The Eye of Istar: A Romance of the Land of No Return
PEACE, O READER! Constant, blessed and abundant salutations. Of a verity the groves of my hopes have been refreshed by cooling showers from the clouds of Allah’s blessing, my rose garden has been weeded of the thorns of despondency, and the tree of my prosperity has become fruit-bearing from the breeze of his bounty. He is the Giver of Gifts, the Source of Liberality, the Sovereign, the dust of whose sandals is deservedly the collyrium of the eyes of mortal men; and I, called by my fellows El-Motardjim, am the servant who, in compliance with the exalted command, have placed my finger of acquiescence on the vision of obedience. During many hopeless nights I waited for the radiation of the sun of the benefits of prosperity, and counted the stars till the rise of dawn, but, by my ill-luck and the machinations of enemies, was deprived of the felicity of penetrating the mystery of the Land Forbidden. At length, however, on a happy day when the fire of my anguish burned so brightly that it was not easy to extinguish it with the water of patience, the Abolisher of the signs of darkness and aberration invested me with the robe of the favoured, guarded me through the calamities and vicissitudes of fortune during long journeys, directed my footsteps through the mazes of paths untrodden, and revealed unto my dazzled eyes weird and wondrous marvels stranger than men have dreamed. Therefore, O Reader! wipe the dust of ennui and fatigue from the speculum of thy mind, withdraw the tongue of blame into thy palate, and lend a willing ear to this my Tarik; for, verily, I have elucidated the secret of the mystic Land of the No Return; I have torn the veil that hideth the Great Sin from the eyes of men, and have gazed into the Eye of Istar. “Imsh Allah
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