chapter
IDusufs lDream.
Pages 10

Before the eyes of his sire one night, Who loved him more than his own eyesight, Y lisuf his head on a pillow laid, And slept while a smile on his sweet mouth played. But the heart of Jacob was troubled while On that sleeping face he beheld the smile. "When, damp with the dew of their soft repose, Those eyes of narcissus began to unclose, .And, like his own fortune, the boy was awake. Thus to his darling the father spake : " Why, 0 sweeter than sugar, didst thou Wear a sugar-sweet smile on thy lip but now ? " And Y usuf answered : " Father, I dreamed, And the sun and moon and eleven stars seemed

To gather about me, high honour to pay, And their heads before me in dust to lay." " Beware," said the father, " my son, beware ; Thy secret vision to none declare. Let not thy brothers the story know: In a hundred ways they would work thee woe. With hatred and envy their heart is stirred; They would hate thee more if the tale were heard. The thought of this dream they would ne'er endure, For the meaning thereof is too clear and sure." Thus, in his prudence the father spoke ; But .Fate the chain of his counsel broke. One with whom Y{tsu£ the secret shared, To all the brothers the tale declared. The secret that passes beyond a pair, Is bruited abroad on the moving air. "Yes," said a sage, " but that pair are the lips, And no secret is that which beyond them slips." The fury of carnage has oft been stirred, And nobles have died for a spoken word. Wise is the saw of the sage who said, " Who heeds his secret will keep his head." When the wild bird flies from her cage, in vain Will ye follow her flight to ensnare her again. When the tale to the ears of the brothers came, They rent their garments with hearts aflame :

" What ails our father," they cried, " that he His loss and advantage should fail to see ? What can come of a foolish boy But the childish play that is all his joy ? He works on all with deceit and lies, And raises. his value in folly's eyes. Our aged father his wiles ensnare, And life with him will be hard to bear. He rends the bond of affection apart, And engrosses the love of our father's heart. Not content with the favour his arts have gained, He wishes that we, pure-hearted, unstained, Should bend our heads and adore in the dust The stripling raised high by his father's trust; Nay, father and mother, as well as we : What will the end of this madness be ? We, not this boy, are our father's friends ; On us, not on him, his welfare depends. On the hills in the daytime we guard his sheep, And our nightly watch in his house we ~eep. Our arm protects him from foemen's might, And we, mid his friends, are his glory and light. What is there in him but his guile that thus His head is exalted o'er all of us ? Come, let us counsel together and plot To drive him away to a distant spot.