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To Sayf al-Dawla

Poem No.: 141 النص العربي: لا يوجد


Resolutions are measured against those who make them; generosity in accordance with the giver.

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Littleness is magnified by small men, while grandeur is deprecated by the great.

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Sayf al-Dawla imposes upon the army his will, yet seasoned armies cannot achieve it.

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He asks from men all that he has in himself, though even lions would not claim to match that.

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Dose al-Hadath know of its red color? Or which of the two pourers was a cloud?

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White-streaked clouds had watered al-Hadath before his arrival; when he approached, it was inundated with skulls.

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The enemy came at you, hauling their weapons as if they traveled on legless horses.

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When their ranks caught the light, their swords remained unseen, since their shirts and turbans were also made from steel.

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You stayed where you were, when doing so meant certain death: as if perdition itself slept while you stood in its eyelid.

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Wounded and fleeting, heroes passed you by, while your face remained bright and your lips, smiling.

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You surpassed the bounds of courage and understanding, until people claimed that you knew the unseen.

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To you belongs the praise for these pearls I pronounce; you are the giver, I the arranger.

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Oh, Sword never sheathed, whom none can doubt and from whom there is no refuge.

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Blessed are warfare, glory and eminence; blessed are your subjects and all of Islam, for you are safe!

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Translated by Nancy Coffin


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