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40 40 Two Wine Poems by Abū Nuwās I. “Don’t cry for Laylā” ِ ‫د‬‫ر‬‫و‬�‫ل‬� � ‫�ا‬‫ك‬ � ��َ‫ء‬‫ا‬‫ر‬‫�م‬‫ح‬ � ‫د‬‫ر‬‫و‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬��‫ع‬ � ْ ‫ب‬ �‫ر‬ ‫�ش‬��‫ا‬‫و‬�� ِ ‫�د‬‫ن‬ �‫�ه‬ ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫�إ‬ ْ ‫ب‬ �‫ر‬‫ط‬ �� �‫�ت‬� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬�� ‫ى‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫ي‬ �‫ل‬� � ِ ‫ك‬��‫ب‬ �‫�ت‬� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ِ ّ ‫د‬��‫�خ‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬‫و‬�� ‫ن‬ �‫ي‬ ��‫ع‬ �‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬ � � ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫�ت‬�‫ر‬‫�م‬‫ح‬ � ‫ه‬� ْ‫ت‬ �� ‫�ذ‬��‫ح‬ � ‫أ‬ � ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ �‫�ب‬�‫ر‬ ‫ش�ا‬ ��� ‫ق‬ � � ْ ‫ل‬��‫ح‬ � ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬ � � ‫ت‬ �‫ر‬‫د‬��‫ح‬ � ‫ن‬ � ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫�إ�ذ‬ ‫س�ا‬�� ‫أ‬ ��‫ك‬ � �� lā tabki Laylā wa-lā taṭrab ʾilā Hindī wa-shrab ʿalā l-wardi ḥamrāʾa kal-wardī kaʾsan ʾidhā nḥadarat fī ḥalqi shāribihā ʾaḥdhat’hu ḥumratahā fī l-ʿayni wal-khaddī144 Meter (al-basīṭ): XXSL XSL LLSL SSL / XXSL XSL LLSL LL. Abū Nuwās may not be the first Bacchic poet in Arabic but he is certainly the greatest; more than four hundred wine poems (khamriyyāt) are ascribed to him. Laylā and Hind, mentioned here, are traditional girls’ names, often used in Bedouin love poetry, which Abū Nuwās often mocks in his poems.145 Don’t cry for Laylā, don’t rave about Hind! But drink among roses a rose-red wine, A draught that descends in the drinker’s throat, bestowing its redness on eyes and cheeks. The wine is a ruby, the glass is a pearl, served by the hand of a slim-figured girl, Who serves you the wine from her hand, and wine from her mouth—doubly drunk, for sure, will you be. Thus I am drunk twice, my friends only once: a favor special, for me alone! 41 41 41 41 Abū Nuwās II. “Come on, pour me some wine” ُ ‫ر‬‫ه‬ � ‫ج‬ � � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫م‬� ‫أ‬ � ‫ا‬ ‫�إ�ذ‬ ‫ا‬ ً ّ ‫ر‬‫��س‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫ن‬� ‫ق‬ ��‫س‬�� ‫ت‬ � ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬�� ُ ‫ر‬‫�م‬ ‫�خ‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫ه‬� ‫ي‬ � � ‫ل‬�� ْ ‫ل‬� ‫ق‬ �� � �‫و‬�� ‫ا‬ ً ‫ر‬‫�م‬ ‫�خ‬ � ‫ي‬ � � ‫ن‬�ِ‫ق‬ ��‫س‬��‫ف�ا‬� � � ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � �‫أ‬ � ُ ‫ر‬ ‫ج‬ � � ُ ‫ه‬�‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫و‬�‫ه‬� ‫ي‬ � � �‫�د‬‫ن‬ �‫ع‬ � ‫س‬��‫�ا‬‫ن‬ �‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ء‬‫�ا‬ ‫ي‬ ��‫ر‬ ّ‫ن‬ � ‫أ‬� � ‫ل‬ � � ً‫ة‬�‫ر‬‫ط‬ �� � ‫�ق‬ � � ‫ن‬ �‫ي‬ ��‫ئ‬ ��‫ا‬‫ر‬ ُ ‫�م‬ ‫ل‬ �� ‫ا‬ ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫م‬� ْ‫ن‬ � َ ‫ي‬ �� ِ‫�ق‬�‫س‬�� ‫ت‬ � ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬�� ʾalā fa-sqinī khamran wa-qul lī hiya l-khamrū wa-lā tasqinī sirran ʾidhā ʾamkana l-jahrū wa-lā tasqiyan minhā l-murāʾīna qaṭratan li-ʾanna riyāʾa n-nāsi ʿindī huwa l-hujrū146 Meter (al-ṭawīl): SLX SLLL SLX SLSL / SLX SLLL SLX SLLL. This is a combination of a Bacchic and homoerotic love poem (ghazal mudhakkar), included in the khamriyyāt (wine poetry) section of Abū Nuwās’s Dīwān. Come on, pour me some wine and tell me it is wine: Don’t pour it secretly when one can do it openly. Don’t pour a single drop of it for hypocrites: hypocrisy to me is mere obscenity.147 A good life for a man is being drunk and drunk again: when that goes on and on, time seems to shrink for him. To see me sober: I would be a fraud, for sure; to totter in a stupor: that is my neat gain. So speak your lover’s name; no more allusions: there is no good in pleasures that are veiled, No good in being outrageous without impudence, nor in licentiousness not followed up with unbelief, Together with a brother-friend in revelry, his brow a crescent moon surrounded by bright stars. There was this woman selling wine I roused at night, Orion being on the rise, when Aquila had plunged. She said, “Who’s knocking there so late?” We said, “A band with lightweight water skins,148 who need some wine. They also must have whores.” “Now what about,” she said, “a bright-eyed boy instead, like a gold coin, with languid looks, 5 10 42 42 42 42 Verse A joy to those who whore, a pleasure to the pederast: two things combined in one?” We said, “Yes, bring him here: someone like that, dear lady, we can’t bear to be without.” She brought him: like a twig, shaking his bum: you’d think it magic, but no magic there! The likeness of the moon at night when it is full, with slender waist and saw-edged pretty teeth. To him each one of us applied himself in turn, breaking our fast with him, after long abstinence. We spent the night while God saw us, a wicked band, trailing the trains of sin. No idle boast! 15 ...


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