The Epic of Kings
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The Epic of Kings.
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The Epic of Kings
Written 1010 A.C.E.
Translated by Helen Zimmern
When a little while had been passed in feasting, Isfendiyar came before
Gushtasp, his father, and demanded the fulfilment of the promises that
he had made unto him. And he recalled unto Gushtasp how he had mistrusted
him and thrown him into chains. And he spake of the doughty deeds that
he had done at his behest, and he craved him to remember that Isfendiyar
was his son. And Gushtasp knew that that which was spoken was right, but
he desired not to abandon the throne. Wherefore he communed within him
what he should do. Then he opened his mouth and spake,
"Verily thou hast done that which thou sayest, and there is none
who is thine equal in this world, save only Rustem, the son of Zal. And
he acknowledgeth none his like. Now because he is grown proud in his spirit,
and hath rendered no homage unto me, neither is come forth to aid me against
Arjasp, I desire that thou go forth unto Zaboulistan, and that thou lead
out the Pehliva, and bring him bound before me, that he may know that I
am the Shah, and that he must do my behests. And when thou shalt have done
it, I swear unto thee by Him from whom cometh all strength, and who hath
kindled the sun and the stars unto light, that I will step down from the
throne, neither withhold it from thee any longer."
Then Isfendiyar said, "O King, I would entreat of thee that thou
ponder the words that thou hast spoken. For thine ancestors held this old
man, ripe in wisdom, in much honour, and he was a staff unto their throne.
Now since thou calledst him not forth, it was not fitting he should aid
thee against Turan."
But Gushtasp would not listen unto the words of Isfendiyar, and
"If thou lead not Rustem bound before me, I will not grant unto
thee the throne."
Then Isfendiyar said, "Thou sendest me forth in guile on this emprise,
for verily no man hath stood against the might of Rustem, wherefore I perceive
that thou desirest not to abandon unto me the throne. I say unto thee,
therefore, that I desire it no longer; but since I am thy slave, it beseemeth
me to obey thy behests. I go forth therefore, and if peradventure I fall
before Rustem, thou wilt answer unto God for my blood."
And when he had so spoken, Isfendiyar went out of the presence
of the Shah, and he was exceeding sorrowful. Then he gathered together
an army, and he set forth upon the road that leadeth to
Now when they were gone but a little way, the camel that walked
at their head laid him down in the dust. And the drivers struck him, but
he would not rise from the earth. Then Isfendiyar said, "The omen is evil."
But he commanded the driver that he cut off the head, that the evil might
fall upon the beast and tarnish not the glory of the Shah. And it was done
as Isfendiyar desired, but he could not rid him of his sadness, and he
pondered in his spirit this sign.
Now when they were come unto the land of Zaboulistan, Isfendiyar
"I will send an envoy unto Rustem, a man prudent and wise. And
I will entreat of the Pehliva that he come before me with gladness, for
I desire no evil unto him, and I come forth only at the behest of the
Then he called before him Bahman, his son, and he spake long unto
him, and he charged him with a message unto Rustem. And he bade him speak
unto the son of Zal how Gushtasp was angered because he sought not his
courts, wherefore he deemed that Rustem was grown proud in his spirit,
and would uplift himself above his Shah. And he said-
"The King hath sent me out that I lead thee before him. I pray
thee, therefore, come unto me, and I swear unto thee that no harm shall
befall thee at his hands. For when I shall have led thee before him, I
will demand as my guerdon that he suffer thee to go
So Bahman laid up these words in his spirit, and he went with all
speed unto the courts of Rustem. Now, he found therein none but Zal, for
Rustem was gone forth with his warriors to chase the wild ass. And Zal
came forth with courtesy to greet Bahman, and he asked of him his desires,
and he invited him unto a feast. But Bahman said-
"My mission doth admit of no delay. Isfendiyar hath bidden me not
tarry by the road. Tell me, therefore, where I may find thy
Then Zal showed unto him the way.
Now when Bahman was come unto the spot, he beheld a man like unto a
mountain, who was roasting a wild ass for his supper. And in his hand was
a wine-cup, and about him stood brave knights. Then Bahman said within
himself, "Surely this is Rustem," and he watched him from where he was
hid, and he beheld that Rustem devoured the whole of a wild ass for his
meal, and he was amazed at the might and majesty of this man. Then he thought
within him, "Peradventure if I cast down a rock upon him, I may slay him,
for surely even Isfendiyar, my father, shall not withstand his strength."
So he loosened a rock from the mountain-side, and set it rolling unto the
spot where Rustem was encamped. Now Zevarah heard the sound thereof, and
beheld the rock, and he said unto Rustem-
"Behold a rock that springeth forth from the
But Rustem smiled, and arose not from his seat; and when the rock was
upon him, he lifted up his foot and threw it far unto the other side. Then
Bahman was amazed, but he was affrighted also, and he dared not come forth
at once. Yet when he was come before the Pehliva, Rustem greeted him kindly,
and would have entertained him. And Bahman suffered it, and he marvelled
yet again when he beheld that which was eaten of Rustem, and he was afraid.
Then he delivered unto him the message of Isfendiyar, his father. And Rustem
listened unto it, and when it was ended he spake, saying-
"Bear greeting unto the hero of renown, and say unto him that I
have longed to look upon his face, and that I rejoice that he is come forth
unto Zaboulistan. But his demand is the device of Deevs, and I would counsel
him that he depart not from the paths of wisdom. And I say unto him, Count
not upon thy strength, for it is given to no man to shut up the winds within
a cage, neither can any man stand against my might. And I have ever done
that which was right before the Shahs, thy fathers, and no man hath beheld
Rustem in chains. Therefore thy demand is foolish, and I bid thee abandon
it, and honour my house with thy presence. And when we shall have feasted,
I will go forth with thee before Gushtasp, thy father, and the reins of
my horse shall be tied unto thine throughout the journey. And when I shall
be come before the Shah, and shall have taken counsel with him, I know
that his anger against me, which is unjust, will vanish like unto
Then Rustem sent a messenger unto Rudabeh, his mother, to make
ready a great feast in his courts. And Bahman sped back unto his
Now Isfendiyar, when he had listened unto the words sent by Rustem,
mounted his steed, and rode forth to meet him. And Rustem was come forth
also, and they met beside the stream. Then Rakush swam across its breadth,
and the hero of the world stood before Isfendiyar, and he greeted him,
and did homage unto the son of his Shah. And Rustem rejoiced in the sight
of Isfendiyar, and he deemed that he beheld in him the face of Saiawush.
And he said unto him-
"O young man, let us commune together concerning the things that
And Isfendiyar assented unto the desires of Rustem, and he pressed
him unto his bosom, and his eyes could not cease from gazing upon his strength.
Then Rustem said-
"O hero, I have a prayer to make before thee; I crave that thou
enter into my house as my guest."
And Isfendiyar said, "I cannot listen unto thy demand, for the
Shah commanded me neither to rest nor tarry until I should have brought
thee unto him in chains. But I entreat of thee that thou consider that
the chains of the King of kings do not dishonour, and that thou listen
willingly unto the desires of the Shah, for I would not lift my hand in
anger against thee, and I am grieved that it hath been given unto me to
do this thing. But it behoveth me to fulfil the commandments of my
Thus spake Isfendiyar in the unquietude of his spirit, for he knew
that what was demanded of Rustem was not fitting or right. And Rustem replied,
"It would be counted shame unto me if thou shouldst refuse to enter
into my house. I pray thee, therefore, yet again that thou accede to my
desires, and when it shall be done I will do that which thou desirest,
save only that I cannot submit unto the chains. For no man hath beheld
me fettered, neither shall any do so while I draw my breath. I have spoken,
and that which I have said, it is true."
And Isfendiyar said, "I may not feast with thee, and if thou listen
not to my voice, I must fall upon thee in enmity. But to-day let there
be a truce between us, and drink thou with me in my
And Rustem said, "I will do so gladly, suffer only that I go forth
and change my robes, for I am clad for the chase. And when thy meal shall
be ready, send forth a messenger that he may lead me
And when he had so spoken, Rustem leaped upon Rakush and returned
unto his courts. Now when he had arrayed himself for the banquet, he awaited
the envoy that Isfendiyar should send. But Isfendiyar was full of cares,
and he said unto Bashuntan, his brother-
"We have regarded this affair too lightly, for it is full of danger.
Wherefore I have no place in the house of Rustem, neither should he enter
into mine, for the sword must decide our strife. For which cause I shall
not bid him unto my feast."
Then Bashuntan answered and said, "A Deev hath led thee astray,
O my brother, for it is not fitting that men like unto Rustem and Isfendiyar
should meet in enmity. Wherefore I counsel thee that thou listen not unto
our father, for his desires are evil, and he seeketh but to ensnare thee.
Yet thou art wiser than he; abandon, therefore, this device of
But Isfendiyar answered and said, "If I obey not the words of the
King, my father, it will be a reproach unto me in this world, and I shall
have to render account for it in the next before God, my Maker. And I would
not lose both worlds because of Rustem."
Then Bashuntan said, "I have given unto thee counsel according
to my wisdom, it resteth with thee to do as thou desirest."
Then Isfendiyar bade the cooks serve before him the banquet, but
he sent not forth to call Rustem unto the feast.
Now Rustem, when he had waited a long while and beheld that Isfendiyar
sent not to call him forth, was angered, and he said-
"Is this the courtesy of a King?"
And he sprang upon Rakush and rode unto the tents of the prince that
he might question him wherefore he regarded Rustem thus lightly. Now the
warriors of Iran, when they beheld the Pehliva, murmured among themselves
against Gushtasp, and they spake as with the voice of one man, that surely
the Shah was bereft of reason or he would not thus send Isfendiyar unto
death. And they said-
"Gushtasp loveth yet more his treasures and his throne as age creepeth
upon him, and this is but a device to preserve them unto
Now Rustem, when he had presented himself before Isfendiyar, spake
"O young man, it would seem unto me that thou didst not deem thy
guest worthy a messenger. Yet I say unto thee that it is I who have made
the throne of Iran to shine out unto all the world, and I have ever been
the Pehliva of its Shahs, and have endured much pain and toil for their
sakes. And I have not passed a day save in doing that which is right, and
I have purged the land of its enemies. I am the protector of the Kings
of Iran, and the mainstay of the good in all places of the earth. Wherefore
it behoveth thee not to treat me thus disdainfully."
Then Isfendiyar said, "O Rustem, be not angered against me, but
listen wherefore I sent not forth to call thee. For the day was hot and
the road long, and I bethought me that fatigue would come upon thee from
this course. Therefore I had resolved to visit thee in the morning. But
since thou hast taken upon thee this fatigue, I pray of thee that thou
rest within my tents, and that we empty the wine-cup
Then he made a place for him at his left hand.
But Rustem said, "This is not my place. It is not fitting that I should
sit upon thy left, for my seat hath ever been at the right hand of the
Then Isfendiyar bade a chair of gold be brought, and he caused
it to be placed upon his right, and he bade Rustem be seated upon it. And
Rustem sat him down, but he was angered in his spirit because of the dishonour
that Isfendiyar had shown unto him.
Now when they had drunk together awhile, Isfendiyar lifted up his
voice and said-
"O Rustem, it hath been told unto me that thine origin is evil,
for thou art sprung from a Deev whom Saum cast forth from his house. And
he was reared of a vile bird, and his nourishment was
Then Rustem said, "Why speakest thou words that do hurt?" And he
told unto him of his father, and Saum, and Neriman who was of the race
of Husheng the Shah. And he vaunted the great deeds done of his house,
and he hid not that which he had accomplished himself, and he
"Six hundred years have passed since I came forth from the loins
of Zal, and for that space I have been the Pehliva of the world, and have
feared neither that which was manifest, nor that which was hid. And I speak
these things that thou mayest know. Thou art the King, and they that carry
high their heads are thy subjects, but thou art new unto the world, wherefore
thou knowest not the things that are come to pass."
When Isfendiyar had listened unto the words of Rustem, he smiled
and spake, saying-
"I have given ear unto thy voice, give ear now also unto the words
that I shall speak."
Then he vaunted him of his forefathers, and he recounted unto Rustem
how that he had overcome the Turks, and how Gushtasp had cast him into
chains, and he told him of the seven stations, and that he had converted
the world unto the faith of Zerdusht. And he said-
"We have spoken enough concerning ourselves, let us drink until
we be weary."
But Rustem said, "Not so, for thou hast not heard all the deeds
that I have done, for they are many, and the ear sufficeth not to hear
them, nor the mouth to tell. For if thou knewest them, thou wouldest not
exalt thyself above me, or think to cast me into chains."
And he recounted to him yet again of his deeds of
But Isfendiyar said, "I entreat of thee that thou apply thyself unto
the wine-cup, for verily thou shalt fall tomorrow in the fight, and the
days of thy feasting shall be ended."
And Rustem answered, "Boast not thus rashly, thou shalt yet repent
thee of thy words. But to-morrow will we meet in conflict since thou desirest
it, and when I shall have lifted thee from off thy saddle, I will bear
thee unto my house and spread a feast before thee, and pour upon thee my
treasures. And when it shall be done, I will return with thee unto the
courts of the Shah, thy father, and uproot from his spirit this plant of
evil. And when thou shalt be mounted into his seat, I will serve thee with
gladness as thy Pehliva."
But Isfendiyar said, "Thy words are idle, and we waste but our
breath in talk of combat. Let us therefore apply us to the
And they did so, and ate and drank until the night was far spent,
and all men were amazed at the hunger of Rustem.
Now when it was time for him to depart, he prayed Isfendiyar yet
again that he would be his guest, and yet again Isfendiyar refused it to
him, and he said-
"Suffer that I put chains about thee, and lead thee forth into
Iran, that Gushtasp be satisfied. But if thou wilt not do this thing, I
must attack thee with the spear."
Now Rustem, when he heard these words, was sorrowful in his soul.
And he thought within him-
"If I suffer these chains it is a stain that cannot be wiped out,
and I cannot outlive my dishonour, for men will mock at Rustem, who permitted
a boy to lead him bound. Yet if I slay this youth, I do evil, for he is
son unto the Shah, and my glory will be tarnished, for men will say I lifted
my hand against a Kaianide. And there can arise no good out of this combat.
Wherefore I will strive yet again to win him unto wisdom."
So he lifted up his voice and said, "I pray thee listen not to
the counsel of Deevs, and shut thy lips concerning these chains. For it
seemeth unto me that Gushtasp desireth evil against thee, that he sendeth
thee forth against Rustem, the unvanquished in fight. Dishonour, therefore,
not the champion of thy fathers, but feast within my gates, and let us
ride forth in friendship unto Iran."
But Isfendiyar said, "I charge thee, old man, that thou waste not
words concerning this thing, for I will not disobey the behests of my father.
Prepare, therefore, for combat; for to-morrow I will make the world dark
unto thine eyes."
Then Rustem said, "O foolish youth! when I grasp my mace, the head
of my foe is lost. Prepare thee rather for thine end."
And when he had so spoken, he rode forth from out the tents of
Isfendiyar, and he was exceeding sorrowful. But Isfendiyar smiled after
him and said-
"The mother that hath borne thee shall weep. I will cast thee down
from Rakush, I will lead thee bound into Iran."
But once again did Bashuntan come before Isfendiyar, and he pleaded
with him for Rustem, and he bade him remember the great deeds that he had
done unto Iran, and he desired him not to lift his hand against the
But Isfendiyar said-
"He is a thorn in my rose-garden, and through him alone can I attain
unto the throne. Strive not, therefore, to hinder me, for thy pains will
be in vain. For Zerdusht hath spoken that whosoever honoureth not the behests
of his king, he shall surely suffer the pains of hell. And my father hath
told unto me to do this thing, and though I grieve to do hurt unto Rustem,
the desires of the Shah must be accomplished."
Then Bashuntan sighed and said, "Alas! a Deev hath taken possession
of thy spirit."'
Now Rustem, when he was come into his house, commanded that his
leopard-skin should be brought before him, and his helmet of Roum, his
spear of Ind also, and the war garb of Rakush. And when he saw them, he
"O my raiment of battle, ye have rested a long time from strife,
yet now must I take you forth again to combat, and it is for the hardest
fight that ye have fought. For I must lift my hand against the son of my
master, or suffer that he disgrace me in the sight of
And Rustem was sad, and all night he spake unto Zal of his end,
and what he should do if he fell in battle.
Then when the morning was come he girded on his armour, but he
resolved in his spirit that he would strive again with Isfendiyar in words.
So he rode forth unto the tents of the young King; and when he was come
nigh unto them he shouted with a loud voice. And he
"O Isfendiyar, hero of great renown, the man with whom thou wouldst
wrestle is come forth; make thee ready, therefore, to meet
Then Isfendiyar came out from his tents, and he was armed for battle.
Now when they were met, Rustem opened his mouth and prayed him yet again
that he would stay his hand from this impiety. And he
"If thy soul thirsteth after blood and the tumult of battle, suffer
that our hosts meet in combat, that thy desires may be
But Isfendiyar said, "Thy talk is folly; thou art armed for the
conflict, let not the hours be lost."
Then Rustem sighed and made him ready for combat. And he assailed
Isfendiyar with his lance, but with a nimble stroke Isfendiyar resisted
his attack. And they fought with their lances until they were bent, and
when that was done they betook them unto swords. And ever the heroes parried
the strokes that were dealt. And when their swords were broken they seized
upon maces, but either hero warded off the blows. And they fought until
that their shields were rent and their helmets dinted with the blows, and
their armour was pierced in many places. And it was a bitter fight. But
the end thereof came not, and they were weary, and neither had gained the
upper hand. So they rested them awhile from combat. But when they were
rested they fell again one on another, and they fought with arrows and
bows. And the arrows of Isfendiyar whizzed through the air and fastened
into the body of Rustem and of Rakush his steed; and twice thirty ar-rows
did Isfendiyar thus send forth, until that Rakush was like to perish from
his wounds. And Rustem also was covered with gore, and no man before this
one had ever done harm unto his body. But the arrows of Rustem had done
no ill unto Isfendiyar, because Zerdusht had charmed his body against all
dangers, so that it was like unto brass.
Now Isfendiyar, when he beheld that Rustem staggered in his seat,
called out unto him to surrender himself into his hands and suffer chains
to be put about his body. But Rustem said-
"Not so, I will meet thee again in the morning," and he turned
and swam across the stream, so that Isfendiyar was amazed, for he knew
that the steed and rider had been sore wounded. And he exulted in his heart,
and he reviled Rustem with his lips, but in his soul he was filled with
wonder at the Pehliva, and his heart went out to him.
Now when Zal and Rudabeh beheld the Pehliva and that he was wounded,
they rent the air with their cries, for never yet was he returned unto
them vanquished, neither had any man done hurt unto the elephant-limbed.
And they wailed sore in their distress, and Rustem joined his lamentations
unto theirs. Then they pondered how they should act, and Zal bethought
him of the Simurgh that had been his nurse, and the feather that she had
given him from her breast that he might call upon her in the day of his
need. So he brought it and cast it into the fire as she had commanded,
and straightway a sound of rushing wings filled the air and the sky was
darkened, and the bird of God stood before Zal. And she spake and said
"O my son, what is come about that thou callest upon thy nurse
that shielded thee?"
Then Zal told her all, and how Rustem was nigh to die of his wounds,
and how Rakush too was sick unto death. Then the Simurgh
"Bring me before them."
And when she had seen them, she passed her wings over their hurts and
forthwith they were whole. Then she spake unto Rustem and questioned him
wherefore he sought to combat the son of the Shah, and Rustem told her.
Then she said-
"Seek yet again to turn Isfendiyar unto thyself; yet if he listen
not unto thy voice, I will reveal unto thee the secrets of Fate. For it
is written that whosoever sheddeth the blood of Isfendiyar, he also shall
perish; and while he liveth he shall not know joy, and in the life to come
he shall suffer pains. But if this fate dismay thee not, go forth with
me and I will teach thee this night how thou shalt close the mouth of thine
Then the Simurgh showed unto Rustem the way he should follow, and
Rustem rode after her, and they halted not until they were come unto the
sea-coast. And the Simurgh led him into a garden wherein grew a tamarisk,
tall and strong, and the roots thereof were in the ground, but the branches
pierced even unto the sky. Then the bird of God bade Rustem break from
the tree a branch that was long and slender, and fashion it into an arrow,
and she said-
"Only through his eyes can Isfendiyar be wounded. If, therefore,
thou wouldst slay him, direct this arrow unto his forehead, and verily
it shall not miss its aim."
Then she exhorted him once more that he bring this matter to a
good end, and she led him on the path of return unto Zaboulistan, and when
he was come there she blessed him and departed from out his
Now when the morning was come, Rustem came unto the camp of Isfendiyar,
and he was mounted upon Rakush his steed. And Isfendiyar slumbered, for
he thought that of a surety Rustem was perished of his wounds. Then Rustem
lifted up his voice, and cried-
"O man, eager to fight, wherefore slumberest thou when Rustem standeth
Now Isfendiyar, when he heard his voice and saw that it was truly
Rustem that stood before him, was amazed, and he said unto his
"This is the deed of Zal the sorcerer."
But unto Rustem he cried, "Make ready for combat; for this day thou
shalt not escape my might. May thy name perish from off the
Then Rustem spake, saying-
"I am not come forth to battle, but to treaty. Turn aside thine heart
from evil, and root out this enmity. Make not, I pray thee, thy soul to
be a dwelling-place for Deevs. And suffer that I recall unto thee the deeds
I have done for Iran, and the list thereof is long. And feast this day
within my house, and let us ride forth together unto the courts of the
Shah, that I may make my peace with Gushtasp thy father."
But Isfendiyar was angered at these words, and he
"Wilt thou never cease from speaking? Thou exhortest me to quit the
paths of God, for I do wrong when I obey not the voice of my father. Choose,
therefore, betwixt chains and the combat."
When Isfendiyar had so spoken, Rustem knew that his speech was
of no avail. So he sighed and made ready for combat; and he took forth
the arrow that was given to him of the Simurgh, and he let it fly towards
his enemy. And it pierced the eye of the young King, and he fell upon the
mane of his steed, and his blood reddened the field of battle. Then Rustem
said unto him-
"The bitter harvest thou hast sown hath borne
Now Isfendiyar swooned in his agony and fell upon the ground. And there
came out to him his brother and Bahman, his son; and they wailed when they
beheld how his plight was evil. But when he was come unto himself he called
after Rustem, and the Pehliva got him down from Rakush and came unto where
he lay, and knelt beside him. And Isfendiyar said-
"My life ebbeth unto the close, wherefore I would confide unto
thee my wishes. And thou shalt behold how greatly I honour thee, for it
is not thou that hast brought me unto death, but Gushtasp, my father; and
verily the curse of the prophet shall fall upon his head, for thou wert
but the instrument of Fate. And listen now unto the words that I shall
speak, for it is not given unto me to say many- I desire that thou take
unto thyself Bahman, my son, and that thou rear him in the land of Zaboulistan,
and that thou teach him the arts of war and of the banquet. And when the
hour of Gushtasp shall be come, I charge thee that thou put Bahman in his
place, and aid him with thy counsels that he may be upright in the sight
And Rustem sware unto him that it should be done at his desire.
Then Isfendiyar made him ready to depart, and he spake words of comfort
unto his son, and he sent greetings unto his mother and to his wives that
were in Iran. And he made them say unto his father that hence-forward he
need not fear him beside the throne; and he cursed the name of Gushtasp,
and he said that the Shah had done that which was worthy of his black soul.
And he bade them speak before the throne and say-
"We shall meet again before the judge, and we shall speak, and
listen to His decree."
Then he said unto Rustem, "Thou hast done this deed by the arts
And Rustem said, "It is true, for thou wouldst not listen unto
my voice, and I could not bend my spirit unto chains."
And Isfendiyar said, "I am not angered against thee; thou hast
done that thou couldst not alter, for it was written in the stars, and
surely that which is written in the stars is accomplished."
Then Rustem said, "God is my witness that I strove to turn thee
from thy resolve."
And Isfendiyar said, "It is known unto me." And when he had thus
spoken he sighed, and the sun of that King was set. And there was great
lamentation for him in the army, and Rustem, too, bewailed the hero that
was fallen, and he prayed God for his soul. And he said-
"May thine enemies reap that which they have
Then Rustem made ready for Isfendiyar a coffin of iron, and he caused
it to be lined with silken stuffs, and he laid therein the body of the
young King. And it was placed upon the back of a dromedary and forty others
followed in its wake, and all the army of Isfendiyar came after them, clad
in robes of mourning. And Bashuntan marched at the head of the train, and
he led the horse of Isfendiyar, and its saddle was reversed, and its mane
and its tail were shorn. And from its sides hung the armour of the young
King. And weeping resounded through the ranks, and with sorrow did the
army return unto Iran.
But Rustem remained in Zaboulistan, and he kept beside him Bahman,
the son of Isfendiyar.
Now when Gushtasp learned the tidings of woe, he was bowed down
to the earth with sorrow, and remorse came upon him and he strewed dust
upon his head and he humbled himself before God. And men came before him
and reproached him with that which he had done unto Isfendiyar, and he
knew not how he should answer them. And Bashuntan came in and saluted him
not, but upbraided him with his vile deeds. And he said-
"Neither the Simurgh, nor Rustem, nor Zal have made an end of Isfendiyar,
but only thou, for thou alone hast caused him to perish."
And for the space of one year men ceased not to lament for Isfendiyar,
and for many years were tears shed for that arrow. And men cried continually,
"The glory of Iran hath been laid low, and it is at the hands of her Shah
that it hath been done."
But Bahman grew up in the courts of Rustem, and the Pehliva guarded
him like to a son.