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vii Table of Contents Letter from the General Editor iii Acknowledgements xi Abbreviations xii Introduction xiii Notes to the Introduction xxvi Verse 1 A Qaṣīdah by ʿAbīd ibn al-Abraṣ 2 A Qaṣīdah by ʿAlqamah ibn ʿAbadah 4 A Qaṣīdah by al-Muthaqqib al-ʿAbdī 8 An Elegy (Marthiyah) by al-Khansāʾ 12 Polemics in Verse: An Invective Qaṣīdah by al-Akhṭal and a Reply by Jarīr 15 Love in the Desert: A Qaṣīdah by Dhū l-Rummah 21 An Umayyad Ghazal Poem, used as an Abbasid Song Text 27 An ʿUdhrī Ghazal attributed to Majnūn Laylā 29 An Umayyad Ghazal by ʿUmar ibn Abī Rabīʿah 31 A Love Poem by Umm Khālid 33 Anti-Arab, Pro-Iranian Lampoon (Hijāʾ) by Bashshār ibn Burd 34 A Modern (Muḥdath) Ghazal Epigram by Abū Nuwās 37 A Ghazal by Abū Nuwās: On a Boy Called ʿAlī 38 Two Wine Poems by Abū Nuwās 40 A Lampooning Epigram (Hijāʾ) by Abū Nuwās 43 A Ghazal Poem by al-ʿAbbās ibn al-Aḥnaf 44 Three Love Epigrams by ʿUlayyah bint al-Mahdī 46 A Poem of Asceticism (Zuhdiyyah) by Abū l-ʿAtāhiyah 49 Ibn al-Rūmī: On His Poetry 51 A Qaṣīdah by Ibn al-Rūmī: A Party at ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ṣāliḥ al-Hāshimī’s 53 A Panegyric Qaṣīdah by al-Buḥturī 58 A Victory Ode by al-Mutanabbī: The Qaṣīdah on Sayf al-Dawlah’s Recapture of the Fortress of al-Ḥadath 61 viii Table of Contents Nature Poetry: Two Epigrams by Ibn Khafājah 65 Strophic Poem: A Muwashshaḥah by al-Aʿmā al-Tuṭīlī 67 An Anonymous Muwashshaḥah from Spain 69 There Descended to You: A Philosophical Allegory by Ibn Sīnā 73 Five Epigrams on Death and Belief, by Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī 75 Mystical Ghazal: A Poem by Ibn al-Fāriḍ 79 A Mystical Zajal by al-Shushtarī 83 Two Elegies on the Death of his Concubine, by Ibn Nubātah al-Miṣrī 85 A Zajal: An Elegy on the Elephant Marzūq 89 Rajaz 93 Early Rajaz 94 A Few Lines from the Poem of Proverbs by Abū l-ʿAtāhiyah 95 A Few Lines from The Thousand-liner by Ibn Mālik 96 Light Verse: A Domestic Disaster, by Abū l-Ḥakam al Maghribī 97 “Didactic” Verse: From a Poem on How to Behave in Society, by Ibn Makānis 102 Prose 109 Examples of Early Rhymed Prose (Sajʿ) 110 A Pre-Islamic Tale: The Princess on the Myrtle Leaf (Three Versions) 114 How the Queen of Sheba Became Queen 117 Two Stories from Meadows of Gold by al-Masʿūdī 119 Lives of The Poets: al-Farazdaq Tells the Story of Imruʾ al-Qays and the Girls at the Pond 123 Bedouin Romance: The Unhappy Love Story of Qays and Lubnā 127 A Parable: The Human Condition, or The Man in the Pit 166 Mirror for Princes (and Others): Passages from Right Conduct by Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ 168 Al-Jāḥiẓ on Flies and Other Things 176 Essayistic Prose: Al-Tawḥīdī on the Superiority of the Arabs 195 History as Literature: Al-Amīn and al-Maʾmūn, the Sons of Hārūn al-Rashīd 208 Moral Tales and Parables: Passages from The Epistles of the Sincere Brethren 218 ix Table of Contents Prose Narrative: Four Stories by al-Tanūkhī 225 The Isfahan Maqāmah by Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī 245 The Debate of Pen and Sword, by Aḥmad Ibn Burd al-Aṣghar 248 A Visit to Heaven and Hell, by Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī 255 Poetics: Ibn Rashīq on the Definition and Structure of Poetry 277 Literary Criticism: From The Secrets of Eloquence by ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī 281 Popular Science: Two Chapters from the Encyclopedia of Animals by al-Damīrī 297 A Section from an Adab Encyclopedia: The Chapter on Stinginess from The Precious and Refined in Every Genre and Kind by al-Ibshīhī 305 A Fairytale: The Tale of the Forty Girls 318 Erotica: The Young Girl and the Dough Kneader, from The Old Man’s Rejuvenation by al-Tīfāshī 333 Two Burlesque Stories from Brains Confounded by al-Shirbīnī 339 Lyrical Prose: A Visit to...


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