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Mohammad Ahmad

Translating a very significant collection Arab poem ( Mu'lka Umru' al-Qais )- part 1

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Translating the poem of Umru' al- Qais
Letís halt by a lover ruin

This poem is one of the seventh or tenth poems, which so far called al-Mu'lakat, the poems which had been hanged over al-Kaaba walls, as they were the good selected poems of the ancient certain period a time of pre-Islam advent

Pre Islam period i.e. the pagan period
Translated to English by
Mohammad Ahmad
Iraq Ė Mosul

Reading and review onto the poem
This poet as other poets of pre-Islam period i.e." the Pagan period" who ever their traditional ways while poetizing poetry is to start their poems by mentioning and stopping nearby lover dwelling ruins and this usually we give name the erotic poetry.
He said in the first line; please stay with me referring to his fellow or his herdsman to cry upon lover's dwelling and remnants, which it is situated in Mecca desert in the large Arabian Desert
However, the preface is, he proceeded on his scrupulous description, the body and the behavior of the woman in general. He did not leave anything for discussion unless he described even the shameful part of the woman. Notice the verse (17) what had he said! Of course, it is a vulgar and a shameful thing to be translated.
Subsequently, he turned to describe his horse and indeed, he lengthily described it as an excellent description, on which it is swift horse, slim, strong, and it has straight tail that is usually on the middle- position, its legs, and its forehead, etc...
Then he followed on his description to describe hunts and even to compare between the horse speed and the hurried wild animals that he chased at desert.
At the end, he changed his manner to describe the rainy clouds that heavily pour rain so that to wet the ground then the desert should be flourished, and how the flood swept everything on its way even the buildings and animals, then the poet symbolized the hills' peak as if the middle of the spindle which contains the wool.
It is indeed a good poem since it has a good utterance, abundant of meanings, eloquent in letter and sprit as well as all collections of the pre-Islamic period poems had the same characteristics.
What could we extract from this poem?
1- The tribal societies on that time did not prohibit something such as wine, adultery, and theft, moreover they worshiped the idols but when Islam came, it recovered them as well as purified their souls.
2- They are strong men, bold men, generous men, and they have good qualifications on battlefields and war affairs.
3- They are kind to their neighbours and the one who asks their shelter, they ever have to protect him.
4- The immorality verses often seen in their poems on which I referred to as an example above I mentioned
The translation
1- قَفَاَ نَبْكِ مِنْ ذِكُرَى حَبِيبٍ وَمَنْزِلِ بِسِقْطِ اللِّوَى بَيْنَ الدَّخُولِ فَحَوْ مَلِ
Letís by Dokhol and Hwmal for a while halt to weep
Where beloved abode there piling up with sands deep
Dokhol and Homal are places names and his lover abode there turned just a vacant place filling up to be piles of sands as much as winds blow and sweeping sands, however the trail of that beloved dwelling still can be seen after her tribe decamped to another place. The ruin is just mud and stones as they used to build a wall of one foot and half height around the tent, however, to prevent flood not come inside. Arab of that ancient time hardly have homes as now.

2- فَتُوِضحَ فَاْلِمقْرَاةِ لَمْ يَعْفُ رَسْمُهَا لِمَا نَسَجَتْهَا مِنْ جَنُوبٍ وَشَمْأَلِ
Twathah so Migrat Trail didn't by far obliterate
As far as blown by many winds yet showing erect
(Migrat, Twathah are names of places one nearby another)
The meanings here that the remnants of a lover who her family abandoned their place going to search for places of water and grasses however to pasture their herds.
Some remnants they left behind like the places of making fire and the dung of their animals still visible for many years. However, sweeping by winds that come from north and while this wind sweeping something the other wind, which comes from south, will do the opposite since it gathering back those pushing out sands to return for first place and thus the ruin will keep on its apparent shape.

3- تَرى بَعَرَ الآرْآمِ فِي عَرَضَاتِها وقِيعانِها كَأَنَّهُ حَبُّ فُلْفُلِ
You can see great deal of dung remains of the white deer
Therefore, the place appears as if seeds of pepper scattered there
4- كَأَنِّي غَدَاةَ الْبَيْنِ يَوْمَ تَحَمَّلُوا لَدَى سَمُراتِ الَحْيِّ نَاقِف حَنْظَلِ
I passed by acacia shrubs from which at noon they decamped
A day I was as if peeling off colocynth seeds so much was timid
Here the poet described how he came upon the place where his lovers gathering their stuffs and traveling away to find the place is just vacant place and only those shrubs of acacia they left behind. Here again he symbolizes one tortured-self after departing lovers as if someone trying peeling off colocynth as he wants to get the seeds out. It is of course an image describing the moment of sadness and the extremist of one lose patience

5- وُقُوفاً بِهَا صَحْبي عَلَيَّ مَطِيَّهُمْ يقُولُونَ: لا تَهلِكْ أَسىً وَتَجَمَّلِ
Along with equestrians fellows to the ruins should halt
Saying, be self-possessed or you should die, no doubt
6- وإِنَّ شِفَائِي عَبْرَةٌ مُهْراقَةٌ فَهَلْ عِنْدَ رَسْمٍ دَارِسٍ مِنْ مُعَوَّلِ
My misery is a shedding tear where to ruins I call
Is not there a mattock perhaps burying my soul?
7- كَدَأْبِكَ مِنْ أُمِّ الْحَويرِثِ قَبْلَها وَجَارَتِها أُمِّ الرِّبابِ بِمَأْسَلِ
Fallen in love with this woman had been in torture
Like love, you had it, with Um- Harth and her neighbor
8- إِذَا قَامَتا تَضَوَّعَ المِسْكُ مِنْهُمَا نَسِيمَ الْصِّبَا جَاءَتْ بِرَيَّا الْقَرَنْفُلِ
When they stood up, the musk by scent would full of the home
Like the north breeze while bringing the carnation perfume.
9- فَفَاضَتْ دُمُوعُ الْعَيْنِ مِنِّي صَبَابَةً عَلى الْنَّحْرِ حَتَّى بَلَّ دَمْعِي محْمَليِ
Then my tears over my neck ardently having spilt
Still shedding down until flooding my sword-belt
10 -أَلا رُبَّ يَوْمٍ لَكَ مِنْهُنَّ صَالِحٍ وَلا سِيمَّا يَوْمٍ بِدَارَةِ جُلْجُلِ
If only a happiest moment with women as I spent early
Like a Juljul Day, I wish my days came back happily
Junjul is a name of day the poet mentioned or it maybe a name of certain brook where women watering to their families while took chat there.

11- وَيَوْمَ عَقَرْتُ لِلْعَذَارَى مَطِيِّتي فَيَا عَجَباً مِنْ كُورِهَا الُمتَحَمَّلِ
The day, I slaughtered my camel for the maidens to eat.
Oh! How much its back is fleshy overall a fresh meat?
12-فَظَلَّ الْعَذَارَى يَرْتِمَينَ بِلَحْمِهَا وَشَحْمٍ كهُدَّابِ الدِّمَقْسِ الُمَفَّتلِ
The maidens still enjoy on eating that fleshy camel's back.
Besides it contains twisted white fat likes the silken damask.
13- وَيَوْمَ دَخَلْتُ الْخِدْرِ خَدْرَ عُنَيْزَةٍ فَقَالَتْ لَكَ الْوَيْلاتُ إِنَّكَ مُرْجِلي
The day I entered a howdah of Unaiza intentionally
She said woe Guy; you will dismount me, be carefully!
He entered her howdah to make the adultery with her
14- تَقُولُ وَقَدْ مَالَ الْغَبِيط بِنَا مَعاً عَقَرْتَ بَعيري يَا امْرأَ القَيْسِ فَانْزِلِ
When she saw her howdah turned over and became upset,
She shouted, please Man debark! my camel cannot tolerate.
15- فَقُلْتُ لَهَا سِيري وأرْخِي زِمَامَهُ وَلا تُبْعِدِيني مِنْ جَنَاكِ اُلْمعَلَّلِ
I told her "go ahead and loose the camel rein'.
And not to forbid me from yours lovely pain
16- فَمِثْلِكِ حُبْلَى قَدْ طَرَقْتُ وَمُرْضِعٍ فَأَلهيْتُهَا عَنْ ذِي تَمائِمَ مُحْوِلِ
With a pregnant woman like you, I did with a joyful fun.
I did with her a love relation until she neglects her son.
17- إِذا ما بَكى مَنْ خَلْفِها انْصَرَفَتْ لهُ بِشِقٍّ وَتحْتي شِقّها لم يُحَوَّلِ
If her child cries, she turns to him her upper part carelessly.
Then she leaves her middle part to my ever desire willingly.
This is the most vulgar verse to describe
18- وَيَوْماً على ظَهْرِ الْكَثيبِ تَعَذَّرَتْ عَليَّ وَآلَتْ حَلْفَةً لم تَحَلَّلِ
One day at a sandhill peak for my desire, she refused
And she swore that such sexual relation I forebode
19- أَفاطِمَ مَهْلاً بَعْضَ هذا التَّدَلّلِ وَإِن كنتِ قد أَزْمعْتِ صَرْمي فأَجْمِلي
O, Fatima! Please be ease, lessen some of this coquetry
And if you want abandoning me; take the matter wisely
20- أغَرَّكِ منِّي أن حبَّكِ قاتِلي وَأَنَّكِ مهما تأْمري الْقلبَ يَفْعَلِ
Do you feel bothering that your love is my killer?
And my heart follows you as an obedient lover!
21- وَإِنْ تَكُ قد ساء تك مِني خَليقةٌ فسُلِّي ثيابي من ثيابِكِ تَنْسُلِ
If something on me, disturb you and you are mistrust
Please regard 'we are soul to soul as an integral part'
Here the poet does not mean that had the same attire as he requested her to draw one's clothes from another to see if they were estimated on one texture or not, it does mean either their social rank is equal, or it is a rhetorical meaning that they are one soul.
22- وَما ذَرَفَتْ عَيْناكِ إِلا لِتضرِبي بِسَهْمَيْكِ في أَعْشارِ قلْبٍ مُقَتَّلِ
Your eyes did not shed tears but to strike deeply
As far as throwing arrows, my heart was torn surly
23- وَبَيْضةِ خِدْرٍ لا يُرامُ خِباؤُها تَمتَّعْتُ من لَهْوٍ بها غيرَ مُعجَلِ
I wish I enjoyed unhasty love with a white woman one day.
Like one stayed in bed, as a hatcher bird did not fly away.
24- تجاوَزتُ أَحْراساً إِلَيْها وَمَعْشراً علّي حِراصاً لَوْ يسرُّونَ مقتَلي
I have passed behind her guards and her Kinsmen.
Of course, they would kill me soon, if I were seen.
25- إِذا ما الثّرَيَّا في السَّماءِ تَعَرَّضَتْ تَعَرُّضَ أَثْناءِ الْوِشاحِ الُمفَصَّلِ
If the Chandeliers amidst other stars on the sky appeared,
Her jewelled-embroidered scarf is similar as she displayed
26- فجِئْتُ وقد نَضَّتْ لِنَوْمٍ ثيابَها لدى السّترِ إِلا لِبْسَةَ الُمتَفَضِّلِ
I came to her while she took off her dresses to sleep.
Naked body but only her underwear shirts may keep
27- فقالتْ: يَمينَ اللهِ مالكَ حِيلَةٌ ..وَما إِنْ أَرى عنكَ الغَوايةَ تَنْجلي
She said; by God, you are tempted in your intention
And I see that you can't give away to this temptation
28- خَرَجْتُ بها أَمْشي تَجُرِّ وَراءنَا على أَثَرَيْنا ذَيْلَ مِرْطٍ مُرَحَّلِ
I took her out of her bed and she followed me lingeringly.
Trailing on her long silky garment swept the ground softly.
29- فلمَّا أَجَزْنا ساحَة الحيّ وَانْتَحَى بنا بطنُ خَبْتٍ ذي حِقافٍ عَقَنْقَلِ
As we passed her dwelling tribe and reached a safe place,
At a sandhill covered by bushes, we felt alone in that terrace.
30- هَصَرْتُ بِفَوْدَيْ رأْسِهاَ فَتمايَلَتْ علّي هضِيمَ الْكَشْحِ رَيَّا الْمَخْلخَلِ
Immediately I pressed her head on the middle of my chest
She responded to me and swung up down as she did twist
31- مُهَفْهَفَةٌ بَيْضاءُ غيرُ مُفاضَةٍ ترائبُها مَصْقولَةٌ كالسَّجَنْجَلِ
She is pleasant, white, of slim waistline but tight
Her bosom is like a glossed glass that looks bright.
32- كَبَكْرِ الُمقاناةِ البَياضَ بَصُفْرَةٍ غذاها نَميرُ الماءِ غيرُ الُمحَلّلِ
A pearl between white and yellow colours it does shine
The unspoiled water purifies it until it does seem fine
33- تصُدّ وَتُبْدي عن أَسيلٍ وَتَتَّقي بناظرَةٍ من وَحشِ وَجْرَةَ مُطَفِلِ
She turns to us her shiny veiled check carefully.
Like hind with fawn being so much fearfully
34- وجِيدٍ كجِيدِ الرّئْمِ ليْسَ بفاحشٍ إِذا هيَ نَصَّتْهُ وَلا بمُعَطَّلِ
Her slender neck is alike the neck of deer
Though turns up or down being suitable to her
35- وَفَرْعٍ يَزينُ اَلمتنَ أَسْودَ فاحِمٍ أَثِيثٍ كَقِنْوِ النّخلةِ الُمتَعَثْكِل
Her shoulder is covered with a coal black looses hair
It seems as twisted branches of a palm she does wear
36- غدائِرُه مُسْتَشْزِراتٌ إِلى العُلا تَضِلّ العِقاصُ في مُثَنَّى وَمُرْسَلِ
Her braids were fastened up into a well manner
Divided in tow tufts loosely spread up her shoulder
37- وكَشْحٍ لطيفٍ كالجديل مُخَصَّرٍ وساق كاْنبوبِ السَّقيّ الُمذَلَّلِ
Her waist is fine and twisted on her body's center
And legs are as if sedges irrigated by a fresh water
38- وتضحي فتيتُ المِسكِ فوقَ فراشها نؤُومَ الضُّحى لم تَنْتُطِقْ عن تفضُّل
The musk over her bed so much scented as did leap
Often she late woke up still wearing dresses of sleep
39- وَتَعْطو برَخْصٍ غيرِ شَئْن كأنهُ أَساريعُ ظْبيٍ أوْ مساويكُ إِسْحِلِ
She picks with long fingers are slender and soft
Like deer or lizard orchid limbs when rise aloft
40- تُضيءُ الظَّلامَ بالعِشاءِ كأَنَّها مَنارَةُ مُمْسَى راهِبٍ مُتَبَتِّلِ
She avoided darkness by lighting her house at night
Like a sincere monk's cell, which often being bright