In my breast,
A wail of grief,
Without any spark or flash,
A free man is in prison today,
Without a spear or a sword;
Regret overwhelms me
And also my strategy.
Is drawn by instinct to chains.
Perhaps my sword was of the same steel.
Once I had a two-edged sword-
It turned into the chains that shackle me now.
How whimsical and indifferent
Is the Author of fates.
Note: Mu‘tamid was the king of Seville and an
Arabic poet. He was defeated and
imprisoned by a ruler of Spain. Mu‘tamid’s
poems have been translated into English
and published in the Wisdom of the East