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al Bârî (8), a work containing a history of the later poets, but he attributes them to Khalaf Ibn Marwân, a mawla of Ali Ibn Raita ; the third verse is as follows:
When thou visitest with thy wrath, thy sword returns well pleased; and when thou smilest, the eyes of (thy) riches melt into tears.
In one of his eulogiums on Humaid, he says:
Humaid provides nourishment for all who inhabit the world, and they have thus become his family. It would seem as if his forefather Adam had enjoined him to feed the human race, and he therefore gives them food.
In another of his pieces he says :
The Tigris quenches the people's thirst, and you, Abů Ghånim, furnish them with food. The people are the body, the (khalif) imâm of the true direction is the head, and you are the eye of the head.
Humaid died on the festival of the fast-breaking (1st of Shawwal), A. H. 210 (January, A. D. 826), and his loss was deplored by our poet in a kasida, of which one of the verses was :
We also have received that moral lesson which others received before us (in the death of the great and good); but alas! we have no room left for patience under grief.
Abù ’l-Atàhiya (9) also lamented the death of Humaid in these lines :
O Abû Ghånim! vast was the court of thy (hospitable) dwelling, and numerous are the (grateful) visitors who now surround thy lofty tomb! But a tomb frequented by visitors availeth not the person whose body lies mouldering within it.
Numerous anecdotes are related of al-Akawwak, but we must confine ourselves to the above.— The word akawwak means a fat and short man, but stout. — The date which we have here given of Humaid at-Tûsi's death is that mentioned by at-Tabari in his history, and I am strongly inclined to believe that he breathed his last at Famm as-Salh, to which place he had accompanied al-Màmûn when that khalif went to consummate his marriage with Bůrân (vol. I. p. 269).
(1) The life of al-Jähiz is given in this volume.
.عفوه The autograph has (4)
(6) The author of the Kitab al-Ikd (see Ibn Khallikân, vol. I. p. 92), states that Sham, or Syria, is divided into five Shamat, or Syrias; the indication of these provinces is given by Ibn al-Wardi. See Excerptum ex Ibn al-Wardi, page 176, in Koehler's Abulfedæ Tabula Syriæ.
(7) One of the highest eulogiums which an Arabian poet could bestow on a patron was, that he did good to friends and evil to foes. The Moslims give similar characteristics to the Divinity; in the list of the ninety-nine holy names, or attributes, we find him styled eili the useful, and , lis the hurtful.
(8) The life of Abů Abd Allah Harun Ibn al-Munajjim will be found in this work.
ALI IBN AL-JAHM.
Abù ’l-Hasan Ali Ibn al-Jahm, a poet of well-deserved celebrity, drew his descent from Sảma Ibn Luwâi of the tribe of Koraish, and bore the surname of asSami for that reason. His genealogy is thus set forth by the Khatib (1), in the History of Baghdad, when giving the life of al-Jahm, Abû 'l-Hasan’s father : Ali Ibn al-Jahm Ibn Badr Ibn al-Jahm Ibn Masůd Ibn Asid Ibn Ozaina Ibn Karrår (2) Ibn Kaab Ibn Jabir Ibn Malik Ibn Otba Ibn Jabir Ibn al-Harith Ibn Katan Ibn Mudlij (3) Ibn Katan Ibn Ahram (4) Ibn Dohl Ibn Amr Ibn Malik Ibn Obaida Ibn al-Harith Ibn Sâma Ibn Luwai Ibn Ghâlib. The same historian has an article on Ali, the son of al-Jahm, in which he says: “His collected poetical works are “ well known ; he was a good poet, skilled in all the branches of the art, and “ favourite with (the khalif) Jaafar al-Mutawakkil; he was not less conspicuous “ for his piety than for his talents.” His enmity to Ali Ibn Abi Talib and his ostentatious display of attachment to the Sunnite doctrines (may detract in some degree from his character), but, as a poet, he certainly possessed a natural genius and
great abilities, whilst his style and expression were remarkable for sweetness. 486 He was one of those who passed (with al-Mâmûn) from Khorâsân to Trâk, but in
the year 232 (A.D.846-7), or, by another account, in 239, he was sent back again by al-Mutawakkil whom he had attacked in a satire. The khalif wrote at the same time to Tahir Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Tahir (5), directing him to tie up Ali Ibn
al-Jalım on a cross the moment he arrived, and keep him in that position for the space of a day. When Ali reached Shàdiyakh in the dependencies of Naisàpùr, he was imprisoned by Tâbir, and afterwards brought forth and exposed naked on a cross during an entire day. In allusion to this circumstance Ali pronounced the following verses :
It was not a person of inferior merit or a man unknown whom they crucified on Monday morning at Shadiyakh. They had their hearts' content in that exposition; but, thanks be to God! their victim was a man of honour and noble soul (6).
The piece contains many more verses, but it is too well known to require insertion here.— The poet then returned to Iråk and proceeded from thence to Syria. Some time afterwards, (the khalif ) al-Mustain received a letter from the master of the post-horse establishment at Aleppo, informing him that Ali Ibn al-Jahm had set out from that city for Iråk in company with some other persons, and that they had sustained a desperate conflict with some horsemen of the tribe of Kalb, by whom they were attacked on the way. When succour came up, Ali was found wounded and at his last gasp, but he was able to pronounce these words :
Has fresh darkness been added to the night? or has the morning been removed from its station (7)! I thought of the people at Dujail ! but o, how far am I from Dujail !
It must be here remarked that his place of residence in Baghdad was in the Shârî, or street, of Dujail. The above-mentioned letter was received in the month of Shaabàn, A.H. 249 (Sept.-Oct. A.D. 863), and that suffices to mark the epoch of his death. When his body was stripped, a paper was found on it containing the following verses :
May the mercy of God be on the stranger in a distant land! what a misfortune has he brought upon himself! He has left his friends, and neither he nor they shall again enjoy the pleasures of life.
A close friendship subsisted between him and Abù Tammàm, and the latter addressed him some farewell lines beginning thus :
It is to-day the departure of one whose acquaintance was an honour; and for to-morrow are reserved the tears which flow not now.
Ali Ibn al-Jahm's collected poetical works form a small volume; they contain this fine thought :
An affliction not to be equalled is the enmity of a man without honour or religion. He freely abandons you his own reputation, and attacks yours which you so carefully preserve.
These verses were directed by him against Marwan Ibn Abi Hafsa (8), who had composed on him the following epigram :
Jahm Ibn Badr was surely not a poet, and yet this son of his pretends to make verses. It is true, my father was a neighbour to his mother; and when Ali claims to be a poet, he makes me suspect something.
This idea was taken from Kuthaiyir, the lover of Azza (9), who, having one time recited some verses to the poet al-Farazdak by whom they were approved, was then addressed by him in these terms: “Tell me, Abû Sakhr! did your
mother ever go to Basra?”—“No,” replied Kuthayir, “but my father did
frequently (10).” When Ibn al-Jahm was in prison, he composed the wellknown verses which begin thus :
“ Thou art now in prison !" said they, but I answered: “ The prison harms not my “body; where is the sword which has not been confined in a scabbard ?"
This is the best piece ever written on such a subject, and I would give it all here were it not so long. The lines which follow are also of his composition:
O (cruel fair !) thou who rejoicest in the torments I endure! thou art as a king, acting like a tyrant because he has the power. Were it not for love, I should match thee (in haughtiness); but if ever I recover from that passion, thou shalt experience more than thou expectest!
-Sâmi means descended from Sâma, the son of Luwâi : many persons write this name Shâmi, but they are mistaken.– Dujail, the diminutive form of the word Dijla (Tigris), is the name given to a canal situated higher up the river than Baghdad. It derives its waters from the Tigris and branches off from it on the west bank, opposite to al-Kâdisiya, between Tikrit and Baghdad; a number of towns and villages are situated on its banks. It must not be confounded with the Dujail (in the province) of al-Ahwaz, which also waters a number of low
and villages, but flows from the neighbourhood of Ispahân ; this last was dug by Ardashir Ibn Babek Ibn Sasân, the first of the (Sasanide) monarchs of Persia.
.کرار The autograph has (2)
(1) See vol. I. page 75.
(6) Such I believe to be the meaning of this verse, in which the words löyü and Shapis must be substituted for li jw and Slins I consider
as equivalent to
and مل قلوبهم من صدورهم
and لعل قلوبهم
(7) Literally: Has the torrent carried off the morning.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali, surnamed Ibn ar-Růmi (the son of the Christian), was the son of al-Abbâs, the son of Juraij, or of Jürjis (Georgius) as some say, and a maila to Obaid Allah Ibn Isa Ibn Jaafar Ibn al-Mansûr Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Abd Allah Ibn al-Abbâs Ibn Abd al-Muttalib. This celebrated poet, whose verses are so admirable for beauty of expression and originality of thought, was a diver (it might be said) for novel ideas, bringing them forth from their secret recesses and producing them to the best advantage. Every thought which he treated was developed to the utmost, and not a shade of it was left by him unnoticed. His poems, which were transmitted down orally by al-Mutanabbi, who learned them from himself, were devoid of order till Abû Bakr as-Sûli undertook the task of arranging them according to the letters in which they rhymed ; and Abû 't-Taiyib, the book-copyist of Ibn Abdûs (1), collected them again from all the copies then existing, both those containing the poems arranged by the