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In memory of the beloved (from The Wine Ode (al-Khamriyah))

In memory of the beloved
     we drank a wine;
          we were drunk with it
     before creation of the vine.

The full moon its glass, the wine
     a sun circled by a crescent;
          when it is mixed,
     how many stars appear!

If not for its bouquet,
     I would not have found its tavern;
          if not for its flashing gleam,
     how could imagination picture it?

Time preserved nothing of it
     save one last breath,
          concealed like a secret
     in the breasts of wise men.

But if it is recalled among the tribe,
     the worthy ones
          are drunk by morn
     without shame or sin.

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