(Written in Cordoba)
|These Western nymphs A challenge to the eye and the heart,|
Are bold of glance, In a paradise of instant bliss.
|Thy heart is a wavering ship, Tossed by beauty’s assault|
These moons and stars that glisten, Are whirlpools in thy sea.
|The warblings of the harp and lyre, Have wondrous powers—|
Powers that cannot be captured In the world of sound.
|By teaching him the monastic wont and way,|
The Sufi has led astray the jurist of the town.
|The prostration that once Shook the earth’s soul,|
Now leaves not a trace On the mosque’s decadent walls.
|I have not heard in the Arab world The thunderous call|
The call to prayer that pierced The hearts of hills in the past.
|O Cordoba! Perhaps Some magic in thy air|
Has breathed into my song The buoyancy of youth.
Translated by: Naim Siddiqui