Unable to sleep, Harun al-Rashid wanders through his palace. He meets a slave girl and asks her to play music for him, but learns that his son bought her as a gift for him, but Harun's jealous wife Zubaydah locked her up.

The caliph calls Abu Nuwas the poet, who is found being held in a tavern for a huge debt that he has run up. They bring him back and the caliph asks him to create a poem based on the girl's verses, and then a poem about a cup that he has hidden between her thighs. Abu Nuwas's poems are so accurate that they seem clairvoyant.