First western publication of Mir Taqi Mir
Shooulue Ishq. The Flame of Love.
A Hindoostanee Poem; By Meer Moohummud Tuqee. Edited by William Carmichael Smyth. London printed for the editor, by W. Bulmer and W. Nicol 1820
First edition. 8vo, 26 x 17 cm; pp.[vi], 11, [2, blanks], 11-, [ii, Urdu title]. Text in Urdu and romanized Urdu. Modern half calf over modern boards; untrimmed and unopened; initial and final leaves a little soiled.
BL, BnF, Munich, and Oxford only.
A single poem by Mir, the leading Urdu poet of the eighteenth century, printed in romanized and nasta'liq script, both to introduce readers to Urdu poetry and to provide a specimen text for students of Urdu: "The following musnuwee is from the pen of Meer Tuqee, a modern poet of considerable celebrity in Hindoostan. It was named, I believe, by the author Shooulue ishq, or the Flame of Love, and as far as I can learn has never before appeared in print." The only earlier publication of Mir's poetry is the Hindoostanee Press Kooliyat Meer Tuqi (Calcutta, 1811), which appears not to have contained the present poem. Smyth sought to allay any fears the poem's title might arouse: "From the name it might be supposed to be an improper book to put into the hands of young persons: but I can assure the most scrupulous on this head, that it does not contain either a thought or a word which could give offence to the most delicate mind, and being an amusing story written in good classical Hindoostanee, is well calculated for the use of students in that language." William Carmichael Smyth was a major in the Bengal Engineers and later Governor of the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe, 1822-24. His major work was an Urdu grammar, The Hindoostanee interpreter (London, 1824).