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Two Poems by Qasmūna bint Ismāʿil

Qasmūna bint Ismā‘il


I.
Yā zabyatan tarʿa bi-rawdin dāʾiman
innī hakaitu-ki fi-ttawaḥḥushi wa-l-hawari.
Amsâ kilā-nā mufradan ʿan sāhibin
fa-ʿitābu-nā abadan ʿalâ ḥukmi-l-qadari

II. 
Ayā rawdatan qad hāna min-ha qatāfu-ha
wa-laisa yurâ hānin yamudda la-ha yadā;
fa-wā asafī yamdī-shshabābu mudayyaʿan
wa-yabqâ-lladhī mā lanʾusammī-hi mufradā

Two Poems by Qasmūna bint Ismā‘il

Maria Dahvana Headley


I. 
O gazelle, tasting leaves,
here in the green of my garden.
Look at my eyes. Dark and lonely,
just as yours are. 
How distant we are from our beloveds, and how forgotten
Standing in the night,
Waiting for fate to find us.

II.
The garden is filled with fruit on the vines, but the gardener
refuses to brush a finger over the skin of even one piece.
How sad it is! The season of splendor passes,
and the fruit that ripens only in darkness
Remains lonely.