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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ibrahîm, Son of Kunaif of Nabhan
Patience
Arabic Literature
 
Translation of Sir Charles James Lyall

BE patient: for free-born men to bear is the fairest thing,
And refuge against Time’s wrong or help from his hurt is none;
And if it availed man aught to bow him to fluttering Fear,
Or if he could ward off hurt by humbling himself to Ill,
To bear with a valiant front the full brunt of every stroke        5
And onset of Fate were still the fairest and best of things.
But how much the more, when none outruns by a span his Doom,
And refuge from God’s decree nor was nor will ever be,
And sooth, if the changing Days have wrought us—their wonted way—
A lot mixed of weal and woe, yet one thing they could not do:        10
They have not made soft or weak the stock of our sturdy spear;
They have not abased our hearts to doing of deeds of shame.
We offer to bear their weight, a handful of noble souls:
Though laden beyond all weight of man, they uplift the load.
So shield we with Patience fair our souls from the stroke of Shame;        15
Our honors are whole and sound, though others be lean enow.
 
 
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