Tuesday, 5 June 2018

from The Twelfth Assembly (Of Damsacus) - Al Hariri

I cling to journeying, I cross deserts, I loathe pride that I may cull

And I plunge into floods, and tame steeds that I may draw the trains
of pleasure and delight.

And I throw away staidness, and sell my land, for the sipping of
wine, for the quaffing of cups.

And were it not for longing after the drinking of wine my mouth
would not utter its elegancies;

Nor would my craft have lured the travelers to the land of Irak,
through my carrying of rosaries.

Now be not angry, nor cry aloud, nor chide, for my excuse is plain:

And wonder not at an old man who settles himself in a well-filled
house by a wine-cask that is brimming.

For truly wine strengthens the bones and heals sickness and drives
away grief.

And the purest of joy is when the grave man throws off the veils of
shame and flings them aside:

And the sweetest of passion is when the love-crazed ceases from the
concealing of his love, and shows it openly.

Then avow thy love and cool thy heart: or else the fire-staff of thy
grief will rub a spark on it;

And heal thy wounds, and draw out thy cares by the daughter of
the vine, her the desired:

And assign to thy evening draught a cup-bearer who will stir the
torment of desire when she gazes;

And a singer who will raise such a voice that the mountains of
iron shall thrill at it when she chants.

And rebel against the adviser who will not permit thee to approach
a beauty when she consents.

And range in thy cunning even to perverseness; and care not what
is said of thee, and catch what suits thee:

And leave thy father if he refuse thee, and spread thy nets and hunt
who comes by thee.

But be sincere with thy friend, and avoid the niggardly, and bestow
kindness, and be constant in gifts;

And take refuge in repentance before thy departure; for whoso
knocks at the door of the Merciful causes it to open.

Al Hariri (Abū Muhammad al-Qāsim ibn Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Uthmān al-Harīrī) (1054 – 1122)  Iraq
Translated by Thomas Chenery
Source: The Assemblies of Al Hariri (Vol 1) translated by Thomas Chenery, Williams and Norgate, 1870

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