And the torrents exposed

وَجَلَا السّيُولُ عَنِ الطَّلولِ كأنَّها ** زُبُرٌ تُجِدّ مُتُونَهَا أقْلامُها

And the torrents exposed
the ruins as though they were
Texts whose pens
renew their writings,

أوْ رَجْعُ وَاشِمَةٍ أُسِفّ نَئُورُها ** كِفَفًا تَعَرّضَ فَوْقَهُنّ وِشامُها

Or the back and forth of a tattooer,
whose lampblack was sprinkled
Upon hands,
over which appear their tattoos.

فوقَفْتُ أسألُهَا وكَيفَ سُؤالُنا ** صُمًّا خَوالِدَ ما يَبينُ كَلامُها

So I stopped to question them,
but how is our questioning
Of mute immortals
whose speech is not made clear?

(Labīd 8-10)


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