How many a weapon-shrouded warrior,
whose approach is ruin,
inexperienced in fleeing
Have my hands awarded
the quick thrust
of a tempered, well-joined,
Gashing him open,
the gurgling of his wound
guiding through the darkness
hunger-worn wolves in search of prey.
I split through his breastplate
with a hard, cold blade—
the spear tip holds inviolate
no stout-hearted brave—
and left him carrion
to be torn apart,
skull to wrist
by rustling predators.
– excerpt from the Mu’allaqa of ‘Antara
translated by Michael Sells
– Hafez. excerpt from Ghazal 59
Today I am going to behold those feet—
feet that are cooling, charming, joy-imparting,
that take away the devastating forest fire of sin,
that bear the royal imprint of goad and thunderbolt
and lotus and banner, and are colored lotus red.
I’ll find their marks through the forest, where he herds
the cows with his little cowherd friends.
Poets and scholars train their minds on those feet,
as do Shiva and Brahma and Indra,
but I will actually touch them—
with these hands and with this head.
Seeing them, Ill be compelled to leave my carriage:
I’ll throw my body to the ground,
then Surdas’s Lord will reach out with both arms
and laugh, embrace me, raise me.
– Surdas. excerpt from Sūr’s Ocean
translated by John Stratton Hawley
– Sankt Florian, Stiftsbibliothek, XI.58, fo. 83v (s. xi), MLREL, ii. 352–3
translated by Jane Stevenson
– George Seferis. excerpt from Mythistorema
translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
– June Jordan. excerpt from A Song for Soweto
– Virgil. excerpt from Eclogue 4
translated by Len Krisak