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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - Ali The Poet

Samples of the poetry of Ali

In his book History of the Caliphs, Suyuti has given some samples of the poetry of Ali. These are: "Where hearts contain despair and the spacious breast is stifled by what is within it, and cares make their abode and repose, and sorrows anchor in their habitations, and no way is seen for the dispelling of distress, and the stratagem of the cunning availeth not. There shall come to thee in thy despair a helper when the answered of prayer who is nigh shall bring. For all sorrows when they have reached their term there is linked to them an approaching joy". "Consort not with a foolish brother, beware of him for how many a fool hath corrupted the gentle when he hath fraternized with them. A man is judged by the man with whom he consorteth for there are comparisons and similitude for one thing with another. The measure of a sandal is made when it is matched with it, and the evidence of the feeling of one heart towards another is when they meet". "Men lust for the world and plot for it; yet, its clearness is mingled for them with impurities. They do not give thou of it thy portion according to thy wisdom when it is distributed. But men have their allotted shares according to their destinies how many there are of the wise and sagacious unprospered. While a fool has gained his wealth by errors, if it could be acquired by force and rapine falcons would sweep off with the subsistence of sparrows". "Disclose not thy secret but to thyself for every confidant hath a confidant. For verily I have seen erring men who do not aspire to a high sense of honor".

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