Red in aspect, sweet in taste

by Samuel ha Nagid

English version by Bernard Lewis
Original Language Hebrew

Red in aspect, sweet in taste
poured in Spain, famed in India
faint in the cup, but raised to the head
wine holds sway over heads that bow.
The mourner mingling blood and tears
finds his sorrows melted by the blood of the grape,
friends passing the cup from hand to hand
seem like gamblers dicing for a precious stone.

-- from Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems, Translated by Bernard Lewis

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Recommended Books: Samuel ha Nagid

Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid Jewish Prince in Moslem Spain: Selected Poems of Samuel Ibn Nagrela The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain





Red in aspect