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Arabian Poetry, by W. A. Clouston, [1881], at

p. 193


Antar was now become celebrated for his verses as well as for his remarkable strength and courage; and, as may be readily supposed, he was making considerable progress in winning the affection of his beloved Abla. But in the eyes of the maiden's father, Malik, he was far from being a desirable match; and even her mother ridiculed Antar's amorous poetry, and his love for her daughter. One day she sneeringly asked him to recite some of his verses about Abla, and he thus complied:

I love thee with the love of a noble-born hero; and I am content with thy imaginary phantom.

Thou art my sovereign in my very blood, and my mistress; and in thee is all my confidence.

O Abla, my description cannot portray thee, for thou comprehendest every perfection.

Were I to say thy face is like the full moon of heaven—where, in that full moon, is the eye of the antelope?

Were I to say thy shape is like the branch of the erak tree: O thou shamest it in the grace of thy form.

In thy forehead is my guide to truth; and in the night of thy tresses I wander astray.

Thy teeth resemble stringed jewels; but how can I liken them to lifeless pearls?

Thy bosom is created as an enchantment;—O may God protect it ever in that perfection!

To be connected with thee is to be connected with every joy; but separated from all my world is the bond of thy connection.

p. 194

Under thy veil is the rosebud of my life, and thine eyes are guarded with a multitude of arrows: round thy tent is a lion-warrior, the sword's edge, and the spear's point.

O thy face is like the full moon of heaven, allied to light, but far from my hopes!

These eloquent verses so far mollified Abla's mother that she proposed marrying Antar to her daughter's maid, Khemisa.

"No!" said Antar, boldly; "I shall marry only a freeborn woman: and no one shall I marry but her whom my soul adores!"

"May God accomplish thy wishes," whispered Abla; "and may he grant thee the woman thou lovest, and may thou live in peace and happiness!"

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