Ch 05 On Love And Youth Story 19

A king of the Arabs, having been informed of the relations subsisting between Laila and Mejnun, with an account of the latter’s insanity, to the effect that he had in spite of his great accomplishments and eloquence, chosen to roam about in the desert and to let go the reins of self-control from his hands; he ordered him to be brought to his presence, and this having been done, he began to reprove him and to ask him what defect he had discovered in the nobility of the human soul that he adopted the habits of beasts and abandoned the society of mankind. Mejnun replied:

  ‘Many friends have blamed me for loving her.
  Will they not see her one day and understand my excuse?’
  Would that those who are reproving me
  Could see thy face, O ravisher of hearts,
  That instead of a lemon in thy presence
  They might heedlessly cut their hands.
  That the truth may bear witness to the assertion: This is he for
  whose sake ye blamed me.

The king expressed a wish to see the beauty of Laila in order to ascertain the cause of so much distress. Accordingly he ordered her to be searched for. The encampments of various Arab families having been visited, she was found, conveyed to the king and led into the courtyard of the palace. The king looked at her outward form for some time and she appeared despicable in his sight because the meanest handmaids of his harem excelled her in beauty and attractions. Mejnun, who shrewdly understood the thoughts of the king, said: ‘It would have been necessary to look from the window of Mejnun’s eye at the beauty of Laila when the mystery of her aspect would have been revealed to thee.’

  If the record of the glade which entered my ears
  Had been heard by the leaves of the glade they would have lamented with me.
  O company of friends, say to him who is unconcerned
  ‘Would that thou knewest what is in a pining heart
  Who are healthy have no pain from wounds.
  I shall tell my grief to no one but a sympathizer.
  It is useless to speak of bees to one
  Who never in his life felt their sting.
  As long as thy state is not like mine
  My state will be but an idle tale to thee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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"Ch 05 On Love And Youth Story 19" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 7 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/33915/ch-05-on-love-and-youth-story-19>.

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