By Ali Ben Mohammed Altahmany

TYRANT of Man! Imperious Fato!

I bow before thy dread decree; Nor hope in this uncertain state To find a seat secure from thee.

Life is a dark, tumultuous stream, With many a care and sorrow foul;

Yet thoughtless mortals vainly deem That it can yield a limpid bowl.

Think not that stream will backward flow, Or cease its destined course to keep;

As soon the blazing spark shall glow Beneath the surface of the deep.

Believe not Fate, at thy command, Will grant a meed she never gave;

As soon the airy tower shall stand That's built upon a passing wave.

Life is a sleep of threescore years; Death bids us wake and hail the light;

And man, with all his hopes and fears, Is but a phantom of the night.

Next: On Moderation In Our Pleasures, by Abu Alcassim Ebn Tabataba

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Arabian Poetry, by W. A. Clouston, [1881], at sacred-texts.com
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