Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 5, 1985 p. 111.

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Faiz Ahmed Faiz


Love's Captives

Though the hangman s noose made a necklace

around their necks the singers continued

their songs Tinkling the ankle bells of their fetters

the dancers tapped out their joyous step

We who were neither in one group nor the other

stood by the roadside bitten by envy

We wept without making a sound

At home again

flowers which had once been red were pale Our hearts were gone from their rightful place instead there was only pain

Round our necks

from time to time there was the hallucination of a noose and now and then the weight of chains at our feet

Then one fine day love came to drag us bound and manacled into the same cavalcade as the others

If You Look at the City from Here

If you look at the oity from here

you see it is iaid out in concentric circles

each circle surrounded by a wall

exactly like a prison Each street is a dog run for prisoners no milestones no destinations no way out If anyone moves too quickly you wonder why he hasn t been stopped by a shout If someone raises his arm you expect to hear the jangling of chains If you look at the city from here there is no one with dignity no one fully in control of his senses Every young man bears the brand of a criminal every young woman the emblem of a slave


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