Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thou art mistress to grant or to refuse thy love; 0 thou whose waving ringlets (7) revive my hopes. They say thou art a gazelle ; I answer : Mistake not! where could the inhabitant of the desert procure ear-rings ?

Ibn Maudûd left many very elegant pieces in prose and verse.

He was born in the city of Hamåt, and was murdered by his brothers in the Castle of Tikrit, A. H. 584 (A. D. 1188-9); the following year, in the month of Shawwal, one of them, named al-Yås, delivered up this place to the khalif an-Nasir. It will be perceived, in perusing the life of Muzaffar ad-din Kukubůri, lord of Arbela, that Tikrit was one of the possessions of his father Zain ad-din. The latter had a page called Tabar (a word written by some with the ordinary to and by others with the accented one (b).), on whom he conferred the government of al-Imádiya, another of his possessions, and afterwards sent him to Tikrit. Zain ad-din, having attained an advanced age and formed the resolution of removing to Arbela (see the life of his son Muzaffar ad-din), ceded all the cities under his authority to Kutb ad-din Maudûd, the sovereign of Mosul; but Tabar refused to deliver up Tikrit, and sent to Maudûd informing him of his intention to hold it, and, as it was absolutely necessary for him (Maudad) to have a lieutenant in that place, that he was the man. Maudůd, not daring to resist his pretensions lest he should deliver Tikrit to the khalif, passed over his conduct in silence and confirmed him in his post. On Tabar's refusal to let Tikrit out of his possession, Zain ad-din was frequently beard to exclaim “ May God bring thee to shame, 0 Tabar! as thou hast brought me to shame “ before Kutb ad-din.” Tabar held the fortress till his death, and left an only daughter, who became the wife of his brother's son, Isa Ibn Maudûd, the subject of this notice. Isa obtained possession of Tikrit through this marriage, and he afterwards took a second wife, Mátariya, by whom he had two sons, Shams ad-din, and Fakhr ad-din. Matariya subsequently sought, by a (matrimonial) alliance, to secure the succession to her own offspring, and, having married her son Shams ad-din to a daughter of Hasan Ibn Kisjåk (8) the emir of the Turkomans, she requested of him a troop of fifty horsemen, to remain with them in Tikrit and guard that fortress. When news of this arrangement came to the knowledge of Isa Ibn Maudůd's brothers, who were twelve in number, they attacked him and strangled him. Tikrit then fell into their power, but dissensions having arisen among them, the leading brother sold it to the imâm (khalif) an-Nasir li

[ocr errors]

VOL. II.

53

din illah. -- Tikrit is a large town with a strong castle; it is situated on the Tigris, at about thirty parasangs above Baghdad, and on the same side of the river as Mosul. Tikrit was so called after Tikrit the daughter of Wail and sister to Bakr Ibn Wâil. The castle itself was built by Såpůr Ibn Ardashir Ibn Babek, the second prince of that Persian dynasty (the Sasanides).

(1) “Osfàn is situated between al-Johfa and Mekka; or, it is said, between Mekka and Medina, at two days' “ journey from the former place; some say that it is a large village, thirty-six miles from Mekka, on the

frontier of Tihåma."-(Marasid.)

(2) In the original Arabic this passage commences with a negative, and the sense is suspended till the reader comes to the second of the verses with which the phrase concludes. The effect is excellent in Arabic, but could not possibly be reproduced in English. It was therefore necessary in the translation to make a slight alteration in the form of the passage.

(3) See Koran, surat 53, verse 14, and read jb in the printed text.
(4) Literally: manes ; waterfalls being compared to the manes of white horses.
(5) Read in the printed text .
) .
(7) Literally: 0 thou whose gracefully-formed izár is my desire.— See vol.1. Introduction, p. xxxvi.
(8) Read jipe. in the printed Arabic text.

.خوازا

.دو بندانه The autograph has (6)

AL-HAJIRI AL-IRBILI.

Abu Yahya, surnamed also Abů ’l-Fadl, Isa Ibn Sinjar Ibn Bahràm Ibn Jibril Ibn Khumârtikin Ibn Tâshtikin al-Irbili (native of Arbela), generally known by the name of al-Hajiri and surnamed Husâm ad-din (sword of the faith), was a soldier of the regular troops ( jundi ), as his father before him. He left a diwûn of poetry, principally in the sentimental style, and offering beautiful thoughts. This collection consists of poems, couplets (dubâit), and mawâlias (1); three species of

composition wherein he displayed great talent ; this is a circumstance which is 536 seldom observed, as the person who excels in one of them generally fails in the

others. He wrote also some pieces of the kind called kûna wa kûna (2), and these he occasionally turned with great elegance. He was an acquaintance of mine and recited to me a great deal of his poetry; I shall give here the following passage of his, containing a very good thought :

That youth swore by every oath that, as long as time should endure, he would keep me company. He shunned me afterwards, and the izdr (dark hair shaded his cheeks: “Behold,” said I, “how blackness covers the face of the liar!”.

He recited to me also the following lines :

You have there a mole seated on a throne of anemony (a rosy cheek', which has sent thy ringlets as messengers to order mankind to love thee (3).

A piece of his composition which he recited to me, descriptive of a mole, contained this verse :

That cheek had not borne a mole, were it not designed to resemble the anemony flower (4).

On the same subject :

Behold that maid with the slender waist; her hair and her forehead shed darkness and light upon mankind. Blame not the mole upon her cheek; all anemonies have a

black spot.

Similar to this are the following lines by Ibn Waki al-Tinnisi (vol. I. p. 396):

The anemony, on seeing the beauties of her face, wished to imitate them all; it thus borrowed its redness from her cheek and its blackness from her mole.

Al-Håjiri recited to me the greater part of his couplets, and, amongst others, the following, which he told me was one of the last things he composed, and that he was better satisfied with it than with any other piece of the kind which he had ever produced :

A copious shower shed new life over the grounds of the tribe of my beloved); 0, how joyful was that year! (Regions of) Alwal I shall never think of the days I passed in thy (happy valley) without complaining of the cruelty of later days.

I bad a brother named Diâ ad-din (light of religion) Isa, and a close friendship subsisted between him and al-Hajiri. In the year 619 (A.D. 1222-3), whilst he was at Arbela, the latter wrote him the following lines from Mosul :

O thou whose presence is my sole desire! God well knows that our separation has left me nought but a lingering spark of life! Send then a letter and console therein the friends who may lament me, for I shall probably die before it arrives.

His collected poetical works are so well known and so generally read that it is an

unnecessary task to lengthen this article by inserting more passages than we 557 have already given. When I left Arbela towards the end of the month of Ra

madân, A. H. 626 (August, A. D. 1229), he was detained a prisoner in the citadel there, for reasons too long to relate; he had been confined, first in the fortress of Khuftidakân, and then removed to Arbela. He composed some poems on his imprisonment, one of them commencing thus :

Chains and a narrow prison cause my sufferings; and often is the hair turned grey by anxious thoughts !

[merged small][ocr errors]

O lightning-flash! if you approach the mansions of Arbela, and when your brightness is dimmed by the lustre of that proximity, offer there the salutation of an outcast whose sighs still follow closely in the train of love. Say to it for me: “O beloved city! thou “ for whose welfare I would diel thy imprisoned son is the most ardent of thy lovers!

By Allah! never did the evening zephyr fleet towards the land of Najd, but I was

always drowned in tears. How shall we meet, since frowning walls and bolted doors "prevent us?"

The following lines also were composed by him when in prison :

O my friends! what voice pronounces our separation! what misfortune has befallen us to tear us asunder? O, may time never more afflict us with the grief of parting! that grief which has already rent my inmost heart ! Absent from you, I was ill at ease in the wide world; how now must I be, shut up in a narrow prison ?

I have been informed that, subsequently to this, he obtained his liberty and, having entered into the service of al-Malik al-Moazzam Muzaffar ad-din, the sovereign of Arbela, he rose highly in his favour and adopted the dress of the Súfis. On the death of his patron (A. H. 630) he left Arbela, but afterwards returned when it was in the possession of Shams ad-din Abû ’l-Fadail Bàtikin, lieutenant of the Commander of the faithful. During a long period he made it his constant residence, but, one day in the forenoon, as he went out, he was poignarded by an assassin who, for some time previously, had been in pursuit of him. When in the agonies of death, with his bowels protruding from the wound, he penned the following lines to Båtikin:

To thee, ruler of the land, I address my complaints; behold me in a state of terror which leaves not a member of my body in repose! If a miserable wretch (lakita) plunder me of my camels, in whose heart but thine can I hope to find a Mazin (4) ? How strange that a man cannot walk without dread, although protected by the sanctuary of the khalifate !

4 (A. D.

He expired the same day, Thursday, the 2nd of Shawwal, A. H. 632 (June, A. D. 1235), and was interred in the cemetery at the Hippodrome Gate Bâb alMaidån). He was then aged about fifty years. Båtikin was an Armenian by birth, and had been a mamlůk to the khalif an-Nasir's mother. When the Tartars took Arbela in their first invasion, towards the end of the year 634 1237), he returned to Baghdad, and died there on Wednesday, the 23rd of Shawwal, A. H. 640 (April, A. D. 1243). His body was interred in the Shùnizi cemetery.- Håjiri means native of Håjir; this was a village in Hijau, but is now in ruins.-Al-Hajiri himself did not really belong to this place, but, as he made 558 frequent mention of it in his poems, he obtained that particular surname ; Arbela was however the native place of his family, the city in which he himself was born and had passed his youth. Notwithstanding this, the appellation of alHàjiri prevailed, and became at length for him as a proper name. In allusion to this, he composed the following couplet :

Had I been spared the pains of separation whilst I loved thee, my tears each night had not resembled a gushing spring. Were it not for thee, my mouth had never pronounced the name of Najd (5); how far, how very far am I from Håjir !

He again makes a similar declaration in a passage of a charming poem, which begins thus : “ ( the pretty dark eyes of that gazelle, the brunette !” and of which the last verse is : “O thou little maid of Arbela, the unfortunate Hajiri is

captivated by thy love.” Ibn al-Mustaufi mentions, in his History of Arbela, that Kuraiya Jibril, a place in that city, takes its name from the Jibril abovementioned.— Khuftidakân is a well-known fortress in the town of Arbela ; it is called the Khuftidakân of Sarim ad-din, to distinguish it from the Khuftidakớn of Abû Ali (6).

« PreviousContinue »