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58 Who seeks far away from his kin for housing, takes foe for friend : who honours himself not well, no honour gains he from men. 59 Who makes of his soul a beast of burden to bear men's loads,

nor shields it one day from shame, yea, sorrow shall be his lot. 60 Whatso be the shaping of mind that a man is born withal,

though he think it lies hid from men, it shall surely one day be known.

61 How many a man seemed goodly to thee while he held his peace, whereof thou didst learn the more or less when he turned to 62 The tongue is a man's one half, the other his valiant heart: [speech! besides these two nought is left but a semblance of flesh and blood.

63 If a man be old and a fool, his folly is past all cure :

but a young man may yet grow wise and cast off his foolishness.


64 We asked, and ye gave: we asked once more, and ye gave again ; but the end of much asking must be that no giving shall follow it.


1 This story is taken from the Aghânî, ix. pp. 149–150; it rests on the following isnâd :-el-Hasan ibn 'Alf, who heard it from Mohammed ibn el-Qasim ibn Mahraweyh, who heard it from ‘Abdallâh ibn Abî Sa'd, who heard it from Mohammed ibn Ishâq el-Museyyibî, who heard it from Ibrâhîm ibn Mohammed ibn ‘Abd-el-‘Azîz ibn 'Omar ibn 'Abd-er-Rahmân ibn 'Auf, who had it from his father. 'Abd-er-Raḥmân son of ‘Auf was one of the first converts to el-Islâm, and must have known well elHarith son of 'Auf of Dubyân, who in his old age became a Muslim. There is some uncertainty as to the names of those who bore the bloodwit at the peace between 'Abs and Dubyân: but the great majority of the authorities recognize el-Hârith as the leader in the peace; some join with him Khârijeh son of Sinân, his first cousin, and others Khârijch's brother Herim. That two were foremost in the noble work is apparent from v. 18 of the Mo‘allaqah, as also that they were of the house of Ghey son of Murrah. If Herim had been one, it seems probable that this glory would have been claimed for him by name by Zuheyr, whose chief patron he was; but though Herim is praised in a large number of poems by Zuheyr, this particular deed is never claimed for him. It is observable that, while two are spoken of in vv. 17-22 of the poem (where the dual number is used throughout), afterwards, when speaking of the second payment made necessary by the murder committed by Hoseyn (vv. 42—44), Zuheyr uses the plural, as if many of the family of Ghey had taken part in it.

2 This tale rests on the authority of the famous Abû 'Obeydeh, and is also in the Aghânî (ix. pp. 148-9). It is told in substantially the same terms by et-Tebrîzî and Ibn Nubâteh. In el-Meydânî's Proverbs (Freytag's edn., ii. pp. 275 sqq.) it is said that it was Khârijeh son of Sinân who offered his son and two hundred camels to the men of 'Abs in satisfaction for the murder of the man slain by Hoseyn; and the curious fact is added that of the two hundred camels only one hundred were paid, for el-Islâm came and diminished the amount of the bloodwit to that number. If this were

true, it would be an important datum for fixing the year in which the peace was made; but it is not consistent with the other facts of the history. The date of the peace is fixed by M. Caussin de Perceval, on grounds of great probability, at from 608 to 610 A. D. (Essai, ii. p. 499); it was not till the 8th year of the Hijrah (629-639 A. D.) that ‘Abs and Đubyân embraced el-Islâm (id. iii, p. 218). According to the 'Iqd el-Ferîd of Ibn 'Abd Rabbih, quoted by M. Fresnel (Journ. Asiatique, 3me série, iv. p. 20), the two persons whom Zuheyr praises in his Mo'allaqah are 'Auf and Ma'qil, sons of Subey' son of ‘Amr, of the line of Tha‘lebeh ibn Sa'd. These two did indeed, according to el-Meydânî, make peace between 'Abs and their own tribe of the Benû Tha'lebeh, who at first refused to join the rest of Đubyân in the engagement; but it is impossible to regard them as the two praised by Zuheyr if v. 18 is genuine, inasmuch as they were not of the line of Ghey son of Murrah.

The name of the man who was slain by Hoseyn son of Damḍam is given by elMeydânî and the 'Iqd as Tîjân. 'Antarah slew Damḍam, Hoṣeyn's father, on the Day of el-Mureyqib, one of the earliest battles of the war (Fresnel, loc. cit. p. 6), and Ward son of Hâbis slew Herim, Hoşeyn's brother, on the Day of el-Ya'muriyyeh, immediately after the slaying of the hostages by Hooeyfeh (Aghânî, xvi. 30). Between these two dates 'Antarah composed his Mo‘allaqah, in vv. 73-75 of which he mentions Damḍam as slain by his hand, and the two sons as still alive.

It is worthy of notice that the Mo'allaqah, in vv. 40-46, (if those verses are rightly placed,) seems to tell of a graver dissension as having arisen out of Hoseyn's violent deed than that which this tradition relates; for it would appear that the renewal of strife which followed it was the occasion when the slain men named in vv. 42 and 43 (said in the commentary to be all of 'Abs) met their death; and that some bloodshed ensued seems certain from the metaphor in vv. 40-41, where the camels, (that is, the fighting men,) after a fim', or period of thirst, are said to have been led down again to drink of the pools of Death. The im' was probably the truce during which peace was being arranged.

This parenthesis, telling of the end of Qeys son of Zuheyr, is founded on the testimony of Ibn el-Athîr, who is believed generally to follow Abû ‘Obeydeh (Kâmil i. p. 434.), and et-Tebrîzî (Ḥamâseh, p. 223) ; it is vouched for by a poem by a man of 'Abs, Bishr son of Ubayy son of Homâm, quoted in the Hamâseh, where it is said of the horses that ran in the Race of Dâhis


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مِنْ وَرَاء عُمَانٍ و طرحن قيس جَلَيْن بِإِذْنِ اللهِ مُقْتَلَ مالك

"They brought to pass-so God willed-the spilling of Mâlik's blood,

and cast Qeys away forlorn an exile in far 'Omân."

4 This paragraph is mine, and expresses what seems to me the most probable view to take of the case. I should add that besides el-Hârith, Herim, and Khârijeh, another pair of the house of Ghey are mentioned in the 'Iqd (Journ. Asiat., Juillet 1837, p. 18) as having exerted themselves to establish peace between 'Abs and Đubyân, viz. Harmalch son of el-Ash'ar and his son Hâshim.


The measure of the poem is the noble cadence called the Tawil, most loved of all by the ancient poets. Each hemistich consists of four feet, arranged thus-—

(In the second foot the third syllable is occasionally, but rarely, short: the only instances of a short third syllable in the 128 hemistichs of this poem are v. 14, a and b, v. 28, b, and v. 33, b; it is observable that it most frequently occurs with proper names.)

In the English an attempt has been made to imitate the metre of the original. The measure adopted is not absolutely unknown in our language; it is to be found in many lines of that wonderful organ-swell, Browning's Abt Vogler; the seventh stanza of that poem in particular is almost entirely in the Tawil. The following lines are exactly the Arabic cadence

"Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are !"

"And, there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head!"

Other verses of the same stanza exhibit the licences which I have found it necessary to take with the metre to adapt it to the English; these are chiefly the following:(1.) Dropping the first short syllable, as in v. 10, b, 11, a.

This is a licence which the Arabs themselves allow, bnt only (except in a few doubtful instances) at the commencement of a poem. It is matched by Browning's

"Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought."

(2.) Addition of a short syllable at the beginning of a foot, as in v. 12, a; so in Browning

"And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man."

(3.) Exchanging the one long third syllable of the second foot for two short, as in v. 4, a and b; so Browning

"But here is the finger of God, a flash of the Will that can.

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"That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a Star."

The text above given and translated is that of Arnold (Leipzig, 1850), with two slight amendments in the vocalization of v. 3 b and v. 59 b, and the substitution of lau for in in v. 54b; of these the last two are indicated in Arnold's notes, pp. 23 and 24, and the first is adopted from ez-Zauzenî. Arnold's recension agrees in the text and arrangement of the verses with ez-Zauzenî's, except in v. 59, which the latter entirely omits.

Another recension is to be found in Ahlwardt, Six Poets, pp. 94 sqq.; this is based on the MSS. of Gotha and Paris: it differs from Arnold's chiefly in the arrangement of the verses in the teshbib describing the journey of the ladies, and in the omission of several of the maxims which follow v. 49 and the arrangement of those which it retains. The following is the order of the verses in Ahlwardt's recension as compared with Arnold's, the numbers of the verses being those of the latter and the arrangement that of the former :

1-8, (9 omitted) 11, 10, 14-15, 12—13, 18, 16—17, 19—22, 25, 23-24, 26-44 a, (after which Ahlwardt inserts a second hemistich which is not in Arnold, and commences the next verse with a first hemistich which is also wanting in the latter. Arnold's 44 b agrees with Ahlwardt's 44 6:) 45—47, 49, 48, 50, 52, 51, 57, 54, 56, 53, 58, 60, 59. vv. 55 and 61—64 are omitted; they will be found in the Appendix, p. 192.

Of the two main differences above mentioned, it must be admitted that the arrangement of the verses describing the journey reads more smoothly and consecutively in Ahlwardt's text than in Arnold's; perhaps this is rather a reason for suspecting the hand of a later adjuster than for rejecting the more difficult order: in such a matter however no critical judgment is worth much. The second difference, the omission of vv. 55 and 61-64 among the sententious utterances which close the poem, seems to be also generally in favour of Ahlwardt; v. 55 might, as he suggests (Bemerkungen über die Aechtheit &c., p. 64), find its proper place after v. 51. Of the last four verses of Arnold I would retain v. 64, which seems a fitting close of the poem, and appropriate to the tradition (of two payments by the Peace-makers) with which it is connected; the other three are clearly out of place where they stand, and belong to another poem (perhaps two others), whether by Zuheyr or some other poet.

Among the minor differences of arrangement, Ahlwardt's text seems to err in placing v. 18 before vv. 16-17; v. 16 appears clearly to be the opening of the real theme, and the change of person in v. 18 (called iltifút) is of frequent occurrence in the old poetry and offers no difficulty. Of the transposition of v. 25 there is little to be said one way or the other. The additions in Ahlwardt after v. 44 a are evidently to be rejected, the second inserted hemistich being a mere echo of v. 24 a.

Of textual differences there are few of much importance; in v. 11 a, Ahlwardt reads li-ş-şadîqi for li-l-lațîfi: in v. 14 b, wa man for wa kam: in v. 15 b, mufa”ami for wa mufʼami : in v. 20 b, mina-l-ʼamri for mina-l-qauli: in v. 22 a, wa gheyrihû for hudîtumâ : in v. 25 b, ifûli-l-Muzennemi for ifúlin muzennemi (see note below on this verse) : in v. 26 a, faman mublighu for alâ 'ablighi: in v. 27 a, tektumenna (wrongly) for tektumunna, and nufûsikum for șudûrikum (last better): in v. 31 b, taḥmil for tuntej (last better): in v. 35 b, yetejemjemi for yetaqaddemi : in v. 37 a, tefza' buyûtun kethîretun for yufzi' buyûtan kethîretan (last preferable): in v. 40 a, ra'au mâ ra‘au min țim'ihim thumma for ra‘au țim'ahum ḥattà iƒâ temma, and b, tesîlu bir-rimâḥi for tefarrâ bis-silâḥi (last preferable metrically): in v. 43 a, shûrakû fi-l-qaumi for shûraket fi-l-mauti : in v. 45 b, ṭala'at for țaraqet (last preferable, since the former unnecessarily repeats the țâli'âtin of v. 44 6): in v. 46 a, Łu-l-witri yudriku witrahu for du-d-ḍighni yudriku teblahu : in v. 54 a, el-meniyyeti yelqahd for el-menâyû yenelnahu, and b, râma for yerga : in v. 53 a, yufḍi for yuhda: in v. 60, b, wa lau for wa in: in v. 59, for our reading Ahlwardt has the following—

wa man lam yezel yestaḥmilu-n-nâsa nefsahu,

walû yughnihâ yauman mina-d-dahri, yusʼami :

in v. 63 b, (Appendix p. 192,) yaḥlumu (right: see note below) for yaḥlumi : in v. 64 b, sayoḥramu for sayoḥrami (both are equally right grammatically, but the former would be an iquâ if the verse really belongs to this poem).

The verses of the Mo‘allaqah quoted in the Aghânî are the following :—

together on p. 146, Vol. ix, —vv. 1, 3, 4, 6, 56, 54 (in the last verse Ahlwardt's reading, not Arnold's, is given):

on p. 148, v. 18 :

on p. 150, vv. 18, 25 (¿fâli-l-Muzennemi, in accordance with Abû 'Obeydeh's reading), 24:

on p. 154, v. 60 (with the story of this verse having been quoted by 'Othmân son of 'Affân).

The translation offered is as literal as I have found it possible to make it consistently with English idiom and the rhythm; where it seemed necessary, I have explained deviations from absolute literalness in the notes: where the change of phrase was slight, I have not thought it needful to notice it. Thus in v. 3, a, khilfetan is not "to and fro," but "one after another: in v. 32, "Boys shall she bear you, of ill omen, all of them like Ahmar of 'Âd," is the word-for-word rendering. I have not however consciously anywhere departed from the sense of the original, and but seldom from the phrase. Of other translations, the only ones I have seen are that by M. Caussin de Perceval, at pp. 531-536 of Vol. ii of his Essai sur l'histoire des Arabes avant l'Islamisme, and that by Rückert (which omits the teshbib) at pp. 147–150 of the first volume of his translation of the Hamâseh; the translation by Sir W. Jones, which I believe to be the only one before published in English, I have not been able to consult.

v. 1. El-Mutathellem (according to the Marâşid, el-Mutathellim) is a hill in the high land stretching East of the northern Hijâz, in the country of the Benû Murrah of Ghaṭafân; it is mentioned in ‘Antarah's Moʻallaqah, v. 4, in connection with elHazn and eş-Şammân. Of ed-Darrâj no particular information is given in the Marâşid.

v. 2.

"Er-Raqmatân”: according to ez-Zauzenî two places are meant by this name, which is the dual of er-raqmeh, a word meaning "the meadow" (rauḍah); he says that one village called er-Raqmeh is near el-Başrah, and another of the same name near el-Medîneh: they are thus far distant one from another. Raqmeh however mcans, besides a meadow, the side of a valley, or the place in it where water collects; it seems more probable from the way in which the name is used that one place, not two, is intended; the same name, in the same dual form, occurs in a lament by a woman of Ghatafân over the death of Mâlik son of Bedr given in the Aghânî (xvi, p. 30)—

إِذَا سَجَعَتْ بِالرَّقْنَيْنِ حَمَامَةٌ أَوِ الرَّسِ قَبْلِي فَارِسَ الْكَتَفَانِ

"So long as a turtle moans in the groves of cr-Raqmatân

or cr-Rass, so long weep thou for him that rode el-Ketefàn.”

The second hemistich of this verse gives concisely a simile for the water-worn traces of the tents which is found in a more expanded form in Lebîd's Mo'allaqah, vv. 8 and 9, J. v. The tattooing over the veins of the inner wrist is said to be renewed, because the torrents have scored deeply certain of the trenches dug round the tents, while others that did not lie in the path of the flood have become only faintly marked, like the veins benoath the tracery.


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