The book of the
Thousand Nights and A Night

Here I record some of my favourite extracts from Richard Burton's 1890 translation of the Thousand And One Nights. *

(Night 867. Ali Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-Girl.)

... Then she uncovered her wrists and laying the lute in her lap, bent over it with the bending of mother over babe, and swept the strings with her finger-tips; whereupon it moaned and resounded and after its olden home yearned; and it remembered the waters that gave it drink and the earth whence it sprang, and wherein it grew, and it minded the carpenters who cut it and the polishers who polished it, and the merchants who made it their merchandise and the ships that shipped it; and it cried and called aloud and moaned and groaned; and it was as if she asked it of all these things, and it answered her with the tongue of the case.