Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Nusaib: The Slave-Mother Sold

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

Nusaib: The Slave-Mother Sold

By Arabic Literature

The poem characterizes the separation of a wife and mother—a slave—from her family: Translation of Sir Charles James Lyall

THEY said last night—To-morrow at first of dawning,

or maybe at eventide, must Laila go!—

My heart at the word lay helpless, as lies a Katä

in net night-long, and struggles with fast-bound wing.

Two nestlings she left alone, in a nest far distant,

a nest which the winds smite, tossing it to and fro.

They hear but the whistling breeze, and stretch necks to greet her;

but she they await—the end of her days is come!

So lies she, and neither gains in the night her longing,

nor brings her the morning any release from pain.