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49 49 A Zuhdiyyah (“Poem of Asceticism”) by Abū l-ʿAtāhiyah ُ ‫م‬ �‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫ك‬ � �� ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫ب‬� ‫س‬��‫ي‬ ��‫ل‬� � ‫و‬�� ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫�م‬ ّ ‫ل‬��‫ك‬ � �� ‫أ‬ � ‫ي‬ � � ‫ن‬ �� ‫ �إ‬ ُ ‫م‬ �‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫س‬��‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ي‬ � � ّ‫ن‬�‫م‬� ُ ‫م‬ � ُ ‫ك‬ � � �‫ي‬ �‫ل‬��‫ع‬ � ‫ر‬‫و‬� ‫ب‬ � ‫�ق‬�‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ َ ‫ل‬�‫�ه‬� ‫أ‬ � ُ ‫م‬ �‫ع�ا‬ �‫�ط‬ �� � ‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬�� ‫ب‬ �‫ا‬‫ر‬ ‫�ش‬��‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ُ ‫م‬�‫ه‬ � ‫ل‬� � ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � �� ‫ع�د‬ �‫ب‬ �� ‫ن‬ �‫م‬� ْ‫�غ‬ � ُ ‫��س‬‫ي‬ � ‫م‬ � ‫ل‬ �� ‫ة‬ ��ّ ‫ب‬ �‫ح‬ � ‫أ‬� � ‫ل‬ � � ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ � ‫أ‬ � ‫ا‬‫و‬� ‫ب‬ �‫��س‬‫ح‬ � ‫ت‬ � ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ʾahla l-qubūri ʿalaykumū minnī s-salāmū ʾinnī ʾukallimukum wa-laysa bikum kalāmū lā taḥsabū ʾanna l-ʾaḥibbata lam yasugh min baʿdikum lahumu sh-sharābu wa-lā ṭ-ṭaʿāmū162 Meter (al-kāmil): SSLS SSLS SSLSL / SSLS SSLS SSLSL L163 (SS may be replaced by L). Most of the output of Abū l-ʿAtāhiyah (131/748–211/826) is devoted to the gloomy theme of zuhd: abstemiousness, renunciation of worldly pleasures, asceticism. To some extent one might consider it religious poetry; but Abū l-ʿAtāhiyah is more concerned with death and decay than with resurrection and the Afterlife. In this poem the poet alludes to several motifs found in the opening of traditional qaṣīdahs: the abode abandoned by those who have departed, the “interrogation” of the remains, and the addressing of two friends. The diction is relatively simple, as in most of his poetry. (For a small fragment of his sententious “Poem of Proverbs,” see below, p.95, in the section on rajaz.) You who dwell in graves: from me, a greeting! I speak to you but there’s no speech in you. Don’t think that those you loved cannot enjoy, now that you’re dead, their food and drink! O no! They have dismissed you and made others take your place, and death has separated you. All people are like that: no one who’s dead has claims on those who live. I asked the tombs of kings: they told me they contained but limbs and skulls: 5 50 50 50 50 Verse Nothing remains of bodies fed on finest food and lives of luxury but bones. Fine fellows they, now decked with dust, such noble men, when people spoke of noble men! Fine fellows they, now decked with dust, whose protégés were safe and unabused! All brought to nought by him who brings great kings to nought: mankind is made for nothingness and for decay. O my two friends! I have forgotten my lasting Abode; I have inhabited a house that will not stay, A house whose dwellers Fate will want to move, while they appear to be asleep to what its wants from them. Whatever pleasure I derived from it, Time’s course refused to make it last. 10 ...


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