Labīd

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Abu Aqil Labīd ibn Rabī'ah (c. 560 – c. 661) was an Arabian poet. He belonged to the Bani Amir, a division of the tribe of the Hawazin.

Quotes[edit]

The Poem of Labīd (translated by C. J. Lyall in 1881)[edit]

  • DESOLATE are the mansions of the fair, the stations in Minia, where they rested, and those where they fixed their abodes! Wild are the hills of Goul, and deserted is the summit of Rijaam.
    The canals of Rayaan are destroyed: the remains of them are laid bare and smoothed by the floods, like characters engraved on the solid rocks.
    Dear ruins! Many a year has been closed, many a month, holy and unhallowed, has elapsed, since I exchanged tender vows with their fair inhabitants!
    The rainy constellations of spring have made their hills green and luxuriant: the drops from the thunder-clouds have drenched them with profuse as well as with gentle showers:
    Showers, from every nightly cloud, from every cloud veiling the horizon at day-break, and from every evening cloud, responsive with hoarse murmurs.
    Here the wild eringo-plants raise their tops: here the antelopes bring forth their young, by the sides of the valley: and here the ostriches drop their eggs.
    The large-eyed wild-cows lie suckling their young, a few days old—their young, who will soon become a herd on the plain.
    The torrents have cleared the rubbish, and disclosed the traces of habitations, as the reeds of a writer restore effaced letters in a book;
    Or as the black dust, sprinkled over the varied marks on a fair hand, brings to view with a brighter tint the blue stains of woad.
    I stood asking news of the ruins concerning their lovely habitants; but what avail my questions to dreary rocks, who answer them only by their echo?

The Poem of Labīd[edit]

  • Yea, everything is vain, except only God alone,
    and every pleasant thing must one day vanish away!
    And all the race of men—there shall surely come among them
    a Fearful Woe, whereby their fingers shall grow pale:
    And every mother's son, though his life be lengthened out
    to the utmost bound, comes home at last to the Grave:
    And every man shall know one day his labour's worth,
    when his loss or gain is cast up on the Judgment Day.

Couplets[edit]

  • Dear ruins! Many a year has been closed, many a month, holy and unhallowed,
    has elapsed, since I exchanged tender vows with their fair inhabitants!
  • I stood asking news of the ruins concerning their lovely habitants;
    but what avail my questions to dreary rocks, who answer them only by their echo?

External links[edit]

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