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A sine verse from one of his kasîdas is the following:
If Time, who is the father of mortals, treats you ill, reproach not then his children when they do the same.
“ At-Tihàmi arrived secretly in Egypt with a great number of letters which “ he was bearing to the Banû Kurra from Hassan Ibn Mufarrij (4) Ibn Daghfal “al-Badawi (5); and being arrested, he represented himself as a member of the “ tribe of Tamim. On a closer examination, he was discovered to be at-Tihàmi " the poet, and they cast him into the prison of Cairo called Khazâna tal-Bunûd. “ This occurred on the 25th of the latter Rabi, A. H. 416 (June, A. D. 1025). “On the 9th of the first Jumada in the same year, he was put to death secretly, “in the place where he was confined. He was of a tawny complexion." I extracted the foregoing passage from an historical work by a native of Egypt, in which he gives an account, day by day, of the events which passed in that coun
I have seen only one volume of it, and do not know how mary it con499 sisted of.--- Some time after at-Tihàmi's death, he was seen in a dream (6) by
one of his friends, who asked him how God had treated him? to which he replied: “He has pardoned me.”—“For which of your deeds ?” said the friend. -“ For having said in an elegy on the death of a little boy of mine :
• I reside in the vicinity of foes, but he sojourns near his Lord; how different that neighbourhood from mine !'”
TIL !!.'!! ***
—Tihâmi is the relative adjective derived from Tihåma, a name given to Mekka. It is for this reason that the blessed Prophet was surnamed at-Tihdmi. The same name is also given to the mountains and other regions which form the extensive province between Hijàz and the frontiers of Yemen. I do not know whether it was from the city or from the province that the poet took his surname.
.عيد ما read من صيد For (3)
(1) Sce vol. I. page 450.
3 (4) I follow the orthography of the autograph.
(8) The Arabic tribe of the Banů Korra inhabited the province of Barka and took up arms for Abů Rakwa the Omaiyide, when he attempted to expel the Fatimites from Egypt. See an account of this revolt in M. de Sacy's Exposé de l'histoire des Druzes, tom. I. p. cccxvii et seq. It was their former hostility to al-Håkim
which now induced Hassan Ibn Mufarrij, the chief of the tribe of Tai, to court their alliance against that khalif's son, az-Zahir; at-Tihami was the secret agent in this affair, which totally failed. Hassån had already revolted against al-Hakim some years before. See Druzes, p.cccl.
(6) See vol. I. p.46, note (7.
IBN NUBAKHT THE POET.
Abù 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Nübakht, a good poet, but unkindly used by fortune, led a life of uninterrupted misery and privation, and died at Misr in the month of Shaabân, A.H. 616 (October, A.D. 1025). He was interred at the expense of the kâtib and poet Wali ad-Dawlat Abu Muhammad Ahmad Ibn Ali, surnamed Ibn Khairan, who was recorder of the diplomas and commissions issued by az-Zàhir Ibn al-Hâkim, sovereign of Egypt. He also left a small volume of poetry,
in which are found these well-known lines :
You listen to slanderers traducing me, and you hold me in such slight esteem that you contradict not their false reports. But were thy image to visit me in the sweetest of dreams and slander thee, I should even renounce sleep!
I mention Ibn Khairan here, without allotting him a separate article, because the date of his death is unknown to me, and in this work I confined my notice to persons the time of whose decease is ascertained.- I have since discovered an account of his life, with some extracts from his poetry, in the Tabakât as-Shuarà of the vizir Abû Saad Amid ad-Dawlat (1): “He was a handsome young man," says this writer, “and intelligence of his death was brought to us in the month " of Ramadân, A. H. 431 (May-June, A. D. 1040).” I became acquainted with this passage when at Cairo, towards the end of the year 674 (A.D. 1276 .
(1) See note (2), page 311 of this volume.
Abù 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Abd al-Wahid, a jurisconsult of Baghdad and a poet of considerable reputation, was generally known by the appellations of Sari ad-Dilà (the slain by blandishments), Katil al-Ghawashi (the victim of sudden misfortunes), and Zù 'r-Rakàatain (the afflicted with double madness) (1). Ar-Rashid Ahù 'lHusain Ahmad Ibn az-Zubair, the same whose life has been given (vol. I. p.113), names him in the Kitab al-Jinan, and then says: “In poetry he trod the same “path as Abù 'r-Rakamak (vol. I. p. 116), and a humorous kasîda was com“posed by him, the concluding verse of which is such that, if he had never “made another on the same subject, it would have sufficed to place him in the
highest degree of eminence and obtain for him the palm of victory. It is the following:
• He who has missed acquiring either knowledge or riches is on a level with the dogs.'
500 “ He came to Egypt, A. H. 412 (A. D. 1021-2), and celebrated the praises of
“ (the khalif) az-Zâhir li-Izâz din Illah.” I read, in a copy of his collected poetical works, that his (Sarî ad-Dild's) names were Abù 'l-Hasan Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahid al-Kassar al-Basri (the fuller of Basra); God best knows which of us is right! This poet died suddenly, A.H. 412 (A.D. 1021-2), of an obstruction of the windpipe, which took him at the house of the Sharif al-Bat’hâi (2). I am inclined to think that this occurred at Misr Old Cairo), for I took the date of his death from the diary of which I have spoken in the life of at-Tihảmi (see p. 318). My opinion is confirmed also by Ibn az-Zubair's statement that he came to Egypt
It was of him that Abů ’l-Alâ says in one of his poems :
in that very year.
Thou wast called Sari (the ranquisher), but this word underwent the intensitive permutation and assumed the form of fail (3).
In the piece from which this line is taken, Abû 'l-Alà excuses himself for not furnishing Sarî ad-Dilâ with wine and other requisites for a social party, but informs him that he has sent him a small sum to defray the expenses.
(1) These were probably admired expressions which first occurred in his verses and were then applied to him by the public as surnames. For a similar reason the poet Muslim Ibn al-Walid was surnamed the vanquished by the fair. See vol. I. of this work, p. 25, note (3).
(2) It must be remarked here that Ibn Khallikán is mistaken in supposing this verse to have been addressed to the poet Sari ad-Dild, for it appears from the text of Abu 'l-Ald's poem, and from the commentary, that the person to whom he wrote bore the surname of Sari al-Bain. As for the verse itself, it contains an allusion which can be best understood by persons acquainted with the native system of Arabic grammar. The meaning is equivalent to this : “You were called the vanquisher (Ej ho sari) because your amusing con“ versation vanquished the pains of absence (cul al-bain) felt by disconsolate lovers. But that name “ assumed the intensitive form, characterised, in grammar, by the type fail (Jin), and it thus became sari
the great vanquisher).” It must be observed that sari signifies both vanquisher and vanquished ; Abu 'l-Alà takes it here in the former meaning, but the commentary on his works informs us that it was a mere licence on his part, since the name Sari al-Bain, when applied to this particular individual, means vanquished by (the pains of) absence.
The râis and kâtib (1) Abû Mansûr Ali Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn al-Fadl, generally known by surname of Surr-Durr, was one of the most eminent poets of his time. He combined in his compositions excellence of expression with beauty of thought, and his verses bear the stamp of grace and brilliancy. His collected poetical works form a small volume, and how exquisitely has he said in one of these kasidas:
We ask how are the ferns of Najd (2), but the willow of the sands (3) knows best what we mean. The mask is now thrown off, and we care no longer whether we name thee openly or designate thee by a surname (4). Nay, were I to exclaim: 0 Sulaima! people would tell me that I only mean Lubaina. How dear to me is thy image, visiting my dreams and pouring forth illusions and false happiness from the cup of sleep. Throughout the night my eyelids were its steed; why then should it complain to thee of fatigue and pain (5). Thus, by night we seemed never to have parted, and by day never to have met.
I weep not the departure of my youth, but I weep because my appointed time draws
Hair are the leaves of the human tree, and when they wither, the branches are soon dried up. VOL. II.
Speaking of a dark-complexioned girl, he has the following pretty thought:
I loved her for her darkness and smoothness; the dark spot of my heart (6) was an image of her colour. It was only to resemble her that the full moon ever consented to suffer an eclipse. It is in honour of her that the epochs of time are dated by nights (7).
His father's avarice procured him the nickname of Surr-Baar (bag of dung), but the son, having unexpectedly displayed a superior talent for poetry, received the surname of Surr-Durr (bag of pearls). A poet of that age, and whose life we shall give, Abů Jaafar Masůd al-Bayảdi, attacked him in these lines :
For his avarice your father was named Bag of Dung; but you ungratefully scatter abroad what he treasured up, and call it poetry.
I must say, however, that this satirist is unjust, for Surr-Durr's poetry is charming; but an enemy cares not what he says. Surr-Durr lost his life accidentally A. H. 465 (A. D. 1072-3); a pitfall for taking lions had been dug at a village on the road to Khorasân, and into this he fell. He was born somewhat earlier than the year 400 (A. D. 1009).
400 (A. D. 1009). We shall speak of him again in the life of the vizir Fakhr ad-Dawlat Muhammad Ibn Jahir.
(1) From the titles of rais and katib I should infer that Surr-Durr held a high place in the civil service.
(2) The province of Najd is the Arcadia of the Arabic poets. As the nomadic Arabs employed a species of fern in covering their huts and closing the chinks, the word is often used by the poets to designate the dwellings of a friendly tribe and also those who reside in them.
(3) The willow of the sands ; a slender-waisted Arab maiden living with her tribe in the desert.
(5) “Cette image était censée venir de la part de la maitresse pour avoir des nouvelles de l'amant." Notice on the Taif al-Khidl, inserted by me in the Journal Asiatique for April, 1838.
(6) The Moslims suppose that there is a black spot or stain in the centre of the heart,- the sign, it seems, of original sin.
(7) In Arabic dates it is not the day, but the night of the month which is assigned.