The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 38 pages of information about The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala.


There is a palace, and the ruined wall
  Divides the sand, a very home of tears,
  And where love whispered of a thousand years
The silken-footed caterpillars crawl.


And where the Prince commanded, now the shriek
  Of wind is flying through the court of state: 
  “Here,” it proclaims, “there dwelt a potentate
Who could not hear the sobbing of the weak.”


Beneath our palaces the corner-stone
  Is quaking.  What of noble we possess,
  In love or courage or in tenderness,
Can rise from our infirmities alone.


We suffer—­that we know, and that is all
  Our knowledge.  If we recklessly should strain
  To sweep aside the solid rocks of pain,
Then would the domes of love and courage fall.


But there is one who trembles at the touch
  Of sorrow less than all of you, for he
  Has got the care of no big treasury,
And with regard to wits not overmuch.


I think our world is not a place of rest,
  But where a man may take his little ease,
  Until the landlord whom he never sees
Gives that apartment to another guest.


Say that you come to life as ’twere a feast,
  Prepared to pay whatever is the bill
  Of death or tears or—­surely, friend, you will
Not shrink at death, which is among the least?


Rise up against your troubles, cast away
  What is too great for mortal man to bear. 
  But seize no foolish arms against the share
Which you the piteous mortal have to pay.


Be gracious to the King.  You cannot feign
  That nobody was tyrant, that the sword
  Of justice always gave the just award
Before these Ghassanites began to reign.


You cultivate the ranks of golden grain,
  He cultivates the cavaliers.  They go
  With him careering on some other foe,
And your battalions will be staunch again.


The good law and the bad law disappear
  Below the flood of custom, or they float
  And, like the wonderful Sar’aby coat,
They captivate us for a little year.


God pities him who pities.  Ah, pursue
  No longer now the children of the wood;
  Or have you not, poor huntsman, understood
That somebody is overtaking you?

Project Gutenberg
The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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