Epic of Kings)
a certain day it came about that Tous, Giwe, Goudarz, and other brave knights of
Iran went forth to chase wild asses in the forests of Daghoui. Now when they
were come into the wood, they found therein a woman of surpassing beauty, and
the hearts of Tous and Giwe burned towards her in love. And when they had
questioned her of her lineage, and learned that she was of the race of Freydoun,
each desired to take her to wife. But none would give way unto the other, and
hot words were bandied, and they were like to come unto blows. Then one spake,
counsel you, let Kay-Kavous decide between you." And they listened to the
voice of the counsellor, and they took with them the Pari-faced, and led her
before Kay-Kavous, and recounted to him all that was come about. But Kay-Kavous,
when he beheld the beauty of the maid, longed after her for himself, and he said
that she was worthy of the throne; and he took her and led her into the house of
after many days there was born to her a son, and he was of goodly mien, tall and
strong, and the name that was given to him was Siawosh. And Kay-Kavous rejoiced
in this son of his race, but he was grieved also because of the message of the
stars concerning him. For it was written that the heavens were hostile unto this
infant; neither would his virtues avail him aught, for these above all would
lead him into destruction.
the meantime the news that a son had been born unto the King spread even unto
the land of Rostam. And the Pahlewan, when he learned thereof, aroused him from
his sorrow for Sohrab, and he came forth out of Zabolestan, and asked for the
babe at the hands of its father, that he might rear it unto Iran. And Kay-Kavous
suffered it, and Rostam bare the child unto his kingdom, and trained him in the
arts of war and of the banquet. And Siawosh increased in might and beauty, and
you would have said that the world held not his like.
when Siawosh was become strong (so that he could ensnare a lion), he came before
Rostam, bearing high his head. And he spake, saying-
desire to go before the King, that my father may behold me, and see what manner
of man thou hast made of me."
Rostam deemed that he spake well. So he made great preparations, and marched
unto Iran with a mighty host, and Siawosh rode with him at their head. And the
land rejoiced when it looked on the face of Siawosh, and there was great joy in
the courts of the King, and jewels and gold and precious things past the telling
rained upon Rostam and Siawosh his charge. And Kay-Kavous was glad when he
beheld the boy, and gave rich rewards unto Rostam; but Siawosh did he place
beside him on the throne. And all men spake his praises, and there was a feast
given, such as the world hath not seen the like.
Siawosh stayed in the courts of his father, and seven years did he prove his
spirit; but in the eighth, when he had found him worthy, he gave unto him a
throne and a crown. And all was well, and men had forgotten the evil message of
the stars. But that which is written in the heavens, it is surely accomplished,
and the day of ill fortune drew nigh. For it came about that Soudabeh beheld the
youth of Siawosh, and her eyes were filled with his beauty, and her soul burned
after him. So she sent unto him a messenger, and invited him to enter the house
of the women. But he sent in answer words of excuse, for he trusted her not.
Then Soudabeh made complaint before Kay-Kavous that Siawosh had deafened his ear
unto her request, and she bade the King send him behind the curtains of the
women's house, that his son might become acquainted with his sisters. And Kay-Kavous
did that which Soudabeh asked of him, and Siawosh obeyed his commands.
Soudabeh, when she had so far accomplished her longing that she had gotten him
within the house, desired that he should speak with her alone. But Siawosh
resisted her wish. And three times did Soudabeh entice him behind the curtains
of the house, and three times was Siawosh cold unto her yearning. Then Soudabeh
was wroth, and she made complaint unto the King, and she slandered the fair fame
of Siawosh, and she spread evil reports of him throughout the land,
she inflamed the heart of Kay-Kavous against his son. Now the King was angered
beyond measure, and it availed nought unto Siawosh to defend himself, for Kay-Kavous
was filled with the love of Soudabeh, and he listened only unto her voice. And
he remembered how she had borne his captivity in Hamavaran, and he knew not of
her evil deceits. And when she said that Siawosh had done her great wrong, Kay-Kavous
was troubled in his spirit, and he resolved how he should act, for his heart
went out also unto his son, and he feared that guile lurked in these things. And
he could not decide between them. So he caused dromedaries to be sent forth,
even unto the borders of the land, and bring forth wood from the forests. And
they did so, and there was reared a mighty heap of logs, so that the eye could
behold it at a distance of two farsangs. And it was piled so that a path ran
through its midst such as a mounted knight could traverse. And the King
commanded that naphtha be poured upon the wood; and when it was done he bade
that it be lighted, and there were needed two hundred men to light the pyre, so
great was its width and height. And the flames and smoke overspread the heavens,
and men shouted for fear when they beheld the tongues of fire, and the heat
thereof was felt in the far corners of the land.
when all was ready, Kay-Kavous bade Siawosh his son ride into the midst of the
burning mount, that he might prove his innocence. And Siawosh did as the King
commanded, and he came before Kay-Kavous, and saluted him, and made him ready
for the ordeal. And when he came nigh unto the burning wood, he commended his
soul unto God, and prayed that He would make him pure before his father. And
when he had done so, he gave rein unto his horse, and entered into the flame.
And a great cry of sorrow arose from all men in the plains and in the city, for
they held that no man could come forth alive from this furnace. And Soudabeh
heard the cry, and came forth upon the roof of her house that she might behold
the sight, and she prayed that ill might befall unto Siawosh, and she held her
eyes fastened upon the pyre. But the nobles gazed on the face of Kay Kavous, and
their mouths were filled with execrations, and their lips trembled with wrath at
Siawosh rode on undaunted, and his white robes and ebon steed shone forth
between the flames, and their anger was reflected upon his helmet of gold. And
he rode until he was come unto the end of the pathway, and when he came forth
there was not singed a hair of his head, neither had the smoke blackened his
when the people beheld that he was come forth alive, they rent the welkin with
their shouting. And the nobles came forth to greet him, and, save only Soudabeh,
there was joy in all hearts. Now Siawosh rode till he came before the King, and
then he got him off his horse, and did homage before his father. And when Kay-Kavous
beheld him, and saw that there were no signs of fire about him, he knew that he
was innocent. So he raised his son from off the ground, and placed Siawosh
beside him on the throne, and asked his forgiveness for that which was come to
pass. And Siawosh granted it. Then Kay Kavous feasted his son with wine and
song, and three days did they spend in revels, and the door of the King's
treasury was opened.
on the fourth day Kay-Kavous mounted the throne of the Key’ianides. He took in
his hand the ox-headed mace, and he commanded that Soudabeh be led before him.
Then he reproached her with her evil deeds, and he bade her make ready to depart
the world, for verily death was decreed unto her. And in vain did Soudabeh ask
for pardon at the hands of the King, for she continued to speak ill of Siawosh,
and she said that by the arts of magic alone had he escaped the fire, and she
ceased not to cry against him. So the King gave orders that she be led forth
unto death, and the nobles approved his resolve, and invoked the blessings of
Heaven upon the
of the King. But Siawosh, when he learned it, was grieved, for he knew that the
woman was beloved of his father. And he went before Kay-Kavous, and craved her
pardon. And Kay-Kavous granted it with gladness, for his heart yearned after
Soudabeh. So Siawosh led her back, and the curtains of the house of the women
hid her once more behind them, and the King was glad again in her sight.
it came about that the love of Kay-Kavous for Soudabeh grew yet mightier, and he
was as wax under her hands. And when she saw that her empire over him was
strengthened, she filled his ear with plaints of Siawosh, and she darkened the
mind of the King till that his spirit was troubled, and he knew not where he
should Turn for truth.
while Kay-Kavous thus dallied behind the curtains of his house, Afrasiyab made
him ready with three thousand chosen men to fall upon the land of Iran. And Kay-Kavous,
when he learned it, was sad, for he knew that he must exchange the banquet for
the battle; and he was angered also with Afrasiyab, and he poured out words of
reproof against him because he had broken his covenant and had once more
attacked his land. Yet he made him ready to lead forth his army. Then a Mubid
prayed him that he would not go forth himself, and he recalled unto Kay-Kavous
how twice already he had endangered his kingdom. But Kay-Kavous was wroth when
he heard these words, and he bade the Mubid depart from his presence, and he
sware that he alone could Turn the army unto good issue.
Siawosh, when he heard it, took heart of grace, for he thought within his
the King grant unto me to lead forth his army, perchance I may win unto myself a
name of valour, and be delivered from the wiles of Soudabeh."
he girded himself with the armour of battle and came before the King his father,
and made known to him his request. And he recalled unto Kay-Kavous how that he
was his son, and how he was sprung from a worthy race, and how his rank
permitted him to lead forth a host; and Kay-Kavous listened to his words with
gladness, and assented to his desires. Then messengers were sent unto Rostam to
bid him go forth to battle with his charge and guard him. And Kay-Kavous said
unto his Pahlewan-
thou watchest over him, I can slumber; but if thou reposest, then doth it beseem
me to act."
Rostam answered and said,
King, I am thy servant, and it behoveth me to do thy will. As for Siawosh, he is
the light of my heart and the joy of my soul; I rejoice to lead him forth before
So the trumpets of war were sounded, and the clang of armour and the
tramp of horsemen and of foot filled the air. And five Mobeds bare aloft the
standard of Kaaveh, and the army followed after them. And they passed in order
before Kay-Kavous, and he blessed the troops and his son, who rode at their
head. And he spake, saying-
thy good star shine down upon thee, and mayst thou come back to me victorious
Kay-Kavous returned him unto his house, and Siawosh gave the signal to depart.
And they marched until they came unto the land of Zabolestan.
when they were come there they rested them a while, and feasted in the house of
Zal. And while they revelled there came out to join them riders from Cabul and
from Ind, and wherever there was a king of might he sent over his army to aid
them. Then when a month had rolled above their heads they took their leave of
Zal and of Zabolestan, and went forward till they came unto Balkh. And at Balkh
the men of Turan met them, and Garsivaz, the brother of Afrasiyab, was at their
head. Now when he saw the hosts of Iran, he knew that the hour to fight was
come. So the two armies made them in order, and they waged battle hot and sore,
and for three days the fighting raged without ceasing, but on the fourth victory
passed over to Iran. Then Siawosh called before him a scribe, and wrote a
letter, perfumed with musk, unto Kay-Kavous his father. And when he had invoked
the blessings of Heaven upon his head, he told him all that was come to pass,
and how he had conquered the foes of Iran. And Kay Kavous, when he had read the
letter, rejoiced, and wrote an answer unto his son, and his gladness shone in
his words, and you would have said it was a letter like to the tender green of
Afrasiyab, when he learned the news, was discomfited, and that which Garsivaz
told unto him was bitter to his taste, and he was beside himself for anger. Now
when he had heard his brother to an end, Afrasiyab laid him down to slumber. Yet
ere the night was spent there came out one to the house of Garsivaz and told
unto him that Afrasiyab was shouting like to a man bereft of reason. Then
Garsivaz went in unto the King, and he beheld him lying upon the floor of his
chamber roaring in agony of spirit. Then he raised him, and questioned him
wherefore he cried out thus. But Afrasiyab said-
me not until I have recovered my wits, for I am like to one possessed."
he desired that torches be brought within to light up the darkness, and he
gathered his robes about him and mounted upon his throne. And when he had done
so he called for the Mobeds, and he recounted to them the dream that had visited
his slumber. And he told how that he had seen the earth filled with serpents,
and the Iranians were fallen upon him, and evil was come to him from Kay-Kavous
and a boy that stood beside him on the throne. And he trembled as he related his
dream, and he would take no comfort from the words of Garsivaz.
the Mobeds as they listened were afraid, and when Afrasiyab bade them open their
lips, they dared not for fear. Then the King said that he would cleave open
their heads if they spake not, and he sware unto them a great oath that he would
spare them, even though the words they should utter be evil. Then they revealed
to him how it was written that Siawosh would bring destruction upon Turan, and
how he would be victorious over the Turks, and how, even though he should fall
by the hands of Afrasiyab, this evil could not be stayed. And they counselled
Afrasiyab to contend no longer against the son of Kay-Kavous, for surely if he
stayed not his hand this evil could not be Turned aside.
Afrasiyab heard this message, he took counsel with Garsivaz, and he said-
I cease from warring against Siawosh surely none of these things can come about.
It beseemeth me to seek after peace. I will send therefore silver and jewels and
rich gifts unto Siawosh, and will bind up with gold the eye of war."
he bade Garsivaz take from his treasures rich brocades of Roum, and jewels of
price, and bear them across the Jihun to the camp of Siawosh. And he sent a
message unto him, saying-
world is disTurbed since the days of Salam and Tur, the valiant, since the times
of Iraj, who was killed unjustly. But now, let us forget these things, let us
conclude an alliance together, and let peace reign in our borders."
Garsivaz did as Afrasiyab bade, and he went forth, and a train of camels bearing
rich presents followed after him. And he marched till he came within the tents
when he had delivered his message unto Siawosh, the young King marvelled
thereat; and he took counsel with Rostam how they should act, for he trusted not
in the words of Afrasiyab, and he deemed that poison was hidden under these
flowers. And Rostam counselled him that they should entertain Garsivaz the space
of seven days, and that joy and feasting should resound throughout the camp, and
in the mean season they would ponder their deeds. And it was done as Rostam
said, and the sounds of revelry were abroad, and Garsivaz rejoiced in the
presence of Siawosh. But on the eighth day Garsivaz presented himself before
Siawosh in audience, and demanded a reply. And Siawosh said-
have pondered thy message, and we yield to thy request, for we desire not
bloodshed but peace. Yet since it behoveth us to know that poison be not hidden
under thy words, we desire of thee that thou send over to us as hostages an
hundred chosen men of Turan, allied unto Afrasiyab by blood, that we may guard
them as a pledge of thy words."
Garsivaz heard this answer, he sent it unto Afrasiyab by a messenger quick as
the wind. And Afrasiyab, when he heard it, was troubled, for he said-
I give way to this demand I bereave the land of its choicest warriors; yet if I
refuse, Siawosh will deny belief unto my words, and the evils foretold will fall
he chose out from among his army men allied to him by blood, and he sent them
forth unto Siawosh. Then he caused the trumpets to sound, and retreated with his
army unto Turan, and restored unto Iran the lands he had seized.
when Rostam beheld the warriors, and that Afrasiyab had spoken that which was
true, he suffered Garsivaz to depart; and he held counsel with Siawosh how they
should acquaint Kay-Kavous with that which was come to pass, for Siawosh said-
Kay-Kavous desire vengeance rather than peace, he will be angered and commit a
deed of folly. Who shall bear unto him these
that I go forth to tell them unto Kay Kavous, for verily he will listen unto
that which I shall speak, and honour will fall upon Siawosh for this advenTure."
Wherefore Rostam went before the King, and told him they had conquered
Afrasiyab, and how he was become afraid, and how there was concluded a peace
between them. And he vaunted the wisdom of Siawosh that was quick to act and
quick to refrain, and he craved the King to confirm what they had done. But Kay-Kavous
was angered when he heard it, and he said that Siawosh had done like to an
infant. And he loaded reproaches upon Rostam, and said that his counsels were
vile, and he sware that he would be avenged upon Turan. Then he recalled all
they had suffered in the days that were past at the hands of Afrasiyab, and he
said the tree of vengeance could not be uprooted. And he desired Rostam that he
Turn him back unto Balkh, and say unto Siawosh that he should destroy these
hostages of Turan, and that he should fall again upon Afrasiyab, nor cease from
fighting. But Rostam, when he had heard him to an end, opened his mouth and said
unto the King-
King, listen to my voice, and do not that which is evil! Verily I say unto thee
that Siawosh will not break his oath unto Afrasiyab, neither will he destroy
these men of Turan that were delivered into his hands."
Kay-Kavous heard his speech his anger was kindled, and he upbraided Rostam, and
said that his evil counsels had caused Siawosh to swerve from the straight path;
and he taunted him and bade him go back unto Sistan, and he said that Tous
should go forth as Pahlewan unto his son. Then Rostam too was angered, and he
gave back the reproaches of the King, and he Turned him and quitted the courts
and sped him back unto his kingdom. But Kay-Kavous sent Tous unto the army at
his borders, and he bade him speak his desires unto Siawosh his son.
Siawosh, when he learned what was come about, was sore discomfited, and he
pondered how he should act. For he said,
can I come before Urmazd if I depart from mine oath? Yet, however I shall act, I
see around me but perdition."
he called for Bahram and Zengueh, and confided to them his troubles. And he said
how that Kay-Kavous was a king who knew not good from evil, and how he had
accomplished that wherefore the army went forth, yet how the King desired that
vengeance should not cease. And he said-
I listen to the commands of the King, I do that which is evil; yet if I listen
not, surely he will destroy me. Wherefore I will send back unto Afrasiyab the
men he hath placed within my hands, and then hide me from sight."
he sent Zengueh before Afrasiyab with a writing. And he told therein all that
was come about, and how that discord was sprouted out of their peace. And he
recalled unto Afrasiyab how he had not broken their treaty though Kay-Kavous had
bidden him do it, and he said how he could not reTurn unto the King his father.
Then he prayed Afrasiyab that he would make a passage for him through his
dominions, that he might hide him wheresoever God desired. For he said-
seek a spot where my name shall be lost unto Kay-Kavous, and where I may not
know of his woeful deeds."
Zengueh set forth and did as Siawosh desired, and he took with him the hundred
men of Turan, and all the gold and jewels that Afrasiyab had sent. And when he
was come within the gates Afrasiyab received him right kindly, but when he had
heard his message he was downcast in his spirit. Then he called for Piran, the
leader of his hosts, and he took counsel with him how he should act. And Piran
King, live for ever! There is but one road open unto thee. For this Prince is
noble, and he hath done that which is right, for he would not give ear unto the
evil designs of Kay-Kavous, his father. Wherefore I counsel thee, receive him
within thy courts, and give unto him a daughter in marriage, and let him be to
thee a son; for verily, when Kay-Kavous shall die, he will mount upon the throne
of Iran, and thus may the hate of old be quenched in love."
Afrasiyab, when he had listened to the words of Piran, knew that they were good.
So he sent for a scribe, and dictated a writing unto Siawosh. And he said unto
him how the land was open to receive him, and how he would be to him a father,
and how he should find in Turan the love that was denied of Kay-Kavous. And he
will demand of thee nought but what is good, neither will I suffer suspicion
against thee to enter my soul."
he sealed the letter with his royal seal, and gave it unto Zengueh the
messenger, and bade him depart there with speed. And Siawosh, when he had read
it, was glad, and yet he was also troubled in his spirit, for his heart was sore
because he was forced to make a friend of the foe of his land. Yet he saw that
it could in nowise be altered. So he wrote a letter to Kay-Kavous, and he told
him therein how it seemed that he could not do that which was right in his eyes,
and he recalled unto him the troubles that were come upon him from Soudabeh, and
he said how he could not break an oath he had made. Then he confided this
writing unto Bahram, and he bade him take the lead of the army till that Tous
should be come forth from Iran. And when he had chosen out an hundred warriors
of renown from out the host, he departed with them across the border.
when Tous arrived and learned what was come to pass, he was confounded; and when
tidings thereof reached Kay-Kavous, he was struck down with dismay. He cried out
against Afrasiyab, and against Siawosh his son, and his anger was kindled. Yet
he refrained from combat, and his mouth was silent of war.
the meantime Siawosh was come into Turan, and all the land had decked itself to
do him honour. And Piran came forth to greet him, and there followed after him
elephants, white of hue, richly caparisoned, laden with gifts. And these he
poured before Siawosh, and gave him welcome. And he told him how Afrasiyab
yearned to look upon his face, and he said-
thee in amity unto the King, and let not thy mind be troubled concerning that
which thou hast heard about him. For Afrasiyab hath an ill fame, but he
deserveth it not, for he is good."
Piran led Siawosh before Afrasiyab. And when Afrasiyab saw him, he rejoiced at
his strength and his beauty, and his heart went out towards him, and he embraced
him, and spake, saying-
evil that hath disTurbed the world is quieted, and the lamb and the leopard can
feed together, for now is there friendship between our lands."
he called down blessings upon the head of Siawosh, and he took him by the hand
and seated him beside him on the throne. And he Turned to Piran, and said-
is a man void of sense, or surely he would not suffer a son like unto this to
depart from out his sight."
Afrasiyab could not cease from gazing upon Siawosh, and all that he had he
placed it at his command. He gave to him a palace, and rich brocades, and jewels
and gold past the counting; and he prepared for him a feast, and there were
played the games of skill, and Siawosh showed his prowess before Afrasiyab. And
the sight of Siawosh became a light to the eyes of the King of Turan and a joy
unto his heart, and he loved him like to a father. And Siawosh abode within his
courts many days, and in gladness and in sorrow, in gaiety or in sadness,
Afrasiyab would have none other about him. And the name of Siawosh abode ever
upon his lips. And in this wise there rolled twelve moons over their heads, and
in the end Siawosh took unto himself to wife the daughter of Piran the Pahlewan.
And yet again the heavens revolved above his head, and he continued to abide
within the house of Afrasiyab. Then Piran gave counsel unto Siawosh that he
should ask of Afrasiyab the hand of his daughter to wife. For he said-
home is now in Turan, wherefore it behoveth thee to establish thy might; and if
Afrasiyab be thy father indeed, there can no hurt come near to thee. And
peradvenTure, if a son be born unto thee of the daughter of Afrasiyab, he will
bind up for ever the enmity of the lands."
Siawosh listened to the counsel of Piran, for he knew that it was good, and he
asked the hand of Farangiss of her father, and Afrasiyab gave it to him with
great joy. Then a mighty feast was made for the bridal, and Afrasiyab poured
gifts upon Siawosh past the telling, and he bestowed on him a kingdom and a
throne, and he blessed him as his son; and when at length he suffered him to go
forth unto his realm, he sorrowed sore at his loss.
Now the space of one year did Siawosh abide in his province, and at the
end thereof, when he had visited its breadth, he builded for himself a city in
the midst. And he named it Gangdis, and it was a place of beauty, such as the
world hath not seen the like. And Siawosh built houses and planted trees without
number, and he also caused an open space to be made wherein men could rejoice in
the game of ball. And he was glad in the possession of this city, and all men
around him rejoiced, and the earth was the happier for his presence, and there
was no cloud upon the heaven of his life. Yet the Mobeds told unto him that
Gangdis would lead to his ill-fortune, and Siawosh was afflicted thereat. But
when a little time was sped and he beheld no evil, he put from him their words,
and he rejoiced in the time that was; and he was glad in the house of his women,
and he put his trust in Afrasiyab.
that which is written in the stars, surely it must be accomplished! So it came
about after many years that Garsivaz was jealous of the love which Afrasiyab his
brother bare unto Siawosh, and of the power that was his; and he pondered in his
heart how he might destroy him. Then he came before Afrasiyab, and prayed the
King that he would suffer him to go forth and visit the city that Siawosh had
builded, whereof the mouths of men ran over in praises. And Afrasiyab granted
his request, and bade him bear words of love unto Siawosh his son. So Garsivaz
sped forth unto the city of Gangdis, and the master thereof received him kindly,
and asked him tidings of the King. And he feasted him many days within his
house, and he showed freely unto him all that was his; and when he departed he
heaped gifts upon his head, for he knew not that Garsivaz came in enmity unto
him, and that these things but fanned his envy.
when Garsivaz returned unto Afrasiyab, the King questioned him concerning his
darling. Then Garsivaz answered and said-
King, he is no longer the man whom thou knewest. His spirit is uplifted in pride
of might, and his heart goeth out towards Iran. And but that I should make my
name to be infamous unto the nations, I would have hidden from thee this grief.
But it behoveth me to tell unto thee that which I have seen and which mine ears
have heard. For it hath been made known unto me that Siawosh is in treaty with
his father, and that they seek to destroy thee utterly."
Afrasiyab heard these words he would not let them take root in his spirit, yet
he could not refuse countenance to the testimony of his brother. And he was sad,
and spake not, and Garsivaz knew not whether the seeds he had strewn had taken
root. So when a few days were gone by he came again before the King and repeated
unto him the charges that he had made, and he urged him to act, and suffer not
Turan to be disgraced. Then Afrasiyab was caught in the meshes of the net that
Garsivaz had spread. And he bade Garsivaz go forth and summon Siawosh unto his
courts, and invite him to bring the daughter of Afrasiyab to feast with her
father. And Garsivaz sped forth with gladness, and delivered the message of
Afrasiyab unto the young King. Then Siawosh said-
am ready to do the will of Afrasiyab, and the bridle of my horse is tied unto
Garsivaz thought within him,
Siawosh come into the presence of Afrasiyab, his courage and open spirit will
give the lie unto my words."
he feigned before Siawosh a great sorrow, and when the King questioned him
thereof he consented to pour out before him the griefs of his spirit. And he
said to him how that he loved him tenderly, and how he was in sorrow for his
sake, because that the ear of Afrasiyab had been poisoned against him, and he
counselled him that he should not seek the courts of the King. And he said-
me to reTurn alone, and I will soften the heart of Afrasiyab towards thee; and
when he shall be returned unto a right spirit, I will summon thee forth unto his
Siawosh, who was true and void of guile, listened unto these words, for he knew
not that they were false. So he sent words of greeting and of excuse unto
Afrasiyab, and he said that he could not quit the chamber of Farangiss, for she
was sick and chained unto her couch. And Garsivaz rode forth bearing the letter,
and he sware unto Siawosh that he would cement the peace that was broken. But
when he came unto Afrasiyab he delivered not the writing, but spake evil things
of Siawosh, and maligned him. And he fed the anger of Afrasiyab, until the King
commanded that the army be led forth to go against Siawosh his friend, and he
took the lead thereof himself.
when the men of Turan came nigh unto the city that Siawosh had builded, Garsivaz
sent an envoy unto Siawosh, saying-
I counsel thee, for my words have availed nought, and Afrasiyab cometh forth in
enmity against thee."
Siawosh learned this he was sore downcast in his spirit, and he went unto
Farangiss and charged her how she should act when he should be fallen by the
hands of Afrasiyab, for he held it vile to go forth in combat with one who had
been to him a father. So he made ready his house for death. Now when he came to
his steed of battle he pressed its head unto his breast, and he wept over it and
spake into its ear. And he said-
O my horse, and be brave and prudent; neither attach thyself unto any man until
the day that Kay-Khosrow, my son, shall arise to avenge me. From him alone
receive the saddle and the rein."
he bade the men of Iran that were about him go back unto their land, and when
all was ready he went forth beyond the gates. But even yet he hoped to Turn from
him the suspicions of Afrasiyab, and he would not suffer his men to offer combat
unto the men of Turan. So he went before Afrasiyab, and questioned him wherefore
he was come out in anger against him. Now Garsivaz suffered not Afrasiyab to
reply, but heaped reproaches upon Siawosh, and said that he had received him
vilely, and that he had slandered his benefactor. And Siawosh, when he had
listened, was confounded, and in vain did he strive to bear down the upbraiding
of his foe. For the heart of Afrasiyab was angered yet the more, now that his
eyes rested yet again upon the face of Siawosh, whom he loved, because he deemed
that he must give credit unto the words of his brother, and because distrust of
Iran was graven in his soul. So he hardened himself against the speech of
Siawosh, and he bade the army fall upon his beloved. But Siawosh remembered his
oath, and he stretched not forth his hand against Afrasiyab, neither did he
defend himself from the assaults of his men, and he bade the warriors that were
with him that they unsheathe not the sword. So speedily were they mown down, and
their bodies lay round about Siawosh their King. And when all were slain a
knight stretched out his hand against Siawosh, yet he slew him not, but bound
him with cords, and led him before Afrasiyab the King. And Afrasiyab commanded
that Siawosh be led forth into a desert place, and that his head be severed from
off his trunk. Now the army murmured when they heard this command, and beheld
the beauty of Siawosh and his face of truth, and there stepped forth one from
among the nobles to plead for him. But Garsivaz would not suffer the heart of
Afrasiyab to be softened.
while Garsivaz yet spake evil of the young King, there came forth from the house
of the women Farangiss, the daughter of Afrasiyab, and she demanded audience of
her father. And when he would have denied it, she forced herself into his
presence, and she pleaded for her lord, and she sware that evil tongues had
maligned him, and she entreated of her father that he would not destroy the joy
he had given to her. And she said-
O King! if thou destroyest Siawosh, thou becomest a foe unto thyself. Deliver
not by thy folly the land of Turan unto the winds, and remember the deeds that
have been done of Iran in the days that are gone by. An avenger will arise from
out the midst of the Key’ianides. Mayest thou never recall my counsel too late."
the world grew dark before the eyes of Afrasiyab with anger. And he spake, and
hence, and trouble not again my face; for how canst thou judge of that which is
he commanded that she should be bound, and cast into a dungeon.
Garsivaz, when he beheld the anger of the King, deemed that the time was ripe.
He therefore gave a sign unto the men that held Siawosh in bondage, and desired
that they should slay him. And by the hairs of his head they dragged him unto a
desert place, and the sword of Garsivaz was planted in the breast of the royal
cedar. But when it was done, and they had severed the head from the trunk, a
mighty storm arose over the earth, and the heavens were darkened. Then they
trembled and were sore afraid, and repented them of their deed. And clamour
arose in the house of Siawosh, and the cries of Farangiss reached even unto
Afrasiyab her father. Then the King commanded that she should be killed also.
But Piran spake, and said-
so, wicked and foolish man. Wouldst thou lift thine hand against thine
offspring, and hast thou not done enough that is evil? Shed not, I counsel thee,
the blood of yet another innocent. But if thou desire to look no more upon
Farangiss, I pray thee confide her unto me, that she may be to me a daughter in
my house, and I will guard her from sorrow."
that which seemeth best in thy sight."
he was glad in his heart, for he desired not to look upon the face that should
recall to him the friend that he had loved. So Piran took Farangiss unto his
house beyond the mountains, and Afrasiyab returned unto his courts. But the King
was sorrowful in his spirit and unquiet in his heart, and he could not cease
from thinking of Siawosh, and he repented of that which he had done.
THE RETURN OF
a little time it came about that there was born unto Farangiss, in the house of
Piran, a son of the race of Siawosh. And Piran, when he had seen the baby,
goodly of mien, who already in his cradle was like unto a king, sware a great
oath that Afrasiyab should not destroy it. And when he went before the King to
tell unto him the tidings, he pleaded for him with his lips. Now the heart of
Afrasiyab had been softened in his sorrow for Siawosh, wherefore he shut his ear
unto the evil counsellors that bade him destroy the babe which should bring
vengeance upon Turan. And he said-
I repent me of mine evil deed unto Siawosh,
and though it be written that much evil shall come upon me from this child
sprung from the loins of Tur and Kay-Ghobad, I will strive no more to hinder the
decree of the stars; let him, therefore, be reared unto manhood. Yet I pray that
he be brought up among shepherds in the mountains far from the haunts of men,
and that his birth be hidden from him, that he may not learn of his father or of
the cruel things I did unto Siawosh."
Piran consented unto the desires of Afrasiyab, and he rejoiced because he had
spared the babe. Then he took the infant from its mother and bare it unto the
mountains of Kalun, and confided the boy unto the shepherds of the flocks. And
this child even as your souls, so that neither rain nor dust come near him."
it came about that no man knew of the babe, neither did Farangiss know whither
it was vanished. But oftentimes was Piran sore disTurbed in his spirit, for he
knew that the beginning of strife was yet to come, and that much evil must
befall Turan from this infant. Yet he forgot not his promise of protection given
unto Siawosh his friend, whom he had led to put his trust in Afrasiyab. So he
quieted his spirit from thinking, for he knew that no man can change the course
of the stars.
when some time was passed the shepherds came out to Piran and told him how they
could not restrain this boy, whose valour was like to that of a king. Then Piran
went forth to visit Kay-Khosrow, and he was amazed when he looked upon him and
beheld his beauty and his strength, and he pressed him unto his heart with
tenderness. Then Kay-Khosrow said-
thou that bearest high thy head, art thou not ashamed to press unto thee the son
of a shepherd? "
Piran was inflamed with love for the boy, so he pondered nothis words, but said-
heir of kings, thou art not the son of a shepherd."
Then he told him of his birth, and clad him in robes
befitting his station, and took him back with him unto his house. And
henceforward was Kay Khosrow reared in the bosom of Piran and of Farangiss his
mother. And the days rolled above their heads in happiness.
it came about one night that Piran was awakened by a messenger from Afrasiyab
the King. And the King bade Piran come before him. And when he was come unto
him, he said-
heart is disquieted because of the child of Siawosh, and I repent me of my
weakness which kept him alive; for in my dreams I have beheld that he will do
much evil unto Turan. Wherefore I would now slay him to avert calamity."
Piran, wise in counsel, opened his mouth before Afrasiyab and spake, saying-
King, disquiet not thyself because of this boy, for he is devoid of wit; and
though his face be like unto that of a Pari, his head, which should bear a
crown, is empty of reason. Commit, therefore, no violence, but suffer that this
innocent continue to dwell among the flocks."
Afrasiyab, when he had listened to these words of wile, was comforted;
yet he said-
Kay-Khosrow before me, that I may behold with mine eyes his simplicity."
Piran assented to his request, because he venTured not to gainsay it. So he
returned him unto his house and sought out the boy, and told him how he should
disguise his wit before the King. Then he led him unto the court mounted upon a
goodly charger, and all the people shouted when they beheld his beauty and his
kingly mien. And Afrasiyab too was confounded at his aspect, and he gazed with
wonder at his limbs of power, and he strove to remember the promise that he had
given unto Piran that he would not hurt a hair of the head of this boy. Then he
began to question him that he might search his spirit. And he said-
shepherd, how knowest thou the day from the night? What doest thou with thy
flocks? How countest thou thy sheep and thy goats?"
"There is no game, and I have
neither cords nor bow and arrows."
the King questioned him concerning the milk that was given of the herds. And
"The tiger-cats are dangerous
and have mighty claws."
Afrasiyab put to him yet a third question, and he asked of him-
"What is the name of thy
Kay-Khosrow answered and said-"
"The dog venTureth not to bark
when a lion threateneth him."
Afrasiyab asked him yet again whether he desired to go forth into the land of
Iran and be avenged upon his enemies. And Kay-Khosrow answered and said-
a leopard appeareth, the heart of a brave man is torn with fear."
Afrasiyab smiled at these answers and questioned him no further. And he said
the boy unto his mother, and let him be reared with kindness in the city that
Siawosh hath builded, for I behold that from him can no harm alight upon Turan."
Piran heard these words he hastened to remove Kay-Khosrow from the court, and
his heart was glad because of the danger that had passed by. So Kay-Khosrow was
reared in the house of his father, and Farangiss spake unto him of Siawosh and
of the vengeance that was due. And she instructed him concerning the heroes of
Iran and their deeds of prowess, as she had learned them from Siawosh her lord.
the mean season Kay-Kavous had learned of the death of Siawosh his son, and a
mighty wailing went forth throughout the land of Iran, so that even the
nightingale in the cypress was silent of her song, and the leaves of the
pomegranate tree in the forest were withered for sorrow. And the heroes that
stood about the throne of Kay Kavous clad themselves in the garb of woe, and
bare dust upon their heads in place of helmets. And Rostam, when he learned of
it, was bowed to the earth with agony, and for seven days he stirred not from
the ground, neither would he let food or comfort come near him. But on the
eighth he roused him from the earth, and caused the trumpets of brass to be
sounded into the air. And he assembled his warriors, and marched with them into
Iran, and he came before Kay Kavous and demanded audience.
when he was come into the presence-chamber he found the King seated upon his
throne. He was clothed in dust from his head unto his feet, because of his
grief. But Rostam regarded it not, and straightway reproached him, and said-
King of evil nature, behold the harvest that is sprung from the seed that thou
didst sow! The love of Soudabeh and her vile intents have torn from off thy head
the diadem of kings, and Iran hath suffered cruel loss because of thy folly and
thy suspicions. It is better for a king that he be laid within his shroud than
that he be given over to the dominion of a woman. Alas for Siawosh! Was ever
hero like unto him? And henceforward I will know neither rest nor joy until his
cruel death be avenged."
Kay-Kavous had listened to the words of his Pahlewan, the colour of shame
mounted into his cheek, but he held his peace, for he knew that the words spoken
of Rostam were deserved. Then Rostam, when he saw that the King answered him
not, strode out from his presence. And he went into the house of the women, and
sought for Soudabeh, who had given over Siawosh unto death. And when he had
found her, he tore her from off her throne, and he plunged his dagger into her
heart, and he quitted her not until the life was gone from her. And Kay-Kavous,
when he learned it, trembled and was afraid, for he dared not oppose himself
unto Rostam. Then Rostam commanded that the army of vengeance be made ready. And
will make the earth to tremble before my mace, as it shall tremble on the day of
when all was prepared they made them haste to be gone, and the air was full of
the gleaming of armour, and the rattling of drums was heard on all sides.
when Afrasiyab learned that a great army was come forth from Iran to avenge the
death of Siawosh, he bade Sarkha, the best beloved of his sons, lead forth the
hosts of Turan against them. But he craved Sarkha have a care that Rostam, the
son of Zal, put not his life in danger. And Sarkha set forth, bearing aloft the
black banner of Turan, and he went towards the plains where Rostam was encamped.
Now when the armies beheld one another, their hearts were inflamed, and the
battle raged sore, and many were the brave heads laid low on that day. And
Sarkha fell into the hands of Rostam, and he spared him not, because he was the
best beloved son of Afrasiyab. So he gave orders that Sarkha be slain, even as
Siawosh was slain, that the heart of his enemy might be rent with anguish.
when Afrasiyab learned it he was beside himself with grief. And when he had torn
his hair and wailed in the dust for his son, he arose to go forth unto the army,
that he might avenge his death. And he said unto his knights-
ye must not think of sleep or hunger, neither must ye breathe aught but
vengeance, for I will never stay my hand until this murder be avenged."
when the army that was with Afrasiyab came nigh unto Rostam, PilSaam, that was
brother to Piran, a warrior valiant and true, challenged Rostam unto single
combat. Then Piran sought to stay him because of his youth, but PilSaam listened
not unto his counsel. So Rostam came forth against him, and he was armed with a
stout lance, and he was wrapped about with his anger. And he fell upon PilSaam
with fury, and he lifted him from his saddle, and he took him by the girdle and
flung him, as a thing that is vile, into the midst of the camp of the Turanians.
Then he shouted with a voice of thunder-
counsel you, wrap ye this man in robes of gold, for my mace hath made him blue."
when the Turanians beheld that PilSaam was dead, they wept sore, and their
courage departed from out of them. And in vain did Afrasiyab pray them to keep
their hearts. Yet he said within himself-
"The good fortune that watched
over me is asleep."
when they were met in battle yet again, and the army of Rostam had beaten down
once more that of Afrasiyab, the King bethought him of flight. And the hosts of
Turan vanished like to the wind, but they left behind them much riches and
while they were flying from the face of Rostam, Afrasiyab said unto Piran-
"Counsel me how I shall act
concerning this child of Siawosh."
not to put him to death, for he shall in nowise do thee hurt. But f thou wilt
listen unto my voice, send him far into Khoten, that he be hidden from sight,
and that the men of Iran learn not of his being."
Afrasiyab did as Piran counselled, and a messenger was sent forth to lead out
the young King and his mother unto the land of Cathay. And Afrasiyab himself
fled until that he came within the borders of China, and no man knew where he
was hidden. And the land of Turan was given over to plunder, and the Iranians
scathed it with fire and sword because of Siawosh, whom Afrasiyab had foully
slain. And Rostam seated himself in the seat of Afrasiyab, and for the space of
seven years did he rule over the land. But in the eighth messengers came out to
him, and said how that Kay-Kavous was without a guide in Iran, and how they
feared lest folly might result from his deeds. So Rostam went forth to stand
beside his King.
when Afrasiyab learned that Rostam was departed out of the land of Turan, his
fears forsook him, and he gathered together a mighty army, and he fell upon his
borders, and he regained them unto himself. And he wept when he beheld the havoc
that was come upon Turan, and he incited his army to be avenged. So they fell
into Iran, and shattered its host, and they suffered not that repose come near
unto their foes. And they pursued them with fire and sword, and laid waste their
fields. And during seven years the heavens withheld their rains, and good
fortune was Turned away from Iran, and the prosParity of the land was quenched.
And men groaned sore under these misfortunes, neither did Rostam come forth from
Zabolestan unto their aid.
it came about one night that Goudarz, who was descended from Kaaveh the smith,
dreamed a dream. He beheld a cloud heavy with rain, and on the cloud was seated
the Soroush the blessed. And the angel of God said unto Goudarz-
thine ears, if thou wilt deliver thy land from anguish, and from Afrasiyab the
Turk. There abideth in Turan the son of a noble race, an issue sprung from the
loins of Siawosh, who is brave, and beareth high his head. And he is sprung from
Kay-Ghobad and from Tur, and from him alone can deliverance come to Iran.
Suffer, therefore, that Giwe, thy son, go forth in search of Kay-Khosrow, and
bid him remain in his saddle until he shall have found this boy. For such is the
will of Urmazd."
Goudarz awoke, he thanked God for his dream, and touched the ground with his
white beard. And when the sun was risen and had chased away the ravens of night,
he called before him his son, and he spake to him of his dream. And he commanded
him that he go forth to do the behests of God.
will obey thine orders while I live."
companions wilt thou take with thee?
cord and my horse will suffice unto me for company, for it is best to take none
with me into Turan. For behold, if I lead out an host, men will ask what I am,
and wherefore I come forth; but if I go alone, their doubts will slumber."
and peace be upon thee."
Giwe made ready his steed, and when he had bidden farewell unto the old man his
father, he set out upon his travels. And wherever he met a man walking alone, he
questioned him concerning Kay Khosrow; and if the man knew not the name, he
struck off his head, that none might learn his secret or wherefore he was come
Giwe wandered thus many days throughout the length of Turan, like to a man
distraught, and he could learn nought concerning Kay Khosrow, the young king.
And seven years rolled thus above his head, and he grew lean and sorrowful. And
for house he had nought save only his saddle, and for nourishment and clothing
the flesh and skin of the wild ass, and in place of wine he had only bad water.
And he began to be downcast in his spirit, and afraid lest the dream dreamed of
his father had been sent unto him by a Deev. Now it came about one day that
while he pondered thus he entered a forest, and when he was come into its midst,
he beheld therein a fountain, and a young man, slim as a cypress, seated beside
it. And the youth held in his hand a wine-cup, and on his head was a crown of
flowers, and his mien was such that the soul of Giwe rejoiced thereat, and the
of his cares was loosened. And he said within himself-
this be not the King, then must I abandon my search, for I think to behold in
him the face of Siawosh."
he went nigh unto him. Now when Kay-Khosrow beheld the warrior, he smiled and
Giwe, thou art welcome unto my sight, since thou art come hither at the behest
of God. Tell unto me now, I pray thee, tidings of Tous and Goudarz, of Rostam,
and of Kay-Kavous the King. Are they happy? Do they know of Kay-Khosrow?"
Giwe heard this speech, he was confounded; and when he had returned thanks unto
God, he opened his mouth and spake, saying-
young King, who bearest high thy head, reveal unto me who hath told thee of
Goudarz and of Tous, of Rostam and of Kay-Kavous, and how knowest thou my name
mother hath told me of the things which she learned of my father. For I am son
unto Siawosh, and before he entered upon death he foretold unto Farangiss how
Giwe would come forth from Iran to lead me unto the throne."
Giwe said, "Prove unto me thy words. Suffer that mine eyes behold the mark
of the Key’ianides which thou bearest about thy body."
Kay-Khosrow uncovered his arm, and when Giwe looked upon the mark that was borne
of all the royal house since the time of Kay Ghobad, he fell down upon the
ground and did homage before this youth. But Kay-Khosrow raised him from the
dust and embraced him, and questioned him concerning his journey and the
hardships he had passed through. Then Giwe mounted the young King upon his
charger, and he walked before him bearing an Indian sword unsheathed in his
hand. And they journeyed until they came to the city that Siawosh had builded.
when Farangiss saw them she received them joyfully, for her quick spirit divined
what was come to pass. But she counselled them to tarry not in whatsoever they
would do. For she said-
Afrasiyab shall learn of this he will neither eat nor sleep, he
will send out an army against us. Let us flee, therefore, before he
cometh. And listen now unto the words that I shall speak. Go forth unto the
mountain that is raised unto the clouds, and take with thee a saddle and a
bridle. And when thou shalt have scaled its crest thou wilt behold a meadow
green as a paradise, and browsing upon it the flocks of Siawosh. And in their
midst will be Behzah the steed of battle. Go nigh unto him, my son, and embrace
him, and whisper thy name into his ear; and when he shall have heard it he will
suffer thee to mount him, and seated upon him thou shalt escape from the slayer
of thy father."
Giwe and Kay-Khosrow went out and did as Farangiss told unto them; and they
found the steed, and when Behzah beheld the saddle of Siawosh and the
leopard-skin he had worn, he sighed, and his eyes were filled with tears. Then
he suffered Kay-Khosrow to mount him, and they Turned back unto Farangiss. And
she chose forth the armour of Siawosh from among her treasures and gave it to
her son, and she clad herself in mail of Roum like unto a warrior, and she
sprang upon a horse of battle, and when all was done they set forth to fly from
the land of Afrasiyab.
one brought tidings unto Piran of these things, and he was dismayed thereat, for
will be accomplished the fears of Afrasiyab, and mine honour will be tarnished
in his eyes."
he bade Kelbad and three hundred valiant knights pursue Kay Khosrow and bind him
and bring him back in chains.
Farangiss and her son slept for weariness by the roadside, but Giwe held guard
over them. And when he beheld Kelbad and the men that were with him, he knew
that they were come in pursuit; yet he awakened not Kay-Khosrow, but of his
strength alone put them to flight. But when they were gone he roused the
sleepers, and he urged haste upon them.
Piran, when he beheld that Kelbad returned unto him defeated at the hand of one
man, was loath to credit it, and he was angered against him, and said that he
would go forth himself. So Piran made him ready, and a thousand brave warriors
went with him. For Piran was afraid of the anger of Afrasiyab, and that he would
put this flight unto his account, and not unto that of the rotation of the
stars. Now when he was come unto the fugitives Giwe and the young King
slumbered, but Farangiss was keeping watch. And when she beheld the army she
woke them and bade them prepare for combat; but Giwe suffered not that Kay-Khosrow
should go forth, for he said-
I fall, what mattereth that? my father hath seventy and eight sons like unto me;
but thou art alone, and if thy head shall fall, what other is worthy of the
Kay-Khosrow did as Giwe desired. Then Giwe gave combat unto Piran, and by his
courage he overcame the army; and he caught the old man Piran in the meshes of
his cord. Then he brought him bound before Farangiss and Kay-Khosrow her son.
Piran, when he beheld Kay-Khosrow, demanded not mercy at his hands, but invoked
the blessings of Heaven upon his head, and he mourned the fate of Siawosh. And
King, had thy slave been nigh unto Afrasiyab, surely the head of thy father
would not have fallen at his hands. And it was I who preserved thee and
Farangiss thy mother, yet now is it given unto me to fall under thy hands."
Kay-Khosrow heard these words his heart went out unto Piran, and when he looked
towards his mother he saw that her eyes were filled with tears. Then she opened
her mouth and poured forth curses upon Afrasiyab her father, and she wailed the
fate of Siawosh, and she pleaded for the life of this good old man. For she
tenderness hath been an asylum unto our sorrow, and now is it given unto us to
remember the benefits we have received at his hands."
Giwe, when he heard it, said-
Queen, I pray thee speak not thus, for I have sworn a great oath that I would
stain the earth with the blood of Piran, and how can I depart from my vow?"
Kay-Khosrow said, "O hero like unto a lion, thou shalt not break the oath
that thou hast made before God. Satisfy thy heart and accomplish thy vow. Pierce
with thy dagger the ear of Piran, and let his blood fall on the earth, that thy
vengeance and my clemency may both be satisfied."
Giwe did as Kay-Khosrow bade, and when he had crimsoned the earth with the blood
of Piran, they mounted him upon a charger fleet of foot and bound him thereon,
and caused him to swear unto them that none other but Gulshehr his wife should
release him from these bonds. And Piran sware it and went forth, and his mouth
poured blessings upon Kay-Khosrow.
while these things were passing Afrasiyab grew impatient, and set forth himself
at the head of a great army that he might learn tidings of Kay-Khosrow. And when
he heard that the armies had been beaten at the hand of one man, his cheeks grew
pale with fear; but when he met Piran his Pahlewan tied upon his charger, his
anger knew no bounds, so that he cried aloud, and commanded Piran that he depart
from out his presence. Then he sware that he would himself destroy this Giwe,
and lay low the head of Kay-Khosrow and of his mother. And he made great haste
after them, and he urged upon his men that they must find Kay-Khosrow before he
should have crossed the Jihun and have entered upon the land of Iran; yet before
ever he was come nigh to them, the three were come unto its banks.
a boat was lying ready, and a boatman slumbered beside it; and Giwe roused him,
and said that he should bear them across the river. But the man was greedy of
gain, and beheld that Giwe was in haste. So he said-
should I carry thee across? Yet, if thou desire it, I demand that thou give unto
me one of four things: thy coat of mail, or thy black horse, yon woman, or the
crown of gold worn by this young man."
Giwe was angry, and said-
"Thou speakest like a fool;
thou knowest not what thou dost ask."
he Turned unto Kay-Khosrow, and said-
thou be Kay-Khosrow indeed, thou wilt not fear to enter this river and cross it,
even as it was crossed by Freydoun thy sire."
the river was swollen with the rains, but the young King regarded it not. He
entered upon its surge with Behzah his steed, and the horse of his father bare
him across the boiling waters. And Farangiss followed after him and Giwe the
bold. And when Kay-Khosrow was come unto the other side, he dismounted and knelt
and kissed the ground of Iran, and gave thanks unto God the mighty.
scarce were they come to the other side than Afrasiyab came up with his army.
And Afrasiyab demanded of the boatman wherefore he had borne them across, and
when the man told him how it was come to pass, the King was bowed down with
anguish, for he knew now that that which was written would be accomplished. So
he returned him right sorrowful unto his house.
when Kay-Khosrow came nigh unto the courts of the King, Giwe sent a writing unto
Kay-Kavous and told him all that was come to pass. And Kay-Kavous sent forth
riders to lead before him his son; and the city was decked to give him welcome,
and all the nobles received him joyfully, and Kay-Kavous was glad at the sight
of him, and all men regarded Kay-Khosrow as the heir, and only Tous was
sorrowful at that which was come to pass. But Tous was angered, and said that he
would pay homage only unto Fariborz, and to none other. And he came before Kay-Kavous
is thy son also, why therefore wilt thou give the crown unto one who is sprung
from the race of Afrasiyab?
is fitting that the son of Siawosh should succeed unto the throne."
Tous listened not, and refused allegiance unto Kay-Khosrow, and there was strife
among the nobles of Iran.
one came before Kay-Kavous and begged of him that he would declare himself, for
we are divided among ourselves we shall fall a prey into the hands of Afrasiyab.
Let the King, therefore, bind up this quarrel."
Kay-Kavous said, "Ye ask of me that which is hard, for both my sons are
dear unto me, and how should I choose between them? Yet I will bethink me of a
means to quiet this dissension. Let Kay-Khosrow and Fariborz go forth unto
Bahman, the fortress that is upon my borders which no man hath conquered, for it
is an abode of Deevs, and fire issueth thence continually. And let them take
with them an army, and I will bestow my crown and my treasures upon him at whose
hands the castle shall be subdued."
Fariborz and Kay-Khosrow set forth, and Kay-Khosrow suffered that his elder take
the lead. But in vain did Fariborz strive against the Deevs that were hidden
behind the walls, and when seven days had passed he returned discomfited from
his emprise. Then Kay-Khosrow set forth, and he wrote a letter, amber-perfumed,
and in it he desired the evil Deevs that they give place unto him in the name of
Urmazd. And he affixed the letter unto the point of his lance, and when he was
come nigh unto the burning fort he flung it beyond the walls. Then a great noise
rent the air like thunder, and the world became darkened, and when the light
returned unto the sky the castle was vanished from off the face of the earth.
Now when Kay-Kavous heard it, he knew that the son of Siawosh was learned
in the arts of magic, as was fitting unto a king; and he beheld also that he was
wise and brave. And because that he was weary he surrendered the throne unto
him, and Kay-Khosrow wore the crown of the Key’ianian in his stead.
[ Continue: Foroud ]