Our Poets

Poem By Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali

Those rotten volumes of eulogies and odes
With a stink far worse than of toilets rank
Causing earth to split, which Providence forebode
Causing company of angels to blush in the heavens
What has caused decline of Din and of knowledge
Is the elegant tradition of denizens of our college.

If writing bad poetry some punishment deserves
If lies piled on lies is unpardonable sin
Then the court which Allah as Qazi preserves
Where the dividend for evil and good has been fixed
All sinners from there will be forthwith released
But our poets will fill all of Hell when deceased.

The labourers and menials, the porters and grooms
Prosper in the world by earning their wage
Singers earn patronage of the affluent and bloom
Even tambourine players get a fee when they ask
But bad poets, sick with this chronic malaise
Which ill are they cure for? By Allah's grace!

If water-carriers leave, all of us would expire
The clothes would be dirty if washermen quit
How would we survive if all servants retire?
If sweepers moved out, the towns would be filth
But if our poets would en masse emigrate
'We're rid of bad rubbish,' we'll happily state.

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