If I Have Two Hearts: A Poem by Najdi Bedouin Poet Qays Ibn al-Mulawwah; Translated by Dina Al-Mahdy

لو كانَ لي قلبان لعشت بواحدٍ
وأفردتُ قلباً في هواكَ يُعذَّبُ
لكنَّ لي قلباً تّمَلكَهُ الهَوى
لا العَيشُ يحلُو لَهُ ولا الموتُ يَقْرَبُ
كَعُصفُورةٍ في كفِّ طفلٍ يُهِينُها
تُعَانِي عَذابَ المَوتِ والطِفلُ يلعبُ
فلا الطفل ذو عقلٍ يرِقُّ لِحالِها
ولا الطّيرُ مَطلُوقُ الجنَاحَينِ فيذهبُ

If I had two hearts I would live with one,
And devote the other to torment in your love.
Alas I only have one heart, possessed by love.
Neither pleased by living nor that death is near.
Like a tiny bird in the hands of a child, disgracing it,
Suffering the torment of death while the child is at play
Neither the child is aware of its suffering,
Nor the bird’s wings are free, for it to fly.

—Qays Ibn al-Mulawwah

Listen to If I Had Two Hearts – لو كان لي قلبان – by Al Farabi Music:

2 comments

  1. Thanks, Dinna for the translation
    I’ll share mine maybe you’ll like.

    “If I have two hearts, I will live with one
    I’ll set aside one heart to torment in your love
    But I have one heart owned by love
    It is not pleasant for him to live, nor death approach
    Like a bird in the palm of a child who insults her
    She suffers the agony of death while the child plays
    Neither the child have a mercy mind
    Neither the bird is free, so it can fly”

    translated by
    Mahmoud Atieh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Dinna for the translation
    I’ll share mine maybe you’ll like.

    “If I have two hearts, I will live with one
    I’ll set aside one heart to torment in your love
    But I have one heart owned by love
    It is not pleasant for him to live, nor death approach
    Like a bird in the palm of a child who insults her
    She suffers the agony of death while the child plays
    Neither the child have a mercy mind
    Neither the bird is free, so it can fly”

    translated by
    Mahmoud Atieh

    Liked by 1 person

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