Story of the sea-cow

Story of the sea-cow: how it brings up the royal pearl from the depths of the ocean and at night lays it on the seashore and feeds in the resplendence and lustre thereof; and how the trader comes forth from his hiding-place and, when the cow has gone some distance away from the pearl, covers the pearl with loam and black clay and runs off and climbs a tree; and so on to the end of the story and exposition. قصه‌ی آنک گاو بحری گوهر کاویان از قعر دریا بر آورد شب بر ساحل دریا نهد در درخش و تاب آن می‌چرد بازرگان از کمین برون آید چون گاو از گوهر دورتر رفته باشد بازرگان به لجم و گل تیره گوهر را بپوشاند و بر درخت گریزد الی آخر القصه و التقریب

گاو آبی گوهر از بحر آورد بنهد اندر مرج و گردش می‌چرد
The water-cow fetches a pearl out of the sea, lays it on the meadow, and grazes around it.
در شعاع نور گوهر گاو آب می‌چرد از سنبل و سوسن شتاب
In the radiance of the light of the pearl the water-cow feeds hurriedly on hyacinths and lilies.
زان فکنده‌ی گاو آبی عنبرست که غذااش نرگس و نیلوفرست
The excrement of the water-cow is ambergris because its food is narcissus and nenuphar.
هرکه باشد قوت او نور جلال چون نزاید از لبش سحر حلال
Any one whose food is the Light of (Divine) Majesty, how should not lawful magic (wondrous eloquence) spring from his lips?
هرکه چون زنبور وحیستش نفل چون نباشد خانه‌ی او پر عسل
Any one who, like the bee, has been given (Divine) inspiration as a prize, how should not his house be full of honey?
می‌چرد در نور گوهر آن بقر ناگهان گردد ز گوهر دورتر
The cow grazes in the light of the pearl; (then) suddenly it moves some distance away from the pearl.
تاجری بر در نهد لجم سیاه تا شود تاریک مرج و سبزه‌گاه
A trader (appears and) puts black loam on the pearl, so that the meadow and verdant ground becomes dark.
پس گریزد مرد تاجر بر درخت گاوجویان مرد را با شاخ سخت
Then the trader takes refuge on a tree, while the cow seeks the man with its hard horn.
بیست بار آن گاو تازد گرد مرج تا کند آن خصم را در شاخ درج
Twenty times the cow runs about the meadow, in order to impale its enemy on its horn.
چون ازو نومید گردد گاو نر آید آنجا که نهاده بد گهر
When the fierce cow despairs of (finding) him, it comes to the place where the pearl was laid
لجم بیند فوق در شاه‌وار پس ز طین بگریزد او ابلیس‌وار
And sees the loam (spread) over the royal pearl; then it runs away from the clay, like Iblís.
کان بلیس از متن طین کور و کرست گاو کی داند که در گل گوهرست
(Since) Iblís is blind and deaf to the gist (spiritual content) of the clay (of Adam), how should the cow know that the pearl is in the clay?
اهبطوا افکند جان را در حضیض از نمازش کرد محروم این محیض
(The Divine command) fall ye cast the spirit into abasement: this menstruation excluded it from prayer (communion with God).
ای رفیقان زین مقیل و زان مقال اتقوا ان الهوی حیض الرجال
O comrades, beware of this resting-place and of that (idle) talk: verily, sensuality is the menstruation of men.
اهبطوا افکند جان را در بدن تا به گل پنهان بود در عدن
(The Divine command) fall ye cast the spirit into the body, that the pearl of Aden might be hidden in clay.
تاجرش داند ولیکن گاو نی اهل دل دانند و هر گل‌کاو نی
The trader knows it, but the cow does not: the spiritual know, but not any clay-digger.
هر گلی که اندر دل او گوهریست گوهرش غماز طین دیگریست
Every piece of clay in the heart of which there is a pearl its pearl can tell the secrets of another (piece of) clay;
وان گلی کز رش حق نوری نیافت صحبت گلهای پر در بر نتافت
While the clay that has not been illumined by God’s sprinkling (of light) cannot bear the companionship of the pieces of clay that are filled with pearls.
این سخن پایان ندارد موش ما هست بر لبهای جو بر گوش ما
This topic is endless, (and meanwhile) our mouse on the bank of the river is (waiting) on our ear (attention).




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