The Great Offence

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

She seemed so bored,
I wanted to embrace her by surprise;
But then the scalding waters
Fell from her eyes and burnt her roses.

I offered her a cup....

And came to paradise....

Ah, sorrow,
When she rose from the waves of wine
I thought she would have killed me
With the swords of her desolation....

Especially as I had tied her girdle
With the wrong bow.

From the Arabic of Abu Nuas (eighth century).

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