'I ALSO', Majnun continued, ‘have no reason to laugh. Even the old donkey does not throw down its burden before death takes it away. Why then should it fear death? You warned me, father but what lover goes in fear of the sword ? A man in love does not tremble for his life. He who searches for his beloved is not afraid of the world. Where is this sword? Let it smite me, as the cloud has swallowed my moon. My soul has fallen into the fire, and even if it hurts to lie there, no matter it was good to fall. ‘Leave my soul alone. It is destroyed, it is lost what do you want from it ?’ When the old man heard this, he shed bitter tears and, smarting with pain, took his disturbed son home. There the family nursed him, comforting him as best they could. They also called on his former friends, and entrusted the child of sorrow to their care. But for Majnun they were all strangers. Life at home was one prolonged torture to him and all who saw him felt tears come into their eyes.
How could they help such a heart ? For two or three days Majnun bore the strain, then he tore down the curtain which his friends had put up to protect him and escaped once more into the desert of Najd. Like a drunken lion he roamed restlessly about in this desolate country of sand and rocks. His feet became as hard as iron, the palms of his hands like stone. He wandered through the mountains chanting his ghazals. But how strange! Even if Majnun was mad, his verses were not. Even if people heaped abuse and shame on him, they could find no fault in his verses.
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