Monday, 5 October 2015

Rouge in appearance - Samuel Hanagid

Rouge in appearance
and pleasant to drink,
mixed in Spain
and prized in Bombay;
weak in its pitcher but rising to the head it
rules in heads that sway.
Even the mourner whose tears
fall with his heart’s blood,
disperses his grief in retreat with wine,
As though friends—passing the cup from hand to hand—
were rolling dice, for a diamond.

Samuel Hanagid (993 - 1056) Spain
Translated by Peter Cole
Source: Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid selected by Peter Cole, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996, on Medieval Hebrew Poetry

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