This section is from the book "Stories From The Thousand And One Nights", by Edward William Lane and Stanley Lanepoole. Also available from Amazon: Stories From Thousand And One Nights: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
And upon the same tablet were also inscribed these verses:
Shouldst thou think upon me after the length of my age, and the vicissitudes of days and circumstances, I am the son of Sheddad, who held dominion over mankind and each tract of the whole earth. All the stubborn troops became abject unto me, and Esh-Sham from Misr unto 'Adnan.
In glory I reigned, abasing their Kings, the people of the earth fearing my dominion; And I beheld the tribes and armies in my power, and saw the countries and their inhabitants dread me.
When I mounted, I beheld my army comprising a million bridles upon neighing steeds; And I possessed wealth that could not be calculated, which I treasured up against misfortunes, Determining to devote the whole of my property for the purpose of extending the term of my life.
But the Deity would nought save the execution of his purpose; and thus I became separated from my brethren. Death, the disuniter of mankind, came to me, and I was removed from grandeur to the mansion of contempt; And I found [the recompense of] all my past actions, for which I am pledged: for I was sinful! Then raise thyself, lest thou be upon a brink; and beware of calamities! Mayest thou be led aright!
And again the Emir Musa wept until he became insensible, in considering the fates of the people; after which, as they were going about through the different apartments of the palace, and viewing attentively its chambers and its places of diversion, they came to a table upon four legs of alabaster, whereon was inscribed:
Upon this table have eaten a thousand one-eyed Kings, and a thousand Kings each sound in both eyes. All of them have quitted the world, and taken up their abode in the burial-grounds and the graves.
And the Emir Musa wrote all this. Then he went forth, and took not with him from the palace aught save the table.
The soldiers proceeded, with the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad before them shewing them the way, until all the first day had passed, and the second, and the third. They then came to a high hill, at which they looked, and, lo, upon it was a horseman of brass, on the top of whose spear was a wide and glistening head that almost deprived the beholder of sight, and on it was inscribed, O thou who comest up to me, if thou know not the way that leadeth to the City of Brass, rub the hand of the horseman, and he will turn, and then will stop, and in whatsoever direction he stoppeth, thither proceed, without fear and without difficulty; for it will lead thee to the City of Brass.-And when the Emir Musa had rubbed the hand of the horseman, it turned like the blinding lightning, and faced a different direction from that in which they were travelling.
The party therefore turned thither and journeyed on, and it was the right way. They took that route, and continued their course the same day and the next night until they had traversed a wide tract of country. And as they were proceeding, one day, they came to a pillar of black stone, wherein was a person sunk to his arm-pits, and he had two huge wings, and four arms; two of them like those of the sons of Adam, and two like the fore-legs of lions, with claws. He had hair upon his head like the tails of horses, and two eyes like two burning coals, and he had a third eye, in his forehead, like the eye of the lynx, from which there appeared sparks of fire. He was black and tall; and he was crying out, Extolled be the perfection of my Lord, who hath appointed me this severe affliction and painful torture untK the day of resurrection! When the party beheld him, their reason fled from them, and they were stupefied at the sight of his form, and retreated in flight; and the Emir Musa said to the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, What is this ? He answered, I know not what he is. And the Emir said, Draw near to him and investigate his case: perhaps he will discover it, and perhaps thou wilt learn his history. The sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad replied, May God amend the state of the Emir! Verily we fear him.-Fear ye not, rejoined the Emir; for he is withheld from injuring you and others by the state in which he is. So the sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad drew near to him, and said to him, O thou person, what is thy name, and what is thy nature, and what hath placed thee here in this manner? And he answered him, As to me, I am an 'Efrit of the Jinn, and my name is Dahish the son of El-A'mash, and I am restrained here by the majesty, confined by the power, [of God,] tormented as long as God (to whom be ascribed might and glory!) willeth. Then the Emir Musa said, O sheykh 'Abd-Es-Samad, ask him what is the cause of his confinement in this pillar. He therefore asked respecting that, and the 'Efrit answered him, Verily my story is wonderful ; and it is this:
There belonged to one of the sons of Iblis an idol of red carnelian, of which I was made guardian; and there used to worship it one of the Kings of the sea, of illustrious dignity, of great glory, leading, among his troops of the Jann, a million warriors who smote with swords before him, and who answered his prayer in cases of difficulty. These Jann who obeyed him were under my command and authority, following my words when I ordered them: all of them were in rebellion against Suleyman the son of Da'ud (on both of whom be peace!); and I used to enter the body of the idol, and command them and forbid them. Now the daughter of that King was a frequent adorer of the idol, assiduous in the worship of it, and she was the handsomest of the people of her age, endowed with beauty and loveliness, and elegance and perfection; and I described her to Suleyman, on whom be peace!
So he sent to her father, saying to him, Marry to me thy daughter and break thy carnelian-idol, and bear witness that there is no deity but God, and that Suleyman is the Prophet of God. If thou do so, thy due shall be the same as our due, and thy debt as our debt. But if thou refuse, I bring against thee forces with which thou hast not power to contend: therefore prepare an answer to the question, and put on the garment of death; for I will come to thee with forces that shall fill the vacant region, and leave thee like yesterday that hath passed.-And when the messenger of Suleyman (on whom be peace!) came to him, he was insolent and contumacious, and magnified himself and was proud. Then he said to his wezirs, What say ye respecting the affair of Suleyman the son of Da'ud? For he hath sent demanding my daughter, and commanding me to break my carnelian-idol, and to adopt his faith.-And they replied, O great King, can Suleyman do unto thee that, when thou art in the midst of this vast sea? If he come unto thee, he cannot prevail against thee; since the Marids of the Jinn will fight on thy side; and thou shalt seek aid against him of thine idol that thou worshippest; for he will aid thee against him and will defend thee. The right opinion is, that thou consult thy lord (and they meant by him the red carnelian-idol), and hear what will be his reply: if he counsel thee to fight him, fight him; but otherwise, do not.-And upon this the King went immediately, and, going in to his idol, after he had offered a sacrifice and slain victims, fell down before it prostrate, and began to weep, and to recite these verses: