From the Arabic

Why art thou so hushed and sad, 
  So thin and wan? 
Who robbed thee of thy flesh and song,—
  Was it Ramadhan? 

Nay, Ramadhan is not to blame, 
   For I have ceased to fast and pray; 
But to my vacant Dwelling came 
   An unknown Guest—he came to stay. 

And in my heart he eats and drinks; 
   He drinks my blood, of wines the best, 
And eats my burning flesh,—ah, yes, 
   My love for Zahra is that Guest. 


From A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.