Al-Hariri of Basra

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My native soil's Serugium,
Where flows the stream of happiness.

Abū Muhammad al-Qāsim ibn Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Uthmān al-Harīrī (1054– 9 September 1122) was an Arab poet, scholar of the Arabic language and a high government official of the Seljuk Empire.




My native soil's Serugium,
Where flows the stream of happiness.
The produce there of high esteem:
The mart of plenty justly nam'd.
The waters exquisitely sweet:
Like those that spring from paradise.
The deserts to the eye appear,
Like verdant meadows beautiful.
Th'inhabitants and houses shine,
Like stars and starry mansions bright.
The air they breath delicious smells:
The prospect pleasing, large and wide.
The highest hills are strew'd with flow'rs,
When once the sun dissolves the snow.
Visit Serugium - you'll see
The feat of this world's paradise.

Maqamat of al-Hariri, translated by Leonard Chappelow, p. 17 [1]

Response to a stranger's request[edit]

  • Thou'rt not the first night-wand'rer,
    Deceive'd by treach'rous moon-light:
    Nor the first starv'd Purveyor,
    Pleas'd with the spacious surface
    Of dunghill's outward verdure,
    The greedy eye attracting:
    When all within is nauseous.
    In choosing a companion,
    Thy choice, I find, directs thee
    To one of diff'rent aspect;
    For I am like old Moaid,
    Deform'd in ev'ry member.
    Hear then what I shall dictate;
    But let thine eye not see me;
    For prejudice will frustrate
    The wisest, best instructions.
    • Maqamat of al-Hariri, translated by Leonard Chappelow

External links[edit]

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Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Al-Hariri.