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

Author Unknown

Poems from Oriental Languages: Mother to Her Daughter

(Nile Song—Arabic)

Translation in Dublin University Magazine

MY daughter, ’tis time that thou wert wed:

Ten summers already are over thy head;

I must find you a husband, if under the sun

The conscript-catcher has left us one.

Dear mother, one husband will never do:

I have so much love that I must have two;

And I’ll find for each, as you shall see,

More love than both can bring to me.

One husband shall carry a lance so bright;

He shall roam the desert for spoil by night;

And when morning shines on the tall palm-tree,

He shall find sweet welcome home with me.

The other a sailor bold shall be:

He shall fish all day in the deep blue sea;

And when evening brings his hour of rest,

He shall find repose on this faithful breast.

There’s no chance, my child, of a double match,

For men are scarce and hard to catch;

So I fear you must make one husband do,

And try to love him as well as two.