« ForrigeFortsæt »
at his first awaking. He fancied himself in the retirements of the blessed, and that the spirit of his dear Balsora, who he thought was just gone before him, was the first who came to congratulate his arrival. She soon informed him of the place he was in, which, notwithstanding all its horrors, appeared to him more sweet than the bower of Mahomet, in the company
of his Balsora.
Helim, who was supposed to be taken up in the embalming of the bodies, visited the place very frequently. His greatest perplexity was how to get the lovers out of it, the gates being watched in such a manner as I have before related. This consideration did not a little disturb the two interred lovers. At length Helim bethought himself, that the first day of the full moon of the month Tizpa, was near at hand. Now, it is a received tradition among the Persians, that the souls of those of the royal family, who are in a state of bliss, do, on the first full moon after their decease, pass through the eastern gate of the Black Palace, which is therefore called the gate of Paradise, in order to take their flight for that happy place. HeIim, therefore, having made due preparations for this night, dressed each of the lovers in a robe of azure silk, wrought in the finest looms of Persia, with a long train of linen, whiter than snow, that floated on the ground behind them. Upon Abdallah's head he fixed a wreath of the greenest myrtle, and on Balsora's a garland of the freshest roses. Their garments were scented with the richest perfumes of Arabia. Having thus prepared every thing, the full moon was no sooner up, and shining in all its brightness, but he privately opened the gate of Paradise, and shut it after the same manner, as soon as they had passed through it. The band of negroes, who were posted at a little distance from the gate, seeing two such beautiful apparitions, that showed themselves to advantage by the light of the full moon, and being ravished with the odour that flowed from their garments, immediately
concluded them to be the ghosts of the two persons lately deceased. They fell upon their faces as they passed through the midst of them, and continued prostrate on the earth till such time as they were out
They reported the next day what they had seen; but this was looked upon, by the king himself, and most others, as the compliment that was usually paid to any of the deceased of his family. Helim had placed two of his own mules at about a mile's distance from the Black Temple, on the spot which they had agreed upon for their rendezvous. He here met them, and conducted them to one of his own houses, which was situated on mount Khacan.. The air on this mountain was so very healthful, that Helim had formerly transported the king thither, in order to recover him out of a long fit of sickness; which succeeded so well, that the king made him a present of the whole mountain, with a beautiful house and gardens that were on the top of it. In this retirement lived Abdallah and Balsora. They were both so, fraught with all kinds of knowledge, and possessed with so constant and mutual a passion for each other, that their solitude never lay heavy on them. Abdallah applied himself to those arts which were agreeable to his manner of living, and the situation of the place, insomuch that in a few years he converted the whole mountain into a kind of garden, and covered every part of it with plantations or spots of flowers. Helim was too good a father to let him want any thing that might conduce to make his retirement pleasant.
In about ten years after their abode in this place, the old king died, and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim, who, upon the supposed death of his brother, had been called to court, and entertained there as heir to the Persian empire. Though he was for some years inconsolable for the death of his brother, Helim durst not trust him with the secret, which he knew would have fatal consequences, should it by any means come to the knowledge of the old king. İbrahim was no sooner mounted on the throne, but Helim sought after a proper opportunity of making a discovery to him, which he knew would be very agreeable to so good natured and generous a prince. It so happened, that, before Helim found such an opportunity as he desired, the new king Ibrahim, having been separated from his company in a chace, and almost fainting with heat and thirst, saw himself at the foot of mount Khacan; he immediately ascended the hill, and coming to Helim's house, demanded some refreshments. He lim was very luckily there at that time, and after having set before the king the choicest of wines and fruits, finding him wonderfully pleased with so seasonable a treat, told him that the best part of his entertainment was to come, upon which he opened to him the whole history of what had passed. The king was at once astonished and transported at so strange a relation, and, seeing his brother enter the room with Balsora in his hand, he leaped off from the sofa on which he sat, and cried out, “It is he! it is my Abdallah !--Having said this, he fell upon his neck and wept. The whole company, for some time, remained silent, and shed tears of joy. The king at length, after having kindly reproached Helim for depriving him so long of such a brother, embraced Balsora with the greatest tenderness, and told her, that she should now be a queen indeed, for that he would immediately make his brother king of all the conquered nations on the other side the Tygris. He easily discovered in the eyes of our two lovers, that, instead of being transported with the offer, they preferred their present retirement to empire. At their request, therefore, he changed his intentions, and made them a present of all the open country so far as, they could see from the top of mount Khacan. Abdallah continuing to extend his former improvements, beautified this whole prospect with groves and fountains, gardens and seats of pleasure, till it became the most delicious spot of ground within the empire, and is therefore called the Garden of Persia. This Caliph, Ibrahim, after a long and happy reign, died without children, and was succeeded by Abdallah, a son of Abdallah and Balsora. This was that king, Abdallah, who afterwards fixed the imperial residence upon mount Khacan, which continues at this time to be the favourite palace of the Persian empire.