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Smarting with pain, and lacerated back,
" Hold, hold !" said Hassan, " no more stripes I lack,
I have a partner here—it is no jest,
For, by agreement, he must have the rest."—
" How now ?" said Ali, Smiling gaily, [plain."
" What mean you, Hassan ? pr'ythee, slave, ex-" Sun of the East," said Hassan, with a grin, " Your porter Sadi, sire, who let me in,
Bargain'd for half the gain, And may it please your highness, 'tis but fair, Since T have promis'd him the ample share
Of what obtain'd from you, That he should have it ; and I've born the lash, Rather than be rewarded with the cash,
That he might have his due."
The Caliph saw the trick, and laugh'd outright, While Sadi, crouching, sicken'd with affright ; Trembling and quaking, Like an aspen shaking, He pray'd the Caliph to remit the fine ;
" No, by great Allah !
Lay on, Abdallah !" " Great sire," said Sadi, "mercy is divine !'"
In vain he preach'd,
Implored, beseech'd, Ali commands !—the slaves the vassal strip, And without mercy ply again the whip.