Shirin and Farhad
The king of Persia in Sasanian dynasty had a handsome and skillful son, named Khosrow. He fell in love with an Armenian princess – Shirin – when his close friend and companion, Shapour, showed him a picture of Shirin and described her beauty and goodness. Khosrow ordered Shapour to go to Armenian territory and try to seduce Shirin by talking about the prince and showing her a picture of him. Shapour managed to reveal a picture of Khosrow to Shirin in Armenia and tell her that the prince was in love with her. Shirin found the picture very attractive and decided to go to Persia to meet Khosrow. On her way, she stopped at a tranquil spring to bathe. At the same time, Khosrow was passing by the spring to go away from his father who was angry with him. He saw Shirin bathing in the pond and found her as beautiful as a legendary fairy, but he did not know who she was. Once Shirin saw him, he turned his face but could not forget that picture. When Shirin arrived in Madaen, the capital of Sasanian kingdom, she found that Khosrow was not there, and Khosrow found the same thing in Armenia. She returned to Armenia but could not meet Khosrow again because he had to go back home due to his father’s death. The two lovers could not meet for a while because of a chain of strange coincidences. When they finally met, Shirin did not agree to marry the prince because he was defeated by Bahram-e-Choobin, who had succeeded to his throne. Hence, Khosrow went back to claim his country to be able to marry the princess.
Meanwhile, a stone carver, named Farhad, was introduced to Shirin when she was looking for a person who could make a canal between the mountains and her castle to bring milk for her. Farhad fell in love with the princess at first sight and did his best to make her happy by cutting a canal through the hard stone and making a pond of milk by her castle. When Shirin saw his work, she was greatly impressed and gave him her earrings as a reward, which made her even more endearing in Farhad’s eyes. He started writing love letters for her and beautiful poems about her beauty. He became famous for his mad love for Shirin. Khosrow, however, could not resist the fact that another man was trying to steal Shirin’s heart. He decided to use his power by calling him and bribing him to be away from the princess. But soon he found that it was impossible. Farhad was vary determined to win Shirin’s heart. Therefore, Khosrow decided to deceive him into thinking that the princess could be won. Khosrow promised Farhad that if he could cut a passage through the Bistoon Mountains, outside of his castle, Khosrow would let him marry Shirin. Khosrow knew that it was an impossible task and he could never carve a way out of the cliff rocks. But Farhad agreed and it was this point in history when Farhad’s labor of love started. He never gave up and became the symbol of love. People still hear him hitting hard on his blade to cut the rocks. If they do not hear him one night, it means that Farhad is in Shirin’s dream. (SV, Iran)