Pass round love’s remembrance



So good it deserves its own post…


Pass round the remembrance the one I love, even in reproach
for tales about the beloved are my wine
Let my hearing witness the one I love, though she be far
through specters of reproach, not those of dreams!
Her remembrance delights me in every form
even when my reproachers mingle it with strife
It is as if my reproacher brought me news of union
when I had not even hoped for a response to a greeting
My soul is hers, for whose Iove I destroyed my soul
death came to me before the day of my death
For her sake I relish my disgrace and wallow
in rejection and shame when once my rank was high
After my piety, because of her, dissolution
casting off restraint and committing sins are sweet to me
I pray, singing when I recite remembrance of her
and I am enraptured in the mihrab, for she is my Imam
On hajj, when I don the pilgrim’s robes I call her name
and when I break my fast, it is from her that I refrain
My tear ducts flow due to my state and gush
because of what has passed, and my laments convey my inner fire
At night my heart is driven mad with longing,
at dawn my eyes are pouring in their grief
my heart and eyes are stricken, one afflicted by the meaning
of her beauty, the other tempted by her tender poise
My sleep is lost, my morning too—may you be spared!—
ever present is my wakefulness and still my longing grows
My bond and my covenant have never been undone or changed
my love remains my love and passion is my passion
So wasted is my body that its secrets are made plain
and meaning is disclosed therein through my withered bones
Felled by love’s pain, with wounded heart
and wounded eyelids ever bleeding,
Yet true to love, I have become ethereal like air
with breaths of dawn breeze my only company
Sound I am, yet sick; seek me then from the morning breeze
for my withering has decreed that it is my home
So wasted I am that I have vanished from wasting itself
and from cure to my sickness and coolness for my burning thirst
Love has left nothing of me save grief
sorrow, torment and grave illness
No one I know knows my place save love
nor the concealment of my secrets nor my bond’s custody
And of passion, patience and solace
it has left nothing for me but the names
Whoever is free of my love, may he be saved with his soul
in one piece; O soul of mine, go in peace
“Forget her!” my blamer said to me, fanatically
blaming me. I said, “forget your blaming of me!”
If I sought consolation, who would be there to be my guide
when in love, every leader follows my lead?
In my every limb is every yearning for her
and every longing tugs at my reins
As she sways, I imagine every hip she moves
to be a branch in a sand dune topped by the full moon
Mine is every limb filled with every heart
wherein, when she glances, is embedded every arrow
And if she dissolved my body she would find every atom
every heart inhabited by every human love
In union with her, a year to me is but an instant,
an hour’s separation like a year.
When we met at nightfall, as the twin straight paths
between her dwelling and my tents brought us together,
We moved away a little from the tribe,
avoiding spies and slanderers with their deceitful talk
I spread my cheek upon the ground for her to walk upon
and she said, “Good news, now you may kiss my veil.”
But this my soul did not permit me, jealously
shielding her from me, for higher is my purpose
We passed the night in hope as my wish decreed
and I saw the world my kingdom and time itself my slave.


Translation modified from Stefan Sperl’s in Stefan Sperl, C. Shackle, Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa, Brill 1996, p. 106-111


أدِرْ ذِكْرَ مَنْ أهْوَى ، ولوْ بمَلامِ
فإنَّ أحاديثَ الحبيبِ مُدامي

لِيَشْهَدَ سَمْعي مَنْ أحبُّ ، وإنْ نأى
بطَيفِ مَلامٍ ، لا بطَيفِ مَنامِ

فلي ذِكْرُها يَحلو على كلِّ صيغَةٍ
وإنْ مَزَجُوهُ عُذَّلي بخِصامِ

كأنَّ عَذولي ، بالوِصالِ ، مُبَشِّري
وإنْ كُنتُ لمْ أطْمَعْ بِرَدِّ سَلامِ

بِرُوحيَ مَنْ أتْلَفْتُ رُوحي بحُبِّها
فَحانَ حِمامي ، قَبْلَ يومِ حِمامي

ومنْ أجلها طابَ افتضاحي ، ولذَّ لي اطِّرا
حي ، وذلِّي ، بعدَ عزِّ مَقامي

وفيها حلا لي ، بَعدَ نُسْكي ، تهتُّكي
وخَلْعُ عِذاري ، وارْتِكابُ أثامي

أُصَلِّي ، فأشدو ، حينَ أتلو ، بذِكرِها
وأطْرَبُ في المِحرابِ ، وهيَ إمامي

وبالحَجِّ ، إنْ أحرَمتُ ، لَبّيتُ باسْمها
وعنها أرى الإمساكَ فِطْرَ صِيامي

وشأني ، بشأني ، مُعْرِبٌ ، وبما جرى
جَرَى ، وانتِحابي مُعْرِبٌ بهَيامي

أروحُ بقلبٍ ، بالصَّبابَةِ ، هائِمٍ
وأغْدُو بطَرْفٍ ، بالكآبَةِ ، هامِ

فقلبي وطرفي : ذا بمَعنى جَمالِها
مُعَنًّى ، وذا مُغْرًى بِلِينِ قَوَامِ

ونَوْميَ مَفقُودٌ ، وصُبحي ، لكَ البقا
وسُهديَ مَوجودٌ ، وشَوْقيَ نامِ

وعَقدي وعَهدي : لمْ يُحَلَّ ولمْ يَحُلْ
ووَجْديَ وجْدي ، والغَرامُ غَرامي

يشِفُّ عنِ الأسرارِ جِسْمي مِنَ الضَّنى
فيَغدوا بها ، معنًى ، نُحولُ عِظامي

طَريحُ جَوى حبٍّ ، جريحُ جَوانحٍ
قَريحُ جُفُونٍ ، بالدَّوامِ دَوَامي

صريحُ هوىً ، جارَيتُ منْ لُطفيَ الهوا
سُحَيْراً ، فأنْفاسُ النَّسيمِ لِمامي

صَحيحٌ ، عليلٌ ، فاطلُبوني مِنَ الصَّبا
ففيها ، كما شاءَ النُّحولُ ، مُقامي

خَفيتُ ضَنىً ، حتَّى خَفيتُ عَنِ الضَّنى
وعَنْ بُرْءِ أسقامي ، وبَرْدِ أُوامي

ولمْ يُبْقِ مِنِّي الحبُّ غَيْرَ كآبَةٍ
وحُزْنٍ ، وتَبريحٍ ، وفَرْطِ سَقامِ

ولمْ أدرِ منْ يدري مكاني ، سوى الهوَى
وكِتمانَ أسراري ورعىَ ذمامي

فأمَّا غَرامي واصطباري وسلوتي
فلمْ يَبْقَ لي منهنَّ غيرُ أسامي

لِيَنْجُ ، خَلِيٌّ مِنْ هَوايَ ، بِنَفْسِهِ
سَليماً ، ويا نَفس : اذْهبي بسَلامِ

وقالَ ، اسْلُ عنها ، لائمي ، وهوَ مُغرَمٌ
بِلَوْمِيَ فيها ، قلتُ : فاسْلُ مَلامي

بمنْ أهتَدي في الحبِّ لو رُمْتُ سَلوَةً
وبي يقتَدي ، في الحبِّ ، كلُّ إمامِ

وفي كلِّ عُضوٍ فيَّ كلُّ صبابَةٍ
إليها ، وشَوْقٍ جَاذِبٍ بِزِمَامي

تَثَنَّتْ ، فَخِلْنا كلَّ عِطْفٍ تهُزُّهُ
قَضيبَ نقاً ، يَعْلُوهُ بَدْرُ تَمامِ

ولي كلُّ عُضوٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ حشىً بها
إذا ما رَنَتْ ، وَقْعٌ لكلِّ سِهامِ

ولوْ بسطتْ جسْمي رأتْ كلَّ جوهرٍ
بهِ كلُّ قلبٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ غَرامِ

وفي وَصْلِها ، عامٌ لدَيَّ كَلَحْظَةٍ
وساعَةُ هِجْرَانٍ عَلَيَّ كَعَامِ

ولمَّا تَلاقَينا عِشاءً ، وضَمَّنا
سواءُ سبيلَيْ دَارِها وخِيامي

ومِلْنا كذا شيئاً عنِ الحيِّ ، حيثُ لا
رَقيبٌ ، ولا وَاشٍ بِزَوْرِ كَلامِ

فرَشْتُ لها خَدِّي ، وِطاءً ، على الثَّرَى
فقالتْ : لكَ البُشرَى بِلَثمِ لِثامي

فما سَمَحَتْ نَفسي بذلِكَ ، غَيْرَةً
على صَوْنِها مِنِّي لِعزِّ مرامي

وبِتْنا ، كما شاءَ اقتراحي ، على المُنى
أرَى المُلكَ مُلكي والزَّمانَ غُلامي

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