Bright Spring has come to you, so proudly strutting,
laughing in its beauty, that it almost speaks.

New Year has woken, in the dark before the dawn,
the early roses that, last night, were still asleep.

The coolness of the dew has opened them: as if
to let them hear some news, suppressed until today.

Many a tree, its clothes restored by spring
as one unfolds embroidered, multicolored cloth,

Has donned its proper dress, appearing joyously,
eyesore no longer, as it was in pilgrim’s gear.

So softly blows the gentle breeze you’d think
it brings the tender breaths of those you love.

So what is holding back the wine, whose friend you are,
and what forbids the strings to sing?

For you remain a sun for drunken boon companions, when
they have become full moons, urging on stars.

But you were generous to them before the cups;
those could not make you more so than you are!

– al-Buhturi. excerpt from What Else Was Youth if Not a Phantom

translated by Geert Jan van Gelder

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