Treasure Island

Nizar Qabbani

(1923 - 1998 / Damascus / Syria)

Beirut, The Mistress of the World


Beirut, the Mistress of the World
We confess before the One God
That we were envious of you
That your beauty hurt us
We confess now
That we've maltreated and misunderstood you
And we had no mercy and didn't excuse you
And we offered you a dagger in place of flowers!
We confess before the fair God
That we injured you, alas; we tired you
That we vexed you and made you cry
And we burdened you with our insurrections

O Beirut
The world without you won't suffice us
We now realize your roots are deep inside us,
We now realize what offence we've perpetrated
Rise from under the rubble
Like a flower of Almond in April
Get over your sorrow
Since revolution grows in the wounds of grief
Rise in honor of the forests,
Rise in honor of the rivers
Rise in honor of humankind
Rise, O Beirut!

Submitted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 04, 2013

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