Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
From ‘The Poem of Amru’
By From The Moallakat
(Translated from the Arabic by Sir William Jones. 1782)

  1.  HOLLA!—Awake, sweet damsel, and bring our morning draught in thy capacious goblet; nor suffer the rich wines of Enderein to be longer hoarded:
  2.  Bring the well-tempered wine, that seems to be tinctured with saffron, and, when it is diluted with water, overflows the cup.  2
  3.  This is the liquor, which diverts the anxious lover from his passion; and, as soon as he tastes it, he is perfectly composed:  3
  4.  Hence thou seest the penurious churl, when the circling bowl passes him, grow regardless of his pelf:  4
  5.  When its potent flames have seized the discreetest of our youths, thou wouldst imagine him to be in a frenzy.  5
  6.  Thou turnest the goblet from us, O mother of Amru; for the true course of the goblet is to the right hand:  6
  7.  He is not the least amiable of thy three companions, O mother of Amru, to whom thou hast not presented the morning bowl.  7
  8.  How many a cup have I purchased in Balbec! how many more in Damascus and Kasirein!  8
  9.  Surely our allotted hour of fate will overtake us; since we are destined to death, and death to us.  9
  10.  O stay awhile, before we separate, thou lovely rider on camels; that we may relate to thee our sorrows, and thou to us thy delights!  10
  11.  O stay!—that we may inquire, whether thou hast altered thy purpose of departing hastily, or whether thou hast wholly deceived thy too confident lover:  11
  12.  In the hateful day of battle, whilst he struggles amid wounds and blows, may the Ruler of the world refresh thy sight with coolness, and gratify it with every desired object!  12
  13.  O Amru, when thou visitest thy fair one in secret, and when the eyes of lurking enemies are closed in rest,  13
  14.  She displays two lovely arms, fair and full as the limbs of a long-necked snow-white young camel, that frisks in the vernal season over the sand-banks and green hillocks;  14
  15.  And two sweet breasts, smooth and white as vessels of ivory, modestly defended from the hand of those, who presume to touch them:  15
  16.  She discovers her slender shape, tall and well-proportioned, and her sides gracefully rising with all their attendant charms;  16
  17.  Her hips elegantly swelling, which the entrance of the tent is scarce large enough to admit, and her waist, the beauty of which drives me to madness;  17
  18.  With two charming columns of jasper or polished marble, on which hang rings and trinkets making a stridulous sound.  18
  19.  My youthful passion is rekindled, and my ardent desire revives, when I see the travelling camels of my fair one driven along in the evening.
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