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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 30 pages of information about The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala.

  Avant vous j’etais belle et toujours parfumee,
  J’abandonnais au vent mes cheveux tout entiers. . . .

Footnotes

[1] Cf.  Lyall, Ancient Arabian Poets.

[2] Cf.  Whittaker, The Neo-Platonists.

[3] Of course I use Professor Margoliouth’s superb edition of the letters.

[4] Cf.  Thielmann, Streifzuge im Kaukasus, etc.

[5] Cf.  Ambros, Geschichte der Musik, 1862.

[6] Cf.  Pliny, Nat.  Hist., vii. 174.

[7] Frazer, The Golden Bough, vol. i., p. 254.

[8] Meredith, The Shaving of Shagpat.

[9] Anatole France, Le Puits de Sainte Claire.

[10] Quoted by Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, vol. 2, p. 845.

[11] Stoufenb., 1126.

[12] Cf. in Scandinavia the death-goddess Hel.

[13] Romain Rolland, Jean Christophe.

[14] Ella d’Arcy, Modern Instances.

[15] Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Schwarzlose, Die Waffen der alten Araber, aus ihren Dichtern dargestellt.

[16] Pope, Iliad, xx. 577.

THE DIWAN OF ABU’L-ALA

I

Abandon worship in the mosque and shrink
  From idle prayer, from sacrificial sheep,
  For Destiny will bring the bowl of sleep
Or bowl of tribulation—­you shall drink.

II

The scarlet eyes of Morning are pursued
  By Night, who growls along the narrow lane;
  But as they crash upon our world the twain
Devour us and are strengthened for the feud.

III

Vain are your dreams of marvellous emprise,
  Vainly you sail among uncharted spaces,
  Vainly seek harbour in this world of faces
If it has been determined otherwise.

IV

Behold, my friends, there is reserved for me
  The splendour of our traffic with the sky: 
  You pay your court to Saturn, whereas I
Am slain by One far mightier than he.

V

You that must travel with a weary load
  Along this darkling, labyrinthine street—­
  Have men with torches at your head and feet
If you would pass the dangers of the road.

VI

So shall you find all armour incomplete
  And open to the whips of circumstance,
  That so shall you be girdled of mischance
Till you be folded in the winding-sheet.

VII

Have conversation with the wind that goes
  Bearing a pack of loveliness and pain: 
  The golden exultation of the grain
And the last, sacred whisper of the rose

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