firdusi, Firdausi) (935 - 1020) Iran
Translated by A, V. Williams Jackson
Source: The World's great religious poetry by Caroline Miles Hill, Macmillan, 1923
Taken from Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran.

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