Saturday, October 31, 2009

Love is Blind-Ibn Hazm's Take

I know a youth that loved a lass (1)
Whose neck was short and somewhat stout;
And now, when long-necked maidens pass,
He thinks them jinn's, without a doubt.

He is content, to justify
His claim that he has chosen well,
Upon a logic to rely
That has some substance, truth to tell.

Thus he would argue: " The wild cow
Is famed in proverb and in song,
And no man lives, but will allow
Beauty doth(2) to the cow belong.

"Now never was the wild cow born
Whose neck was long and angular;
And are not camels held inn scorn
Because their necks stick out so far?"

I know another lad who loved
A most uncommon wide-mouthed dame
He said, " Her loveliness is proved
By the gazelle, whose mouth's the same."

And still a third young chap I know
Whose well-beloved was unco(3) small;
" Tall women ", he would say, " are so
Stuck up-they're devils, one and all."

(Ring of Dove, Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi)

(1) A girl/a women/a sweetheart

(2) A third person singular present tense of do

(3) adj. so unusual as to be suprising, uncanny

Just reading through the Ring of Dove, by Ibn Hazm the famed Dhahiri jurist who wrote a treatise on the subject of Love. Interesting read I would say from the famed Islamic scholar. He wrote the treatise when he was a youth and revised it when he was older.

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