FIFTY-NINE -- [The Amir is carried off by one woman, and marries another.]

The narrator writes that when the Amir camped at a distance of eight miles from the city,/1/ the ‘ayyars reported to *Kayumars, they ran to inform him, that Hamzah, with a fierce army, had camped near the city, that each of his rank-shattering champions was prepared for fighting and combat.  Kayumars said to Naushervan, “Please have the war-drum sounded, and array your own army too in its ranks.”  The Amir heard that Kayumars had come with an army into the field, he had arranged his army in the field of slaughter.  The Amir too, arming himself, set out with his army for the battlefield.

Kayumars saw that a black, dark, ominous cloud of dust had arisen.  Eventually the shears of the wind cut open the collar of the dust.  The banner of ‘Adi Ma’dikarab came into view, as if the Banner of Kava/2/ had appeared.  Beneath the standard he saw a young man, extremely tall of stature and powerful of body, mounted on a horse.  His face inspired awe and terror.  Forty-five champions surrounded his horse, and behind him were fourteen thousand riders dressed in chain mail, each one as large and powerful as Rustam and Isfandyar./3/  Kayumars asked Naushervan, “Is this Hamzah, whose valor is famous in the whole world?”  Naushervan said, “This is the vanguard commander of Hamzah’s army, his name is ‘Adi Ma’dikarab; his heroism is on the lips of great and small.  The forty-five champions around his horse are all his full brothers.”

After that a young man mounted on an elephant came into view, in the midst of a circle of seven hundred elephants, with one hundred twenty royal umbrellas over his head, and in his hand a mace with a striking force of thirty thousand pounds; with all this pomp and splendor he came into the field.  Kayumars asked, “Is this Hamzah?”  Bakhtak replied, “Hamzah and his entourage are still very far off.  This is the Emperor of India, King Landhaur bin Sa’dan, the champion.  He is the king of fourteen thousand islands, he is a mighty and glorious champion.”

After this two brothers, princes of Greece, appeared with great magnificence.  Kayumars asked, “Who are these?”  Bakhtak said, “These are both princes of Greece--look how grand they are!  One is named Istafta Nosh, and the other is named Istifo Nosh.”  Behind them two more champions appeared.  Bakhtak told him, “These also are both princes.”  Then seven brothers from Zabul/4/ came into view with great pomp and circumstance.  Kayumars asked, “Who are these?”  Bakhtak said, “All seven brothers are princes of Aleppo.”  After them Sher-mar of Shirvan/5/ came out.  Bakhtak told him, “This is the prince of Shirvan, and the brother of Naushervan’s wife; he has the most striking accoutrements of them all.”

After this came Misqal Shah of Egypt,/6/ and Raihan Shah, and the venerable Farkhari, and Qunduz Sar-e Shubban, and Sarkob the Turk,/7/ prince of Turkestan.  After them, Bareheaded Tapishi and Madman Tapishi, the princes of Tapish, and after them Aljosh the Ninety-yards-high, and Sa’d the Golden, before the brightness of whose face the embarrassed sun veiled himself in clouds, came with their armies.  Bakhtak told him all their names and origins, and said, “This last one of all, who wears a collar of gold around his neck, is the son of Hamzah.  His bravery is beyond all description, in praising him the speaking tongue grows entirely speechless.”

In short, in this way whenever the various champions in their ranks passed by, Bakhtak told Kayumars their names and origins.

Eventually the entourage of Rustam Pil-tan and Sa’d bin ‘Amr appeared.  Kayumars saw two champions, handsome and powerful of body, who rode on two thrones so radiantly beautiful as to put the sun and moon to shame.  Hundreds of royal umbrellas, adorned with various kinds of valuable jewels, shaded their heads, and thousands of champions wearing chain mail and suits of armor rode on horseback around the thrones.  Kayumars asked Bakhtak, “Who are these?”  He replied, “On one throne is a son of Hamzah’s named Rustam Pil-tan, and on the other is Sa’d bin ‘Amr, Hamzah’s grandson, the king of the army of Islam.”/8/

Afterwards Qimaz Shah of Khavar came out, and a cry of “Make way!” was raised; his army was so numerous that the wind couldn’t even manage to blow through it.  Kayumars asked, “Who is this?”  Bakhtak said, “The first one who appeared was Qimaz Shah of Khavar; his nature is full of courage and hardihood.  Behind him, the one with the retinue of twelve thousand slaves with gold robes and gold turbans, mounted on horses, calling out ‘Make way!’ and clearing people off the road--he is the ‘Ayyar and King of ‘Ayyars, the brander of slave-marks on the princes of the age, the unwavering deceiver, the one who seizes forts without a fight, Khvajah ‘Amar bin Umayyah Zamiri, head ‘ayyar over all Hamzah’s ‘ayyars; his great abilities have made him supreme chief over all Hamzah’s officers.”

After that, the sound of the serpent-shaped banner was heard, which struck terror into the hearts of all those who heard it.  Kayumars asked Bakhtak, “What kind of sound is this?”  Bakhtak replied, “This is the sound of Hamzah’s banner.  It seems that Hamzah is coming.  His is the grandeur and glory which makes the whole of Mount Qaf tremble.”  Kayumars asked, “Who made that banner, how did that peerless standard fall into his hands?”  Bakhtak said, “Buzurchmihr prepared it; he is the one who gave him this wondrous device.”  Kayumars said to Buzurchmihr, “Make me a banner like it too, prepare such a standard for me as well.”  Buzurchmihr replied, “When you triumph over Hamzah, then I’ll make you a banner, I’ll carry out your orders.”

While this conversation was taking place, the serpent-shaped banner appeared, and in its shadow the sun of the world, the renowned Hamzah, mounted on Ashqar Devzad, appeared.  Fifty thousand slaves with gold robes and gold turbans--Turkish, Tartar, Abyssinian, Chinese, Khotanese, Syrian, Byzantine, Egyptian, Balkhi, Bukhari, Indian, Arab, Assamese, Aleppan, Zanzibarian--walked in his retinue around his horse.  King Kayumars said to Bakhtak, “I didn’t know that Hamzah had such a force with him, that he had an army of such strength!”  The beholders spontaneously began to praise the Amir.
.    .    .    .    .    .    .
‘Amar came and confronted Kayumars.  Kayumars, seeing his appearance, said, “Oh jester, what kind of madness has seized you, that you’ve come to fight me?  It seems that the Angel of Death has brought you here to me!  If you wanted to come before me, you should have come in a gathering, and entertained me, and received a reward!  Here, what else will you receive but blows?  You’ll be killed for nothing.”  ‘Amar said, “If you escape alive, I’ll attend upon you in the gathering as well, and be at your service--you’ll see what an ‘ayyari I’ll do, I won’t fail to perform up to my full capacity on that occasion either!”  Kayumars laughed and said, “You’ve gone mad.  Go, and send someone else!”  ‘Amar replied, “What success have you had with me, that you are calling in others?”  Then Kayumars grew angry.  Brandishing his spear, he launched it at ‘Amar.  ‘Amar, putting his paper shield before his face, made a leap and landed near Kayumars’ head, and hit him so forcefully with his cudgel that he felt giddy; in the same motion ‘Amar struck a blow to Kayumars’ hand, so that his spear fell from his hand.

‘Amar quickly dashed forward and picked up the spear; since the spear was set with many valuable jewels, he took possession of it.  Kayumars said, “Come on, ‘Amar, give me the spear--I won’t fight with you now, I won’t do battle with you again.”  ‘Amar replied, “It seems that you don’t know me!  Oh my good man, when anything falls to the ground, I become its owner!”  However much Kayumars cajoled and pleaded, it did no good; ‘Amar wouldn’t agree at all.  Meanwhile both armies, sounding the evening drum, went to their camps.  ‘Amar brought the spear and presented it in the Amir’s service.  The Amir commanded, “Remove the poison from it and give it to Sa’d of Yemen, for he too is a spear-thrower, and excels above all the spear-throwers.”

That night, an ‘ayyar came and told Naushervan, “King Tasavvuran has sent his daughter, who has no equal anywhere for beauty and radiance, for you to marry.  Please send for her to come to you, please give her leave to arrive here.”  Naushervan, hearing this good news, was very happy, and sent Khvajah Buzurchmihr to bring her.  The Khvajah brought her and caused her to enter the ladies’ apartments.  Naushervan was very much delighted at her arrival.

The narrator writes that that princess had previously seen a picture of Hamzah, and longed with her whole heart and soul to see him.  After some days, one night she found herself at liberty.  Putting on a thief’s dress, she entered Hamzah’s camp; uprooting a tent-peg from the back of Hamzah’s tent, she entered the tent.  She saw that the Amir was deep in slumber.  When she placed a knockout drug in the Amir’s nostrils, the Amir sneezed and fell unconscious.  Tying the Amir into a bundle, she went out the way she had come in; she took him into a trench, she brought him away without letting anyone see her.  Giving the  Amir an antidote to the knockout drug, she told him how she had come to love him; she revealed the hidden secret of her heart.

The Amir asked, “Who are you?”  She said, “My name is *Zar Angez, daughter of King Tasavvuran; in beauty and radiance, who is my equal?  And now I am the wife of Naushervan.”  The Amir said, “He is my father-in-law.  Furthermore, you already have a husband.  I will never commit such a sin; such a deed is forbidden in our religion.”  However much she said provocative things to him, the Amir paid her no attention at all, he absolutely didn’t pay her any heed.  When she saw that the Amir would not be persuaded, she threatened him, and told him, “If you don’t accept me, then, Hamzah, I’ll kill you.”  The Amir said, “If that fate is to befall me, then how can I prevent it?  But your doing this evil deed will achieve no purpose.”  During this argument, morning came.  She left the Amir imprisoned in that place, and went to her own tent.

In the morning, tumult broke out in the Amir’s camp:  the Amir had disappeared from his tent!  They all began to search for him everywhere.  Gradually the news reached the infidels’ camp also, and they too were astonished.  Kayumars began to put on airs before Naushervan:  “Hamzah has run off to save his life.  From fear of my poisoned spear, he has fled and hidden himself, to escape death!”  With these words, he had the battle-drum sounded, and arrayed his army’s ranks in the field.

Then the combat between the two armies began again.  The army of Islam, appointing Rustam Pil-tan to command in the Amir’s place, formed their ranks.  Landhaur bin Sa’dan, obtaining the prince’s permission, went to oppose Kayumars.  Kayumars, cleverly wheeling his horse, flung a spear at Landhaur’s head.  Landhaur blocked it on the boss of his shield; he deftly warded off his attack, and wanted to strike him with his mace.  Kayumars, turning his horse, made another attack on Landhaur, and wounded him.  Landhaur, wounded, reached his tent and lost consciousness; the depth of his wound caused him to faint.  ‘Amar at once put on Landhaur’s wound a bandage impregnated with a special ointment, so that he was relieved from the pain he suffered.

Farhad bin Landhaur, seeing his father wounded, did battle with Kayumars.  He too returned, wounded.  After him Sarkob the Turk went to fight with Kayumars; he too was wounded.  Whoever went to fight with him came back wounded.  Meanwhile evening came.  In both armies the retiring-drums sounded; all the soldiers went to their proper camps.

That night, that whore again went to the Amir, and informed him, “Today such-and-such three champions from your army were wounded at Kayumars’ hands.  I felt very sad, to see such champions in such a state.”  The Amir said, “Alas, that at such a time you keep me captive!  Release me, so I can make Kayumars taste the fruits of spear-fighting; with my well-tempered sword I’ll make him taste the sherbet of death!”  That whore replied, “Until I get what I want, I’ll never release you--I’ll never give up pursuing my purpose!”  The Amir said, “Release me or don’t release me--I’ll never do such a vile deed, I’ll never do this deed forbidden by religious law.”  In short, that night too came to its end in discussion like this.  That madwoman, leaving the Amir there as she had before, went to her own tent.

Kayumars again entered the field and challenged them, he raised a powerful battle-cry, “Whoever has Death playing dice with his head, let him come before me, let him spur his horse into the field of battle!”  Sa’d of Yemen, obtaining Prince Rustam’s permission, went and confronted Kayumars.  Kayumars hurled a spear at him, he made an attack on him.  Sa’d parried it.  After four or five spear-exchanges, Kayumars, catching Sa’d off his guard, wounded him too.  Meanwhile, evening came; both armies returned from the battlefield.

That night, that adulteress again came to attend upon the Amir, and began to avow her passion with a thousand tears and laments; she placed her head on his feet.  It happened that ‘Amar bin Umayyah, searching for the Amir, passed by that way.  Hearing the words of that deceiver, he went and confronted her.  The moment she saw ‘Amar’s face, she fled.  ‘Amar asked the Amir, “Who was that?  If you give the command, I’ll kill him, I’ll spill his brains out of his head!”  The Amir commanded, “Let her go, don’t kill her.  She’s a woman; let it pass.  The bitch is a new wife of Naushervan’s, he feels great affection for her.”

‘Amar wanted to unfasten the Amir’s bonds.  The Amir himself exerted his strength:  all the bonds snapped in an instant.  ‘Amar said, “Why didn’t you exert your strength and free yourself from captivity two days ago, why didn’t you break your bonds before?”  The Amir said, “All actions depend upon their proper time.  And it was the Lord’s will that a worthless woman should bind me.”  With these words, he came out of the trench, and gave thanks to the Lord.  Sending for his weapons and Ashqar, he mounted and went from there straight to the battlefield.

.    .    .    .    .    .    .
That same day Naushervan had the battle-drum sounded.  Taking the army of Gilan and Mazindaran,/9/ he arrayed his ranks in the field.  The Amir too arranged his army to confront him.  As yet no one from either army had come onto the field, when a cloud of dust arose from the forest.  Both armies began looking to see who was coming to help whom, whose friend had brought such a numerous army to whose assistance.

The moment the dust cleared, a horseman, spear in hand, could be seen, whose powerful appearance impressed everyone.  At a sedate and easy pace, he entered the field.  Looking over the armies of both sides, he challenged the army of Islam to battle; they were all astonished at his courage and hardihood.  Sher-mar of Shirvan, obtaining the Amir’s permission, came and fought with him.  The horseman from the forest, in the very first attack, struck him with his spear and knocked him down from his horse; with his great strength, he wounded him.  He said, “You are not worth killing.  Go, and send someone else!”  Taz Turk came and confronted him.  Putting a hand to Taz Turk’s waist, he threw him to the ground and said, “Go, send another.”  Ka’us of Shirvan went and confronted him.  The same thing happened to Ka’us, and meanwhile evening came, the fighting was ended.  Ka’us turned back to his tent, and the horseman turned back toward the forest.

The Amir, taking ‘Amar with him, set out after the horseman to find out who he was.  The horseman, hearing their approach, turned to look back, and saw two horsemen, who seemed very fit and alert young men.  Quickly he went into a garden.  The Amir too, following him, entered the garden.  He found the garden arranged with the greatest sophistication; it was extremely attractive.  Standing in a corner, he began to look around.  He saw that the horseman had gotten down from his horse and was standing at the edge of an ornamental pond.  From all sides heralds, messengers, and servants ran to attend upon him.  But they were all women; there was no sign at all of a man.  The Amir said to ‘Amar, “It seems that this horseman is a woman!”

Suddenly the horseman’s eye too fell on the Amir.  He sent a eunuch:  “Find out who those two horsemen are, and what their names are; what intentions they have, and why they have come here.”  The eunuch asked the Amir, “What is your name, and why have you come here?”  The Amir said, “Hamzah is my name, and this companion of mine is called Khvajah ‘Amar ‘Ayyar bin Umayyah Zamiri; who can fathom his trickery?  But, oh eunuch, tell me, what is your princess’s name?”  He replied, “They call my princess *Geli Savar.”  With these words, he ran back to the princess, told her what had taken place, and described the situation to her.

The princess, going into the pavilion, took off her weapons and men’s clothing, and put on women’s clothing.  Welcoming the Amir, she brought him into the pavilion and seated him on a cushion, and showed him great respect and honor.  Having joined the Amir in an elegant dinner, she summoned the silver-faced cupbearers.  First filling a crystalline cup with rose-colored wine, she gave it with her own hands to the Amir.  She made him intoxicated with the wine; afterwards, she herself drank.  When they had drunk three or four cups, the princess grew happy and elevated.  Lifting aside the veil from her face, she came and sat in the Amir’s lap, she abandoned all shame and modesty.

When the Amir looked into the eyes of that moon-faced one, the arrows of her eyelashes, shot by the bows of her eyebrows, buried themselves in the Amir’s heart and made deep wounds there.  Eagerly he begged her to marry him, he clearly proposed a marriage between them.  After all, the feeling was already there in her heart:  she agreed.  Khvajah ‘Amar immediately read the marriage ceremony, he married them most willingly.  Both, in a canopied bed, paid due heed to the claims of pleasure; the Amir had great luxury and enjoyment with her.

Unexpectedly King *Ganjal received word of all this.  Immediately he came with four thousand horsemen and surrounded the garden, he besieged it with a large party.  The princess said to the Amir, “If you wish, I’ll go and cut off his head and bring it here, I’ll send him at once to the realm of Nothingness!”  The Amir said, “Whatever he has done, still he is your father; you will not be able to lift your hand against him.  But I will go and make him taste the fruits of his rashness.”  With these words, he went out of the garden.

King Ganjal, seeing the Amir, said, “Oh Arab, so you have treated this one too like Naushervan’s daughter, and married her by force!  So you still cherish that kind of arrogance in your heart!  Just wait and see what kind of punishment I give you, what kind of revenge I take on you for these misdeeds!”  With these words, he drew his sword and rushed at the Amir.  The Amir seized his hand and hit him so hard with his bow, that he fell from his horse.  The Amir, drawing his dagger, flung himself onto his chest and said, “Say that the God of Might and Grandeur is without a partner, and the faith of Abraham is the true one!”  King Ganjal, with entire willingness, repeated the Amir’s words.  The Amir released him.  King Ganjal went to his daughter, and told her how he had become a Muslim.  This news became known in all directions and places, everyone, great and small, heard about this.

One night the Amir was sleeping with Geli Savar in the garden, when Zar Angez, the wife of Naushervan, who had kept the Amir prisoner for three days in a trench, put on thief’s clothing, took a bow and arrow in her hand, and entered the garden.  There she saw the situation:  the Amir was sleeping, with Geli Savar in his arms.  It was as though a snake crawled over her heart. She said to herself, “Hamzah refused me, and he has married Geli Savar.  He has caused me so much pain!  I’ll kill them both at once, I won’t by any means spare them!”  She was about to make her attack.  Geli Savar’s eyes opened; seeing her, Geli Savar arose from the canopied bed.

Zar Angez leaped down from the edge of the roof.  Geli Savar too came down from the roof.  Zar Angez mounted her horse and hastily fled, out of fear.  Geli Savar too mounted and followed her.  When they had both left the garden and entered an open field, that whore turned and confronted Geli Savar, and said, “I fled from the garden for fear of Hamzah.  Why should I fear you, what threat or danger could I find from you?”  With these words, she shot an arrow at Geli Savar.  Geli Savar cut the arrow in half with her sword.  Spurring her horse, she galloped like lightning right up to Zar Angez, until they were stirrup to stirrup.  She struck such a sword-blow at her, that Zar Angez was cut in half and fell to the ground; after that one blow she never took another breath, she left this world for a visit to the world of Nothingness.

The Amir too was watching the show from a distance.  When Geli Savar killed Zar Angez, the Amir called out, “Oh Geli Savar, what have you done?  Naushervan will think that I killed her, and will be ashamed before me for no reason, he’ll be very much embarrassed by this!”  Geli Savar replied, “What was to happen has happened, what can be done about it now?”  The Amir, taking Geli Savar, went back into the garden, and rested.

In the morning, word was brought to Naushervan that Zar Angez was lying dead in a field, she was lying without shroud or tomb in the wilderness.  He sent ‘ayyars to take up the body and bring it to him.  And expressing great regret, he said, “It seems that this bitch had gone to Hamzah, and he killed her.”  With these words, he said to his slaves, “I’ve reigned for a long time.  Now I want to wander around from country to country, seeing the sights.”  They replied, “We’re your servants, we’ll obey you in every way.  Whatever you order, we will carry out, we’ll do just as you command.”

Naushervan, at midnight, packed many goods and jewels, and much cash, into saddlebags, took a thousand slaves with him, left the city, and set out on the road for Khotan.  If anyone asked him, he said he was a merchant; he hid his true identity from everyone.

Meanwhile, in the morning a tumult arose in the camp--Naushervan had disappeared!  Some said that the Amir had killed him, others maintained that ‘Amar had carried him off.  But Buzurchmihr said, “If Hamzah had killed him, or ‘Amar had carried him off, why would a thousand horses be missing?  Naushervan has been shamed by this misdeed of Zar Angez’s, and has gone off somewhere.”  Crown Prince Hurmuz sent people off in all directions to search for him.  At the counsel of his friends and relations and the nobles of the court, Hurmuz seated himself on the throne.  He began to conduct the affairs of the kingdom, he began to do everything in place of Naushervan.

/1/ That is, the unnamed city ruled by Kayumars.
/2/ The leather banner raised by a shoemaker who fought in ancient times for the liberation of Iran  described in the Shah namah (Levy 19-20).
/3/ Isfandyar [isfandyaar] was a legendary Persian king of the earliest dynasty.
/4/ Zabul is a region near Kabul or Ghaznah, supposed to be Rustam’s birthplace.
/5/ Sher-mar of Shirvan, “Tiger-killer of Shirvan.”  Shirvan is the area of Medea, in Iran.
/6/ The last we heard of Egypt, Sarhang the Egyptian was ruling as regent for Zuhrah of Egypt.  Misqal Shah has appeared briefly as a king of the Western Dominion who aided Naushervan and was conquered by ‘Amar.
/7/Sarkob was one of Naushervan’s vassal kings.  He was overcome and converted by Hamzah.
/8/[lashkar-e islaam kaa baadshaah]. It's not entirely clear what, if any, royal claims are implied.
/9/ Gilan is a city, and Mazindaran a region, in Iran.

== on to Chapter 60 ==

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