Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp; Zein ul Asnam and the King of the Jinn
ALAEDDIN AND THE ENCHANTED LAMP;
ZEIN UL ASNAM AND THE KING OF THE JINN.
Limited to One Thousand Copies
PRINTED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, K.C.M.G.,
H.B.M. Consul, Trieste.
My dear Burton,
I give myself the pleasure of placing your name in the forefront of another and final volume of my translation of the Thousand and One Nights, which, if it have brought me no other good, has at least been the means of procuring me your friendship.
Twelve years this day,—a day of winter, dreary
With drifting snows, when all the world seemed dead
To Spring and hope,—it is since, worn and weary
Of doubt within and strife without, I fled
From the mean workday miseries of existence,
From spites that slander and from hates that lie,
Into the dreamland of the Orient distance,
Under the splendours of the Syrian sky,
And in the enchanted realms of Eastern story,
Far from the lovelessness of modern times,
Garnered the rainbow-remnants of old glory
That linger yet in those ancestral climes;
And now, the long task done, the journey over,
From that far home of immemorial calms,
Where, as a mirage, on the sky-marge hover
The desert and its oases of palms,
Lingering, I turn me back, with eyes reverted,
To this stepmother world of daily life,
As one by some long pleasant dream deserted,
That wakes anew to dull unlovely strife:
Yet, if none other weal the quest have wrought me,
The long belovéd labour now at end,
This gift of gifts the untravelled East hath brought me,
The knowledge of a new and valued friend.
5th Feb. 1889.