Title: Salámán & Absál: An Allegory
Author: Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami, Edward Fitzgerald (trans), EA Cox (illus)
Publisher: F Lewis Publisher, The Tithe House, Leigh-on-Sea, England. 1946. Limited edition of 1000 copies. Printed on Barcham-Green handmade paper.
Condition: Hardcover, red cloth. In very good condition: a dent and a stain on boards, but very bright, firmly bound, immaculate interior. With gorgeous illustrations. Dust jacket in poor condition, in two pieces.
An allegorical Sufi poem by the Persian Sufi poet Jami, (b. 1441 d. 1492), who lived in what is today Afghanistan and Uzebekistan.
Jami was a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and the greatest Sufi poet of the 15th century. His works are widely read in the Islamic world and he is considered to be one of the greatest Persian poets of all time.
The story revolves around the doomed love of prince Salaman and his nurse Absal, and how the latter dies and the former gains an understanding of incorruptible, spiritual love as opposed to the temporal, earthly love he shared with Absal.
Now when Salaman’s heart turned to Absal,
Her star was happy in the heavens old Love
Put forth afresh Desire doubled his bond :
And of the running time she watch’d an hour
To creep into the mansion of her moon
And satiate her soul upon his lips.
And the hour came;
she stole into his chamber
ran up to him, Life’s offer in her hand
And, falling like a shadow at his feet,
She laid her face beneath. Salaman then
With all the courtesies of princely grace
Put forth his hand he rais’d her in his arms
He held her trembling there
and from that fount
Drew first desire;
then deeper from her lips,
That, yielding, mutually drew from his
A wine that ever drawn from never fail’d.
So through the day so through another still.
The day became a seventh the seventh a moon
The moon a year while they rejoiced together
Thinking their pleasure never was to end.