14 WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS
princess's notice and went to the prince, and laid her head on his feet and said : ' Heaven has bestowed on you beauty and charm. Tell me your secret; who are you, and how did you come here ? I love you very much, and if you would like to leave this place I will go with you. I have wealth equal to the treasure of the miserly Qarun.' But the prince only made answer like a man distraught, and told her nothing. He said to himself, ' God forbid that the veil should be taken in vain from my secret; that wrould indeed disgrace me.' So, with streaming eyes and burning breast, Dil-aram arose and went to her house and lamented and fretted.
Now whenever the princess commanded the prince's attendance, Dil-aram, of all the girls, paid him attention and waited on him best. The princess noticed this, and said : ' O Dil-aram ! you must take my madman into your charge and give him whatever he wants.' This was the very thing Dil-aram had prayed for. A little later she took the prince into a private place and she made him take an oath of secrecy, and she herself took one and swore, ' By Heaven! I will not tell your secret. Tell me all about yourself so that I may help you to get what you want.' The prince now recognised in her words the perfume of true love, and he made compact with her. ' O lovely girl! I want to know what the rose did to the cypress. Your mistress cuts off men's heads because of this riddle ; what is at the bottom of it, and why does she do it ? ' Then Dil-aram answered : ' If you will promise to marry me and to keep me always amongst those you favour, I will tell you all I know, and I will keep watch about the riddle.'
' O lovely girl,' rejoined he, ' if I accomplish my purpose, so that I need no longer strive for it, I will keep my compact with you. When I have this woman in my power and have avenged my brothers, I will make you my solace.'
' O wealth of my life and source of my joy!' responded