Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thousand and One Nights - 24

The Fisherman and the Genie

And he repeated the following verses:

O thou that strivest in the gloom of darkness and distress, Cut
short thine efforts, for in strife alone lies not success!
Seest not the fisherman that seeks his living in the sea, Midmost
the network of the stars that round about him press!
Up to his midst he plunges in: the billows buffet him; But from
the bellying net his eyes cease not in watchfulness;
Till when, contented with his night, he carries home a fish,
Whose throat the hand of Death hath slit with trident
Comes one who buys his prey of him, one who has passed the night,
Safe from the cold, in all delight of peace and blessedness.
Praise be to God who gives to this and cloth to that deny! Some
fish, and others eat the fish caught with such toil and

Then he said, 'Courage! I shall have better luck next time,
please God!' And repeated the following verses:

If misfortune assail thee, clothe thyself thereagainst With
patience, the part of the noble: 'twere wiselier done.
Complain not to men: that were indeed to complain, To those that
have no mercy, of the Merciful One.

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.

More About This Book

From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

More information here:
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