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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 64 pages of information about If.

[Enter three women R. in single file, dancing, and carrying baskets full of pink rose-leaves.  They dance across, throwing down rose-leaves, leaving a path of them behind them.  Exeunt L.]


Still he is silent.


Why do you not speak?


I do not wish to speak.



[Enter Omar with his zither.]

 Omar [singing]

Al Shaldomir, Al Shaldomir,
Birds sing thy praises night and day;
  The nightingale in every wood,
Blackbirds in fields profound with may;
Birds sing of thee by every way.

Al Shaldomir, Al Shaldomir,
My heart is ringing with thee still
Though far away, O fairy fields,
My soul flies low by every hill
And misses not one daffodil.

Al Shaldomir, Al Shaldomir,
O mother of my roving dreams
Blue is the night above thy spires
And blue by myriads of streams
Paradise through thy gateway gleams.


Why do you not wish to speak?


You desire me to speak?


No.  They all wonder why you do not
speak; that is all.


I will speak.  They shall hear me.


O, there is no need to.


There is a need. [He rises.] People of Shaldomir, behold I know your plottings.  I know the murmurings that you murmur against me.  When I sleep in my inner chamber my ear is in the market, while I sit at meat I hear men whisper far hence and know their innermost thoughts.  Hope not to overcome me by your plans nor by any manner of craftiness.  My gods are gods of brass; none have escaped them.  They cannot be overthrown.  Of all men they favour my people.  Their hands reach out to the uttermost ends of the earth.  Take heed, for my gods are terrible.  I am the Shereef; if any dare withstand me I will call on my gods and they shall crush him utterly.  They shall grind him into the earth and trample him under, as though he had not been.  The uttermost parts have feared the gods of the English.  They reach out, they destroy, there is no escape from them.  Be warned; for I do not permit any to stand against me.  The laws that I have given you, you shall keep; there shall be no other laws.  Whoso murmurs shall know my wrath and the wrath of my gods.  Take heed, I speak not twice.  I spoke once to Hussein.  Hussein heard not; and Hussein is dead, his ears are closed for ever.  Hear, O people.

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