translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani

“The wine’s forbidden,” say these honest folk
But for themselves the law they will revoke;
      The snivelling sheikh says he’s without a garb,
When in the tap-house he had pawned his cloak,

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.