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An Elegy for Seville-Al-Andalus

28 Jun

Lament for the Fall of Seville

رثاء إشبلية

أبو البقاء الرندي

by Abu Al-Baqá’ Ar-Rundí (1205- 1285 A.D.)

 Translated from Arabic by James T. Monroe

لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ إذا ما تَمَّ نُقصَانُ * فلا يُغَرَّ بِطيبِ العَيشِ إنسانُ1 

Everything declines after reaching perfection, therefore let no man be beguiled by the sweetness of a pleasant life.
2 هيَ الأُمورُ كما شاهدْتُها دُوَلٌ * مَن سَرَّهُ زمَنٌ ساءتـْهُ أزمانُ
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;

3 وَهَذِهِ الدَّارُ لا تُبقِي على أحدٍ * ولا يدُومُ عَلَى حَالٍ لَهَا شانُ

And this is the abode that will show pity for no man, nor will any condition remain in its state for it.
4 ُيمَزِّقُ الدهرُ حتْماً كلَّ سابِغَةٍ * إذا نَبَتْ مَشْرِفِيّاتٌ وخِرْصانُ

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

5 ويُنْتَضَى كلُّ سيفٍ لِلفَناء ولو * كان ابنَ يزْنٍ و[كان] الغمدَ غُمْدانُ
It unsheathes each sword it it be an Ibn Dhi Yazan and the scabbard Ghumdan
Swords are unsheathed only to be destroyed even if…etc
6 أين المُلُوكُ ذَوُو التّيجانِ مِن يَمَنٍ * وأين منهمْ أكاليلٌ وتيجانُ
Where are the crowned kings of Yemen and where are their jewel-studded diadems and crowns?
7 وأين ما شادهُ ’شَدّادُ‘ في إرَمٍ * وأين ما ساسَهُ في الفُرْسِ ’ساسانُ‘
Where are [the buildings] Shaddad raised in Iram and where [the empire] the Sassanians ruled in Persia?
8 وأين ما حازَهُ ’قارونُ‘ من ذَهَبٍ * وأين ’عادٌ وشدادٌ وقحطانُ‘
Where is the gold Qarun once possessed; where are `Ad and Shaddad and Qahtan?
9 أتى على الكل أمرٌ لا مَرَدَّ لهُ * حتى قضَوْا فكأن القومَ ما كانُوا

An irrevocable calamity befallen on them all so that they passed away as though they had never existed.
10 وصار ما كان من مُلْكٍ و من مَلِكٍ * كما حكى عن خيال الطيف وسْنانُ

What had been kingdoms and kings came to be [became] like what a sleeper has told about [his] dream visions.
11 دارَ الزمانُ على ’دارا‘ وقاتِلِهِ * وأمَّ ’كِسرَى‘ فما آواهُ إيوانُ
أمَّ: قصَدَ استهدَفَ؛ شجَّ
Fate turned against Darius as well as his slayer, and as for Chosroes, no vaulted palace offered him protection.

12 كأنما الصعبُ لم يسْهُلْ له سببٌ * يوماً ولا ملَكَ الدنيا ’سليمانُ‘
السبب هنا الطريقُ. والصعبُ والسهل صفاتٌ لتضاريس الأرض
It is as if no cause had ever made the hard easy to bear, and as if Solomon had never ruled the world.

13 فجائعُ الدهْرِ أنواعٌ مُنَوَّعةٌ * ولِلزمان مسَرّاتٌ وأحزانُ
The misfortunes brought on by Fate are of many different kinds, while Time has causes of joy and of sorrow.
14 ولِلحوادث سُلوانٌ يُسهِّلُها * وما لِما حَلَّ بالإسلام سُلوانُ
For the accidents [of fortune] there is a consolation that makes them easy to bear, yet there is no consolation for what has befallen Islam.
15 دَهَى الجزيرةَ أمرٌ لا عزاء لهُ * هَوَى له أُحُدٌ وانْهَدَّ شهْلانُ
An event which cannot be endured has overtaken the peninsula; one such that Uhud has collapsed because of it and Thahlan has crumbled!
16 أصابها العينُ في الإسلام فارْتُزِأتُ * حتى خَلَتْ منه أقطارٌ وبلدانُ
The evil eye has struck [the peninsula] in its Islam so that [the land] decreased until whole regions and districts were despoiled of [the faith]
17 فاسأل (بلَنْسِيَّةً) ما شأنُ (مُرْسِيَةٍ) * وأين (شاطِبةٌ) أم أين (جَيّانُ)
[SIZE=4]Therefore ask Valencia what is the state of Murcia; and where is Jativa, and where is Jaén? [/B]

18 وأين (قُرْطُبَةٌ) دارُ العلوم فكم * مِن عالِم قد سما فيها له شانُ
Where is Cordoba, the home of the sciences, and many a scholar whose rank was once lofty in it?
19 وأين (حِمْصٌ) وما تحويه من نُزَهٍ * ونهرُها العذْبُ فيّاضٌ ومَلآنُ
Where is Seville and the pleasures it contains, as well as its sweet river overflowing and brimming ful?
20 قواعدٌ كُنَّ أركانَ البلادِ, فما * عسى البقاءُ إذا لم تبقَ أركانُ!
[They are] capitals which were the pillars of the land, yet when the pillars are gone, it may no longer endure!
21 تبكي الحَنيفيةُ البيضاءُ من أسفٍ * كما بكى لِفِراقِ الإِلْفِ هَيْمانُ
الحنيفية البيضاء يمكن أن ترمز في الرثاء إلى اليمامة dove أو إلى النافورة – كما فهمها المترجم إلى الإنكليزية – أو إلى المدن التي عدّدها آنِفاً, أو إلى جزيرة الأندلس كلها؛ فالحنيفية هي المسلمة.

The tap of the white ablution fount weeps in despair, like a passionate lover weeping at the departure of the beloved,
22 على ديارٍ من الإسلامِ خاليةٍ * قد أقْفَرَتْ ولها بالكفر عُمرانُ
Over dwellings emptied of Islam that were first vacated and are now inhabited by unbelief;
23 حيث المساجدُ [قد] صارت كنائسَ ما * فيهِنَّ إلاّ نواقيسٌ وصُلبانُ
In which the mosques have become churches wherein only bells and crosses may be found.
24 حتى المحاريب تبكي وهي جامدةٌ * حتى المنابرُ تبكي وهي عيدانُ
Even the mihrabs weep though they are solid; even the pulpits mourn though they are wooden!

25 ياغافِلاً ولَهُ في الدهْرِ مَوْعِظةٌ * إن كنتَ في سِنَةٍ فالدهرُ يقظانُ
O you who remain heedless though you have a warning in Fate: if you are asleep, Fate is always awake!
26 وماشياً مَرَحاً يُلهيه موطِنُهُ * أبَعْدَ (حِمْصٍ) تَغُرُّ المرءَ أوطانُ
قال تعالى ’ولا تمشِ في الأرضِ مَرَحاً‘ في موضعين: الإسراء37 ولقمان18
And you who walk forth cheerfully while your homeland diverts you [from cares], can a homeland beguile any man after [the loss of] Seville?
27 تلك المُصيبةُ أنْسَتْ ماتَقَدَّمَها * ومالَها معَ طُولِ الدهرِ نِسيانُ
This misfortune has caused those that preceded it to be forgotten, nor can it ever be forgotten for the length of all time!
28 يا أيّها الملِكُ البيضاءُ رايَتُهُ * أدْرِكْ بِسيفِكَ أهلً الكُفرِ، لا كانوا!
29 ياراكبين عتاقَ الخيلِ ضامرةً * كأنها في مجال السبْقِ عُقبانُ
you who ride lean, thoroughbred steeds which seem like eagles in the racecourse;
30 وحامِلين سُيوفَ الهند مُرهَفةً * كأنها في ظلام النقْع نيرانُ
And you who carry slender, Indian blades which seem like fires in the darkness caused by the dust cloud [of war]
31 وَرَاتِعِين وراء البحر في دَعَةٍ * لَهُم بِأوطانهم عِزٌّ وسلطانُ
And you who are living in luxury beyond the sea enjoying life, you who have strength and power in your homelands,
32 أعِندَكُم نَبَأٌ من أهلِ أندلُسٍ * فقد سَرَى بِحديثِ القومِ رُكْبانُ
Have you no news of the people of Andalus, for riders have carried forth what men have said [about them]?
33 كم يستغيثُ بنا المُستضعفُونَ وهم * قَتْلَى وأسْرَى فما يهتزُّ إنسانُ
How often have the weak, who were being killed and captured while no man stirred, asked our help?
34 ماذا التقاطُعُ في الإسلامِ بيْنَكُمُ * وأنتُمُ يا عِبادَ اللهِ إخوانُ
What means this severing of the bonds of Islam on your behalf, when you, 0 worshipers of God, are [our] brethren?
35 ألاَ نُفوسٌ أبِيّاتٌ لَها هِمَمٌ؟ * أمَا على الخيرِ أنصارٌ وأعوانُ؟
Are there no heroic souls with lofty ambitions; are there no helpers and defenders of righteousness?
36 يا مَنْ لِذِلَّةِ قومٍ بعدَ عِزِّهِمُ! * أحالَ حالَهُمُ كُفرٌ وطُغيانُ
0, who will redress the humiliation of a people who were once powerful, a people whose condition injustice and tyrants have changed?
37 بالأمس كانوا مُلوكاً في منازلِهِمْ * واليوْمَ هُمْ في بلادِ الكُفْرِ عُبْدانُ
Yesterday they were kings in their own homes, but today they are slaves in the land of the infidel!
38 فلوْ تَراهُمْ حَيارَى لا دَليلَ لَهُمْ * عليهِمُ من ثيابِ الذُّلِّ ألْوانُ
Thus, were you to see them perplexed, with no one to guide them, wearing the cloth of shame in its different shades,
39 ولو رأيتَ بُكاهُمْ عندَ بيعِهِمُ * لَهالَكَ الأمرُ واسْتَهْوَتْكَ أحزانُ
And were you to behold their weeping when they are sold, the matter would strike fear into your heart, and sorrow would seize you.
40 يا رُبَّ أُمٍّ وطِفْلٍ حِيلَ بينَهُما * كما تُفَرَّقُ أرواحٌ وأبدانُ
ويجوز: كما تَفَرَّقَ
Alas, many a mother and child have been parted as souls and bodies are separated!
41 وطِفْلَةٍ ما رَأَتْها الشمسُ إذْ برزَتْ * كأنَّما هي ياقوتٌ ومَرجانُ
And many a maiden fair as the sun when it rises, as though she were rubies and pearls,
42 يقودُها العِلْجُ لِلْمَكروهُ مُكرَهَةً * والعينُ باكيَةٌ والقلبُ حَيْرانُ
Is led off to abomination by a barbarian against her will, while her eye is in tears and her heart is stunned.
42 – لمثلِ هذا يذوبُ القلب من كَمَدٍ * – إن كان في القلبِ إسلامٌ وإيمانُ
The heart melts with sorrow at such [sights], if there is any Islam or belief in that heart!

 

Notes

1) Mashrifi swords: Mashrifi swords were a kind of swords which were well-known for their excellence.

2) Ibn Dhi Yazan: Saif Bin Dhí Yazan was a Yemenite pre-islamic king.

 3) Ghumdán; Ghumdán was the castle of Saif Bin Dhí Yazan.

4) Shaddád: Shaddád was a king of the people of ‘Ád of Hadramout

5) ‘Ád: ‘Ád was an ancient people of Hadamout  (In Yemen) which are mentioned in many places in The Quran.

http://bloggingtheology.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/an-elegy-for-al-andalus-by-abu-al-baqa-ar-rundi-1205-1285-a-d/

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Relax

 

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