Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing
For the love of images
Setting the scene
For fourteen days and fourteen nights she [Shirin] traveled. Then she came upon an emerald field in which there gleamed a gentle pool… When she had satisfied herself that she was quite alone, she tethered Shabdiz and prepared to bathe. Beautiful was the whiteness of her skin against the blueness of the water. She loosed her braids and washed her long black hair, and the moon-like reflection of her face was caught in the shallows of the pool (Chelkowski, 25).
[H]e ordered his attendants to feed their horses while he rode on alone. Suddenly, he came upon the pool in the emerald field and saw Shirin sitting in the water like a lily. At the sight of her his heart caught fire and burned; he trembled with desire in every limb. Softly he rode toward her and whispered to himself how he would like to have such a beautiful maiden and such a black horse as hers…Suddenly, Shirin looked up. Startled, she gathered her black hair about her like a cloak, emerged from the pool, dressed, and mounted her horse. At the touch of her heel, Shabdiz carried her off into the shadows of the late afternoon (Chelkowski, 26).