Monday, October 09, 2006

Lament for the Fall of Seville by Abu al-Baqa' al-Rundi (d.1285)

Everything declines after reaching perfection, therefore let no man be beguiled by the sweetness of a pleasant life.

As you have observed, these are the decrees that are inconstant: he whom a single moment has made happy, has been harmed by many other moments;

And this is the abode that will show pity for no man, nor will any condition remain in its state for it.

Fate irrevocably destroys every ample coat of mail when Mashrifi swords and spears glance off without effect;

It unsheaths each sword only to destroy it even if it be an Ibn Dhi Yazan and the scabbard Ghumdan

Where are the crowned kings of Yemen and where are their jewel-studded diadems and crowns?

Where are [the buildings] Shaddad raised in Iram[3] and where [the empire] the Sassanians ruled in Persia?

Where is the gold Qarun once possessed; where are `Ad and Shaddad and Qahtan?


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