RUSTEM AND SOHRAB
IVE ear unto the combat of Sohrab against Rustem, though it be a tale
replete with tears.
It came about that on a certain day Rustem arose from his couch, and his
mind was filled with forebodings. He bethought him therefore to go out
to the chase. So he saddled Rakush and made ready his quiver with
arrows. Then he turned him unto the wilds that lie near Turan, even in
the direction of the city of Samengan. And when he was come nigh unto
it, he started a herd of asses and made sport among them till that he
was weary of the hunt. Then he caught one and slew it and roasted it for
his meal, and when he had eaten it and broken the bones for the marrow,
he laid himself down to slumber, and Rakush cropped the pasture beside
Now while the hero was sleeping there passed by seven knights of Turan,
and they beheld Rakush and coveted him. So they threw their cords at him
to ensnare him. But Rakush, when he beheld their design, pawed the
ground in anger, and fell upon them as he had fallen upon the lion. And
of one man he bit off the head, and another he struck down under his
hoofs, and he would have overcome them all, but they were too many. So
they ensnared him and led him into the city, thinking in their hearts,
"Verily a goodly capture have we made." But Rustem when he awoke from
slum-  bers was downcast and sore grieved when he saw not his steed,
and he said unto himself:
"How can I stand against the Turks, and how can I traverse the desert
And his heart was full of trouble. Then he sought for the traces of the
horse's hoofs, and followed them, and they led him even unto the gates
of the city. Now when those within beheld Rustem, and that he came
before them on foot, the King and the nobles came forth to greet him,
and inquired of him how this was come about. Then Rustem told them how
Rakush was vanished while he slumbered, and how he had followed his
track even unto these gates. And he sware a great oath, and vowed that
if his courser were not restored unto him many heads should quit their
trunks. Then the King of Samengan, when he saw that Rustem was beside
himself with anger, spoke words of soothing, and said that none of his
people should do wrong unto the hero; and he begged him that he would
enter into his house and abide with him until that search had been made,
"Surely Rakush cannot be hid."
And Rustem was satisfied at these words, and cast suspicion from his
spirit, and entered the house of the King, and feasted with him, and
beguiled the hours with wine. And the King rejoiced in his guest, and
encompassed him with sweet singers and all honour. And when the night
was fallen the King himself led Rustem unto a couch perfumed with musk
and roses, and he bade him slumber sweetly until the morning. And he
declared to him yet again that all was well for him and for his steed.
Now when a portion of the night was spent, and the
 star of morning stood
high in the arch of heaven, the door of Rustem's chamber was opened, and
a murmur of soft voices came in from the threshold. And there stepped
within a slave bearing a lamp perfumed with amber, and a woman whose
beauty was veiled came after her. And as she moved musk was scattered
from her robes. And the women came nigh unto the bed of the hero heavy
with wine and slumber. And he was amazed when he saw them. And when he
had roused him somewhat he spake and said:
"Who are thou, and what is thy name and thy desire, and what seekest
thou from me in the dark night?"
Then the Peri-faced answered him, saying, "I am Tahmineh, the daughter
of the King of Samengan, the race of the leopard and the lion, and none
of the princes of this earth are worthy of my hand, neither hath any man
seen me unveiled. But my heart is torn with anguish, and my spirit is
tossed with desire, for I have heard of thy deeds of prowess, and how
thou fearest neither Deev nor lion, neither leopard nor crocodile, and
how thy hand is swift to strike, and how thou didst venture alone into
Mazinderan, and how wild asses are devoured of thee, and how the earth
groaneth under the tread of thy feet, and how men perish at thy blows,
and how even the eagle dareth not swoop down upon her prey when she
beholdeth thy sword. These things and more have they told unto me, and
mine eyes have yearned to look upon thy face. And now hath God brought
thee within the gates of my father, and I am come to say unto thee that
I am thine if thou wilt hear me, and if thou wilt not, none other will I
espouse. And consider, O Pehliva, how that love has obscured mine
understanding and withdrawn me from the bosom of discretion, yet
perad-  venture God will grant unto me a son like to thee for strength and
valour, to whom shall be given the empire of the world. And if thou wilt
listen unto me, I will lead forth before thee Rakush thy steed, and I
will place under thy feet the land of Samengan."
Now while this moon of beauty was yet speaking, Rustem regarded her. And
he saw that she was fair, and that wisdom abode in her mind; and when he
heard of Rakush, his spirit was decided within him, and he held that
this adventure could not end save gloriously. So he sent a Mubid unto
the King and demanded the hand of Tahmineh from her father. And the
King, when he heard the news, was rejoiced, and gave his daughter unto
the Pehliva, and they concluded an alliance according to custom and the
rites. And all men, young and old, within the house and city of the King
were glad at this alliance, and called down blessings upon Rustem.
Now Rustem, when he was alone with the Peri-faced, took from his arm an
onyx that was known unto all the world. And he gave it to her, and said:
"Cherish this jewel, and if Heaven cause thee to give birth unto a
daughter, fasten it within her locks, and it will shield her from evil;
but if it be granted unto thee to bring forth a son, fasten it upon his
arm, that he may wear it like his father. And he shall be strong as
Keriman, of stature like unto Saum the son of Neriman, and of grace of
speech like unto Zal, my father."
The Peri-faced, when she had heard these words, was glad in his
presence. But when the day was passed there came in unto them the King
her father, and he told Rustem how that tidings of Rakush were come unto
his ears, and how that the courser would shortly be within the gates.
And Rustem, when he heard it, was filled
 with longing after his steed,
and when he knew that he was come he hastened forth to caress him. And
with his own hands he fastened the saddle, and gave thanks unto Ormuzd,
who had restored his joy between his hands. Then he knew that the time
to depart was come. And he opened his arms and took unto his heart
Tahmineh the fair of face, and he bathed her cheek with his tears and
covered her hair with kisses. Then he flung him upon Rakush, and the
swift-footed bare him quickly from out of her sight. And Tahmineh was
sorrowful exceedingly, and Rustem too was filled with thoughts as he
turned him back unto Zaboulistan. And he pondered this adventure in his
heart, but to no man did he speak of what he had seen or done.
Now when nine moons had run their course there was born unto Tahmineh a
son in the likeness of his father, a babe whose mouth was filled with
smiles, wherefore men called him Sohrab. And when he numbered but one
month he was like unto a child of twelve, and when he numbered five
years he was skilled in arms and all the arts of war, and when ten years
were rolled above his head there was none in the land that could resist
him in the games of strength. Then he came before his mother and spake
words of daring. And he said:
"Since I am taller and stouter than my peers, teach unto me my race and
lineage, and what I shall say when men ask me the name of my sire. But
if thou refuse an answer unto my demands, I will strike thee out from
the rolls of the living."
When Tahmineh beheld the ardour of her son, she smiled in her spirit
because that his fire was like to that of his father. And she opened her
mouth and said:
"Hear my words, O my son, and be glad in thine heart, neither give way
in thy spirit to anger. For thou art the offspring of Rustem, thou art
descended from the seed of Saum and Zal, and Neriman was thy forefather.
And since God made the world it hath held none like unto Rustem, thy
Then she showed to him a letter written by the Pehliva, and gave to him
the gold and jewels Rustem had sent at his birth. And she spake and
"Cherish these gifts with gratitude, for it is thy father who hath sent
them. Yet remember, O my son, that thou close thy lips concerning these
things; for Turan groaneth under the hand of Afrasiyab, and he is foe
unto Rustem the glorious. If, therefore, he should learn of thee, he
would seek to destroy the son for hatred of the sire. Moreover, O my
boy, if Rustem learned that thou wert become a mountain of valour,
perchance he would demand thee at my hands, and the sorrow of thy loss
would crush the heart of thy mother."
But Sohrab replied, "Nought can be hidden upon earth for aye. To all men
are known the deeds of Rustem, and since my birth be thus noble,
wherefore hast thou kept it dark from me so long? I will go forth with
an army of brave Turks and lead them unto Iran, I will cast Kai Kaous
from off his throne, I will give to Rustem the crown of the Kaianides,
and together we will subdue the land of Turan, and Afrasiyab shall be
slain by my hands. Then will I mount the throne in his stead. But thou
shalt be called Queen of Iran, for since Rustem is my father and I am
his son no other kings shall rule in this world, for to us alone
behoveth it to wear the crowns of might. And I pant in longing after the
battlefield, and I desire that the world should behold my prowess. But a
horse is needful unto me, a steed tall and strong of
 power to bear me,
for it beseemeth me not to go on foot before mine enemies."
Now Tahmineh, when she had heard the words of this boy, rejoiced in her
soul at his courage. So she bade the guardians of the flocks lead out
the horses before Sohrab her son. And they did as she had bidden, and
Sohrab surveyed the steeds, and tested their strength like as his father
had done before him of old, and he bowed them under his hand, and he
could not be satisfied. And thus for many days did he seek a worthy
steed. Then one came before him and told of a foal sprung from Rakush,
the swift of foot. When Sohrab heard the tidings he smiled, and bade
that the foal be led before him. And he tested it and found it to be
strong. So he saddled it and sprang upon its back, and cried, saying:
"Now that I own a horse like thee, the world shall be made dark to
Then he made ready for war against Iran, and the nobles and warriors
flocked around him. And when all was in order Sohrab came before his
grandsire and craved his counsel and his aid to go forth into the land
of Iran and seek out his father. And the King of Samengan, when he heard
these wishes, deemed them to be just, and he opened the doors of his
treasures without stint and gave unto Sohrab of his wealth, for he was
filled with pleasure at this boy. And he invested Sohrab with all the
honours of a King, and he bestowed on him all the marks of his good
Meantime a certain man brought news unto Afrasiyab that Sohrab was
making ready an army to fall upon Iran, and to cast Kai Kaous from off
his throne. And he told Afrasiyab how the courage and valour of
exceeded words. And Afrasiyab, when he heard this, hid not his
contentment, and he called before him Human and Barman, the doughty.
Then he bade them gather together an army and join the ranks of Sohrab,
and he confided to them his secret purpose, but he enjoined them tell no
man thereof. For he said:
"Into our hands hath it been given to settle the course of the world.
For it is known unto me that Sohrab is sprung from Rustem the Pehliva,
but from Rustem must it be hidden who it is that goeth out against him,
then peradventure he will perish by the hands of this young lion, and
Iran, devoid of Rustem, will fall a prey into my hands. Then we will
subdue Sohrab also, and all the world will be ours. But if it be written
that Sohrab fall under the hand of Tehemten, then the grief he shall
endure when he shall learn that he hath slain his son will bring him to
the grave for sorrow."
So spake Afrasiyab in his guile, and when he had done unveiling his
black heart he bade the warriors depart unto Samengan. And they bare
with them gifts of great price to pour before the face of Sohrab. And
they bare also a letter filled with soft words. And in the letter
Afrasiyab lauded Sohrab for his resolve, and told him how that if Iran
be subdued the world would henceforth know peace, for upon his own head
should he place the crown of the Kaianides; and Turan, Iran, and
Samengan should be as one land.
When Sohrab had read this letter, and saw the gifts and the aid sent out
to him, he rejoiced aloud, for he deemed that now none could withstand
his might. So he caused the cymbals of departure to be clashed, and the
army made them ready to go forth. Then Sohrab
 led them into the land of
Iran. And their track was marked by desolation and destruction, for they
spared nothing that they passed. And they spread fire and dismay abroad,
and they marched on unstayed until they came unto the White Castle, the
fortress wherein Iran put its trust.
Now the guardian of the castle was named Hujir, and there lived with him
Gustahem the grave, but he was grown old, and could aid no longer save
with his counsels. And there abode also his daughter Gurdafrid, a
warlike maid, firm in the saddle, and practised in the fight. Now when
Hujir beheld from afar a dusky cloud of armed men he came forth to meet
them. And Sohrab, when he saw him, drew his sword, and demanded his
name, and bade him prepare to meet his end. And he taunted him with
rashness that he was come forth thus unaided to stand against a lion.
But Hujir answered Sohrab with taunts again, and vowed that he would
sever his head from his trunk and send it for a trophy unto the Shah.
Yet Sohrab only smiled when he heard these words, and he challenged
Hujir to come near. And they met in combat, and wrestled sore one with
another, and stalwart were their strokes and strong; but Sohrab overcame
Hujir as though he were an infant, and he bound him and sent him captive
But when those within the castle learned that their chief was bound they
raised great lamentation, and their fears were sore. And Gurdafrid, too,
when she learned it, was grieved, but she was ashamed also for the fate
of Hujir. So she took forth burnished mail and clad herself therein, and
she hid her tresses under a helmet of Roum, and she mounted a steed of
battle and came forth before the walls like to a warrior. And
uttered a cry of thunder, and flung it amid the ranks of Turan, and she
defied the champions to come forth to single combat. And none came, for
they beheld her how she was strong, and they knew not that it was a
woman, and they were afraid. But Sohrab, when he saw it, stepped forth
"I will accept thy challenge, and a second prize will fall into my
Then he girded himself and made ready for the fight. And the maid, when
she saw he was ready, rained arrows upon him with art, and they fell
quick like hail, and whizzed about his head; and Sohrab, when he saw it,
could not defend himself, and was angry and ashamed. Then he covered his
head with his shield and ran at the maid. But she, when she saw him
approach, dropped her bow and couched a lance, and thrust at Sohrab with
vigour, and shook him mightily, and it wanted little and she would have
thrown him from his seat. And Sohrab was amazed, and his wrath knew no
bounds. Then he ran at Gurdafrid with fury, and seized the reins of her
steed, and caught her by the waist, and tore her armour, and threw her
upon the ground. Yet ere he could raise his hand to strike her, she drew
her sword and shivered his lance in twain, and leaped again upon her
steed. And when she saw that the day was hers, she was weary of further
combat, and she sped back unto the fortress. But Sohrab gave rein unto
his horse, and followed after her in his great anger. And he caught her,
and seized her, and tore the helmet off her head, for he desired to look
upon the face of the man who could withstand the son of Rustem. And lo!
when he had done so, there rolled forth from the helmet coils of dusky
hue, and Sohrab beheld it was a woman that had overcome him in the
 fight. And he was confounded. But when he had found speech he said:
"If the daughters of Iran are like to thee, and go forth unto battle,
none can stand against this land."
Then he took his cord and threw it about her, and bound her in its
"Seek not to escape me, O moon of beauty, for never hath prey like unto
thee fallen between my hands."
Then Gurdafrid, full of wile, turned unto him her face that was
unveiled, for she beheld no other means of safety, and she said unto
"O hero without flaw, is it well that thou shouldest seek to make me
captive, and show me unto the army? For they have beheld our combat, and
that I overcame thee, and surely now they will gibe when they learn that
thy strength was withstood by a woman. Better would it beseem thee to
hide this adventure, lest thy cheeks have cause to blush because of me.
Therefore let us conclude a peace together. The castle shall be thine,
and all it holds; follow after me then, and take possession of thine
Now Sohrab, when he had listened, was beguiled by her words and her
beauty, and he said:
"Thou dost wisely to make peace with me, for verily these walls could
not resist my might."
And he followed after her unto the heights of the castle, and he stood
with her before its gates. And Gustahem, when he saw them, opened the
portal, and Gurdafrid stepped within the threshold, but when Sohrab
would have followed after her she shut the door upon him. Then Sohrab
saw that she had befooled him, and his fury knew no bounds. But ere he
was recovered from his surprise she came out upon the battlements and
 scoffed at him, and counselled him to go back whence he was come; for
surely, since he could not stand against a woman, he would fall an easy
prey before Rustem, when the Pehliva should have learned that robbers
from Turan were broken into the land. And Sohrab was made yet madder for
her words, and he departed from the walls in his wrath, and rode far in
his anger, and spread terror in his path. And he vowed that he would yet
bring the maid into subjection.
In the meantime Gustahem the aged called before him a scribe, and bade
him write unto Kai Kaous all that was come about, and how an army was
come forth from Turan, at whose head rode a chief that was a child in
years, a lion in strength and stature. And he told how Hujir had been
bound, and how the fortress was like to fall into the hands of the
enemy; for there were none to defend it save only his daughter and
himself and he craved the Shah to come to their aid.
Albeit when the day had followed yet again upon the night, Sohrab made
ready his host to fall upon the castle. But when he came near thereto he
found it was empty, and the doors thereof stood open, and no warriors
appeared upon its walls. And he was surprised, for he knew not that in
the darkness the inmates were fled by a passage that was hidden under
the earth. And he searched the building for Gurdafrid, for his heart
yearned after her in love and he cried aloud:
"Woe, woe is me that this moon is vanished behind the clouds!"
Now when Kai Kaous had gotten the writing of Gustahem, he was sore
afflicted and much afraid, and he called about him his nobles and asked
their counsels. And he said:
 "Who shall stand against this Turk? For Gustahem doth liken him in power
unto Rustem, and saith he resembleth the seed of Neriman."
Then the warriors cried with one accord, "Unto Rustem alone can we look
in this danger!"
And Kai Kaous hearkened to their voice, and he called for a scribe and
dictated unto him a letter. And he wrote unto his Pehliva, and invoked
the blessings of Heaven upon his head, and he told him all that was come
to pass, and how new dangers threatened Iran, and how to Rustem alone
could he look for help in his trouble. And he recalled unto Tehemten all
that he had done for him in the days that were gone by, and he entreated
him once again to be his refuge. And he said:
"When thou shalt receive this letter, stay not to speak the word that
hangeth upon thy lips; and if thou bearest roses in thy hands, stop not
to smell them, but haste thee to help us in our need."
Then Kai Kaous sent forth Gew with this writing unto Zaboulistan, and
bade him neither rest nor tarry until he should stand before the face of
Rustem. And he said—
"When thou hast done my behest, turn thee again unto me; neither abide
within the courts of the Pehliva, nor linger by the roadside."
And Gew did as the Shah commanded, and took neither food nor rest till
he set foot within the gates of Rustem. And Rustem greeted him kindly,
and asked him of his mission; and when he had read the writing of the
Shah, he questioned Gew concerning Sohrab. For he said:
"I should not marvel if such an hero arose in Iran, but that a warrior
of renown should come forth from amid the Turks, I cannot believe it.
But thou sayest none
 knoweth whence cometh this knight. I have myself a
son in Samengan, but he is yet an infant, and his mother writeth to me
that he rejoiceth in the sports of his age, and though he be like to
become a hero among men, his time is not yet come to lead forth an army.
And that which thou sayest hath been done; surely it is not the work of
a babe. But enter, I pray thee, into my house, and we will confer
together concerning this adventure."
Then Rustem bade his cooks make ready a banquet, and he feasted Gew, and
troubled his head with wine, and caused him to forget cares and time.
But when morn was come Gew remembered the commands of the Shah that he
tarry not, but return with all speed, and he spake thereof to Rustem,
and prayed him to make known his resolve. But Rustem spake, saying:
"Disquiet not thyself, for death will surely fall upon these men of
Turan. Stay with me yet another day and rest, and water thy lips that
are parched. For though this Sohrab be a hero like to Saum and Zal and
Neriman, verily he shall fall by my hands."
And he made ready yet another banquet, and three days they caroused
without ceasing. But on the fourth Gew uprose with resolve, and came
before Rustem girt for departure. And he said:
"It behoveth me to return, O Pehliva, for I bethink me how Kai Kaous is
a man hard and choleric, and the fear of Sohrab weigheth upon his heart,
and his soul burneth with impatience, and he hath lost sleep, and hath
hunger and thirst on this account. And he will be wroth against us if we
delay yet longer to do his behest."
Then Rustem said, "Fear not, for none on earth dare be angered with me."
But he did as Gew desired, and made ready his army,
 and saddled Rakush,
and set forth from Zaboulistan, and a great train followed after him.
Now when they came nigh unto the courts of the Shah, the nobles came
forth to meet them, and do homage before Rustem. And when they were come
in, Rustem gat him from Rakush and hastened into the presence of his
lord. But Kai Kaous, when he beheld him, was angry, and spake not, and
his brows were knit with fury; and when Rustem had done obeisance before
him, he unlocked the doors of his mouth, and words of folly escaped his
lips. And he said:
"Who is Rustem, that he defieth my power and disregardeth my commands?
If I had a sword within my grasp I would spilt his head like to an
orange. Seize him, I command, and hang him upon the nearest gallows, and
let his name be never spoken in my presence."
When he heard these words Gew trembled in his heart, but he said, "Dost
thou set forth thy hand against Rustem?"
And the Shah when he heard it was beside himself, and he cried with a
loud voice that Gew be hanged together with the other; and he bade Tus
lead them forth. And Tus would have led them out, for he hoped the anger
of the Shah would be appeased; but Rustem broke from his grasp and stood
before Kai Kaous, and all the nobles were filled with fear when they saw
his anger. And he flung reproaches at Kai Kaous, and he recalled to him
his follies, and the march into Mazinderan and Hamaveran, and his flight
into Heaven; and he reminded him how that but for Rustem he would not
now be seated upon the throne of light. And he bade him threaten Sohrab
the Turk with his gallows, and he said:
"I am a free man and no slave, and am servant alone
 unto God; and
without Rustem Kai Kaous is as nothing, And the world is subject unto
me, and Rakush is my throne, and my sword is my seal, and my helmet my
crown. And but for me, who called forth Kai Kobad, thine eyes had never
looked upon this throne. And had I desired it I could have sat upon its
seat. But now am I weary of thy follies, and I will turn me away from
Iran, and when this Turk shall have put you under his yoke I shall not
Then he turned him and strode from out the presence-chamber. And he
sprang upon Rakush, who waited without, and he was vanished from before
their eyes ere yet the nobles had rallied from their astonishment. And
they were downcast and oppressed with boding cares, and they held
counsel among themselves what to do; for Rustem was their mainstay, and
they knew that, bereft of his arm and counsel, they could not stand
against this Turk. And they blamed Kai Kaous, and counted over the good
deeds that Rustem had done for him, and they pondered and spake long.
And in the end they resolved to send a messenger unto Kai Kaous, and
they chose from their midst Gudarz the aged, and bade him stand before
the Shah. And Gudarz did as they desired, and he spake long and without
fear, and he counted over each deed that had been done by Rustem; and he
reproached the Shah with his ingratitude, and he said how Rustem was the
shepherd, and how the flock could not be led without its leader. And Kai
Kaous heard him unto the end, and he knew that his words were the words
of reason and truth, and he was ashamed of that which he had done, and
confounded when he beheld his acts thus naked before him. And he humbled
himself before Gudarz, and said:
 "That which thou sayest, surely it is right."
And he entreated Gudarz to go forth and seek Rustem, and bid him forget
the evil words of his Shah, and bring him back to the succor of Iran.
And Gudarz hastened forth to do as Kai Kaous desired, and he told the
nobles of his mission, and they joined themselves unto him, and all the
chiefs of Iran went forth in quest of Rustem. And when they had found
him, they prostrated themselves into the dust before him, and Gudarz
told him of his mission, and he prayed him to remember that Kai Kaous
was a man devoid of understanding, whose thoughts flowed over like to
new wine that fermenteth. And he said:
"Though Rustem be angered against the King, yet hath the land of Iran
done no wrong that it should perish at his hands. Yet, if Rustem save it
not, surely it will fall under this Turk."
But Rustem said, "My patience hath an end, and I fear none but God. What
is this Kai Kaous that he should anger me? and what am I that I have
need of him? I have not deserved the evil words that he spake unto me,
but now will I think of them no longer, but cast aside all thoughts of
When the nobles heard these words they grew pale, and fear took hold on
their hearts. But Gudarz, full of wisdom, opened his mouth, and said:
"O Pehliva! the land, when it shall learn of this, will deem that Rustem
is fled before the face of this Turk; and when men shall believe that
Tehemten is afraid, they will cease to combat, and Iran will be
downtrodden at his hands. Turn thee not, therefore, at this hour from
thy allegiance to the Shah, and tarnish not thy glory by this retreat,
neither suffer that the downfall of Iran
 rest upon thy head. Put from
thee, therefore, the words that Kai Kaous spake in his empty anger, and
lead us forth to battle against this Turk. For it must not be spoken
that Rustem feared to fight a beardless boy."
And Rustem listened, and pondered these words in his heart, and knew
that they were good. But he said:
"Fear hath never been known of me, neither hath Rustem shunned the din
of arms, and I depart not because of Sohrab, but because that scorn and
insult have been my recompense."
Yet when he had pondered a while longer, he saw that he must return unto
the Shah. So he did that which he knew to be right, and he rode till he
came unto the gates of Kai Kaous, and he strode with a proud step into
Now when the Shah beheld Rustem from afar, he stepped down from off his
throne and came before Pehliva, and craved his pardon for that which was
come about. And he said how he had been angered because Rustem had
tarried in his coming, and how haste was his birthright, and how he had
forgotten himself in his vexation. But now was his mouth filled with the
dust of repentance. And Rustem said:
"The world is the Shah's, and it behoveth thee to do as beseemeth thee
best with thy servants. And until old age shall my loins be girt in
fealty unto thee. And may power and majesty be thine for ever!"
And Kai Kaous answered and said, "O my Pehliva, may thy days be blessed
unto the end!"
Then he invited him to feast with him, and they drank wine till far into
the night, and held counsel together how they should act; and slaves
poured rich gifts before
 Rustem, and the nobles rejoiced, and all was
well again within the gates of the King.
Then when the sun had risen and clothed the world with love, the
clarions of war were sounded throughout the city, and men made them
ready to go forth in enmity before the Turks. And the legions of Persia
came forth at the behest of their Shah, and their countless thousands
hid the earth under their feet, and the air was darkened by their
spears. And when they were come unto the plains where stood the fortress
of Hujir, they set up their tents as was their manner. So the watchman
saw them from the battlements, and he set up a great cry. And Sohrab
heard the cry, and questioned the man wherefore he shouted; and when he
learned that the enemy were come, he rejoiced, and demanded a cup of
wine, and drank to their destruction. Then he called forth Human and
showed him the army, and bade him be of good cheer, for he said that he
saw within its ranks no hero of mighty mace who could stand against
himself. So he bade his warriors to a banquet of wine, and he said that
they would feast until the time was come to meet their foes in battle.
And they did as Sohrab said.
Now when night had thrown her mantle over the earth, Rustem came before
the Shah and craved that he would suffer him to go forth beyond the camp
that he might see what manner of man was this stripling. And Kai Kaous
granted his request, and said that it was worthy a Pehliva of renown.
Then Rustem went forth disguised in the garb of a Turk, and he entered
the castle in secret, and he came within the chamber where Sohrab held
his feast. Now when he had looked upon the boy he saw that he was like
to a tall cypress of good sap, and that his arms were sinewy and strong
like to the flanks of a camel,
 and that his stature was that of a hero.
And he saw that round about him stood brave warriors. And slaves with
golden bugles poured wine before them, and they were all glad, neither
did they dream of sorrow. Then it came about that while Rustem regarded
them, Zindeh changed his seat and came nigh unto the spot where Rustem
was watching. Now Zindeh was brother unto Tahmineh, and she had sent him
forth with her son that he might point out to him his father, whom he
alone knew of all the army, and she did it that harm might not befall if
the heroes should meet in battle. Now Zindeh, when he had changed his
seat, thought that he espied a watcher, and he strode toward the place
where Rustem was hid, and he came before him and said—
"Who art thou? Come forth into the light that I may behold thy face."
But ere he could speak further, Rustem had lifted up his hand and struck
him, and laid him dead upon the ground.
Now Sohrab, when he saw that Zindeh was gone out, was disquieted, and he
asked of his slaves wherefore the hero returned not unto the banquet. So
they went forth to seek him, and when they had found him in his blood,
they came and told Sohrab what they had seen. But Sohrab would not
believe it; so he ran to the spot and bade them bring torches, and all
the warriors and singing girls followed after him. Then when Sohrab saw
that it was true he was sore grieved; but he suffered not that the
banquet be ended, for he would not that the spirits of his men be damped
with pity. So they went back yet again to the feast.
Meanwhile Rustem returned him to the camp, and as he would have entered
the lines he encountered Gew,
 who went around to see that all was safe.
And Gew, when he saw a tall man clad In the garb of a Turk, drew his
sword and held himself ready for combat. But Rustem smiled and opened
his mouth, and Gew knew his voice, and came to him and questioned him
what he did without in the darkness. And Rustem told him. Then he went
before Kai Kaous also and related what he had seen, and how no man like
unto Sohrab was yet come forth from amid the Turks. And he likened him
unto Saum, the son of Neriman.
Now when the morning was come, Sohrab put on his armour. Then he went
unto a height whence he could look down over the camp of the Iranians.
And he took with him Hujir, and spake to him, saying:
"Seek not to deceive me, nor swerve from the paths of truth. For if thou
reply unto my questions with sincerity, I will loosen thy bonds and give
thee treasures; but if thou deceive me, thou shalt languish till death
in thy chains."
And Hujir said, "I will give answer unto thee according to my
Then Sohrab said, "I am about to question thee concerning the nobles
whose camps are spread beneath our feet, and thou shalt name unto me
those whom I point out. Behold yon tent of gold brocade, adorned with
skins of leopard, before whose doors stand an hundred elephants of war.
Within its gates is a throne of turquoise, and over it floateth a
standard of violet with a moon and sun worked in its centre. Tell unto
me now whose is this pavilion that standeth thus in the midst of the
And Hujir replied, "It pertaineth unto the Shah of Iran."
Then Sohrab said, "I behold on its right hand yet
 another tent draped in
the colours of mourning, and above it floateth a standard whereon is
worked an elephant."
And Hujir said, "It is the tent of Tus, the son of Nuder, for he beareth
an elephant as his ensign."
Then Sohrab said, "Whose is the camp in which stand many warriors clad
in rich armour? A flag of gold with a lion worked upon it waveth along
And Hujir said, "It belongeth unto Gudarz the brave. And those who stand
about it are his sons, for eighty men of might are sprung from his
Then Sohrab said, "To whom belongeth the tent draped with green tissues?
Before its doors is planted the flag of Kawah. I see upon its throne a
Pehliva, nobler of mien than all his fellows, whose head striketh the
stars. And beside him standeth a steed tall as he, and his standard
showeth a lion and a writhing dragon."
When Hujir heard this question he thought within himself, "If I tell
unto this lion the signs whereby he may know Rustem the Pehliva, surely
he will fall upon him and seek to destroy him. It will beseem me better,
therefore, to keep silent, and to omit his name from the list of the
heroes." So he said unto Sohrab:
"This is some ally who is come unto Kai Kaous from far Cathay, and his
name is not known unto me."
And Sohrab when he heard it was downcast, and his heart was sad that he
could nowhere discover Rustem; and though it seemed unto him that he
beheld the marks whereby his mother said that he would know him, he
could not credit the words of his eyes against the words of Hujir. Still
he asked yet again the name of the warrior, and yet again Hujir denied
it unto him, for it was written that that should come to pass which had
 But Sohrab ceased not from his questionings. And he asked:
"Who dwelleth beneath the standard with the head of a wolf?"
And Hujir said, "It is Gew, the son of Gudarz, who dwelleth within that
tent, and men call him Gew the valiant."
Then Sohrab said, "Whose is the seat over which are raised awnings and
brocades of Roum, that glisten with gold in the sunlight?"
And Hujir said, "It is the throne of Fraburz, the son of the Shah."
Then Sohrab said, "It beseemeth the son of a Shah to surround himself
with such splendour."
And he pointed unto a tent with trappings of yellow that was encircled
by flags of many colours. And he questioned of its owner.
And Hujir said, "Guraz the lion-hearted is master therein."
Then Sohrab, when he could not learn the tent of his father, questioned
Hujir concerning Rustem, and he asked yet a third time of the green
tent. Yet Hujir ever replied that he knew not the name of its master.
And when Sohrab pressed him concerning Rustem, he said that Rustem
lingered in Zaboulistan, for it was the feast of roses. But Sohrab
refused to give ear unto the thought that Kai Kaous should go forth to
battle without the aid of Rustem, whose might none could match. So he
said unto Hujir:
"And thou show not unto me the tents of Rustem, I will strike thy head
from off thy shoulders, and the world shall fade before thine eyes.
Choose, therefore, the truth or thy life."
 And Hujir thought within himself, "Though five score men cannot
withstand Rustem when he be roused to battle-fury, my mind misgiveth me
that he may have found his equal in this boy. And, for that the
stripling is younger, it might come about that he subdue the Pehliva.
What recketh my life against the weal of Iran? I will therefore abandon
me into his hands rather than show unto him the marks of Rustem the
Pehliva. So he said:
"Why seekest thou to know Rustem the Pehliva? Surely thou wilt know him
in battle, and he shall strike thee dumb, and quell thy pride of youth.
Yet I will not show him unto thee."
When Sohrab heard these words he raised his sword and smote Hujir, and
made an end of him with a great blow. Then he made himself ready for
fight, and leaped upon his steed of battle, and he rode till he came
unto the camp of the Iranians, and he broke down the barriers with his
spear, and fear seized upon all men when they beheld his stalwart form
and majesty of mien and action. Then Sohrab opened his mouth, and his
voice of thunder was heard even unto the far ends of the camp. And he
spake words of pride, and called forth the Shah to do battle with him,
and he sware with a loud voice that the blood of Zindeh should be
avenged. Now when Sohrab's voice had run throughout the camp, confusion
spread within its borders, and none of those who stood about the throne
would accept his challenge for the Shah. And with one accord they said
that Rustem was their sole support, and that his sword alone could cause
the sun to weep. And Tus sped him within the courts of Rustem. And
"The hardest tasks doth Kai Kaous ever lay upon me."
 But the nobles would not suffer him to linger, neither to waste time in
words, and they buckled upon him his armour, and they threw his
leopard-skin about him, and they saddled Rakush, and made ready the hero
for the strife. And they pushed him forth, and called after him:
"Haste, haste, for no common combat awaiteth thee, for verily Ahriman
standeth before us."
Now when Rustem was come before Sohrab, and beheld the youth, brave and
strong, with a breast like unto Saum, he said to him:
"Let us go apart from hence, and step forth from out the lines of the
For there was a zone between the camps that none might pass. And Sohrab
assented to the demand of Rustem, and they stepped out into it, and made
them ready for single combat. But when Sohrab would have fallen upon
him, the soul of Rustem melted with compassion, and he desired to save a
boy thus fair and valiant. So he said unto him:
"O young man, the air is warm and soft, but the earth is cold. I have
pity upon thee, and would not take from thee the boon of life. Yet if we
combat together, surely thou wilt fall by my hands, for none have
withstood my power, neither men nor Deevs nor dragons. Desist,
therefore, from this enterprise, and quit the ranks of Turan, for Iran
hath need of heroes like unto thee."
Now while Rustem spake thus, the heart of Sohrab went out to him. And he
looked at him wistfully, and said:
"O hero, I am about to put unto thee a question, and I entreat of thee
that thou reply to me according to the truth. Tell unto me thy name,
that my heart may rejoice in thy words, for it seemeth unto me that thou
 none other than Rustem, the son of Zal, the son of Saum, the son of
But Rustem replied, "Thou errest, I am not Rustem, neither am I sprung
from the race of Neriman. Rustem is a Pehliva, but I, I am a slave, and
own neither a crown nor a throne,"
These words spake Rustem that Sohrab might be afraid when he beheld his
prowess, and deem that yet greater might was hidden in the camp of his
enemy. But Sohrab when he heard these words was sad, and his hopes that
were risen so high were shattered, and the day that had looked so bright
was made dark unto his eyes. Then he made him ready for the combat, and
they fought, until their spears were shivered and their swords hacked
like unto saws. And when all their weapons were bent, they betook them
into clubs, and they waged war with these until they were broken. Then
they strove until their mail was torn and their horses spent with
exhaustion, and even then they could not desist, but wrestled with one
another with their hands till that the sweat and blood ran down from
their bodies. And they contended until their throats were parched and
their bodies weary, and to neither was given the victory. They stayed
them a while to rest, and Rustem thought within his mind how all his
days he had not coped with such a hero. And it seemed to him that his
contest with the White Deev had been as nought to this.
Now when they had rested a while they fell to again, and they fought
with arrows, but still none could surpass the other. Then Rustem strove
to hurl Sohrab from his steed, but it availed him naught, and he could
shake him no more than the mountain can be moved from its seat. So they
betook themselves again unto clubs, and
 Sohrab aimed at Rustem with
might and smote him, and Rustem reeled beneath the stroke, and bit his
lips in agony. Then Sohrab vaunted his advantage, and bade Rustem go and
measure him with his equals; for though his strength be great, he could
not stand against a youth. So they went their ways, and Rustem fell upon
the men of Turan, and spread confusion far and wide among their ranks;
and Sohrab raged along the lines of Iran, and men and horses fell under
his hands. And Rustem was sad in his soul, and he turned with sorrow
into his camp. But when he saw the destruction Sohrab had wrought his
anger was kindled, and he reproached the youth, and challenged him to
come forth yet again to single combat. But because that the day was far
spent they resolved to rest until the morrow.
Then Rustem went before Kai Kaous and told him of this boy of valour,
and he prayed unto Ormuzd that He would give him strength to vanquish
his foe. Yet he made ready also his house lest he should fall in the
fight, and he commanded that a tender message be borne unto Rudabeh, and
he sent words of comfort unto Zal, his father. And Sohrab, too, in his
camp lauded the might of Rustem, and he said how the battle had been
sore, and how his mind had misgiven him of the issue. And he spake unto
"My mind is filled with thoughts of this aged man, mine adversary, for
it would seem unto me that his stature is like unto mine, and that I
behold about him the tokens that my mother recounted unto me. And my
heart goeth out toward him, and I muse if it be Rustem, my father. For
it behoveth me not to combat him. Wherefore, I beseech thee, tell unto
me how this may be."
But Human answered and said, "Oft have I looked
 upon the face of Rustem
in battle, and mine eyes have beheld his deeds of valour; but this man
in no wise resembleth him, nor is his manner of wielding his club the
These things spake Human in his vileness, because that Afrasiyab had
enjoined him to lead Sohrab into destruction. And Sohrab held his peace,
but he was not wholly satisfied.
Now when the day had begun to lighten the sky and clear away the
shadows, Rustem and Sohrab strode forth unto the midway spot that
stretched between the armies. And Sohrab bare in his hands a mighty
club, and the garb of battle was upon him; but his mouth was full of
smiles, and he asked of Rustem how he had rested, and he said:
"Wherefore hast thou prepared thy heart for battle? Cast from thee, I
beg, this mace and sword of vengeance, and let us doff our armour, and
seat ourselves together in amity, and let wine soften our angry deeds.
For it seemeth unto me that this conflict is impure. And if thou wilt
listen to my desires, my heart shall speak to thee of love, and I will
make the tears of shame spring up into thine eyes. And for this cause I
ask thee yet again, tell me thy name, neither hide it any longer, for I
behold that thou art of noble race. And it would seem unto me that thou
art Rustem, the chosen one, the Lord of Zaboulistan, the son of Zal, the
son of Saum the hero."
But Rustem answered, "O hero of tender age, we are not come forth to
parley but to combat, and mine ears are sealed against thy words of
lure. I am an old man, and thou art young, but we are girded for battle,
and the Master of the world shall decide between us."
Then Sohrab said, "O man of many years, wherefore
 wilt thou not listen
to the counsel of a stripling? I desired that thy soul should leave thee
upon thy bed, but thou hast elected to perish in the combat. That which
is ordained must be done, therefore let us make ready for the conflict."
So they made them ready, and when they had bound their steeds they fell
upon each other, and the crash of their encounter was heard like thunder
throughout the camps. And they measured their strength from the morning
until the setting of the sun. And when the day was about to vanish,
Sohrab seized upon Rustem by the girdle and threw him upon the ground,
and kneeled upon him, and drew forth his sword from the scabbard, and
would have severed his head from his trunk. Then Rustem knew that only
wile could save him. So he opened his mouth and said:
"O young man, thou knowest not the customs of the combat. It is written
in the laws of honour that he who overthroweth a brave man for the first
time should not destroy him, but preserve him for fight a second time,
then only is it given unto him to kill his adversary."
And Sohrab listened to Rustem's words of craft and stayed his hand, and
he let the warrior go, and because that the day was ended he sought to
fight no more, but turned him aside and chased the deer until the night
was spent. Then came to him Human, and asked of the adventures of the
day. And Sohrab told him how he had vanquished the tall man, and how he
had granted him freedom. And Human reproached him with his folly, and
"Alas! young man, thou didst fall into a snare, for this is not the
custom among the brave. And now perchance thou wilt yet fall under the
hands of this warrior."
 Sohrab was abashed when he heard the words of Human, but he said:
"Be not grieved, for in an hour we meet again in battle, and verily he
will not stand a third time against my youthful strength."
Now while Sohrab was thus doing, Rustem was gone beside a running brook,
and laved his limbs, and prayed to God in his distress. And he entreated
of Ormuzd that He would grant him such strength that the victory must be
his. And Ormuzd heard him, and gave to him such strength that the rock
whereon Rustem stood gave way under his feet, because it had not power
to bear him. Then Rustem saw it was too much, and he prayed yet again
that part thereof be taken from him. And once more Ormuzd listened to
his voice. Then when the time for combat was come, Rustem turned him to
the meeting-place, and his heart was full of cares and his face of
fears. But Sohrab came forth like a giant refreshed, and he ran at
Rustem like to a mad elephant, and he cried with a voice of thunder:
"O thou who didst flee from battle, wherefore art thou come out once
more against me? But I say unto thee, this time shall thy words of guile
avail thee naught."
And Rustem, when he heard him, and looked upon him, was seized with
misgiving, and he learned to know fear. So he prayed to Ormuzd that He
would restore to him the power He had taken back. But he suffered not
Sohrab to behold his fears, and they made them ready for the fight. And
he closed upon Sohrab with all his new-found might, and shook him
terribly, and though Sohrab returned his attacks with vigour, the hour
of his overthrow was come. For Rustem took him by the girdle and hurled
him unto the earth, and he broke his back like to
 a reed, and he drew
forth his sword to sever his body. Then Sohrab knew it was the end, and
he gave a great sigh, and writhed in his agony, and he said:
"That which is come about, it is my fault, and henceforward will my
youth be a theme of derision among the people. But I sped not forth for
empty glory, but I went out to seek my father; for my mother had told me
by what tokens I should know him, and I perish for longing after him.
And now have my pains been fruitless, for it hath not been given unto me
to look upon his face. Yet I say unto thee, if thou shouldest become a
fish that swimmeth in the depths of the ocean, if thou shouldest change
into a star that is concealed in the farthest heaven, my father would
draw thee forth from thy hiding-place, and avenge my death upon thee
when he shall learn that the earth is become my bed. For my father is
Rustem the Pehliva, and it shall be told unto him how that Sohrab his
son perished in the quest after his face."
When Rustem heard these words his sword fell from out of his grasp, and
he was shaken with dismay. And there broke from his heart a groan as of
one whose heart was racked with anguish. And the earth became dark
before his eyes, and he sank down lifeless beside his son. But when he
had opened his eyes once more, he cried unto Sohrab in the agony of his
spirit. And he said:
"Bearest thou about thee a token of Rustem, that I may know that the
words which thou speakest are true? For I am Rustem the unhappy, and may
my name be struck from the lists of men!"
When Sohrab heard these words his misery was boundless, and he cried:
"If thou art indeed my father, then hast thou stained thy sword in the
life-blood of thy son. And thou didst it
 of thine obstinacy. For I
sought to turn thee unto love, and I implored of thee thy name, for I
thought to behold in thee the tokens recounted of my mother. But I
appealed unto thy heart in vain, and now is the time gone by for
meeting. Yet open, I beseech thee, mine armour and regard the jewel upon
mine arm. For it is an onyx given unto me by my father, as a token
whereby he should know me."
Then Rustem did as Sohrab bade him, and he opened his mail and saw the
onyx; and when he had seen it he tore his clothes in his distress, and
he covered his head with ashes. And the tears of penitence ran from his
eyes, and he roared aloud in his sorrow. But Sohrab said:
"It is in vain, there is no remedy. Weep not, therefore, for doubtless
it was written that this should be."
Now when the sun was set, and Rustem returned not to the camp, the
nobles of Iran were afraid, and they went forth to seek him. And when
they were gone but a little way they came upon Rakush, and when they saw
that he was alone they raised a wailing, for they deemed that of a
surety Rustem was perished. And they went and told Kai Kaous thereof,
and he said:
"Let Tus go forth and see if this indeed be so, and if Rustem be truly
fallen, let the drums call men unto battle that we may avenge him upon
Now Sohrab, when he beheld afar off the men that were come out to seek
Rustem, turned to his father and said:
"I entreat of thee that thou do unto me an act of love. Let not the Shah
fall upon the men of Turan, for they came not forth in enmity to him but
to do my desire, and on my head alone resteth this expedition. Wherefore
I desire not that they should perish when I can defend
 them no longer.
As for me, I came like the thunder and I vanish like the wind, but
perchance it is given unto us to meet again above."
Then Rustem promised to do the desires of Sohrab. And he went before the
men of Iran, and when they beheld him yet alive they set up a great
shout, but when they saw that his clothes were torn, and that he bare
about him the marks of sorrow, they asked of him what was come to pass.
Then he told them how he had caused a noble son to perish. And they were
grieved for him, and joined in his wailing. Then he bade one among them
to go forth into the camp of Turan, and deliver this message unto Human.
And he sent word unto him, saying:
"The sword of vengeance must slumber in the scabbard. Thou art now
leader of the host; return, therefore, whence thou camest, and depart
across the river ere many days be fallen. As for me, I will fight no
more, yet neither will I speak unto thee again, for thou didst hide from
my son the tokens of his father, of thine iniquity thou didst lead him
into this pit."
Then when he had thus spoken, Rustem turned him yet again to his son.
And the nobles went with him, and they beheld Sohrab, and heard his
groans of pain. And Rustem, when he saw the agony of the boy, was beside
himself, and would have made an end of his own life, but the nobles
suffered it not, and stayed his hand. Then Rustem remembered him that
Kai Kaous had a balm mighty to heal. And he prayed Gudarz go before the
Shah, and bear unto him a message of entreaty from Rustem his servant.
And he said:
"O Shah, if ever I have done that which was good in thy sight, if ever
my hand have been of avail unto thee,
 recall now my benefits in the hour
of my need, and have pity upon my dire distress. Send unto me, I pray
thee, of the balm that is among thy treasures, that my son may be healed
by thy grace."
And Gudarz outstripped the whirlwind in his speed to bear unto the Shah
this message. But the heart of Kai Kaous was hardened, and he remembered
not the benefits he had received from Rustem, and he recalled only the
proud words that he had spoken before him. And he was afraid lest the
might of Sohrab be joined to that of his father, and that together they
prove mightier than he, and turn upon him. So he shut his ear unto the
cry of his Pehliva. And Gudarz bore back the answer of the Shah, and he
"The heart of Kai Kaous is flinty, and his evil nature is like to a
bitter gourd that ceaseth never to bear fruit. Yet I counsel thee, go
before him thyself, and see if peradventure thou soften this rock."
And Rustem in his grief did as Gudarz counselled, and turned to go
before the Shah, but he was not come before him ere a messenger overtook
him, and told unto him that Sohrab was departed from the world. Then
Rustem set up a wailing such as the earth hath not heard the like of,
and he heaped reproaches upon himself, and he could not cease from
plaining the son that was fallen by his hands. And he cried continually:
"I that am old have killed my son. I that am strong have uprooted this
mighty boy. I have torn the heart of my child, I have laid low the head
of a Pehliva."
Then he made a great fire, and flung into it his tent of many colours,
and his trappings of Roum, his saddle, and his leopard-skin, his armour
well tried in battle, and all the appurtenances of his throne. And he
stood by and
 looked on to see his pride laid in the dust. And he tore
his flesh, and cried aloud:
"My heart is sick unto death."
Then he commanded that Sohrab be swathed in rich brocades of gold worthy
his body. And when they had enfolded him, and Rustem learned that the
Turanians had quitted the borders, he made ready his army to return unto
Zaboulistan. And the nobles marched before the bier, and their heads
were covered with ashes, and their garments were torn. And the drums of
the war-elephants were shattered, and the cymbals broken, and the tails
of the horses were shorn to the root, and all the signs of mourning were
Now Zal, when he saw the host returning thus in sorrow, marvelled what
was come about; for he beheld Rustem at their head, wherefore he knew
that the wailing was not for his son. And he came before Rustem and
questioned him. And Rustem led him unto the bier and showed unto him the
youth that was like in feature and in might unto Saum the son of
Neriman, and he told him all that was come to pass, and how this was his
son, who in years was but an infant, but a hero in battle. And Rudabeh
too came out to behold the child, and she joined her lamentations unto
theirs. Then they built for Sohrab a tomb like to a horse's hoof, and
Rustem laid him therein in a chamber of gold perfumed with ambergris.
And he covered him with brocades of gold. And when it was done, the
house of Rustem grew like to a grave, and its courts were filled with
the voice of sorrow. And no joy would enter into the heart of Rustem,
and it was long before he held high his head.
Meantime the news spread even unto Turan, and there too did all men
grieve and weep for the child of prowess
 that was fallen in his bloom.
And the King of Samengan tore his vestments, but when his daughter
learned it she was beside herself with affliction. And Tahmineh cried
after her son, and bewailed the evil fate that had befallen him, and she
heaped black earth upon her head, and tore her hair, and wrung her
hands, and rolled on the ground in her agony. And her mouth was never
weary of plaining. Then she caused the garments of Sohrab to be brought
unto her, and his throne and his steed. And she regarded them, and
stroked the courser and poured tears upon his hoofs, and she cherished
the robes as though they yet contained her boy, and she pressed the head
of the palfrey unto her breast, and she kissed the helmet that Sohrab
had worn. Then with his sword she cut off the tail of his steed and set
fire unto the house of Sohrab, and she gave his gold and jewels unto the
poor. And when a year had thus rolled over her bitterness, the breath
departed from out her body, and her spirit went forth after Sohrab her
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