When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Her Looks and Figure Are Beautiful

Poem #11 from the Dīwān of Ḥājj Dākōn.

Recited by Ḥājj Dākōn and recorded by Sam Liebhaber at home, al-Ghaydha, January 27, 2004.


 
PoemTranslation
1) śēnī we-ḳders ǧīd // men eḫaf atē ǧbīnHer looks and stature are beautiful // from foot to forehead,
2) w-reḥmōn ḏ-śemrīs [ṯibtīs] // ʾāḳel we-ttəḳā w-dīnGod the Merciful completed her // with reason, reverence and religion.
3) [naḳš we-msīres ġeyr // we-tʾawmer ḏ-ferhīn]Her form and stride are unlike the others // you’d say it’s that of a mare.
4) šettemmūt rḥōmet tem // źōher we-ḫfē yḳīnBeauty brought to perfection, // the obvious and the hidden made true.
5) bēl ewaṣf yeḥyūr // be-ḥwōǧeb w-śefrīnThe master of description is at a loss // when describing her eyebrows and eyelashes:
6) ʾān ʾamerk enḫəlīt // ḏe-dġawt brek eṭīnIf I say “date palm” // then she is a date palm sapling [planted] in rich soil,
7) w-ān ʾamerk seh āsēl // be-fnōǧən men eṣṣīnIf I say “honey” // she is honey in a teacup from China.
8) ǧēma ḏe-šfōlet kel // men aǧēbes ḏ-īwənīnAll of the unmarried men // sigh from love for her
9) w-ġarhūten ser ewaṣf // yerbūbem w-yeḥnīnAnd others, after a description of her // moan like a camel for its young and murmur.
10) lēken yeźhīrem lā // we-śśəwēḳhem dfīnBut they never declare it // and keep their desire buried
11) sōber hem ḥṯ̣ār ḫaṭ // dōyem waḳt we-snīnThey are always on the path [to her] // all the time throughout the year.
12) ber ḫlōṭem hāyerēm // kam men ḫaf w-heh lġīnTheir tracks are all mixed together // so many footprints are soft and tender!
13) ḥeyser bīhem eźźəmōr // men ḳwōm ḏ-heh ṯmīn[Their] innermost hearts are aggrieved // from the cost of this dear prize.
14) we-ḫḫəbēr men bēl eweǧd // meyten addeh lebyīnThe love-stricken ask // “When will he appear,
15) leḳfēd brek essūḳ // hel wzūnet yawzīnOne who will come down to the market // and weigh out the price?”
  

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  1. Diwan Hajj Dakon #11 audio recited