Shah Nameh/Death of Minúchihr


To Minúchihr we now must turn again,
  And mark the close of his illustrious reign.

The king had flourished one hundred and twenty years, when now the astrologers ascertained that the period of his departure from this life was at hand.

  They told him of that day of bitterness,
  Which would obscure the splendour of his throne;
  And said--"The time approaches, thou must go,
  Doubtless to Heaven. Think what thou hast to do;
  And be it done before the damp cold earth
  Inshrine thy body. Let not sudden death
  O'ertake thee, ere thou art prepared to die!"
  Warned by the wise, he called his courtiers round him,
  And thus he counselled Nauder:--"O, my son!
  Fix not thy heart upon a regal crown,
  For this vain world is fleeting as the wind;
  The pain and sorrows of twice sixty years
  Have I endured, though happiness and joy
  Have also been my portion. I have fought
  In many a battle, vanquished many a foe;
  By Feridún's commands I girt my loins,
  And his advice has ever been my guide.
  I hurled just vengeance on the tyrant-brothers
  Sílim and Túr, who slew the gentle Irij;
  And cities have I built, and made the tree
  Which yielded poison, teem with wholesome fruit.
  And now to thee the kingdom I resign,
  That kingdom which belonged to Feridún,
  And thou wilt be the sovereign of the world!
  But turn not from the worship of thy God,
  That sacred worship Moses taught, the best
  Of all the prophets; turn not from the path
  Of purest holiness, thy father's choice.

  "My son, events of peril are before thee;
  Thy enemy will come in fierce array,
  From the wild mountains of Túrán, the son
  Of Poshang, the invader. In that hour
  Of danger, seek the aid of Sám and Zál,
  And that young branch just blossoming; Túrán
  Will then have no safe buckler of defence,
  None to protect it from their conquering arms."

  Thus spoke the sire prophetic to his son,
  And both were moved to tears. Again the king
  Resumed his warning voice: "Nauder, I charge thee
  Place not thy trust upon a world like this,
  Where nothing fixed remains. The caravan
  Goes to another city, one to-day,
  The next, to-morrow, each observes its turn
  And time appointed--mine has come at last,
  And I must travel on the destined road."

At the period Minúchihr uttered this exhortation, he was entirely free from indisposition, but he shortly afterwards closed his eyes in death.