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"The Palm Tree"

 by the eighth century Arabian poet 

Abd-ar-Rahman I

        "In the midst of my garden
         Grows a palm-tree;
         Born in the West,
         Away from the country of palm-trees.
        "I cried: You are like me,
         For you resemble me
         In wandering and peregrination,
         And the long separation from kith and kin.
        "You also
         Grew up on a foreign soil;
         Like me,
         You are far from the country of your birth.
        "May the fertilising clouds of morning
         Water you in exile,
         May the beneficent rains besought by the poor
         Never forsake you."

Translated by J. B. Trend







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