Ahmad Shawqi

((1868–1932))

Expatriation and Nostagia


Day and night make one forget So, tell me about my early days
And describe that period of my youth that was shaped by imagination
Blew like the playful Saba (wind) and gone
Like a sweet drowse and a quick pleasure
And thou (dual) shalt ask Egypt; Has the heart forgotten Her?
Or has Time cured its (the heart's) wound?
Whenever nights pass, it gets delicateThough nights make the heart cruel
Turning mad if the ships honked At the early night or howled after the bell
Like a priest in the chest, well-aware of the ships
When they (ships) move, it (the heart) saw them off with beating
O, daughter of the sea, Your father is not tight
Why then is he fond of prevention and imprisonment?
Is it forbidden for its birds to sing While it is allowed to all other species ?
Every home is a right for its peopleExcept in bad and mean ideology
My breath is fuel, my heart is a sail
With them (both) you sail in tears and come to shore
And make the Fanar (Lighthouse of Alexandria) your destination
And the Thaghr (port) between Raml (suburb) and Max (suburb) your stream
O, my country, if I were to be kept busy by eternity
My soul would long for it in heaven
Allah is a witness; it (my country) is never away from my eyes
And it is never out of my heart.

Submitted: Friday, September 06, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 06, 2013

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