O wisdom - enchanter - was I greedy for fame?
Did I lie and deceive to gain reputation
as your greatest servant?
Did I stoop to currying favour with worthless
people of position and power?
Did I worry about status or money?
For those who wish to retain their integrity
the only place to be is under your feet
and whether we wash or not, walk clothed or naked,
live or die,
is of utmost irrelevance.
2. AFTER A POEM ENTITLED 'SLAVE BOY'
by Yusuf ibn Harun al-Ramadi (died 1022 CE)
They shaved his head
to make him unattractive,
for his beauty made them
They wiped out the night.
They abandoned him to dawn.