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Poetry

EXAMPLES OF ANDALUSIAN MUWASHSHAHAT:

Ibn Sahl (d. 1251):
  O full moons that arose on the day of departure,
    bright, going forth on perilís path:
My heart bears no sin in loving; instead
    from you comes beauty; from my eye, the glance.
I rejoice though wounded by passion;
    mutuality with my beloved is only imaginary.
  Whenever I complain of my passion to him, he smiles
    like the hills at the pouring cloud,
When it brings rain to them, like a funeral,
    while they, in their joy, are a wedding celebration.
Does the protected fawn know he inflamed
    the heart of a lover in which he dwelt,
So that it burns and throbs just like
    the firebrand teased by the east wind?

Anonymous:
  Your beauty is famous in Granada;
yours alone, O ornament of youth!
Arise at dawn,
and pour out, for the fair ones, from your hand,
cups of wine.
As you pluck the lute strings,
the light of your cheek shines
like the daylight sun.
My beloved is near, and my life is sweet,
So let the spy, disappointed in his goal, vanish from my sight!

Ibn Zuhr (1113-1198):
  Will they be called back, our days in Al-Halij, and our nights?
Now that there has been gained, from the fragrant breeze, the musk of Darin,
And now that the beauty of this delightful spot is about to revive us?
It is a river shaded by neatly trimmed trees with leafy branches,
While the water flows, as well as floating and immersed snippets from fragrant herbs.
  Why does the crazed one not recover from his intoxication? What a drunkard he is
Without wine! What a dejected, impassioned one, lamenting his homeland!
 
EXAMPLES OF HEBREW POETRY:

Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021/22-ca. 1055):
  But though her lips are sweet, and she entices menís hearts,
yet she is bitter.
Swords are unsheathed from the scabbards of her eyes,
lances are burnished to kill unlucky men.
Her eyes beckon to me;
she is as full of longing as a deer thirsting for the running stream.
Her arched eyebrow
calls to mind the covenant with Noah;
she flashes lightning from her cheeks.
And when you thirst,
she orders her clouds to flood you with crystals.

Isaac ibn Ghiyyat (1038-89):
  I am in anguish because He is gone.
His glory has left me,
and the glow of His beauty and splendour.
Where are the days when His lips
dropped sweetness on my tongue like the honeycomb
and His necklaces hung on my throat?

Moses ibn Ezra (ca. 1055-after 1135):

  Caress the breasts of the lovely girl at night,
And kiss the lips of the beautiful girl all day long!
  Plunge your heart into pleasures,
make merry, drink out of wine-skins by the riverside
to the sound of lyres, doves, and swifts;
dance and rejoice, clap your hands, get drunk,
and knock on the door of the lovely girl!
  These are the delights of the world;
take your part as did the priests from the Ram of Installation.
Always allot yourself the very portion that was your leadersí due;
do not stop sipping the moist lips
until you hold your rightful portion--the breast and the thigh!

Anonymous (11th-13th c.):
  I shall give thanks to the Lord, who tests the heart,
When the morning stars sing together.
  Take care of the soul: she is turquoise, agate, and jasper.
Her light is like the light of the sun, like the light
of seven mornings at once.
  Gladden the afflicted one, the only one, perfect and pure.
If a man does not keep his soul alive,
how will he be worthy of the light of morning?

 
EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIAN POETRY:

Cantiga de Santa Maria 10 (13th c.):
  Rose of all roses and flower of all flowers,
greatest of all ladies, liege lady most high.
  Rose in beauty and in seeming,
flower of joy and pleasing,
most pious lady
who soothes our woe and pain.
  To this lady I pledge my service,
and fain would be her troubadour;
to have her love
I consign all other loves to the devil.

Cantiga de Santa Maria 100 (13th c.):
  Holy Mary,
Star of Day,
show us the way
to God and be our guide.
  You must show us the way in all our deeds
to win the true and matchless light
which only you can give us,
for God would grant it to you,
and most willingly bestow it
for your sake.

Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (fl. 1180-1205):
  Alas, sweet breeze, coming from over there,
where my love sleeps and stays and lies,
bring me a mouthful of his sweet breath!
My mouth is open, my desire is so great.
    Alas! Oh God,
    this love doth sometimes joy and sometimes pain afford!

Gaucelm Faidit (fl. 1172-1203):
  Now I have cause to sing
since once again I see pleasures and joy
entertainments and amourous sport
for you have granted them;
and my heart is cheered
by the springs and limpid brooks,
meadows and orchards, for all is pleasant here to me.

Bernart de Ventadorn (fl. 1147-1170):
  When I see the leaves
falling from the trees,
how many others feel sadness or grief at this,
but I must find my joy in that.
Do not think that I want to see leaves or flowers,
since she whom I wish most of all to see
is full of contempt towards me.
I have the courage needed to give up
but I donít have the power,
for I always think Iíll be favourably received
at the very moment when I am the most despairing.

Saint Juan de la Cruz (1542-1591):
  Upon my flowering breast
Which I kept wholly for Him alone,
There He lay sleeping,
And I caressing Him
There in a breeze from the fanning cedars.
I abandoned and forgot myself,
Laying my face on my Beloved;
All things ceased; I went out from myself,
Leaving my cares
Forgotten among the lilies.