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These Western nymphs

(Written in Cordova)

These Western nymphs
A challenge to the eye and the heart,
Are bold of glance,
In a paradise of instant bliss.

Thy heart is a wavering ship,
Tossed by beauty’s assault
These moons and stars that glisten,
Are whirlpools in thy sea.

The warblings of the harp and lyre,
Have wondrous powers
Powers that cannot be captured
In the world of sound.

The prostration that once
Shook the earth’s soul,
Now leaves not a trace
On the mosque’s decadent walls.

I have not heard in the Arab world
The thunderous call
The call to prayer that pierced
The hearts of hills in the past.

O Qartaba! Perhaps
Some magic in thy air
Has breathed into my song
The buoyancy of youth.

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