Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thousand and One Nights - 27

The Fisherman and the Genie

Then he lifted his eyes to heaven and said, 'O my God, Thou knowest that I cast my net but four times a day; and now I have cast it three times and have taken nothing. Grant me then, O my God, my daily bread this time!' So he said, 'In the name of God!' and cast his net and waited till it had settled down in the water, then pulled it, but could not bring it up, for it was caught in the bottom Whereupon, 'There is no power and no virtue but in God!' said he and repeated the following verses:

Away with the world, if it be like this, away! My part in it's
nought but misery and dismay!
Though the life of a man in the morning be serene, He must drink
of the cup of woe ere ended day.
And yet if one asked, 'Who's the happiest man alive?' The people
would point to me and 'He' would say.

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.

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