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The Cup Bearer

Don't weep for Leila, nor rejoice for Hind;
but drink to the rose, to the wine's rosy redness.

The glass! If she pours it down her drinker's throat,
its redness blooms in the eye and in the cheek.

For the wine is a ruby and the glass is a pearl;
gems from the hand of a slim-figured maiden.

From her glance wine flows, and from her hand wine flows
— you are left doubly drunk at least.

Two intoxications possess me, and my companions have but one;
by this alone I am favored.

by al-Hassan ibn Hani al-Hakimi, Abu Nuwas (750-810)
Translated from the Arabic

Gregory Jehle