Fragments from the Qasida in the Rhyme of Nun

Ibn Zaydun
Arab Andalusian
1003 – 1071


Now we are far apart
one from the other
my heart has dried up
but my tears keep falling.

In losing you my days
have turned black.
When I was with you
even my nights were white.

It’s as though we never spent
that night together
with no third presence
save our two selves made one,

a night our lucky star
caused even gossips
who would spy on us
to turn away their eyes.

We were two secrets
held by the heart of darkness
until the tongue of dawn
threatened to denounce us.

Translation by Cola Franzen

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