Burdah Chapter 1

On Words of Love and the Intense Suffering of Passion

(English Translation courtesy of –  The Burdah (The Singable Translation) by Mostafa Azzam)

أَمِنْ تَـذَكُّرِ جِيرَانٍ بِـذِي سَـلَمِ
مَزَجْتَ دَمْعـاً جَرَى مِنْ مُقْلَةٍ بِدَمِ
Amin tadhakkuri jeeraanin bidhee salami
Mazajta dam’an jaraa min muqlatin bi dami

Is it from thinking of neighbours past in Dhu Selemi
That you have mixed blood in tears that flow from eyes steadily?

أَمْ هَبَّـتِ الرِّيحُ مِنْ تِلْقَآءِ كَاظِمَـةٍ
وَأَوْمَضَ الْبَرْقُ فِي الظَّلْمَاءِ مِنْ إِضَمِ
-Am habbatir riHu min tilqaa-i kaazhimatin
Wa-awmadal barqu fizh zhalmaa-i min -idami

Or blowing of wind from the direction of Kazimah
And lightning flashing from Idum in the dark that you see?

فَمَا لِعَيْنَيْكَ إِنْ قُلْتَ اكْفُفَا هَمَتَــا
وَمَا لِقَلْبِكَ إِنْ قُلْتَ اسْتَفِقْ يَهِـمِ
Famaa li’aynayka -inqultak fufaa hamataa
Wa maa li qalbika -inqultas tafiq yahimi

So what is wrong with your eyes: when you say “Stop!” they just weep?
And with your heart: when you say, “Be sane!” it acts crazily?

أَيَحْسَـبُ الصَّبُّ أَنَّ الْحُبَّ مُنْكَتِـمٌ
مَا بَيْنَ مُنْسَــجِمٍ مِنْهُ وَمُضْطَـرِمِ
-AyaHsabus sabbu -annal Hubba munkatimun
Maa bayna munsajimin minhu wa mudtarim
i
Does one so lovestruck imagine love is concealable
Between a downpour from it and being so fiery?

لَوْلَا الْهَوَى لَمْ تُرِقْ دَمْعاً عَلَى طَلَلٍ
وَلَا أَرِقْتَ لِـذِكْرِ الْبَـانِ وَالْعَلَـمِ
Lawlal hawaa lam turiq dam’an ‘alaa talalin
Wa laa -ariqta li dhikril baani wal ‘alami

If not for passion, you would have never burst into tears
At the remains, nor lost sleep over the mount or the tree

فَكَيْفَ تُنْكِـرُ حُبًّا بَعْدَ مَا شَـهِدَتْ
بِهِ عَلَيْـكَ عُدُولُ الدَّمْعِ وَالسَّـقَمِ
Fakayfa tunkiru Hubban ba’da maa shahidat
Bihi ‘alayka ‘udoolud dam’i was saqami

So how do you still deny a love to which testified
Against you true witnesses of tears and infirmity;

وَأَثْبَتَ الْوَجْدُ خَطَّيْ عَبْرَةٍ وَضَـنًى
مِثْلَ الْبَهَـارِ عَلَى خَدَّيْكَ وَالْعَنَـمِ
Wa-athbatal wajdu khattay ‘abratin wa danan
Mithlal bahaari ‘alaa khaddayka wal ‘anami

When grief has fixed on your cheeks canals of tears and malaise
Like branches of dogwood, red, and daffodils, yellowy?

نَعَمْ سَرَى طَيْفُ مَنْ أَهْوَى فَـأَرَّقَنِي
وَالْحُبُّ يَعْتَـرِضُ اللَّـذَّاتِ بِالْأَلَـمِ
Na’am saraa tayfu man -ahwaa fa-arraqanee
Wal Hubbu ya’taridul ladh dhaati bil-alami

Yes, sights of my love have come at night and kept me awake;
How love repels all delights and comforts with agony!

يَا لَائِمِي فِي الْهَوَى الْعُذْرِيِّ مَعْذِرَةً
مِنِّي إِلَيْكَ وَلَوْ أَنْصَفْـتَ لَمْ تَلُـمِ
Yaa laa-imee fil hawal ‘udhriyyi ma’dhiratan
Minni -ilayka wa law-ansafta lam talumi

You critic of love so passionate, an apology from me to you
—but if you were true, you’d not censure me

عَدَتْكَ حَالِيَ لَا سِـرِّي بِمُسْـتَتِرٍ
عَنِ الْوُشَـاةِ وَلَا دَائِي بِمُنْحَسِـمِ
”Adatka Haaliya laa sirree bi mustatirin
‘Anil wushaati wa laa daa-ee bi munHasimi

May you be spared what I bear—my secret isn’t concealed
From haters, nor is there any end to my malady

مَحَّضْتَنِي النُّصْحَ لَكِنْ لَسْتُ أَسْمَعُهُ
إِنَّ الْمُحِبَّ عَنِ الْعُذَّالِ فِي صَمَمِ
MaH Hadtanin nusHa laakin lastu -asma’uhu
-Innal MuHibba ‘anil ‘udhdhaali fi samami

You’ve offered me true advice, but simply, I hear it not;
The lover is deaf to all of those who speak critically

اِنِّي اتَّهَمْتُ نَصِيحَ الشَّيْبِ فِي عَذَلِي
وَالشَّيْبُ أَبْعَدُ فِي نُصْحٍ عَنِ التُّهَمِ
Innit tahamtu naseeHash shaybi fi ‘adhalee
Washshaybu -ab’adu fi nusHin ‘anit tuhami

I’ve even doubted gray hair’s advice when it censures me;
Although gray hair with advice is less in dubiety

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