The Lovers | Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (1010-1091) & Ibn Zaydún (1003-1071)


In memory of Love –  The hands of Ibn Zaydun & Wallada – Cordoba, Spain

      Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (1001-1091) 

When night falls, plan to visit me.
For I believe night is the time that keeps secrets best.
I feel a love for you that if the light of heaven felt, the sun would not shine,
nor the moon rise, nor the stars begin their nightly journey


Come and see me at nightfall, the night will keep our secret.
When I’m with you I wish the sun and moon never turn up and the stars stay put.


If you were faithful to our love you wouldn’t have lost your head over my maid.
You dropped a branch in full bloom for a lifeless twig.
You know I am the moon yet you fell for a tiddly star.


Is there a way we can meet and share our love once more?
In the winter I used to wait on hot coals for your visits.
Now I feel worse since you’ve gone and confirmed my fears.
The night rolls on, but absence stays and patience won’t free me from longing’s grip.
I hope Allah waters the new land that’s become our home.

I fear for you, my beloved so much, that even my own sight even the ground you tread
even the hours that pass threaten to snatch you away from me.
Even if I were able to conceal you within the pupils of my eyes and hide you there until
the Day of Judgment my fear would still not be allayed.


You know that I am the moon of the skies
But, to my disgrace, you have preferred a dark planet.

Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, [1001-1091] was an Andalusian poet The love of her life was the poet Ibn Zaydun. Only nine of Wallada poems have been preserved, of which five are satirical. Wallada died on March 26, 1091, the same day that the Almoravids entered Cordova.


                                         Ibn Zaydún (1003-1071)

To Walladah

When shall I describe my feelings
To you, my delight, my torture?
When will my tongue have the pleasure
Of explaining it, instead of a letter?
Oh you tempter in consolation,
Oh you proof of a forlorn lover!
Tou are the sun that has hidden
Itself behind a veil from my eye:


Patience has departed from the parting lover,
Who divulged the secret, confiding it to you;
He is embarassed because of not having been able
To take more steps along with you when taking his leave:
Oh, brother of the full moon in high rank and splendour
May God protect the rime which caused thee to rise!
If your absence made my nights seem long,
I spent this night with you complaining of its shortness!


Your passion has made me famous among high and low
your face devours my feelings and thoughts.
When you are absent, I cannot be consoled,
but when you appear, my all my cares and troubles fly away.
When she offers me jasmine in the palm of her hand
I collect bright stars from the hand of the moon.


If, after you, my night grows long,
then how much do I now complain
of this night’s shortness with you!


You have departed and we have departed
but our ribs have never been restored to health
because of yearning for you; nor have our tear ducts
ever been dried up.


Peace be upon you! The peace of farewell,
the farewell of a love that died before its time.


To his archenemy Ibn Abdús

You have stirred the lion of wrath when he was dozing,
awakened him when he lay still with eyes closed.

Ibn Zaydún, [1003-1071] was a famous Arab poet of Cordoba and Seville. He sought refuge with Abbad II of Seville and his son  al-Mu’tamid. He was able to return home for a period after the ruler of Seville conquered Cordoba.

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