Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 5, 1985 p. 35.

Graphics file for this page

Sheba in Ruin

Solomon sits. head on knees The land of Sheba is ruined, Sheba, laid waste,

A haunted land a heap of agony, Without flower, without shrub There, dry winds thirst for rain, Birds bend beaks under wings, Men with parched gullets writhe

Solomon sits head on knees

Dour, disheartened, with disheveled hair

Was cunning, might the bounding of a deer9

Love a flame s sudden leap7

Desire, a rose without scent9

These are life's ways.

Speak no more of them

Sheba is ruined

Nothing remains but marauders' tracks

Neither Sheba nor her fair queen remain

Solomon sits head on knees

From where shall good fortune's messengers come9

From where shall wine

For the cup of age come9

Translated by M H K Qureshi & Carlo Coppola

Sheba in Ruins

Solomon, his head on his knees, and Sheba in ruins

Sheba in ruins, Sheba the haunt of ghosts

Sheba a heap of sorrows not to be measured by feet No grass anywhere, wild or grown by men, nor flowers,

the winds thirsty for rain The birds of the forest with their beaks in their wings,

and men choking on dust


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