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The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, by Ibn al-Arabi, tr. Reynold A. Nicholson, [1911], at


1. O bán tree of the valley, on the bank of the river of Baghdád!

2. A mournful dove that cooed on a swaying bough filled me with grief for thee.

3. His plaintive song reminds me of the plaintive song of the lady of the chamber.

4. Whenever she tunes her triple chords, thou must forget the brother of al-Hádí.

5. And if she lavishes her melody, who is Anjasha the camel-driver?

6. I swear by Dhu ’l-Khaḍimát and then by Sindád

7. That I am passionately in love with Salmá, who dwells at Ajyád.

8. No; I am mistaken: she dwells in the black clot of blood in the membrane of my liver.

9. Beauty is confounded by her, and odours of musk and saffron are scattered abroad.

p. 149


1. 'O bán tree,' etc., i.e. the tree of light in the station of the Quṭb.

2. 'A mournful dove,' i.e. an exalted spirit.

'On a swaying bough,' i.e. the human organism in the station of self-subsistence (###).

3. 'The lady of the chamber,' i.e. every reality that exercises dominion in its own world.

4. 'Her triple chords,' i.e. the body, with its three dimensions, viz. length, breadth, and depth. 'Triple chords' may also refer to the grades of the three Names, which are the abode of the two Imáms and the Quṭb.

'Al-Hádí,' the ‘Abbásid Caliph. His brother was a fine musician.

5. 'Anjasha,' a camel-driver contemporary with the Prophet. He used to chant so sweetly that the camels died. (See Nawawí, ed. by Wüstenfeld, 164.)

7. 'Salmá' (a woman's name), i.e. a Solomonic station.

'Ajyád' (plural of ###, neck), a place at Mecca. Here it refers to the throat through which the breath passes.

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