The Princess Of Qulzum

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

(Ballade By Nur Uddin)

I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight;
I have seen the daughter of the King of Qulzum passing from grace to
grace.
Yesterday she threw her bed on the floor of her double house
And laughed with a thousand graces.
She has a little pearl and coral cap
And rides in a palanquin with servants about her
And claps her hands, being too proud to call.
I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight.

"My palanquin is truly green and blue;
I fill the world with pomp and take my pleasure;
I make men run up and down before me,
And am not as young a girl as you pretend.
I am of Iran, of a powerful house, I am pure steel.
I hear that I am spoken of in Lahore."
I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight.

I also hear that they speak of you in Lahore,
You walk with a joyous step,
Your nails are red and the palms of your hands are rosy.
A pear-tree with a fresh stem is in your palace gardens,
I would not that your mother should give my pear-tree
To twine with an evil spice-tree or fool banana.
I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight.

"The coins that my father gave me for my forehead
Throw rays and light the hearts of far men;
The ray of light from my red ring is sharper than a diamond.
I go about and about in pride as of hemp wine
And my words are chosen.
But I give you my honey cheeks, dear, I trust them to you."
I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight.

The words of my mouth are coloured and shining things;
And two great saints are my perpetual guards.
There is never a song of Nur Uddin but has in it a great achievement
And is as brilliant as a young hyacinth;
I pour a ray of honey on my disciples,
There is as it were a fire in my ballades.
I have seen a small proud face brimming with sunlight.

From the Pus'hto (Afghans, nineteenth century).

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Princess Of Qulzum' by Edward Powys Mathers

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy