From a Literal Prose Translation by Edward Heron-Allen
Done into verse
Arthur B Talbot
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Index 1 - 8 9 - 18 19 - 28 29 - 38 39 - 48
49 - 58 59 - 68 69 - 78 79 - 88 89 - 98 99 - 108
109 - 118 119 - 128 129 - 138 139 - 148 149 - 158 Home



I do not always o'er the flesh prevail,
I suffer for the sin: must I bewail?
Upon Thy generous pardon I rely,
Because I grieve that Thou should'st see me frail.


Let me arise, and in pure wine drink deep,
And bid my cheeks their ripe-fruit colour keep
Then will I throw in meddling Reason's face
Sufficient wine to make her fall asleep.


How long shall we be slaves, untying knots?
Who cares if Fate long life, or short, allots?
Pour out a cup of wine, before we all
Become, within the workshop, earthen pots.


Since our abode in this world is so short,
Sans Wine and Love this Life were sorry sport.
Creeds, old or new, how long will ye discuss?
Shall I, when dead, bestow on Time a thought?


A hundred sins there are in loving Thee,
Loving Thee not incurs grave penalty.
If I keep lifelong faith unto thy Scourge,
Give me the credit when Thou judgest me!


I am all artifice. Since Time is swift,
In joy and wine I see no need for thrift;
They say, "May God to thee grant penitence."
He gives it not, nor would I take the gift.


Though to the Mosque I come with pious air,
By Allah! think not I have come for prayer;
I stole a mat once from a worshipper -
That sin worn out, again I here repair.


When Fate hath trampl'd me beneath her feet,
And torn me from the hope of Life so sweet,
Make nothing but a goblet of my clay;
When full of wine my heart once more may beat.


I know not which the bait, or which the snare
"Twixt Mosque and Cup I'm drawn, now here, now there;
And yet the Cup, my Darling One, and I,
Are better ripe in wine, than green in prayer.


"Tis morn! The breath of wine let us inhale;
Break on a stone this cup of honour frail!
Let us cease striving for our Ancient Hope,
That lute and love may yet our hearts regale.

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