‘Afīf al-dīn Tilimsānī and son

abulabbasalmursi

The disciple of Ibn ‘Arabi, ‘Afīf al-din Tilimsānī (d. 1291), and his son (known as al-Shab al-Ẓarīf, “The Elegant Youth” ) are known and loved for their poetry, some of which is still sung today.  Here I present one poem from the father, and a more famous poem by the son with special thanks to K.M. for help with the translations.

 

‘Afīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī

Translation:

Don’t be fooled by the fineness of her cheek
For the sword slays by the fineness of its blade
Leave the eyelids, for their drowsiness has become
a point in the straightened spear of her stature
My sleep, like a gazelle, is constantly fleeing from me
For he unites his opposite with his exile
Frailty flowed into my body from her coldness
And I loved it because it is from her
The enviers were amazed, having seen my drunkenness without limit
while my heart endured the punishment of her limits*
Be easy, for doesn’t the flapping of her sash
resemble my heart or the flame of her cheek?
This is a connection, that were my heart to attain it, ablaze
I would forgive her in its burning
My thanks to my patience with her, for when she betrayed me
I saw betrayal as faithfulness to her promise
My weeping from distance and being crushed
Is a pearl in my hands, not in her necklace
Who can be fair to me in nearness?
for my near one has spurned me, so who then can rescue me from her distance?
O ban tree of the valley, and O its leaves, weep for your branch
since I weep for her loss
you are sad and sad am I—both of us
Today, one who has been pardoned laments his love
My state is like yours, and the neighbor, with his hand on the water
knows its heat from its cold.

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Original:

لاَ تُخْدَعَنَّ بِرِقَّةٍ فِي خَدِّهِ                 فَالسَّيْفُ قَتَّالٌ بِرِقْةِ حَدِّهِ
وَدَعِ الجُفُونَ فَإِنَّمَا وَسْنَانُهَا             أَضْحَى سِنَاناً فِي مُثَقَّفِ قَدِّهِ
ظَبْيٌّ حَكَى نَوْمِي دَوَامُ نَفَارِهِ            عَنِّى فَواصَلَ ضِدَّهُ مَعَ صَدِّهِ
وَسَرَى إِلى جِسْمِي الضَّنَا مِن خَصرِهِ               فَهَوِيتُ ذَاكَ لإِنَّهُ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ
عَجِبَ الحَسُودُ وَقَدْ رَأَى سُكْرِي بِلاَ                حَدٍّ وقَلْبِي فِي عُقُوبَةِ حَدِّهِ
خَفِّضْ عَلَيْكَ أَلَيْسَ خَفْقُ وِشَاحِهِ              يَحْكِي فُؤَادِي أَوْ تَلَهُّبُ خَدِّهِ
هِيَ نِسْبَةٌ لَوْ أَنَّ قَلْبِيَ نَالَهَا                   مُتَوَقِّداً لَعَذَرْتُهُ فِي وَقْدِهِ
شُكْرِي لِصَبْرِي عَنْهُ إِذْ هُوَ خَانَنِي             وَرَأَى الخِيَانَةَ كَالْوَفَاءِ بِعَهْدِهِ
ولَمْدَمَعِي بُعْداً وَسَحْقاً إِنَّهُ                دُرٌّ لَدَيَّ ولَمْ يَكُنْ فِي عِقْدِهِ
مَنْ مُنْصِفِي مِنْ قُرْبِهِ فَلَقَدْ أَبَى            قُرْبِي وَمَنْ ذَا مُنْقِذِي مِنْ بُعْدِهِ
يا بَانَةَ الوَادِي وَيَا وَرْقَاءَهُ              نُوحِي لِغُصنِكِ إِذْ أَنُوحُ لِفَقْدِهِ
أَنْتِ الحَزِينَةُ والحَزِينُ أَنَا كِلاَنَا                  اليَوْمَ مَعْذُورٌ يَنُوحُ بِوَجْدِهِ
حَالِي كَحَالِكِ وَالمُجَاوِرُ كَفُّهُ               لِلمَاءِ يَعْرِفُ حَرَّهُ مِنْ بَرْدِهِ

 

al-Shāb al-Ẓarīf (the son)

Translation:

Don’t hide what love does to you
Express your love—for we are all lovers
[Your] love would have stayed hidden if not for your tears
streaming and your heart pounding
Perhaps he to whom you complain of love will help you
in bearing it, for lovers are kind companions
Don’t fret, for you are not the first to fall in love
[many] cheeks and pupils have bravely faced [the tears]
So be patient in separation from the beloved for perhaps
union will return, and love has its ways
How many nights my pupils spent awake in search of union
while my thoughts crowded around me
O Lord, those whom I love are far from me
and separation has become intimate with these dear friends
My fortune with them blackened when
the burning from the fire of love began
The Arabs, I saw that the surest promise with them
is that no promise with them is ever sure
On their she-camels and in their troops is a display
in which there is constant fleeing and hypocrisy
Whenever he remains aloof, those riding behind him attack
his waist with eyes like belts
The eyes gaze at him as he lowers his in silence
for if he looks back, then they all drop, blinking in shame.
 muhammadrasuluLlahkufic

 

Original:

لا تُخْفِ ما صَنَعَتْ بِكَ الأَشْواقُ
وَاشْرَحْ هَواكَ فَكُلُّنَا عُشَّاقُ
قَدْ كَانَ يُخْفي الحُبَّ لَوْلَا دَمْعُكَ ال
جَارِي وَلَوْلا قَلْبُكَ الخَفَّاقُ
فَعَسى يُعينُكَ مَنْ شَكَوْتَ لَهُ الهَوى
في حَمْلِهِ فالعَاشِقُون رِفَاقُ
لا تَجْزَعَنَّ فَلَسْتَ أَوّلَ مُغْرَمٍ
فَتَكَتْ بِهِ الوَجْنَاتُ وَالأَحْدَاقُ
وَاصْبِرْ عَلى هَجْرِ الحَبِيبِ فَرُبَّما
عَادَ الوِصَالُ ولِلْهَوى أَخْلاقُ
كَمْ لَيْلَةٍ أَسْهَرْتُ أَحْداقي بِهَا
مُلْقىً ولِلأَفْكَارِ بِي إِحْدَاقُ
يا رَبِّ قَدْ بَعُدَ الَّذين أُحِبُّهُمْ
عَنِّي وَقَدْ أَلِفَ الرّفاقَ فِراقُ
وَاِسْوَدَّ حَظِّي عِنْدَهُم لَمَّا سَرى
فيهِ بِنَارِ صَبابتِي إِحْرَاقُ
عُرْبٌ رَأَيْتُ أَصَحَّ ميثاقٍ لَهُمْ
أَنْ لا يَصِحَّ لَدَيْهِمُ مِيثَاقُ
وَعَلى النّياقِ وفي الأَكلَّةِ مَعْرِضٌ
فِيهِ نِفارٌ دائمٌ وَنِفاقُ
مَا نَاءَ إِلّا حَارَبَتْ أَرْدافُهُ
خَصْراً عَليهِ مِنَ العُيونِ نِطَاقُ
تَرْنُو العُيونُ إِليه في إطْراقِهِ
فَإِذَا رَنَا فَلِكُلِّها إِطْرَاقُ

 

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