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Ibn Abî Sûlmâ Zuhayr

The Poem of Zuhair

'Does the blackened ruin, situated in the stony ground between Durraj and Mutathallam, which did not speak to me, when addressed, belong to the abode of Ummi Awfa?

'And is it her dwelling at the two stony meadows, seeming as though they were the renewed tattoo marks in the sinews of the wrist?

'The wild cows and the white deer are wandering about there, one herd behind the other, while their young are springing up from every lying-down place.

'I stood again near it, (the encampment of the tribe of Awfa,) after an absence of twenty years, and with some efforts, I know her abode again after thinking awhile.

'I recognized the three stones blackened by fire at the place where the kettle used to be placed at night, and the trench round the encampment, which had not burst, like the source of a pool.

'And when I recognized the encampment I said to its site, 'Now good morning, oh spot; may you be safe from dangers.'

'Look, oh my friend! do you see any women traveling on camels, going over the high ground above the stream of Jurthum?

'They have covered their howdahs with coverlets of high value, and with a thin screen, the fringes of which are red, resembling blood.

'And they inclined toward the valley of Soobán, ascending the center of it, and in their faces were the fascinating looks of a soft-bodied person brought up in easy circumstances;

'They arose early in the morning and got up at dawn, and they went straight to the valley of Rass as the hand goes unswervingly to the mouth, when eating.

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