THE LOVERS OF THE BANU TAYY.



Kásim, son of Adi, was wont to relate that a man of the Banú Tamím spake as follows: "I went out one day in search of an estray and, coming to the waters of the Banu Tayy, saw two companies of people near one another, and behold, those of one company were disputing among themselves even as the other. So I watched them and observed, in one of the companies, a youth wasted with sickness, as he were a worn-out dried-up waterskin. And as I looked on him, lo! he repeated these couplets,

    'What ails the Beauty she returneth not? *
         Is't Beauty's irk or grudging to my lot?
    I sickened and my friends all came to call; *
         What stayed thee calling with the friendly knot?
    Hadst thou been sick, I had come running fast *
         To thee, nor threats had kept me from the spot:
    Mid them I miss thee, and I lie alone; *
         Sweetheart, to lose thy love sad loss I wot!'

His words were heard by a damsel in the other company who hastened towards him, and when her people followed her, she fought them off. Then the youth caught sight of her and sprang up and ran towards her, whilst the people of his party ran after him and laid hold of him. However he haled and freed himself from them, and she in like manner loosed herself; and, when they were free, each ran to other and meeting between the two parties, embraced and fell dead upon the ground."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred ante Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the young man and the maid met between the two parties and embraced and both fell dead upon the ground; whereat came there out an old man from one of the tents and stood over them exclaiming, 'Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning!' Then weeping sore he said, 'Allah have ruth on you both! by the Almighty, though you were not united in your lives, I will at least unite you after your deaths.' And he bade lay them out: so they washed them and shrouded them in one shroud and dug for them one grave and prayed one prayer over them both and buried them in one tomb; nor was there man or woman in the two parties but I saw weeping over them and buffeting their faces. Then I questioned the Shaykh of them, and he said, 'She was my daughter and he my brother's son; and love brought them to the pass thou seest.' I exclaimed, 'Allah amend thee! but why didst thou not marry them to each other?' Quoth he, 'I feared shame [FN#197] and dishonour; and now I am fallen into both.' " And they tell a tale of




Prev Next