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Tarafah ibn al Abd

The Ode of Tarafah

A young gazelle there is in the tribe, dark-lipped, fruit-shaking,

flaunting a double necklace of pearls and topazes,

holding aloof, with the herd grazing in the lush thicket,

nibbling the tips of the arak-fruit, wrapped in her cloak.

Her dark lips part in a smile, teeth like a comomile

on a moist hillock shining amid the virgin sands,

whitened as it were by the sun's rays, all but her gums

that are smeared with colyrium -- she gnaws not against them;

a face as though the sun had loosed his mantle upon it,

pure of hue, with not a wrinkle to mar it.

[...] Read more

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