A young gazelle there is in the tribe, dark-lipped, fruit-shaking,
flaunting a double necklace of pearls and topazes,
holding aloof, with the herd grazing in the lush thicket,
nibbling the tips of the arak-fruit, wrapped in her cloak.
Her dark lips part in a smile, teeth like a comomile
on a moist hillock shining amid the virgin sands,
whitened as it were by the sun's rays, all but her gums
that are smeared with colyrium -- she gnaws not against them;
a face as though the sun had loosed his mantle upon it,
pure of hue, with not a wrinkle to mar it.
Ah, but when grief assails me, straightway I ride it off
mounted on my swift, lean-flanked camel, night and day racing,
sure-footed, like the planks of a litter; I urge her on
down the bright highway, that back of a striped mantle;
Tarafah ibn al 'Abd ben Sufyan ben Malik al Bakri of the tribe of the Bakr ben Wa'il was born in 543 AD in Bahrain on the Persian Gulf. His father died when he was still a child. His maternal uncles, bound by law and custom to take him in, were greedy and scornful men who neglected his education and robbed him of his rightful inheritance. Tarafah t ...