The Luzumiyat of Abu’l-Ala, CXVI

translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani

To clay the mighty Sultan must return
And, chancing, help a praying slave to burn
       His midnight oil before the face of Him,
Who of the Sultan makes an incense urn.

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.