Then one among them came up to me and falling on my neck wept and recited these verses:
"If Time unite us after absent-while,
The world harsh-frowning on our lot shall smile,
And if thy semblance deign adorn mine eyes,
I'll pardon Time past wrongs and bygone guile."
And I recited the following:
"When drew she near to bid adieu with her heart unstrung, While care and longing on that day her bosom wrung, Wet pearls she wept and mine like red camelians rolled And, joined in sad riviere, around her neck they hung."

above are exceedingly beautiful verses from Arabian Nights (third calender's tale).
What does the "red camelians rolled" refer to?
below are two paragraphs leading to the poem, wonderful in their own right. Look at their manners of speech.

"What may be the matter? Verily you break my heart!" They exclaimed, "Would Heaven we had never known thee, for though we have companied with many, yet never saw we a pleasanter than thou or a more courteous." And they wept again. "But tell me more clearly," asked I, "what causeth this weeping which maketh my gall bladder like to burst?" And they answered: "O lord and master, it is severance which maketh us weep, and thou, and thou only, art the cause of our tears. If thou hearken to us we need never be parted, and if thou hearken not we part forever, but our hearts tell us that thou wilt not listen to our words and this is the cause of our tears and cries." "Tell me how the case standeth."
"Know, O our lord, that we are the daughters of kings who have met here and have lived together for years, and once in every year we are perforce absent for forty days. And afterward we return and abide here for the rest of the twelvemonth eating and drinking and taking our pleasure and enjoying delights. We are about to depart according to our custom, and we fear lest after we be gone thou contraire our charge and disobey our injunctions. Here now we commit to thee the keys of the palace, which containeth forty chambers, and thou mayest open of these thirty and nine, but beware (and we conjure thee by Allah and by the lives of us!) lest thou open the fortieth door, for therein is that which shall separate us for ever." Quoth I, "Assuredly I will not open it if it contain the cause of severance from you." Then one among them came up to me and falling on my neck wept and recited these verses:

Xah
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"When drew she near to bid adieu with her heart unstrung, While care and longing on that day her bosom ... joined in sad riviere, around her neck they hung." . . . What does the "red camelians rolled" refer to?

Red CARNELIANS. And apparently the things that rolled were MINE, as if: "and mine, like red carnelians, rolled and . . . they hung"
"When drew she near to bid adieu with her heart unstrung, While care and longing on that day her bosom ... above are exceedingly beautiful verses from Arabian Nights (third calender's tale). What does the "red camelians rolled" refer to?

My tears. "Camelian" is an alternative spelling of "chameleon" which is commonly a small lizard but also the name of a plant though not one which comes in a red variety.
I hesitate to suggest Sir Burton is imagining a pearl necklace around the neck of his beloved.

John "Karma karma karma karma karma ..." Dean
Oxford
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
comely seedy reference aside... but what does chamelean have to do with tears? and a red one?
Xah
http://xahlee.org/PageTwo dir/more.html
"When drew she near to bid adieu with her heart ... . . What does the "red camelians rolled" refer to?

Red CARNELIANS. And apparently the things that rolled were MINE, asif: "and mine, like red carnelians, rolled and . . . they hung"

I imagine this, not "chameleons", is right. And I believe the things that rolled were "my tears". Her tears were like pearls, his were like carnelians (bloody?), and as the couple embraced their tears rolled down, joined like a river (I guess that's what "riviere" is), and hung around her neck (maybe like a necklace, if the image is more of jewels than of rivers).

Jerry Friedman wonders whether Xah Lee would like Donne or Crashaw.
above are exceedingly beautiful verses from Arabian Nights (third calender's tale). What does the "red camelians rolled" refer to?

Probably not "camelians" but "carnelians" r n, rather than m a precious stone.
Mike.
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comely seedy reference aside... but what does chamelean have to do with tears? and a red one?

Might could be JW Love's idea is right - should be carnelians. Maybe Burton mistranslated, maybe the web page author mis-transcribed. In any event the reference is to colour, "tears" are not mentioned directly but are understood.
In fact, now I think of it "camelians" is exactly the kind of minor error you might get scanning "carnelians" and running the result through OCR.

John Dean
Oxford
comely seedy reference aside... but what does chamelean have to do with tears? and a red one?

Might could be JW Love's idea is right - should be carnelians. Maybe Burton mistranslated, maybe the web page author ... it "camelians" is exactly the kind of minor error you might get scanning "carnelians" and running the result through OCR.

Yes; in fact, "rn"->"m" is characteristic of OCR, rather than manually typed text, as it's based on letter shape rather than keyboard position, transposition, stray keystrokes, or any of the other common causes of manual typos. Another common OCR mistake is "h"->"li".
Aaron Davies
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Thanks to all. carnelian it must be.
"Wet pearls she wept and mine like red carnelians rolled And, joined in sad riviere, around her neck they hung."

Swell. John Dean of Oxford's allusion to cum is great. I'll borrow element of these lines when seducing literary chicks.

come to think of it, these can be used as a pickup line! Xah
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