Addressed To His Daughters During His Imprisonment


["UPON a certain festival," says Ebn Khocan, a contemporary writer, "during the confinement of Motammed, he was waited upon by his children, who came to receive his blessing, and to offer up their prayers for his welfare. Amongst these some were females, and their appearance was truly deplorable. They were naturally beauteous as the moon, but, from the rags which covered them, they seemed like the moon under an eclipse: their feet were bare and bleeding, and every trace of their former splendour was completely effaced. At this

Arabian Poetry: Shorter Pieces of Arabian Poetry: Verses Addressed to His Daughters, During His Imprisonment, by Motammed Ben Abad, Sultan Of Seville melancholy spectacle their unfortunate father gave way to his sorrow in the following verses."]

WITH jocund heart and cheerful brow, I used to hail the festal morn:

How must Motammed greet it now?— A prisoner, helpless and forlorn;

While these dear maids, in beauty's bloom, With want oppressed, with rags o'erspread,

By sordid labours at the loom Must earn a poor, precarious bread.

Those feet, that never touched the ground Till musk or camphor strewed the way,

Now, bare and swoll'n with many a wound, Must struggle through the miry clay.

Those radiant cheeks are veiled in woe, A shower descends from every eye;

And not a starting tear can flow That wakes not an attending sigh.

Fortune, that whilom owned my sway, And bowed obsequious to my nod,

Now sees me destined to obey, And bend beneath oppression's rod.

Ye mortals, with success elate, Who bask in Hope's delusive beam,

Attentive view Motammed's fate, And own that bliss is but a dream.

Next: A Serenade to His Sleeping Mistress, by Ali Ben Abd Algany, of Cordova

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