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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Hittân ibn al-Mu’allà of Tayyi: Parental Affection

By Arabic Literature

From the ‘Hamásah’: Translation of Sir Charles James Lyall

FORTUNE has brought me down—her wonted way—

from stature high and great, to low estate;

Fortune has rent away my plenteous store;

of all my wealth, honor alone is left.

Fortune has turned my joy to tears—how oft

did Fortune make me laugh with what she gave!

But for these girls, the katā’s downy brood,

unkindly thrust from door to door as hard—

Far would I roam, and wide, to seek my bread,

in earth, that has no lack of breadth and length.

Nay, but our children in our midst, what else

but our hearts are they, walking on the ground?

If but the breeze blow harsh on one of them,

mine eye says “no” to slumber, all night long!