When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Tea With Milk

Poem composed and recited by Muḥammad Sālim al-Jidḥī. Recorded by Sam Liebhaber in the office of the chief magistrate (mudīr mudīriyya) of Qishn, September 2003. The poem was composed by Muḥammad Sālim while traveling on the road from Sayḥūt to Qishn.

This poem receives close syntactic and thematic analysis in Liebhaber, 2011a: 18-24.


 
PoemTranslation
1) šēhī ḥlīb // šēhī ḥlībTea with milk, // tea with milk
2) men heyd ḏe-rḥōm // w-mōṭī lbībFrom the hand of the beauty // whose build is slender
3) ān neśfek tēh // eḫeyr men eṭbībIf you sipped it, // it’s better than the doctor
4) ywūkeb ǧsēd // we-yṭeyf lhībIt enters the body // and extinguishes the burning.
5) kleṯk eṣidḳ // ṭawb men l-yekḏībI spoke the truth, // my nature is not that of one who lies
6) ḥōm ledfa beh // eġōlī nsībI want to pay out her price, // [she of] precious pedigree.
7) w-felġem med // ʾatē teġyībAnd Wādī Falġam // that stretches up to where it disappears
8) meźmers b-ǧeśf // meǧrē ḏe-ḏhībThe riverbed in its breadth // is the channel for the flood
9) hel ǧīd yeḥlūl // leḥrēṯ zbībWhere beauty lives, // I might cultivate grapes
10) w-lebnē kūt // bēl bēnī zhībAnd build up a tower // with many storeys all furnished for her
11) meḳbōl ḏe-mdīt // w-heh mehdərībThat faces the sea breeze // and has a wall around it
12) teḫdemmes kell // w-seh teṣyībWith servants to serve her // so she might rest at ease.
13) ḫīh ḳalbī ḫīh // ḳtīleb ʾādībGive up, my heart, let it go! // Be more reasonable
14) śī bebtek lā // wel šūk yeṭrībIt’s not appropriate for your age // and they don’t desire you
15) b-ṭeyṭ het śōḫ // we-mġōren ġrībFor one, you’re old // and further, you are not from around here.
16) ḏ–ar hoh mhanṭeyb // yḫā messəbībI’m just talking nonsense // like a bona fide prattler
17) ber bī śewġāb // w-heh mekkəlībThere’s still passion in me // and it is deeply woven
18) āǧōb be-rḥōm // ʾatē tśībI love the beauties // even though I’m grey.
 

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  1. Tea with Milk Recitation