The new moon

A certain court poet once was in difficult financial circumstances: “One day – it was the eve of the day on which the new moon of Ramadan was due to appear and I had not a farthing to meet all the expenses incidental to that month and the feast which follows it – I went thus sad at heart to the Amir ‘Ala ud-Dawla…” He informs the Amir about his state, who advises him to return at the time of the evening prayer as the king will go up and look for the moon.

“At sundown the king came forth from his pavilion, with a crossbow in his hand and ‘Ala ud-Dawla on his right hand. I ran forward to do obeisance”. The king is the first to see the new moon whereat he was mightily pleased. “Then ‘Ala ud-Dawla said to me: ‘… Say something appropriate’ and I at once recited these two verses:

Ay máh! Chú abruwán-i-yárí gú’í
Yá nay, chú kamán-i-Shahriyárí gú’í
Na’li zada az zar-i-‘iyárí gú’í
Bar gúsh-i-sipihr gúshwárí gúí.

Methinks, o moon, thou art our Prince’s bow,
Or his arched eyebrow, which doth charm us so,
Or else a horse-shoe wrought of gold refined,
Or ring from heaven’s ear depending low.

The poet then gets a valuable horse. Later that evening the Amir said to the poet that he had not yet said anything about the favour conferred at him “by the lord of the world. I thereupon sprang to my feet and recited these two verses:

Chún átash-i-khátir-i-mará sháh bidíd
Az khák mará bar zabar-i-máh kashíd
Chún áb yaki tarána az man shuníd
Chán bád yaki markab-i-khássam bakhshíd.

The king beheld the fire which in me blazed,
Me from low earth above the moon he raised;
From me a verse, like water fluent, heard,
And swift as wind a noble steed conferred.

“When I recited these verses ‘Ala ad-Dawla warmly applauded me, and by reason of his applause the king gave me a thousand dinars”… “Now the king’s title was Mu’izzu’d-Dunyá wa’d-dín so Amir ‘Ali called me Mu’izzí.

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