Umar Ibn Al-Farid: "Was that Layla's flame..." (From Arabic)

This poem epitomizes what makes so much overtly mystical Islamic poetry an almost unreasonable burden on the translator. I was going to write a commentary like I did for Du Fu's "Spring Scene During Civil War" explaining how this poem functions as Arabic poetry rather than as mystical theosophy, but I fear I might then be in danger of becoming what I behold, here. One could spend paragraphs trying to describe how the Arabic text's evocative proper names, grammatical oddities and allusions to the Qur'an and the classical tradition create in the reader's mind a single impression of countless blended subtleties. The many place-names in the poem are all situated around Mecca and Medina have sundry evocative resonances within the tradition. Most Arab commentators give this poem the sort of banal, inexcusable explication that reduces this poem and others like it by Umar Ibn al-Fāriḍ to a mere mystical code that needs decipherment. I don't want to reduce the poem to code, mystical or otherwise. So no commentary at all for this poem. I'll just let the translation try and show you some of how it goes. At some point, a poem's got to stand on its own (pun intended) feet. I have not duplicated the original's monorhyme in full, but have rather substituted assonance (ending every couplet with the same vowel in the final stressed syllable, though the consonants after it may be different.) 

The only thing I will mention is that "Layla" is a woman's name, not a toponym.

"Was that Layla's flame"
By Umar ibn Al-Farid
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Arabic

Was that Layla's flame that shone through the veils of night on Dhū-Salam?
     Or lightning's flash throughout the vales round Zawra and Al-Alam?
Have you but a sigh of dawn for me, O winds about Na'man?
     Have you but a sip to offer me, O waters of Wajra?
O driver of laden camels rolling up the wayless sands
     like a scroll of mighty writ beside the Sagebrush of Idam
Turn aside at the guarded safeground -God be your shepherd!- and seek the path
     To yonder Lotus thicket, to the myrtle and laurel bay.
Then halt at Mount Sal, and ask at the curling vale of Raqmatayn:
     Have the tamarisks grown and touched at last in the livening weep of the rain?
If you've crossed the waters of Aqīq in the mornlight, I implore you
     By God, be unabashed and offer them my heart-felt Hail!
Tell everybody this: I have left behind a heart-felled man
     Alive as a deadman, adding plague to plague through your domains.
From my heart like a burning bush there spreads a flame of more than fire.
     From my eyes the pouring tears are like a ceaseless season of rains.
For such is lovers' law: not one limb of the mortal body
      When bound in love with a gazelle 
can ever be free of pain
You ignoramus! You who defame and shame me for my love!
     Desist and learn. You would not blame me, had your love been the same.
I swear by the sacred union, by the age-old love and by
     Our covenant's communion and all the things of bygone ages:
No consolation, no replacement turned me away from loving
     For it is not who I am to move with the whims of solace and change.
Return the slumber to my eyes, and then perhaps I will see you
     Visit my bed in the recklessness of dream 
as a revenant shade
Alas for our days at Khayf! Had they but lasted each tenfold!
     Alas for me, alas, how the last day couldn't last or stay.
If only my grief could cure me, oh if only the "oh" of my woe
     And my remorse could ever recover aught that is passed away,
Gazelles of the winding dell! Be kind and turn away from me
     For I, 
to look on no one but my love, have bound my gaze 
In deference to a Judge who has decreed a wondrous fatwa
     That my blood be shed in every month, both sacred and profane.
Deaf, he did not hear my plea. Dumb, he could not reply.
      He is stricken blind to the plight of one whom love has struck insane.

The Original:

هَلْ نارُ لَيلَى بَدَتْ لَيلاً بِذي سَلَمِ أمْ بارِقٌ لاحَ في ٱلزَّوراءِ فٱلعَلَمِ
أَرْواحَ نَعْمانَ, هَلَّا نَسْمَةٌ سَحَراً وَماءَ وَجْرةَ, هَلَّا نَهْلَة ٌ بِفَمِ
يا سائِقَ ٱلظَّعْنِ يَطْوي البِيدَ مُعْتَسِفاً طيَّ ٱلسِّجِلِّ، بِذاتِ ٱلشِّيحِ مِن إضَمِ
عُجْ بٱلحِمَى يا رَعاكَ اللَّهُ، مُعتَمِداً خَمِيلَةَ ٱلضَّالِ ذاتَ ٱلرَّنْدِ وٱلخُزُمِ
وَقِفْ بِسَلْعٍ وَسَلْ بٱلجِزْعِ هَلْ مُطِرَتْ بٱلرَّقْمَتَينِ أُثَيلَاتٌ بِمُنْسَجِمِ
نَاشَدْتُكَ اللَّهَ إنْ جُزْتَ ٱلعَقِيقَ ضُحًى فاقْرَ ٱلسَّلامَ عَلَيهِمْ، غَيرَ مُحْتَشِمِ
وقُلْ تَرَكْتُ صَرِيعاً، في دِيارِكُمُ، حَيّاً كَمَيِّتٍ يُعِيرُ ٱلسُّقْمَ للسَّقَمِ
فَمِنْ فُؤادي لَهيبٌ نابَ عنْ قَبَسٍ، وَمنْ جُفوني دَمْعٌ فاضَ كٱلدِّيَمِ
وهذهِ سنَّةُ ٱلعشَّاقِ ما عَلِقوا بِشادِنٍ، فَخَلا عُضْوٌ منَ ٱلألَمِ
يالائماً لامَني في حبِّهِمْ سَفَهاً كُفَّ ٱلمَلامَ، فلو أحبَبْتَ لمْ تَلُمِ
وحُرْمَةِ ٱلوَصْلِ، وٱلوِدِّ ٱلعتيقِ، وبٱلْـعَهْدِ ٱلوَثيقِ وما قدْ كانَ في ٱلقِدَمِ
ما حُلتُ عَنْهُمْ بِسُلْوانٍ ولابَدَلٍ ليسَ ٱلتَّبدُّلُ وٱلسُّلوانُ منْ شِيَمي
رُدُّوا ٱلرُّقادَ لِجَفْني عَلَّ طَيفَكُمُ بِمَضْجَعي زائرٌ في غَفْلَةِ ٱلحُلُمِ
آهاً لأيّامِنا بٱلخَيْفِ، لَو بَقِيَتْ عَشراً وواهاً عَلَيها كَيفَ لمْ تَدمِ
هَيهاتَ وا أسَفي لو كانَ يَنْفَعُني أوْ كانَ يُجْدِي على ما فاتَ وانَدَمي
عَنِّي إلَيكُمْ ظِباءَ ٱلمُنْحَنَى كَرَماً عَهِدْتُ طَرْفيَ لم يَنْظُرْ لِغَيرِهِمِ
طَوعاً لِقاضٍ أتى في حُكمِهِ عَجَباً، أفتى بِسَفْكِ دمي في ٱلحِلِّ وٱلحَرَمِ
أصَمُّ لَمْ يُصْغِ للشّكوَى ، وأَبْكَمُ لَم يُحِرْجواباً وَعَنْ حالِ ٱلمَشوقِ عَمِي

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