The two parts of this play, like all those by Castro, have the genuine ring of the old romances; and, from their intense nationality, no less than for their primitive poetry and flowing versification, were among the most popular pieces of their day.
With the assistance of neighbouring princes and of many of the influential Dihkans, Mahmud collected a vast amount of materials for the work, and after having searched in vain for a man of sufficient learning and ability to edit them faithfully, and having entrusted various episodes for versification to the numerous poets whom he had gathered round him, he at length made choice of Firdousi.
He has been said to be a French Cowper, and the parallel holds good in respect of versification and of his relative position to the more daringly innovating school that followed, though not in respect of individual peculiarities.
He breathes the old national spirit, and his mastery of classical idiom and versification is for his age extraordinary.
His diction is pure, his style correct, his versification smooth though monotonous.