When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

I Used To Think That Man Could Endure

Poem #6 in the Dīwān of Ḥājj Dākōn.

Recited by Ḥājj Dākōn and recorded by Sam Liebhaber at the Khalīj Hotel, al-Ghaydha, October 7, 2003.

1) kōbī maḫḫəlīḳ yṣawber // we-śśəǧwē ḏ-beh yḫeyfehI used to think that man could endure // and hide the distress that is in him
2) śefh maḫḫəlīḳ bhīmet // ʾōker ḏe-ryēḥ yneyfehBut it turns out that man is pitiful // a dusty whirl of wind will banish him
3) w-ekkdeyt men emḥabbeh // tesdidh we-tkeyfehOr a biting word from a lover // is enough for him and suffices.
4) mōna yeḥmōl ereddet // men essehb ḏēd yźeyfehWho can stand against the force // of a wave that surges around him,
5) sehb ḏe-rwōrem ṯ̣ōlem // ʾām ber ḳeyṣef beh yǧeyfehA wave from the overpowering seas // that, if it bears down on him, will flip him over?
6) we-ylūbed beh śrōyer // ʾamḳ ḏe-mkəsēr yseyfehIt turns [his boat] to splinters, // rolling it into the deeps of a dangerous channel
7) ʾār w-reḥmōn eḫḫōreǧ / heh yḳawder we-yheyfehAnd then only The Merciful may pull him out // and is able to revive him.

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