Sultan’s Dance

Ismael and the Minaretts – Sultan’s Dance

“It is related that Ab’Allah, the son of Nousur Kilabeh, went forth to seek a camel that had run away, and while he was proceeding over the deserts of El-Yemen and the district of Seba, where the most delicious dates are cultivated by the calif of B’Bhour and his seven daughters, he chanced to arrive at a vast city encompassed by enormous fortifications, around the circuit of which were pavilions rising high into the sky. So when he approached it, he imagined that there must be inhabitants within it, of whom he might inquire for his camel; and, accordingly, he advanced, but on coming to it he found that it was desolate, without any one to cheer its solitude.

“I alighted,” says he, “from my camel, and tied up her foot; and then, composing my mind, entered the city. On approaching the fortifications, I found that they had two enormous gates, the like of which, for size and height, have never been seen elsewhere in the world, set with a variety of jewels and jacinths, white and red, and yellow and green; and when I beheld this, I was struck with the utmost wonder at it, and the sight astonished me. I entered the fortifications in a state of terror and with a wandering mind, and saw them to be of the same large extent as the city, and to comprise elevated pavilions, every one of these containing lofty chambers, and all of them constructed of gold and silver, and adorned with rubies and chrysolites and pearls and various-coloured jewels. The folding-doors of these pavilions were like those of the fortifications in beauty, and the floors were overlaid with large pearls, and with balls like hazel-nuts, composed of musk and ambergris and saffron. And when I came into the midst of the city, I saw not in it a created being of the sons of Adam; and I almost died of terror. I then looked down from the summits of the lofty chambers and pavilions, and saw rivers running beneath them; and in the great thoroughfare-streets of the city were fruit-bearing trees and tall palm-trees. And the construction of the city was of alternate bricks of gold and silver; so I said within myself, No doubt this is the paradise promised in the world to come. And suddenly dancers appeared, dressed in robes interwoven with gold and adorned with precious jewels such as cannot be described nor calculated nor defined, and for all eternity there was singing and dancing.” – the Delirevance of Nousur Kilabeth

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