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Arabic Poetry (Part 5)

عسى الكرب الذي أمسيت فيه   يكون وراءه فرج قريب Perhaps the sorrow that you have come to be in     behind it there will be an imminent relief Meaning: I hope that God removes the worry and grief that you have come to be in and that He replaces it [with] imminent relief. Sharh Ibn Aqil […]

Arabic Poetry 4

دعاني من نجد؛ فإن سنينه لعبن بنا شيباً وشيبننا مردا Leave me (both of you) in relation to Najd; for as grey-haired [elderly people] its years undoubtedly made sport of us and as beardless [youth] it made us grey-haired. Meaning: Leave me, my (two) bosom friends in relation to mentioning this land [of Najd], for […]

Pre-Islamic Poetry 3

ألم أك جاركم ويكون بيني     وبينكم المودة والإخاء Was I not your neighbour whilst there was between me and you love and brotherliness? Meaning: [The poet,] Al-Hutay’ah, reprimands the Al-Zibriqan family with this verse and says to them: I was an adherent of yours living under your protection and there was familiarity and brotherhood between me […]

Pre-Islamic Poetry 2

لعمرك ما أدري وإني لأوجل       على أينا تعدو المنية أول By your life, I do not know – though certainly I assuredly dread – on which of us will the fate [of death] strike first Meaning: He is saying to his companion: I swear to you by your life I certainly do not know – […]

Pre-Islamic Poetry 1

Time will reveal to you that which you were unaware of;  and the one whom you had not dispatched* will bring you news  Meaning: Time will certainly expose to you what was concealed from you; and news will come to you [spontaneously] without you having to exert yourself [take the trouble] to seek it out. * That is: to seek out news. Literally: ‘and the […]