The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings

Manuchehr Attacks Tur's Army

Manuchehr gave orders that tables be made ready for a feast, and that a place be set aside for wine and music. As darkness fell, he sent out sentries onto the plain. Qaren stood before the troops with Sarv, the king of the Yemen, and addressed them: "Nobles and lions loyal to the king, know that this is a war against Ahriman; keep yourselves ready, and live in the kowledge of God's protection. Whoever is killed in this battle will be received into Paradise, and his sins will be washed away. Whoever spills the blood of these warriors from China and the West and seizes their territory, his name will live forever and he will earn the glorious praise of our priests. He will be given a diadem and throne from our king, who is the lord of strength and the dispenser of justice. When day dawns and two watches of the morning have passed, prepare to fight; ready your maces and Kaboli daggers. Keep to your ranks, and see that none advances his feet before the others." The commanders ranged themselves before the king and said with one voice, "We are your slaves, and live in tho sworld only for the king. Whatever he orders we shall do immediately; for him we shall turn this plain to an Oxus of blood." Then each man returned to his own tent, meditating on the battle to come. As dawn broke and darkness was dispelled, Manuchehr rose up in the midst of his forces, dressed in his armor, wearing a Rumi helmet, and grasping his sword; as one man, the troops thrust their lances into the air. They covered the face of the earth, their heads filled with fury, their foreheads with frowns. The king skillfully deployed the flanks and center of the army, and the ground seemed to heave like a floundering ship on the sea, or seethe like the waters of the Nile. The war drums on the elephant's backs were beaten more drums were beaten before them, and the noise of trumpets resounded as if the battle were to be a festive celebration. The army moved forward like a mountain, and the two sides met in close combat. The plain became a sea of blood, as if red tulips had sprung up everywhere, and the elephants' legs glowed like pillars of coral. Until night came, and the sun disappeared all the advantage was with Manuchehr, because the world's soul loved him.