Mu'Tamid's Lament In Prison

In my breast,
A wail of grief,
Without any spark or flash,
Alone survives,
Passionless, ineffectual.
A free man is in prison today,
Without a spear or a sword;
Regret overwhelms me
And also my strategy.
My heart
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.

[Translated by Mustansir Mir]

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
series.

by Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Other poems of IQBAL (37)

Comments (1)

I enjoyed all three of your poems, but the Old Man I could relate to. I have the same understandings and feelings but they are towards my daughter. I would love to hear thoughts about this piece.