The Luzumiyat of Abu’l-Ala, CXII

translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani

Whence does the nettle get its bitter sting?
Whence do the honey bees their honey bring?
       Whence our Companions, too—our Whence and Why?  
O Soul, I do not know a single thing!


The Luzumiyat of Abu’l-Ala (James T. White & Co., 1920) by Abū al-‘Alā’ al-Ma‘arrī. Translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani. Copyright © 1920 by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.