Alas for Youth

935 – 1020


Much have I labored, much read o’er
Of Arabic and Persian lore,
Collecting tales unknown and known;
Now two and sixty years are flown.
Regret, and deeper woe of sin,
‘Tis all that youth has ended in,
And I with mournful thoughts rehearse
Bu Táhir Khusrawáni’s verse:
“I mind me of my youth and sigh,
Alas for youth, for youth gone by!”

The Walnut

Ibn Al-qutiya
Arab Andalusian
? – 977


In its double skirt enwrapped,
Fair as aught I ever clapped
Eyes on, as when eyelids close
Over slumberful repose.

Opened to the light of day
By a dagger, you might say
‘Tis the pupil of an eye
Whetted on its lid, to spy.

Inwardly it doth appear
Soft and rounded as an ear
And, to make my image true,
With its convolutions too.