Quatrains

Abderrahman El Majdoub
Moroccan
1506 – 1568

 

dirty and ugly they saw me there goes an empty head they said
in fact I am more like an open book there’s much useful stuff
inside this head

o my heart I burn you and if you want I will do more
o my heart you shame me because you like who doesn’t
like you.

neither think nor search too much don’t always be
despondent
the planets are not fixed and life’s not eternal

don’t play with your best friend’s feelings & if people insult
him, ease his mind
who loves you, love him more but if he betrays you, don’t ever
be his friend again

all I’ve had in life is one goat but I’ve written beautiful
quatrains
many are fulfilled through God’s favor yet claim those favors as
their own labors

travel and you’ll get to know people and owe obedience to the
noble
the fathead with the pot-belly sell him for a dime

my heart’s between a hammer & an anvil & that damned
blacksmith has no pity
he keeps hammering & when it cools he kindles the fire
with his bellows

my weak heart can’t bear any pain and by God you are
barbarians
you supported me when I was strong and let me down
when I grew weak

o you who sows the good grain by grain o you who sows
the bad lot by lot
the good multiplies and rises the bad withers and wastes
away

don’t think of this time’s tightness see how wide time is
in God
difficulties wipe out the weak but men wipe out difficulties

I suggest to you devourer of sheep heads throw those
bones in a well
laugh & play with the people but before all shut your
mouth

silence is abundant gold and words destroy good
ambiance
say nothing if you see something and if they ask say
no, no

o friend, be patient hide your burden
sleep naked on thorns wait for a brighter day

the good old days are gone hard ones are here
who dares speak the truth will have his head cut off

don’t get in the saddle before you bridle and tie strong
knots
think twice before you speak or you’ll live to regret it

I made snow into a bed & covered myself with the wind
I made the moon into a lamp & went to sleep in the
starry night

misery should be hidden away & covered under a veil
cover the wound with the skin & the wound will soon heal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.