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


Soon after his return from the land of Zebeed, Antar was present at a feast, given by the tribe of Fazarah to the Absians, in a spacious meadow, abounding in springs and fountains, trees and flowers. The wine cups went merrily round, and beautiful maidens sang the most enchanting melodies. But Antar thought only of his lost darling; and going out of the tent, he heard the melancholy voice of the turtle-dove, and thus he expressed his feelings:

O bird of the tamarisk! thou hast rendered my sorrows more poignant—thou hast redoubled my griefs.

O bird of the tamarisk! if thou invokest an absent friend for whom thou art mourning—even then, O Bird, is thy affliction like the distress I also feel?

Augment my sorrows and my lamentations; aid me to weep till thou seest wonders from the discharge of my eyelids!

Weep, too, from the excesses that I endure;—fear not—only guard the trees from the breath of my burning sighs.

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Quit me not till I die of love—the victim of passion, of absence, and separation!

Fly!—perhaps in the Hejaz thou mayst see some one riding from Aalij to Nomani, wandering with a damsel, she traversing wilds, and drowned in tears, anxious for her native land.

May God inspire thee, O Dove! when thou truly seest her loaded camels.

Announce my death: say, thou hast left him stretched on the earth, and that his tears are exhausted, but that he weeps in blood.

Should the breeze ask thee whence thou art, say: He is deprived of his heart and stupefied; he is in a strange land, weeping for our departure; for the God of heaven has struck him with affliction on account of his beloved.

He is lying down like a tender bird, that vultures and eagles have bereft of its young; that grieves in unceasing plaints, whilst its offspring are scattered over the plain and the desert.

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