A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

Paradise, my darling, know that paradise,
The Prophet-given paradise after death,
Is far and very mysterious and most high;
My habits would be upset in such a place.

Without impiety, I should be mortally weary
If I went there alone, without my wife;
An ugly crowding of inferior females,
What should I do with the houris?

What should I do with those tall loaded fruit-trees,
Seeing I could not give the fruit to you?
What by the freshness of those blue streams,
Seeing my face reflected there alone?

And it might be worse if you came with me,
For all of Allah's Chosen would desire you.
And if Mahomet threw his handkerchief
And took you up and loved you for himself?

Eyes of my eyes, how could I then defend you?
I could not be at ease and watch him love you;
And if I mutinied against the Prophet,
He, being zealous to love you in his peace,

Would rise and send me hurrying
Back by the sword-blade thinness of the bridge
From paradise to earth, and in the middle
Flick me down sideways to the fires of hell.

My skin would cook and be renewed for ever
Where murderers were burning and renewing;
And evil souls, my only crime being love,
Would burn me and annoy me and destroy me.

If I were there and you in paradise,
I could not even make my prayer to Allah
That in his justice he should give me back
My paradise.

Let us love, therefore, on the earth together;
Our love is our garden, let us take great care,
Whisper and call pet names and kiss each other
To live our paradise as long as may be.

Love Ballad of Kurdistan.

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